Cables are one of the most important elements in personal audio when it comes to sound quality and getting closer to your desired sound. The quality of the cables are pretty much guaranteed for the big, famous brands, but what about the cheaper options? Sure, there are still a whole lot of choices you could make for an affordable price, but in my experience many of those just weren’t good enough or turned out even bad at some times.
However I’ve recently discovered several cable manufactures that are affordable yet equipped with excellent quality, one of them being Satin Audio cables. Satin Audio is a relatively new cable manufacturer from Vietnam and they’ve just launched their fresh new line-up, the monster series. Let’s first take a look on their technological features and website before moving on to the sound impressions.
The technical info
Satin Audio cables are equipped with multiple features in every components. The connectors, sockets, plugs, and splitters are all produced from SA with silver anodized aluminum for the shells and TeCu & PEEK insulation for the connectors. They use Mundorf MSolder Supreme as their soldering material, supplied with numerous options of terminations. The cables are also constructed in type 4 litz, resulting the sound to have better precision and insulation.
There are several more features such as OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) process, Kevlar damping core, Cryogenic treatment, and more, but I’ll leave it here and recommend to check these info from their website as the technical talks will get too lengthy.
The packaging is small yet beautifully made with eye catching liquid designs on a white background. There’s also a sticker on the side that indicates the product code and name. Other than the cable itself, it comes with a fabric pouch, a cable strap made from Oriolus, and an instruction guide.
Monster Series: Griffin
Griffin is an OCC Pure Copper Type 4 Litz cable and priced for $110 (4 braid), $143 (6 braid), and $176 (8 braid). Griffin is the youngest among the Monster series yet uncompromising when it comes to performance. I’ve expected Griffin to have a bass-centric sound, though soon noticed that it’s very well balanced. The bass quantity doesn’t particularly increase much, but shows improvement in depth and density – it’s a type of cable that enhances the bass by highlighting the existence itself rather than boosting the quantity. Mids do not fall back and maintains its position fairly well.
Continuing about Griffin
While Griffin keeps the low/mids warm and smooth, it has a touch of sparkles and shininess on the upper frequencies which gives a good amount of freshness even as a warm sounding cable. This makes the overall temperature to be almost perfectly neutral but slightly tilted to being warm. Not drastic, but headroom clearly shows a noticeable improvement due to the increase of depth and width from the bass. Griffin is the most organic sounding cable and would be a great choice if you’re looking for a good copper cable with the most natural sounding tonality.
Monster Series: Chimera
Chimera is an OCC Pure Copper Type 4 Litz mixed with OCC Silver plated Copper Type 4 Litz and priced for $117 (4 braid), $145 (6 braid), and $181 (8 braid). Chimera’s characteristics sits between Griffin (pure copper) and Medusa (pure silver). The tonality becomes tasty as well as vocals getting boosted, making the overall sound energized and lively. Bass dives deep as Griffin but with slightly less quantity, while upper frequencies become more spatial and rich. Chimera aims for a fun and enjoyable sound signature which would nicely match with IEMs that have a plain, old-school tonality.
Continuing about Chimera
The surface becomes smoother throughout the frequency and maintains both quality and quantity from the low ends. The highs also turn more crispy and denser, vividly highlighting the snares. Headroom also shows improvement, though compared to Griffin or Medusa, this one aims more on the 3D spatial aspect rather than the width. Chimera would be a great choice if you’re looking to form a W-shaped signature highlight both low, mid, and high frequencies.
Monster Series: Kraken
Kraken is an OCC Pure Silver Type 4 Litz mix OCC Pure Copper Type 4 Litz and priced for $160 (4 braid), $206 (6 braid), and $256 (8 braid). Kraken has a very similar sound signature to Chimera yet have a minor difference in terms of characteristics. I think here would rather be good place to talk about the differences between Kraken and Chimera, as both being hybrid models they are very similar in both sound signature and price.
Continuing about Kraken
While these two cable share the base of sound signature, Chimera clearly expresses characteristics of both copper and silver, resulting into a vibrant and energetic type of sound. Kraken, however, tends to take a more careful approach towards sound and focuses more on the coherency between these two materials – copper and silver. Not that Chimera shows dissonance, but it’s more like Kraken focuses relatively more on the overall sound being more seamless. This results Kraken to be superior in vocals and tonality while Chimera takes the advantage when it comes to bass and treble extensions. They’re like twins with slightly different personality, so both would be good to go.
Monster Series: Medusa
Medusa is an OCC Pure Silver Type 4 Litz cable and priced for $210 (4 braid), $290 (6 braid), and $361 (8 braid). It’s a common misconception that pure silver cables makes the bass weaker, though that isn’t the case for the Medusa at all. It actually darkens and solidifies the hollow bits on the lower end, resulting a fuller, deeper, and clearer bass presentation. Mids and trebles stretches out clearer with significantly increased airiness. It doesn’t aggressively boost the upper frequencies but rather takes a gentle step, making it suitable with various IEMs with less chance of having a bad match.
Continuing about Medusa
Headroom shows improvement in size too. It’s mainly due to the extra space resulted from the airiness from the upper frequencies, but Medusa’s ability to bring out all the bass definitely made the sound to feel extended both ends, despite being a pure silver cable. The textures become more crispy and revealing. Reverbs are preserved but delicately straightened up. Medusa clearly proves its position as the highest model from the line up.
As someone who’s been exploring custom cables with various types, price, and tiers, I could confidently say Satin Audio isn’t joking around when talking about quality. Rather than just being cost-effective, these are actually great as products themselves even without considering the price tags. Would like to give another thumbs up as they make it clear about the materials and technologies they’ve used, from soldering materials to technical information.
I’ve been talking with the people behind the brand and could definitely feel their passion and truthfulness as they’re handling the business, which I can never recommend enough if you’re looking for cables with good affordable prices. They are still a very young company and just started to reach out to overseas which I’m much looking forward to their future activities.
Thanks to Satin Audio for providing the cables in exchange of an honest impression/feedback.
I am not affiliated with Satin Audio and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.