Promising balance, let down by lacklustre detail and dynamics
A slightly tired feel
This IXOS Gamma XHS806W cable is certainly a departure from the aesthetic norm. It uses a braided construction to help reduce interference, which means using a third length of dummy wire to plait around the two signal-carriers.
All well and good, but it does mean you end up with a stray end flapping about in the breeze at either end of the cable. Couldn't it have been dressed in to the plug in some way?
But anyway, that'll be hidden behind your speakers (in this case a pair of ATC SCM11 standmounters) and kit rack (ours houses a trio of Award-winners in the shape of an Audiolab 8200CD player, Roksan Caspian M2 integrated amplifier and Chord CrimsonPlus interconnects), so let’s get on with the testing, shall we?
IXOS Gamma XHS806W: PerformanceIt's on with the show, then, with Radiohead's Weird Fishes/Arpeggi from In Rainbows. A lean, stripped-down drum part starts the song, with airy-sounding guitars washing over soon after.
The IXOS does a nice job of balancing the bite of the snare with the organic-sounding guitars, and there's an open feel to the presentation, but overall there's just something lacking dynamically.
More after the break
Next up is the Buena Vista Social Club. The rhythmic and dynamic swells of Chan Chan are difficult to get right for even the very best kit – if you aren't feeling yourself grooving back and forth in your seat in time to the music, your equipment isn't doing it justice.
Sadly, that's the case here. There's a good balance between warmth and bite, with the overall presentation sounding coherent, but there's a slightly tired feel to proceedings; drive and energy don't match that of the AudioQuest FLX-SLiP 14/4 or even the measured quality of Atlas's Equator 2.0 OFC.
It's a real shame, because with a bit more fuel in its tank, the IXOS could really shine. As it is, though, that lackadaisical nature costs it two stars.