I have a great pleasure to re post here original review of Albedo Geo interconnects which had been originally published on Polish audiostereo.pl forum. We are very grateful for having given permission for using our authorized translation as well as pictures which had been used for illustrating this article. Please watch original text hidden under the link ; ]
Albedo Geo XLR
12.11.2011 23:55 | Fr@ntz in Articles ( originally posted on audiostereo.pl )
Albedo needs no introduction to our forum readers, after being almost 15 years in the market ( the company was established in 1997) with a constantly growing reputation and a large group of satisfied customers. Slowly but steadily expanding their offer, Mr. Gregory Gierszewski consistently holds on to ideas which were his priorities from the very beginning . Firstly, they produce their own silver and design their own wires, and secondly increasing the number of models only if new products will prove itself 100%. There is no way they ever re-brand or use OEM wires offered by third part manufacturers.
My last contact with Albedo products took place almost five years ago, on the occasion of listening to almost every speaker cables in their range(from Air 1 to the top of the range Monolith) and Flat-Gold connectors. Monolith came as a first and only to me after a Flat-gold calmed me down to the aestheticism level. Gregory from what I heard was rather busy during these years and all the cables remaining on offer had been vastly improved. This time I decided to pay my attention to interconnects instead, with an emphasis on what’s new in the Albedo family. Geo meets the above criteria pin point (not only being new ,but at the moment even not being displayed on their website which was still under construction when shown to the audience at Audio Show for the very first time). The company had completely redesigned all the packaging and display their products. Now all Albedo cables arrive in a nice and aesthetic cardboard box , neat functional and rather elegant with a clearly printed logo. Following latest trends the boxes are fully Eco friendly and biodegradable. Burgundy cardboard reminded me an autumn weekend in Tuscany and visit to Florence’s Enoteca Bonatti winery – where they have been packing wine in similar boxes since 1934 ..or so our tour guide proudly said. With these pleasant memories I hoped that the cables wouldn’t disappoint either. First I noticed that the interconnects are very flexible and only the heavy and trustworthy XLR adds substantially to the mass. Their flexibility is very useful and makes application smooth and comfortable. As they are Albedo they must be silver. The Geo is built using rectangular silver conductors, wrapped in a graphite outer sleeve and finished with low resistance thick silver-coated RCA plugs. Alternatively beryllium copper with a rhodium overcoat is available. XLR comes with later finish only and are soldered with silver enriched tin.
According to the manufacturer’s instructions I should ignore what I hear during the first fifty hours. I tried , honestly, but it’s not easy to resist when there are sounds coming out of your system and your curiosity grows rapidly. If there was anything audible that could make me concerned about the quality I would expect with a cable of this price tag or slight trace of harshness not commensurate to the “suggested retail price” I would possibly left system running at least two – three days .However, instead from the very first shot Geo began spread its charm over my ears. The effect of silver wires in my system could be compared to the freezing room ventilation the night after returning from a weekend trip. The sound became more vivid, more clear and the soundstage has gained in breadth and depth.In addition, sound became more “opened up” towards the listener and seemed to pay no attention to such a things like where the speakers are.The sound completely left the loudspeakers and only existed in the space in which they had been precisely captured by well set up mics. It seemed to have truly Hollywood style momentum. Fortunately Geo wires are not going so far, and they manage to stop just before the border where European restraint prefers to stay and not turn into an American debauchery. Even soundtracks by Hans Zimmer (“The Rock,” “Gladiator,” “Pearl Harbour”) – my core repertoire for such a test, kept moderation, and though these albums sounded spectacular and grandiose, it still had realism and sense who was playing the first violin.
The rock solid bass foundation was capable of thrilling performance and pumped effectively the rhythm and blew the dust out of speaker diaphragms.Tension had been well graduated and controlled on “Rocket Away” (“The Rock”) smoothly carrying out according to the movie story, but the full potential of Geo could be heard on “The Battle” from “Gladiator”.In this arena the myth about silver’s scarcities had been finally killed and fell down together with the character on the screen. It was damn fast, in spite of the large orchestral piece, with clear and unveiled dynamics. And that very dynamic deserves highest scores. Albedo seems to be as comfortable at that field as a fish in the water and I do not mean some sprats, or even tuna, but because of its amazing agility and strength – ruling the ocean shark-like.
