Lavricables Ultimate – Headphone cable Review
The shining beauty of silver
Pros: + Increases detail retrieval and resolution
+ Sound gets more refined with improved dynamics
+ Adds more clarity and opens the soundstage
+ Will highlight all of your chain advantages
+ Excellent build quality and handling experience
+ Zero microphonic noise
+ Made from high quality parts and available for most of the headphones of the market
Cons: – The highly revealing nature will expose all of your chain shortcomings
Lavricables contacted me to suggest that I should test a cable from their Ultimate line and then provide my honest listening impressions.
Except for the review sample, I didn’t receive monetary or any other kind of compensation, I don’t use affiliate links and Lavricables didn’t read the review prior to publishing.
You can find retail prices and all the necessary information at the Lavricables website.
Lavricables is a Latvia based company that was created back in 2012 as a hobby.
To ensure the highest quality of their products they use pure silver which is the best conductor available nowadays. Silver is also known for its neutrality, resolution and soundstage openness. Moreover, braided solid core cable geometry allows to eliminate radio frequencies and electromagnetic interferences and with increased number of cores skin effect is also minimized on high frequencies.
Currently they make cables for most of the headphones and IEMs available on the market.
Most of their products are available in three lines: Reference, Ultimate, Master and Grand.
Entry point is the Reference line for anyone who looks to upgrade from the usually low quality stock cables.
More advanced in sonic characteristics and cable geometry is the Ultimate line.
Then the Master line was introduced, offering more premium products and the best possible products are represented by the Grand line.
Silver cables need burn in time
According to Lavricables, it is always important to remember that silver reveals its potential only after 100-150 hours of burn in time (hence they offer burn in services). There are lots of different opinions related to this topic as well as a great amount of technical articles proving that. From their point of view this is a MUST for every cable. Sound characters that might seem in the beginning a bit harsh or even unpleasant on some revealing systems will noticeably change with time and become more relaxed and neutral.
The review sample was fully burned in from the manufacturer.
My general thoughts about cables
Before reading the review you should probably know that I am not a cable zealot nor a cable denier.
I have a diploma in physics and I certainly trust in measurements but don’t think that everything can be measured, especially when it comes to sound. There are a lot of parameters involved and in the end I prefer to trust my ears rather than reading measurements.
When it comes to cables I can easily blind pick differences between speaker cables and I do think that they greatly affect the performance of a sound system.
Interconnects are more related to component matching and their effect can vary from minimal to more substantial depending on the output/input impedance ratio while I would lie by saying that I can hear any sonic differences between power cables.
Thus said this is a purely subjective and not scientifically based review and this is something that I am asking to be respected.
I am not going to engage into a “do cables make a difference” discussion and such comments will be totally ignored.
Lavricables Ultimate Series Headphone cable
The Ultimate upgrade cable is made out of 4 cores of 5N purity silver awg24 multi strand litz wire and is available for almost all the headphones and earphones of the market.
I have decided to ask for a 3.5mm plug on the headphone end so I could use it with a greater variety of my headphones like the HiFiMan Arya SE & Sundara, Focal Clear Mg & Elex and Meze Audio Liric.
The amp end has a custom 4.4mm carbon plug and the headphone sockets are also custom made and rhodium plated.
Build quality and handling experience
The cable is of the highest quality, it seems ultra durable, is very soft and not stiff, lightweight, easy to handle without getting tangled and has absolutely zero microphonic noise.
The sleeving is transparent and made of a high quality material but since the cable is brand new I cannot possibly know if it will remain as such or develop a yellowish tint after a few years of use, time will tell.
Build quality is just excellent, the plugs are bulletproof and come with heat-shrink strain reliefs.
The headphone side 3.5mm plug is of thinner diameter than the one found on the Focal stock cable so there is a small visible gap between the ear-cup female jack and the plug.
Nonetheless the cable plugs in securely and stays stable so it doesn’t rock or move even when applying force.
The cable is so beautiful and well made that it makes for a worthy upgrade to stock ones even for purely aesthetic reasons or the excellent handling experience and the zero microphonic noise.
Listening impressions vs all stock and the Forza Audioworks Claire HPC MK2 cables
My main cable is the Forza Audioworks Claire HPC MK2 which is made from highest purity, 8 strands of 26AWG cryo 7N UPOCC copper wire in Litz geometry and PE insulation.
This cable is already a great upgrade over stock as it offers better build quality and handling experience plus an improved sonic performance.
When compared together, the Lavricables Ultimate is a more beautiful looking cable with better ergonomics, it has higher quality plugs while it is softer and more lightweight.
Sonically they are quite close, Claire is a stellar performer but the Ultimate has a couple of aces under the sleeve.
So by now you have probably been wondering:
Will the Ultimate upgrade cable add more bass to my headphones?
Can I use it to make vocals sound more forward and closer to my liking?
Is it possible to cut a few db in the treble to make my headphones smoother sounding?
Can I use this cable to manipulate the frequency response of my headphones or the rest of the chain?
I have been reading that silver will add harshness and brightness on my headphones, is this true?
Well, the answer to all the above and similar questions is a definite NO.
Yes NO, you have read it right, the Lavricables Ultimate is not some kind of a passive equaliser and will not change anything regarding the frequency response of your headphones and the electronics behind them.
So is this a fake review and a marketing ploy to make you buy the cable because it only looks better?
Again NO, the Lavricables Ultimate does offer some sonic improvements, much more noticeable and pronounced to the stock cables and to a lesser extent when compared to the Claire.
While listening to my test playlist or some really demanding classical music, like Stravinsky’s “Rite of the Spring” it was not that difficult to spot the differences.
With the Lavricables Ultimate, sound was definitely cleaner and more clear, the whole system gained in transparency and overall fidelity increased.
Bass layering improved and also became more dynamic and impactful while everything sounded better defined and articulated.
Micro details appeared more nuanced, detail retrieval digged deeper without becoming analytical and the soundstage opened up more, gaining in width and imaging sharpness.
As said earlier the differences were not night and day.
The better the headphones and the chain it was used, the more apparent the sonic improvements were.
On the other hand the highly revealing nature of the cable exposed bad recordings and highlighted all the disadvantages of the chain together with the advantages.
So here is where the catch and the misconception that silver may add harshness and brightness.
Let’s suppose that you find your Arya SE a little treble forward, then by adding this highly transparent and revealing cable to your chain the forwardness will be highlighted and perceived as more pronounced.
The same principle applies to all of the chain, so if you find your DAC a little dry sounding, now it will sound even drier etc.
Of course the exact opposite also applies, the cable will greatly highlight and elevate everything you love about your sound system, so be prepared for an orgasmic listening experience.
In the end
The Lavricables Ultimate is an aesthetically pleasing and well built cable with excellent handling and sonic properties.
Sonic improvements are not night and day but if you have everything else settled then the Lavricables Ultimate will be the icing on the cake to make sure that you are getting every last bit of performance your system is capable of.
Copyright – Petros Laskis 2022