Review: Linum Super BaX on tour
The guys at Estron Linum have asked me to review their new flagship cable Super BaX.
Never really thinking about the cable connection between my earphones and my source device before attending CanJam and Indulgence Shows in London last year. Being more leftield with my purchases (I love unique products), I stumbled across Linum Bax (MMXC) samples being displayed by The Sanctuary. I was quite intrigued by the product as compared to the other custom wires at the show and was amazed that it was so thin. Coupling this with my Shure SE846 I experienced a world beyond. There improvements in audio I couldn’t imaging possible.
Estron Linum, I discovered was a small, but established company in Denmark supplying ultra thin cables to the AV industry and now recently appearing in audiophiles armory as the go-to cable for portability and in my opinion stealth. Their technology screams the over engineering which can only come from Nordic countries.
I was sent their Super BaX cable which is their new premium offering, as part of the cable tour currently happening in the UK, Europe and US. I am testing their flag ship model Super BaX cable which is a newer, stronger and with an even lower impedance, and Linum claim, tangle free.
My set up:
Astel & Kern AK300
Fiio E12 (Although I didn't use it much)
64Audio A8 (8 driver version) custom IEM
Packaging & Build
The Linum cable came with an elegant and functional case. Suitable for both cable and IEM. This was welcome as I have been using my Pelli 1010 case to transfer my CIEM which is some time cumbersome and heavy.
Ascetically the cable itself presents itself as silky smooth, but well-built and as advertised incredibly tangle free. It is more tactile in the hand compared to the standard Linum cable which was super thin and subject to tangle which was annoying. You can feel that you have a premium product. The L shape phono connector is plastic and not one of the fancy Neutrik type as you see with some of the custom cable out there.
The overall build quality of the cable is first rate. The phone plug and the 2 pin connector are both sealed so there is no risk of oxidization that occur with some cables that have. I personally think this is a brilliant move. It gleams from the company of confidence in their overall product build.
I understand the need to use very discreet materials which I agree adds to the stealthiness of the product. I have seen a few cables and they scream bling sometimes. Nice if you want to make you IEM stand out, but if you are more discerning and discreet then this may be for you.
I tested the cable with no burn time (being the first to receive it on the tour) the first impression were that they had an openness that I have never heard before in a cable. The sound stage was wider compared to my stock cable. I was using my custom 64Audio 8 driver IEMs.
Vocals seemed to be so much clearer and pushed forward than my stock cable. For me I have never really known this much clarity. It would be described as very warm though as the base and sub-base seem to hang for longer. On certain dance tracks the brightness was immense and sometimes overwhelming.( I would say that the production of the track would play a part in this, but the cable would in fact add more colour where there was already colour. When I listen to D&B and sought to find the hidden frequencies that you have in most tracks the cable was able to do that. Sub-base protruded through even without using an amp.
Treble are crisp and makes instrumentals clearer. Compared to my stock cables which make mids quite flat, the Linum brings the individual component forward and adds to the music composition. There is no harshness in the presentation. Nothing is lost in the background of a composition. I tested with a few vocal house tracks. The clarity again was outstanding.
Sound-stage and Separation
The Super BaX performs better in terms of width, but it has a significantly deeper stage with recreation of a cleaner picture overall. This stage depth difference makes Super BaX to have a better layering qualities to.
There were cleaner and clearer distances between instruments on a larger space with a spatial presentation overall. Additionally, Super BaX has a better separation by creating more controlled and tighter notes. Paired with any multi driver IEM makes the Super BaX the ultimate go-to-cable. With my IEM (64Audio 8 driver), the separation is immense. Each driver sparkles and this is without any amps. The sub base is super low, but not dirty base you can get with some cables. The subs are warm and add to the layers of any track. Each sound frequency are well represented.
The good the bad the ugly
The Linum Super Bax adds a richness to sound that I have never experienced before. Adding detail where I wouldn’t look and in some cases would not find under normal circumstances. The level of quality of the cable is immense if not outstanding. The construction,(being one of the thinnest cables on the market) is an engineering marvel in itself. It is a no fuss great looking cable that delivers. If this cable came from Porsche Design I would say that I wouldn't be surprised.
The coolness of the cable lies in its construction and design. Its not like the woven cryo cable’s coming from the east. Its better than that. Its understated well thought out engineering. The Nordic countries excel with engineering , design and functionality. There is no compromise with this cable. This is what Europeans love and appreciate. It’s super cool.