Review (equipment) — 7th May 2020 at 5:00 pm

Where There’s Hope

by

I just received a new tone arm cable from The Vinyl Adventure, their recently released TVA “Hope”. I was already a big fan of their Corvette silver cable, and the Hope is a bit like a Corvette on steroids.  As with all their cables I have tried, the mechanical construction is impeccable, with in this case, a Zapfino mini din on one end and AECO pure silver RCAs on the other.

First album up was the DCC audiophile pressing of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Willy and the Poor Boys.  The difference compared to the “Corvette” was immediate, the sound was more detailed and dynamic and massively more coherent.  Micro detail and micro dynamics, were far more apparent. Instrument and vocal placing were far more positive. Moving on to an original first pressing of Santana’s Abraxas, the increase in dynamics, over the already first class “Corvette”, was really apparent, with the Latin percussion reaping the benefit of the “Hope”. 

Moving on to Peter Stern and Gail-Ann Dorsey’s “Underground”, was an indulgence for me as I produced the original recordings both for the film and the EP I was playing. It sounded very accurate and was what I expected, I still have the masters for this, so I compared this set up with one of the production master tapes and it was the nearest I’ve heard from vinyl, ‘til now.

John Coltrane’s classic “Blue Train” did not disappoint, with its layers of textures and tones really separated well.  One thing about their cable, is its ability to present many different musical lines within a recording, without favouring any particular one. All are there and all are easy to tell apart, giving the music really great realism and life. On brass the all important micro harmonics were all there, giving great “air” to performances.

As a final review track, as the cable is named “Hope” after the album of the same name by the late, great Hugh Masekela, I put on the staggeringly good 2019 version of the album released by Analogue Productions as a 200gm 4 disc 45RPM set.  The original 1993 release was I believe, not  put out on record until 2008, when the 2×12 version, also from Analogue Productions, came out.  I’m a huge fan of South African music and Masekela in particular, but this exquisitely recorded album is a true masterpiece. Hope via the Hope just sang. Swapping to the previous Corvette cable, was in my opinion, like closing the window a bit, still a great sound, but not as present, other cables were like closing the curtains too.   Back to the Hope and the window was flung wide open once again, on Hope the detail and percussive nature of the music, were really impressive and on albums like Blue Train the textures were sublime.  It was really easy to pick out the different instrumental lines on every record played. 

An interesting sub-text is why The Vinyl Adventure name their cables as the do. Their protocol is to name them after songs by great performers, thus the entry level “Rebel” is named for “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie, the middle “Corvette” is named for “Little Red Corvette” by Prince and as mentioned, this one is named for the definitive Hugh Masekela track.

Conclusion…

This cable really has bundles of everything you want, while being neutral in tonal quality, it allows textures and dynamics through to the system, in a very appealing way. Sounds have a great fluidity, and if there is a decay, it’s all there, but if the sound is percussive and has a hard edge, that’s produced correctly too. This will for me, be the one to beat and will be my reference in this role. If you are in the market for a new esoteric tonearm cable, I would suggest, then at a price point far lower than expected, the “Vinyl Adventure Hope” is well worth trying in your system, it really works well in mine. Priced from £295.00 GBP depending on termination, you can find it HERE

The review system…

Art Audio Composer-Fully Loaded

The system I tried it on first consists of the main arm on my Art Audio Composer Solo, which has a Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum mounted on an SME Series IV.V. This was made by SME for their US distributors Kiseki  and has the damping trough, bearings and internal wiring of a Series V.  This feeds into a really early pre-production version of the Trichord Dino, but coupled with their latest NCPSU. This feeds an Art Audio VP1, two Art Audio Velocé mono blocs into 12″ Tannoy Monitor Golds in Lockwood Academy cabinets plus Tannoy ST100 supertweeters.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *