Effect Audio x Music Sanctuary Eos (IEM Upgrade Cable)

Effect Audio x Music Sanctuary Eos

Rating:
5/5,
  • The Eos is a special limited-edition cable exclusive to Music Sanctuary. It uses cryo-treated 7N purity UP-OCC Pure Copper which allows it to produce sound that is perfect with little to NO distortion. With a completely new wire geometry and construction, the Eos is no typical copper cable. Not only does it offer the traditional traits of a copper cable such as a warm and thick midrange with deep, punchy bass, it also offers a slight lift in the treble to give it a bit of airiness and sparkle. Eos gains in transparency and clarity as well as imaging precision over the regular Ares II through the use of exotic Japanese high-grade platinum solder and the highest-quality Furutech connectors.

    Features and specifications:

    • 26 AWG UPOCC litz stranded copper wires
    • Same insulation as Effect Audio Heritage Series Leonidas
    • 1.2 meters standard length

Recent Reviews

  1. Deezel177
    Effect x Music Sanctuary Eos – Enter the Dragon
    Written by Deezel177
    Published Dec 5, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Great value
    - Superb treble extension
    - Excellent clarity and transparency
    - Authoritative bass control
    - Outstanding spatial stability and resolution
    - Ergonomics and aesthetics
    Cons - Tone is slightly brighter than natural
    - Okay bass extension
    - Lean lower-midrange
    - Minor QC qualms
    Effect Audio is a boutique cable manufacturer based in Singapore. Founded in 2009 by Zou Suyang, Effect Audio has since matured into a premier organisation widely recognised for their astounding aesthetics, excellent ergonomics and stellar sound. Throughout the years, the company has developed a wide array of products, ranging from the entry-level Ares II to their statement-piece flagship; the Horus. Alongside their globally-available products, Effect Audio also collaborate with retailers to produce region-specific cables in limited runs. The Eos is a product they’ve developed with Music Sanctuary; Singapore’s top specialist in custom IEMs and upgrade cables. Enhancing the Ares II with all-Japanese materials – including a platinum-based solder and ultra-conductive Furutech connectors – Eos is the evolution of a widely-acclaimed product, redefining what cables are capable of at the entry level.

    EOS-4.png

    Effect Audio x Music Sanctuary Eos
    • Wire composition: 26 AWG UPOCC Litz copper
    • Default configuration: 4-wire round braid
    • Key feature(s) (if any): UltraFlexi insulation; bespoke production materials
    • Price: S$299
    • Website: www.effectaudio.com; www.music-sanctuary.com
    Build and Accessories

    The Eos comes packed in a cube-shaped box, decorated with black-and-white Effect Audio branding. The interior of the box is heavily-padded for safe transport, save for a circular cut-out in the centre where the cable itself resides. All in all, the Eos’s packaging is the epitome of no-frills; free of any accessories, brochures, soft pouches, etc. It sports commendable security and functionality, even if it lacks the theatrics of Effect Audio’s costlier offerings.

    EOS-6 (1).png

    But, as we’ve come to expect from Effect Audio, the cable itself is built exquisitely. The Eos’s four wires are braided excellently to form tight, uniform bundles throughout the entire cable. And, their UltraFlexi technology embellishes the Eos’s insulation with glass-like transparency. As a result, the copper wires that run throughout gleam amorously; exuding luxuriousness and glam. UltraFlexi also provides the company’s class-leading ergonomics. In terms of smoothness, suppleness and weight, Effect Audio’s offerings are consistently top-shelf; Eos included. Finally, the wires are accented with Effect Audio’s signature metallic ornaments and Furutech’s carbon-weaved 3.5mm plug. The carbon fibre Y-split and the connectors at both ends are machined impeccably; further adding to the cable’s allure.

    EOS-8 (2).png

    However, there is a particular point of error in my Eos’s build, and it pertains to the 2-pin connectors. Although they are on-par cosmetically with the rest of the cable, the adhesive bonding the metallic sleeve to the black plastic is terribly weak. The snug fit does keep the sleeve in place during normal use, but it will come off during cable swaps. Though – to Effect Audio’s credit – Eric (their marketing manager) informed me that the issue is only present in their most recent batch of 2-pin connectors, and they’re willing to fix mine free-of-charge. I’m glad to see Effect Audio taking responsibility for their hiccups, and I hope to see this level of accountability maintained for future customers as well.

    Sound Impressions

    The Eos is built upon a simple philosophy: Cleanliness and control. Although copper cables have – in recent years – become strongly associated with modifiers like “warm”, “rich” and “tube-like”, the Eos is a product that decisively breaks the mould. Like the Ares II before it, the Eos prides itself in its technical performance; displaying excellent treble extension, separation and finesse in any IEM it’s attached to. However, as a result of its internal tweaks, the Eos surpasses the Ares II’s technical accomplishments by a palpable margin. In terms of soundstage expansion, dimensional definition, imaging accuracy, and headroom, the Eos respectably exceeds its predecessor; delivering a presentation that’s more open, effortless and resolving, whilst abandoning the Ares II’s more focused, dynamic, and (sometimes) more fatiguing soundscape in the process.

