The Tonik sits on the first rung of Kimber’s analogue interconnects ladder, but that doesn’t stop it from showcasing many of the company’s trademark design touches. The most obvious is the use of braided conductors. This is a type of construction that is good at rejecting electrical noise and interference.
Conductor material Copper x 3
Dielectric material Polyethylene
Connector options RCA and Balanced XLR
You’ll also find that the conductors differ in terms of thickness, something that’s claimed to cover the frequency range better than just a single size would. There are three conductors in the Tonik, all made of high purity copper and coated in a polyethylene dielectric.
The Tonik also comes with a choice of connectors – RCA and balanced XLR – and a wide range of lengths. We have a 1m pair for this test. It’s a nicely built cable without quite having the quality aura of rivals such as the Atlas Element Achromatic or the slightly pricier QED Reference Audio 40.
If you feel your system’s presentation could do with an injection of energy this is certainly a good option. Not that a passive component such as a cable can actually add energy to the sound, of course, more that the Tonik is great at preserving the energy already in the signal. It helps our system sound punchy and fast with the likes of Eminem’s The Way I Am, delivering the song with impressive verve. There’s a decent though not class leading level of detail and a good sense of organisation. We like the cable’s ability to make our system sound composed and nicely organised regardless of the genre of music we play.
We notice some shortcomings compared to the very best cables at the price though. Using the Tonik reduces our system’s ability to render dynamic nuances convincingly and its ability to convey changes in rhythmic momentum unambiguously. We also miss the finer points of instrumental textures. Add these things together and we have a cable that doesn’t hold our interest over longer listening sessions as well as we’d hope.
If you’re looking for a fast and punchy cable, this one is worth a listen – but ultimately the Kimber Tonik doesn’t have the finesse required to challenge the best in the class.
- Sound 3
- Build 4
- Compatibility 3
Also consider the Atlas Element Achromatic
Read our review of the Chord Clearway
Our pick of the best audio cables you can buy