Today’s test is the proof for the fact, that you should always have your eyes and ears wide open, as having a mild obsession of following most reviews of various shows and audio events, sometimes we can find some very interesting items. That was the case this time. While reviewing a very worked out photo reportage from CES, prepared by the unmatched guys from My-Hiend, I saw a picture of a small reel of a fiercely pink cable. A small moment of dismay, quick verification of the catalog of a certain manufacturer and despite late hour … pinging the Polish distributor on FB. It turned out, that this pink cable, ideally fitting the image of Barbie, My Little Pony and various other “girls stuff”, was an electrifying novelty, although “smuggled” in with other show attractions. Although it was shown in a “sauté” version, the final instalment is only available with plugs (at least in Poland), and not some run-off-the mill ones, but the top 50-ties (FI-E50 NCF(R) / FI-50 NCF(R). Ladies and Gentlemen behold the Furutech DPS-4.
As you can see on the photos and printing on the external isolation, in the color of Giro d’Italia leader’s shirt, the DPS-4 is the effect of cooperation of Furutech with the metallurgical department of Mitsubishi, and the conductor is made from (Alpha) OCC-DUCC copper. Digging a bit more into the detail, we have here a proprietary combination of ultra-crystalline high purity DUCC copper (Dia Ultra Crystallized Copper) and classic “Furutech” kind Pure Transmission (Alpha) OCC. Some spice is added by the fact, that Mitsubishi is also a supplier of DUCC conductors for a direct competitor of Furutech … Acrolink (for example for the model 7N-PC5500). But let us return to the tested cable. Research has shown, that the Mitsubishi Materials Industries product is characterized with much lesser directionality than OCC. Of course, the whole is subdued to the process of cryogenic treatment and demagnetizing called Alpha Super. In our pink cable, we have 7N purity Alpha-OCC and DUCC copper as conductors. Each of the cable conductors is made from concentric wires and looking from the inside we have 79 wires with 0.18 mm diameter OCC (Right rotate) in the middle 37 wires with the same diameter DUCC (Left rotate) and on the outer layer 42 wires 0.18 mm diameter DUCC (Right rotate). So, we have three conductors with a diameter of 2.75 mm (Approx. Size 11AWG / 4.02 Sq.mm). Insulation inner material is audio grade FEP (Fluoropolymer) with a layer of P.E. on the outside. Conductors prepared in this way are twisted together and divided with cotton distances. Afterwards the whole is wrapped around with a layer of fabric, on which the PVC braid, enriched with nano particles of porcelain and carbon is placed. Copper foil and OFC copper braid were used as shields, on top of which a layer of paper and external PVC coating, in the Rose Red color, were placed. Finally, a 17 mm diameter pink cable is finished.
While looking at the external color we could think the 4 is not a serious product, but when listening such classification would be completely wrong. After plugging in the DPS into the system and playing music, we stop thinking about how the cable looks, as from the first notes we can hear, that we deal here with an exceptional and uncompromised cable, and what is equally important, it polarized the listeners quite significantly. There are people, who will love it with a borderless love, but there will also be some, who will get an allergic reaction or a fury attack. So, what am I talking about? About proper implementation in the sound path, and mostly about the place we will attach it to and the company we give it to work with. Is this weird? For laymen and people who negate the influence of signaling and power cabling on the final sound of the systems maybe yes, but for those who lived through dozens, if not hundreds, changes of cables and gear, this is daily bread and something obvious. Audio is not so far from, for example, the culinary world, where the Dijon mustard goes very well with veil, but is somehow not tasty with a cake, the latter fitting much better to eggnog, which on the other hand does not compose well with veil. The same thing is with Furutech, which should be placed first at the end of the sound path and then step by step moved to the front. The reason for that is in the native, atavistic nature of the tested cable, which offers such incredible resolution, that it “muffles” the elements behind it. So, on one hand you need to make sure the whole system is powered well, on the other, that the devices working directly with sound are good enough, to avoid a kind of “buffer overload”. Of course, you can take a shortcut and … cable the whole system with the tested cables.
