DHC provided the Fusion free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.
The Molecule 19 Elite Fusion 6ft sells for $999
I contacted Peter Bradstock in search of something special for my HD800. His Fusion line just launched, and there were no reviews of this particular cable. He thought it would be perfect.
For those who don’t know, Peter is a pioneer of this field. He was first to many innovations, such as carbon cores, ultrashort adapters, and let’s not forget the most famous of all, Type 4 and 6 Litz. He is a practical, down-to-earth fellow, with not a little amount of cynicism for his contemporaries. There are quite a few bold claims and popular practices Peter calls bullshit on. Curious? Ask him about it. He’s happy to chat.
I offer up my deepest gratitude and thanks to Peter for a remarkable cable to review and enjoy: The Double Helix Cables Molecule 19 Elite Fusion.
The Molecule Elite 19 is actually just shy of 19AWG. The site calls it 18.8AWG, but you can understand why they’d round up. What makes it Fusion is an equal number of OCC Copper strands alongside the OCC Silver, all in a class-leading Type 6 Litz configuration. It’s designed as a more affordable option to the standard Molecule Elite 19, which is just as thick, but 100% silver.
It is a hefty, thick cable, which does not flex easy. Absolutely not ideal for IEMs. But for full-size cans, ergonomics loses its importance. The Fusion is the biggest cable I own, and I find it suited well to this use.
As for aesthetics, DHC is right up there with the best of them. Hell, he might even have pioneered some of the popular styles going around, but don’t quote me on that. Regardless, the Fusion is a lovely creature, and the sturdiest construction I’ve seen to date: Gunmetal aluminium plug and connectors, and a titanium y-split. These beefy 18.8AWG wires proudly proclaim the quality of the minerals within. The braid is flawless, the connectors ever so handsome. DHC fashions a thing worth treasuring.
So… I am not comparing the Fusion to the stock cable. I bought the HD800 used. Heavily used. It had at least two owners before me. No packaging. Pads were worn thin (hence the Dekoni leather), and no stock cable. Instead, the fellow included an old 6ft Cardas cable, which was part of a much longer cord he had Norne break into three separate cables. Oh yes, I should mention I also had to put on new connectors, because the wires were frayed and losing signal. So… that’s the cable I’m comparing this to. Both are terminated for XLR Balanced, to run off my Audio-GD NFB-28. And despite my early troubles, this Cardas cable sounds very good now.
How, then, does the Molecule 19 Elite Fusion compare?
First of all, the Fusion is a seductive blend of clarity and fullness. It lacks for nothing, possessing insane amounts of air and transparency, all while delivering a rich, dynamic low-end. The HD800 has more headroom, both up top and below. Music breathes easier. Thanks to a fuller bass-response, the mids gain a hint of warmth. Vocals, however, remain phenomenally detailed and vibrant. Micro dynamics are accentuated further, bringing out those subtle background quirks.
This is not a cold or lifeless cable. In fact, it’s imbued with more energy than I’m used to. That’s not to say the Fusion is bright or peaky. This energy doesn’t focus on any specific frequencies. It’s everywhere, all the time. A clean, smooth render best characterizes Fusion’s portrayal. Soundstage is enormous, pushing the HD800 to new extremes. Separation of elements has greater contrast due to a blacker background. A more holographic image is created, achieving wondrous depth and layering.
One caveat to consider… the Fusion holds nothing back. So in the case of the Sennheiser HD800, this is not the cable to tame its predilections for treble brightness. While it does not make those highs any worse, it also does not add warmth. Fusion allows for better extension, without aggravating an already delicate region.
There’s no doubt, the DHC Molecule Elite 19 Fusion raises the bar for the HD800. If you want to push clarity, detail, soundstage, and fullness, you cannot go wrong with the Fusion. Even for colorless transparency, it’s the best I’ve tested for cans. I wish I could plug it into my LCD-3 and discover what it does there. Based on what I’m hearing now, I suspect it would pair beautifully. It’s a cable which bears few prejudices, and ought to serve as a perfect upgrade choice for most headphones. Particularly if they are headphones you are already happy with. The Molecule Elite 19 Fusion will simply make them better.