I’ve reviewed 2 pairs of Reference Fidelity Components (RFC) cables before for Hifi Pig and I enjoyed them a lot. The Io and Mercury interconnects were very different sounding, and provide excellent ‘bang for your buck’. The cheaper Io providing ballsy enjoyment and fun-factor, while the more expensive Mercury provided a more sophisticated and neutral presentation.
RFC is a small and fairly new company based in Gloucestershire, UK. In fact, as stated in the previous review the proprietor is Hifi Pig’s very own Paul Coupe. There won’t be any bias in this review – like the last one, I’ll tell it like I hear it!
RFC has recently revised some of their cable line-up in the light of ongoing research. The subject of this review, the midrange Pluto cables, retains the Furutech alpha treated 20 AWG μOFC single core conductor coax utilising foamed polyethylene dielectric for low capacitance. Eichmann Tellurium Copper Bullet Plugs are now used featuring a low mass, glass impregnated moulded polymer shell and the previously excellent soldering has now excelled itself into the realm of the truly obsessive! RFC claim that perfectionist soldering is a key element in the new range’s sound and reduces the noise floor still further; this is very time-consuming and requires high levels of concentration. But it seems to have paid off ….
I have heard RFC Pluto cables before, in their “Mk 1” guise and thought they were fine for their £100 per metre pair price-point, but nothing to get very excited about. They didn’t strike me as the sweet spot of the range, by any means. I’d rather have gone for the cheaper Io or the more expensive Mercury.
But the new ones? I can keep this quite brief – they are my new reference cables and have earned pride-of-place in my system. I can afford to spend more, but I don’t feel the need. I have owned and heard far more expensive cables, and I don’t miss them a bit.
I was dumbstruck when I plumbed the new Pluto cables in between pre and power amp. The soundstage just exploded open and a new level of dynamic freedom and expression was to be heard. Resolution is exceptional – tiny nuances in my fave Weiss lute sonata discs are exquisitely portrayed. Big music also excels; whether it’s the high power pyrotechnics of 80’s rock band Whitesnake, or the astonishing synthesised basslines on James Blake’s “Limit to your love” or Eddy Louiss’ “Blues for Klook”.
Vocals are very, very natural. Spot-on tonality and the Pluto’s excellent transparency allows a spooky degree of in-room presence and tangability.
Soundstaging is wonderfully 3D and very well focussed. I’ve been reviewing a couple of pairs of speakers recently, and imaging capability could not have been easier to get a handle on with the Pluto cables in situ.
No grain, no tonal emphasis.
Damn it! – they just sound right. For around £100 a pair, these are a ‘no-brainer’ in my honest opinion.
The perfect interconnect? System synergy? The reviewer’s been at the sherry?
Maybe a bit of all three!
But no, these are possibly the best interconnects I have ever heard. They have been a true revelation and have taken my reference system up another level.
The reviewer bought the item (at full RRP, I should add!), and another pair has been purchased to go between DAC and pre-amp. These new RFC Pluto cables are just astonishingly good. Top recommendation.
Review system: MBL 116F speakers, Parasound Halo A21 power amp,Morgan Audio 500 valve and Bent Audio NOH TVC pre-amps, Beresford Bushmaster DAC, Power Inspired UPS AG1500 mains regenerator. Speaker cables : Cable Talk 3, Goertz MI-2.