After Stuart our beloved Editor (The fivers in the post – Stu) contacted me with a view to reviewing some cables by Oriton Audio Engineering (A British based company) I made contact with Mike Stone, a former MOD (Ministry of Defence) engineer who told me all about his love of music and especially the female vocal, along with his previous days when he played bass guitar in a band.
During his time with the Military as an engineer discovered ways of controlling vibration and micro-vibrations within electronics on lots of different military vehicles. These techniques have since been adopted in the design of his products to aid the reproduction of music.
The technology and manufacturing techniques Mike uses in his cables is unique to Oriton and not made available to any other manufacturer.
Diamond Red are the entry level interconnects by Oriton Audio Engineering. They are constructed from copper conductors and utilise a special compound military grade material which is not available on the common market as a ‘shock absorbing’ filler to cancel out micro vibrations. An outer braided mesh acts as a shield and also grounds the cable. The plugs are custom machined in house utilising the very same military materials which are used for the control of micro-vibrations, along with other components of the cable to create a one of a kind bespoke design.
The treble with the Diamond Red has very good, well laid out detail and openness. Extension is good, clear and concise. Transparency is very good attributing to nice layering of the widely dispersed higher frequency.
Smaller less pronounced harmonics are clear but the finest inner details are just a little masked. Dynamics are a little gentle but convincing enough. Integration down into the midrange is seamless and neutral.
Mids were beautifully open, well controlled and very well balanced.
Centre focus was solid in a dark background with good layering. The midrange is quite neutral with a perception of underlining warmth. The lower mids are rich and have a good detail and are a little bit looser than that of the higher priced Symphony Orange. There is overall good body and tone with good integration down into the upper bass frequencies.
The silent background and imaging of the midrange was very good indeed, these cables have such a silent background signature to them and mids have great presence.
Bass had great detail and layering. Upper bass is nicely detailed and punchy and a little warm sounding. The lower levels have good extension and very good layering, which once again can be attributed to the dead silence of the background with these cables. There is a strong coherence which reinforces higher frequencies – smoother than the Oranges but still with good definition and character.
Acoustic music was lovely and controlled. Instruments were well defined and natural sounding with good detail in a neutral presentation. There was great air and transparency with a fantastic soundstage and solid focus to vocals, which had body and grace. Nice timbre and realism gave guitar and other strings in particular great tone.
There is a wonderful quietness in the background with the Oriton Red Diamonds throughout the range and I particularly found it to give vocals more freedom and expression, as if the vocalist was singing in a dark, intimate, relaxing night spot in the early hours.
Female vocals had the extension required with detail in the upper mids, yet were never forward or bright which is something my ceramic drivers are unforgiving with.
Male vocals had body and grunt, the warmer lower mids saw to that and they too were natural sounding and controlled.
Rock and grungier music was conveyed well. With the added bit of warmth to the lower mids and the control of vocals and electric instruments from the dark background there was still enough edge to a performance, yet didn’t sound like one big blurred mess, there was enough depiction of detail within a busy and noisy performance.
Trance and Dance music was a triumph!
The dynamics and extra layers of detail in the top end was magical. There was so much air and transparency. Sound staging was huge and the bass was fantastic, bouncy and musical, absolutely banging!
What really drew me in with the trance and dance was how quiet that background was. Encountering a small passage of music with treble artefacts flying all around the room and then the build up to the huge explosion of bass that just came out of nowhere was pretty awesome. It just clicked.
I conclude these cables to have resounding control, great detail yet not at the levels of the Orange Symphony but at the lower price extremely respectable and a level of smoothness and warmth in the mids to make them listenable for very long periods.
The Symphony Orange Interconnect – £799
The Symphony Orange interconnects, as with the previous Red Diamonds are constructed from copper conductors, although a different gauge and utilise the same special compound of military grade material. Again the outer braid acts as a shield and ground and the plugs are custom machined in house.
Extremely open and airy, tremendous transparency and absolute control.
The Symphony Orange conveys every last minute detail in the most controlled and non-fatiguing manner imaginable. The top end has absolute delicacy and insight, with a huge ambient soundstage. Dynamics are greater than the previous cable but still reined in well enough not to exhaust the listener.
The midrange of the Symphony Orange is stunning! Beautifully natural and just so liquid, never forward, rich full bodied and has absolute control. Imaging is incredible with outstanding focus. It’s very detailed and layered, expressive and retains a gorgeous tone. The midrange of is stunning!
The lower end to the Symphony Orange is very well extended right down to the last note, controlled and elastic. All the information is present in a tighter more defined manner. It also has great command when necessary. There is great texture and detail here and heavier notes do not over shadow the lower mid band. The rhythm of the bass really keeps the music flowing at an enjoyable pace.
The best way to describe these cables is beautiful, delicate, heavily detailed, never analytical… just the opposite. It is an easy listening cable, I sat here for hours on end listening to the system and never found myself become fatigued. There is just so much control to the presentation, which is layered upon the same black background that the Diamond Red exhibits.
However, the Symphony Orange is a clear step up in resolution, inner detail, bass control and a magical liquid character. Overall dynamic slam and upper frequency dynamics are very well done and not over the top which personally I hate over exuberant dynamics that wear you out and listening to Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain emphasised this well.
Sound staging is fantastic and the dark background helps to emphasis its focus and natural placement of instruments. There is great depth to the overall sound which is a few percent more than my previous standard setup which was nice. Small nuances and harmonics are clearly defined.
Leading edges to speech are incredibly well defined, every word is so well pronounced. I am putting this down to the micro vibration control – there seems to be such definition.
Female vocalists such as Rebecca Furguson, Rachelle Farell and Lorenna McKennit that have great ranges and can be exposed in the upper mids but here they were controlled and smooth. Whilst Norah Jones for instance was liquid and delicate with control and grace
Male vocalists such as Nils Lofgren, Newton Faulkner, Andrea Bocelli, Ben Harper and Ben Howard, all with differing styles, were portrayed excellently with rich under-tones and in a very controlled and natural manner. You may noticed I keep mentioning the word control, I’m sorry but I just don’t have another word to get my point across.
Instruments ring with natural timbre, with dynamic flurries I’ve never experienced from a cable in this price range. The decay on pianos is wonderful; notes simply hang in the air behind the following note. Strings have vibrancy and a clean rasp. Brass is controlled and well tethered. There is just so much more ambient information it makes the cable a worthy upgrade in the Oriton range.
Trance and Dance music was pretty awesome, the Emille, for a full valve amplifier, can really slam a bass note and has been reviewed as having a ‘solid state’ type bass. With the added ‘control’ of the Oritons it is was a step better.
With so many artefacts in this type of music, in phase and out of phase the soundstage was huge and all but enveloping. The control to the bass and the dynamics were at there best on this genre.
I emphasised how much I enjoyed this type of music previously on the Red Diamond cables and I know this is no PA system but I once again was hugely impressed!
The cable has no tonal character to it, they simply inject the qualities of their design, which is one of great sound staging, black backgrounds, control and a capability to hear right into the music and listen for hours on end.
The Oritons are not a typical hifi cable, although they have attributes we associate with typical hifi. They feel hugely in control (there’s that word again), they aren’t excitable, but are vivid, extremely detailed and musical. There’s none of the initial wow factor that after 3 hours grates on the listener that you can get with some cables. These cables just smile at you over their shoulder and say ‘so what do you think about that then?’
Author – Dan