Dynamique Audio Tempest and Cyclone cables £590
13th Aug 2011 | 08:30
Cable newcomer Dynamique specialises in carefully specified, handmade cables so test them against the establishment
Dynamique is a new name in British cables. Handmade on the Sussex coast, the company caught our eye due to its insistence on carefully specifying its cables and constructing them all by hand. The range is sizeable and silver seems to be the favourite conductor material, with Teflon (PTFE) the dielectric (insulator) of choice.
If the budget doesn't stretch to silver, as in the case of the Cyclone speaker cable tested here, then silver-plated copper will suffice.
Our other test subject, the Tempest interconnect, has an interesting feature: of its four conductors (two each 'hot' and 'cold'), two are pure silver and two silver-plated copper. It's not obvious what this might achieve, but the use of four conductors is sensible enough, giving a 'star-quad' geometry which is notably immune to hum pickup and provides a degree of screening (there's no screen as such).
Both cables feature a resonance damper, claimed to damp mechanical vibrations in the cable which could, says Dynamique, affect sound. It has to be said that likely effects in practice would be many dB below normal signal level and we're unconvinced in principle. That doesn't mean, however, that it has no contribution to make!
Terminations on both cables are well done, with gold-plated Furukawa banana plugs on the speaker cable and Eichmann Bullet plugs on the interconnect.
We tried these cables in various situations: running the Tempest between a phono stage and line preamp; downstream of a couple of CD players and then from preamp to power amp. The Cyclone drove our habitual ATC and Bowers & Wilkins speakers from various amps.
Despite this plethora of demanding partnering equipment, we didn't find much evidence of real character for either cable; they are both rather characterless; that is, they don't impose themselves on the music. Unless you are of the mindset that likes to regard cables as tuning devices, that's very much a point in their favour; neutrality being a hi-fi Holy Grail.
There are certain observations which are legitimate to make about these cables. First, they are near-faultlessly neutral in the midband. We found the Tempest interconnect just a touch more assured in the bass then the Cyclone; the latter seeming ever-so-slightly self-effacing in the lowest octave and lacking a little impact and precision.
In the treble, by contrast, the Cyclone seemed the more detailed, while the Tempest didn't quite give the sort of insight we've heard from favourite interconnects.
Both cables present precise and stable images, with very good depth definition, which is often a particular weakness of cables. And with the brand's name in mind, we were delighted to hear excellent dynamics on offer; swinging from loud to soft effortlessly without compression or exaggeration.
The only reservation we ended up with concerns value. Handmade cables aren't the cheapest and we can think of established models in each category which compete strongly at the price. All the same, they are both well worth an audition.
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