Effect Audio - Thor Silver II

Rating:
4.58333/5,
  1. Vitor Valeri
    Effect Audio Thor Silver II IEM cable
    Written by Vitor Valeri
    Published Nov 25, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Comfort, detailed sound,big sound stage, robustness and beauty
    Cons - none
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    Physical aspects

    I found the cable very well built (I even made a video showing it better).

    The plastic used seemed good quality, is very soft and does not scratch the skin and does not bother the ear. They also took care of the positioning of the reinforced plastic in the part where the cable leaves the connector that fits in the handset thus providing a more anatomical fitting in the ear so as not to disturb during a walk for example.

    Although the connectors are made of metal, in this cable they have taken care of the size and type of metal so as not to weigh the whole assembly when the person is using it. They were especially careful with the Y cable splitter so as not to get heavy and "pull" the handset down injuring the user's ear.



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    In the connector that fits in the phone we observe by the photo even though it has an extra layer of plastic placed close to the metal part to avoid that the cable breaks in that part that usually moves more when we walk with the phone or when we fit in the ear.

    The cable is super malleable, has no memory and I did not detect any microphones during my walks on the street. So if you want to go out even with wind, the cable will not produce sounds while you listen to the music.



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    Sound


    A very detailed sound, presenting micro details that I had not noticed before.

    The sound stage has increased considerably and has more layers with better separation of the instruments.



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    The bass has excellent impact, speed and texture. I can perceive with greater clarity the details of the sound produced by the instruments.

    The middle men that I thought would be more reticent and less musical surprised me! I imagined that this cable would follow the same line of other silver cables! This pleased me greatly because I do not like a cold sound.

    The trebles achieved good extension and detailing without being aggressive in an impressive way! I liked the result! I was very afraid the highs would be aggressive because the silver cables usually increase activity in this region in a sometimes bad way.



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    Conclusion

    It's a cable that not everyone can buy. But worth it for everything it offers (comfort, excellent sound, robustness and beauty).
  2. Ike1985
    Effect Audio Thor II: Epic & Dynamic
    Written by Ike1985
    Published May 22, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Expanded Sound Stage, Increased Space Between Images, More Dynamic/Impactful Sound Overall, Good Layering and Separation, Vivid Vocals, Deeper Bass
    Cons - I wasn't able to find anything negative about this cable.
    Introduction
    Technical Specifications
    Sound Analysis
    Stage
    Resolution And Imaging
    Transparency
    Layering And Separation
    High Frequencies
    Middle/Vocal Frequencies
    Low Frequencies​
    Ergonomics
    Comparisons
    Pairings
    Suggestions For Improvement
    Conclusions

    Introduction

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    I will be reviewing the 2.5mm version Thor II from https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/effect-audio. Musicteck sells a variety of audiophile cables including the Effect Audio lineup. I purchased the cable from Musicteck at full price and will return it at the conclusion of this review for a refund. Unfortunately Musicteck was forced to undertake such a policy after some bad actors did not return their cables after the review. I appreciate Musicteck making this loaner unit available to me because I’ve always wanted to hear Effect Audio cables. Effect Audio’s strategy is to produce premium cables at a lower price than the competition-cables that provide a lot of value. Read on to see if they’ve lived up to that with regard to the Thor II.
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    I will be evaluating the capabilities of the cable with my 64 Audio A18’s which are a mostly reference IEM with regard to Frequency Response and my Chord Mojo which is also reference with a bit of warmth (I would argue this added warmth is natural anyway because live performances do not typically have the sort of bright analytical sound many sources have). Volume matching using an SPL meter was done between cables for accuracy purposes.

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    Technical Specifications

    The Thor II from effect Audio is made with 26AWG UPOCC pure silver Litz. It’s a multi stranded design within a single encapsulation. The extremely thin strands increase conductive speed in the cable. It has very sturdy EAC CD connectors and Y-split.

    Sound Analysis
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    Signature

    Thor II creates a dynamic, epic and almost theatrical sound. The music becomes more impactful, full and thick. Thor II is a warm silver cable that smooths off sibilant highs, adds more weight to the lows allowing them to go deeper and impact with more stage presence.

    Stage
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    Around the 4 minute mark of Minor Blue off of Thurman Green’s Dance of the Night Creatures album, there are multiple layers of instruments with a lot of space between the players. All that space was captured perfectly in the recording. The Thor II faithfully reproduces this space between the players. I don’t find the Thor II to overly be skewed towards one direction with regard to it's effect on stage dimensions, it tends to increase space in all directions and pushes the players out a little further on the stage while maintaining the dynamism of each player-the expansion does not create a thin sound at the edges of the stage instead the sound at the edges remains full bodied and dynamic. Keywords: Expanded Stage, Increased Space Between Images

    Resolution and Imaging
    Rhythm comes through better due to better reproduction of sonic images, especially the attack of notes which is more focused and solid. Definition and resolution increases in the upper mids and highs. There is more high definition texture revealed in sub and mid bass. In General Image and Resolution Test from Chesky’s Best of Chesky Jazz and More Audiophile Tests Volume 2, it’s easier to follow the various players around and keep them separated as they circle around the microphone. Keywords: Increased Texture Definition, More Solid/Impactful Images

