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Interconnect + speaker cable + AC power cord
Purist Audio Design
CORVUS Presto Revision

Price (in Poland): 7000 zł + 11 100 zł/2 m + 7320 zł/1,5 m

Manufacturer: Purist Audio Design

1606 Old Angleton Road ǀ Clute, Texas 77531 ǀ USA
tel.: 979 265 5114 ǀ fax: 979 265 1211


Manufacturer’s website:
Polish website:

Country of origin: United States of America

Product provided for testing by: Living Sound

Text: Wojciech Pacuła | Translation: Andrzej Dziadowiec
Photographs: Wojciech Pacuła

Published: 1. July 2012, No. 98

Purist Audio Design is a U.S. company with its own concept of how good audio cables should look like – starting with interconnects through speaker and mains cables up to digital interconnects. Their key feature is the choice of precious metals and alloys or special single crystal copper to be used for conductors and three types of patented proprietary shielding: Ferox / Fluid / Conte. How they differ from one another can be seen in the FAQ section HERE .
The Corvus line being the subject of this review employs Ferrox shielding technology which, according to people from Purist, giving a little closer soundstage presentation than the Fluid, as if we sat in row D instead of G. The Ferrox is doped with silicone based granular material exhibiting – it seems – magnetic properties.
The Corvus is the latest line from the manufacturer. As we learn from their website it has been designed in response to requests from customers and distributors. It employs single crystal copper similar to the Proteus Provectus. The Corvus line comprises balanced and unbalanced interconnects, speaker cables, a phono interconnect and an AC power cord. The cables do not look particularly impressive nor does their packaging. And although Purist distributors for years have been asking, pushing, and offering their own help in this matter, the Americans remain adamant; the cable, they say, is to provide sound, not jewelry.
The cables I received for this review came with a note saying Presto Revision. It means that they had been subjected to a few modifications:
∙ improved metallurgical process;
∙ improved shielding;
∙ improved cables cosmetics.
All cables from this manufacturer are made of solid-core conductors, requiring a slightly different than usual comparison procedure (see under testing methodology). The cables undergo special treatments aimed at improving their conductivity, especially cryogenic freezing and demagnetization (“Criomag”).


A selection of recordings used during auditions:

  • For Ever Fortune. Scottish Music In The 18th Century, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien, Robert Getchell, Alpha, 531, CD (2012).
  • Paganini for two, Gil Shaham, Göran Söllscher, Deutsche Grammophon/JVC, 480 246-5, XRCD24 (1993/2009).
  • Audiofeels, Uncovered, Penguin Records, 5865033, CD (2009).
  • Diorama, Cubed Deluxe Edition, Accession Records, A 114, 2 x CD (2010); reviewed HERE.
  • Dominic Miller, Fourth Wall, Q-rious Music, QRM 108-2, CD (2006); reviewed HERE.
  • Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass, Take Love Easy, Pablo/JVC, JVCXR-0031-2, XRCD (1974/1987).
  • Handel, La Maga Abbandonata, Simone Kermes, Maite Baumont, Il Complesso Barocco, dyr. Alan Curtis, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/Sony Music Entertainment, CD 88697846212, CD (2003/2011).
  • Jean-Michel Jarre, Magnetic Fields,Epic/Sony Music, 488138 2, CD (1981/1997).
  • Lars Danielsson, Libretto, ACT Music + Vision, ACT 9520-2, CD (2012).
  • Me Myself And I, Do Not Cover, Creative Music, 005, CD (2012).
  • Nosowska, 8, Supersam Music, SM 01, CD (2011); reviewed HERE.
  • Suzanne Vega, Close-Up, Vol 1. Love Songs, Amanuensis Productions/Cooking Vinyl, COOKCD521, CD (2010).
  • The Beatles, Revolver, Apple/Parlophone/Toshiba-EMI, TOCP-51124, CD (1966/2000).
  • The Modern Jazz Quartet, The European Concert. Volume One + Volume Two, Atlantic/East West Japan, AMCY-1186-7, K2 CD (1960/2000).
  • Wes Montgomery All-Stars, A good git-together, Lone Hill Jazz, LHJ10133, CD (2004).
  • Władysław Komendarek, Przestrzenie przeszło¶ci, Metal Mind Productions, MMP CD 0697 DGD, 2 x CD (2011).
Japanese editions are available at