Changing the music to more sophisticated repertoire I got the “Beauty of the Baroque” album by Danielle de Niese. “Thy hand, Belinda … When I am laid in earth” sounded relaxed and full of finesse. The Aussie born soprano might sound on some systems a bit glassy and uncomfortable. If you can hear that it means something is wrong. Albedo kept the singer in front of the speakers in high beam and nothing could still the light out of her. There also became audible at that point to me the tube rolling in my Ayon CDP ( JAN Philips 5687WB had been swapped to 1958 Tung-Sol) and the new balance it brought to the table matches Albedo’s character very well.Tonal balance now became a priority, when contrast previously in charge have stepped back a little.There was not even the smallest trace of blur, or inaccuracy, just a new balance exposing juiciness and a different sense of ambiance. The dimensions so desired by vacuum tube enthusiasts were all there. Geo just brought in to attention on a silver tray.
How about poor recordings then ?I would say it was acceptable. For example, “Suburb” by Wolves, even with the recent remastering still sounded 30% bad, or if you prefer the 70% tolerable.But nothing could help the horribly ticking cymbals on “My Baby “. If you’re looking for proof just pick up the live recording of the same song on the “Acousticus Rockus” CD to hear completely different quality.One could not help keeping his feet tapping all the time unless being paralyzed.The way Geo portrayed the bass was nothing but phenomenal on this album.It possessed an incredible drive, and fulfilling dynamic.It was not just sketched around the edges. One could feel all the juicy, red-blooded meaty bass sparkling with thousands of colours.On heavy sample selection Albedo – Silver kept shining with the same full of glory .On “Moonlight Waltz” by Theatres des Vampires it was clear that the demonic band is just pretending that they gonna eat listeners alive, and the latest are giving to these calls adequate response (on tracks “Black Madonna” and “The Gates Of Hades” the well done sonic stage set up became obvious with intentions clearly readable ).However, it was only prelude to what was going to happen next.I got bored with an “Audiophile” release of Megadeth somehow and recently I started slowly re discover some recordings from my youth. Tankard’s “The Meaning Of Life” leaves no illusions.It was simple, quick, crude and sharp. Additionally, theoretically English lyrics appeared creamed with charming German accent adding some more boost.The effect was similar to playing a Scorpions LP at 45 RPM and I wasn’t bothered at all that the stage had a depth of a puddle after fifteen minute drizzle, and the wall of distortions created by guitars and percussion, hardly allowed the vocalist to step out the front of the speakers. What mattered was that the raw nature of thrash music had been fully kept and its uncomplicated brutality survived with no trace of softness. More than twenty years ago Tankard sounded really bad and it hasn’t changed since.Thanks God even if in this particular case it wasn’t his contribution at all.The fun I got listening to this remains firm too. So after several minutes of pain I was sure that if a new Albedo Geo coped with such a material so brilliantly, then it will do same to any other.
Geo is a no brainer, it looks and sounds like a million dollars when it actually costs just a few hundreds. Reasonably priced they do the job great neither masking nor embellishing anything, but not trying to make beautiful what is far from that either. Just do what belongs to them and they do it very well, leaving the judgement to the listener’s ears. If I was after matching speaker cables, in addition to Albedo own stables, which I see I should revisit once again very soon, I would try at some points cables like LossLess or Neotech ( their statement Formosa ), as they belongs to the same camp. Pricey? Well, certainly not cheap, but I strongly recommended to find out how they pair with other connectors on the market.
Text and photos by Marcin Olszewski
The system used in the test:
CD / DAC: Ayon 07s
Players file: Dell Inspiron 1764 laptop + JRiver Media Center 17; netbook Samsung NC10 + JRiver Media Jukebox 14
Amplifier: Hegel H-100
Speakers : A.R.T. Moderne 6; Xavian XN Piccola
IC RCA : Audio Antipodes Katipo
IC XLR : Sevenrods ROD2; Albedo Geo; LessLoss Anchorwave
IC Digital: DigiLitz Fadel art; Harmonic Technology Cyberlink Copper; Apogee Eye exhaust
USB Cables: Wireworld Ultraviolet, Wireworld Starlight; Goldenote Firenze Silver
Speaker cables: Harmonix CS-120; LessLoss Anchorwave
Power Cables: LC-1mk2 GigaWatt; LessLoss DFPC Signature
Terminal: GigaWatt PF-2 +-LC cable 2mk2