Eletech Plato

General Information

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'Plato" is realization of Eletech’s quest for the ultimate purity and extremities of a single material - Silver. Utilizing an unique Eletech maximus efficiency strand geometry with "Plato" catalyst in monocrystal bespoke Silver, the efficiency, speed, accuracy and resolution is unsurpassed within its class. "Plato" is a reference grade silver that is capable of materializing every details from every nooks and cranny of the soundscape.

Specifications

  • 24 AWG
  • Flawless Monocrystal Bespoke Silver
  • Maximus efficiency strand geometry ; Kevlar infused
  • Cryogenically Treated
  • Eletech Bespoke Solder
  • Eletech Customised connectors and Y-split
  • FlexiMax Insulation™ (patent pending)

Latest reviews

Pros: Improved transparency and resolution, high detail but smooth, increased soundstage, thin and ergonomic for 24 AWG, quality components, beautiful and practical quality leather case
Cons: Non-Litz design (can oxidise), 2.5mm plug a little loose for Cowon DAP (might be just my Plenue 2 due to heavy use), price, pairings give different results
Eletech Plato - Reveal All

Disclaimer
I would like to thank Eric Chong of Eletech for providing me with the Plato cable in exchange for my honest opinion. No incentive was given for a favourable review.

Plato
  • 24 AWG (non-Litz)
  • Flawless Monocrystal Bespoke Silver
  • Maximus efficiency strand geometry; Kevlar infused
  • Cryogenically Treated
  • Eletech Bespoke Solder
  • Eletech Customised connectors and Y-split
  • FlexiMax Insulation™ (patent pending)
  • Price: US$999

Links:
https://elementechnology.com
https://www.facebook.com/eletechsg

Preamble
Eletech (short for 'Element Technology') is the brand new company of a familiar face to many of us within the head-fi community, Eric Chong. For around five years Eric worked as the marketing manager of Effect Audio, a role that made him a very popular figure within the community. Always there for a chat at shows like Canjam or on the head-fi forums and social media. So when Eric decided it was time to move on, many (myself included) were very curious to see where this move would lead him. It led him to co-found his own company together with materials specialist Wang Wenfu. Straight away the pair also set up partnerships with companies such as Pentaconn to design and create unique sets of bespoke parts. The aim of this new company? To produce the crème de la crème of aftermarket cables.

Eletech launched in late 2019 with four cables in three different series. At the entry level the 'Virtues' series offers the pure copper 'Fortitude' at $199 and the silver-plated copper 'Prudence' at $249. The 'School of Athens' series shoots on straight to the high end with the $999 pure silver 'Plato', and for those seeking the absolute Top Of The Line, the 'Parnassus' series offers the exotic 'Iliad' at an eye-watering $1,799. It is one heck of an entry that is full of flair, and in that sense going for a Renaissance theme is very apt. Now it is just the wait for the Michelangelo inspired cable 'David' that needs to be censored in some countries because its plug is exposed.

The cable I will be reviewing here is 'Plato'. Part of the high-end 'School of Athens', it is currently the only cable in this series, although I have no doubt more will be added in the future. The name of the series is derived from the famous Renaissance fresco by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (imagine I said that with an accent like something out of the Italian scene from the movie Inglorious Bastards) or simply Raphael, as he is best known. It happens to be one of my favourite paintings, with at the centre stage the two leading figures in Western philosophy: Plato standing on the left with his finger pointing skywards, indicating his particular abstract form of philosophy, while his student Aristotle stands on the right with his hand gesturing towards the earthly realm as an expression of his more empirical philosophy. Does this have anything to do with audio? Nope, but I am still going to do my best to include a few Plato puns here and there.

Unboxing
All that Renaissance-inspired flair would be lost if there was no unboxing experience to match. Happily Eletech stepped up and designed something distinct from the norm. In a departure from using the ubiquitous satin black box, Eletech opted for a coloured printed box that opens up like a book. I am never much into unboxings because my poor impulse control means I always need to get to the goods as quickly as possible. The only purpose of an elaborate packaging thus seems to be to deter me from doing so. This box opens like a book, what more could I ask for!

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Once open -completely ignoring the image of Plato on the front, the Doric columns on the side and the Platonic solids on the back... Got to hand it to Eletech for attention to detail- there is presented a nice metal plate and an even nicer leather case that holds the cable. The metal plate is really neat and it details, alongside the central icosahedron (the Platonic solid for water), the names of the series and the cable, with underneath the Eletech logo and name. I know it's not functional, but I have to give it full marks for presentation. The leather case on the other hand is very much functional and looks great! It is a handcrafted leather case with a sort of denim-style to it, quite rugged with bold elements and I expect it will actually look even better once it develops some user marks. It is also easily big enough to hold the cable paired with IEMs and still leave room to spare for, say, an adapter. Then of course there is the cable itself.

Build quality and ergonomics
Plato is a gorgeous looking cable. It is made of a Flawless Monocrystal Bespoke Silver, so a pure (very pure) silver cable for the rest of us, and its gauge is 24 AWG. Surprise #1; it does not look anywhere near as thick as I would expect a 24 AWG cable to be. I asked Eric about it and he explained that this has to do with the way the cable has been constructed. It depends on the thickness of the insulation, the geometry of the cable and whether it is Litz or non-Litz. Surprise #2; Plato is a non-Litz cable (the only non-Litz in Eletech's line-up). This is highly unusual these days because non-Litz cables can oxidise and indeed, the beautiful pristine silver of Plato can develop a black sheen over time. The decision to do this rested entirely on the consequences of a Litz design for the sound and Eletech opted for sound over aesthetics. Eric sent me a picture of a test cable to illustrate how this sheen develops over time. It turns brown at first and than black after that, but doesn't seem as offensive as the green oxidisation you get with copper.

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(Image courtesy of Eletech)

It is still quite a bold move, as I expect not everyone will find this acceptable, but the end result is a cable that is about as thick as the more common 26 AWG cables. I do find Plato to be a little less supple than those cables, but not by much and I still think it is a very ergonomic cable. I hardly notice it is there.

The parts look unique and are of a very high quality. They are all made of an aluminium-alloy with engraved logos and this gives a solid feel to them. The details on the parts even seem functional. So for instance the triangular shapes of the 2.5mm balanced plug helps to provide a secure grip while plugging and unplugging. I did however notice that the fit with the balanced out of my Cowon Plenue 2 was not very secure and could come loose quite easily. I am not sure if this is just bad luck with the tolerances or if my DAP is showing its age a bit after such intensive use, but it is what I found. All my other sources and the 2.5mm to 4.4mm adapter all gave a secure fit.

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The y-split looks great with the shape of a Doric column in chrome, a subtle design choice that I think works very well. Most important in my opinion though are the 2-pin connectors. All too often have I seen plastic covers on those that would come loose after a while and here Eletech have worked with the same aluminium-alloy to design quality, screw-type covers for the connectors that feel a lot more solid. I don't see these coming loose anytime soon and that is exactly what I would expect from a cable at this price point.

Source
Most of my listening was done with the Lotoo PAW6000 from the 4.4mm balanced out using a short adapter by Astrotec. Some listening was also with the Cowon Plenue 2 from the 2.5mm balanced out. Both are neutral sources with the Plenue 2 leaning a little more towards a natural sound and the PAW6000 a little more towards a reference sound. I primarily used the PAW6000 due to its greater transparency.

General characteristics

Here, said I, would it not be Prudent for those of us who have earphones that have been imbued with a hint of veil, to pair those earphones with a cable of silver pure that imparts them with transparency and air to blow away that veil for good?

Surely, said he.

Would it then not be most serendipitous for us owners of earphones warm and somewhat veiled to be in the presence of a Fortitudinous cable maker capable of offering within his line-up a cable with just this ability?

Most serendipitous indeed, said he...


Okay, I won't write my entire impressions as a Socratic dialogue (I couldn't find a way to slip Iliad in there anyway).

I always try to stress that with cables it is all about synergy with the IEMs because a cable does not have a sound in and of itself. This means that at times a less expensive cable can easily produce a better result over a more expensive cable simply because it synergises better. I still do feel that cables have some general characteristics, it is just that how those affect the sound of specific IEMs can be somewhat unpredictable.

In terms of general characteristics, I would say that Plato improves transparency and resolution by a not insignificant amount. It can help reduce the veil of warmer IEMs because it seems to pull back the mid- and upper-bass a little. This also reduces some of the bass impact, as well as producing less warmth to affect the mids. The mids can therefore end up with a little less body. Treble feels more extended while still smooth, adding air to a stage that feels much more spacious.