I considered Purist Audio Design cables to be complete a system, not separate cables, comparing them to my own reference system wiring. The ‘reference’ in this case means both a reference point and the best cable system I know. I have not heard anything better at home. Nor have I heard anything better in a completely different system at Janusz’s, the host of Krakow Sonic Society meetings. I do not mean that nothing better exists, only that I have not HEARD anything better.
Comparing cables or more broadly – audio components – to a much more expensive reference system causes concern for many distributors and manufacturers claiming that in such a comparison the less expensive product nearly always will be poorer; its sonics almost always inferior to the point of reference.
But that is exactly what a proper test review should be like, that specific experience of inspecting the product (its auditioning). Otherwise we would not learn anything, and I would just describe differences between particular cables, components, etc., without being able to draw objective conclusions under given assumptions. For it to have a cognitive value, for the review to make sense, I would have needed to compare the reviewed product against a dozen or even dozens of others at comparable price range. Ideally, against all available on the market. Only on such a basis could I reach some valid conclusions. This however is technically impossible.
Hence I always compare cables and components to the most expensive reference point I am most familiar with. And I ALWAYS do it that way. Even reviewing a 1,000 PLN speaker cable I compare it to my 88,000 PLN Tara Labs; auditioning a 700 PLN DAC I compare it to the output section of my 50,000 PLN Lektor Air V-edition CD player. I always do it that way, hence reading any of my reviews lets the reader see the absolute value of a given product or compare the reviews to one another – in each of them the reference point is the same component, cable, etc.

This introduction was needed to understand this review and not be intimidated by the inevitable criticism, and to see this cable system in proper light. It is important for me in that although the reference system is generally much better, yet it is about six or seven times more expensive and can be further improved. The Purist Audio Design cables after only a few recordings showed what can be bettered.
But let me begin with general characteristics of audio signal modification, the sonic changes introduced by these cables. Introduce they do and the changes are quite obvious. They release tension off the sound, not the internal tension resulting from dynamics or song development; they release tension resulting from something added by the audio reproducing system. Plugging the U.S. cables into my system resulted in easing some sort of anxiety, calming some ‘tremor’ which my cabling system exhibited for years and I did not pay attention. Only a direct comparison with the PAD cables nicely showed it.
I think that what’s behind it is their fantastical dark background. This is where the calming happened, that’s where some kind of ‘snow’ decreased, with everything in the foreground consequently acquiring a new dimension. And where it comes to my system, this particular sonic aspect is superbly ‘done’; it never happened that it might somehow bother me. However, the Purist cables apparently take that quality further than the rest.

I am not ‘jumping’ without a second thought onto any PR, any new idea that the company may even believe in but that usually turns out to be only wishful thinking. This time it is different. The PAD website says that “Purist Audio Design products are outstanding at operating with minimal interference such as RF (Radio Frequency) and EMI/EMF (Electromagnetic Interference and Fields).” You can simply hear it – the background is black, the sounds are shown in a milder way, they are deeper. These may not be huge differences but – I repeat – my system’s cabling is exceptionally good in this respect. When we compare the PAD with anything else and we are in for a shock.

The American cables shape the sound fairly explicitly. I’ve just described one source of this change – deepening of timbre, its relaxation. But you can also hear that the higher midrange is slightly withdrawn, somewhat relaxed. That has a twofold effect. On the one side albums recorded without sufficient attention, produced by people who do not hear high end distortion (or operate studio hardware that does not show it) sounded with the Purist cables much better than they deserved. It was not a ‘flat’ lowering of a wide sonic range but rather something much narrower yet deep enough to hear it even in a short audition. As such, the albums by Diorama and The Beatles sounded better in this respect. The main point was sibilant decay – sound attack with these cables was a bit mellower than with my Acrolinks and Tara Labs, part of the sonic range withdrawn and these albums vocals sounded simply better and were better positioned in the mix. Although their three-dimensionality diminished and their mass was smaller, that is simply the difference between the less expansive cables and the more expensive reference system, something that we apparently cannot get round. What’s important and meaningful is that the timbre drew nearer to natural and the slightly gritty sound attack and somewhat papery vocals’ texture weren’t so clear any more.
Better recorded albums, the ones that captured the natural warmth of instruments’ sound regardless of how technically ‘correct’ they might have been, were full and slightly warm with the Purist cables; instruments and vocals were well organized in the recording in a very natural way.

