There there is little or nothing in this hobby that elicits such fierce reactions as reviews of cables. However, many manufacturers make a good living with the products and even produce cables that cost more than an average family car. Is this a case of collective insanity or is there more to it? Many audiophiles and music lovers clearly hear what cables do in their system and can also explain what they hear. Just as many others, however, think it’s nonsense. Is the influence of cables purely psychosomatic or can we settle this discussion once and for all? Unfortunately, we cannot. Despite countless blind tests and alternative testing procedures such as a recent test in Part-Time Audiophile, a must read by the way, disagreement persists. And that’s fine as long as everyone responds respectfully to the other party. We, at Alpha Audio, don’t pretend to have all the wisdom either but we do hear that cables affect reproduction and are convinced that everyone can hear this. Today we are testing the Ricable Invictus cables, the ‘top of the line’ cabling from the Italian company Ricable complete with garden hoses, bright colors and shiny connectors! Let’s check it out!
It remains tricky. One group hears it clearly and the other group cannot, or hardly hears a difference at all. But of course that has everything to do with the fact that a great many things in this hobby are subjective. Everything we hear and test, even if we at Alpha Audio measure more often and more thoroughly, remains subjective at some point. And measurements, of course, don’t say everything either.
Fortunately, the average Alpha Audio reader knows this and trusts his or her own ears above all else. It’s reassuring though that many of you share our experiences, even when it comes to cables.
Of course, not everyone has to connect gigantic garden hoses to his or her system. It all has to stay in proportion. We at Alpha always advocate common sense, especially when it comes to cables. That’s why this author chose the Ricable Magnus and Grimm TPR cables. Affordable cables that are in proportion to the system and add little or nothing to the reproduction. However, that does not prevent us from testing more expensive cables from time to time and seeing what they do. If you find that they make no difference then that is your right but you are always welcome to try some out. The coffee (or tea) is ready!
Are we in a blind test always correct in guessing the right cable? Maybe not, but that’s not the point. The main question is whether we hear differences! Whether a different cable makes a difference in a set. Whether you can hear that.
Blind or not. Our answer is a resounding yes. Is a more expensive cable always an improvement? Well, that’s a particularly interesting question and one we’ll try to answer today. Let’s be clear, the amplifier and the speakers make the biggest difference. And by extension, the room. Cables are the finishing touches. As are products that decouple speakers, network switches, playback software, speaker cable trays, separate power supplies, usb filters, power conditioners, optical tweaks, reclockers and so on. Also less tangible elements such as warming up equipment, playing with cables (yes, it’s a thingy) to your state of mind play a role.
Really everything affects the reproduction of music and some things are hard to name or determine. A trained ear will probably identify things faster and notice changes We have been using the Ricable Magnus cables for several months now and are still very satisfied with them. By now we have a good understanding of what they do and don’t do in our system. The Grimm TPR cables are also good but we just get a little more calmness and quietness with the Magnus cables in the system. And yes, that makes a difference. Especially if, like us, you listen to music for an average of four to five hours a day. However, our brain gets used to auditory changes very quickly so it is important to be quick. There are also things that we only notice after prolonged listening. Getting Started.
Construction and Appearance
The Invictus cables have jettisoned all the austerity that so appealed to us in the Magnus series. They are thick, stiff, have shiny connectors and red and blue jackets. Love it or leave it!
The packaging is again typical Ricable with a different color on the box each time. Inside, each cable is beautifully wrapped in a velvet sleeve, making the unpacking an experience. They say they have been working on these new reference cables for over a year and, it must be said, Ricable now has quite a bit of patented technology to back up certain claims For the Invictus cables this means the MARC® copper conductors that can also be found in the Magnus and Dedalus series. There is the R-TEC® insulation in the network and power cable and the RNR technology to shield the cables from external interference.
Via CNC the cables are further provided with an anti-corrosion layer and the Invictus cables also get the specially developed RCC® connectors to prevent signal loss. So quite some research has gone into these cables. Everything is assembled with the greatest care in the factory in Oleggio under the leadership of manager Sergio Modenesi. We asked importer Ruud Moerman (Omera) the same kind of cables as last time:
- Ricable Invictus Power 1.5 meters 826 euros
- Ricable Invictus Speaker Referenz 2 x 4 meter 1547 euro
- Ricable Invictus XLR 2 x 1 meter 675 euro
- Ricable Invictus AES/EBU 1 meter 341 euro
You may not agree with us but we don’t think these are extreme prices for a reference line. Especially when you know that all cables are handmade in Italy, there is permanent research and you get a lifetime warranty on top of it.