DITA Audio OSLO ($580)
Compared to the more relaxed, more airy-sounding OSLO, you get a lot more forwardness, immediacy and punch out of the EVO 10. This is especially true across the mid-bass and the upper-midrange. You’ll hear denser, more solid and more forwardly-positioned notes there. On the intro of Nathan East’s version of Serpentine Fire, for example, the kick drum and the lead vocals will sound warmer, more intimate and more powerful. Comparatively, the OSLO sits them in line with the more subtle ticking sounds on that same track. I find the EVO 10 to have rounder, smoother edges in general too, which I find more musical. The OSLO’s sharper, harder transients are more suited for separation and detail retrieval, like the tick sound I mentioned earlier. So, all in all, the EVO 10 is more intimate with larger, fuller, more forward-sounding notes, but with a good amount of space too. The OSLO prioritises the latter more with a more laidback sig and less-forgiving edges.
Eletech Socrates ($699)
Compared to Eletech’s Socrates, the EVO 10 will deliver a brighter, clearer, more vibrant sig. There’s more energy coming from its upper-midrange and its mid-treble, which lends instruments more bite and zing. Those brighter sounds are also more accentuated on the EVO 10 because it has a tighter, less bloomy upper-bass than the Socrates. For example, in the intro of Snarky Puppy’s What About Me, that chug of the guitars are on the forefront with the Socrates. Whereas, with this EVO 10, you’ll get more of Nate Werth’s percussion work; the cowbells and congas. The bass and low Moog synths sound warmer and more guttural on the Socrates too, while they’re quicker and lighter on the EVO 10. Then, staging-wise, I find the two similar in size with the EVO 10 delivering the cleaner, tidier backdrop due to its quicker, tighter notes. So, though both cables have similarly lively sigs, the Socrates has the warmer, heavier touch, while this EVO 10 is faster and cleaner.
PW Audio Monile ($551.99)
The EVO 10 and the Monile have fairly similar, neutral-natural tonalities. Both cables exude a sense of air, whilst bringing a lot of clarity and light to their upper-mids. To me, the differences between them lie in their centre-mids and below. The Monile is lighter and more relaxed here, resulting in instruments sounding breathy and open; less weighty or dense. This EVO 10’s more intimate and present here by comparison, which gifts its notes more meat and integrity. It isn’t warmer or fuller-sounding per se. Its images just seem more saturated or concentrated, which I believe, boosts realism. That’s most true with live material, as it lends tangibility to performers. On Megan Davies and Keelan Donovan’s cover of Blame, both their voices and guitars feel more natural because of those chestier, smokier overtones. Though, at the same time, if you wanna lighten or tighten your in-ears, the Monile may fit better. At the end of the day, it comes down to needs and taste.
Effect Audio’s EVO line-up is, in many ways, a company who’s tread all possible ground asking themselves, “What’s next?” And, as a result, it’s birthed a product that finds them working admirably hard to refresh and reinvent. One is this cable’s swappable E-faces, which – albeit short of flawless – is a small tweak or two away from being one of the cabling industry’s most exciting idea in years. And, second is the signature of this EVO 10 itself. It doesn’t strive necessarily for neutrality or technical brilliance. Rather, what it offers is lively, tangible immersion rooted in a gorgeous, engrossing midrange tone, a crisp, clean, dynamic image and articulate, yet well-tempered extremes. It is a more unique, more niche-sounding cable. But, at the same time, I think what it brings to the table will have broad appeal. So, if the sound descriptions I’ve laid out above are ones you jive with, the EVO 10 is a charismatic, musical cable, with fresh, innovative design under its wing too.