Ranko RUF-100 & RUF-XC Review: Purify

Ranko RUF-100 & RUF-XC Review: Purifying

Custom cables are something that is always brought to the debate for their effectiveness or worthiness. In general, western communities are more inclined to deny the usage of custom cables. Yet those who have properly used and experienced custom cables certainly know that cables bring unquestionable effects to the sound. However, what if we’re talking about custom cables for data transfer? This is something that gets even more questionable. I also haven’t experienced a custom USB cable before and didn’t have a particular belief or thoughts about whether it makes a change or not. Let’s say I had a neutral-negative thought towards it.


Recently I came across a rather special USB cable made by Ranko, the RUF-100. Ordinary custom USB cables only differ in using a higher quality wire but the RUF-100 had some extra properties beyond that – which is why I’ve decided to review and figure out if it does something to the sound.


Table of contents

  • About Ranko
  • RUF-100: Features & Sound Impressions
  • RUF-XC: Features & Sound Impressions
  • Verdicts


About Ranko

For a brief introduction, Ranko Acoustics was founded in 1992 in New York, USA. They have quite a reputation in OEM productions as well as various audio equipment, ranging from signal cables to in-ear earphones. One of their specialty includes USB upgrade cables, the RUF-100 series.


RUF-100 is available in 3 different wire materials, which are single-crystal copper, single-crystal silver, and single-crystal gold-silver alloys. Each RUF-100 variant is also available in different lengths and terminations, ranging from 8.5cm to 50cm. For the plugs, there are Apple Lightening, Type-C, and USB-A. We’re testing the 8.5cm Ag (Single-Crystal Silver) variant today.


Features: RUF-100 Ag

Let’s talk about the specs and features of RUF-100 Ag. As stated earlier, the Ag variant uses 6N single-crystal silver wires for the cable with gold-plated connector plugs. The wires are shielded with fabric materials and are quite stiff. Longer variants may be easier to bend, though the 8.5cm variant cannot be folded for stacking DACs. The plugs are printed with indications showing which direction the cable should be connected, each labeled OTG IN and OTG OUT.


The RUF-100 is applied with Ranko’s patented technology called the UIF (USB Impurity Filter). The UIF is encapsulated in the middle of the cable. Once RUF-100 is plugged in, the LED light turns on, signaling that UIF has been activated. Ranko does not describe too many details on how the filter works, yet they do state that UIF filters the impurity while transferring the sound, bringing out clearer musical details.


Features: RUF-XC

RUF-XC is another member of Ranko’s USB connector accessory that serves a similar purpose as RUF-100 but without the cable portion. In other words, this one only serves you with the UIF sound filtration but is excluded from Ranko’s custom cable portion. Because of this, this one is more affordable, versatile, and easier to apply.


RUF-XC is available in Type-C to Type-C or Apple Lightening. The internals are applied with the same 6N OCC pure silver wires and UIF filtration technology. However, RUF-XC is installed with an additional switch that offers 2 filtration modes, going further than what’s done with RUF-100. The UIF1 mode is the default option that aims to accurately transfer the intended, accurate sound, whereas the UIF2 mode offers a touch of enhancement that boosts the soundstage. 


Next Page: Sound impressions of RUF-100 Ag / RUF-XC