Review: Lavricables Grand IEM Cable

Sound impressions

For the purposes of this review, I chose a Lavricables Grand IEM made for the Sennheiser IE900, mostly because I know this IEM intimately, and also because it uses non-standard MMCX connectors, so I wanted to see how well a third-party cable would fit. I tested the cable using three different sources (HiBy’s RS8 and new R8 II, and Sony’s WM1Z), comparing it mainly against the stock IE900 balanced cable (since I assume most buyers of the IE900-specific Grand IEM would be buying it as an upgrade over stock).

The first word that came to mind when I swapped in the Lavricables Grand for the first time was…grand. Cliched, I know, but the sound was notably bigger and bolder than what I’d heard with the stock cable only minutes before (which in my opinion is an excellent match for the IE900, by the way).

The second was lush, which actually took me by surprise considering I’m not used to silver cables – even Lavricables – sounding as lush as this. I actually pinged Konstantin shortly after my first session to check whether the cable was properly burned in, and he confirmed that it was.

Incidentally, while we’re on the subject, Lavricables offers a 50, 100, or 150-hour burn-in service pre-shipping, which I recommend for anyone wanting to save the time it takes for these dense silver cables to fully open up.  

But I digress, this silver cable was indeed grand and lush sounding, to the point that I started wishing I got this type of full sound from some of my copper cables! It wasn’t just grand and lush though, it had some serious technical ability too. That lushness I speak of isn’t there at the cost of resolution, incisiveness or clarity, all of which are at least on par with the stock cable (which, as I mentioned, is an excellent cable in its own right). 

Tonally, I hear the Lavricables Grand IEM as fairly balanced. The IE900 still sounds very much like an IE900, only better. The lushness doesn’t add much by way of warmth, although bass is solid, weighty, and lets the IEM dig as deep as I know it can. 

There’s a touch of elevation around the mid-to-upper bass, which I hear in the slightly thicker lower mids, which gives instruments and vocals more body without changing their natural timbre. There’s also plenty of detail in the midrange and treble, but it’s not etched or forced like some silver cables tend to do. It’s a smooth, almost silky delivery with plenty of sparkle but zero harshness, much like I’d characterise the IE900 itself. In fact, if you find the IE900 slighly zingy with the stock cable, the Grand IEM could be just the tonic.  

Technically this cable doesn’t hold the IEM back one bit. I don’t hear much change in resolution, although details (especially treble details) don’t feel quite as ‘forced’ as they sometimes do with the stock cable. The stage is about as large as the IE900 can muster, which is to say fairly large but not unnaturally enormous. The extra fullness of the Grand’s tonal character doesn’t shrink the stage; if anything, it helps add some depth and nuance.

Overall, Lavricables Grand IEM is not one of those cables that’s going to impose a whole new personality on your IEMs – or, at least, on the IE900 I’ve used as my example. This is different to, say, a PW Audio Orpheus (reviewed here), which is an entirely different class (and budget) of cable, but for good reason as it practically takes over and directs the presentation of any IEM it’s connected to. This is also true of other, less bombastic cables, like Eletech’s fabulous Raphael (reviewed here), which I’d recommend as a similarly-priced option if you’re looking to properly tweak your IEM’s midrange with some added warmth and vigour. 

As for other silver cables, the closest example that comes to mind is Effect Audio’s Cleopatra and Cleopatra II. Both of these are stunning examples of classic silver, with their lithe, sometimes bright tone, although Cleo II goes some way to claw back the brightness with some added midbass warmth. 

Compared to the Cleos, though, the Grand IEM stays true to the voicing of the IEM, especially the midrange. I find both Cleos slightly dry, bordering on etchy, at least in their 4-core variants, while Grand retain the IE900’s clear but fluid vocal delivery more naturally.

Continue to closing thoughts…



Picture of Guy Lerner

Guy Lerner

An avid photographer and writer 'in real life', Guy's passion for music and technology created the perfect storm for his love of portable audio. When he's not playing with the latest and greatest head-fi gear, he prefers to spend time away from the hobby with his two (almost) grown kids and wife in the breathtaking city of Cape Town, and traveling around his native South Africa.


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