    Transparency

    A top of the line transparent headphone should be free of distortion and have a natural tone. These two things among other factors create transparency. Tuning for transparency is often a balancing act between dynamism and naturalism. The Thor II isn’t the most transparent cable because it has such a powerful, big, emotive and dynamic sound. You’ll love it if that’s what you’re looking for. Keywords: Dynamic

    Layering and Separation

    One of the other standout effects the Thor II has on the sound is its ability to increase layering and separation. It does this by slightly increasing the depth of the stage. As I mentioned in the Resolution and Imaging section, the notes become more solid while simultaneously gaining empty space around them which allows them to bloom in full while increased distance between instruments in the x axis increases layering and separation. Keywords: Increased Space Between Images, Increased Stage Height, Good Layering and Separation

    High Frequencies

    The cymbals are more forward in Mark Nauseef’s Gears from the With Space In Mind album with Thor II. More micro detail is reproduced in their decay. The cymbal shimmering at the end of the song is more forward and full bodied. This cable would be fantastic for audiophiles looking to make the “concert hall effect” more apparent because the Thor II increases the presence and clarity of the upper mids and thus those frequencies and micro details will be more audible. Reverberations from music recorded inside a concert hall, church or similar location with a lot of sound bouncing off the wall is reproduced better with Thor II. The sparkly highs are also tamed a bit, I don’t find that they’ve lost weight or presence but just that they’re easier on the ears. Keywords: Smoothed Highs, Good Micro-detail Reproduction

    Middle Frequencies/Vocals

    Upper mids and highs have more high definition texture. Vocals are definitely more forward and full bodied with the Thor II. I hear more natural, vivid and alive vocals. Mid bass punches harder with better texture but is also tidy and doesn’t bleed into the upper mids or highs. Male vocals especially will be more impactful and have more stage presence. Keywords: Natural and Vivid Vocals, Increased Mid Bass Quantity (remains tidy)

    Low Frequencies

    One of the most immediately noticeable changes the Thor II brings to the sound is in the low frequencies; it pushes them deeper in tone and gives them more impact. Going back to Mark Nauseef’s drum exhibition from With Space In Mind; the sonar drum is much deeper with Thor II. Sub bass deepens in tone and increases in quantity. Bass decay has noticeable more weight to it, pushing more of that deep deep sonar drum out onto the stage. Mid bass is also more full bodied with more quantity. In the binaural recording of Stank from Lenny White’s Exploration in Space and Time the drums at the far right of the stage have more texture detail with Thor II. Keywords: Deeper in Tone, Good Texture Definition

    Ergonomics
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    Sublime. I recently demoed the Linum Super BaX and while the Thor II is heavier than the Super BaX, Thor competes with it with regard to comfort. The Thor II is very soft. I would think the round metal bracers near the 2 pin connection would have been felt while I was wearing the cable but they disappeared.

    Comparisons

    Linum Super BaX: The Super BaX has more congestion in the X-axis while the Thor II has more space between the players. The Super BaX has much more shimmer and sparkle while the Thor II smooths out the high end which will remove sibilance. The Thor II has a more visceral low end with more presence, body and impact. Thor creates a more epic, dynamic and emotive sound while the Super BaX is more about shimmer and air.

    64 Audio Premium Cable: Vocals on the 64 Audio premium cable are less forward. The entire spectrum has less weight and body. In Chesky’s General Image and Resolution Test the movement of the shaker player as he circles around the microphone is more sudden and abrupt on my 64 Audio Premium cable while on the Thor II he moves in more of a smooth circle. The 64 Audio cable is more transparent than the Thor II cable, this is one thing the 64 Audio premium cable does spectacularly well. It doesn’t color the sound in any way that I can detect, it’s a completely natural and transparent listen while the Thor II is more fun, colored and dynamic. The Thor is has more accuracy and more of a “pin point” effect with regard to imaging within the stage.

    Pairing

    64 Audio A18: The Thor II increases layering and separation. It removes some of the transparency of the IEM and substitutes it for a deeper and harder hitting sub bass, more emotive and forward vocals (especially male), more micro detail and high definition texture reproduction and a more spacious slightly larger stage.

    64 Audio A12: The change is dramatic with this pairing, the distant airy and veiled sound of the A12 becomes more forward, clear and dynamic-much the same effect as going from an ADEL MAM to an apex M15 module. Pairing the A12 with the Thor II and the M15 is quite and apparent change from stock 64 audio cable and ADEL MAM. The Thor II really brings out the deep deep bass in the SACD of Donald Fagen’s Morph The Cat-not so with the stock cable. Morph the Cat has more dynamism, life and full bodied sound with the Thor II.

    Suggestions For Improvement

    I can find no ways in which this cable could be improved; it’s soft, does what it says it would do with regard to sound, it beautiful and overbuilt with regard to strength. An impressive cable at a good price and a time when cables are now exceeding $2,000. This isn't a cable that you will have to struggle to hear a change with, the change was obvious with all my IEMs.

