Dynamique Audio Tempest 2 Cables

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Gregvoth.jpgDynamique Audio, hailing from the U.K., began in 2009 with very different aims from the norm often seen in the high-end audio industry. Their website contains a plethora of useful information covering the company’s philosophy, design criteria and product construction, nicely presented in an informative tongue-in-cheek manner. I urge readers to visit the site for a far more verbose and entertaining read. Here are a handful of points of interest, partially quoted from the site.

Dynamique builds almost all of our own cables from scratch, giving them far more control over the design process. Their cables are known for being neutral-sounding and tonally consistent. Dynamique’s products will withstand a lifetime of use, comes with technical specs and a 10 year warranty against failure due to defect of manufacture (see terms and conditions for more detail), applicable only to the original owner when purchased directly from Dynamique Audio.

According to Dynamique, almost all of their cables feature pure silver or silver-plated copper conductors and, where possible, solid-core is generally preferred to stranded conductors. Where they do use stranded conductors, they specify an exact conductor size and layout to optimize quality. They specify Teflon insulation in its various forms, FEP for Dynamique’s extruded insulations, and PTFE for their air-dielectric systems.

This manufacturer employs a variety of cable geometries, offering the most effective reduction of EM/RF noise for each application and remains somewhat skeptical of using metallic shielding on analogue cabling due to trials indicating a loss in fidelity. Dynamique’s use of resonance dampers, grounding these distortions from the cable itself to the damper, help combat microphonic distortions in the cable system. Their resonance filters are more complex designs, CNC-milled from solid aluminum billet, and mechanically polished and anodized, before being secured to the cable with an elastomeric adhesive that absorbs resonances and vibrations, resulting in a lowered noise floor, improved resolution and crisper, cleaner sound.

Dynamique uses in-house designed connectors for most of their cable ranges and vows to continue to develop custom solutions rather than rely on off-the shelf designs. Most of their cables are non-directional, with no directional markings, though some designs are what they term ‘pseudo-balanced’ i.e. one of the shield layers is terminated at one end only and marked on the RCA connector with heat shrink. This marked end must be connected to the ‘source’ to work best.

Dynamique Audio’s experience leads them to believe their all silver-based cable designs require a longer burn-in period than that for plain copper cables. The maker notes that specifying and carefully optimizing varying gauges of wire, reduces weaknesses inherent to a particular gauge, thusly improving tonal balance. This technology is incorporated throughout their mid to upper level interconnect and speaker cable ranges. Lastly, Dynamique’s use of hybrid multicore conductors – a hybrid of solid-core and multi-stranded conductors types – offer the best of both worlds.

Review samples

psaudiobox.jpgIn for a listen came Dynamique Audio’s Tempest 2 Series of speaker, analog Interconnect and power cables from the U.K. I installed the two power cords and speaker cables but neither of the RCA interconnects into the system – having a preamp with a built-in DAC made some of the typical tethering of components with IC’s unnecessary.

Each offering in the Tempest 2 cable line is much thinner and more flexible than most of the competition. Each Tempest 2 component offered very fast response, clarity and dynamic contrast, thanks, in part, to the elimination of what this maker considers unnecessary layers of insulation used by others for “aesthetics” and the adoption of high purity, pure silver or silver-plated conductors and solid or stranded components, each terminated with high quality connectors. The speaker cables and interconnects use multi-stranded conductors, with the power cables using solid-core, silver-plated copper conductors. Tempest 2 speaker cables are terminated with connectors designed in-house.
 
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Tempest 2 Speaker Cable

With it’s Tempest 2 speaker cable line, Dynamique eliminates the layers of unnecessary insulation and delivers the equivalent of 7 AWG per channel in a cable that’s just 10mm in diameter. Two multi-stranded, large gauge conductors are used per channel, with each composed of multi-stranded 7N silver-plated copper in a dielectric of FEP teflon, arranged in a twisted-pair geometry. Arranged on either end are two carbon-fiber based resonance dampers per channel purposed to reduce mechanically induced distortions.