But let us return to the mentioned intransigence, and please do not get me wrong – the DPS-4 does not add any information, does not multiply it, it does not mess with the signal, but just eliminates the bottlenecks and allows the attached devices to perform at their best. It is not about the showy hiper-detailness and proning with details taken from the further planes, but about reference resolution. We hear more, but with the rules of plane gradation and the places of virtual sources being upheld. Additionally, this effect is done not by putting more light on the stage but … by making our perception better – our senses get sharper. That, what seemed to be hidden in the half-shadows and dark, we can now see clearly and precisely define, with facture and all construction details inclusive.
What is interesting, this effect is not only observable on typically acoustic material, recorded in orthodox audiophile way, like for example “TARTARINI secondo natura” of the trio consisting of Sigurd Imsen, Tormod Dalen and Hans Knut Sveen, where not only musicians play, but also the silence between the phrases, but also on much more synthetic positions. For example, the quite fresh soundtrack “John Wick: Chapter 2” may seem a rather ungrateful and low level demonstration material, but having the DPS-4 in the system makes the whole superficial artificialness and plasticity makes place for the three-dimensional, dark installments, where synthetic sounds appear and from time to time the hellish voice of Nostalghia. Incredible impression is made by the bass, which can move from subsonic, and formless, murmurs flowing at the floor to an attack with a contoured, hard and monolithic punch and then disintegrate into atoms and dematerialize in digital noise. When we add to that the typical ambient – limitless space, then it will turn out quickly, that we became lovers of musical genres, we treated to date with a grain of salt, or just as an addition to the watched film.
When we are talking about the precision, creation of mood and playing with silence, I reached for the album “Elegy” Æon Trio, a beautiful album, which was recorded using … Furutech cabling. Minimalistic forms, quite nice, even for the untrained ear, melodic, and most of all, holographic palpability, surprising at this level, make it very difficult to stop listening. It is worth noticing, that each turning on of the music means an automatic exclusion of us listeners from daily activities, and the planned moment of listening can convert into a marathon, not limited in time. A lot of joy is given by the ability of not only differentiating, but a really truthful reproduction of acoustics and size of the recording rooms. Due to that, the reverberation of the room in the Beauforthuis recorded on the “Elegy” is far from the tight studios, and at the same time much less “shaken” than the almost mystical interiors of the Noirlac Abbey, where Michel Godard recorded our reference album “Monteverdi – A Trace of Grace”.
The Furutech DPS-4 is a remarkable cable in all aspects, if not to say exceptional. Not only it frees the potential of the electronics connected to it, but it also can show us, in a merciless way, the elements of our system, which need some extra work. But instead of stigmatizing the anomalies, it just tells us, where to put it, and where to use it with subsequent upgrades. It seems also to be a great addition to the higher positioned, in the company hierarchy, NanoFlux-NCF, with which it can create a true dream team offering above average resolution as well as incredibly addictive musicality.
