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The Better of More – A Review of the Effect Audio Thor II Plus

Effect Audio provided Thor II Plus free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.

Thor II Plus sells for $569.90.

My God in heaven. What grief Pinky has wrought for the industry. Giving one’s honest opinion can make enemies, when it bruises the ego. A company may wonder what it takes to garner Pinky’s praise. My published history speaks for itself: loaner or free sample, all are subject to my scrutiny, and, if found wanting, the lashing of my tongue.

Present a good product. That is all it takes.

Hence my continued adoration for Effect Audio. Every cable they’ve sent me has been a study in excellence. They take into account the whole cable. Starting with sound, they toil to create a unique auditory experience. Moving on to build, they make sure the cable flows properly, and holds together as it does. Aesthetics are another priority. Headphone cables are seen, and EA desires their work to catch the eye. And finally, there’s ergonomics. I lament for the manufacturer who deludes themselves into thinking their product sounds so good I will endure horrors just for the honor of hearing it.

Effect Audio is not like that. They strive for perfection, forever refining and evolving their craft. This is the reason they stand so mighty amidst their peers.

After my last Effect Audio review, I surprised Eric Chong when I told him I wanted to write about the Thor Silver II Plus next. Indeed, he tried to talk me out of it. It’s not the newest of products, after all. But I had already reviewed Thor II, and Thor II 8-wire. I felt compelled to finish the line. More than that, I wanted to know, for my own personal edification, the sonic variations in 4-wire, 8-wire, and 4-wire with a thicker gauge. The Thor line-up is the ultimate experiment. You get to hear how pure silver can change as you f**k around with configurations. This was an opportunity to glean important information, and so Eric conceded.

As is always the case with Effect Audio, the presentation is captivating. Thick streams of pure silver wreath about each other, forming a shimmering, almost luminescent, braid of staggering beauty. The special endowment of 22AUG is not lost to the naked eye. Thor II Plus clearly out-weighs the 26AUG variant, unmistakably richer in precious metals.

This added thickness is felt, as well. It is a heavier, stiffer cable, and less ergonomic because of it. Yet I found it pleasant enough to wear. Certainly, I recommend a shirt clip. But I use those for all cables always. Even very light cables have enough weight to trouble my head-movements, and a cheap lapel clip has become a requirement for my enjoyment of IEMs. Employing this trick, Thor II Plus, with all its mass, bothers me no more than the non-Plus model. I can wear this cable all day long with nary an incident.

As for sound, the 22AWG version shares the inimitable Thor tonality. This is of course clear and detailed, smooth as silk, with a touch of warmth. Pure silver is known for high degrees of resolution, and Thor does not disappoint. Those higher frequencies extend with profound naturalness. Although, it strays from tradition by tempering all that clarity with easygoing warmth. This is unusual for silver.

The above paragraph characterizes those virtues shared by the entire Thor II line. What the thicker gauge offers is WAY more body. Mid-bass in particular is emphasized, increasing warmth, harmonics, and note weight. Low-end beats hit harder, and everything feels more substantial.

The standard Thor cable is no joke on its own. I don’t want anyone thinking they need the Plus or the Bespoke just to have a serious, quality cable. This is how they break down to my ears:

Thor Silver II (4-wire): Clean, liquid, and slightly warm. Wide soundstage. Great body. Excellent bass presence. Smooth highs, outstanding detail, and awesomely holographic.

Thor Silver II Plus (4-wire): Clean, liquid, and a bit warmer. Wide soundstage. Big emphasis on body and bass presence. Smooth highs, outstanding detail, and awesomely holographic.

Thor Silver II Bespoke (8-wire): Even cleaner-sounding, if that’s possible, liquid, and more or less as warm as the basic model. Wider soundstage than the other two. More body than T2, but not as much as T2+. Smooth highs, best detail of the line, and the winner of holographic rendering.

Han Sound Audio Agni: This is perhaps a more traditional silver. It does the clear and detailed thing great, and has little or no warmth. It possesses a thinner note body, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it out-right thin. Only in comparison to the Thor line. Soundstage is about equal. It’s not as liquid or as holographic. I’ve been enjoying this with my very, very warm IEMs, like CA FIBAE ME.

As you can imagine, my favorite is the Bespoke. It’s simply the best cable I’ve ever heard. But goddamn it is expensive. And quite frankly, depending on the needs of the IEM, T2+ may suite the situation better.

One thing is for sure, Thor II Plus gets my recommendation. It’s too much fun, and too bloody good. If you’re looking for something to beef up the listening experience and unlock the rebel in your favorite monitor, this cable is for you. It has attitude and technical mastery. You’ll love it!




Picture of Pinky Powers

Pinky Powers

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.


4 Responses

  1. No cable is a “big step up” from any other cable, regardless of price. The difference between them is rather subtle.

    Of course, terms like “big” are subjective, and in the context of cables, I would certainly put the difference between the Thor line on the more extreme side. I would have a hard time agreeing that Thor II Plus is barely different than the standard model.

  2. I’d love to know what kind of shirt clip you use, as I hate any tension generated by movement of my head and neck. I’m currently wrapping my cable twice around my neck and fastening it to my BTR3 with a piece of velcro, which works pretty well but it’s a pain to wrap and unwrap every day. Love your reviews BTW, great work.

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