Taking your CIEMs to the Next Level
There are a limited number of cable manufacturers that have the persistent quality to become common HEADFI names and even fewer that have produced well-known best-in-class high-end cables – Eletech is both. However, this is a recent rise in my circles and after hearing so much phrase, I decided we need to put them on tour…so here we are.
Two Eletech Cable Tour Kits
We have arranged for two tour kits to keep our tour moving for everyone to get their turn ASAP. Each tour kit contains:
- Fortitude, Prudence, Socrates (brand new release), Plato, and the Iliad in 2-pin, 2.5mm with MMCX, 4.4mm, and 3.5mm adapters.
Eletech Cable Tour Kickoff Video
Eletech Cable Tour Kit Pictures
Barra's Quick Initial Impressions
The best part of managing tours is getting to hear all the great gear for myself. All these great cables are hybrid type 4 Litz and have been CRYO’D, and I must say…they are beautiful!
Here are some brief impressions from what I have heard so far between the tasks required to set up this tour:
- Iliad: 24AWG, CRYO, Flawless Monocrystal Silver & Palladium Plated Silver & Gold-Silver Alloy ($1799)
>>>Early Impressions: An “oh my god” experience when powered correctly and on a scaling CIEM. My M5 and Thummim both are driven to another level with this cable. The volume feels like it has been raised 15 percent due to the increased dynamics and detail that these cables pump out. There is a rich euphoric tube-like sense when listening to these that put you in another world where you are drawn into the music. While the Thummim sounds wonderful with the Eletech Plato, the Illiad takes it to another level…if you pay the money for the Thummim, then go the extra and pair it with the Iliad. The M5 gets a more grown-up appeal to the music with more fleshed out treble and soundstage that is outstanding. The Sony WM1a sounds wonderful with these two pairings, but when I step up to the Burson C3R, wow both these CIEMs are in the exotic range sounding better than most full-sized exotic headphones that cost much more and require a much more expensive system. The C3R > Iliad > Thummim/M5 pairing is out of this world.
- Plato: 24AWG, CRYO, Flawless Monocrystal Bespoke Silver ($999)
>>>Early Impressions: Through the Sony WM1a, the M5 takes on a new life vs. its stock cable. The silver brings the treble to life as expected and brings more detail to the M5’s big bass. The M5 seems more balanced through the Plato. The Thummim has Plato for its stock cable for many of the same reasons that it pairs well with the M5. The Plato scales well with the C3R offering more details and bigger more defined bass. Plato offers more treble presence for the M5 as well as adding air to enlarge the sound stage.
- Socrates (Brand New): 24AWG, CRYO, Flawless Monocrystal Bespoke 7N OCC Copper ($699)
>>>Early Impressions: The Socrates is a warmer, more euphonic experience. The bass feels more relaxed and the treble is smoothed a bit offering a more romantic emotional experience. The voices sound just right and more intimate. Female singers feel like they are sitting in your lap singing sweet nothings in your ear while kissing your neck. This is a very impressive experience that I am enjoying very much. The Socrates brings the mids to life. This is the best I have heard the M5 sound. Taking my game up with the C3R, I get deep in the chest bass to die for and a rich thick ambiance that is mind-altering. Moving to the Thummim, I am treated to a mid centric experience on my Sony. There is a richness and intimacy that is very appealing and pleasant. This is a much more relaxed Thummim that focuses on natural and emotional. Stepping up to the C3R, the Thummim is awesome with the Socrates. There is a whole new feel to the sound. That in the chest bass with the forward mids exudes a warm natural tube sound like you can only find at the high-end audio shows from 6-figure systems. I am going to have to think more about whether I go to Socrates from Plato for my Thummim…this is going to take some thinking. In fact, I am going to do a full review of Socrates to get my thoughts straight.
- Prudence: 26AWG, CRYO, Flawless Silver plated Copper ($249)
>>>Early Impressions: It is easy to mistake the Prudence for the more expensive Iliad or Plato cables at a quick glance as they are incredibly beautiful and rich-looking. The performance is not quite up into the stratosphere like its more expensive brethren, but the performance is still impressive at this price point. The treble is a little rawer through the WM1a as would be expected and the bass is not quite as full, but in the case of the M5, it is quite a step up from the stock cable. However, when moving to the C3R, the additional power drives these cables considerably further regaining a much fuller bass, and the treble smooths out considerably. Given the Eletech Plato being the stock cable for the Thummim, there is no point in going for the Prudence in this case.
- Fortitude: 26AWG, CRYO, Flawless Copper ($199)
>>>Early Impressions: At the bottom of the price tier, if you don’t expect a lot from Eletech, you are wrong. The Fortitude is a powerhouse packed with performance. Like the Iliad, there is a sense that the volume has been turned up with this cable. The bass on the M5 through the Sony actually feels tighter, quicker, and more defined. The treble also has an appealing heft to it that sounds natural. While not as refined as the Iliad or the rest of Eletech’s top tier, this is a fun treble that brings new imagery to your music. While the Burson again lifts the Fortitude performance, the Fortitude is not lifted quite as much as the rest of the lineup. The bass seems the lightest on this cable even though it is copper, and surprisingly, it is the treble that is the star of the show. The treble makes me want to hear more of my library as it is a wonderful enhancement that brings new details to light.
