Purist Audio Design Poseidon Speaker Cables | REVIEW

purist audio design poseidon

At Part-Time Audiophile we collectively agree that cables matter. Even our stalwart holdout Dave McNair has seen the light recently–it might be dim, but it’s still light! Cable technology, however, is still heavily open to debate. When I heard that the Purist Audio Design Poseidon speaker cable was filled with fluid I said, “Ok, wait a minute. Fluid in a cable?! Whuuaat?!”

I have to review this.

Words and Photos by Graig Neville

Purist Audio Design was kind enough to send me their Poseidon speaker cable for review. Founder Jim Aud has been in business for over 30 years and his designs have received acclaim from many other reviewers, but I was not familiar with fluid material being used in cables for audio gear. I know that underground power transmission cables use oil as an insulator, so maybe this is legitimate for audio?

Almost everything under the sun has been used in hi-fi cables, with wildly varying degrees of
success. So, is fluid a wet dream, snake oil, or simply a novel cable much like many others? Let’s find out.

purist audio design poseidon

Inside the Purist Audio Design Poseidon

The Purist Audio Design Poseidon is marketed as the first fluid-filled cable in the Luminist Revision. The other Luminist Revision cable is the up-market Neptune, which is also fluid-filled. The Purist Audio Design Neptune line has interconnects, digital, phono and speaker cables, while the Poseidon line only has speaker cables and interconnects. Purist Audio Design’s other lines (there are several) are not fluid-filled as far as I could tell from their website. The packaging and manufacturing quality of the cable is very good and met my expectations of cables in this price point.

The spades are of high quality and unscrew so you can swap out to a different style of connector.
The outer cable jacket was about an inch or so thick, getting into “garden hose” territory. The leads for the left and right channels were long enough for most speaker configurations without any issues. My review samples had spade terminations on each end.

After looking through all the literature supplied by Purist Audio Design, I still had one basic question: why use fluid in cables? Purist Audio’s Aaron Zimmerman was kind enough to provide the following response:

“Purist Audio Design’s fluid dampening material was brought about as a way to reduce EMI and RF reduction. Jim began experimenting with this over 30 years ago. In addition, the fluid dampening material can also provide vibration reduction for the cable. A lot of our customers love the warmth and musicality that the fluid dampening material can provide.”

Purist Audio Design has also applied other cable technologies to the Poseidon besides the fluid
dampening material. The 10 awg wire has been treated three times with Cryomag© and is
encased in a Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) dielectric material.

Beware, ahead there be science. This is a very short paraphrasing on my behalf and I’m not a
metallurgy expert. Cryogenic treatment of materials is scientifically proven to alter metallurgical
properties at the molecular level. Usually this is done for durability and strength, but much like
running current through a wire aligns the crystalline structure of the metal, cryogenic treatment also aligns the crystalline structure. The hypothesis is that this affects the sonic properties of the cable, in a positive way.

detachable spade lugs on purist cables

Purist Audio Design: Liquid in a Cable

Using the excellent Atohm GT-3 speakers, I set out to see what the Purist Audio Design Poseidon speaker cables did, or didn’t do, in my system.

Associated equipment included First Watt SIT-1 mono blocks, a Dark Voice headphone amp with upgraded NOS tubes as a preamp, a LampizatOr Golden Atlantic TRP DAC, and a Shinola turntable with Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge. Other gear in the system included Cardas and AudioQuest interconnects, an AudioQuest Niagara 1200 for component sources, and a Core Power Technologies Deep Core grounding system for the power amps.

I listened to various vinyl and digital musical passages to condition my ears before switching to the Poseidon Speaker cable. Plus it gave me time to get familiar with some new LPs I picked up…on the cheap!

purist audio design poseidon

Listening with Purist Audio Design

Using the speaker torture test tracks that Grover Neville helped me to assemble, I had the following observations with the Purist Audio Design Poseidon speaker cables in my system.

First, I noticed several improvements over my usual (and long in the tooth) reference speaker cable. Percussion snap and cymbal crash sounded more realistic. Imaging was much better, adding a front to back layering that wasn’t there before. The increased sense of space was palpable. The Poseidon was particularly great on vocals, especially female vocals, and string guitar. A certain liquidity (no pun intended, but here we are) in the midrange was evident that just really made these instruments sing. The treble was clear and clean, perhaps leaning towards warmth. This made the midrange sultry and smooth in a way I had not heard in the system with prior cables.

As I mentioned, the Purist Audio Design Poseidon speaker cables generated a sense of space and
air. The space between the speakers felt fuller, even on tracks that tend to have precise, pinpoint
imaging in the center. It accomplished this without feeling smeary or losing center image coherency, which has happened with other cables. Instruments had body and decay that seemed to go on forever. This cable allowed the music to reach out and touch my heart, like little pangs in the chest kind of way, that is rare.

Compared to more expensive speaker cables–a pair of the Purist Audio Design Poseidon speaker cables run just $1,649 for a 3.5 meter pair–the bass didn’t draw attention to itself, and the treble might be a tad on the soft side. But those qualities give this cable a bit of a warm character, which I enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, these are observations and not criticisms and will come down to your personal preferences. The Purist Audio Design Poseidon is an excellent cable for its price point, period.

graig neville system

Poseidon Wades In

Is fluid in a cable legit? In my opinion I think Purist Audio Design has found a novel dampening material that strangely enough uses liquid in the Poseidon to create a liquid sonic signature. I know it sounds weird. Looking at Purist’s marketing material on the sonic signature for this cable, they claim: “The Poseidon gives a very warm sound with a sweet top end, a detailed midrange, and a rounded controlled bottom end. It brings the music more forward.”

I must confess that this aligns precisely with my observations and I didn’t read this line until after spending time critically listening. The Purist Audio Design Poseidon touched me emotionally in a way that few other cables have done in my system. Give Poseidon a listen in your system if you are looking for a pang in your heart, sweet vocals, intimate strings, and a warmer treble. You won’t be disappointed.

purist audio poseidon

Graig’s Abbreviated Speaker Torture Test Playlist (props to Grover):
Trio Gobo Steering by the Stars “Steering by the Stars”
Chris Isaac Forever Blue “Baby Did a Bad Thing”
Carolina Chocolate Drops Genuine Negro Jig “Hit ‘Em Up Style”
Crosby Stills Nash & Young So Far “Helplessly Hoping”
Prince Art Official Age “Funknroll”
Rebeca Pidgeon Chesky Records-The Ultimate Demonstration Disk “Spanish Harlem”
Melody Gardot The Absence “Mira”

graig neville system