Penon GS849 - Reviews
Pros: Versatile hybrid cable with half 18K gold plated OCC copper, the other half Silver plated OCC copper. 8 cores of 49 strands each. Thicker, substantial, sonic enhancing fullness, Richness, Treble clarity, deep bass impact with a wider dimensional stage.
Cons: Gold plated so your gonna have to save up a bit to invest on a set. Has some weight which is not a con for me but I know some like them cables skinny.
Penon GS849.
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Penon cables have been a revelation to me. I have been so happy with the cheaper cables found on Aliexpress that I didn’t feel the need to get higher end cables. Well all that changed once I started looking into Penon cables. Today we are looking into a unique hybrid made by the mad audio chemists at Penon.
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I would like to thank Penon audio for the review sample of the GS849. These can be bought on the Penon web site here.
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The GS849 cable has 3 main ingredients that make up the cable. The main cores of the strands are OCC copper. Described as Ohno Continuous Cast. Meaning it is a higher quality of copper which eliminates all grain and annealing issues in copper due to a unique casting process. Half the thicker 8 cores are made of a silver plated OCC and the other half are 18K gold plated OCC. These two types of cables are then inter weaved into a solid 8 cores utilizing 49 strands of the material per core.
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It is a hybrid cable in the truest form and what you're gonna get is something unique in looks and also in sonic production. This being my 2nd gold plated cable I have reviewed. Gold adds a unique rich flavoring to sound and added to that is a great ability to separate sounds giving better layering adding dimensions to sonics of the host IEM. The silver aspect adds detail to the sonics which is evident in treble emphasis with added clarity and resolution. The base copper bodes well for mid range warmth, fullness and bass impact. So what you're getting in the GS849 comprises a lot of sound influencing tech in a hybrid cable. How does all this translate to how your earphones will sound?
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The 849 branding is a brilliant description of what makes up the cores for the cables. 8 core of 49 strands of material. The full thickness bodes well to add some meat to your sonics. I noticed thicker cored cables adds a better sense of depth/ fullness and stage. Here with the GS849 it is no different. Earphones that need some added body of sound will benefit from the full thicker cores of the GS849. I will say 849 Penon cables as there are a few with thicker 8 cores that all have the name with the 849 in them on the Penon site.

What you're getting for your hard earned cash is a substantial full thick cable that has a very versatile effect on the earphones it is attached to. The cable itself has some weight due to the materials but nothing that should bother you. I actually appreciate some heft in a cable. Means it has some substance to it. The cable is soft and pliable and is not prone to memory. The build quality is top notch on these and the attention to detail of the cable is evident. I also appreciate that there are no ear guides on the connectors.
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Connecting your earphones to a GS849 cable means that you're looking for a way to enhance something about the sonics of your host IEM. The GS849 is mostly an SPC type cable and has more sonic characteristics closer to a silver plated copper cables. That 1/4th gold plating adds some flavoring to the mids with some added richness. I would say if your earphones do well with the tried and true silver plated cable then the GS849 will be one of the better pairings for you. It has a versatile effect I mentioned previously and I noticed it is even more versatile than the previous gold plated cable I reviewed the ISN GC4. I like that there is a bit of silver involved with this particular cable as it bodes well for treble extension and clarity.

