Virtually every manufacturer on earth believes that their cables are the next innovation in sound reproduction – enhancing SLIC_interconnect_review_1dynamics, detail retrieval and giving a soundstage which sits in the darkest of backgrounds etc….you all know where I’m coming from.

On one hand we all like to have some sort of understanding of material choice, dielectric properties, geometry and whatever other technology may have gone into the extensive (or not) R&D that has been put into the cables which we purchase for our systems. It does add to that ‘pride of ownership factor’ and also allows us to make judgments on silver vs copper and other influences which we may be aware of that can influence system performance.

Some manufacturers, TQ come to mind, simply have a reputation based on market and consumer reviews – the tried and tested method rather than attempting to sell their products to you on specifications, keeping the construction of the cables close to their chest.

Well, SLIC Innovations Eclipse C is a cable which falls into this category – in the sense that any construction methods and materials used are not published, leaving the raw experience of the cable to the listener, no preconceived ideas or notions on how said conductor in such a geometry with such dielectric should perform. Risky? For a new company I’d say so!

The trick is finding an established outlet which can market the cable and get it into the public eye, this is where MCRU have stepped in. David Brook strongly believed in the performance of the cable known in short as ‘SLIC’ and after a friend of mine listened to one and brought it over to me I also had the chance to appraise it.

An interesting aspect for me is that I was made aware that the cable is of a design built from the ground up, taking the design back to basics, attempting to eliminate crosstalk to its very minimum and patents have been since granted for the design. It’s refreshing for me to be able to test a cable such as this that doesn’t simply use an off the reel, standard RG cable or a cable made for industrial use, adopting its application to hifi.

The Sound

On first listening I didn’t think wow this is exceptionally good, but after spending an hour or so with SLIC I asked if the cable could be left with me so I could do some serious listening on my own in my own time.

The reason being and what did draw me in (even though my friend and I were discussing HiFi a fair bit, not always ideal when ascertaining the performance of a product when in company) was the great deal of texture and the unforced relaxed nature that SLIC presented.

I talk so much about the initial ‘wow factor’ of products and how many of us can be drawn in and subsequently make wrong decisions when buying equipment or accessories, later to find that during long listening sessions the music falls apart.

When I had my first evening with the Eclipse C I had that initial first impression again that maybe the sound was a little relaxed, now I wouldn’t say coloured or masked but a little lacking in excitement.

Once the amps had truly warmed through and I was confident that the sound was as it should be I put on the new Ed Sheeran album ‘X’; the album is very acoustic in nature and there needs to be good transparency to the system to really expose Ed’s vocal and all the texture of his guitar.

To say I got totally immersed in each performance is somewhat of an understatement, I really enjoy this album and have spent many a long nights with it being part of the playlist. This evening I had the pleasure of hearing it in a slightly different way.

Normally Eds voice has an upper midrange vibrancy, tonight there was more of a depth of clarity, as if his voice had been warmed up for longer before he came on stage and just effortlessly put across his lyrics. Texture to the lower end of the vocal was also very well conveyed, equally too was instrument timbre, giving an extremely organic feel to the album.

SLIC has a way of addressing every detail so that it is apparent in the mix, yet isn’t as emphatically displayed, adding a more natural listen to the sound which really doesn’t get appreciated until you have sat down relaxed, cleared your mind and just listen to the music rather than the system.

Another favourite of mine is the ‘Moonstruck’ album by Chris Jones – if you have noticed I am talking about albums here rather than individual tracks. This is simply the way the Eclipse C has played out with me this evening, I’m not just listening to my reference songs I’m playing whole albums and enjoying every minute.

There are many passages in the album which has those little small breaks and silences – which leaves the listener semi expectant on the next note even though the album is well known and has been played many times. An older gentlemen friend of mine once commented when listening to classical one afternoon ‘it’s the silences which give this piece substance’, I forget what we were listening to now as I’m not a big classical fan but it’s very true. SLIC allows for spatial cues and pauses to really become more emotionally connective.

SLIC does background silence, darkness and depth incredibly well and is one its top features for sure. The decay of Chris Jones guitar or Nils Lofgrens on the ‘Acoustic Live’ album is simply wonderful, a textured note just fades into the darkness for a brief second as the next begins with body and control to its leading edge.

Leading edges on all aspects of what SLIC conveys is just solid and falls into fully fleshed out and unforced delicacies which has you sinking further and further into the sofa and that bottle of wine on the table, never realising that your actually listening about 30% louder than usual.

There is so little grain and mush to the sound. If a good cable is like a windbreaker at the beach than the Eclipse C is a brick wall. It does take a little bit of time to appreciate the difference between SLIC and what has been previously used as its rendition of top edges is very different, yet I argue with myself still now that I just can’t be so bold as to say it’s attenuated in any way. My Roksan Darius S1 speaker review reflects on the presentation in a similar manner, simply put – it’s very clever.

During my late night listening tests and being fortunate enough that my current neighbours are very good and don’t have children I was quite surprised that I had reached such volumes and was still not offended by any brightness or hardness from my ceramic drivers. So I started to play with the volume knowingly.

The Eclipse C throughout all my time with it always produced a good solid soundstage with a depth that came from its robust way of dealing with upper frequencies. Increasing the volume a good bit higher than what I had been listening to which was already louder than ordinary. The cable notably helped to retain the stability to the soundstage to a point where room interaction was clearly the discerning factor with a build up of bass boom in an alcove to the left front. SLIC itself held the music together and never collapsed in on itself becoming less explanatory, confused or inject unwanted nasties into the dark background it portrayed even under pressure from busier music at higher volume levels.

Conclusion

I must say that at first I wasn’t overly impressed with the Eclipse C from SLIC Innovations, although it’s organic texture warranted me to explore it further and I’m glad I did.

What I found was a clever, astute and personable take on the sound that drew me in and represented itself to me as a cable that can truly produce no frills music which in the long term was more engaging, exciting and tempting than many cables ive heard. Reproducing the body of the music rather than the top and bottom edge of a recreated note or vocal is where the Eclipse C is fascinating. There is true substance to music with the aid of SLIC in a system and that comment probably describes it best.

Dan WorthRECOMMENDED LOGO NEW

Build Quality – 8.3/10
Sound Quality – 8.7/10
Value For Money – 8.1/10
Overall – 8.36/10

Price at time of testing £492 for a 1m Pair

Recommended – for being the undercard that wins the race. A textured, grain free musical cable that does excitement without all the bells and whistles.

 

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