System used during this test:
– CD / DAC: Accuphase DP-410; Ayon CD-35
– File players: laptop Lenovo Z70-80 i7 / 16GB RAM / 240GB SSD + JRiver Media Center 22 + TIDAL HiFi + JPLAY; Plato Lite
– Digital sources selector: Audio Authority 1177
– Turntable: Kuzma Stabi S + Kuzma Stogi + Shelter 201; Electrocompaniet ECG 1 + Lyra Delos
– Phonostage: Tellurium Q Iridium MM / MC Phono Pre Amp
– Integrated Amplifier: Electrocompaniet ECI5; Devialet Expert 440 Pro
– Loudspeakers: Gauder Akustik Arcona 80 + spike extenders
– IC RCA: Tellurium Q Silver Diamond
– IC XLR: LessLoss Anchorwave; Organic Audio; Amare Musica
– IC Digital: Fadel art DigiLitz; Harmonic Technology Cyberlink Copper; Apogee Wyde Eye; Monster Cable Interlink LightSpeed 200
– USB cables: Wireworld Starlight; Goldenote Firenze Silver
– Speaker cables: Organic Audio; Signal Projects Hydra
– Power cables: Furutech FP-3TS762 / FI-28R / FI-E38R; Organic Audio Power; Acoustic Zen Gargantua II; Acoustic Zen Twister
– Power distribution board:: Furutech e-TP60ER + Furutech FP-3TS762 / Fi NCF-50 (R) / FI-50M NCF (R)
– Wall power socket: Furutech FT-SWS (R)
– Anti-vibration platform: Franc Audio Accessories Wood Block Slim Platform; Thixar Silence Plus
– Ethernet cables: Neyton CAT7+
– Table: Rogoz Audio 4SM3
– Accessories: Sevenrods Dust-caps; Furutech CF-080 Damping Ring; Albat Revolution Loudspeaker Chips
Talking about cabling, considering all pros and cons related to this topic, exposes us (opinion givers) to all kinds of internet hate, on the other, for most audiophiles it means something, they cannot thing about having a synergistic audio system without. And most reviewers, assuming the fact of writing for those people, usually start their review with the history and achievements of the brand, but I, knowing, that the tested brand is a kind of icon for all cabling and audio related accessories, I will look at the tested cable in a different way. What am I talking about? Nothing extraordinary, just the very strong contrast of the external color, very strong pink, which does not allow to pass by it without noticing, and the values being a result of using it. You do not believe me? So, I invite you to read on, as when you see the photographs, it will let you know that I do not throw my words on the wind. I must confess, that a few years ago, when the creator of most of my system (Mr. Kazuo Kiuchi) presented a new line of power cables, with the exterior resembling a poisonous, yellow-black-red snake, I thought, it cannot get any more extravagant. From the perspective of time and experience I am writing about today, I know I was wrong, as this time, also from Japan, something arrived, that destroyed my balance, and I am very open to any kind of visual madness. And here we are arriving at the clou of the opening paragraph. When the colors of mentioned tri-color Harmonix do not have anything to do with its sound (generally it has great timbre, but it concentrates on vividness and weight of the midrange), the tested cable proves, that the sonic foundation it has (about that later) are a kind of representation of its external looks. Ok, I will not dodge you anymore. I have the pleasure to present you the well-known brand Furutech, which introduced to its portfolio a power cable, called DPS-4, which was manufactured with the aid of Mitsubishi. But this is not the end of information related to this novelty. Due to the fact, that the DPS-4 is a product “from spool”, the distributor of the brand – the Katowice based RCM – decided to terminate it with the newest line of plugs from the FI-50 NCF(R) series. You must confess, that this sounds very interesting, so I invite you again to read through the test, not very long, but full of positive impressions.
The paragraph describing what we deal with today, will not be very long. For once, this is just a power cable, and usually (but not always) it is quite resistant to visual glamor, and secondly, already in the introduction I mentioned, it is incredibly pink, and even if we look at it for a long time, we will not find any kind of braid covering it, but just a smooth sheath with information what this cable is imprinted on it. With one word, this is a visual nightmare for people paying attention to the colors in the area behind the audio gear. But this is not all, to kill the patient, due to sonic aspects the distributor was forced to use plugs made from shiny metal and silvery strands, which does not fit the visuals of the cable at all. And you know what? It seems, that this is beyond any kind of acceptance. But after a few weeks of using this coloristic patchjob, with full awareness of esthetic controversy, I am accepting it without problems. And this not only due to the fact of its positive influence on the owned audio gear, but also due to the intrinsic joy I have of knowing to have such a proteus in my solitary confinement. It really works. Please try it for yourself, and you will know, that there is something in it. Either you love it or hate it.
