With a high-purity silver-plated design, Cassiel promises an energetic sound with a focus on strong technical performance. I never actually reviewed the Prudence that came before it but it is a cable I have had on hand and am familiar with. I found it to offer a well-metered sound with good end-to-end extension. I don’t find it to be a bright or high-frequency orientated cable at all but one that enhances technical performance and extension on both ends alongside injecting some additional sparkle. The Cassiel seeks to build upon this foundation further.
And in listening, this is similarly the case and I find the Prudence and Cassiel aligning in terms of their transparent tonality. The bass presentation does differ that said with the Cassiel providing a good bump to sub-bass presence in addition to extension. Both sub-bass slam and mid-bass impact are tighter, more defined and snappier producing a greater sense of speed and separation despite the uptick of quantity. The tone is clean and even-metered meaning notes are slightly emboldened but never rounder, more bloated or muddy. Bass resolution overall receives a good jump in addition to much-improved dynamics.
The midrange is quite interesting too. The Cassiel isn’t bright, lean or forward but rather quite neutral in its positioning. Vocals are presented cleanly with good clarity and enhanced definition. Like the bass, general resolving power takes a step up and fine details are more apparent to the listener. Articulation is a touch smooth which aids a sense of general refinement. What’s interesting is that vocal size appears enhanced here too; vocals are more wholly resolved and filled in with a greater sense of body. It appears that there’s a subtle lower midrange lift at play contributing towards this as I am hearing a bit more room too. Intriguingly, the midrange swings towards the forgiving side which is an interesting quality for an SPC cable and aids coherence in the context of the Cassiel’s otherwise clean and resolving character.
Much of the midrange’s qualities can be attributed to the Cassiel’s less typical treble too. The lower treble, for instance, is on the smoother side; well-present but lacking the hard-edged bite you may expect from a typical silver cable. Instead, notes are articulated delicately and derive greater clarity from the mid-treble above. This lends the cable a daintier treble note presentation but also one with an immediate improvement in headroom, air and openness. Technically, the Cassiel is a noticeable step up from stock cables and bests most competitors in its price class. Fine details are very clearly presented and the image is noticeably more nuanced and defined. Sparkle is enhanced and notes are presented very cleanly if rather thin-bodied.
The soundstage benefits from general expansion without altering imaging too much. This provides a natural, stable image that many aftermarket cables lack. There is a noticeable step up in overall soundstage expansion in terms of both width and depth. Imaging is sharp, not holographic but delivers clear directionality and well-centred vocals. Separation is also appreciably improved, with greater note definition in addition to enhanced extension. Small details are easier to perceive, and complex passages sound more organized. While the background is not as dark as on the Azrael, the Cassiel delivers a more nuanced and complex image altogether in return.