It is my impression that such sound drew attention to the lower midrange and upper bass. That’s what made the virtual images large and full. That’s what gave mass to electronic music recordings.
It was not always clearly beneficial. Explicit control over the lowest end, from the bottom up, was sometimes missing. Low bass was slightly masked by middle and upper bass, which were really strong. Therefore, some albums like Suzanne Vega and Lars Danielsson seemed to sound heavier than with my cables and were consequently a little slower.
On the other hand (and other sonic range) something in some way coincided with what I wrote about the dark background – the treble of these cables is excellent. Brilliantly differentiated and vibrant. I would even venture to say that it is not worse against my system – somewhat different, a little less open at the top but more filled. I heard it with any recording. My reception of the treble is such unequivocally positive because it is simply very good and because – as I said – the upper end is a little withdrawn. That always helps to expose the benefits of the rest of the sonic range.
This was not the most resolved sound I know of; instruments’ bodies were not particularly well extracted from the background, i.e. they were not 3D drawn. Isolation I mentioned while describing great noise reduction (at least I assume so) meant that the sound was not edgy; there was less ‘snowing’. However that does not include the ability to create 3D imaging. That is something these cables or any other cables in this price range cannot do.
But you need to know that this is an incredibly vivid sound, without cut off treble. It is deep and full. While it is not very dynamic we do not perceive it as compression. The presentation has proper momentum, it is full and firm.
Given that the Purist cost several times less than my cabling, I cannot but nod with recognition at what they CAN do. Since they are just the middle line in the manufacturer’s offer I am already curious about their top line. Maybe it will be better than mine? Who knows, after all those years perhaps it’s time to find something clearly superior to my system with the Acrolink and Tara Labs. Purist Audio Design cables seem to be a good contender for the ‘reference system’ title. How will it be? Maybe we will check this out in the near future.

Testing methodology
The Purist cables are based on single-core conductors, rather stiff, especially when it comes to speaker cable. The problem I encountered is that after laying them out they should play for some time without moving them. Each change of position results in conductor’s internal structure changes.
Hence a comparison with the reference system was not ordinary A-B comparison with the A and B known, but rather a comparison of A-B-A-B with half-hour breaks after each change. I also auditioned whole tracks, several at a time.
Each change included the whole cable system – the Purist interconnect in place of my Acrolink Mexcel 7N-AD6300, the cable speaker in place of my Tara Labs Omega Onyx, and the power cord powering my CD player in place of another Acrolink Mexcel, the 7N-PC9300. The power cord was plugged in my Acoustic Revive RPT-4eu Ultimate power strip together with power amp’s and preamp’s power cords. The Purist speaker cables can be terminated with spades or banana plugs – I opted for the bananas.


Corvus RCA Interconnect
The Corvus line of interconnects is available in single-ended (RCA) and balanced (XLR) configurations. They are made of single-core conductor from refined monocrystalline copper. Shielding is made of foil with drain wire. The dielectric is PVC. Around the conductors and dielectric there is a layer of shielding and damping material called Ferrox. The cables are terminated with RCA plugs featuring Teflon dielectric and metal parts looking as if they were silvered. I am however not sure about that. The entire cable has undergone a triple process of cryogenic freezing and demagnetization called Criomag.

Corvus speaker cable
The Corvus line of speaker cables is available as a standard cable or a bi-wire, terminated with banana plugs or spades. The 8 mm bananas are Purist manufactured. There is also a choice of WBT made bananas or spades. It’s worth noting that the quoted cable length is measured along the shielded part with damping material, minus the ‘bare’ pins. The speaker cables’ design is very similar to that of the interconnect; they are made of single-core single crystal copper conductor with shielding made of foil with drain wire. The dielectric is PVC. A layer of shielding and damping Ferrox material envelops the conductors and dielectric. The entire cable has gone through a triple process of cryogenic freezing and demagnetization called Criomag.

Corvus AC power cord
The power cord is made of finely stranded conductors, not a single core – most countries demand using stranded conductors in power cords for security reasons. The strands are made of copper, the dielectric is thermoplastic elastmer. It features Wattgate plugs: the 390i Ag (Shuko) and 350i Ag (EIC) with silver plated pins. The entire cable has gone through a triple process of cryogenic freezing and demagnetization called Criomag.

Distribution in Poland: Living Sound

31-128 Kraków ǀ ul. Karmelicka 36 ǀ Polska
tel.: 12 633 71 88 ǀ kom.: 602 649 446


Polish website:


  • CD player: Ancient Audio Lektor Air V-edition, review HERE
  • Phono preamplifier: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE
  • Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE), Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE
  • Preamplifier: Ayon Audio Polaris III [Signature Version] with Re-generator Power Supply
  • Power amplifier: Soulution 710
  • Integrated amplifier/headphone amplifier: Leben CS300 XS Custom Version, review HERE
  • Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
  • Headphones: Sennheiser HD800, AKG K701, Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro; 600 Ω version, review HERE, HERE, and HERE
  • Interconnect: CD-preamp: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300 (article HERE, preamp-power amp: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
  • Speaker cable: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review HERE
  • Power cables AC (all equipment): Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300
  • Power strip: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE
  • Stand: Base; under all components
  • Resonance control: Finite Elemente Ceraball under the CD, Audio Revive RAF-48 platform under the CD and preamplifier
  • Pro Audio Bono PAB SE platform under Leben CS300 XS [Custom Version]; review HERE