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Tempest 2 Analogue Interconnect –

Dynamique Audio describes the Tempest 2 interconnect as a a pure silver hybrid, affordably offering the advantages of pure silver conductors in this next level product. With its blend of two high purity silver conductors and one super purity silver-plated copper conductor, arranged in a helical twist geometry with air-spaced PTFE insulation and carbon-fiber based resonance dampers fitted for each channel, the Tempest 2 interconnects are a more sophisticated design than their Horizon 2 series.

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Tempest 2 Power Cable –

Dynamique’s Tempest 2 power cable provides the benefits of a large gauge design in a slim and flexible package. Seven 16 AWG solid-core, silver-plated copper conductors are insulated in air-spaced PTFE Teflon and arranged in an helical cable geometry, using resonance dampers to reduce mechanical vibrations.
 

To Bi-Wire Or Not Bi-Wire

Gtt 2018a.gifAs someone who has been bi-wiring speakers for 25 years and noting a positive difference in my spaces, it’s interesting to note that Dynamique Audio has found that “bi-wire cable designs are often compromised in quality, either from inconsistent conductor types or gauges, or internal bi-wire configurations that essentially split the single wire version in two, halving conductor gauge, and increasing resistance.” Of late, my primary speakers aren’t bi-wire capable, so, while I find this stance curious, I’m in no position to point a finger.

To quote the manufacturer: “Our jumper speaker cables maintain excellent sound quality and are a far more cost effective and discrete solution. We plan to introduce bi-wire versions of our Quest and Cyclone speaker cables, and in line with our criticisms above, they will be true-biwire cables with 4 equally specced, full-gauge conductors per cable, still with a slim overall diameter, and competitively priced. Our other cables will remain resolutely single-wire only.”

Only once during my time with the Dynamique Audio cables did I hear 2 short blips of what sounded like radio frequency interference; it came and went quickly and never returned during the weeks I lived with these cables. I do live in a metropolitan area with a wide variety of such of nearby roaming sources.
 
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Early Listening

CP called me early during their break in, to ask how the Dynamique Audio cables were sounding – he had a good feeling about the brand. My early take follows.

bartsch.jpgNik Bartsch’s Ronin Modul 60 from his 2016’s “Continuum” (ECM), was first on deck. I know this music well… very well, and expected a good render of this tune… but I did not expect a full rewrite of my aural history with this album. These Dynamique Audio cables are nothing short of revelatory. They are bringing out resonant detail, nuance and instrumental textures across the soundstage and deep into the space between my floorstanders, delivering three-dimensional bass drums and every drip of rosin on that bass player’s bow – a wholly different experience than I’ve had here before.

Listening on to other tracks, there’s more drive and more interest. Instrumentation landed as more palpable, with more essence as though genuinely alive. These talented musician’s Instruments are far better defined and appear more capably carved out of the air between the speakers. The bass woodwind reed was wonderfully wet and crisp and clicky… and dynamics packed a wallop! The very percussiveness of this instrumentation has been enhanced as though now breathing. Listening to the strike on a bass the drum’s skin as it rolled back to silence brought forth far more dimensional information on waves of more aural data.

Further Listening

ramblingconfession.jpgOn “Alfie,” from John Hébert’s 2015 release “Rambling Confessions” (Sunnyside), this intimate outing lived and breathed in real physical space – as palpable as it was poignant. “But Beautiful” from Billie Holiday‘s “Lady In Satin” played both lovely and immersive, with powerful bass and delicately subtle micro dynamics, rendering a soundstage of good dimension and nice imaging.

“Kin” (2014 Metheny Group Productions, under license to Nonesuch Records Inc.), the title track from the Metheny Unity Group’s release of the same name, It was detailed, with nice depth and a snappy percussiveness to the instrumentation. With its bold bass, immersive soundstage and jack rabbit quick dynamic content, this song was nicely delineated, with noticeable deep on a wide soundstage. Instrumental contrasts were as bold as they were delicate. The silver content of Dynamique cables brought a quickness to dynamic delivery and a crisp edge to notes that lifted them out of the mix with added interest and nuance. The soundstage was  quite alive.

