DENVER (PTA) — This all stems from sitting down with Audio Envy at two different audio shows (T.H.E., CAF), a summer long conversation about cables, and an ear-opening A-to-B demonstration that had to be witnessed by myself and a trusted cohort.
It all begins at T.H.E. SHOW 2019 in Long Beach, California where I moseyed through the marketplace looking for something interesting to write about. Inspired visually by the purple-PVC display of Audio Envy cables, I approached Captain Payne (the founder of Audio Envy cables, and yes that is his real name) and asked him, “What’s new?”
Captain’s answer: “Our innovation, and 350 prototypes.” Which wasn’t a direct answer about what was at the show, but more about what the company is doing from day-to-day. After looking through a healthy stack of white-papers and sell sheets, it’s evident that competing cable companies are taking note of what Audio Envy is (and has been) doing, and I’ll just leave it at that.
Captain Payne is more than a cable-man, he’s also a bass guitar player and from within that passion, he also became obsessed with cables. Experimenting on his own, as a musician and recording studio designer, by developing cables in search of creating new ways to “manipulate” and “open-up” the sound.
The Audio Envy mission was born from Captain Payne’s need to create a detailed presentation of music that leaves nothing of the music behind, and does not fatigue on the listener. This is done by “achieving a perfectly (or better) timed cable that doesn’t require excessive (or any) treble EQ to make up for high frequency latency.”
This issue even goes back to recording studios where as Captain puts it, “Low quality cables in the recording rig harbor congested electrons that gather in the cable, creating peak resonances which are then subsequently EQ’d out due to their harsh sound. If at the recording end this problem was handled properly, possibly a kinder and gentler world we would be.”
Fast forward to Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 where I take another stroll through the marketplace, find the Audio Envy booth to explore the product line again, and sit down for my second on-ear-cable-demonstration. This time with my trusted friend, Jameson “Doctor Golden Ears” Mourafetis.
The latest Audio Envy SP7 speaker wire caught my eye, as it is billed as “the answer to those in search of an accurate tonally-balanced bass.”
Across everything that Audio Envy does, it’s all about “high velocity.” As Captain says, “Some of the highest VOP (Velocity of Propagation) measurements we can get period are found in our cables.” Which in laymen terms is a velocity more closely represented by the speed-of-light than my own 40-meter sprint time.
Insulating materials for Audio Envy cables are as I am shown are: extremely lightweight, and assuage as much interference as possible. “Though lighter weight insulators can be delicate, they also induce less distortion.”
There are many recording studios that use Audio Envy cables, but two that really have gone whole-hog with Audio Envy products is Keller Studios in Fort Collins, Colorado — which uses nearly to 3,000-feet of Audio Envy branded cables throughout their studio recording system.
The other recording studio that uses Audio Envy cables throughout is The Blasting Room (also in Fort Collins, CO) which was built in 1994 by the collective efforts of three bands: Descendants, All, and Black Flag.
Previously at T.H.E. SHOW 2019 where I first sat down for an Audio Envy cable A-to-B listening session that used on-ear-monitors to deliver an isolated (as it is precise) listening experience as possible. The comparison was between “good cables, and great.” Where the differences were turned out to be mind boggling good. The improvements seemed vast.
At the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019, I tapped the talented ears of my friend Jameson Mourafetis (a true head-fi and DAC guru based out of Chicago) to be a necessary second opinion to confirm or deny what I was hearing. As we listen I took note of my friend’s expressions. Looking over at Jameson’s facial reactions as he dialed the switch box back-and-forth between headphone cables was all I needed to know that what I heard in LA, and now in Denver was not a fluke.
For me it was better transients, better timbre, and more insight. Along with that “more open” sound that fooled me into thinking the space allotted for sound inside my head just got bigger and wider. Overall, this Audio Envy experience was destroying any skepticism I had about cables, along with destroying every cable demo I had ever laid ears on.