Consolation & Handling9.1
Disclaimer: The Effect Audio Leonidas II was despatched to us prematurely of retail launch to permit us to finish this evaluate.
Many because of Effect Audio for giving us this chance.
A while in the past I requested Eric Chong, the Advertising Supervisor, what was Effect Audio’s most crucial merchandise releases? These merchandise that basically made their identify out there.
He named two IEM cables and certainly one of them was the Leonidas, (the important king), the opposite being Ares, (the bread and butter).
Now I’ve not had the distinct pleasure of listening to the primary Leonidas since CanJam Singapore 2017 so sadly I can’t make a direct comparability on this assessment. EA not make the Leonidas first era. My reminiscence, nevertheless, was of a cable that was distinctly refined, clear and clear. On the time I might see why lots of people rated this Four-wire IEM cable so extremely.
It was a no brainer then once I was requested if I used to be all in favour of reviewing their subsequent era cable, the $888 Leonidas II.
The II isn’t merely an iterative improve of the unique. As an alternative, this can be a entire new mixture of metals and in a method, a continuation of the Palladium theme first seen on the Corridor Of Fame Janus Dynamic Eight-wire we reviewed final month.
The Leonidas II is the flagship cable of Effect Audio’s Heritage Collection. There are two secure cables on this vary, the opposite being the Lionheart, which we reviewed final yr. The unique Leonidas was the primary cable to be beneath the Heritage collection so regardless of the pre-order of Leo 2 being on EA’s important menu you possibly can anticipate to see it transfer there as soon as on common order.
The Heritage Collection of IEM cables are distinct for being the corporate’s bleeding edge lineup. Briefly, they take a number of dangers, attempt one thing new and convey out one thing they assume is genuinely distinctive in addition to groundbreaking within the cable business. Type of their ‘blue sky’ considering line-up.
For cables which are designed with tried and examined methodologies, they’ve the Premium collection which begins with the favored Ares II at $149 all the best way to the Mars at $999.
Worth & Differentiation
The Leonidas II is priced at $888 which, in case you are in any means on top of things on the Oriental tradition you’d know this can be a tremendous fortunate set of numbers. Checking again on the older Leonidas, it was initially $799 so a slight leap in worth however there could also be a really ‘metallurgical reason’ for the rise and we’ll get into that beneath our supplies and wire part.
Sure, it’s the return of Palladium. This is a component first used on the Janus Dynamic and Basso Eight-wire Corridor of Fame cable duo and it doesn’t come low cost.
Palladium in audio has been round for fairly a while and is nothing new in that sense. This isn’t an affordable metallic to accumulate and work with. The uncooked materials mixed with processing and software in wiring is considerably greater than gold, copper or silver.
Additionally it is considerably much less conductive as a component than both copper or silver and even gold. Nevertheless, resistance in wiring can be utilized to realize a sure sort of signature so it isn’t essentially a destructive function if the appliance of the metallic is appropriately executed.
The Golden Ratio
The Leo I wire makes use of an extremely purity gold silver hybrid mixture of wire. For Leo 2, the combined has modified to a palladium-plated silver & Litz silver hybrid wire combine. Now when you examine intently you’ll discover that the outline is prefixed by the phrase “golden ratio’ for each Leonidas 1 and a couple of. What does this imply?
In geometry, this can be a mathematical equation and extra popularly recognized by its brief identify, Phi or the image φ or maybe much more precisely tau or τ. It seems in all places actually in artwork, structure, net design however the core idea is when used it produces an natural and pure wanting composition that’s aesthetically pleasing or logical to the attention.
Golden Ratio in Cabling
In wire mixes similar to silver and palladium, it’s the golden ratio’s infinite quantity 1.6180339887…: 1 that’s vital. This formulation is used to create a singular layering of strands that share no widespread resonant sample.
The idea right here is that saved power within the sign is launched with a timing that’s irregular on a per wire foundation. If every strand makes use of the golden ratio method then every strand may have its personal distinctive sequence that may by no means be in battle with some other paired strand.
The much less probability of various strands sharing widespread resonance signatures then the decrease the extent of resonance detected and the upper the purity of the sign might be within the wire. That is notably essential within the Leonidas 2 which makes use of a hybrid of metallic stranding that features palladium, a recognized excessive resistance valuable metallic and silver, a extremely conductive metallic.
The unique Leonidas was the primary cable within the EA vary to function individually enameled strands of wire in a woven Litz method. The idea is that geometry of the wiring would have a decreased pores and skin and proximity impact thus decreasing resistance, notably on high-frequency efficiency.
The Leonidas II takes the identical idea of the individually enameled strand solely this time will increase the complexity of the geometry with a 7-core bundled Litz sort configuration. In concept, it will additional lower resistance and produce a a lot better high-frequency efficiency for the extent of wire gauge used.
Wire Gauge & Stranding
The Leonidas 2 is 26Awg gauge Extremely Pure Onho Steady Forged (UP-OCC) wire. This can be a pretty mild strand composition when it comes to threading measurement. It has an approx zero.405mm diameter and 62.7 turns of wire not together with the insulating depth of the palladium layering on prime of the silver strands. It’s the similar gauge sizing used on the Lionheart and Thor II.
