Vertere Redline RCA Interconnect Review

Posted on 2nd September, 2020

Vertere Redline RCA Interconnect Review

Jay Garrett auditions the new mid-price RCA phono lead from a renowned British analogue brand…

Vertere

Redline Analogue Interconnect

£595 for 1 metre

Vertere Redline RCA Review

To many, the name Touraj Moghaddam is synonymous with record players – firstly from Roksan and latterly from Vertere Acoustics. The Xerxes and Groove respectively are a testament to his genius – as are the assorted phono stages, tonearms and cartridges he has designed over the years. It may surprise some, however, that Vertere also offers interconnects, running from the entry-level D-Fi range right up to the reference HB range.

Sandwiched between the D-Fi and Pulse-R ranges is the Redline series, from which this new cable is taken. Costing £595 for a stereo pair terminated in RCA phono plugs, it's one of what Touraj calls, “a logical line of four qualities,” adding that the Redline is there “to replace Pulse-B, be a bit closer to Pulse-R and, if possible, cost less and have a mains cable too.” In my experience, he designs and builds his reference products, then looks at ways of getting good results at more affordable price points. This is generally achieved by selecting other materials and alternative production methods. “As the design was very much top-down, termination, plug design and masses, etc. were part of the final evaluation process”, he told me. “Redline is a sensible price for an audiophile cable, designed to deliver performance whilst being easy to assemble.”

Vertere Redline RCA Review

It consists of seven high purity copper Vertere Pulse Multi Type conductors – a ground, three hot signal, and three return signal strands. The six (two thin and four thick) signal conductors are silver-plated, and the thicker dedicated ground conductor is tin-plated. Insulation is FEP and special PVC with shielding made up by the main braid and an inner so-called “special wrap”. It's connected in a quasi-balanced configuration to suit the dynamic, wideband audio signal conducted from source to amplifier or preamplifier to power amplifier, according to Vertere.

Connectors are bespoke designs with gold plated contacts said to be three times standard gold plating thickness. Termination options include RCA and XLR. The semi-transparent red PVC outer lets you see the braiding, and the cable feels good in the hand – being nicely pliable makes it a joy to use, too.

SOUND QUALITY

Vertere Redline RCA Review

Like all Vertere products, Redline has been designed to not get in the way of the signal – be that on Long Playing record, Compact Disc or digital music file. It shows great skill in presenting accuracy and transparency without destroying the soul of the music. For example, it proved less rounded and tonally warm than Chord's admittedly less expensive Shawline. Sat between my Oppo UDP-205 disc spinner and Anthem STR integrated, I got a more visceral presentation from Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast. The vocals of then 'new boy' Bruce Dickinson had real bite and feel as the track was driven along by the Burr/Harris rhythm section.

Compared to the similarly-priced Tellurium Q Ultra Black II XLR (£558), it's not quite as forensic, yet did still offer a pleasantly natural aura to music such as the title track from Agnes Obel's latest album, Myopia. Here, the Danish songwriter's vocals are accompanied by compressed drum beats and strings. Obel's voice retained its crystalline character amongst the backing, with the Redline allowing the ensemble to flow with presence and emotion without veiling the delicate vocal line.

Vertere Redline RCA Review

Such neutrality shouldn't be confused with blandness. The Redline gave the fretless tones of Pino Palladino on Paul Young's Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home) slightly more width for the chorus effect to spread in the mix, compared to the Ultra Black II – although the latter did better with speed and timing. That said, the Redline will be an easier listen to those who engage in marathon listening sessions thanks to its balance of detail and musicality.

THE VERDICT

Vertere's new Redline interconnect delivers music engagingly and transparently, without being analytical or fatiguing. Music is presented naturally and without colouration or hyped peaks. Bass is rich without looseness, and the midband is clear and expressive, while higher frequencies have fluency and dynamism. So, there's little to criticise it for – aside from the chance that some might demand more insight and an even tighter presentation. If you're shopping for a seriously capable mid-priced interconnect, I'd implore you to audition it.

Visit Vertere Acoustics For More Information

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Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Accessories Cables Applause Awards 2020
Tags: vertere 

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