In the end I feel the GS849 is a very well made, solid upgrade to just about any earphone you want to attach it to. The degree of the sonics enhancement is dependent on the earphone you attach it to and in the next section I will show some pairings that represents what the GS849 does well.
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First up is the community favorite Moondrop Blessing2. I gotta say the Blessing2 is one picky earphone when it comes to cables. I have tried the usual suspects, pure silver, crystal copper, UPOCC, SPC and the like and while I settled on an aftermarket SPC cable I still felt it needed something a bit extra. Couldn't put my finger on it. That is until I used the GS849 on the Blessing 2 for the first time. Synergy is described as the creation of the whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. Synergy is hard to achieve sometimes, especially for picky earphones. if I hear an earphone that I own and it sounds better than it ever has using a cable. Then we have synergy!.
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Blessing2 base tuning is a well balanced harmon curve tuning that Moondrop is known for. While this tuning is relatively safe and usually balanced I feel it keeps it a bit too safe at times. Lacking a bit in the way of dynamics and immersion. That is exactly what the GS849 did for the Blessing2. First thing I noticed: the wide stage now seems even wider. Better spaciousness of sonics. Mids had a slight richer tone with a fuller body of detail. Imaging was the best I have heard on the Blessing 2 using the GS849. When you get the right cable to synergize with a sound. You will instantly hear it and that is what happened here. Bass seems to have better presence and cohesion of the sonics are at a new high. Blessing 2 sounds much more higher end using the GS849 than any other cable I tried on it and that my friends is the very essence of synergy. Treble sounds cleaner and blended better with the rest of the sonics as well. The GS849 was made for the Blessing 2. It adds dynamism and a broader rangier sound than it wouldn't have otherwise. A fantastic pairing if there ever was one.
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Next pairing was with the TSMR-6. As good as the Penon OS849 was on the TSMR-6. Infact not only the 6 model but also on the TSMR-4 pro and the TMSR-3 pro. The GS849 brings that spacious layering to the sonics. Making each one of these all BA earphones sound more dimensional than they already are. All BA sets benefit from a bit of gold to add a bit of richer tone to BA timbre and these earphones all sounded the best I have ever heard from them using this cable.
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Versatile hybrid is the sonic enhancing ability of the GS849 and we get a great punchy bass end. Sparkly extended treble. Full rangy mids with greater sense of layering the best of each TSMR earphone can do. If you're an owner of any of the TSMR earphones the GS849 is the way to go for the ultimate version of these earphones.
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Just for fun I decided to try the GS849 with a budget offering. Soon to be very popular, Tin Hifi T2 plus. This new earphone from Tin Hifi was recently released for RP of $55-$65 dependent on sales. As expected the cable that comes with these earphones are good for the price but nothing that is gonna make waves. The T2 plus comes alive with the GS849 much more so than the stock cable as expected. Adding a wider stage with a deeper more involved detailed infusion to the Tin T2 plus. These earphones sound much more premium with this pairing and while I don’t expect folks to buy a $189 cable for a $55 earphone. This little experiment shows the versatility of the GS849. It can be matched up with dynamic earphones, BAs, hybrids, budget level or otherwise.
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Lastly we get a match up with one of my all time favorites. My Solaris. No surprise not only does the cable match up with the looks of the earphone but in sonic enhancements as well. Solaris already has a very nicely designed large full body of sound where the GS849 comes into play is with a greater sense of stage and enhances what the Solaris already does well which is the 3Dness of the sonic character. Everything is separated extremely well with a larger stage than what it already has. Treble has excellent extension and brings a touch more sparkle to the treble. Bass impact is perfected using the GS849. I have to admit this cable has to be one of the best I have used on the Solaris and the synergy with the Solaris is very evident.
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AS always thanks for reading happy listening.

Attachments

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Pros: price, usability, package, sound
Cons: none
In my recent review of Penon's OS849 cable, I've already shared my opinion about cables and their impact on sound. I won't repeat it once again, but in short: I'm making blind A/B tests to describe the difference between cables, and changes are often audible, but I doubt that changes are implied be cable materials directly. Changes are caused by cable's electrical parameters difference, and that parameters can be caused by material, so, silver, gold, and other components affect sound only indirectly.
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Before I proceed to the central part of the review, I'd like to thank Penon Audio for providing me the sample in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

If you never tried Penon's official products before, I recommend you to buy at least something, simply to see, how much care can be put into simple things like packaging. While much more expensive cables sometimes come packaged in plain ziplock, moderately priced GS849 impress you with the package. Wooden box, excellent velvet pouch, sturdy short clip, all that velvet inserts, protecting box's content — it's nice and adjusts you to a positive mood.
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The cable itself is good, and it's perfectly braided of 8 cores, each consisting of 49 gold and silver plated OCC strands. Build quality is superb, Penon Audio uses highest quality connectors, solder, and splitters. Usability is also excellent, despite being pretty thick, cable is soft and has zero microphonics.