    EOS-9 (2).png

    The bass is where the Eos’s quest for control – and subversion of expectations – begin. Where one would normally find a flabby, bold and warm bottom-end, the Eos instead opts for tightness, definition and compactness; focusing bloated slams into delectable jabs. The Eos has decent extension, but its focus is certainly directed towards the upper-bass. Kick drums are kissed with air, and bass guitars are grittier and snappier than they are bellowing or guttural. Although it isn’t the richest or most atmospheric bass, it compensates with great technical performance. Due to its more linear approach towards low-end presentation – and brilliant treble extension – the Eos’s bass showcases fantastic layering. Whether its the kick and the bass in ensemble bands or rhythm tracks within an 808 beat, the Eos is capable of separation and resolution unmatched in its price range. Its a presentation that could use a tiny bit of fun, but the Eos exhibits its low-end with a no-nonsense approach that’s rare and worthy of praise.

    The Eos’s midrange defines its timbre, tirelessly balancing naturalness and transparency. Due to the Eos’s leaner lower-midrange – and sparkly upper-mids – instruments carry great sheen. Percussion and piano experience an increase in fundamental transience, and a decrease in harmonic decay. Instruments sound more dynamic and clear-cut, but accents – like tom hits and power chords – don’t sound as satisfying and complete as they should, due to a lack of overtones. Vocals also display impressive articulation at the cost of a completely accurate timbre. They sound a tad brighter than natural; more throat-y than chest-y. But, where the Eos excels is in note body and weight. Although the Eos’s middle registers are slightly top-heavy, they never approach thin, nor do they ever sound artificial; voices still sound hefty and cellos have guts to spare. Separation and imaging are both top-class; spatially resolving back-up singers, horn sections and string quartets marvellously. Despite its neutral tilt, the Eos imbues its midrange with a palpable sense of weight and a respectable share of density. Although transparency, clarity and resolution are its stand-out traits, the naturalness that the Eos injects into the mix should be applauded too.

    EOS-3 (2).png

    However, with that said, the Eos’s greatest achievement is absolutely its treble. Proper extension and remarkable linearity fuel the Eos’s fantastic technical performance, giving its stage a stable black background. Again, spatial resolution impresses; deftly defining heaps of micro-detail across the entire length of the stage. Secondary sounds like foot hi-hats, palm-muted guitar strums, and percussive ornaments ring through clearly without disturbing the ensemble. Equipped with a lifted upper treble, the Eos’s top-end adds cleanliness and energy throughout the whole spectrum, without the sibilance that would normally accompany an upper-mid or lower-treble peak. This rise in the air frequencies can add a slight tinge of graininess to cymbals, electric guitars, and vocals in recordings that already have an emphasis in that area. But, it hardly ever comes close to harshness. Sticking to theme, it is a tad brighter than natural in tone, but the Eos’s treble maintains respectable heft; body and weight are as present as ever. The Eos’s top-end is striking without stridence, fast without fatigue and clear without offense. It’s a treble that gifts an entry-level cable with raw performance, and perfectly concludes its signature with very minimal theatrics along the way.

    Re: The Ares II

    The only elements separating the Eos and the Ares II are the solder and the plug; that is literally it. And so, it came as no surprise to me when I first announced I’d be reviewing the former, that every other question was…

    “How does it compare to the Ares II?”
    Well, after multiple long rounds of A/B testing, I concluded that the Eos shares a similar flavour to its default counterpart, but it pushes beyond the Ares II’s technical accomplishments in more ways than what the “small” price difference might suggest. Although they are certainly tonal siblings, the Eos is the more mature cable. With the Ares II at its foundation, the Eos expands on its predecessor’s merits with evident improvements in stage size, dimensional resolution, and dynamic control; all of which amount to a more relaxed and realistic listening experience.

    EOS-11 (adjusted).png

    As mentioned, the two are very similar in terms of timbre, but small differences still remain between them. The Ares II doesn’t have as much of an upper-treble bump as the Eos does – partly due to its lesser extension – and it is more forgiving with hotly-mastered tracks as a result. However, this discrepancy hurts coherence in the upper-midrange. Due to its calmer top-end, the Ares II presents vocals with an ever throatier character than the Eos; with some recordings, it can border on nasal-y. But, it compensates for this with a slightly richer low-end, even if it means giving the Eos a tiny edge in bass definition.

    The Eos presents music within a respectable sphere. And – because of its stellar stage organisation – instruments are laid out evenly throughout the entire soundscape, resulting in an even playing field when it comes to dynamics. Also aided by superior treble extension, the Eos possesses greater headroom, associating its presentation with modifiers like “open” and “airy”. By comparison, the Ares II’s stage is significantly more intimate and infinitely more compressed. Instruments sound like they’re playing right next to each other within a more confined space. Although this presentation could be touted as more focused or fun, it ultimately isn’t worth the loss in resolution and imaging. At the end of the day, I’d rather have the ability to transform music I’m hearing into images in my head, than brace a barrage of energy that eventually fatigues more than it appeals.

    Verdict

    The Effect Audio x Music Sanctuary Eos is a complete revelation. While rivals turn to precious metals, jumbo weaves and inflating prices for better sound, the Eos shifts its focus towards the finer details; investing in bespoke components to push poor man’s gold to its fullest potential. At S$299, the Eos challenges the boundaries of technical performance, offering superior definition, stage expansion and structural stability than most else in its price bracket. Bolstered by remarkable top-end extension and impressive dynamic authority, the Eos presents music with an eye for detail and a penchant for space; fusing energy and ease into a singular listening experience. It may not have the most accurate timbre, nor will it please those looking for the stereotypical copper sound, but this is an exciting avenue for folks who want something a little different. To the wide-eyed dilettante, the Eos will open gateways to more expensive possibilities, and to the battle-scarred veteran, it’ll serve as a reminder that so little can sometimes do so much.

    EOS-14.png
      proedros, SeeSax, flinkenick and 3 others like this.

Comments

To view comments, simply sign up and become a member!