ISN GC4

General Information

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Description


  • Single crystal copper gold-plated conductor, the wire body is soft and smooth, without knotting
  • Hand-woven, durable
  • Carefully polish every detail, only to satisfy your selective choice, and carefully control each conductor, only for better sound.
  • High-fidelity anti-interference
  • The most impressive thing about the opening is the sound field, which is particularly magnificent,
  • like the gorgeous golden hall in Vienna.
  • The high frequency is very smooth and round, the revolution laying is very clear, and right on the best.
  • Accurate positioning, instruments from different directions can be accurately captured.
  • The mid frequency is full and mellow, with a strong sense of envelopment like a live music festival.
  • The low-frequency dive is like a deep abyss, and the rebound is very resilient.




Specification


  • Brand: ISN Audio
  • Model: GC4
  • Material: single crystal copper plating pure gold
  • Number of cores: 4 strands, single strand is 16 cores
  • Sheath: environmental protection transparent PVC
  • Aluminum alloy CNC cutting integrated slider
  • Secondary oxidation gold foil gold ring
  • The solder joint is silver–contained tin
  • Rhodium-plated plug
  • Cable length: 1.2M




Package


  • ISN Audio GC4 cable

Latest reviews

Pros: Light weight. Premium build with higher end crystal copper plated in gold. Attractive and blingy. Gold flavoring adds a rich tone to your sonics. Very good match for IEMs with a good foundation of detail. Excellent imaging capabilities. Gives treble a deeper hue. Adds distinction to notes with a blacker background. Tighter defined bass notes with excellent texture.
Cons: Gold cost too much. Not a good match for warmer sounding in ears. An 8 core version would be sweet but It would probably cost double.
ISN GC4
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It is no secret ISN has been making some very nice cables and they have officially left the budget realm of cables for more exotic offerings. This being said. It seems to me they are also very aware how expensive the boutique cable can be. Considering the competition. What ISN has been doing is giving the enthusiast premium handmade cables but at a more approachable price. Their newest entry I can say is more expensive for an ISN cable but the most expensive is still their AG8 pure silver cable. The ISN GC4 comes close at a $189 RP. The GC4 stands for Gold Copper 4 cores. Naming scheme for ISN always makes a lot of sense and this newest cable is yet another brilliant addition to their cable line.

So what does gold do for sonics? We are aiming to find out. I would like to thank ISN and Penon for the review sample of the GC4. It can be purchased on the Penon web page here. The analysis of the cables are my opinions regarding the cable are based on cost, build, effect and value. Now let's find out what the GC4 is all about.
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The ISN GC4 comes in their standard ISN packaging inside their rectangular box is a semi hard all black rectangular zip up case. The cable itself right away you can tell it is of a premium quality. The Ysplitter chin slider, plugs and the connectors all have a bronze/ copper color with golden rings highlighting the premium color scheme of the cables. Which happens to go along with the actual make of the cable itself. The cable cores are made up with a premium grade of crystal copper which is then plated with you guessed it. Gold. But it doesn’t stop there. Premium silver solder is used and to finish it off the plugs are plated with Rhodium. While the price is not cheap. You have to look at boutique cable offerings with similar materials and craftsmanship and then you will get a good sense of where this cable falls in line value wise.
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$189 gets you a lot of cheaper cables or even a good earphone but for the folks that feel the need to upgrade that stock cable of yours. The ISN GC4 is a great option especially if you feel what this cable adds sonically will mesh with your particular IEM. Getting the right cable to earphone combination is a bit like chemistry. Goes without saying. An analytical detail enhancing silver based cable will not match well with a highly detailed IEM for example. That is asking for ear fatigue. Now adding a gold plated copper cable on a highly resolving IEM. Now we are talking about synergy.
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Gold while not the best conductor for sonics, that title goes to pure silver however I found out gold adds something a bit extra that I had no idea about. The cable itself is made up with some thinner cores of gold plated copper weaved into the 4 cores. The physical look of the cables while ample is a bit on the thin side. A plus for folks that like their cable light and not so thick n weighty. Compared to something like their AG8 or CU4 cable which consists of thicker cores. The GC4 is a thinner and lighter style of cable. Cost probably had a lot to do with the physical bulk or the lack thereof. Cost aside I have to admit I was expecting a bit more physically, but you have to consider what the material here is.

