Yesterday, a visit from the man who designed the Xerxes turntable among many Roksan products rearranged my notions of how to get the best results out of computer audio. Touraj Moghaddam now runs Vertere where he develops and manufactures cables of ever greater variety. Yesterday he put an early sample of a mini-jack to RCA phono cable in between my iMac and preamplifier and almost freaked me out. Why, because this simple approach sounded better than many of the USB DACs I have tried with the same compute,r even where an ‘audiophile’ USB cable has been employed. Clearly the headphone output of the iMac isn’t that bad.
Touraj has developed this cable specifically so that newcomers to the sound appreciation game can get a taste of the possible benefits without it costing an arm and a leg. His theory being that if regular folk can hear a big enough improvement with a connection that costs around £50 then they will start to discover that there is more to hear and enjoy in their music than they thought. He plans to put a computer based system together at the forthcoming Bristol Sound & Vision show using a budget amp and speakers hooked up with Vertere cables, in the hope that the sound-dock generation will grasp that what they are listening to is doing a disservice to the music they love. If the sound I got was anything to go by he should be able to put a system together that will annihilate a Wave radio or Zeppelin for almost the same money.
I am all for getting more people into sonic appreciation. Music can sound so much better than many people appreciate that it’s not real. And the irony is that with computers and even iPods so many people have a source that can produce remarkable results if they are connected to a half decent system with decent cable.