FiR Audio Scorpion Cable
Finally, capping off FiR Audio’s accessory suite is their line of custom cables. The Wolverine consists of pure copper in a 4-wire configuration, while the pricier Scorpion implements oxygen-free silver-plated copper in an 8-wire configuration. We’ll take a look at the latter today. Both cables sport 26 AWG wires and ship with a turnaround time of just three days.
What sets these cables apart from other aftermarket offerings – aside from the strong value – is the incredibly bespoke nature of them, allowing you to customise your cable to your specific specifications. To make this process even simpler, FiR Audio have a tool on their site where you can do so with a real-time visual mock-up for utmost accuracy and ease.
Build and Accessories
The Scorpion arrives in a puck-like case with a screw-on top. It’s roomy enough to fit at least a pair of in-ears in there too, so you can definitely double it as a carrying case for your monitors. It also features foam lining throughout, so the contents of the case are safe at all times. Inside, you’ll find the cable along with a desiccant pack. With your cable, you also get a leather cable tie with Scorpion engraved across the top. I think this is a lovely touch that adds further value.
The cable again features a no-frills, utilitarian aesthetic. Of course, that is unless you opt for carbon fibre connectors for extra bling. The wires are twisted rather than braided, so it won’t necessarily have the visual wow factor of other upgrade cables, but it does make the cable a lot more compact, light and tightly-wound together. This is a kind of cable I’d prefer to wear when performing on stage, for example. The hardware too sport a more minimalistic look. So, yes, it is a cable that’s more function over form, but when you consider the customisability and value proposition, it is difficult to fault.
To evaluate the Scorpion as the value pick for aftermarket cables, I pitted it against Plastic One’s Hi-Res cable – the latest offering from the most prolific stock cable maker in the world – as well as the Satin Audio Griffin for its balanced config. Immediately, the Scorpion came across as the fullest and most laid-back sounding of the three. A fair amount of energy is concentrated around the low-mids, resulting in instruments that feel weighty, bulbous and warm. Comparatively, the upper-mids and treble take a step back to form a linear, organic presentation that doesn’t push transients in your face.
The low-end is one of Scorpion’s hallmark traits: Big, boisterous and bold. Bass notes loom large, resulting in kick drums that are meaty and almost gong-like in how they resonate. Snarky Puppy’s Chonks highlights this quality extremely well. The kick drum looms behind the ensemble like a huge shadow, slamming with authority and force. Thankfully, the drum never overshadows. Rather, it adds a humble tinge of warmth to the proceedings. Given, then, the thick, wet and upper-bass-oriented nature of the low-end, this is obviously a response that favours harmonic musicality, rather than analysis, compactness or separation. So, pair this most ideally with an in-ear monitor you may find a touch anaemic down low.
This buttery richness spans onto the midrange as well. Emphasis around 1kHz gives instruments a dense, hefty sense of body, which is ideal for IEMs where instruments sound a touch lean. An example would be Jomo Audio’s Trinity. I noted a slightly one-dimensional note to the midrange in my review of the SS, which is alleviated effectively by the Scorpion. Images now have more meat to them, which increases their realism. The upper-midrange is comparatively more laid-back. If you have in-ears with a 3-4kHz dip already, vocals may sound a touch distant, so be mindful of the pairing. But nevertheless, there’s always a wetness to them that ensures that they never become too compact and lost in the mix.
The Scorpion brings a smooth silkiness to the treble. Like the lows and mids, it’s a slightly richer, thicker and more liquid timbre that’s paired ideally with drier, crisper-sounding in-ears. Again, the Jomo Audio Trinity is a great example of that. I find strings to sound more natural and more organic with the Scorpion cable, as they add that smooth, feathered edge to violins, especially. The warmer tone of the treble enhances this as well. I find presence and articulation to be just right as well; neither too sparkly nor too soft. Extension is fairly good at this price point, providing a blacker background than the Plastics One Hi-Res cable and the Griffin for higher resolution, greater dynamic range and a greater sense of nuance.
FiR Audio’s accessory suite is comprehensive, robust and well-thought-out. All three cover the essential needs of any in-ear owner – whether it’s an enthusiast or a professional – in functionality, portability, accessories and longevity. Despite from some slight movement in use, the VAC Jr. is a must-have to keep your in-ears sounding their best at all times. And, it’ll save time and money in shipping in the long run. The Cable Tester takes the guesswork out of any connection issues, with little concern towards the standard you use. And, the Scorpion cable is a wonderful value given its customisability, ergonomics and performance. It’s a sign of great things from FiR Audio, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store.
You can purchase these accessories directly on FiRAudio.com or through their regional dealers.