    Conclusions

    The Thor II is a great value that provides a noticeable change in sound, from my experience it deepens bass, increases space between instruments in the stage, slightly softens the highest of the highs and creates an overall more dynamic, weighty, impactful and epic sound. The construction is SOLID, especially the metal connectors around the 2 pin area. The ergonomics are on point as is; the softness, the Y splitter with soft sliding adjuster and the weight never tugged on my ears either. The Thor II is a good value that I highly recommend to those looking for a more dynamic sound that won’t break the bank. Thanks again to Musicteck for providing me the opportunity to review the Thor II, check out their Effect Audio cables here: https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/effect-audio.

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  3. ExpatinJapan
    Hammer of the cable Gods - Thor silver ii+
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Apr 3, 2017
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Durable, well made, excellent sonics, smooth and detailed
    Cons - Some might prefer a memory wire (I found it fine and supple).

    Effect Audio Thor Silver Ii+ 22awg Cable Review

    - Expatinjapan

     
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    Effect Audio Thor ii+ cable, iBasso DX200 and Campfire Audio Andromeda.​
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    Thor Silver II+ 22awg cable review
    -expatinjapan​
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    For the Thor Silver ii+ there are many other variations on connector (12) and termination (7) available.
    Also there is are several options for Y-split and also several adapters available.
     
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    Effect Audio Thor Silver ii+ cable, Opus#1 and Campfire Audio Dorado.​
     
    Effect Audio interview from March 2016:​
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    Whats in the box?, and build.
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    Effect Audio plug, 2.5mm.​
     
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    A decent light weight and solid splitter, combined with a plastic slider.​
     
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    Durable MMCX connectors, no memory wire that I could notice.​
     
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    2.5mm balanced female to 3.5mm single ended adapter.​
     
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    Opus#1 dap using the 2.5mm balanced above and the single end via the adapter below.​
     
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    Specifications and description
     
    *From the Effect audio website:
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    Thor Silver II+ is for people who wants more out of their Silver Cable. Immersive and alluring, intimate vocals, visceral bass punch, while introducing unbelievable and 3D imaging and soundscape. Thor Silver II+ is designed such to be as smooth as possible, removing the treble spike and sibilance as most pure silver cables do, Thor Silver II+ features better ergonomics and is a huge step-up from its predecessor, ‘Thor Silver’. Offering more balance, more staging and more vocals allure together with its new cable geometry design, Thor Silver II+ is not your usual Pure Silver cable.
     
    Technical Specifications
    22 AWG
    UPOCC Pure Silver Litz
    Proprietary Multi-Size Stranded design within single encapsulation
    Flexible insulation (same as Leonidas)
    New EA CF connectors and Y-Split
     
    Notes
    A multi-sized stranded design within the same encapsulations enables the Thor Silver II+ to achieve distinct highs and details due to the signal transmission speed in thinner cable strands, while the thicker size cable strands are usually employed for smooth bass and mids.
    Past experiences have taught us that even though sound quality is a critical factor in determining an upgrade cable’s worth, the tensile strength and flexibility matters too. The reworked insulation features high tensile strength and flexibility, while adding as little weight as possible
    8 Wire Braid is only available by “Bespoke”
    Effect Audio uses certified UP-OCC materials only. 
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     iBasso DX200, Effect Audio Thor ii+ and Campfire Audio Dorado.​
     
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    Hifiman MegaMini, Effect Audio Thor ii+ to 2.5mm to SE adapter and iBasso IT03.​
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    Sound
     
    The sound is silky smooth, great clarity, fairly linear and even.
     
    The Effect Audio blurb from their specifications basically says it all quite accurately: `Immersive and alluring, intimate vocals, visceral bass punch, while introducing unbelievable and 3D imaging and soundscape. Thor Silver II+ is designed such to be as smooth as possible, removing the treble spike and sibilance as most pure silver cables do...`
     
    Testing it with several daps, mainly the DX200 and the Opus#1 due to their 2.5mm balanced ports,
    using Flac 16/41 tracks. I found it to be very pleasing experience.
     
    I really enjoyed immensely the match with the Campfire Audio Andromeda. The sonic effect was largely a paraphrase of the Effect Audios own description from above.
     
    Fast, deep and accurate bass.
    A slightly recessed mid section as is usual with silver cables.
    Vocals are clear, well balanced with the music and accurate.
    Highs that are far reaching, without over stepping the bounds into the realms of sibilance.
     
    A large sound stage, width, height and depth are satisfying.
     
    Instrument separation is crisp and well layered.
     
    It has a smooth sounding signature and as a result is very easy to listen to for extended periods of time.
     
     
     
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    Effect Audio Thor ii+, Opus#1 and Campfire Audio Dorado​
     
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    Effect Audio 2.5mm female (balanced) to 3.5mm single ended adapter.​
     
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    Effect Audio Thor ii+ (and adapter), Cozoy REI and Campfire Audio Nova.​
     
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    Opus#1, ALO Audio optical cable to CEntrance Mini-M8, PlusSound kobiconn to 2.5mm adapter, Effect Audio Thor ii+ and Campfire Audio Vega.​
     
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    Overall

    The Effect Audio Thor Silver ii+ IEM cable is a wonderful aftermarket IEM cable that brings something unique to the table.