Ok, let us stop joking. This is just a power cord. When I plugged the cable into my system, I was already after having listened to it at the Polish distributors listening room, where it fared very well. However having the experience, that any listening elsewhere, not in my listening room, many times have nothing to do with what I can get from the product at home. So, I did not have any prejudice – if the cable would sound well, then it would be good, if not, it would also be fine. But the tested cable did surprise me, in a positive way. For once it opened up my system, which was already quite informative, what resulted in the increase of resolution of the midrange and surprisingly smooth lighting of the treble, and secondly, with a minimal increase of upper bass the total bass control was bettered. I played around with that cable for a good dozen days, and after listening to a vast amount of recordings, I am still unable to define the full extent of its interference, as it does everything in such a noble, refined way, that dotting the “i” needs extra time to know it better. But one thing is for sure, my Japanese-Austrian combination, living every note, after I included the DPS-4, showed extra layers of resolution and musicality together with an increase of its freshness. I do not want to write too much, as you might see it as reviewer’s babble, but I assure you, that such interesting effects are reserved for the best. The case is, the things the newest Furutech cable does, happen with cables costing tenths of thousands of zlotys, while the tested cable costs less than eight thousand, and this makes us think. While I do not want to write about specific discs, but I note, that with ancient music I got more information about the attack of the strings of the instruments, more palpability of the presence of the vocalists together with a fantastically balanced saturation of each and every virtual source. For me it was a true bulls-eye, since from years I am trying to (I avoid quick, often deteriorating moves) open the, already fantastic, sound for some of my acquaintances, and after this test, I think I reached a wall I had hidden in some of my expectations. For now I am not fully sure if this is the summit of my expectations, so before the final verdict, I will need to use this configuration for a few weeks. But regardless of my future choices I am happy, that the described representative of the power section does not cause the “wow factor”, which can be dangerous on the long run, but in a very even way it fulfills my expectations, what can be a very good directive for those knowing, what I am writing about. An absolutely obvious thing is a similar influence of the cable on other musical genres, as the described effect was identical with quiet and mad free jazz, not forgetting about others, manifesting the rebellion against the world of its potential lover. This is just a scheme of making sound more vivid, visible in any kind of music, so I am not worried about things you are going to experience. To have something go wrong, you would need to really touch the edges of tonal balance, with your system being overly analytical or slow, and that would mean you have absolutely no idea of how to make your audio system work together in a synergistic way, and I do not expect that from you at all.
Like I said, the first contact was for me quite a challenge for visual acceptance, and the only savior for the DPS-4 was its sound. But listening to the effect of plugging in the Japanese cable into my system, the confirmed will to create a vital musical spectacle, made the color of the cable absolutely negligible, and after a few days I was just enjoying the sound. Where would I recommend the tested cable? Truly? Everywhere. There is only one but. There can be no qualitatively worse cable after it, or the whole effect will be lost. The tested cable should be the last in chain or have an equally capable successor. I know, because I tested that many times. So the only thing left to you is to get used to the color (I assure you, this can be done), and then start worrying about your wallet. But I must warn you, the Furutech DPS-4 does not take captives. I fell.
Price: 7 950 PLN (2 m)
System used in this test:
– CD: ReimyoCDT – 777 + ReimyoDAP – 999 EX Limited
– Preamplifier: Robert Koda Takumi K-15
– Power amplifier: Reimyo KAP – 777
– Loudspeakers: TRENNER & FRIEDL “ISIS”
– Loudspeakers: Tellurium Q Silver Diamond, Harmonix SLC, Harmonix Exquisite EXQ
– IC RCA: 聖HIJIRI HGP-RCA “Million”
– IC XLR: Tellurium Q Silver Diamond
– Digital IC: Harmonix HS 102
– Power cables: Harmonix X-DC 350M2R Improved Version, X-DC SM Milion Maestro, Furutech NanoFlux – NCF, Hijiri Nagomi
– Table: SOLID BASE VI
– Accessories: Harmonix Beauty Tone Milion Maestro, Harmonix TU 505EX MK II, Stillpoints „ULTRA SS”, Stillpoints ”ULTRA MINI”; antivibration platform by SOLID TECH; Harmonix AC Enacom Improved for 100-240V; Harmonix Room Tuning Mini Disk RFA-80i
– Power distribution board: POWER BASE HIGH END
Drive: SME 30/2
Arm: SME V
Cartridge: MIYAJIMA MADAKE
Phonostage: RCM THERIAA