Sound analysis was done connecting the GC4 with a variety of in ears including the Dunu Luna, NF audio NM2, Tansio Mirai TSMR-6, and ISN H40.
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In general at the cores of the GC4 is a highly resolving pure crystal copper which in and of itself is one of the best transducers of sound. A higher end quality of copper that bodes well to inject some musicality in tunings. Then the gold plating brings a plus on that copper sound. I would like to mention copper cables are great for smoothing and adding body to detailed earphones. With the added gold there is a richness to the sonics that copper by itself does not have.
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It supersizes the effects of crystal copper with an added distinction for instruments and vocals. A better sense of space with a blacker background giving better imaging to music notes. I noticed treble has better depth and roundness. Expansion of stage is done better on silver varieties of cables but the specialty of the gold plated copper seems to do an extra for the mids of your music giving it better distinction and definition more so than enhancing the treble or the bass ends. Due to the copper aspects treble is slightly smoothed out but the gold aspects seems to round out the treble a bit better than standard copper. Bass notes also seem better defined, a bit richer, better textured and gives great ability to the bass drivers.

Earphones that are more analytical/ highly resolving/ detailed or phones that have dryness to the sonics. The GC4 will add some dynamism, better imaging with an uptick in a richer tone. I noticed earphones that already have a smoother darker tone does not do as well synergistically.
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First up was with NF audios NM2 earphones. These monitors are more detailed than the price would indicate so I felt maybe the GC4 could add something to the NM2. This pairing is unbelievable. The GC4 transformed the stock NM2 sound to something special. Gives the sonics better distinction from treble to bass with a blacker background, adds that touch of richness. A clear dynamic balanced tuning. The GC4 matches up so well with this earphone I am now debating to get a 2nd 2 pin GC4 to match up permanently with this earphone. As the saying goes. You can’t unhear it. This pairing will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. NM2 has outstanding vocal properties to the sonics but with this cable it adds a free forming airy sound with better definition over the stock cable that will make you wonder why you spent so much on earphones that don’t sound as good. So far the best synergy I have heard using the ISN GC4. That goes to this little $100 IEM, NF audios NM2. By the way if you don't know anything about this IEM here is my review of them.
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2nd is the community favorite. ISN H40. GC4 is a good match for the H40s smooth tonality. A bit wider sense of stage. Spacious vocals with a bit of a richer, silkier tone to the mids. Depth seems to be better using the GC4 vs stock cable. Better sound separation and definition. Being a copper cable the GC4 adds a tighter punch to the bass end and brings an absolute ability to the bass. Treble is portrayed in a rounder slightly darker characteristic. If you have never heard a dark treble effect. It is my favorite type of treble portrayal due to the uniqueness in tone to the treble.
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TSMR-6 is a highly resolving Tansio Mirai earphone with an analytical nature of the tuning. High levels of detail with excellent imaging. The ISN GC4 matches well with this all BA earphone with added depth a better sense of note weight. That richer tone comes into play giving an injection of musicality to the base sonics of the TSMR-6 sound. These are the type of earphones that ends up matching well with the ISN GC4. While I would give the best synergy to the NF audio NM2. TSMR-6 is in 2nd spot with this matching. Treble notes sound less edgy and more cleaner actually sounding a bit more silkier. Bass has excellent presence and punch with this cable. Again adding a bit more in the way of body of sound due to the copper element. The gold gives that musical edge to many analytical tunings that brings a better sense of immersion.
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Finally we get the Dunu Luna. Dunu Luna is a highly resolving dynamic flagship from Dunu. Dunu has a well balanced tuning that is more referenced in the presentation. Injecting some musicality from a gold plated copper cable is not a bad thing. This pairing is excellent and while Dunus own stock noble cable that comes with the Luna edges out the ISN GC4 as it should considering it is double the cost vs the GC4. The GC4 turned out to match up extremely well on the Luna. Here is a case where the ISN GC4 gives a slightly different take on the Luna sound signature.

The Luna has a very dimensional sound and while the stock noble cable does a great job bringing out the details and adds to the dimensional aspect by giving the Luna better fullness in presentation. The GC4 adds a touch more in the way of imaging. The slightly warmer tone of the Luna now sounds more richer in tone. Live sets sound superb due to that added weight to the mids tone. Imaging hangs right in there with the Noble cable and actually sounds just as good in that department. Treble sounds a touch smoother and bass is as detailed as it ever was. The ISN GC4 while half the cost of the Dunu Noble cable, actually makes for a good alternative with a slightly less forward sound while adding weight and distinction to notes. This is a great pairing.
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In conclusion the ISN GC4 is a cable well worth owning. For enthusiasts looking for a high quality cable to pair up with your favorite in ears. If you have a highly detailed and resolving earphone and want to add a richer tone to the sonics these are very good in that regard. The ISN GC4 will not drastically change your earphone to be something different but it will add some musicality, distinction with great imaging properties. Thanks for reading and always happy listening.
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