Au­dio­quest Rocket 11

FOR Flex­i­ble build; clean, fluid, pre­cise sound; com­pat­i­bil­ity AGAINST Noth­ing of note

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

Love your hi-fi sys­tem but feel the need to give it a bit of a lift? If you haven’t al­ready, you might want to in­vest in a bet­ter qual­ity of speaker ca­ble.

Au­dio­quest’s Rocket 11 – on the bud­get end of its Rocket range at £12.50/m – could just be the thing to give your sys­tem a new lease of life.

Your flex­i­ble friend

The first thing we like about the Rocket 11 is how flex­i­ble it is. Much like Au­dio­quest’s pre­vi­ous Award-win­ning FLX-SLIP 14/4, it’s easy to bend the mal­leable ca­ble around tight corners to reach your kit with­out wor­ry­ing about it break­ing or get­ting dam­aged.

The ca­bles are hand­ily la­belled, too. Not only are the left and right ca­bles marked, Au­dio­quest has help­fully noted which end goes into the am­pli­fier and which end plugs into the speaker.

You can use the Rocket 11s as single-wired ca­bles or in a bi-wire con­fig­u­ra­tion if your sys­tem de­mands it, with the op­tion to ter­mi­nate them in banana plugs or spade con­nec­tors. Our re­view sam­ple has banana plugs and comes in a smart white fin­ish, though you can get black too.

Au­dio­quest here uses semi-solid true-con­cen­tric con­duc­tors and long-grain cop­per – all to max­imise per­for­mance and re­duce any in­ter­fer­ence that may de­grade the sound.

Across the spec­trum

We hook the ca­bles into our main ref­er­ence sys­tem (a for­mi­da­ble ATC SCM 50 speak­ers, Gamut D3i/d200i am­pli­fier and Naim NDS/555PS streamer com­bi­na­tion) as well as a more mod­est sys­tem com­pris­ing KEF Q350 speak­ers, Rega Brio amp and Marantz CD6006 UK Edi­tion CD player – and the ef­fect in each case is im­me­di­ate.

There’s a per­cep­ti­ble im­prove­ment in the way the sys­tems per­form com­pared with ri­val speaker ca­bles from At­las and Chord Com­pany. We play In The Cold, Cold Night by The White Stripes, and both our sys­tems sound stun­ningly clear, con­trolled and de­tailed. Gui­tar strings

“It’s a joy to lis­ten to. Ste­vie Nicks’ Edge Of Seven­teen is de­liv­ered with the raw en­ergy of an air-punch­ing power bal­lad”

are pulled taut, lead­ing edges are won­der­fully crisp and clean, and the pre­cise tim­ing pro­pels the song for­ward with a driv­ing mo­men­tum.

Vo­cals are packed with nu­ance and emo­tion, too. The pre­ci­sion of Meg White’s dic­tion comes through with sparkling clar­ity.

The Rocket 11 also guides our sys­tem into per­form­ing with a pleas­ing, punchy sense of dy­namism that’s a joy to lis­ten to. Ste­vie Nicks’ Edge Of Seven­teen is de­liv­ered with the full, raw en­ergy of an air-punch­ing power bal­lad, while the play­ful club­bing rhythm of SBTRKT’S New Dorp New York charges along mer­rily.

In com­par­i­son, the Award-win­ning Chord Com­pany Clear­way speaker ca­ble (£10/m), makes our sys­tems sound a bit richer, with a weight­ier em­pha­sis on the basslines – but with the Rocket 11s mu­si­cal el­e­ments are knit­ted to­gether with more con­fi­dence and alacrity. We get a bet­ter sense of spa­cious­ness, too.

As we said in our re­view of the FLX-SLIP 14/4 a few years ago, the best thing this Au­dio­quest ca­ble does is get out of the way and sim­ply let you en­joy the mu­sic. It might seem pricey when you add up how much ca­ble you’ll need, but if you’ve put a lot of care into your hi-fi sys­tem, it’s well worth in­vest­ing in good qual­ity speaker ca­ble that will op­ti­mise its per­for­mance. And the Rocket 11 ca­ble is well worth that in­vest­ment.

Au­dio­quest has made sure the 11 is flex­i­ble as well as widely com­pat­i­ble

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