    Overall I would describe it as fairly linear, although it does seem to emphasize the lows and the highs as many silver cables are bound to do although it is not excessive in this regard, though the usual silver essence of sonic signature is present to a degree the mids are also pleasantly reproduced.

    With an IEM such as the CA Vega with prominent lows the bass is more emphasized.
    I found the CA Andromeda sonics to be nicely balanced with the cable.
    The Thor Silver ii+ was also a nice match with the CA Dorado on a par with the stock Litz.

    Vocals are accurately reproduced, very clear, yet not sharp or offensive.

    The Thor Silver ii has a great deep bass rumble that isn`t murky or bloated, the bass is reproduced nice and fast, with a full rumble.

    The overall instrument separation is distinct and clear, the sound stage is wide on all axis.

    I like how it combines a certain crispness, yet also is able to be smooth overall without ever seeming to be dark. It has a certain warmth to it, but not in the traditional explanation that audiophiles would describe as warm - where it often refers to murky, which the Thor ii+ with its overall clarity never veers towards.
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    The Thor ii+ is built well, it is durable and beautiful to look at. The weave is exquisitely done and is thicker than say the stock cable of the Campfire Audio ALo Audio Litz, it is quite lightweight and fairly supple for its larger gauge of cable width.

    I am able to listen with the Thor ii+ for extended periods of time without listening fatigue.

    The fit is very comfortable over my ears. Most of my cables have a memory wire, the Thor ii+ does not and I have found the difference to be a softer experience overall as it sits on my ears.

    The output volume from the iBasso DX200 balanced port (6Vrms) is double that of the single end (3Vrms). Whereas the Opus#1 balanced port is 2.3Vrms.
    This was noticeable in overall dynamics, sense of fullness, sound stage and user experience.

    The earphones along with the Thor ii+ cable certainly enjoyed the extra juice.

    To get the best experience out of an aftermarket cable it is preferable of course to have a high performing set of earphones and a dap to match.
    The result is that the rig with as a whole will scale up accordingly.

    That is to be expected.
    With a lower end dap, mid fi earphones and a high end aftermarket cable the difference in user satisfaction is worlds apart from a high end dap combined with totl earphones.

    Effect Audio Thor ii+, Cable hammer of the Gods.
     
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    Thank you to Effect Audio for sending the Thor ii+ cable to Head pie for review​
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      Vitor Valeri likes this.
  4. twister6
    Silver Lightning of EA Thor Silver II+
    Written by twister6
    Published Dec 24, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - quality material and workmanship, surprisingly flexible 22awg, unique sound characteristics for a silver wire.
    Cons - weight, sound improvement varies depending on pair up.

    The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion. The review was originally posted on my blog, and now I would like to share it with all my readers on Head-fi.

    Manufacturer website: Effect Audio, for sale on MusicTeck.

    *click on pictures to expand.


    Preamble.

    Aftermarket premium replacement cables have been a controversial topic of discussions in many audio communities. There are some who don’t hear a sound improvement and others who consider the improvement to be too subtle to justify the cost. Some are firm believers (myself including) who do actually hear the change in sound, while others talk themselves into believing to validate their purchase. I also ran into a group of people who consider cables as another accessory to personalize the appearance, just like they would with CIEM customization, or those who switch from single ended to balanced and take the opportunity to upgrade to fancier wires. And then you have a group who never tried a replacement cable and formed their opinion based on reading someone else’s rant.

    From my personal experience, I do hear and feel the change in a sound, but I'm not able to capture it accurately in measurements. The most obvious change even disbelievers can agree on is that higher purity material will yield a smaller resistivity, better conductivity, and corresponding boost in signal level. Also, various metals have different properties. There is no magic behind it and you’ll get an instant benefit of slightly higher output driving your transducers, something that could be measured. But when I hear a change in bass tonality, tightness, articulation, or I hear more airiness in treble or overall improvement in retrieval of details which feels like a layer of veil is lifted off – this is not easy to capture. Considering we all have a different perception of sound, without supporting measurements some people jump into conclusion and form a “snake oil” opinion, especially when price is taken into consideration.

    The intent of this review is not to change anybody’s mind, but rather to share with you what I hear and how I hear it. Perhaps, I can’t fully explain why there is a change in sound, but I do hear it and would like to describe it. What makes sense to me is that I look at the wire as a material with physical properties of resistivity, conductivity, level of purity, etc, which acts as a filter between your source and headphones. Variations of these physical properties will affect the electric signal and result in a sound change, from a subtle to a more noticeable level. Also, I want to talk about the design of these cables, to make people understand why they cost so much, and that you are not dealing with a “coat hanger” wire but rather high grade materials, advanced production techniques, and hours of labor which all add up to a premium cost. Last but not least, the sound improvement of one particular cable is not universal because it will depend on the synergy between your source and your headphones.

    Intro.

