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Effect Audio Fusion 1 Review : Superb Cohesion With Excellent Transparency

I have been working with Effect Audio for a while. They aren’t only excellent with cable making but their marketing team is some of the most creative too. Their themes are some of the best and the art works are impressive too. I usually do not heed to these kind of things but their sincerity is something to take into consideration and when Jordon tells me they are super excited about the cable, I take him seriously. Not for their creativity but there is barely any cable from their stable that isn’t impressive. I have been working with these guys since their Ares II and it was super impressive at $100 and very recently I had reviewed their Code 23 and has its own flavor and pairs superbly with smooth and Thin sounding IEMs.

What I have here is their latest upper mid range cable, Fusion 1 and I have to admit this is one of their best looking cables. It follows the core structure of Code 23 but this is much better when it comes to the quality, with both build and sound. Priced at $999 this cable comes in only one color scheme. I will compare it with a few even more expensive cables. $999 is mighty high for a lot of us but for those who are habituated with these super capable cables, this is not a big ask given that we are getting a  lot more tech at around half the price that we used to an year ago. Let’s see if this cable can hold its ground.

In Their Words:

TREASURE AMONG ANCIENTS

Tales about the Ancient Wonders of the world evoke a sense of mysticism and miraculousness, as if an ancient, mystical force enabled their creation and enduring appeal, despite the seeming impossibility in their time. Fusion 1 represents a unique fusion of the virtues embodied by each of the seven ancient wonders. The proprietary alchemic combination of the highest amount of material variations in our history – a luxurious blend of dual Gold-plated Silver materials alongside pure Silver and a carefully calculated ratio of close to a half a dozen Copper variations, including an improved ergonomic Solid Core Copper at its center. The blend presents a uniquely immersive sonic experience that envelops the listener with its wide all-encompassing sound stage featuring unparalleled resolution. Experience a harmonious concord between powerful, hypnotic resonance and enchanting, highly detailed treble energy with a smooth timber finish. Drawing on a lesson taught by Mausolus – Not all that glitters is gold – Fusion 1 utilizes transformative textures, resembling the beautiful ceramic antiquities crafted in the forges of Ancient Worlds. We went further by including circular geometric patterns, symbolically indicative of divine symmetry to the ancient Greeks. This divinity further extends to its ergonomics, spotting heightened levels of flexibility for your comfort and leisure. Step into the rich history and luxury with the Fusion 1. Embrace the wonders of Immersive Resolution.

Get one from these links:

https://www.effectaudio.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=86

ACCESSORIES:

Effect Audio Fusion 1 will ship with their Con-X and Term-X basic sets and will have a carry case too. Sadly I didn’t receive any packing material or the case so.. Can’t comment on those. This pic is from the Cleopatra II Octa Set.

BUILD QUALITY:

This cable looks super sexy thanks to the superior materials used. It has similar core structure as Code 23. While the Code 23 used copper cores in various sizes this one uses a more sophisticated blend of materials. It uses selected premium UP-OCC material comprising of gold plated silver litz, pure silver litz and pure copper litz hybrid wires in proprietary tri-strata layering fusion mix that has 40 multi-sized core bundles within a new solid core design using their customized multi-sized strand’s blend we last saw with Code 23. It has 2 cores that use 21awg wires. Their 2nd gen EA Ultra Flexi™ Insulation takes over the outer layer for protection and Con-X ® & Term-X™ basic sets interchangeable connector/plug systems are standard unless opted for the performance version that comes with a fixed rhodium plug.

All of this is perfect but how is the feel. Thankfully is more supple, less bouncy and less memory prone than the Code 23. It has slightly thinner cores and weighs less too. The parts as usual are of highest quality, made out of metal but the good thing is they aren’t heavy. The cable slider and Y splitter look heavy but they aren’t. Cable guides strangely are softer and thinner than the 8W versions of signature series cables, there is little to no pressure exerted on the ear.

SOUND QUALITY:

Where do I start? When you like a thing, it excites us and we just like to blabber about it. This is one of those products. I loved this.

Fusion 1 takes a few pages from Code 23’s build. This cable feels like a mature and sorted upgrade to the Code 23. While the Code 23 sounds super thick equipped with serious dampening that didn’t let any note dwell in the sharp territory, Fusion 1 is far more detailed and technically superior while retaining a slightly bass favoring signature.

So what’s the signature? It’s a gradual slide where the lows are a bit more favored while the mids are highly relevant and treble is slightly less emphasized. The differences in energy are small but easily perceivable. So is it warm? Yes, it has fuller notes that gives a bit more body that has a lot of character and to me this is one of the best bass favoring cables since It doesn’t affect the mid’s clarity and treble energy much.

I surely can write a lot here, do you guys like to read? Let me know and I will put in even more words.

