8 braid gold plated copper - cryo silver hybrid cable.

  • Mad Cable is a new cable maker from Hong Kong, who offers splendid products for fair prices. The ReMSG is one of two cables of the new flagship series. It consists of 8 wires in total, while 4 are ultra pure UP-OCC silver and 4 are gold plated copper. This hybrid configuration offers all the advantages the single metals offer, with almost no drawbacks. The cable is mid-centric, offers excellent treble extension and has a slightly boosted, very punchy and controlled bass. The strengths of the ReMSG lie in the great detail, resolution and sound stage -- originating from the amazing approach of unifying a cold and precise signature with warmth and colorful tonality.

Recent Reviews

  1. appleidappleid
    Mad Cable Re-MSG vs Mad Cable Re-Mirror
    Written by appleidappleid
    Published Feb 7, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Good build quality, Smooth treble and vocal, Excellent price to performance ratio
    Cons - May sound a bit slow
    Mad Cable from Hong Kong offers three flagship cables at the moment. They are all hybrids:
    Eternity (HKD 8980, ~USD 1150) - Cryo UPOCC Gold Plated Silver + Cryo UPOCC Gold Plated Copper
    Re-Mirror (HKD 6980, ~USD 890) - Cryo UPOCC Gold Plated Silver + Cryo UPOCC Silver
    Re-MSG (HKD 5980, ~USD 760) - Cryo UPOCC Gold Plated Copper + Cryo UPOCC Silver

    I bought the latter two a couple of months ago. I used the Re-Mirror with Unique Melody ME1 and the Re-MSG with InEar ProPhile 8 (PP8). I have just sold the ME1 and got the new Sennheiser IE800S instead. Therefore in this review I will use the PP8 to compare the two cables. The PP8 has a reference sound so is perfect to test the sound signatures of the cables. The DAP I use is Sony Walkman WM1A.


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    Build
    The two cables are quite similar in colour. Comparing them side by side, it is clear that the Re-MSG is a bit darker. Mad Cable uses a cubical braided. The braiding is nicely done, regular and tight. The cables are more flexible than most 8-wire cable so doesn't suffer from microphonics as much. All cables from Mad Cable use Eidolic connectors unless you ask for an upgrade. I upgraded to a Pentaconn OFC 4.4mm connector on the Re-MSG. Overall I cannot complain about the aesthetic of the two cables.

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    Sound
    Both cables concentrate on clarity and a smooth, natural vocal. The treble extends beautifully. Bass is punchy but not thick. They can sound a tiny bit slow if the pace of the music is fast. Both cables are definitely not bass-orientated or full of energy. I feel they offers a good balance between warmth and clarity, giving a close-to-neutral sound.

    Both cables are not overly bright. Re-Mirror offers a better treble extension and better clarity on the treble. It is still well controlled and not harsh at all. Re-MSG is a bit darker compared to the Re-Mirror but still provides enough treble.

    The sound stage of the Re-Mirror is bigger than the Re-MSG. The Re-Mirror gives a more three dimensional image and better separation. The vocal on the Re-MSG is closer and warmer and the vocal on the Re-Mirror is a bit more airy, however just a tiny bit. I personally like the Re-MSG more in terms of mid range because I really enjoy the warmth it gives. It feels very cosy but still retains clarity. The names reflect the characters of the cables very well. The Re-Mirror is more analytical and neutral. The Re-MSG possesses more “flavour”. Both cables can sound a bit slow when listening to quicker music though, not sounding exciting enough.

    Both offer a more laid back and controlled type of bass. The quantity is enough for my personal taste. The Re-MSG gives a bit more bass than the Re-Mirror but the difference is smaller than I expect. The bass on the Re-Mirror is a bit more punchy whereas the Re-MSG extends deeper.

    I have to say both are very well-made cables. They give a good clarity but enough warmth for a nice smoothness. They perform best at vocals and are great for slower music. There are better options in the market if you are looking for something with a lot of energy. The two Mad Cables offer a light image and great resolution. I would recommend them if you are looking to add more resolution and a bit of warmth to your earphones. The main differences between them are sound stage and vocal. The Re-Mirror is more all-rounded whereas the Re-MSG gives more density.