    Back in the days when I started reviewing budget IEMs and then moved to mid-fi and TOTL models, I saw a drastic increase in price while the sound improvement wasn't necessary at the same "drastic" level. That's when I learned about "diminishing returns" where you can't expect that 2x increase in price will yield a double improvement in sound quality. It just the way how things work in audio gear world. Then, when I got into reviewing of $1k-$2k flagships, I also noticed a number of people who wanted to squeeze every bit of sound improvement without minding of paying a premium price to reach their ultimate goal. Aftermarket cables have been one of the most popular upgrades in this category, and not just to personalize the look but also to improve the sound quality over a stock OFC cable. Maybe it's a niche market, but there are people who're ok with a price of high quality premium cable reaching the price of C/IEM itself, and they are willing to go down the path of diminishing returns.

    Effect Audio (EA) was founded in 2009 by Suyang, an electrical engineering student while still at school, who invested a lot of time doing research, testing, and development of prototypes to come up with a solution to upgrade stock cables of the popular earphones. His hard work and workmanship skills were quickly recognized, and as a result he shifted his focus from basic cables to a more premium wire material. The first time I heard of EA was while reading about their flagship Mars GPS cable, a high price cable even by my standards. I didn't look closer into their catalog and completely missed a selection of other more affordable premium cables. When I got an opportunity to test their latest Silver Thor II+ cable, I put it right into action while reviewing S-EM9 where it yielded an excellent pair up synergy. Now, after having a chance to properly test it with a handful of other premium TOTL iems, I would like to share with you about my experience.

    Unboxing and accessories.

    Arriving from overseas, I did expect a more secure packaging, but didn't expect a rather neat small cardboard box with a clever "donut" cutout of the foam block with a cable securely wrapped inside of it. Unlike some other packaging boxes which get discarded after opening, I found EA box to be very useful for storage and organizing of the cable (without IEMs attached, not enough room otherwise) and keeping wires from being tangled. It even had enough room to include the adapter which I received as an accessory to the cable.

    The cable usually doesn't require accessories, though I wouldn't mind seeing a case. Also, I do wish for aftermarket cables to include one of those leather strap cable organizers with a snap button. Just a wishful thinking. In case of my review unit, there was one included accessory: 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter (has to be purchased separately). Ever since my DAP review collection started to expand, I now have a lot of audio sources with a balanced 2.5mm output. Having two separate cables with different terminations is not efficient and will be costly. Instead, it makes sense to get balanced terminated cable and a single ended adapter or whatever other connection you require.

    Thus, every cable I get now is terminated with 2.5mm TRRS balanced connectors and I add an adapter. Typically such adapters have two separate male and female connectors joined by a short cable extension. It works, but could adds more bulk and length to the cable. Plus, if you are using specific premium wires, you also need to keep adapter consistent with the same wire material. Some cable manufacturers do offer a single piece adapter (straight and angled) which makes the design clean, but sometimes it looks a bit diy-ish. Effect Audio adapter looks very pro, all metal, and very durable. I requested the right angled version of the adapter, but you can also ask for a straight one. Depending on the location of your headphone jack, sometimes one is more convenient than the other.

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    2.5mm TRRS to 3.5mm TRS adapter.

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    Design.

    The cable design starts with a wire, and here we got 22awg UPOCC Pure Silver Litz design. For those unfamiliar, UP-OCC manufacturing refers to Ultra-Pure Ohno Continuous Casting process developed and patented by Professor Ohno of CIT in Japan. Also, the multi-stranded Litz wires are usually a good choice to improve conductivity since the electric signal typically travels on the surface rather than through the core, and having multiple wire strands increases the effective surface area. Actually, according to EA design description, they are using proprietary multi-size stranded design within single encapsulation.

    When I got Thor II+ out of the box, what surprised me the most was flexibility of the cable. We are talking about 4 braids of 22 gauge thick wire which I was able to easily wrap around 3-finger loop for storage. The cable insulation has a rubbery texture and looks crystal clear where you can see every strand of the wire like under microscope. Also, after unwrapping, I didn't find any wire memory effect, the cable straighten out quickly thanks to flexible insulation which is apparently the same as the one used in EA's new flagship Leonidas cable.

    Starting with headphone plug, you have what appears to be a rhodium connector, in my case 2.5mm TRRS termination, with a hefty all metal plug housing branded with Effect Audio name/logo and carbon fiber insert. The 4-wire braid was not super tight, but also not very loose, just enough to keep the flexibility of the cable. Going up to y-splitter, you have a machined aluminum piece matching the headphone plug with the same company branding and CF insert. Both connector and y-splitter are on a bulky side and do add to the weight of the cable, but at the same time they look very premium.

    You will also find a clear rubbery chin slider, not just a piece of shrink-wrap but a legitimate custom slider. From y-splitter, the 4-wire braid splits into 2 twisted pairs going up to each headphone connector. Before the connector you have a pre-shaped clear silicone earhook tube without a metal memory wire. I'm not a big fan of memory wires because of the re-shaping required every time you unwind the cable after storage. This type of pre-shaped earhook is very convenient. The 2pin headphone plugs are universal (typical 0.78mm diameter), adequate for both surface and recessed shell sockets, and with a matching aluminum slim capsule housing with L/R labeling and EA logo.

