I’d like to thank Lavricables for graciously sending us even more cables to review, and my co-contributor, Carmel Lerner, for his generosity in testing and comparing the cables with his own headphones specifically for this article.
Almost as soon as I’d finished writing up my review of Lavricables’ new Ultimate V3 cables, I couldn’t help but wonder how much better these cables could get with the improvements promised in the Master and Grand lines from the same company. A few emails later, and both were enroute to my desk from Latvia.
Instead of limiting my testing to Sony’s MDR-Z1R, however, I wanted to get a sense for how these cables performed with a wider range of headphones, and so, while the top-of-the-line Grand was specked for Sony, the still-very-high-end Master was made with mini-XLR plugs and supplied with a matching HD 800 adapter. This way, I could enlist my brother Carmel’s expert ears and sharp pen to help me get a better sense of how Lavricables paired with his Solitaire P, Meze Elite and HD 800 headphones.
Packaging, Build and Design
Both cables and the Master adapter were supplied in the familiar black velvet pouch that adorned the Ultimate V3, so nothing particularly special about the packaging of these cables. If you’re expecting a lavish unboxing and plethora of accessories with your Lavricables, don’t, because that’s not what the brand is about. The packaging is as utilitarian as they come, which basically means forget the frills and let’s get down to brass tacks: performance.
Before we get there, though, some insight into what these cables are made of and why you should care. Lavricables specialises in one predominant type of cable material: pure silver. The company makes other accessories from the same silver wire as its headphone and IEM cables, though the cables are its bread and butter.
Silver wire has a higher conductivity than traditional copper headphone cable, which usually results in less resistance and a ‘cleaner signal’ which is then further tweaked by using specific cable geometries, shielding, and braiding. I say ‘usually’ because like any natural material, silver is available in different grades, and the skills of the cable maker vary too.
Lavricables uses only the finest high-purity 5N (99.999% pure) and 6N (99.9999% pure) silver wire for its Master and Grand lines respectively. The new Master V3 cable I received for this review uses a small amount of metal alloy in the cable centre to help enhance its low-end response, although it’s not a ‘hybrid’ cable in the traditional sense, rather a modified pure silver cable. The Grand, however, is very much a pure silver cable, using the very latest 20 awg cryo-treated multistrand Litz silver which, combined with a graphene core, results in the 19 awg flagship of the Lavricables line.
Both cables use the same sun-resistant, ultrasoft PVC insulation I first encountered in the Ultimate V3, although the Master V3 introduces a new blue-tinted PVC option that I must say is different to most other cables I’ve seen, and very attractive too. The insulation is extremely supple, and any kinks are easily removed with a quick twist of the wire. Importantly, they have zero microphonics, so you won’t be disturbed by any friction noise with the headphones on your head.
The Grand cable I received sports Lavri’s new range of rhodium-plated plugs on both ends. All the plugs and Y-splitter have been redesigned to match each other, and the rhodium finishing is said to further refine the sound, especially with vocal-oriented music. The new plugs definitely look the part; whether the audio-related claims are true, you’ll discover soon enough.
Overall, these upper-tier Lavri cables maintain the quality of the Ultimate line, but turn up the build and finishes by a notch or two. I personally appreciate the thicker gauge on the Master and especially the Grand, as I feel this works better both aesthetically and practically with the large over-ear headphones they’re designed for. I still consider both these cables on the lighter, slimmer side, however, so if you’re someone who prefers finger-thick cables, you may want to consider an 8-wire custom build, or select from any number of bulkier – but also significantly more expensive – silver cables on the market today.