I would say that Plato is a fairly neutral cable that helps to expand the stage, make it more airy and improves resolution and transparency noticeably, but might not come across as the most natural sounding cable. I think this is why I really like Plato with my Empire Ears Phantom.

Pairings
-Empire Ears Phantom-
The Empire Ears Phantom have been my babies for quite a while now. I love the richness of their timbre and the warm, smooth tone is a joy for me to get lost in. While that has not changed, I did find myself tinkering with the EQ every now and then, just to see if I could fine-tune their sound a bit more. Pairing them with Plato actually gave a result similar to what I was looking for.

Plato expands the Phantom's stage very far and they change from intimate to open and spacious with lots of air. The warmth of the signature is reduced and this helps lift the veil to reveal just how good the transparency and resolution of the Phantom really are. It was like before I was confined to a small cave and seeing only the shadows of the music, and then I was released from my bonds to step out into the sunlight and see the music as it actually is (wink, wink, Plato's Cave).

As I indicated earlier, it does come at a cost of the Phantom's lushness in the mids. Notes become a bit leaner and the Phantom lose some of their signature timbre. I feel they can take it, although I think I might still be tempted to just occasionally roll cables simply because I have those around and I like my jazz warm and fuzzy and intimate. In general though Plato pairs outstandingly with the Phantom and it really opens them up.

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Pairing the Phantom and Plato with the PAW6000 produced a really impressive result. Both the PAW6000 and Plato improve transparency and the combination pushed the Phantom to a level of transparency I had not heard from those before. This made Mozart's Requiem especially enjoyable, as I had never quite heard the placement of the choir and solo vocals as clearly as this. It was very precise and emphasised the dynamics of the piece.

-64 Audio Tia Trio-
I initially discarded the pairing of Plato with the Trio because I felt the reduction in the mid-bass was taking away too much of the fun I have with the Trio. I do not think Plato reduces the bass' extension, but rather the mid-bass kick and some of the body of the bass. I am quite a bass head at heart and so if I know IEMs can perform well there, I want to have it in spades. Plato just reduced it too much while I was in the mood for listening to EDM. Giving it another go later on and using less bass-needy music such as classical symphonies, I was suddenly very impressed by this pairing. The huge stage, heaps of air and the overall tonal balance was extremely nice and had a musical reference quality to it. I am still not convinced that this is an optimal pairing, at least not for me, and I suspect that (based on the description Eric gave me) a cable like Iliad would do better at keeping the Trio fun and exciting.

Still, this pairing is definitely not without merit. Listening to Paganini's Violin Concerto no.4, I don't think I have ever heard it with this kind of resolution. The ease with which this pairing rendered details was very impressive and even during a casual listen I caught minute details without any effort. The Trio of course also have the famous Tia treble and I have found that with some pairings it can be quite bright, especially when using a more reference-type source like the PAW6000, but with Plato I did not notice anything of the kind. Just a smooth and sparkly treble, despite the overall slightly brighter tonality.

Comparisons
-Effect Audio Eros II 8W (Phantom)-
The Eros II 8W has been my go-to cable for the Phantom for quite a long time now. I occasionally switched it, only to go back again because I felt it achieved the best result all round. Plato has certainly changed that and I think both cables pair outstandingly well.

Quite to my surprise Eros II feels more intimate and with a more forward presentation than Plato. Notes are fuller and more natural, and the overall feel to the Phantom/Eros II pairing is smooth and easy going. Plato on the other hand feels a lot more crisp and clear, revealing the true ability of the Phantom with a very high level of transparency and resolution. The stage too is far bigger and more airy with Plato, while with Eros II you still get a little of the veil from the slightly warmer tone. Everything is fuller with Eros II, lush bass, full voices and instruments, a similar treble, be it a little sweeter perhaps (but not by much). The Pairing with Eros II feels much bolder, whereas Plato adds a sense of refinement to the Phantom I had not expected.

In practical aspects Plato is thinner and more ergonomic than Eros II, but that would be logical anyway considering the latter is a bespoke 8-wire cable. Parts are of similar quality, although of course the Eros II has the 2-pin connectors with the plastic covers (which have stayed in place securely on this cable).

These two pairings offer really interesting options for the Phantom and there is something to say for either. Eros II, even in its bespoke 8-wire configuration, is a lot less expensive than Plato and maintains a sound close to how the Phantom sound stock. Plato on the other hand seems to reveal everything there is to reveal with the Phantom and that level of transparency and resolution, the large stage and the overall imaging is really quite special. It is the reason why I expect Plato will be my Phantom's permanent companion for the foreseeable future.