BASS:

I like this kind of tuning a lot. I won’t categorize myself as a bass head by a long margin but I do enjoy quality bass and Fusion 1 has one of best lower ends I have heard from a cable. It’s not about the quantity but the quality and the delicate balance. Fusion 1 has one of the best balances of body, definition and details. We get exceptional precision, no bass note hits hard, they are soft most of the time and when hitting harder upper bass notes the notes are not overly dry or heavy, making this a special and unique cable. The layers of bass punches are delightful. We do not get a bloated or ever so present kind of lower end. What I liked a lot is the ability to separate upper mid notes from the rest. Providing some of the best dynamics and clarity from a bass inclined cable. The decay speed is masterfully positioned to deliver an exquisite balance of heft that is satisfying and speed that doesn’t make things slow or bloated. We get is plenty rumble and very good movement of air. Sub bass gains superb rumble. Mid bass doesn’t get overly voluminous or heavy with a well full bodied slam that hits, makes it’s presence felt and leaves without leaving unnecessary residual. Lovely. 👌🏻

MID RANGE:

Effect makes some of the best cables and have a variety of mid range presentations. It either get a slightly V shaped like Code 23 and Eros S or more forward like the Cadmus and Cadmus Founder’s Edition or fast, highly transparent and detailed like Cleopatra II.

Fusion 1 is different. It has a more conservative gradual slide with a bit of pop to the vocals giving it a effortless feel. Make no mistakes sharpness in both vocals and instruments are not eliminated like Code 23. They have their spark and energy but aren’t extra sharp or aggressive. Taking away the unnecessary sharpness away is an excellent character of this cable.

Vocals gain superb timber and tonality. Notes have a bit more body and are more planted while the finishing region have the right amount of finishing energy to keep one seated bt providing excellent definition yet keeping clear of sibilance. Male vocals sound superb with a throaty and authoritative weight while the female vocals are aptly sharp. Both exhibit excellent texture.

Instruments on the other hand enjoy this cable. They are agile, supple and willing to go places thanks to the exceptional sonics. The transient notes are surreal. Bigger stage provides excellent air between instruments and the after decay effect gives the IEMs a real stage like coherency.

HIGHS:

There is something really special about this cable. Coming from a guy who has just finished working on 3 high end PW Audio cables.

This cable delivers a tastefully delicacy that is at it’s peek, no other cable I have used struck a balance of tonality and transparency like this. What we get is a high end that is superbly detailed, uniformly energized, free of any peaks with superb extension. The energy drops a bit just after the upper treble region which helps with longer listening sessions without being boring or extra sparkly.

It’s calmness makes it easier to spot each note as they are portrayed with excellent composure. The finishing region is not sharp or dull, it retains the right amount of bite and aggression and it’s tuned to drop the note just when it get a bit jot. Not sharp, horrid, rigid, overly tall or rushed. Layering and separation are superb with very good air between instruments. The foor feel slightly busier because of a bit fuller bases but that make this cable comfortable. All of this makes Fusion 1 an exceptionally cohesive cable.

STAGE AND IMAGING:

This is something that makes a cable great. We need bigger stage and the Fusion 1 delivers exceptionally. It has a huge stage that provides expansion in every direction but the height is a bit taller than most cables, especially with the vocals. Stage distribution is mostly even with no part of the spectrum getting extra emphasis but yes, the treble stage of Fusion 1 is slightly less tall but bas equally impressive air. Yes, there are cables with nearly 20-25% bigger stages but they cost nearly 2 times more but none of the PW Audio cables I have reviewed have sonic abilities similar to the Fusion 1. Fusion 1 has superior contrast too. The back and foreground micro notes are soft and subtle with superb transient effects. Imaging is very accurate with very good resolution but it’s not super sharp.

PAIRING WITH IEMS:

Custom Art Fibae 5 : Makeing an superb IEM exceptional!!

Where are the flagships!! Oh, this is one!! Thai pairing is totally blissful. Jhakaas!! Superb. Fibae 5 already was one of the best but it’s as good as flagships like Sultan and Kublai Khan. Not exactly same but the expansion in stage, air between instruments are on par while the extra bit of finishing definition makes it better than them. The stock cable didn’t had taller notes but that’s taken care by Fusion 1. Notes have the reach like flagships, definition and layering are sensational. Sonics are superb with excellent clarity. Cue placements are not only precise they have more substance to them. Unleashing the Juggaurnaut!! Mayhem!!

The slightly detail oriented tuning of the Fibae 5 pairs exceptionally with the slightly full and warmish signature of the Fusion 1.

We get bigger bass volume, and a rumbly track moves serious amount of air, nearly bass-head levels (Zhu – Waters of Monaco). Sub-bass lovers will love this and mid bass lovers will pleased with the extra weight and slam. The only slight down side is the lack of harder upper bass notes, they are slightly softer now. The contrast between back and foreground improved a bit thanks a but of decay body to the notes across the spectrum. Providing a private concert like experience.

Mid instruments are transparent but noe they have a bit more weight and authority yet agile, giving a wholesome feel. Both male and female vocals have superb texture and a bit more juice, improving the  timber.

Treble is stupendous now. Fibae 5 felt slightly dry before, now it’s a lot more organic yet highly detailed. Layering and separation are even more impressive with better air with superior instrument placement.

