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Elsdon Wonder Audio IC-25 Interconnect Cables

Discussion in 'audio' started by CliffB, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. CliffB

    CliffB pfm Member

    Hi PFM EWA folks,

    following on from our constructive recent posts/threads on EWA LS-80 and LS-40 speaker cables, I am now starting a fresh one to discuss experiences with and technology behind IC-25, as several users of the speaker cables are now inquisitive about the interconnects.

    I have used IC-25 since June 2018, when I purchased 2 of the first generation (bright blue) cables terminated with RCA and later in 2020 I bought 2 of the second generation cables (blue braided), one terminated with XLR and the other RCA.

    For comparison, I only had 2 older Ecosse interconnects that were around £150 each some years ago, a hand-made cable a hifi mate constructed and a recent QED Reference 40 valued at £100.

    IC-25 (1st generation)

    The original IC-25 interconnect cable is good, though it did take me a little while to dial into its sound with perhaps just a hint of restraint in mids and uppers compared to the QED at least, but this improved with running-in. Noise floor was lower than other cables and overall it was well-balanced and although more restrained the uppers were less grainy than the other cables to the best of my recollection. Bass initially sounded less impressive than the other cables, but after a while it was evident that it was clean and uncoloured, so probably more satisfying long-term. To me it was a cable that didn't shout out or wow on first acquaintance, but never tripped up and over time its virtues became more evident. It perhaps lacked a tiny bit of excitement, but otherwise was hard to criticise.

    IC-25 (second generation)

    My initial second generation IC-25 purchase was configured as balanced XLR and so I was able to run it from either my Roksan Blak CD player or Rega Aura phono stage into the Nu-Vista amp.

    The new IC-25 gave an immediate impression of a more bold and dynamic presentation throughout and more wow factor compared to the first generation. Not having experienced XLR in my system before, I wasn't sure whether to credit the cable or the fact that it was XLR, which can give better results in noisy environments and on longer runs (neither of which apply). There was a slightly lower noise floor and more clarity evident in the mids and uppers. Bass seemed more extended too.

    Then something interesting happened.....I tried the cable initially with my original LS-25 speaker cable and got the above impressions. I got the IC-25 at the same time I was trialling LS-40 speaker and when I wired in the LS-40 there was a more of a leap in performance using the new interconnect. The already low noise floor dropped further and clarity was startling. It seemed to enhance the holographic definition in the soundstage given by the LS-40 and this time, I never noted restraint in mids or uppers like with the earlier cable. The differences in source material were more obvious and the best recordings were just incredible. It was a step up from the original design, to the extent that I ordered another one with RCA terminations to replace one of the two first generation cables I already had.

    Once the the second generation RCA arrived, it actually sounded identical to the XLR version to me, other than needing volume correction due to the lower output, so I can only conclude that I was not experiencing the XLR effect, but the cable effect. I have decided to use the RCA set on CD as I do swap out between my Roksan Blak and JS upgraded MF A5 (no XLR connection) and to be honest, my Rega vinyl source is my gold standard source, so I have left the XLR there.

    Things only got better when I got my LS-80 speaker cable, where the combination of cables was able to shine even more. I honestly cannot fault the sound I am now getting.

    I was not expecting such a dramatic difference in the performance of the new interconnect when partnered with the latest generation of speaker cables (40/80), but there really did seem to be a synergy there, which lifted the performance above expectations from an incremental cable upgrade. That doesn't necessarily feel logical but I clearly remember being taken aback by the increased performance when swapping out the cables, especially in noise floor and clarity around musical elements. Maybe one of the ABC/EWA tech heads can tell me why this is, or that I am indeed going mad!?

    So to summarise...the newest IC-25 is a really great cable anyway and seems to release its full potential when partnered with the latest generation of EWA speaker cables. The effect of the upgrade was not as dramatic as the upgrade to LS-80 speaker cable, which was off the scale, but I consider it to be an important upgrade.

    It would be great to hear from Colin or Alan about the tech and any other user who can add their observations.

    Below are my 2nd generation IC-25 in RCA and XLR terminations.



    genos wallpaper
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
    ABCaudio likes this.
  2. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Interesting stuff @CliffB !

