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Satin Audio Monster Series (Griffin / Chimera / Kraken / Medusa)

Rating:
4.5/5,
  • From Satin Audio:

    "Satin Audio is a IEM/ Headphone Cable manufacturer based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Our cables feature highest purity materials at reasonable prices. Our cables are produced in one of a very few factories which can provide certified OCC wires. All the wires and Satin parts are manufactured at very trustworthy factories to make sure that Satin products meet premium quality."

    -Highest purity of materials (including Pure Copper and Pure Silver)
    -Certified OCC wires
    -Type 4 Litz and Cryo treatment
    -Exclusive Satin Audio connectors and jacks (TeCu/PEEK applied connectors)


    small-Griffin-8x-White-web-3-800x800.jpg
    Griffin
    • OCC Pure Copper Type 4 Litz
    • 26AWG
    • Cryogenic Treatment
    • Highest purity silver
    • Kevlar Damping Core
    • Audio grade Mundorf MSolder SUPREME from Germany
    • Handcrafted in Vietnam
    small-Chimera-8x-White-web-3.jpg
    Chimera
    • OCC Pure Copper Type 4 Litz mixed with OCC Silver plated Copper Type 4 Litz
    • 26AWG
    • Cryogenic Treatment
    • Highest purity Copper
    • Kevlar Damping Core
    • Audio grade Mundorf MSolder SUPREME from Germany
    • Handcrafted in Vietnam


    small-Kraken-8x-White-web-3-800x800.jpg
    Kraken
    • OCC Pure Copper Type 4 Litz braided with OCC Pure Silver Type 4 Litz
    • 26AWG
    • Cryogenic Treatment
    • Highest purity silver and copper
    • Kevlar Damping Core
    • Audio grade Mundorf MSolder SUPREME from Germany
    • Handcrafted in Vietnam


    small-Medusa-8x-White-web-3jpg.jpg
    Medusa
    • OCC Pure Silver Type 4 Litz
    • 26AWG
    • Cryogenic Treatment
    • Highest purity silver
    • Kelvar Damping Core
    • Audio grade Mundorf MSolder SUPREME from Germany
    • Handcrafted in Vietnam

Recent Reviews

  1. WilliamLeonhart
    Satin Audio: Chimera for Headphones
    Written by WilliamLeonhart
    Published Oct 6, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - - Premium build
    - Affordable pricing
    - Noticeable improvement in sound quality
    Cons - - Fit all the newer HD6 (since HD580 Jubilee onwards) but doesn't fit the old HD540
    I love the HD6 series from Sennheiser. I love them so much that I now have 3 pair of them (HD6xx, HD58x, HD600) as well as their predecessor, the HD540. Among the 3 amps I have, 2 are dedicated to the Senns – a tube amp and a solid state one. With 2 good DACs (iFi iDAC2 and Modi Multibit), my Sennheiser altar seemed completed.
    The only place left to go was a new cable. And that was when I “discovered” Satin Audio. For disclaimers, I do know Eric, Satin’s founder. We’re not exactly super closest friends, but Eric is somewhat well-known among the audio circle in Vietnam. I remember during local meets he had always complained about the expensive pricing of cables, and in 2017 he turned those complaints into a business called Satin Audio with a very Vietnamese-specific aim: to provide customized audio cables at competitive price points. Yes, I do love my Sennheisers, but to think I’d pay thousands of dollars is just absurd.
    72484680_2457388411024159_2836545549312720896_n.jpg
    The missing piece of my Sennheiser altar.
    Design and long-term usage
    Thanks to a busy family life and a lot of business travels, it took nearly 2 years for me to finally become a Satin Audio customer. Oh I do seem to be the first customer to ever order a “Chimera for Headphones”, which was delivered before last Christmas.
    How does it look? In contrast to the other Satin cable that I own (Chimera for in-ears – which look totally premium), the Chimera for Headphones does seem more practical. Instead of the “high-end-looking” engraved parts, mine came with a big black 6.3mm termination plug and 2 Sennheiser speaker-connectors, again in black plastic. I think to many the connectors wouldn’t do the cable justice in terms of look, but they are sturdy and after months of use have not shown any problems at all. It’s a less consistent design than the other Satin cables, but it’s also more interesting. After all, very few cable crafters would go for the contrasting look between plastic connectors and silvery braided cables.