To provide you one other level of comparability, the Thor II+ Eight-wire makes use of a 22AWG UPOCC pure silver Litz design. It measures a bit fatter and stiffer at roughly zero.6mm in thickness and round 16 turns of wire per cm. Resistance shall be decrease on the Thor II+ Eight-wire versus the thinner 26awg construct on the Leonidas II. Nevertheless, at 1.2m in size, it shouldn’t be an element within the last sound manufacturing.
In comparison with my Thor II construct the Leonidas cable has some very hanging visible accents. Each jacketed wirings from afar look fairly comparable with their silver shimmering tone and translucent jacket. Nevertheless, up shut you get a a lot stronger aesthetic from the Leonidas wire twisting than the extra monotone Thor II model. In layman’s phrases, you’ll be able to see the wiring grooves underneath a robust mild which makes it extra fascinating when staring up shut.
As an alternative of the noir tone of the Janus, the Leonidas II delivers one thing a bit of extra natural and lighter in visible attraction. The tan and black Patina type leather-based y-cable end is eye-catching and extremely uncommon.
Unsure I’ve ever seen a leather-based barrel end and positively a pleasant distinction to EA’s conventional carbon fiber finishes. Personally, I hope they persist with this aesthetic as a result of the natural tones mixed with the marginally denser silver cable patterns make for a really good presentation.
Since Effect Audio switched to PVC supplies for his or her Extremely-Flex Jacket their cables have been excellent for dealing with. There’s not one iota of bounce or flyaway with the Leonidas cable. It additionally feels lighter than the Thor II and Lionheart. A few of that weight has been trimmed with lighter and small barrels for each jack and the y-split.
Even the cable itself feels a shade lighter and positively rather more versatile than the Thor II. On shut inspection of the 2 cables, the braiding additionally seems to be even tighter on the Leonidas II with even shorter overlays. For those who bend it the braiding actually does a unbelievable job of coaching its form. There’s additionally no reminiscence wire or plastic heat-shrunk pressure aid to be discovered anyplace on the cable.
Lots of people want the 26AWG variations as a result of it’s so a lot lighter and simpler to work with than the thicker 22AWG Eight-wire builds. I get that, I’m nonetheless a sucker for these massive Eight-wire designs however I take my hat off to the Leonidas II dealing with. It’s simply so mild, so microphonic free and suffers from no tangles or reminiscence retention in any respect. For those who although the Thor II was a superb cable construct, what til ya get a load of the Leonidas II guys!
As with the Corridor Of Fame Janus and the Heritage Collection Lionheart, the Leonidas II will get the PSquared jack remedy. The PSquared 2.5mm termination was developed in cooperation with Japanese specialty cable producers, Oyaide Electrical. Co., Ltd.
The PSquared jack is taken into account an improve on their rhodium plated plugs from their use of Palladium and Platinum. The rivalry is that this combine will sound higher than the usual plug. In our testing with and with out the plug on two Lionheart cables we discovered PSquared to be the extra dynamic sounding of the 2 finishes.
All balanced PSquared plugs could have black rings and a carbon fiber/silver alloy completed barrel. The barrels are additionally a shade smaller and lighter than the Lionheart and Thor II barrels.
This specific Leonidas II is completed with a 2.5mm balanced becoming which is my most popular termination. Throughout your ordering course of, you can even go for totally different terminations relying in your preferences. Effect Audio provide each three.5mm (inexperienced rings) and Four.4mm choices.
For the connectors, you possibly can select from 2-pin, MMCX, JH Audio, Fitear and so on. The one under is fitted with an ordinary 2-pin socket that may match with flush or recessed sockets popularly used on customized screens.
With no reminiscence wire and being lighter and extra versatile than even the Thor II and Lionheart, the Leonidas will get my vote as EA’s most snug cable up to now.
There’s sufficient shaping and jacket density on the MMCX wire loop to make sure it stays in place behind the ear when in use additionally so it isn’t a sacrifice to lose the extra reminiscence shaping supplies. Individuals with glasses or those that don’t benefit from the strain from heavier Eight-wire designs ought to discover the Leonidas II a really snug cable to work with.
EA has gone with comparable visuals when it comes to packaging as they used on the Ares II Eight-wire construct however with a number of tweaks to obviously mark when it comes to equipment. Gone is the normal white and printed label EA field and in comes a extra urbanite black slide case with fold-out inside lid.
The surface packaging has the required cable technical particulars stickered on the again with an EA pull out-card on the within lid. On the entrance is the phrase “Bespoke” and Effect Audio branding on the backside.
Patina Type Leather-based Case
Very similar to the Leonidas 1, the II comes a particular carry case although by the seems of the older Leo 1 footage the Leo 2 case is a step up in school. It’s constructed from the identical Patina type leather-based sure because the Y-Cut up cable which is a very nice visually harmonious contact. The precise supplies are a supple oil-pull leather-based and vegetable tan calf. The stitching shade is on the bottom actually blends in is also nothing glary or low cost wanting both.
The case has a average degree of flex and sturdiness and appears like it could possibly take fairly a couple of knocks. I might not go urgent down too exhausting on it as you’d on an aluminum exhausting shell, it isn’t on that degree of safety. Definitely, it’s a lot lighter than any exhausting shell and won’t take weigh your bag down. It additionally has loads of area to throw in 1-2 IEMs or customized screens which is the entire level to this case within the first place.
Click on on Web page 2 for Sound Impressions & Comparisons
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