Eletech is a Singaporean company specializing in custom cables spearheaded by Eric Chong. Eric is a very experienced figure in the community and brings great insights into his designs. Accordingly, you’d be hard-pressed to notice the relative newness of the brand due to their impeccable machining work and mature approach to design. The Virtues series represented the value-orientated line of products in Eletech’s inventory. With the introduction of the new Azrael OCC Copper cable and the Cassiel SPC cable, the Virtues series enters its 3rd generation, superseding the popular Fortitude and Prudence that came before. The new cables introduce the multi-size strand design as seen on Eletech’s higher-end models and as opposed to a more typical Litz 4 structure seen on the previous generation of cables. The gauge has increased to 25.5 AWG and the connectors have been updated. With the more complex design comes a slight price increase to $249 and $299 for the Azrael and Cassiel respectively.
As always, pricing depends on termination and cable design. You can configure one to your preferences on Eletech’s website here.
I would like to thank Eric very much for his quick communication and for reaching out to set up a review of the Azrael and Cassiel. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the cables free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
- Page 1: Intro, Unboxing, Design
- Page 2: Sound Breakdown Azrael
- Page 3: Sound Breakdown Cassiel
- Page 4: Comparisons & Verdict
Behind the Design –
The new generation of Virtues cables utilizes a slightly larger 25.5 AWG diameter as opposed to 26 AWG on the Prudence and Fortitude. The difference is barely noticeable in use meaning these cables aren’t at all cumbersome nor is there much difference in pliability. The Azrael is slightly cheaper employing an ultra-high purity OCC copper design. The Cassiel meanwhile offers the more exotic blend of conductors in the form of ultra-high purity OCC silver-plated copper instead.
In the case of cables, do not consider the price difference to be an indicator of pure performance but rather the cost of materials; each eliciting a certain style of sound. Consider this before purchasing. Both are a 7-core Litz design and both use Eletech’s own custom solder to ensure the entire conduction path has been addressed for minimal resistance.
Eletech utilize multiple strand sizes in addition to multiple conductors in their designs similar to other leading brands. This gives them more control over both the ergonomic and sonic properties of the cable. The company has focused on an extremely high strand count on these cables yet with multiple Kevlar cores woven in that bolster the mechanical strength of the cable by aiding strain relief and reducing the chance of fraying and breakage with repeated use. Each conductor is individually enamelled and cryogenically treated which should also help with corrosion over time.
Eletech uses their own insulation compound that I’ve found to offer excellent results. It remains unchanged on the 3rd generation Virtues cables which is a great thing as past Eletech cables have been super supple and have maintained their compliance over time. For reference, the Prudence that came bundled with the MMR Homunculus remains as flexible as day one and similar to the new cables I just received. This speaks well for their long-term wearing properties and isn’t something I can say about all custom cables.
Custom cables are so desirable due to their ability to be tailored to the individual. While the use of custom connectors does limit things here, Eletech still offers support for the vast majority of in-ears. On the earphone connector side, we have a choice of 2-pin, MMCX, FitEar and UE/QDC. The source termination is offered in 3.5mm alongside 4.4mm and 2.5mm balanced. The y-split cannot be customized as each model has its own custom Eletech y-splitter.
I find myself saying good things about Eletech time and again as their cables are a pleasure to live with in addition to being a delight to handle. Unsurprisingly, the same goes here; Eletech has made further refinements to their designs lending a more elegant impression alongside being an immediate upgrade in terms of both function and visuals. Most notably, the new connectors are now smaller, applying to both the source plug and the y-splitter.
The black main body has been replaced with gunmetal that provides a more mature aesthetic and all edges are now bevelled which contributes to better symmetry. The source plug is especially improved as the plug is no longer inset into the housing. When combined with the physically smaller plug size, this provides far superior fit compatibility with adaptors and DAPs with cases. The geometry on the plugs has also been updated, no longer offering a simple angular design but offering a second layer of complication that provides the design with greater depth.
Altogether, the new cables are just as ergonomic but are now noticeably more streamlined. While they won’t achieve the compactness of an OEM generic cable, when compared to the 2nd generation cables, the changes are very easy to appreciate. Beyond changes, the same beloved traits from these cables remain; that being the exceptionally pliable insulation that also showcases the conductors below. The pre-moulded ear guides are comfortable and the overall level of workmanship leaves no complaints on the table. I laid Eric and his team for further improving their already excellent designs.