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    The big black Neurik connector...
    72927780_2364328523689451_2312375508442021888_n.jpg
    ...doesn't go ton-sur-ton with the silvery cable (and splitter).
    The Chimera doesn’t weight a lot and doesn’t cause any discomfort during use. Despite the fact that I move quite a lot instead of sitting still listening to the music I like (well at least I have to move the mouse to select songs), the cable caused absolutely no microphonic noise. It does, however, cause distraction. On a table full of black, ugly electronic devices – like my Burson amp or my HP laptop, the Satin cable would be the most shiny, most beautiful thing at any given time. I can’t help but pick it up, admiring Satin’s work, then realize I just missed a few minutes of Opeth or Pink Floyd...
    Improvement in Sound
    Sound improvement from cable has always been a touchy subject. As an engineer, I can’t help notice the debate around it. But as a software engineer, I’d trust my own experiences. So I ask my wife to help me do a blind test with the HD6xx. She would change between the stock cable and the Satin Chimera, and I will have to tell which is which.
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    It leans more towards the brighter side of things...
    The difference, understandably, was not night and day. On Spotify, which I find to be the absolute worst streaming service in terms of quality among all the ones I've used, there was no difference between the stock cable and the Satin. I didn’t keep the score after the 4rd switch, because basically every time my answer was a wild guess. On Tidal, I nailed the test right 9/10 of the time. The only one where I got wrong was in Oasis’ “Cigarettes and Alcohol”. Understandably, because Oasis’ best records all suffered from the Loudness War.
    But on those tracks where I got it right (Moonlight Shadow, Go Your Own Way, Time etc.), the difference was immediately recognizable. By removing a bit of the mid-bass bump and adding sub-bass, the Chimera resulted in a “tightened”, more satisfying low-ends. The change was even more noticeable in power ballads/Dad Rock anthems which thumping drums like “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” or “You Give Love a Bad Name”. Among all the 3 HD6 series that I have, the improvement perhaps would be most welcome on the HD58x, which strayed the furthest from the HD580/HD6 “traditional” sound with its more abundant bass sound. There seems to be no abrupt changes to the Sennheiser “house sound” mid-ranges – the HD6xx remains intimate as ever… So no complaint from me.
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    Intimate as ever.
    Moving up, high-mids and trebles are less grainy. There are more clarity to appreciate in the high-ends, especially with Acoustic Rock songs. The improvement here is in-line with the improvement in the low-ends: the Satin Chimera offers no characteristic changes, instead just refines the sound that I’d come to love a long time ago. By refining both the bass and the trebles, the Satin Chimera helps open up the soundstage, resulting in a more satisfying experience for Classical and Classic Rock music.
    That’s not to say the changes are always welcome. By combining the iDac 2, the Burson Fun with Sparko op-amps and the Chimera, I made my HD600 too “sterile”: it was just too dry, even leaning on becoming artificial sounding. And, once again, all the improvements were not night and day: more trivial changes like changing pads or changing tubes will be easier to notice.
    For the HD6 Fans
    72484680_2457388411024159_2836545549312720896_n.jpg
    So, in what situation would I recommend the Satin Chimera? The answer is easy: when you have all the other parts in your audiophile rig figured out. With the iDac2 and the Mimby, I have 2 greatly different DAC to cover all bases – the iDAC2 for critical listening and the Mimby to enjoy life. With the Little Dot I+, I found the perfect match for my low-impedance Grados and Audio-Technicas. With the Little Dot mk4 and the Burson Fun, I can drive practically all kind of power-hungry headphones. All my amps support opamp rolling or tube rolling. Hell, I even has a Weiduka splitter to “reduce jitter”.
    The only piece left in the combo is the cable. With the Satin Chimera, I could finalized my perfect Sennheiser rig: it doesn’t cost ridiculous (in comparison to the headphones/amps/DACs I have), it looks nice, and to my findings, it improves the sound in the way that I liked. Crazy, I know: just last month one of my audiophile “friends” recommends me to try a well-known cables 2 times the price of my HD6xx. It sounded just like the Satin Chimera…

    images

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      Watermelon Boi likes this.
  2. Watermelon Boi
    Satin Audio - Monster Series: A solid new brand
    Written by Watermelon Boi
    Published Feb 23, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Cost effective
    -Solid build quality and packaging
    Cons - Nothing in particular
    DSC_0793.jpg

    Satin Audio - Monster Series: A solid new brand

    Cables are one of the most important elements in personal audio when it comes to sound quality and getting closer to your desired sound. The quality of the cables are pretty much guaranteed for the big, famous brands, but what about the cheaper options? Sure, there are still a whole lot of choices you could make for an affordable price, but in my experience many of those just weren't good enough or turned out even bad at some times.

    However I've recently discovered several cable manufactures that are affordable yet equipped with excellent quality, one of them being Satin Audio cables. Satin Audio is a relatively new cable manufacturer from Vietnam and they've just launched their fresh new line-up, the monster series. Let's first take a look on their technological features and website before moving on to the sound impressions.







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    The technical info

    Satin Audio cables are equipped with multiple features in every components. The connectors, sockets, plugs, and splitters are all produced from SA with silver anodized aluminum for the shells and TeCu & PEEK insulation for the connectors. They use Mundorf MSolder Supreme as their soldering material, supplied with numerous options of terminations. The cables are also constructed in type 4 litz, resulting the sound to have better precision and insulation.

    There are several more features such as OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) process, Kevlar damping core, Cryogenic treatment, and more, but I'll leave it here and recommend to check these info from their website as the technical talks will get too lengthy.





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    Packaging

    The packaging is small yet beautifully made with eye catching liquid designs on a white background. There's also a sticker on the side that indicates the product code and name. Other than the cable itself, it comes with a fabric pouch, a cable strap made from Oriolus, and an instruction guide.