    It's definitely a fine looking cable with a sexy "silver" appeal throughout every element of the design. But the thickness of the wires and the added bulk of the connectors and the splitter makes this cable a bit heavy at 46g (54g with an attached adapter). It's not the end of the world and actually on par with other thicker multi-braided cables. But if you are looking for a lightweight IEM cable while on the move, Thor II+ will be a little too heavy for that task.

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    Sound analysis.

    While sound analysis is an important part of all of my reviews, when it comes to cables I find it hard to describe the sound of the wire because in reality I'm describing the sound of headphones attached to it, along with a synergy of the source used for testing. There are just too many variables between the source and your ears which makes it hard to zoom in right into the performance of the cable. But once you start switching between different IEMs and cables, you can pick up on a common traits of the individual characteristics.

    Based on my experience with previous testing of various SPC and Silver cables, I already have some expectations of what a silver material can do to a sound, which typically results in brighter, resolving, expanded characteristics. But after 100hrs of burn in, Silver Thor II+ turned out to be not like any other silver cable. It does add resolution and clarity, brings more details to vocals, expands perception of soundstage width, but at the same time keeps upper frequency brightness under control where it never crosses the threshold of harshness, even with bright analytically tuned C/IEMs. To my surprise it also improves bass texture, and even adds a little bit of rumble and impact.

    If this would have been a blind test, I would probably assume that I'm dealing with some kind of a hybrid cable. It even reminds me of gold-plated TWau cable, though there is a noticeable difference where TWau contributes more to mid-bass impact while Thor II+ adds a little more sub-bass texture. Also, Thor II+ upper mids are a bit brighter, with more sparkle and more revealing, while TWau makes sound smoother, revealing, and more organic. I know I'm comparing apples and oranges in terms of the wire material, but it just demonstrates how cable manufacturers have their own unique cooking formulas which don't always follow the expected and predictable "behavior" of the wire.

    ea_thor_II-20.jpg ea_thor_II-21.jpg

    Pair up analysis.

    In my individual cable reviews I usually don't compare different cables to determine which one is better. It's a subjective opinion where I found different cables refine the sound in a different way. But in my C/IEM reviews I do try various cables to find which one has the best pair up synergy. In my opinion, in pair up analysis it makes more sense to test the aftermarket cable against the stock cable. Thus, in the following analysis I will only talk about how Thor II+ (TII+) compares to a stock cable and will describe the improvement if I hear any. For the reference, in every test I've volume matched the output level by ear.

    64audio U12 w/B1 (from OFC to TII+) - soundstage width is a little wider and I also hear improvement in depth perception where the sound has an improved 3D imaging. There is also a noticeable improvement in sub-bass extension, I hear a deeper rumble, and some improvement in mid-bass impact. Upper frequencies have more clarity, the sound is a little more revealing and resolving.

    ea_thor_II-15.jpg

    Earsonics S-EM9 (from OFC to TII+) - soundstage spreads wider from left to right. Bass is tighter and more articulate, and I hear more sub-bass rumble. Mids feel like a veil was lifted off, with more clarity, higher resolution, better retrieval of details, even improved layering and separation of the sound. Also, I found treble to have a little more sparkle. Stock OFC cable definitely doesn't do S-EM9 justice and TII+ really scales up the sound.

    ea_thor_II-16.jpg

    CustomArt H8.2 (from OFC to TII+) - a rather noticeable improvement in soundstage width. Not just the bass but overall sound is tighter and faster (improved PRaT factor). Feels like a layer of veil was lifted off, but for my own personal taste I'm not so sure if I prefer this. I like the improvement in low end, the bass sounds tighter and cleaner, but upper mids/vocals are more forward and a little harsher now. I prefer a smoother and more natural tonality with OFC cable.

    ea_thor_II-18.jpg

    Noble K10UA (from SPC to TII+) - there is a slight improvement in soundstage width. Also, I hear a little improvement in sub-bass texture. Upper mids get brighter, closer to a threshold of my comfort level for harshness tolerance. The sound improvement is not very significant, and instead I hear mids/vocals get a little brighter and harsher which I'm not a big fan of. This is not the first time when I went back to a stock SPC cable with K10UA.

    ea_thor_II-17.jpg

    Zeus XRA (from SPC to TII+) - due to Zeus original wide soundstage, I can't say for sure if it got any wider, maybe a subtle change. What I do hear is that bass got a little more texture, with more rumble in sub-bass, but the quantity didn't go up by a lot. I still perceive it as an improved quality rather than quantity. The most noticeable change is in upper mids/treble where the sound is smoother. You still hear a very transparent and resolving non-analytical retrieval of details, but it feels more under control. If you want an improvement in bass quantity, this is not it. But it definitely refines the quality of the mids.

    ea_thor_II-19.jpg

    As you can see, some pair ups showed a more noticeable improvement while other ones not as much. That just proves my point that cable effect is not universal and will depend on the synergy with a particular pair of C/IEMs.