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  2. Dan E
    Dan E's review of the Mad Cable ReMSG
    Written by Dan E
    Published Jan 23, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Braiding and building quality, Soundstage, High resolution, Clarity, Detail, Excellent combination of warmth and analyticity
    Cons - Audio Jack, No litzing, Slight incoherence in the mid range as a result of the hybrid configuration
    Introduction

    The cable market has been expanding rapidly with a large amount of companies joining the competition. One important hub for this market is Hong Kong, where some of the world’s most renowned brands like Labkable, Brimar, YY Pro and Rhapsodio are stationed. In this review I would like to introduce one more player from this city, who is on the raise to compete with the best: Mad Cable. The company was established in late 2016 and has a refreshing mentality that stands out on the oversaturated jungle of wires. You could say, sticking to their name, that they are mad in a sense that they offer top cables for extremely competitive prices. While the materials identical to and from the same factory as the ones other world prominent cable makers use, the prices are just a fraction of what is commonly asked for. The product range of Mad Cable has been expanding steadily and holds now a choice that goes from silver cables, gold plated silver and copper cables and, recently added, hybrids.

    Here, I introduce one cable of the first flagship series of Mad Cable. The series consists of two products: a gold plated silver with cryo silver hybrid called ReMirror, and a gold plated copper with cryo silver hybrid called ReMSG, while the latter one is subject to this review. It is fun to spare some words on the naming of the cables: the MSG in the name stands for Monosodium glutamate. It is a flavour enhancing substance that is commonly used in Chinese cuisine, but about the link between the cable and local food can only be speculated.

    Priced at 5950 HKD (about 760 USD), the cable is in the mid-range of nowadays cable market. This tag gets even more interesting with taking into account that the cable is an 8-braid hybrid, given that nowadays plated cables can easily pass this barrier for 4-braids.

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    Build and Appearance

    Each cable is shipped in a light-brown box made of synthetic leather, which has an additional drawer to store further cables or IEMs. Mad Cable knows how to catch the eye of the audiophile. The flagship cables are braided cubically and use clear PVC sleeving, resulting in an attractive mix of colours. The braiding itself is close to perfect, both in terms of looks and audio quality. First, it is extremely regular and tight, resulting in a very portable 8-braid configuration. Compared to my Plussound X8, the cable is about half as thick and excellent for outdoor use. Furthermore, the four strings after the Y-splitter are commonly braided in bundles of four, which makes the cable more long-lasting but sacrifices slightly optimal sound that would come with a twirling. From the build it is safe to say that Mad Cable can easily compete with other top brands on the market.

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    The individual strings are very thin, much thinner than the strings that States based companies use. There are two reasons for this: First, apart from Japan-based companies or few exotics like SilverFi that create their own cables, there is a quite limited amount of suppliers globally, such that many brands from Asia use the same materials. Second, the cables are not litzed. This means, that there is no additional coating on the single strings that prevents oxidisation. If you live in a dry climate, litzing may not be your first concern, but in tropical climates the cable will most likely tarnish. This will not change the sound at all but is merely a cosmetic compromise to make for the sake of an overall thin appearance of an 8-braid configuration. A further consequence of diameter of the wires is the flexibility: the cable itself is extremely soft and bendable, which makes it perfect for outdoor use. Usually, 8-braid cables are quite stiff, making them less convenient to use on the run, and this is where the ReMSG scores.

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    The Y-splitter comes in a neat carbon look and fits well to the silver strings of the cable. The ending consists of a standard Eidoloc jack, which is not the best choice on the market but decent for the price class intended.

    Finally, I would like to make some comments about the wearing comfort of the ReMSG. The cable itself is very light, such that gravity will not cause inconvenient pressure around the ears after longer times of usage. This was one of the drawbacks with many of my previous cables, which had the tendency to hurt after a certain time. However, depending on the narrowness of your ear and your neck, the spacious braiding after the Y-splitter may inflict some inconveniences behind your ear, as the braiding style is quite cubic.



