DENVER (PTA) — This all stems from two different audio shows, a summer long conversation about cables, and an 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 walked the marketplace floor looking for something to write about. Inspired by the purple-PVC display of Audio Envy cables, I approached Captain Payne (the founder of Audio Envy cables and yes, that’s 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, and who is paying attention. Many cable companies take note of what Audio Envy is doing, and I’ll just leave it at that.
Captain Payne is a bass guitar player and from that passion, he became obsessed with cables. Experimenting on his own as a musician and recording studio designer with developing his own 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 behind but 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 (sometimes, and often) “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 walk through the product line and sit down for a second on-ear cable demonstration with my friend, Jameson “Doctor Golden Ears” Mourafetis.
The latest Audio Envy SP7 speaker wire caught my eye, as it is explained to be the answer to those in search of an accurate tonally-balanced bass.
Across everything that Audio Envy does, it’s all about “high velocity.” “Some of the highest VOP (Velocity of Propagation) measurements we can get period are found in our cables.” Which is 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 told: extremely lightweight, and assuage as much interference as possible. Though lighter weight insulators can be delicate, they also induce less distortion.
Recording studios that use Audio Envy are many, but two that really have gone whole-hog with Audio Envy cables is Keller Studios in Fort Collins, Colorado which uses close to 3,000-feet of Audio Envy branded cable in their recording system.
The other is The Blasting Room (also in Fort Collins) which was built in 1994 by members of Descendants, ALL, and Black Flag, and uses Audio Envy cables in mass.
Previously at T.H.E. SHOW 2019 I sat down for an A-to-B cable listening session that used on-ear monitors to deliver as precise as possible comparison between good cables, and great. Where the differences were mind boggling good, and improvements vast.
At Rocky Mountain Audio Fest I tapped the ear-talents of my friend Jameson Mourafetis (head-fi guru at F1 Audio in Chicago) to be that second opinion on what I was hearing. Just looking at Jameson’s reactions as he dialed the switch box back-and-forth between headphone cables was all I needed to see from him to know that what I was hearing was right on time.
For me it was better transients, better tonality and insight. Along with a more open sound that fooled me into thinking the space of sound inside my head just got bigger and wider. Overall, it was destroying any cable I had ever heard.