Seven Day Auditions, Reviewers Go First
Our goal is to allow our audiophile community to actually hear outstanding audio gear ourselves rather than just read reviews. By auditioning this gear in the comfort of our own home over a week and by using our own systems and music to listen, we can make intelligent purchase decisions. By making auditions a community event, we can share our experiences and offer advice to other participants to get the most out of their audition.
7-Day Auditions: The participants are offered a seven day audition in the comfort of their own home, but are responsible for making arrangements to ship out by day 8. Reviewers sometimes are offered a longer review period.
Full Reviewers Always Go First: Do you want to move to the front of the line? If you intend on creating a full review, please note this in your participation request to be moved to the front of the line. This requires a commitment to post a full review here on AudioTier, HEADFI, an audiophile review site, or multiple. Those that wish to demo only or do simple impressions still get their chance to audition the kit, but after the reviewers go first.
Organized Logistically: The participant list is organized logistically to minimize shipping costs moving coast to coast with both a West Coast and an East Coast tour if there is a second kit. To begin the tour, I will ship each kit to the first in each list for a 7-day audition. Thereafter participants will be responsible to hand-deliver or ship the demo kit to the next participant in the list.
Self-Managed: The participants are expected to self-manage by following the basic rules and following the logistical order while managing any small logistics changes among themselves. Any complex issues can be directed to the moderator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rules and Responsibilities
Most of our tours are offering 7-day auditions which you are required to ship out to the next participant on day 8. Yes, you pay the shipping to the next participant, but we organize into logistically friendly orders to minimize the shipping expense.
The tour membership rules and responsibilities are described in detail here. The key idea is that we must be communicative to participate and to keep the tour moving and interesting. It is our responsibility to follow these rules and to ensure the ability to ship out on day 8 when our turn is over.
Join the Tour
To sign up for the tour, you must be a verified tour member and have joined our new AUDIOTIERs platform. The membership qualifications and requirements are described here if you are not already a member. Whether a HEADFI tour member that needs to transfer their membership to the new platform or you are a new member looking to apply for tour membership, please follow the instructions in the GETTING STARTED box below. We are now accepting applications from both US and Canadian citizens.
Tour Signups: If you would like to be part of this tour, please feel free to post your request in the comments below. This is a REVIEWERS GO FIRST TOUR, so if you would like to skip to the front of the line, please note that you would like to be a full reviewer in the request as in the sample below:
Please post a proper request to the comments section to join the tour per the instructions below.
Request Message: I live in Anthem, AZ and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. (add correct bullet below)
- My membership information is up to date.
- I have applied for membership and have emailed my required ID verification documentation to email@example.com.
Optional: AS A FULL REVIEWER, PLEASE MOVE ME TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE.
Sample Signup Request:
I live in Anthem, AZ and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. My membership information is up to date. AS A FULL REVIEWER, PLEASE MOVE ME TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE.
Tour Participant Logistics - Reviewers First
Please note, this is a full reviewer first tour. If you promise to do a full review, you will be moved to the front of the line. Everyone else looking to demo only or do impressions will get their chance once the reviewers have gone first.
Starting with reviewers first, we will logistically move our tour kits from coast to coast to reduce shipping time and cost. After the close of the logistical portion of the tour, latecomers can still join first come first serve. The good news is that we will do our best to accommodate all tour members that wish to participate.
The participation information will be updated live throughout the tour and will provide you with current status on kit possession. Per the rules, you should be contacted as a backup prior to your turn so you will be ready when you are next.
Eletech Tour Logistics
Tour Kit 1:
- Barra – Anthem, AZ
- REVIEWER: ngoshawk – Warrensburg, MO
- REVIEWER: audio in – Merced, CA
- REVIEWER: liberatus – El Cajon, CA
- eTHE2 – Diamond Bar, CA
- drunkenmunkey – Highlands Ranch, CO
- tybot – Albuquerque, NM
- hamhamhamsta – Santa Ana, CA
- bhschap – Orange, CA
- Towa – Nashville, TN
- uthood – Dallas, TX
- Wildcatsare1 – Lexington, KY
- Barra – Anthem, AZ
Tour Kit 2:
- Barra – Anthem, AZ
- REVIEWER: audiokeyreviews – Eau Claire, WI
- kubig123 – New York, NY
- tawmizzzz – Somerville, MA
- gnahra – Fort Myers, FL
- aafevo – Houston, TX
- jerryx – Plano, TX
- Barra – Anthem, AZ
- REVIEWER: Tanjiro – Ontario, Canada
- SBranson – Victoria BC Canada