    Sound

    In the following I am elaborating extensively about the sound image the Mad Cable ReMSG presents. As quick foreword about myself: I am affected by chronic tinnitus, such that I am more susceptible to bright treble than the average listener. Yet, to spoil the results from my hearing analysis, the ReMSG is a musical delight without any sharp ends, despite being half pure silver. The stage of the cable is uniformly wide. I would position it slightly behind gold plated silver cables, such as the Plussound X8 GPS, but it is still among the top players in terms of stage width. The cable has a strong mid-centricity, and shows a very smooth and natural sound. Besides tonality, the ReMSG scores with its splendid resolution. From that perspective, using cryo silver for half of the braids seems to be the right decision. Every note is well-located in the room, with sharp and audible barriers to the other ones. This gives an extremely clear and precise image, which overtops many high-end cables on the market. Often, a high braid count and gold plating achieve a thick and liquid sound, which, however, has the drawback that this condensation of notes causes overlaps and create slight fuzziness. The ReMSG trades this smooth and warm bass for great clarity by only plating four out of the eight braids. Depending on your personal taste, a less massive and warm bass can be a drawback. For me personally, a slightly warm and punchy, well-controlled bass is more desirable if it leads to an over-all more resolved and clean image. To rephrase the above, this cable tries to combine high-resolution and clarity with warmth, which are the two antipodal grails in audio and rarely enjoy a homogeneous interplay. This is done by using cryo silver to achieve highest resolution, and gold plated copper to control and boost the lower mids and bass, while smoothening the over-all sound and treble. Impressively, this is a quite serious approach to the ideal.

    In the following, I will elaborate in larger detail on the performance in the different sections of the spectrum. For the impressions, I used the Empire XR ADEL in-ears, coupled to the Cowon Plenue S as a source.

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    Let us begin at the upper end of the frequency spectrum – the treble stage. Personally, the treble is the region I am most selective on. Often, pure silver based cables tend to be too analytic, leading to sharp high frequencies that damage the overall presentation of the sound substantially. Hence, I tend to be in favour or gold plated silver, as it smoothens the aforementioned high frequency spikes from piercing the eardrum. This made me quite critical about a pure silver – gold plated copper mix, anticipating that the silver leads to uncontrolled analyticity. I was wrong with this prediction. The ReMSG achieves a naturally wide stage in the treble with very high resolution and sparkle, without the drawback of a sharp and overly bright treble. I was pleased to find a cable that possesses the strength from the cold sound of high purity silver wires and none of its drawbacks. To further elaborate, the mid-centricity of the cable combined with the high resolution present a very smooth extension from the mids. Apart from that, the detail of the ReMSG leads to a beautifully natural tone, giving the feeling that you are physically witnessing the concert. Concerning the energy of the music: guitar picks impose a tickling sensation and pushed piano keys an impact on the eardrum that makes it possible to feel how the instrument is played even with the lack of visualisation. Yet, I should mention that although the cable has the necessary energy in sound, there are other candidates, such as the SilverFi R2, which blow the full capacity of a live orchestra in your ear, enchanting you with a powerful sound that causes goose bumps. The ReMSG cannot compete in this sense, but still performs well.

    While the treble is mostly dominated by the characteristics of the four silver wires, in the mid range both the copper and the silver contribute in tandem to the tone. This leads to a very strong performance in the mids, with a few subtleties I would like to discuss. On the one hand, the silver part of the cable brings, once again, cold and detailed sound along with excellent resolution. The sound is fast and responsive – I would say ‘precise’ describes the sound best. On the other hand, the copper adds body and warmth, affecting especially the lower mids. In balance with the silver, the cable is only a bit warm, which preserves the clean character of the silver. Though, the gold plating ads smoothness, which lead to a big plus in the treble, but causes slight problems in the mids: the sound is very subtly but audibly incoherent with fast music. This effect sounds very slightly unclean, or fuzzy if you want. The silver does not have a delay, while the copper cannot keep up with speedy metal or fast and complex orchestras. Once again, this effect is very minor and may not be an issue for most of the listeners. Yet, I felt that this point is worth mentioning. In this sense, cables composed of several materials will always have this problem. Weighing this minor point with the large variety of benefits a well-tuned hybrid cable can have, it is more than worth to accept the unavoidable small flaws. Back to the main discussion, the mids are beautifully wide, benefitting from the strength of both materials. Together with the great detail in the mids, the gives a splendid three dimensionality to the music.

