QED ruled the ‘first proper upgrade' speaker cable roost for years with its Silver Anniversary XT cable (£5/m), until Chord Company came along with its splendid £6/m Carnival Silver Screen and made off with last year's speaker cable Product of the Year Award.
Although this XT Evolution cable doesn't replace the Silver Anniversary XT, it can safely been seen as an attempt by QED to wrest primacy from Chord.
It's certainly very impressive on its own terms. Playing Wilco (the song) from Wilco (the abum) by – hey! – Wilco, the XT Evolution unearths impressive levels of detail both great and small.
Striking stereo focusIt's a fast and well-organised listen, with plenty of low frequency modulation and impact as well as lucid soundstaging and striking stereo focus.
Midrange reproduction is intimate and, again, lavishly detailed and there's fine integration across the frequency range. Timing, particularly of barely there transients, is as good as any price-comparable competitor.
More after the break
There's the sort of merest glint to the very highest frequencies that means the XT Evolution won't be ideal for every system, but those for whom it works – and there will be many – will find that this fine, keenly priced speaker cable works very well indeed.