Horlusch HL4410:

One of my favorite BA based IEMs that is projected as a bassy IEM by the brand but I find it more reference type. Lovely details and resolution. This is pairing for the detail hogs. Those who like superb details but want a hint of warmth and huge stage. HL4410 in it’s own is a bit too precise and accurate, Fusion 1 beings in much better sonics, air between instruments and a bit of decay residue that make the notes more juicy. Mid range gains body and vocals sound a lot more organic and nicely dampened. Instruments around it are equally impressive with definition and clarity bit are slightly less bright.

Treble is slightly less forward and are a lot more spacious with excellent extension. The finishing definition are intact but thanks to the slightly fuller body they feel bit more grounded and the movement feels more substantial.

QoA Margarita:

An excellent IEM under $600. Warmish with plenty of texture and superb end to end extension. Fusion 1 helps higher end IEMs effortlessly, let’s see what it can do with a lower end IEM.

First thing that catches my attention is the much bigger stage and the air between instruments. It’s as good as $1500+ IEMs like Mest MK2 and AAW Halcyon. The stage has a rounded shape with very good height near the head and X-axis width.

We get better sub-bass rumble and more layered presentation. Mid bass is a bit more punchy, fuller and slam is heavier. We get very good texture too. Margarita isn’t a very dynamic on it’s own, we get decent improvements but aren’t as good as we get with the U4s or Fibae 5.

Treble is generally relaxed with the Margarita and the Fusion 1 helps it improve it’s resolution, definition and air between instruments. There is a bit more sparkle, making it a bit more entertaining.

Yes, this IEM isn’t meant to scale a lot and the Fusion 1’s capabilities are bottle-necked by the IEM.

COMPARISONS:

Cadmus Founder’s Edition:

This is an excellent cable in general but an exceptional cable according to my preference. It’s mid forward signature, vocal accuracy, texture on notes and transparency is simply outstanding but doesn’t have similar emphasis on bass or highs.

Subs are good with rumble. Mid bass has good slam and punch. Body is decent but it doesn’t have as meaty or full bodied presentation like the Fusion 1. Mid range are nearly similar but Fusion 1 has Slightly less forward vocals, similar texture but a bit fuller notes. Instruments have similar definition and details but are slightly more forgiving with the Fusion 1. Treble is more in line with the mid range on the Fusion 1 but it didn’t have tighter notes like Cadmus FE. Thankfully Fusion 1 has better treble stage.

Basically Cadmus FE is a more transparent and slightly more energetic than the Fusion 1 and Fusion 1 is a bit fuller and slightly calmer in comparison.

VS PW Audio Metropolises ft.60s:

This is nearly twice as expensive and has better definition thanks to nearly 30% bigger stage but the stage is bigger near the head and further away while it’s thin and lacking height.

Lows aren’t as full but have a bit more space and layering. Mid range instruments and vocals are in the V. They aren’t as accurate or organic but thanks to a bit more space and tighter notes, have a bit more cleanliness. Treble is more energetic with better energy even after upper treble. More defined and resolving but can sound a bit dry and aggressive.

CONCLUSION:

What is a great IEM or cable? When a cable or IEM makes the experience so cohesive that you don’t want to end your listening session, that’s what the Fusion 1 is. I just can blabber a lot. That’s how good this thing is. Doesn’t matter the pairing, this cable delivers like a champion. “What is it champion of?” you may ask. It’s the champion at making an IEM sound bigger and grander without tampering with its native signature. It just brings in a bit more body to the notes and a much bigger stage that makes everything sound so much better or cohesive. The outstanding balance this cable brings in with Precision, rhythm and timing makes it special.

Its ability to retain transparency, technicalities and details while bringing in better sonics, bigger stage and excellent contrast between back and foreground notes is unique. Yes, it’s a flavored cable with a cozy and warm signature that doesn’t negatively affect the rest of the spectrum. But I have a small advice. This cable works exceptionally well with a well balanced, detailed and technically sound IEMs but the bass prowess are unlocked with a DD for bass. I threw a few BA based IEMs at it and it the response was a bit less wowing than the DD clad hybrids.

So who should get this cable? This cable is for anyone who wants a bit of extra lower end oomph and slightly more warmth without sacrificing the technical aspects. The EST based flagship hybrids will love to pair up with this highly capable, elegant, classy and sexy looking cable.

Definitely one of the best cables I have ever used irrespective of the price.

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ABOUT AUTHOR

Suman Sourav Meher

Suman Sourav Meher

My humble audiophile journey started in 2010, when I was in college, where I fell in love with the elements, nuances, and variations of this mesmerizing world. The ability of tiny earphones to recreate amazing sounds made my bad days tolerable and good days better! Now I am a full-time audiophile with a preference for musical tracks, especially vocals and engaging ones. I must admit I am addicted, but not to drugs or alcohol, but to earphones. Come join me as I share my experiences, bad or good, and let’s have some fun!

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