Sound Fidelity Gold 1x & Reference RCA Interconnects Review

Cables and there use in HiFi and Home Cinema is a contentious subject to many but over the years I have enjoyed many high end HiFi systems and the cables that you use can make or break a systems overall sound and add the final piece in the chain to audio nirvana. Choosing cables for most comes down to budget but investing in high quality cables will make the world of difference to the end result as the different materials used and quality of workmanship will affect the sound and quality that you hear from source to the speakers themselves, good shielding and dampening is a must as vibrations and electrical interference can introduce noise and interference into the signal and smear the sound that you hear which will make the three-dimensional image from the system sound less convincing and therefore a less enjoyable listen. The term inky black background comes to mind and similar to art the sound paints a picture of what the recording artist intended you to hear through your system to enjoy their music. A good system will allow you to hear exactly what and how the recording sounds from instruments placement in the sound stage to the singer vocals with pin point imaging and beautiful textures from the sound that can be achieved from a good pair of speakers.

My social media platform is a great way of connecting to the HiFi world and the people involved in it no matter where they are in the world, it just so happens that I got talking to a company who are based in Turin Italy who make bespoke artisan products for the HiFi industry, this company is Sound Fidelity founded in 2010 by Fabio Sortino, they make beautiful products which are all painstakingly hand made to order,  power cables to speaker cables and Interconnects RCA or XLR depending on your needs and budget.

I have 2 from the the range for review, I am using the Gold 1x RCA Interconnects of 1M length the other being from the Reference range of cables again at 1M length.

Quality and Build

They arrived beautifully packaged in Sound Fidelity embossed boxes sealed with protecters over the RCA plugs and with the name wrapped around the end showing which way to connect from source to amplifier showing the correct direction for the signal path. As you would expect from cables in this price bracket they are extremely well made and most importantly the choice of metals / materials used is of the highest quality and individually hand made to order. 

The Gold 1x comprises of silver plated OFC copper conductors, with double Teflon insulation and 24K gold plated RCA connectors to optimize the tonal balance, the RCA connectors unscrew to allow good binding with the plugs when connecting them to your equipment and can be tightened back up once connected to make a very tight connection, on my Cyrus components it makes for an awkward and fiddly fit but once fitted they are locked in place.

The Reference cables are impressively made and comprise of 7N OCC silver plated copper conductor which determine a greater linearity in frequency, with proprietary insulations and RCA “VIBORG” connectors in pure rhodium plated copper for optimal tonal balance. 7N OCC copper is the best copper money can buy for sound so no surprise that this would be the choice for the reference cable which provides excellent electrical conductivity, Rhodium plating is used on the RCA connectors as this has best conductivity properties compared to gold and is used in the reference range for the ultimate in sound and performance.

Sound Quality and Performance

For listening purposes and evaluation I am using my Cyrus Audio electronics, with the 82 DAC amplifier and CD8SE as my source with the Sound Fidelity cables making the connection between them, the CD8SE is a brilliant player and really does dig out every detail from this format so having good interconnects is a must to appreciate the performance, my usual cables are the Chord Cables Epic interconnects which are a great set of cables and a firm favourite of mine. 

My first CD is the Best of Bond…James Bond 50 Years with 50 tracks compiled in 2012 under the Capitol MGM label, featuring greats such as Shirley Bassey, Matt Monro, Nancy Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Tom Jones to more recent artists Duran Duran, A-Ha, Madonna, Sheena Easton and Sheryl Crow, also featuring great symphony arrangements from The John Barry Orchestra. 

The cables provided by Sound Fidelity were already run in as they are review samples, so to my delight there was no burn in time to go through with them so straight out of the box I get to hear what they can do when slotted into my system, with the Gold 1x first, track 8 on CD1 Diamonds are Forever with the beautiful voice of Shirley Bassey is a masterpiece and the Gold’s do not fail to impress with such a wonderful performance and big soundstage presented from my ProAc speakers with great imaging, swapping out to the Reference cables the track is elevated to a more believable three-dimensional presentation with Ms Bassey's vocals appearing from centre stage allowing me to hear deeper into the recording and is even more impressive on track 12 when she sings Moonraker, it’s not just the vocals which has the most natural presentation but the instruments natural timbre is more apparent compared to the Gold 1x cable. When I first hooked up the Golds I was impressed by the dynamic nature of the recordings and being able to pick out more of the detail from the music and how immediate the sound was with drums being an impressive part of the recording with real snap and impact over my current Epic cables but the soundstage was not as improved as it has been with the Reference cables, the width of the soundstage has opened up considerably, the Reference cables have a slightly warmer sound without sacrificing any of the dynamics or detail which I had gained from inserting the Golds for the first time. 

Track 21 Die Another Day by Madonna was a testament to this as when I first hooked up the Golds the immediacy of the music and the recording quality was clear, it is a mixture of synthesiser music and orchestral mix and has always been a great demo piece when trying out new HiFi equipment, it is so satisfying to listen to and you are getting to hear the music how the artist intended.

For my next album I have chosen to listen to the brilliant Whiplash soundtrack, a great film and one that is perfectly suited to testing out different HiFi equipment and especially cables due to its dynamic nature.

Track 2 Overture is a fast paced piece with the big band performance and with the Gold interconnects it sounds incredibly fast and tight with no overhang on any of the notes, the drums hitting hard and trumpets rasping in time, writing down notes when listening to this type of music is tough and hard to keep up, the placements of instruments is excellent and the soundstage is presented with good depth. This track sounds even better with the Reference cables connected with the top end sounding slightly smoother and natural but with none of the detail removed, soundstage has even more depth and wider with much broader imaging, piano notes seem to have more texture to them and weight.

Track 4 Whiplash is the defining piece from the soundtrack with some fierce drumming and orchestral accompaniment and the opening piano sounds lush with deep notes, I’ve always loved the big band sound and when it sounds this good even more reason to love it, the Golds extract every bit of the detail and allow you to hear all of the music but with the Reference cables refining the sound even further.

Track 5 Fletchers song in club is much slower and easy going and listening to this with your eyes closed gives you that take you there moment where you might as well be sitting down with cocktails in the club. The Golds interconnects allow you to hear this with plenty of detail, although the piano notes are crisp they do not have the fullness to the sound like the Reference cables which have a more natural timbre to them which translates into a more enjoyable listen.

Conclusions and final thoughts

I absolutely love what these cables have managed to reveal from my system, from the Gold 1x Interconnects I immediately heard an improvement in the dynamics from my speakers with music that I had listened to many times before and details that were missing previously and then moving up to the Reference which refined that experience even further to make my system really shine. Sound Fidelity are clearly passionate about HiFi and music as like any artisan company they have perfected what they do and make cables for people who want to enjoy the best sounds from their music and system.

I have awarded the Gold 1x with a Highly Recommended 5 stars and the Reference with an Outstanding 5 stars award, well deserved and if you are looking for an upgrade then please do consider these cables for your system.

Price at time of review.

Gold 1x 1M RCA Interconnects €660.00

Reference 1M RCA Interconnects €1,608.00

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