Billy.jpgBeen On A Train from Billy Childs “Map To The Treasure – Reimagining Laura Nero” (2014 Masterworks Jazz), as sung by Rickie Lee Jones on this entertaining collection, is an exercise in dynamic contrasts – the drums, the bass of the soundstage… this presentation was neutrally balanced and alive with great instrumentation, some big, some nuanced and much of it immensely powerful. Percussive dynamics, and big bold bass accompanied this vocalist’s strong and emotive delivery. This band was a solidly grounded on this stage, yet the playing expanded well around and deep center of the floor standers.

Regina Carter “Reverse Thread” (2010 E1 Music), is an album that’s been outside my radar for way too long. Though I was familiar with “Kothbiro,” I didn’t anticipate the liveliness of this collective effort. The bass was such a surprise, strong and full-bodied and, with the drummer’s efforts, that rhythm section offered serious drive on this joyful venture. The soundstage was presented with decent deep and all involved were delineated with crisp imaging. The juxtaposition of violin with delicate African instrumentation was both beautiful and quite unexpected. The percussiveness was addictive and this stage dripped with both nuance and dynamic interplay in a very 3D presentation, with the silver in the Dynamique Audio cables imparting a quickness to each note played, both neutrally balanced and surprisingly dynamic sounding. While “Kothbiro” was a favorite. ”Zerapiki,” with its rather simple melody, was delivered as American root music with an African bent, which lifted the simplicity to another level of interest. And again, there’s such drive, propulsion and creativity here, that it’s a joy for the ears. I will be replaying this album in its entirety for some time to come.

Gregory Porter’s “When Love Was King” from his “Liquid Spirit” release ( 2013 Blue Note), offered a surprise when played… there was more detail, a greater dimension to the accompanying instrumentation – the Dynamique Audio cables brought out detail in the upright bass and percussion that had been somewhat buried during previous listens. Not a huge change, but a welcomed one that better balanced the output.

The Wrap

mw2019.jpgThese new Dynamique Audio Tempest 2 cables are indeed something special. So much in fact, I’ve nominated them as my Most Wanted Component for 2019! In fact, my Tekton Double Impact loudspeakers loved ‘em – their super fast response and added clarity and brought out the high frequencies in a way my prior reference Oyaide reference cables did not. Dynamique’s minimalist materials approach and the addition of silver/silver-plating in their construction brought life to the highs and transients (to my ear, Tekton’s can appear a touch too polite in the higher frequency region). The Dynamique Audio Cables come highly recommended for their high performance/price quotient.

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Products and Pricing:

Tempest 2 Speaker Cable

Price (inc VAT)

2m pair –  £480.00 up to 5m pair: £870 (in the following lengths: 2m, 2.5m. 3m, 4m and 5m)

Tempest 2 Analogue Interconnect

Price (inc VAT)

1m pair: £275.00 up to 3m pair: £435 (available in 1/2 meter increments from 1m to 3m))

Tempest 2 Power Cable

Price (inc VAT):

1m: £350.00 up to 3m: £510.00 (available in 1/2 meter increments from 1m to 3m)

Upgrades available at additional costs

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Contact

Dynamique Audio

www.dynamiqueaudio.com

United States Dealer

The Cable Company

(215) 862-4870

cable@thecableco.com

www.thecableco.com

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Dynamique offers a 30 day refund policy (less shipping costs & subject to a 15% restocking fee), so that you may purchase their cables directly from The Cable Co without the worry of being left with them if they’re not for you). Dynamique also offers the original purchasers of their cables the opportunity to upgrade to higher models within the same range (i.e. upgrading a speaker cable up of speaker cable) and effectively pay only the difference in retail price. See the www.dynamiqueaudio.com site for all terms and conditions. 

 

 

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