Today, we review and compare the Effect Audio Cadmus, which is a UP-OCC Silver Plated Copper Litz cable from their new Signature Series. It is priced at $199.
Disclaimer: This was sent to us as a sample for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links or services. Many thanks to Effect Audio for this opportunity.
To read more about Effect Audio gear previously featured on Headfonics click here.
Note, that this 2-page article follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read here.
We are back today with the second installment of Effect Audio’s Signature Series cables. You can read up in more detail on the recently reviewed flagship of the series, the Eros S, here.
If there is one thing, I have learned about the Signature Series after countless hours of listening to all of the new cables, it is that each one is very unique.
Effect Audio is really trying to hit it home with audiophiles by tailoring each cable to have its own sound and appeal. Looking back on Effect Audio’s purpose, for them, it’s all about: ‘SOUND. MATERIAL. DESIGN’.
The $199 Cadmus is the ‘middle child’ of the Series and aims to combine silver plating and copper properties to deliver, inter alia, enhanced bass, and midrange.
Materials & Wire
The Cadmus is an Ultra-Pure OCC Silver-Plated Copper Litz cable. Its special feature when it comes to cable materials that make it stand out in the Signature Series is its silver plating.
The intention here is to give the Cadmus a bold mid-bass most Copper cables aim to do whilst adding that little bit of heft and clarity to the midrange via the additional silver plating.
The wire configuration of the Cadmus is similar to the Ares S with a 4-wire 24 AWG setup. However, it is different from the Eros S which is an 8-wire 26 AWG cable.
The wire gauging of the Cadmus is on the thicker side however it is still very supple due to Effect Audio’s Ultra Flexi Insulation. After adding on the PVC jacket, both the Ares S and Cadmus end up having the same thickness. However, the Eros S is slightly thicker and even more flexible than both the Ares S and Cadmus.
The Cadmus features a septuplet multi-sized core bundle which means that each wire uses a 7-core Litz build where different thicknesses are used for each thread.
Multi-sizing allows Effect Audio to build a Litz cable with different sized wires, thinner ones for high frequencies and thicker ones for lower frequencies.
The Cadmus sports a shiny, silver appearance reflecting the essence of its silver plating. The inner jacket behind the clear PVC coating has a strand-like texture which gives the Cadmus an intricate finish to it.
In relation to the braiding, each wire is woven evenly with sufficient tension across the cable. There are no uneven or unwanted gaps throughout the cable. With its 24 AWG gauging, the Cadmus feels like a robust cable that is surprisingly flexible and well-designed.
The Cadmus is finished similarly to both the Ares S and Eros S. It comes with a selenite grey termination, splitter, cable slider, and connectors.
The termination or plug case is made of polished and brushed aluminum. The plug itself is made of rhodium-plated brass and comes in standard or 2.5mm TRRS, 3.5mm TRS, or 4.4mm Pentaconn variations.
The splitter and cable slider are made from brushed aluminum material which is like the plug case however the splitter also has a black forged carbon fiber plate on the back and front sides.
This is a peculiar shape in the sense that it is a barrel, topped with a square which then splits out into a hexagonal base. This means that the splitter is quite large and could have been a few millimeters less in diameter.
The connectors or ConX shell is made of anodized aluminum whereas the actual ConX connector is finished with a gold-colored ring leading to the 2-pin interface giving it a distinct yet classy finish.
Effect Audio’s ConX technology allows you to change the connector itself for example from a 2-pin to MMCX. This is a very practical and welcome feature of the cable as it creates versatility and allows you to pair the cable with almost every IEM in your collection.
Comfort on the Ear
Despite its 24 AWG gauge wire size, the Cadmus feels lightweight and is very ergonomic meaning that the Cadmus sits comfortably on the ear.
Regarding the ear hook, this part of the cable is finished with a translucent, PVC coating. Whilst using it with and without glasses, the cable did not present any discomfort and was barely noticeable at times.
Like the other cables in the Signature Series, the splitter is large, however, it is lightweight and allows the cable to drop with sufficient tension, and does not create unwanted cable tugging and discomfort during use.
Furthermore, there was no cable noise or microphonics originating from the cable hence paving the way for carefree listening sessions.
Packaging & Accessories
Overall, the packaging and accessories of the Cadmus are well thought-out and have a premium finish. The packaging and accessories are similar across all the cables within the Signature Series except for the included booklet and box art which is based on the cable itself.
The Cadmus comes in a black, rectangular box that is coated with a thread-like texture. On the front of the box is Cadmus who was one of the first Greek heroes. His face is finished in both copper and silver appearance representing the cable’s silver-plated copper configuration.
The Cadmus, Ares S, and Eros S boxes have a similar concept where their box arts reflect their cable compositions which is a nice touch by Effect Audio to create harmony between all three cables.
Inside the box, there are 2 booklets: one describing the Signature Series as a whole and the other focusing on the Cadmus itself. At the bottom of the box, you will find a black carrying case and leather cable strap which is a very nice addition.
The carrying case is known as a “chamber ready cloth pouch” which is made from thick polyester material. The pouch has an opening at the top where you attach the cable strap to the button.
This is a very smart design as it allows the cable strap to have a dual-purpose use case; to strap the cable itself or provide closure to the carrying case.
Inserting and withdrawing the cable from the carrying case does take some time to get used to because the size of the opening is the same for all Signature Series however it was easy to fit and store the Cadmus.
One other thing to note is that the carrying case will not have enough room to fit both the cable and IEMs.
The Cadmus is probably the most “fun” sounding cable in Effect Audio’s Signature Series lineup. It aims to bring the “A-game” to the sub-bass, mid-bass, and midrange. If you want more rumble, slam, and an overall engaging sound, then this should be your cup of tea.
To keep things simple and consistent with the other Signature Series cable reviews, my impressions were compiled with the Empire Ears Legend EVO and the Mangird Xenns Up IEMs. I paired them up with the Cayin N8ii as my main source.
Coloration & Timbre
The Cadmus colors the sound of an IEM by increasing the sub-bass and mid-bass to give it that big, bold presence whilst bringing volume and clarity to the midrange. The sub-bass rumbles when called upon whilst the mid-bass has enough slam but not too much that it becomes overpowering or uncontrolled.
Instead, the mid-bass is bold, controlled, and well textured. The silver-plating properties allow it to enhance the midrange which distinguishes it from normal copper cables including the Ares S.
In particular, the lower midrange comes to the foreground and has more presence and detail. The Cadmus is able to pick up the micro details from instruments and vocals. Male and female vocals sound very smooth and organic. Treble is slightly north of neutral and has a decent level of extension, detail, and crispness.
Timbre-wise, the Cadmus produces a warm timbre which is more noticeable than the Eros S but similar to the Ares S.
Compared to the Ares S and the Eros S, it delivers the largest amounts of sub and mid-bass impact which is well-controlled whilst keeping the midrange and treble in check.
The soundstage is wide and tall and makes the overall stage feel extensive and spacious. The width and height sit somewhere between the Ares S and Eros S.
The soundstage is wider than the Ares S but not as wide nor tall as the Eros S. This is probably due to the increased sub-bass and mid-bass presence compared to the Eros S and the more complex geometry setup compared to the Ares S.
Layering and imaging are excellent leading to a very coherent sound. The Cadmus is able to place and layer instruments and vocals with a high level of accuracy and sufficient space.