The cable harmonizes so well with the Utopia that pointing out any faults would be blatant nitpicking and actually makes me felt a bit guilty. I rarely make these definitive statements but if you were to purchase this blind, I’m quite sure you won’t be returning it. That’s how good I believe this product is and the reason why I believe the Danacable Lazuli Reference is the best headphone cable you could buy for your Focal Utopia.
[Danacables] offer an increased current capacity while maintaining linearity and a slightly improved phase coherency, which translates into tighter bass control, greater detail and improved dynamic range, without adding brightness or harshness. If you are trying to get optimal performance from your headphone system, then it would be hard to go wrong with the Dana Cables Lazuli headphone cable, but if you are in that rarified air of world class headphones, then you owe it to yourself (and your headphones) to give the Dana Cables Lazuli Reference a try.
Both the Dragon and Lazuli are nicely balanced, detailed and sound clean compared to the other cables in my inventory. Both cables go low with good impact but I think the Lazuli has a bit more weight through the midbass / upper bass that seems to give a beefier presentation with a touch more sense of air being moved. Hair splitting differences here but I like the weight Lazuli gives to the sound.
I find the midrange on both to very close to ideal in terms of tonal reproduction. Width and depth are comparable with the Lazuli a hair ahead, not too forward, not too recessed, and very stable. A touch more detail retrieval with Lazuli also. Again, not night and day, small differences but meaningful enough to me.
The highs are where I hear the biggest differences. The Dragon is quick, crisp, and maybe a touch aggressive or over etched (very slight and certainly less than the DHLabs) by comparison with Lazuli. From day 1 with the Lazuli I kept saying to myself, where did the highs go? As the days went by it didn’t really change a lot in character to my ears. But I came to my own conclusion over seven days that nothing was missing so much as something was not being added. The Dragons are dryer and tighter, and sound slightly brighter to my ears. The Lazuli by contrast however are not wet or loose or dull. The best words I can come up with for the Lazuli is sweet and relaxed on top, and it handles dynamics with a great sense of ease providing better inner detailing and clarity for my ears.
Make no mistake about it, the Danacable Lazuli and Lazuli Reference represent some of the best of the best when it comes to cables, offering top-notch musicality and performance that is up to snuff with even more expensive cables like the excellent Kimber Kable Axios.
Perhaps even better is that they offer consistent and predictable positive sonic changes, so they can be prescriptively added to a system to give a greater sense of fullness and ease to the midrange, more robust bass, and smoother treble. For those looking to enhance any or all of those areas in their system, the Danacable Lazuli or Lazuli Reference will make a fantastic addition.
So, what happens with the [Dana]cables at hand? They both clear up the sound and allow the above improvements, but the lead and harmony vocals are more easily distinguishable on the Dana, two separate vocalists with chest cavities and separate space. Bass has body and notes easily identified. Using the stock cable the vocals are more difficult to separate. Those guitar arpeggios are clear and delicate with the Dana, more buried with the stock. That haze/grunge makes the stock less appealing in a general way as well. The drums have more skin, the cymbals less an undifferentiated “whoosh” with the Dana. The drummer actually has a pretty nice touch on different parts of different cymbals, something it takes really good gear to hear, as it does to “hear” the bass.
For all but the most demanding “money is no object” dream system, I can easily recommend the slinky black Dana Cable by Gingko Audio’s braided Onyx loudspeaker cables. I am impressed with their looks, technology, sound, feel and value.
I’m enjoying a cohesive, harmonically rich presentation. The midrange was voluptuous and smooth, with excellent detail retrieval. The upper frequencies were liquid and sparkling…
Note: The unshielded Diamond interconnect has been supplanted by the shielded Diamond Reference interconnect in our lineup.
Without a doubt, DanaCable, made in America (distributed by Gingko Audio), warms the heart with one of the sweetest and most refined musical presentations I have heard from either of my two reference systems… I loved them. They are emotional and organic, the way those European super-expensive silver/gold wires portray music, but with more realism than these European brands offer. These organic-sounding wires will give you hours and hours of non-fatiguing, wonderful, luscious music, and are extraordinary for classical music.
…the Dana Diamond cables are outstanding and can be used with confidence in systems at all price levels, including very high-end systems. They provide a warm and natural sonic perspective with terrific detail and transparency and no real shortcomings. They are built extremely well and are easy to use.
Dana Robbins has combined solid engineering expertise with high quality materials, common sense design, and absolute quality control to produce the Sapphire Reference, a speaker cable that I believe will compete favorably with any existing exotic design.
Note: The Diamond and Sapphire Reference speaker cables have been consolidated into one model in our lineup, the Sapphire Reference Mk.2.
Their neutrality and resolution enhanced my system, giving me a greater appreciation of my component’s essential sonic qualities, and yes, they made really good music.
Note: The reviewed Sapphire speaker cable has been replaced by the Mk.2 model, a 2-weaved, 4AWG design.
This thoughtfully designed patch cord is an excellent five Blue Note value. I awarded Dana’s Onyx cords four Enjoy the Music.com Blue Notes across the board! The Onyx IC also did extremely well against far more expensive and exotic competitors. As the Blue Note numbers in my “Silver Shoot-Out” article show, audible and measurable differences for patch cords are always slight. Yet this is a deliciously competent performer at a very competitive price, with little or no serious short-comings, I am more than impressed with the products I have reviewed so far from Mr. Vu and his Gingko Audio. The Onyx ICs were impressive, enjoyable and listenable. For Value category, I would still choose the DACT Dual for golden delicacy and detail, but if that price is not in your range, the DanaCable Onyx interconnecting RCA patch cord by Gingko Audio at half the price is an excellent five Blue Note value.
Experiencing the DanaCable USB has debunked my original untutored idea that a USB cable could have little or no effect on the listening experience… the experience of computer audio with the LampizatOr/DanaCable USB combination has reached parity – and sometimes superiority – compared to my analog system.
It makes music in any genre sound relaxed, harmonically full and rich, and effortlessly musical. For anyone who wants to hear the best from computer audio, this cable is at the least a must-audition. Mine is here for the long haul.
To some ears, the supremely black background of the Danas, which seems to free up extraordinary reserves of latent harmonic information, will be an improvement on so-called “reality.”
Where the Shindos impart a certain lifelike glow to the presentation, the DanaCables allow it to glow brilliantly from within. Bottom line – if you want tipped-up, lit-up, the Danas may not be for you. If you’re looking for warmth and soul in your glowing hunks of fat, delicious notes, these are for you.