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    Monster Series: Griffin

    Griffin is an OCC Pure Copper Type 4 Litz cable and priced for $110 (4 braid), $143 (6 braid), and $176 (8 braid). Griffin is the youngest among the Monster series yet uncompromising when it comes to performance. I've expected Griffin to have a bass-centric sound, though soon noticed that it's very well balanced. The bass quantity doesn't particularly increase much, but shows improvement in depth and density - it's a type of cable that enhances the bass by highlighting the existence itself rather than boosting the quantity. Mids do not fall back and maintains its position fairly well.





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    Continuing about Griffin

    While Griffin keeps the low/mids warm and smooth, it has a touch of sparkles and shininess on the upper frequencies which gives a good amount of freshness even as a warm sounding cable. This makes the overall temperature to be almost perfectly neutral but slightly tilted to being warm. Not drastic, but headroom clearly shows a noticeable improvement due to the increase of depth and width from the bass. Griffin is the most organic sounding cable and would be a great choice if you're looking for a good copper cable with the most natural sounding tonality.





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    Monster Series: Chimera

    Chimera is an OCC Pure Copper Type 4 Litz mixed with OCC Silver plated Copper Type 4 Litz and priced for $117 (4 braid), $145 (6 braid), and $181 (8 braid). Chimera's characteristics sits between Griffin (pure copper) and Medusa (pure silver). The tonality becomes tasty as well as vocals getting boosted, making the overall sound energized and lively. Bass dives deep as Griffin but with slightly less quantity, while upper frequencies become more spatial and rich. Chimera aims for a fun and enjoyable sound signature which would nicely match with IEMs that have a plain, old-school tonality.





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    Continuing about Chimera

    The surface becomes smoother throughout the frequency and maintains both quality and quantity from the low ends. The highs also turn more crispy and denser, vividly highlighting the snares. Headroom also shows improvement, though compared to Griffin or Medusa, this one aims more on the 3D spatial aspect rather than the width. Chimera would be a great choice if you're looking to form a W-shaped signature highlight both low, mid, and high frequencies.





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    Monster Series: Kraken

    Kraken is an OCC Pure Silver Type 4 Litz mix OCC Pure Copper Type 4 Litz and priced for $160 (4 braid), $206 (6 braid), and $256 (8 braid). Kraken has a very similar sound signature to Chimera yet have a minor difference in terms of characteristics. I think here would rather be good place to talk about the differences between Kraken and Chimera, as both being hybrid models they are very similar in both sound signature and price.





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    Continuing about Kraken

    While these two cable share the base of sound signature, Chimera clearly expresses characteristics of both copper and silver, resulting into a vibrant and energetic type of sound. Kraken, however, tends to take a more careful approach towards sound and focuses more on the coherency between these two materials - copper and silver. Not that Chimera shows dissonance, but it's more like Kraken focuses relatively more on the overall sound being more seamless. This results Kraken to be superior in vocals and tonality while Chimera takes the advantage when it comes to bass and treble extensions. They're like twins with slightly different personality, so both would be good to go.





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    Monster Series: Medusa

    Medusa is an OCC Pure Silver Type 4 Litz cable and priced for $210 (4 braid), $290 (6 braid), and $361 (8 braid). It's a common misconception that pure silver cables makes the bass weaker, though that isn't the case for the Medusa at all. It actually darkens and solidifies the hollow bits on the lower end, resulting a fuller, deeper, and clearer bass presentation. Mids and trebles stretches out clearer with significantly increased airiness. It doesn't aggressively boost the upper frequencies but rather takes a gentle step, making it suitable with various IEMs with less chance of having a bad match.





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    Continuing about Medusa

    Headroom shows improvement in size too. It's mainly due to the extra space resulted from the airiness from the upper frequencies, but Medusa's ability to bring out all the bass definitely made the sound to feel extended both ends, despite being a pure silver cable. The textures become more crispy and revealing. Reverbs are preserved but delicately straightened up. Medusa clearly proves its position as the highest model from the line up.





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    Verdicts


    As someone who's been exploring custom cables with various types, price, and tiers, I could confidently say Satin Audio isn't joking around when talking about quality. Rather than just being cost effective, these are actually great as products themselves even without considering the price tags. Would like to give another thumbs up as they makes it clear about the materials and technologies they've used, from soldering materials to technical information.

    I've been talking with the people behind the brand and could definitely feel their passion and truthfulness as they're handling the business, which I can never recommend enough if you're looking for cables with good affordable prices. They are still a very young company and just started to reach out to overseas which I'm much looking forward to their future activities.




    Visit www.aboutaudio.org or follow on Instagram / Facebook for more contents!​




    Thanks to Satin Audio for providing the cables in exchange of an honest impression/feedback.
    I am not affiliated with Satin Audio and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
      mvvRAZ likes this.
    1. terrav
      Can you tell the improvement in terms of soundstage with the Medusa ?
      terrav, Feb 28, 2019

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