PlusSound Exo Silver + Gold – Fun’esse

5

Sound Impressions

The Exo Silver + Gold is a cable that prioritises contrast, energy and excitement. Impressively, though, it does so whilst compromising neither body nor timbre – as is the norm in fun-oriented cables. Although specific dips and peaks have optimised the cable’s dynamic performance, the Silver + Gold maintains excellent linearity – ensuring great tonal balance throughout its frequency response. It sports a moderate W-shape and structures a clean stage. With an especial focus on width, it dons a pitch-black background perfect for those transients to cut through. Through mid-bass control and an upper-treble lift, the Exo excels in headroom; exuding openness and air without resorting to any sense of brightness. Neutral would be a more apt term to describe its tone, sparing organicity through a bodied and resonant midrange.

Bass is the highlight of the Exo’s presentation. Amalgamating the cable’s two greatest strengths – dynamism and control – the Silver + Gold increases low-end impact whilst managing bloom all at the same time. By attenuating the mid-bass and improving low-end extension, the Silver + Gold provides punch with clarity; balancing musicality and technicality with grace to spare. Upper-bass is the definite focus of the Exo’s signature, while sub-bass rumble exists purely out of extension. Instruments like tom-toms and upright basses benefit from this region’s impressive clarity and layering, giving listeners the ability to detect harmonic nuances as they decay into the background. Finally, low-end tone is on the brighter side – due to an upper-treble peak – but the aberration is slight at best. The Exo Silver + Gold prides its bass as the epitome of its philosophy: Energetic and restrained, vibrant and disciplined, impactful with finesse.

The Exo handles midrange with great balance – sporting a linearity often sacrificed for clarity and energy. Where brighter-sounding cables would often attenuate the lower-midrange, the Silver + Gold maintains body here well. There’s neither a cloy-ness nor a chestiness that tampers with vocal presentation; instead, just enough weight to endow notes with proper heft. Instruments are forwardly placed with excellent presence, and tone errs on neutral for versatility. A lift in the upper-midrange gives the Exo both the air and the zing it needs to complement its contrast-y signature. Transients cut brilliantly, showcased most prominently with snare drums in busy metal tracks, and percussion and keyboards in jazzier recordings. But, none of those jabs ever sound thin or hollow or artificial, all because of the midrange’s excellent balance – proving that bright and bold can exist in the same signature with brilliant harmony.

In the treble, PlusSound – again – displays great sophistication. A calmed lower-treble ensures smooth sailings for the Exo’s dynamic attack – ensuring transient energy without a hint of brittleness. The Silver + Gold instead draws its air from the upper treble. A rise in the 15kHz range brings an assured sense of clarity. But, this is also where the cable gains its bright-ish signature. It’s neither dry nor thin, but it definitely shines brightest (no pun, intended) when paired with warmer transducers. Great extension benefits its wide and open stage – conjuring a pitch-black canvas for optimal detail retrieval. And, this aids separation as well, showing admirable organisation along the x-axis. The Silver + Gold’s top-end is its most crucial component; the tentpole for its entire philosophy. Thankfully, it beams with restraint. Clear, calm and collected, this treble is the Exo’s moist, fluffy sponge as much as it is its cherry on top. Well done.

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About Author

Church-boy by day and audio-obsessee by night, Daniel Lesmana’s world revolves around the rhythms and melodies we lovingly call: Music. When he’s not behind a console mixing live for a congregation of thousands, engineering records in a studio environment, or making noise behind a drum set, you’ll find him on his laptop analysing audio gear with fervor and glee. Now a specialist in custom IEMs, cables and full-sized headphones, he’s looking to bring his unique sensibilities - as both an enthusiast and a professional - into the reviewer’s space; a place where no man has gone before.

5 Comments

  1. Hi Deezel, thanks for the great review! Have you tried the Plussound with CA Andromeda? I’m looking for a cable to add a bit of air and sparkle. I recently got the ALO Pure Silver Litz and I wonder if the Exo Silver + Gold would pair better with andromeda.

    Thanks again!
    Jon

  2. Thanks for getting back so quickly, Dezeel.

    Good to hear that the F3 and plussound plays nice. Coming from a legacy of the likes of VC1000 and other twfk-based iems, light bass is never an issue for me. Speed, clarity and separation all day long.

    How did the F3 sound on the No.5? I would imagine it’s some kind of timbre-rescuer.

    Thanks for the heads up on Pinky’s upcoming review. I’m not in a rush. After all, I think I’m still three weeks out from the F3. Pity I won’t be able to test the F3 out with different cables at the upcoming canjam though, lest Piotr performs some kind of miracle.

    • I haven’t heard the FIBAE 3 with the No. 5 yet, but I will when I head over to Singapore next week. Please do remind me if you’re still interested. 😀 If you’ll be attending CanJam SG, I can lend you my FIBAE 3 to force-fit. Just let me know via Head-Fi or something where I’m usually more responsive.

      Cheers! 🙂

  3. Hi Deezel

    Great review. Really enjoy your writing.

    I have a Customart Fibae 3 incoming and have been thinking about purchasing a cable for it. I am looking at the Acoustune ARC02, Plussound Silver + Gold X-series and the PWaudio No.5. The silver+gold sounds like it runs parallel to the Fibae 3 and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing (e.g. accentuating the strengths and weaknesses).

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

    Thanks in advanced!

    Regards
    Andrew

    • Hi Andrew,

      Thanks so much for your kind words!

      I’m currently listening to the FIBAE 3 with the SIlver + Gold and it’s actually a better pairing than I anticipated. Energy and dynamics excel brilliantly, and the Silver + Gold’s mindful tuning avoids any kind of artificial brightness – it’s a refined and elegant sense of clarity that’s never brittle in any way.

      My only gripe with the combo is the calmer bass. The Silver + Gold makes the upper-midrange the star of the show, and the F3’s excellent sub-bass sounds slightly underwhelming as a result. I think the Silver + Gold would work best with something like the FIBAE 2, though it’s pairing with the F3 – again – fares well too.

      If I may make a suggestion, wait for Pinky’s review that’s coming just before the weekend. I reckon that cable would work better with the FIBAE 3’s oh-so-clean signature. 😉

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