David Robson puts some zeros and ones through this Scottish company’s £80 The Director SE digital coax cable. 

Ecosse is a new brand to me. Arriving in the late 90’s which, unfortunately was the start of my Hifi hiatus. Due to house moves and relationship changes my hobby was put on hold for quite a while.

Ecosse have their base in Scotland where they have a factory in which they handcraft their cables. This cable uses “Monocrystal” Pure Copper, and is manufactured to a very high standard. The Monocrystal they believe gives a superior conductor material and having no “Grain Boundary’s”. This taken from the company’s website, an explanation of their theory. “a patented casting process (extrusion and annealing) is employed to produce a ‘mono’ or single crystal ultra-pure wire with significant advantages over other cables currently available. These other cables use ordinary copper or silver, which, no matter how few grains the manufacturer claims, have a grain barrier of oxygen and hydrogen. There are 9 perfect characteristics of this, by now, Monocrystal™ copper: Unidirectional, Free of Impurity, Flexibility, Fatigue-Resistance, Corrosive-Resistance, Low Electric Resistance, Non-crystal Boundaries, Rapid Transmissibility, Perfect in Structure”.

The Director Digital Coax (RCA) is a 75ohm cable and my sample here is 0.8m in length, you can customise your cable by adding lengths of 0.2m (20cm) for an extra charge, BNC connections are also available. The Director is manufactured with a multicore of pure microcrystal copper with polyethylene (PE) insulation and then a further foam PE coating; this separates the central core from the return braided copper which then has a very nice blue PVC outer sheathing. The cables are terminated with Ecosse’s own design MACH2Ag RCA’s. These are silver plated for best conduction of the signal. The outer PVC coating is a nice metallic looking blue colour and is of medium stiffness.

Having had this cable on for a few weeks I’m sure it’s well run in. Playing Van Morrison’s “Back On Top” CD the opening track on the album “Going Down To Geneva” has a Jazzy/Blues bouncing style, the rhythmical drive from bass and drum jump out in true foot tapping style, the Ecosse certainly has a presence. The track lends itself to more of a late night closing track in a hot, boozy club, the Director Coax has just enough detail to carry this effect off. The following song is a much more relaxed and laid back affair. “Philosophers Stone” has the simple tick, tick, tick of a cymbal and nice deep tones of piano and those notes carry a good weight with them, Van Morrison’s vocals strike up showing a little age and patina. Stereo imaging is good and has nice depth between the forward vocals and both the piano and electric organ sounds, these all easily distinguished and separate from each other. The crispness of the high tones from the brass cymbals could be a little better, but nothing too glaring, Mr Morrison’s harmonica does have great sound and voice though, peeping forward of the soundstage, the notes have a nice organic “live” feeling to them. Switching CD’s to Supertramp’s “Some Thing Never Change” CD, this a fabulously clean and clear recording has many layers and things going on, and is one of my all-time favourite “go to” albums. The Director by Ecosse easily transfers the digital signal from the CD drive to the DAC without losing to my ears anything in the way of clarity or quality. “You Win I Lose” starts out with a big reverberating bass drum, the “bounce” is very definitely heard and felt, the drum strikes have a hard edge and the cymbals have quite a crispness, maybe carrying a little too much “brittleness”, although not straying into sharp acidity.

Popping in Dire Straits “Dire Straits” and the second track on the album The Water of Love. This older recording from the late 70’s has had a great transfer onto the digital format. The Glockenspiel intro is clear as a bell (or a glockenspiel) in a stark darkness, there doesn’t seem to be any digital noise in this Director cable, as the track gets itself going the rendition of drums and the twang of the steel guitar feel a little restrained with a touch of hazing, nothing unbalanced and on the whole an even tempered performance. Onward to Six Blade Knife, the laid back, moody tune of the album has real presence to it, the melodic bass guitar leading the track, is tight and well formed. Knopfler’s vocals come hissing out, these have great texture with the Coax cable doing a fine job of conveying this to the listener. The slightly hard edge mentioned earlier becomes an asset with the lead guitar sounds as this fires out from the speakers with steely accuracy.

AT A GLANCE

Pros:

A well made cable, that’s priced well. Having good detail at this price point and is a good step up from the budget cables.

Cons.

Can have a slight hard edge to the sound, but does not become overbearing or fatiguing. Bright sounding equipment may not be this cables best friend.

Price: £80

David Robson

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