Gorgeous two-tone design, Wide syngery, Beautifully textured vocals, Highly defined bass, Excellent three-dimensional imaging, Jet-black background
Darker mid-treble won’t suit all pairings, Not as much sparkle and treble energy as many competitors
This isn’t a cable for treble-heads but if you enjoy a smooth yet articulate sound, you’d be hard pressed to find such a desirable design and mix of sonic qualities in a competing cable.
Element Technology often shortened to Eletech will be a name you are very familiar with if you’re immersed in the world of high-end audio. The company has been producing cables that can only be described as prestigious for their regal designs and superb build quality. Amongst these, the Parnassus series is especially esteemed, containing the brands flagships. And now, they are welcoming another to these ranks, the Ode to Laura. Following up on the recently reviewed Socrates and Inferno, the Laura is the culmination of Eletech’s study into copper designs representing one of the first pure copper flagship cables on the market. Of course, this is far from your typical OFC design but still represents a bold move for the company and the custom cable market in general.
The Ode to Laura starts from $2799 USD with pricing depending on termination and cable design. You can configure one to your preferences on Eletech’s website here.
I would like to thank Eric very much for his quick communication and for reaching out to set up a reivew of the Ode to Laura. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the cable free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
Behind the Design –
Design & Form
The first thing that strikes out about Eletech’s cables is always their Y-split which is unique to each model. Like the Aeneid, the Ode to Laura makes a real statement with a dual-layered design with a sandblasted finish and aged copper accents. This makes for a truly stunning cable with a mature, vintage aesthetic.
Of course, the primary question is how a copper cable can justify such an exorbitant asking price. The Ode to Laura incorporates numerous technologies, representing a sophisticated design. This starts with a blend of three bespoke OCC Copper conductor types in a 22AWG configuration. Golden ratio dispersion maximises available space and a highly dense conductor array reduces skin effect.
Moreover, the cable sports a whopping 9-core geometry that allows for extra stability and extension. Each core is housed within 3 uniquely developed coppers with different qualities. Eletech dubs this alpha, beta and gamma offering lush, technical and organic sound properties respectively. In addition, 4 sizes of strands have been utilised all to fine tune the signature and presentation.
One of the most important aspects of any cable design, Eletech have utilised a similar OFC shielding as seen on the Inferno which was infamous for its clean, black background. The company reasons that Laura should offer similar qualities due to this design.
The Laura comes within lavish packaging similar to the Aeneid, however, being a preproduction unit, mine came without these flourishes. Still, Eric was kind enough to send over both the cable and matching leather carrying case. It’s a similar unit to those included with Eletech’s other high-end designs with a round profile, zipper and internal pocket. The Laura case differentiates itself with an intriguing, crinkled texture that serves as a real showcase of the company’s precision leatherwork.
I find myself repeating similar sentiments with Eletech’s designs because the same impressions ring true throughout their entire lineup. The Laura exemplifies this being the brand’s most expensive cable on offer. The centrepiece is, of course, the Y-split and as observed on the Aeneid, Laura offers a dual-layered design decorated with aged bronze accents. It’s a timeless combination that’s more subtle than the regal Aeneid but certainly no less impressive in either intricacy or quality. How the company achieved such clean edges on such a complex geometry is beyond me, you rarely see metalwork of such calibre that holds up under 1:1 pixel peeping. The same sentiments extend to the matching plug and brushed black aluminium earphone connectors; though there are no external strain reliefs, the cable feels solid and professionally constructed with no exposed screws or other indication of its hand-made nature. As always, Eletech’s work really speaks for itself and no amount of wordsmithery can encapsulate the look and feel in person.
As for the actual experience of using the cable, the Laura isn’t quite as pliable as past Eletech cables but was still more manageable to me than the Socrates despite its larger 22 AWG (vs 24 AWG) construction. The densely packed connectors give the cable a slight stiffness and some microphonic noise transmission albeit this is mostly alleviated by the over-ear fit design. There is minimal memory otherwise and the FlexiMax insulation is delightfully clear and smooth which makes for a pleasing aesthetic experience whilst minimising tangles. I also didn’t find the extra thickness to affect ergonomics much and it isn’t hugely noticeable even under direct comparison to Eletech’s other cables. The Laura upholds a good ergonomic experience despite its novel design, just don’t expect quite the same suppleness as the brands other designs.