LIFE used to be simpler when we didn’t obsess over cables, interconnects and power cords. These days, once you’ve dipped your toes in this ocean, it’s a morass – hard to get out of and overwhelming!
What works well in one system may not elsewhere. And while men of science insist all that matters is that the cable or interconnect is well designed, others treat wires as toneshaping devices. In the crazy and passionate world of hi-fi, there is room for everything, especially snake oil.
Personally, I’ve sometimes struggled to make sense of price tags attached to wires I’ve reviewed. Some would opine that the more you spend on wires, the better. I would advise to stay within the context of one’s system. Be sensible!
My experience with Furutech – its power cords, specifically – has been a happy one so far. My monobloc amps, preamp and source all use Furutech power cords. Thus, when the chance came to try out some Furutech interconnects, I didn’t hesitate, and ended up with the Alpha Line-plus, a one-metre RCA pair.
Like other Furutech wires, all metal parts and conductors have gone through a “twostage Alpha super cryogenic and demagnetising treatment.” This begins with a deep, conditioning cryogenic freeze of all metal parts, including conductors and connectors. The second stage exposes the parts to patented “Ring Demagnetization” treatment. These keep all connectors, conductors, and metal parts in a perfect stress-free and stable condition, improving electrical conductivity and hence, power and signal transfer.
The Alpha Line-plus uses OCC conductor strands, each 1.14mm in diameter. The insulator is high-density polyethelyne foam with cotton fillers that are twisted together. The jacket is PVC. From the looks of it, a well-constructed and presented pair of interconnects.
When I initially plugged in the Alpha Line- Plus interconnects between my Linn Majik DS and Odyssey Tempest SE preamp, I was not too impressed – no big drama. Sure, they didn’t get in the way, but seemed lacking in sparkle. After letting them play for a couple of months, I returned to re-assess my initial observation and began to hear what they did - or didn’t – do.
The general impression that they didn’t get in the way was right – tonally, they’re well balanced and never accentuated any particular area. This was in comparison to a pair of Rega Couple interconnects – a purely sensible and practical pair of wires.
The Alpha gave a deeper perspective of the music, accompanied by some weight in presentation. It also seemed to have a bit more extension at the top, with a well-rounded and tight bass at the other end.
The Linn’s two pairs of analogue outputs meant I was able to do quick A-BS between the interconnects – time and again, I felt the Couple more than sufficed, but for the price of a bit more, one could enjoy a more insightful seat in the house, as the Alpha Line-plus let me hear more detail in the better fleshedout midrange and treble, along with keener instrumental timbres.
Mind you, if your system leans towards being a shade bright or dark, these interconnects aren’t going to hide the fact, and you may end up upgrading other components to attain a better balance – which is how good wires should be, presenting the signal as it is and never additive.
If you’re not one to get too carried away with wires, have a decent system and want to upgrade from the basic wires, the Furutech Alpha Line-plus is a good bet to let you peek deeper into the mysteries of the mix.