Review: Luna Cables Gris IC

The hunt is still on, the optimal sound is still elusive.  Of course, the easiest way is to lure it with gold, but a sack of gold can be just as elusive.  And when the sack is not too heavy, or the allowance for audio equipment is not too big, then it gets even more complicated. On the one hand, there is plenty of cheap equipment in every department, but how to find the right one? Well, that’s what reviewers are for, and that’s why they shouldn’t test whatever gets into their hands, or waste time criticizing things that are simply unsatisfactory.  Because even without it, choosing the perfect optimum for a given equipment configuration among many rivals is quite a challenge.  Which headphones will be best for me in a given price range? Which USB cable will be good enough? Is it worth buying a tube amplifier? – Such questions come back like a flock of birds to a freshly sowed field, and the best one can do is to test things that are universal and optimal by definition, or simply good. Good in general, with a good quality to price ratio. Possibly the best.

Now, once we’ve got the picture, it’s time for specifics. Both are defined in the title – it’s about an interconnect and about Luna Cables. It worth adding that it’s about their cheapest interconnect, because an IC that is both good and cheap is quite a thing.

Luna Cables is not completely unfamiliar on our market, because it’s had a distributor for a year now. The distributor’s saying that it took some effort to find them, but it was worth it. He was importing cables from all over the world, looking for a good brand, with emphasis placed on quality and economy. And from what he says, it was a tough job: he received various cables, but he was forced to send them all back. He was close to giving up, he was loosing hope, and then came Luna Cables…and bang! – suddenly everything’s changed!

Luna Cables is a small Canadian company, located in the suburban area of Quebeck. It takes pride in the fact that its workshop is a renovated 19-th century barn, and the produced cables refer to really old ones. Not as old as the barn itself, because among long and flexible things back ten you could find only a horse harness or ropes for cattle or pigs, nevertheless, first half of the 20th century-old, and this is ante pretiosa interconect epoch. It’s worth mentioning that such cables have their faithful group of fans, and the famous Western Electic’s also became famous for such cables.  I have to admit that I’ve never dealt with such vintage cables, nevertheless, cable-specializing companies base their products on vintage copper, even though not all of them admit it. Luna Cables does admit it – and in general, it’s all trendy.  As far as possible, they use only natural resources, and ecology is highly valued by them – their products have cotton sleeves and cotton bags ­­– advanced recycling.  What’s missing is cables that would only transmit power from renewable sources, but such are yet to be invented. Doesn’t this obsession with ecology sound familiar? Well, you might know it from the Swedish Entreq, also located in a rural area, and its owner has a convenient enterprise – a sawmill, and their mailbox is on a bus stop in the middle of nowhere.  And so what? And their village-originating cables are so good that their big-city rivals look at them with envy. It’s because the audiophile world has a surprising ability of mixing latest technology with old one.  Inside a converter, there are state-of-the-art chips of programmable integrated circuits, and right next to them you can find a braid of vintage copper in a cotton sleeve and half-century old lamps.

But this makes me say, with a hint of annoyance: here we go again.  Because obviously, there are no exceptions, every manufacturer of audio equipment and every reviewer madly loves music and can’t imagine life without it.  Which distinguishes them from Descartes, for instance, considered to be the father of modern philosophy, who, being a philosopher, disliked philosophy and believed one shouldn’t devote it more than a few hours a week, because it dissipates the soul and takes away one’s will to live. The will itself was defied by Schopenhauer, who argued it was moody and mean. But perhaps this is exactly why music is so appealing – because it allows you to forget about philosophy (in whichever sense) and please your moody will at least for a while? This is why people want it so much, because it is soothing their worries, sadness, helplessness and anxiety. And replacing them with primal instincts and passion. Besides, music connects people and can help overcome the feeling of loneliness. And so again, when you get to know Luna Cables team, you learn about love for music, this time with Danny Labrecque and Erik Fortier. The former is the head constructor and since childhood, he’s been playing violin, whereas the latter deals with everything else in the company, and since mid 90s, he’s been working in the best audio lounges, becoming familiar with the whole audio equipment world. Even though nowadays two gentlemen can be considered a couple, enthusiastically welcomed by “modernity”, here modernity goes even further and there are even some feminist aspects. So, to stop feminists from yelling, as they usually do, madam Rowan Smith joined Luna Cables team, and is dealing with its online affairs, finances, and offers whatever help she can. But let’s move silly suspicions aside – Rowan is a long-time partner of Danny Labrecque, now also in business.

What else is there to say about Luna Cables? The company, even though it’s not big, offers as many as five cable lines, of which Gris is the cheapest.  The most pricy Black line is several times as expensive as Gris, and in the middle there are Orange, Mauve and Red lines. Apart from interconnects, their offer includes all audiophile cables: speaker, digital, power, gramophone and jumpers, and in the Orange line, there’s also a step-up transformer with two separate hi/low switches and one mono/stereo switch.  When it comes to the name, it’s not taken from the moon, but it derives from the Luna Moth – a North America moth which is the symbol of the company.

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