    The bass stage surprised me with its clean and slightly laid-back signature. Dominated by the copper wires, I expected a full and deep bass. In combination with a gold plating, I thought the bass and lower mids would be warm and colourful. However, the mid centric tuning achieves that the mids and bass are only slightly warm, but score greatly with a very well-controlled punchiness. If you are fan of bass monsters, this is where you may be disappointed. For myself, however, this slightly boosted clean bass is exactly what is necessary to give the sound an overall homogeneous image. Just as for the treble, also the bass extends smoothly from the mids, maintaining the overall character of the cable. The bass gives a round and wide bottom to the spectrum. What becomes apparent here is the slight lack of energy mentioned in the section above: classical pieces like Tchaikovsky’s 1812 cannot make the bass rumble. I am not talking about a heavy pressure as in a deep bass. Rather, I am referring to a mildly laid-back representation of the bass, which seems slightly too tame for my taste.

    In summary, I would like to rewind the last couple of paragraphs by noting that the ReMSG is a splendid cable with a great amount of strengths, such as the huge detail and resolution combined to the right amount of warmth that gives the cable the necessary kick to make it top tier. Minor draw-backs such as tiny lags in sound for fast and complex music and a small lack in energy are partially unavoidable and do not change the overall greatly positive impression of the cable. Every other top of the line cable, independent of its price, suffers from drawbacks that comes with its tuning or choice of materials, such that the flaws here are nothing to be picky on. The ReMSG makes a lot better than certain contestants for much more money and definitely plays in the highest league of audio cables.




    Comparisons


    To conclude the sound impressions, I will compare the Madcable ReMSG to two similar top tier cables. This is mainly to give a deeper navigation in the landscape of sound with the use of prominent cables as milestones.



    Plussound X8 GPS

    The Plussound X8 GPS consists of 8 thick gold plated silver wires. It beats the ReMSG in stage and power. More precisely, the stage of the X8 is among the widest on the markets, slightly wider than the ReMSG. The sound of the X8 is more energetic and warm, leading to a less clean but more colourful sound. The bass of the X8 is stronger, and the treble smoother. In total, the Plussound gives a more musical sound image, whereas the focus of the ReMSG is shifted to a more precise and resolved sound, while maintaining the highest possible level of warmth. Thus, the ReMSG has a similar level of detail, while having a higher resolution and separation.

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    Plussound X8 GPC

    The configuration of the Plussound X8 GPC are 8 braid gold plated copper wires. The X8 offers maximum warmth and colour, combined with a very responsive and full bass. Compared to the ReMSG, the cable offers a dense and full-bodied sound with heavy and full lower ends. Conversely, the upper mids and treble cannot compete with the remarkable presentation of the ReMSG. The stage and detail of both cables are similar. The X8 offers a more powerful sound, while the ReMSG has better resolution and separation.

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    Conclusions

    The Mad Cable ReMSG is a refreshing new player on the market. While it performs among top tier cables, the pricing is beneath what high end cables cost nowadays. Nonetheless, the quality of built and sound are more than convincing. The sound reflects an excellent approach in tuning that tries to get as close as possible to a combination of colourful and warm sound, together with analytic and cold precision. Together with its outstanding resolution and details the ReMSG offers a technically highly demanding tuning leading to a natural over-all image. This makes the ReMSG the almost perfect all-round cable.



    To warp up, I conclude with a key word summary of the pros and cons discussed throughout this review.

    Negative: - Built: Audio Jack, no litzing

    - Slight incoherence in the mid range as a result of the hybrid configuration


    Pro: + Braiding and building quality

    + Great sound stage

    + High resolution, clarity and detail.

    + Excellent combination of warmth and analyticity

    + Natural sound


    Quality: 8.5/10

    Sound: 9/10

    Value for money: 10/10
      rtjoa and Wyville like this.

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