David Robinson takes a listen to the new Gekko Cables Purple Haze interconnects that have a unique construction and cost £2499 for a one metre pair. 

Having watched Gekko Cables over the last few years grow, and having the pleasure to meet their creator and designer Boban Djurdjevic, I have also had several of his cables in for upgrade auditions on my equipment during a resent spate of upgrades. I am quite used to the standards of workmanship and sounds these cables provide. Here though today I will be reviewing and testing one of Gekko’s top of range cables the Purple Haze in RCA form.

CONSTRUCTION 

The Purple Haze arrives in a smart Aluminium carry case, and within it sits in some secure foam liners. Purple in name and purple in colour the cable is encased in a woven cotton like jacket that is actually polypropylene, there are wooden collars on the cables themselves with the company logo imprinted into them, but for a first time for me the RCA’s at each terminal end are also encased in wood, each held in place by a tiny screw. There are directional arrows imprinted into the wooden sheath to advise on which way round these cables should be inserted into the chain of electronics. The cables are very flexible and should offer no problems whatsoever fitting around equipment or other cabling.

There are two internal pure silver (99.99) AWG 26 cables insulated and laid down in a twisted and woven geometry style. Each wire is individually shielded in PTFE and then covered in a cotton dialectic outer then all is encased within its distinctive purple woven jacket.

Hmmmm nothing too special in that on first glance you may say. The very interesting part to these Gekko Purple Haze cables lies within the quite unique construction of their RCA’s. Here is where Boban has worked some magic, and has a patent pending design on how your music arrives to the terminals on your equipment. Apart from the Silver wires there is no other conductive material involved in these RCA’s. Gekko has made the inner part of the plug from a non-conductive plastic. Here you will see the raw silver cable, cleverly wound round the center pin of the RCA while at the edges there are two other silver cables pinched to the side walls. The idea here is that no soldering, crimping or screw fittings are able to effect sound quality and only the bare wires make the electronic connections. This is as close to “Hot wiring” your hifi as you can get! Now I really like the idea of minimalist connections, the simpler the better for me. Although this design is anything but simple, the fact that the bare wires connect your equipment makes sense to me, and wondering why I’ve not seen this before? Having had a good look at these raw conductors I can say they are quite solid in their plugs, I was worried that maybe they would be easily dislodged, but it would take some heavy handedness to mess them up.

The cables do feel quite different to standard RCA’s when you insert them though, they feel quite soft n squidgy, but a good push n twizzle gets them in place. One end of the RCA’s wooden shrouds have been shaved down to allow them to be used where the receiving RCA sockets are close together as the wood is quite thick. The cables are also marked for directionality, whether you believe in this or not it allows consistency when fitting.

SOUND QUALITY

Having the Purple Haze running in the background for a few weeks while doing other reviews has them well and truly burnt or bedded in, although advice was a couple of days. So first impressions? Well I was expecting a bit of harshness that I have experienced before with silver and silver hybrid cabling. Not so here, a mellow and smooth outlook appearing between the speakers. Spinning a few of Keb’ Mo’s albums first, superbly recorded, vocals and guitar are the star of the show. My system errs on the side of warm and smooth and this cable sits in well and compliments the other members of the family system. Sounds and instruments are well separated, and sit in an inky black soundscape. This is a similar effect that fitting XLR cables has. A very quiet and soundless background presentation, thus providing an excellent opportunity to fill that clean space with extra details, or at least make those details more apparent. As much as I’m used to a 3D experience, the Gekko cables give instruments a slightly more space to express themselves in. The multi-dimensional feel gives to me what surmounts to a new level of listening pleasure. There are instruments now that although where always there, now have more of a purpose than being just an also ran.

Vocally the Purple Haze has tonality and texture spot on, there is a good level of feeling and emotion conveyed through the detailed midrange, running some Corinne Bailey Rea and Joan Osbourne for the female side of the coin has the speakers dripping with soulful and rounded sounds of Rea, and yet keeps things from getting too hard and harsh with some of the tracks from Ms Osbourne, which I have found some silver cables can stray into when pushed with a bit of volume, not so here.

Bass is nice and full, an increase from my standard cabling and making it fee a bit deeper and there is a slight softening and bloating to the edges, not really smeared though, just rounded and fat. This only occurs at the lower registers as tight bass guitars are juicy and easily followed, as are the bass drum kicks that have a taut venom to the sound. The top end of the scale has percussion perceived with proper metal textures and feel, crisp and believable sounds are emitted and none of that soft shushy, mushy or indistinct sounds and the timbre and decay of notes are correct to my ears. The openness that the Purple Haze brings has those sounds sited very clear in the soundstage without being pushed too far forward to become out of joint with the rest of the music or other instruments, which is quite a nice experience to behold.

CONCLUSION 

For those who like the minimalist approach this could be your Valhalla. The Purple Haze has a unique build quality in the fact that the RCA holds the bare wires that carries the signals between your equipment. This approach delivers a clearer sonic picture and If silver cabling suits your system and you want to hear the sound pure silver can deliver then this set of cables by Gekko may well be the final bit of icing on your cake.

AT A GLANCE 

Build Quality: Super hand-made build quality, first rate workmanship and unique design.

Sound Quality: The Purple Haze has that quality where you know your missing nothing from the music and your hearing nothing added to the music, that extra level of depth and separation is an appreciated asset, although a technical step up, it’s a simple concept that I believe holds nothing back from what goes through those silver wires. Although a slightly softer low end sound than I’m used to.

Value for money: Gekko Purple Haze is an innovative and new product, the research and development involved was never going to put this cable in the bargain bucket category, and it’s price tag will put it out of reach for the vast majority. This cable falls into the exotic box, only a lucky few will need to audition this cable, but if your in the market to drain the last ounce of performance from your high end system, this must be on your list of cables to try. It brings many qualities to the table and is in the running sonically with similar priced kit.

Pros: Build Quality, Extra depth and detail.

Cons: Unusual design. Bare wiring, may not sit well with some. Soft lower Bass sound.

Price: £2499

David Robson

Review Equipment: Mytek Brooklyn Pre/dac, (with Sbooster linear power supply), Nord NC500 Power Amp, Oppo UDP 205 (used as CD). Wilson Benesch Arc Speakers. Black Cat Redline Tube Speaker Cable. Russ Andrews Yellow Power Cables.

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