-PlusSound Exo GPS (Trio)-
The Exo GPS has been my go-to cable for the Trio, although I do occasionally switch it with Cleopatra, which is another pairing I really enjoy. With all the cables I have tried though, I think the Exo GPS hits my sweet spot for the Trio and is a great example of excellent synergy. The most notable difference between the Exo GPS and Plato is found in the bass, where the Exo GPS provides more kick and body in quite an analogue way. Plato by comparison is more tightly controlled and reference-like in nature. There is also more air and detail in the bass, but I find it difficult to gauge which of the two cables digs deeper. Plato certainly digs plenty deep, it just doesn't come across as such if you feed it music that doesn't take advantage of it because it is such a tight and articulate bass.

At the other end of the frequency range the Exo GPS is the sparklier one when paired with the Trio and Plato slightly smoothens the treble to reduce some of the Trio's brightness. The mids of Plato are more linearly placed, while the Exo GPS pushes them a bit back, which is why I prefer the Exo GPS for the Trio, just to add a bit of fun and excitement. Of note though is the stage of the Trio/Plato pairing, which is astonishingly big and while listening to Rachmaninoff's Vespers I was absolutely gobsmacked by how incredibly realistic the venue was portrayed and how cavernously big the stage was. This was the sort of cave I would have no desire to leave.

In practical aspects Plato is surprisingly thinner than the Exo GPS, although the latter does have the edge in ergonomics because PlusSound's cables have an incredibly supple insulation. In terms of parts I think they are equal in quality, but with a different style. Plato is more refined and has a bit of bling-factor, while the Exo GPS parts have a more functional design that I always call 'utilistic' (built to be used).

-Effect Audio Cleopatra (Trio)-
Another cable I like to pair with the Trio is the Cleopatra. This pairing feels closer to the Exo GPS than Plato in that it has the fuller bass response and more treble sparkle, but Cleopatra also has more linear mids. Once again Plato has the tighter bass, while Cleopatra has a fuller more analogue sounding bass. Cleopatra has this more pronounced than the Exo GPS and the bass gets something like a wetness to it.

The treble on the other hand is more sparkly and an area where I have a love-hate relationship with the Trio/Cleopatra pairing, as it really reveals the Tia treble. This can be absolutely sublime at times, but with the wrong recordings I find it fatiguing as it hits my treble sensitivity. Nowhere have I found that with the Trio/Plato pairing, which has always been forgiving despite Cleopatra being the warmer cable. A warmer sound does not always need to be the smoothest one.

That warmth affects the midrange with Cleopatra in that instruments get a slightly more natural tonality and a fuller sound, but it does make the Trio sound a little fuzzy. With Plato that warmth is far more controlled, the stage expands a lot wider and there is a lot more air around instruments. So while instruments might have less fullness, their tonality still separates beautifully because each instrument is given space to shine. I loved this while listening to Saint Saëns' Danse Macabre that came across a lot clearer without loosing any of the emotion of the piece.

In practical aspects Plato still seems like it is a hair thinner than Cleopatra, but a little less supple. Both cables have the bling factor and similar quality parts, except for the 2-pin connectors, that with Cleopatra have the plastic cover (which here too have stayed in place securely).

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Conclusions
Plato is a neutral cable with an emphasis on improving transparency and resolution over tonality. It can expand the stage quite significantly and adds a lot of air around instruments. I paired it mainly with warm IEMs, which works wonderfully well. So well in fact that it has earned a permanent place on my Phantom. The biggest downside is its non-Litz design that could lead to oxidation, with the upside that it does make for a very thin cable for 24 AWG. Parts on the cable are of an excellent quality and it comes with a great handcrafted leather case. Eletech has certainly made an impressive start!
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Pros: Fascinating and practical design.
Superb luxury leather case.
Neutral mid and bass
Enhanced treble and bass detail
Cons: None.
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The product is top of the range that gratifies the all fundamental needs of people and also comes with its coherent design concept. However, the reality is that it is not easy to produce a product like that. Even with much effort, the result is often a failure. But there exist some cases out of the ordinary. So, I would like to talk about a product that possesses exceptional powers of perfection.



