It wasn’t until recently that I had any need for a SPDIF cable. My Schiit Bifrost DAC came equipped with USB, SPDIF and Optical inputs, but up to that point I had only been using the USB option.
However, during my research into the various aspects of the many pitfalls associated with digital music reproduction, I had become aware of the notoriety that a company called Musical Fidelity had achieved, in particular for their USB-SPDIF converters, specifically the V-Link192.
Acquiring this unit necessitated the use of a SPDIF interconnect and the only one I had available at that time was “THE NAME”, a 75 ohm interconnect from Van den Hul, that is sold as an analogue interconnect pair, but was also designed to function as a SPDIF interconnect.
The performance of THE NAME was adequate and the marriage of the V-Link192 and the Bifrost DAC proved to be extremely successful, so I tried adding the KLEI Absolute Harmony RCA’s to THE NAME, which resulted in noticeable improvements across the board.
After further experimentation, I finally settled on a SPDIF interconnect of my own design that utilize the KLEI Absolute®Harmony RCA plugs, which provided a significantly better performance than “THE NAME”.
Shortly thereafter, KLEInnovations announced the release of the KLEI gZero2D and KLEI gZero3D digital interconnects.
Fast forward to last week, when the package arrived at my door with both the KLEI gZero2D and the KLEI gZero3D inside for my review…
- Closer inspection of the KLEI gZero2D revealed it utilized the KLEI Copper®Harmony RCA plugs, which then had me doubting it’s abilities, since my own SPDIF design required the Absolute Harmony RCA’s in order to maximize it’s performance.
But as with all things audiophilia – the proof of the pudding is in the listening…
Compared to the Van den Hul THE NAME SPDIF, there was nothing subtle about the improvements observed…
- I didn’t have to play album after album looking for some indication that the cables were better in some way
- It was more like a swat team bursting through a door!
Dynamics were far crisper across the board, from rim shots that sounded like the crack of a whip, to the startling thud of a bass drum
The improvements in clarity were clearly audible, as observed in a performance from Ray Brown, who do-be-do’d along with his double bass instrumental intro on the Oscar Peterson track You Look Good To Me.
The combination of both dynamics and clarity, easily revealed more improvements, such as the clash of a cymbal followed by it’s considerably longer decay on pretty much any track with a cymbal.
The overall presentation sounded much more complete, which had me wondering just how much data I had previously been loosing by using THE NAME SPDIF, even after I had installed the KLEI Absolute Harmony RCA’s on it.
Then there were other improvements that highlighted a specific style of an artist, such as…
- a much improved bass performance with significantly more textured detail that was revealed on albums by artists such as Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan and Nelly Furtado.
- the more delicate whispery vocal tones on albums by Norah Jones and Diana Krall
- and by contrast, the pure grit in the voices of Adele and P!nk
- the sheer crispness of the attack in various tracks from The Police
- compared to the more delicate and softer presentations of Sting’s solo works.
But for me the most significant improvements were revealed by albums recorded in Real Venues as opposed to studio recordings.
- The improvements in clarity revealed extremely delicate venue acoustic details, making the venue appear much larger, even than the confines of my listening space.
- the extremely subtle reverberations and reflections that now fill the void between and around performers and blend from left to right and front to back.
What KLEInnovations has achieved with the KLEI gZero2D IC is provide stunning performance capabilities at an amazingly low price point! Especially when compared to the more esoteric competition.
Please ensure you burn these cables in for the recommended period on the KLEInnovations website
- The cable I tested was already burned in, but it still took a couple of days to settle before performing its best.
They perform their absolute best when the other Interconnect and Speaker Cables are also from the KLEInnovations product line.
- It is not just that KLEInnovations products are capable of conveying the finest of details
- The KLEI gZero™ Architecture prevents the induction of noise into the signal conductor
- But more importantly the architecture keeps the Neutral side of the circuit of any attached component at zero volts, thus allowing the component to perform to a significantly high level
- Other than the obvious improvements in fidelity, another noticeable side effect of using KLEInnovations products is that solid state components actually run cooler than with other cables
The only conclusion I can come to is, if you, the reader …
- are serious about the reproduction of digital music and need a SPDIF Interconnect between two digital components
- want a SPDIF Interconnect that performs way above it’s price point (who doesn’t)
- then, purchasing the KLEI gZero2D, at a minimum, is pretty much a no-branier!
Whether playing tracks recorded in 16/44, 24/96 or 24/192, they all sounded simply amazing.
This is possibly the best value for money in hi-fi right now and will elevate the performance of your existing digital components to levels normally only achieved by investing in a significant component upgrade.
If you’ve read the other reviews on the KLEInnovations website, then you’ve heard other reviewers rave about the abilities of their product line.
- But the KLEI gZero2D SPDIF IC for me, has made the biggest impact of all their products to date.
Congrat’s to the guys at KLEInnovations, the KLEI gZero2D Digital/SPDIF IC is not just a winner, it’s a REVELATION!
A highly recommended product 🙂