I've made a series of A/B testing, comparing stock cables of different IEMs with GS849, and here are results.
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The most often change I've got with this cable, it's making lows deeper and faster, causing a bit drier sound with improvements in texturing and instruments separation. It sounds great with almost all hybrid IEMs I've tried, but with some pure-armature IEMs (e.g., Andromeda), sound can be a bit too dry.
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With Dunu DK-3001 I've got definitive improvements in lows (as described above), giving more natural sound. Also, cable added a bit resolution on mids, but this effect is barely audible. Additionally, I've got noticeable improvements in treble extension. I observed similar effects with iBasso's IT03, Magaosi K3 HD, and HiFiBoy OS V3.

With Rose Br5 Mk2 I've got more forward and emotional mids, causing improvements in staging and instruments positioning. Magaosi K5 got a better treble extension and more natural sounding lows.
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So, once again I can recommend you cables made by Penon Audio, they are one of the most cost-efficient solutions in the world of aftermarket cables.

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Pros: Price, Definition, Soundstage
Cons: None
Introduction

I would like to thank Penon Audio for providing me the Penon GS849 cable for review. The cable material is made of gold plated copper and silver plated copper. There are 8 cores to this cable with 49 strands per core which result in its name, 849. The jack contains 68% copper. The Penon GS849 I received comes with MMCX connectors and 3.5mm single ended jack. At the moment, you can buy this cable from https://penon-official.com/product/penon-gs849/ .



Unboxing & Accessories

The GS849 comes in a red and blue package with Penon printed on the front cover in gold colour. After opening the package, there is a wooden rectangular case that contains the GS849. Beneath the case is a soft carrying pouch that contains cable wrap and shirt clip.



Cable Design & Build

The MMCX connectors on the cable has a silver housing with silver carbon fibre design. There is indication of left and right through the blue and red stripe on the surface of the housing respectively. There is strain relief. There is no memory wire section. Moving down to the chin slider, it is silver and circular in shape. The y-splitter has silver carbon fibre design and it looks classy. Lastly, the jack is 3.5mm straight and has a silver housing with silver carbon fibre design. The brand name is printed on the housing. There is strain relief. The overall cable design gives a premium feel and I find it aesthetically pleasing. The cable is quite soft and supple for a 8 core.



Sound Analysis (Compared to Stock Cable)

Lows

The sub-bass quantity faces a slight increase which helps to create a fuller performance. It is able to extend well and the overall tightness increases which results in a more controlled bass reproduction. The bass texture is similar while the bass decay picks up additional speed. There is extra punch as each bass note is articulated with authority and it is able to strike with more power. The bass is able to deliver a strong impact and it increases the engagement level. There is great liveliness.

Mids

The midrange becomes brighter and it faces an increase in its cleanliness. The transparency improves which causes vocals to be expressed clearly with minimal congestion. There is greater definition and the technical aspect has a higher standard. The lower mids has a marginal increase in the body and it helps to create a thicker approach which benefits male vocals. There is a smooth execution. The upper mids are more forward and the sublime delivery has the ability to produce a captivating female vocals masterclass. The crisp is maintained well. The details retrieval amplifies to a higher standard.

Highs

The treble is able to extend with slightly more magnitude whilst still keeping its body. There is no sibilance and harshness. The crisp is similar and there is a small addition in sparkle. The smoothness is maintained and there is additional air rendered at the top to provide more space. The treble articulation is precise and it showcases extra finesse. The treble presentation is enjoyable and provides some kick.

Soundstage

The stage has a more natural expansion and it improves tremendously with a huge width. The depth slightly increases with an effective amount of space. Positioning of vocals and instruments improves and results in an open feel.



Conclusion

The GS849 is a remarkable hybrid cable that is able to tighten the bass and provides the additional punch for greater impact. In addition, the midrange is being tackled well with an increased amount of details whilst the treble is expressed in an effortless manner. The overall sound experiences an increase in definition and showcases great flair. The Penon GS849 is Penon’s current flagship cable and it is nothing short of impressive.



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