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Specifications
· 24 AWG
· Flawless Monocrystal Bespoke Silver
· Maximus efficiency strand geometry ; Kevlar infused
· Cryogenically Treated
· Eletech Bespoke Solder
· Eletech Customised connectors and Y-split
· FlexiMax Insulation™ (patent pending)

Website: https://elementechnology.com


Eletech Plato upgrade cable, its package looks splendid and minimal. Its package box just seems like an ancient book. It’s really hard to tell whether a book or not if kept in a bookcase, so it’s like hiding a secret treasure box. There are 3 things inside of it. Exclusive nice-looking leather case containing a Plato upgrade cable, and a thick card-sized metalwork engraved with brand name logos.


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The leather case is the circular type and has an adequate thickness, designed to grip with one hand and open and adjust the zipper easily. And, even when pressed with both hands hard, the case did not sink to less than 5mm, indicating that it is made strong. The zipper is YYK and can be held comfortably and adjusted smoothly by one hand. The case opens up to 115 degrees and can be bend back up to 180 degrees by force.


The back of the case has a single belt buckle and hook that make it easy to hang on any bags and trousers. The inside of the case is made of classy texture feeling suede, suitable storage size carrying a large-sized ciem and Plato upgrade cable together. There is a pocket, but it is not stretchy, so it is recommended to only store the plug of the cable. The case seems to be focused on accessibility for everyday use.


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The design of Plato upgrade cable gives an atmosphere like looking at a beautiful sculpture. Its transparent sheath of the cable and the conductors shining in it like a jewel necklace. The texture feeling of the sheath is quite good when the cable is smoothly bent and held in hand. Plato’s splitter is reminiscent of an ‘Order’ column in ancient Greek architecture. It has a slight blend of streamline patterns that accentuate an elegant yet modern design. The splitter works as a weight, allowing stable use without shaking and microphonics when listening. Therefore, it seems that the length adjustable part has been omitted because it does not have to be there.


The 2.5mm BAL plug is tightly adhered to the device being mounted, completely removing the concern of shaking and breaking. There is no feeling of rehashing parts such as splitter and plug with different angular patterns in it, making it seem more luxurious. Minimal and clean Eletech logo imprinted on every housing part up to 2Pin socket connectors makes good design consistency.



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The sound signature of Plato performed a propensity to match the name of the product. Its focus was thought to be on delivering more refined sound while maintaining the acoustic characteristics of the receiver and device. Especially, there exists a strong feeling of the surmise because it showed a neutral reverberation tone in middle and bass overall. That doesn’t mean that it performs dry and dull sound-signature. It possesses a smooth and moist elasticity as if the camera’s aperture is tightened to give a clearer image. Treble didn’t sound snappy or metallic. It gets glossily silky condensed and erupts splendidly. Fortunately, this sleek performance stably keeps the treble from reaching a provocative hiss level.


Actually, Plato is surprisingly rich in the details of bass. There is slightly accentuate reverb in the middle bass so that you can clearly hear the texture of playing percussion instruments like timpani, drum. I reckon that Eletech they focused on saving the details of the bass with minimal emphasis rather than increasing the sense of volume. Listening to the 2.5mm BAL and 3.5mm stereo-standard terminals by inserting a gender, I could see that the effort was greatly demonstrated. Even with the changing conditions of the phase of acoustic, Plato’s sound-signature did not nearly develop treble and middle differently changes only the depth feeling of the bass. Unless earphones with highly emphasized treble or far laid-back middle frequency or unstable tonal balance, Plato will fit most of the products. Especially, it fits the product with a flaccid treble or somber tonal atmosphere.



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Eletech Plato, it can be strongly recommended if you want to try a little more treble detailed and hear the neutral textures of the middle and bass. It is designed with careful consideration for users, not only for sound but for all parts, including luxury leather case and unique package design as high-end grade products. I reckon Eletech Plato is a great product that I can personally recommend if you find a cable with a high degree of completion.








Disclaimer

Bigheadfiler Studio is not affiliated with Eletech. The sample (including the whole package) and the payment for the photography service(10 photos) are offered for making this article.

Bigheadfiler Studio has done our best to make articles practical and useful to the readers, made contents by free will without color. Please take the time and judge from the article whether this is honest.

All of the contents above are produced by Bigheadfiler Studio.
The copyright of the pictures above belongs to "Eletech."

https://www.bigheadfiler.com/60 [Bigheadfiler Studio]
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