    Conclusion.

    When it comes to EA Thor Silver II+, I was impressed with a durable build and luxurious looks and was surprised this cable performed unlike other typical silver wires I've tested in the past. Its sound improvement characteristics, by adding texture and some impact in the bass and bright expansion without harshness or graininess in upper frequencies, is what makes it sound unique. I did mention that added weight might not be ideal for everyone, especially if you are looking for a lightweight cable on the go, but Thor II+ was still very comfortable to wear, especially considering 4 braids of 22 gauge wire which I found to be surprisingly flexible. Certainly, Thor II+ is one of their flagship cables with a price to reflect that, but Effect Audio and their Music Sanctuary distributor has an extensive catalog with other budget friendly alternatives to suite your needs when you are ready to upgrade the performance of your C/IEMs.
    1. ALIENNIE22
      I have HERACLES, it has a perfect high-frequency, low-frequency a little less, but very flexible and dive.
      ALIENNIE22, Dec 25, 2016
    2. Shini44
      thats a very very good review, IMO IEMs/CIEMs benefit more from full size cans. i tested SE846 with stock cable the other day and i am not happy with the mids, as you said stock cable feels like there is a veil, and Silver cables are friendly in this case and tend to solve this. i got Hydra 18 on the way. i wish i had this cable of yours so i compare it with the Toxic cable Hydra 18. 
      Shini44, Dec 25, 2016
  5. sonickarma
    Thor Silver II – Lightning Strikes Again
    Written by sonickarma
    Published Dec 4, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Well balanced rounded signature, Enhances bass and sub bass regions, Excellent style and ergonomics
    Cons - Higher frequency range could do with some refinement
    This review is from earphonia.com 
     
    Re-posted on headfi to share the impressions from http://earphonia.com/earphone-cables/effect-audio-iem-cable-thor-silver-ii-lightning-strikes
     
     
    As a lot of you know I am already a big fan of Effect Audio’s cables, so I was very pleased to hear about their new silver cable release.

    I spent no time putting an order in to snap up the Thor Silver II IEM cable and as always their speed of processing was impressive, built and shipped to the UK in less than 1 week.

    This cable is part of their excellent Premium Series range of cables.

    http://www.effectaudio.com/upgrade-cables/iem-cables/iem-premium-series/standard/thor-silver-ii.html

    [​IMG]

    Build Quality, Aesthetics and Ergonomics:

    The cable is shipped in the standard Effect Audio cardboard hard box with soft foam inner padding for protection in transit.

    I chose the 2.5mm balanced edition with MMCX connectors and as soon as I lifted the box lid and set eyes on it, I was very pleased with what was before me.

    The texture and softness of this cable radiates quality and its lightness makes you forget you are even wearing it at times.

    I experienced no microphonics or unwanted external sound transfer using this cable.

    It is very difficult to capture the shimmering ethereal crystal litz cable but I will try with my camera shots.

    [​IMG]

    It seems to switch from a greyish silver to an ice white sparkle with the thick silver strands tightly woven together.

    The 2.5 balanced plug and Y join section complements the cable style perfectly, with its stark solid metal and elegant black carbon fibre centre.

    As expected from such a respected brand, the parts used looked to be of a very high standard and the connectors were tight on the earphones I used for this review – Campfire Audio Jupiter and Westone W60.

    [​IMG]

    There we no cut outs or loose fits with my earphones, which I have experienced in the past with MMCX connectors.

    Both earphones paired well with this cable:

    With the Westone W60 smooth and natural sounding while the Jupiter was brighter, with more sparkle and distinct layering.

    I have no problem recommending this cable for both these excellent IEMs.
     
    Sources Used:

    For this review I used my trusted Astell and Kern AK380 Copper Digital Audio Player

    [​IMG]

    and my VentureCraft SounDroid Valoq (SDP-1)

    [​IMG]

    These are easily 2 of my favourite DAPs, so it was a natural choice to use them, also they both have 2.5 balanced capability – so a perfect match for the Thor II Silver cable.

    Both players had good synergy with this cable, offering up their own signature differences to great effect.

    The AK380CU fires out its reference transparency and distinct layering effortlessly.

    [​IMG]

    However recently I have been really drawn towards smoother, warmer, more organic signatures. So the Valoq has been serving me royally when coupled with the correct OpAmps, my preference of late are the highly respected OPA627SM Op Amps.
     
    Sound Signature

    This cable surprised me from the get go, as the signature was somewhat different to what I am used to with Silver or Litz composition cables.

    [​IMG]

    My experience in the past with Moon Audio silver dragon cables and the Alo Campfire Litz  cables both provided a strong focus on transparency and treble refinement whereas the Thor Silver II provided a much more balanced signature with smoothness and texturing its primary strengths. Upper treble is tamed and softened as well, excellent for removing unwanted sharpness.

    This suited me perfectly and drew me further towards the organic musical signatures that I am falling for these days.

    Bass attack especially in the sub bass area is tighter giving it a well rounded feel.

