Rhapsodio Golden ($700)
The Golden has a warm V-shaped signature, a combination of thick notes with a brighter signature that creates a distinct, euphoric type of sound. Compared to the GPC it has a more forward bass presentation, with an enhanced sub- and upper bass presence. This gives it a thicker note recreation, as well as richer lower harmonics. However, it reduces the stage airiness, while its imaging is less precise. It sounds a bit messier compared to the cleaner and more neutral sounding GPC. The GPC has a slightly warm midrange, with an uncolored but clear-sounding upper midrange. Despite the thicker notes, the Golden’s midrange is less warm, and its upper midrange is brighter. Similarly, the upper treble region is brighter. The Golden offers a high level of clarity, but the upper treble can sound sharp with already bright iems. This works very well for pop and electronic music, really making synthetic melodies shine. But it is obviously colored, especially compared to the smoother and more natural sounding GPC. The GPC’s treble is articulate, smoother, with a warmer and more natural tonality. The Golden and GPC: pop art versus contemporary.
Labkable Samurai III ($875)
The Samurai has less bass quantity, specifically its mid-bass. This gives it a more spacious feel, even thought the stage dimensions are roughly similar. The Samurai’s stage might be slightly wider and the GPC’s deeper, but the Samurai’s stage appears as cleaner. Its bass hits are leaner, with less impact than the rounder and warmer sounding GPC. Both cables share a similar thickness in the midrange, but where the GPC sounds purer and more natural, the Samurai adds a bit of brightness to the upper midrange, though not to the same extent as the Golden. This is reflected in the treble, where the Samurai’s is a bit brighter, while remaining smooth. As the GPC, it is articulate, though not overly prominent. Taken together, the GPC has a fuller bass presentation combined with a more natural midrange, while the Samurai combines a leaner bass with an airier stage and slightly brighter midrange.
When I first started listening to the GPC, I wasn’t necessarily wowed by it, at least directly. It doesn’t impress with a larger soundstage, or a more detailed upper midrange. However, I kept coming back to it. At first because I was still in obligatory listening phase since I’d eventually have to write about it. But then it just started becoming my go-to cable. Especially if I didn’t want to alter a smooth or warmer iem’s signature too much, but simply get the most out of it. And it remains one of my most used cables. The X8 GPC can be seen as a counterpart to something like the recently reviewed Pandora, which offers a higher resolution, but a less natural sound. As such, they each have their specialty and use.
The GPC offers a solid upgrade in performance, a cleaner stage and better extension, but really sets itself apart when it comes to tonality. This is just a very natural sounding cable, without overly coloring the sound. It can either pair well with midcentric iems, my main use, or to make a brighter iem smoother. I can imagine its 8-wire version being a bit too much in terms of size, ergonomics, and price, but there’s always the 4-wire at half the price. Cables remain expensive either way, but if you’re looking for an improvement in performance while retaining an accurate tone and natural sound, plusSound’s GPC comes highly recommended.