Plussound EXO Tri-Copper ($549): The Tri-Copper provides a slightly warmer leaning, higher-contrast sound. It has a similarly elevated low-end but trades some weight and depth in the sub-bass for slightly greater fullness and warmth in the mid-bass. This gives it a slightly rounder note presentation, the Copper+ having an advantage on note definition and dynamics with a firmer slam at the very bottom. The midrange comes across as quite a bit more nuanced on the Copper+. Vocals are smaller and more laid-back on the Tri-Copper, giving it a more u-shaped character.
The Copper+ sounds grander and more balanced with its larger vocals. It is tonally cleaner and more resolving of fine details and textures. That said, the Tri-Copper has more warmth that some may enjoy. The Tri-Copper has a hair more crispness in the lower-treble. Albeit, it also has a bit of grain and lacks the same note definition of the Copper+. The Copper+ sounds more resolved and has greater sparkle, it has a cleaner background especially which aids this impression. The Copper+ has a wider soundstage and more nuanced imaging overall. For those wanting a cable with similar character at half the price, the Tri-Copper, though less complex, has some great pairings.
Eletech Socrates ($699): The Socrates shares many similarities with the Copper+ with its high-density conductors and stiffer yet visually stunning design. The Socrates provides a more intimate, faster and more focused sound. It is an interesting copper cable in that its tonality is not overtly warm. The Copper+ is bigger, grander and richer. This starts in the bass which is slightly bigger and harder-hitting. Though less sub-bass and attack focused, the Copper+ has more impact in the mid-bass and generally larger, warmer notes. The Socrates is a bit faster and cleaner in return. The midrange presentation tells a similar story, the Copper+ has larger vocals and notes in general and is slightly roomier with greater warmth and body alongside having a slight resolution advantage.
The Socrates is cleaner, just a hair more laid-back but more revealing in terms of voicing. It has a little additional upper-mid presence which makes it sound slightly clearer, more delicate and glossier. Overall, it is more separated but less coherent and structured than the Copper+. That said, the biggest advantage the Copper+ has over the Socrates is in the treble. The Socrates has a smother note presentation so though it is well-textured, the Copper+ does have more bite and fine detail retrieval. While the Socrates does have a bit more air, it lacks the same extension. This means the Copper+ not only has more background detail retrieval, it also has a cleaner background, giving it more pop. This permits a wider soundstage on the Copper+ and slightly better layering while the Socrates eeks a win on separation.
Plussound EXO PPH ($999): Now assuming co-flagship status, the PPH has a more complex selection of conductors in a less complex geometry. It is more ergonomic than the Copper+, lacking its stiffness. The Copper+ provides a slightly bigger, more powerful bass response. The PPH does get close that said, and it has a slightly pacier, more defined and articulate presentation. The Copper+ has more impact in the mid-bass and a bit more note weight while the PPH has a slightly more linear boost with better separation. The midrange presentation is also similar. The Copper+ once again has just slightly larger vocals and a slightly fuller, roomier image. It has slightly more warmth, structure and smoothness.
The PPH is a touch more vivid and less in your face. It has slightly higher resolution, drawing more focus to small details. The PPH also has a slightly more articulate voicing which further contributes to this impression. While the Copper+ has more separation between its background and foreground, the PPH is more layered. The PPH has slightly more defined treble notes and is a touch brighter with more crispness and energy here. It too shares a relatively clean background though not to the same extent. The PPH has more sparkle at the very top while the Copper+ has a cleaner and smoother presentation. Despite this the Copper+ did have a slightly wider stage to my ears, while the PPH is more holographic and separated.
PW Audio 1960s 2-wire ($1199): The 1960s is a more compact cable, a lot softer but also slightly microphonic due to its tight fabric sheath. Sonically, it is a more linear sound and trades smoothness for a bit more treble energy and grit. The Copper+ has a slightly bigger low-end with more weight and impact. The 1960s is giving me a hair more depth and a tighter, faster mid-bass. The midrange is fuller, warmer and more coherent on the Copper+. The 1960s has a lighter warmth and a slightly more revealing and vivid character. The 1960s has higher midrange separation and resolution, small details are both more apparent and clearer.
The Copper+ meanwhile has more structure, its vocals are bigger and more powerfully presented, albeit also more smoothly textured. The treble is also a bit more present on the 1960s. The Copper+ has a slightly more bite to the leading edge of notes. This gives it an advantage on fine detail retrieval and texture. The 1960s has a bit more air but it also has slightly more grain in the lower-treble relative to the smoother Copper+. Both have a very dark, clean background, the Copper+ slightly more so. The Copper+ also has a wider soundstage and better layering.
The Copper+ provides the premium build and aesthetic experience we have grown to expect from Plussound’s experienced team. Similarly, the conductor design showcases the company’s efforts and understanding of the industry. Relative to copper competitors, it tones down the warmth but with no loss to structure and coherence. In fact, its smooth and filled-in character will be its most defining and polarising characteristic as far as pairings are concerned. This also means the cable isn’t especially inspiring on first listen, but a sound that grows on you over time. Regardless, while it isn’t an aggressive cable, it remains a well-defined one, providing a good jump in resolving power if not to the same extent as more exotic cables around the same price. The Copper+ is a complex and well-realised take on a copper custom cable, accordingly delivering a unique sonic performance. It is defined by an especially wide stage, immaculate background and robust, powerful bass whilst still prioritising the natural note presentation and tone signature to Copper.
The Copper+ is available from Plussound (International) for $1025 USD at the time of writing and in the configuration tested. I am not affiliated with Plussound and receive no earnings from purchases through this link.