    The following track is a great example of how the Thor Silver II cable handles the tight bass attack with full extended sub bass.

    Daft Punk – Around The World

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    Daft Punk’s excellent techno groove has a much punchier tighter kick to it now.

    Mids are rich with strong presence, fuller but without any additional colouring or artificial weight.

    The Scratch 22 Electric Wire Hustle remix below has open live sounding vocals lifted but still raw and soulful, all balanced inline with the strong backing percussion.

    Vocals are natural and maintain the emotion and passion of the singer. The Thor Silver II cable also adds softness, making them slightly more intimate and airy.

    Electric Wire Hustle – Again (Scratch 22 Remix)

    [​IMG]
     
    The wonderful Chemical Structures electronica track is a great choice to show off the wider staging and balance of this cable.

    Fast and complex electronica tracks, especially with lush synth arpeggios, these are navigated effortlessly without struggling to keep up with the pace.

    Layering and depth is carried out expertly by the Thor Silver II cable. Synths are immersive with wide staging depth but not dominating or shadowing.

    Ricardo Donoso – Chemical Structures

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    Conclusion:

    I am happy to recommend this cable, especially for those who are into dynamic music, EDM or Vocal tracks.

    This cable is extremely well balanced and really can handle everything you throw at it.

    If you like sub bass immersion and tight hitting mid bass, this cable will be a great addition to your collection.

    [​IMG]

    The Norse God Thor is known for wielding his hammer to direct electric frequencies into bolts of lightning and this cable seems to do the same.  Expertly controlling the audio frequencies and directing the channels of energy evenly and with precision.

    As my title says ‘Lightning Strikes Again‘ and following on from the success of the Ares II plus, Effect Audio have called on the powers from the Gods again to give the Thor Silver II Cable its magic.

     

    Effect Audio Product Details:

    http://www.effectaudio.com/upgrade-cables/iem-cables/iem-premium-series/standard/thor-silver-ii.html

    [​IMG]

    The manufacturer cable features and technical  specifications:

    1. 26 AWG
    2. UPOCC Pure Silver Litz
    3. Proprietary Multi-Size Stranded design within single encapsulation
    4. Flexible insulation (same as Leonidas)
    5. New EA CF connectors and Y-Split

    Manufacturer Notes: A multi-sized stranded design within the same encapsulations enables the Thor Silver II to achieve distinct highs and details due to the signal transmission speed in thinner cable strands, while the thicker size cable strands are usually employed for smooth bass and mids

    Pricing:

    USD $349.99 for most connectors

    Add $20 for FitEar connectors

    Add $50 for JH Audio connectors
     
     
    This review is from earphonia.com 
     
    Re-posted on headfi to share the impressions from http://earphonia.com/earphone-cables/effect-audio-iem-cable-thor-silver-ii-lightning-strikes
     
  6. Falconlistener
    Thor Silver 2+ iem cable review
    Written by Falconlistener
    Published Dec 3, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Sliver warmth, clean
    Cons - Price, not a bright cable
    1) Initial Impression

    The silver cable is very well made, a great product from Singapore. The sleeves feel very smooth with no rubbery texture. The audio jack and the Y splitter is the standard Effect Audio ones, also very well finished. Initially, I thought the sound will produce a bright signature just like any other silver cables. I also own a Thor Silver cable for comparrison against this new model. The Thor Silver has a bright and tight bass sound signature. The Thor Silver 2+ is silver litz configuration, given a special coating and the result is a cleaner,bassier and not a bright sound. Its is something which I did not expect but it really is more analytical and focused.

    2) After burning in

    Having the Thor Silver 2+ for around 2 months of listening, the signature changed slightly, there is more emphasis on the mids and lows which I will explain more in detail. The earpiece I am using will be the triple driver iem from Cypher Labs C6iem.

    3) Sound
    1: Lows
    The bass has a much more tighter feel to it and its gives a great impact too. Its also very detailed and it goes deep enough to be heard. However, it does not have a very strong bass like a copper cable but it has more body than an ordinary silver one. It too will not get loose and decay.

    2: Mids
    With a cleaner background, the mids are clearer, vocals are detailed and better definition. I do feel the mids are fuller and warm for certain vocal songs and there is a slight forwardness for the vocals that are packed with energy.

    3: Highs
    Its not a very authentic silver highs nor is it bright sounding and it will roll off slightly. There are also no spikes, I get a more acceptable and enjoyable detailed highs. It is definitely much more tamed.

    4) Background and Soundstage

    With litz configuration and the individual coating of each strand, the background is much more cleaner. The results are revealing, details do stand out more, poor audio sources are more noticeable. The separation for instruments are more distinct and layered, the soundstage has a slightly more width to it.

    5) Overall Impression
    The experience with this cable is truly remarkable, its a warmer and cleaner sounding for a silver cable. I am able to pair it with earpieces like from Vision Ears VE5 and VE6 X Control and Noble Audio Kaiser 10 and Katana. They do sound pretty darn good with this upgrade. Its a cable worth investing and able to match with a wider range of iems and ciems. Ultimately, its all down to personal preferences.