Ecosse’s ES2.23+ speaker cable may not be much to look at, but its heritage goes back almost two decades. Any product that survives on the market so long – the original version was called the ES2.3 – deserves some credit.
This cable uses a twisted pair of high purity copper conductors with a polypropylene dielectric. That’s not particularly unusual at this level, though each of those conductors is made up of around 400 copper strands, each of around 0.07mm diameter. The conductors are twisted to reduce the effect of external electrical interference.
The ES2.23+’s outer jacket is made of soft PVC and is tough and decently flexible. This is a cable that’s not too hard to hide or run neatly around the listening room.
Just like the pricier Audioquest Rocket 22 (£20/m), this is not a cable to judge straight from the box – or indeed the cloth bag in which our sample of the Ecosse arrived.
Used fresh, this speaker cable has a mildly thin and hard presentation when integrated into our reference set-up. That system is made up of our Naim NDS/555PS music streamer, Gamut D3i/D200i amplifier and ATC SCM 50 speakers.
It was the same story with our more price-compatible system, formed of Naim’s Uniti Star one-box with Dynaudio’s Special Forty speakers.
Given a couple of days to run-in, the ES2.23+ sounds more balanced, which allows its considerable strengths to come to the fore. Regardless of system, using this cable results in a crisp and punchy sound. It hits hard with the likes of Kendrick Lamar’s King Kunta, punching out that grungy bassline with pleasing drive and venom.
Diameter 10 mm
That direct approach extends to the mid and high frequencies with a clear and direct way with voices and real snap to percussion. Detail levels are good and our systems continue to sound composed when things get busy.
The Ecosse’s well-defined strengths mean that it suits upbeat, upfront music the best. It’s ideal if you want to liven up the sound from your current set-up. However, if you want more in the way of subtlety, dynamic expression and rhythmic precision we would point you towards the likes of Chord Company’s RumourX (£18/m) and Audioquest’s Rocket 22 (£20/m).
While both these rivals cost a little more, the payback is a more mature and sophisticated performance from our systems.
The ES2.23+ is a solid performer, and could be a good buy if you want an adrenaline shot for your system. But the competition is tough.
- Sound 4
- Compatibility 4
- Build 4
Best speaker cables
Read our Chord Company RumourX review
Read our Audioquest Rocket 22 review