Vortex Cables Lavinia Review: Seamless Overhaul

Vortex Cables Lavinia Review: The Seamless Overhaul

There are plenty of IEM custom cable makers around the world. While cable crafting may appear simple, it’s not as easy as you’d imagine. Tuning a custom cable doesn’t stop on material specification or measurements but also needs to be tuned through listening which makes the R&D process a lot more vague and challenging.


This is also why most cables sound different although they use the same type of materials. Mixing and matching different cable materials requires the cable maker to make sounds and characteristics to work well with each other, hence requiring higher expertise and challenges to create a good-sounding IEM cable. 


Today we bring you to the cable brand Vortex Cables. Based in Hong Kong, Vortex Cables made its appearance around 2018 and has been quickly gaining popularity through quality sound and craftsmanship. Most recently, Vortex has released its newest line-up called the C.F.S. series, consisting of three cable products: Lavinia, Seraphina, and Alida. Today we’ll be reviewing Lavinia, the flagship earphone cable by Vortex. Lavinia is retailed for $759.


The Includings / ConX Connectors

Lavinia comes in a sleek blue packaging box and comes with some quality accessories. Other than the cable, Lavinia comes with a leather cover pad, a leather protective case, a full set of ConX 2.0 connectors, a leather strap, and a metal warranty card.

The leather case is the same variant as the DDHIFI C90 and is very well-built. The cable and earphones can be slid through one side of the case as two magnetic latches keep the case secured. It uses genuine leather for the skin with good padding inside out, offering a good feel for both the user and IEMs.


The ConX Modular Connectors

I’m sure many of you cable users have already experienced the ConX connectors. Lavinia comes with a full set of Effect Audio’s modular connector system, the ConX 2.0. The IEM connectors can be swapped into 2-pin, MMCX, Pentaconn Ear, A2DC, and IPX which would essentially cover most IEMs in compatibility. 


Cable Geometrics / Usability

Lavinia uses a complicated combination of different wires to perfect its tuning and performance. Braided in 2-core with nylon shielding, the outer layer is finished with silver-plated 5N OFC shielding with the inner core consisting of a variety of cable materials. The core wire is a combination of 4N Pure silver, Gold-plated OCC copper, Gold-plated 4N silver, and Palladium-plated 4N silver. This is perhaps the most amount of different alloy and hybrid materials I’ve seen to be applied to an IEM cable. 


The wires are quite soft and pliable, not causing any microphonics or tension during usage. The connectors and Y-split are finished with lightweight aluminum, giving a sturdy feel yet keeping the cable light. Lavinia is slightly lighter than most other fabric cables and I don’t expect comfort to be an issue.  


The Sound of Lavinia: Overall Sound Signature 

Lavinia gives a complete overhaul to the IEM that improves many aspects of the sound. Some cables bring dramatic changes that eventually alter the sound signatures, either by changing the overall nuance or specifically targeting certain aspects of sound (such as bass boost). However, that quite isn’t the case here, as Lavinia brings many sonic improvements in an incredibly natural way.


Lavinia introduces a variety of bold changes to the sound, yet the result is still very natural, harmonious, and not overdone. The bass deepens in depth with a fuller body. The bass not only sounds clearer but also feels closer to the ears. However, it doesn’t actually tilt the positioning. It would be more accurate to say that the front and back imaging gets richer, giving a more lively bass response. The bass presence gets stronger but never overpowers it.


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