    I have been raving about the LS80 speaker cables but haven’t ventured into the interconnects as I’ve found good value upgrades elsewhere. I’d be willing to invest in EWA if someone had similar cables to me and had undertaken an A/B demo.

    The problem is interconnects for me is that there seems to be quite a price uplift to get a significant improvement . I’ve used Tellurium Ultra Black for several years and very good they are (I have 1 pair for sale folks!). I’ve heard Studio Connections which are a bit better to me but not cheap (another on the Wam has upgraded to SC Black Star - a further leap - but they are hundreds of pounds).

    Hence it helps to hear from folks who have used similar makes/models of interconnects so you get a good idea of what improvements you can find. If there is anyone here who has upgraded from Tellurium to EWA I’m keen to hear.

    Thanks again Cliff!
    ABCaudio likes this.
  3. CJ14

    CJ14 Retired

  4. CJ14

    CJ14 Retired

    P,S, Wonfor not Wonder he he
    ABCaudio likes this.
  5. ABCaudio likes this.
  6. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    I want to hear from more users of the interconnects. I only know @Heckyman and @CliffB who have them.....
    ABCaudio likes this.
  7. Heckyman

    Heckyman pfm Member

    I just got them, they are excellent :cool:
    ABCaudio likes this.
  8. CliffB

    CliffB pfm Member

    ABCaudio likes this.
  9. I’m using one on the U-300 and the other on the HD Plex 300w LPSU
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
    ABCaudio likes this.
  10. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    Be nice to have a loaner scheme of the interconnects....:D

    Put me on zer list.:D
    ABCaudio likes this.
  11. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I am surprised there are so few posts here.
    Anything to do with cables usually attracts many comments.
    ABCaudio likes this.
  12. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    I agree. I’d need RCA and XLR but I guess I could just try RCA to hear the difference. Stick me near the top of the list too . We deserve it

    Cheaper to post on to the next person than speaker cable too!

    How’s about it @ABCaudio (Alan) ?
    ABCaudio and Tarzan like this.
  13. OR, use the 30 Day trial period? It’s probably better to use them for 2-3 weeks to truly asses them anyhow?
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
    ABCaudio likes this.
  14. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    I like cables where I get a wow factor and notice the difference pretty quickly. I wouldn’t spend £300 on a minor improvement. 3 days trial will work for me so if we can get one to do a ‘tour’ that would be ideal
    ABCaudio likes this.
  15. Agreed, but not the point I was trying to make really. Sometimes to good to realise if the 'wow' is in fact something you want to live with long term or if the effect is not natural or exaugurated. Time listening is the best way to explore that - IMHO.
    ABCaudio likes this.
  16. Heckyman

    Heckyman pfm Member

    I think you need both, an initial feeling of a "next level", all round improvement, and a lack of niggles over a longer period. Plus, the evaluation of whether or not you missed something when it had gone.

    I think a week is good if you can listen every day.

    Buying new stock with a 30 day return is different to a true demo. Maybe it's me, but when I already bought something, I feel more obliged to like (and keep) the item.

    If you tell a dealer upfront you are just curious to hear something for 30 days and fully expect to return the item, they will (understandably) be reluctant to send you a brand new item to "demo".
    ABCaudio and Cereal Killer like this.
  17. Yes i suppose this is very relevant.
    ABCaudio likes this.
  18. Heckyman

    Heckyman pfm Member

    I are pretending you are quite/very likely to buy, and they are pretending there's no obligation to keep.

    You shouldn't really be thinking about whether to buy something or not until you've actually heard it, otherwise how would you know you want it?
    ABCaudio likes this.
  19. I don't agree with that TBH. Sometimes a dealer cannot send things out to unknowns without some form of a financial safety net..

    I very much doubt anyone is 'pretending' or 'borrowing' under false pretences, well at least I hope not.

    My point about the 30 Days trial period is; EWA cables are pretty much the best I have come across in 30 years of this hobby and I doubt Alan will be getting much, if any, returned.
    To me, It shows the confidence Colin and Alan have in what they produce.
    ABCaudio likes this.
  20. @CJ14 Colin, curios question for ya; What is the technical aspect of the EWA mains cable that should/possible can improve sound quality of anything powered using one?
    Same question for the USB cable too if that's not divulging/revealing to much of the patents pending/created!!
    ABCaudio and NDL like this.

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