Regular readers of Alpha Audio will know by now that we’ve included the Driade Flow speaker cable in our regular set-up for a while now. This is not without reason: it is a great neutral speaker cable which allows us to use it with virtually any configuration of components. The rest of the cabling in our set consists of Grimm TPM for interlinks and part Audioquest for power cabling. But… Driade is happy to take the fight to the Grimm TPMs with the Flow Link Reference 808… is it time for ‘the reaper’ to leave or will Grimm hold its own?
Arnold Heres of the Dutch company Driade is a stubborn (headstrong) man. In the good sense of the word…. His speakers are different and his cables are different. The speaker cable has a special setup where, in short, very thin strands are used in a particular set-up. Attached to this cable is again a very light plug (in terms of mass). The combination should ensure minimal coloration.
A similar principle is applied in these interlinks. Both the balanced version and the single ended version. The balanced version has three ‘bundles’ of wafer-thin strands (copper). Each bundle is shielded. The rca version has two bundles.
By creating bundles, Driade increases the surface area… and that, in turn, should provide better signal transmission. Clever!
Arnold uses Neutrik plugs for the Flow Link Reference 808 for both the xlr and rca versions. Neutrik just makes very good connectors. We like to work with them too: they snap on well and last a very long time. In the more than ten years that we have been working full-time on Alpha Audio, not a single Neutrik plug has broken. Not many manufacturers can match that.
Then about the “sheath” that surrounds the cable. Where we often see that the shielding is wrapped pretty tightly around the cable, Driade deliberately does not do that; it is a ‘loose config’. Arnold, by the way, insists that he doesn’t want to disclose everything, but he does report that the three bundles at the xlr and the two bundles at rca are taken through the outer matel by hand. This is to preserve the geometry. By the way, the outer matel stops radiation; it is a shield.
Finally, the prices of the Driade Flow Link Reference 808. The RCA version of one meter costs about 750 euros. The xlr version costs 850 euros. Now it is always difficult to give a direct value judgment. And if we look at the competition they are also at that price point. And Driade is coming along with ease and will leave many a well-known brand behind (more on that later). So if you look at it from that perspective, it’s fair. But we honestly think that cable prices are sometimes just insane. But anyway: that’s our opinion.