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Speaker cable


Manufacturer: dc-components
Price (when reviewed): 2950 PLN /2 x 2,5 m

Spółdzielcza 52/20
57-300 Kłodzko | Polska


Provided for test by dc-components

he DC-COMPONENTS LS-3.4 speaker cables gave me the first opportunity to listen to the cables made of a new type of copper, the High-Performance Pure Copper Wires. The manufacturer of these conductors calls them (in short) HiFC. HiFC is one of several currently produced high quality copper varieties, intended among others for audio applications. The others are: OFC (eg Wireworld, Chord), PC-Triple C (eg Acoustic Revive, Furutech), D.U.C.C. Stressfree (Acrolink) and C1011, the OFC copper variety (Trigon). Many producers - mainly Japanese - believe that for the best cables one has to use only high purity copper, or one prepared in such a way as to increase its softness.

Until recently, most manufacturers utilized PCOCC (Pure Copper Ohno Continuous Cast [wire]) in the majority of high quality cables, both from Japan and other countries. As we have mentioned several times, the market had to change after the Furukawa Electric company on March 4, 2013, the year before its 130th anniversary celebration, announced the end of production of PCOCC wires. Some manufacturers, such as Furutech and Harmonix, have stocked themselves with those conductors and still offer cables utilizing them. Others had to look for new solutions. Again large corporations came to their rescue again.

And so: the Fine Chemicals & Materials, a company that is a part of the Furukawa conglomerate, proposed PC-Triple-C copper, ie Pure Copper-Continuous Crystal Construction, and Hitachi Metals two types of conductors: copper HiFC and C1011. They all represent a different approach to the case of copper purity. Since the PC-Triple-C has a purity of >99.996%, the HiFC is referred to as "equivalent" to 6N (about 99.9999%), and C1011 is simply a variation of OFC copper, i.e. of purity > 99.99%. Despite the similarities, each of them is produced in extremely different ways.


| PCOCC has been developed by Professor Atsumi Ohno from the Japanese Chiba Institute of Technology who, instead of drawing wires, proposed to cast them. In this way he manufactured a cable with ultra-long crystals - 125 m and diameter ø 0.1 mm. This process has been called after its inventor – the Ohno Continuous Casting (OCC). Furukawa has developed a process suitable for audio cables, in which the purity of copper obtained as a result of the OCC process exceeded 99.9997%. The new version of these conductors has been patented under the name Purity Copper OCC, or PCOCC.

| D.U.C.C. Stressfree copper was created in the Mitsubishi Cable Corporation research department. The D.U.C.C. process (Dia Ultra Crystallized Copper) relies on the re-crystallization of copper, during which all pollutants are released from the interior of crystals and removed; let me remind you that in PCOCC copper, the so-called diode distortion created at the interface of two crystals is eliminated. The D.U.C.C. Is not as directlive as other types of copper, but Acrolink marks it on its cables anyway. In addition to the D.U.C.C. process the material used to build the cables of this company undergoes another process in order to diminish internal stresses of the material - hence the term "Stressfree" in leaflets describing particular cables. As a result of these processes, copper with a purity of 6N, 7N and 8N is obtained.

| PC-Triple-C Pure Copper-Continuous Crystal Construction - it is copper with a purity of 99.996% or more, which, thanks to the processing, has similar properties to 7N cables. It was developed by FCM (Fine Chemicals & Materials), a part of Furukawa. It is obtained in a process similar to forging, in which the wire is repeatedly compressed (struck), reducing its volume by 70%. The impacts have the right angle and direction, chosen as a result of experiments. This is a clear reference to the Japanese traditions of forging swords, which is why in the Acoustic Revive advertisements we can find the image of a katana blade.

| HiFC High-Performance Pure Copper Wires - copper produced by Hitachi Metals, Ltd., part of the Hitachi Group. Instead of driving for maximum purity, the company uses processes that allow copper to achieve proper structure. HiFC is soft copper, with the characteristic equivalent to 6N (about 99.9999%). It is produced in the same way as OCC, that is by casting and rolling, adding small amounts of titanium. The microscopic photographs show that the crystal structure is extremely well-ordered in it.

| C1011 is simply OFC - Oxygene-Free Copper - but it is obtained in a special process that organizes its crystalline structure. It just so happens that its producer for audio industry is the same company that makes HiFC, the Hitachi Cable Co., Ltd. It has a purity of >99.99%, which is obtained by vacuum degassing. Interestingly, C1011 is also produced using casting and rolling. As a result of these operations, special copper Type 1 is obtained.

On the Hitachi Metals website you will find interesting graphs and images of different types of copper; more HERE.

| LS-3.4

The type of conductor used is only one of many components of the cable. The others are: dielectrics, the topology of the conductor, dielectric topology, type of shielding, mechanical structure, plugs, the way of connecting the cable with plugs, etc. Each of these elements has a significant impact on the sound and what truly matters is how they are used. This can be compared to the process of building an audio system, where the selection of the best possible components does not guarantee overall high quality sound. It is usually the other way round – a random combination of "the best" components is often a recipe for disaster.

Constructing a cable, provided that one does it by oneself, and not just add plugs to of-the-shelf cable, is therefore a combination of knowledge, experience and taste. The dc-components company seems to be especially predisposed to offer something interesting. Why? It is one of the companies specializing in the so-called audio components' upgrades. And an upgrade invoves several listening sessions and instroducing changes to the upgraded component - that is, matching many small elements. We already presented the company, led by Mr. Jacek Pisarczyk, in our column dc-components: The story of one upgrade.

Owner, designer

The development of the dc-components LS-3.4 speaker cable lasted over two years. From the very beginning, we were guided by the idea of creating a musical cable, that at the same time would not change the character of the system. An additional assumption was its trouble-free operation in systems with low-power tube amplifiers as well as with power-hung transistor amps.

The biggest challenge was finding the right conductors that would meet our expectations. After testing dozens of different conductor and insulation materials, starting with the OFC copper and fashionable (at that time) OCC copper, we came across the HiFC produced by Hitachi Metals, which proved to be the most suitable for our project.

The conductors are made of many copper wires and insulated with foamed, soft PVC, which protects them against corrosion, damping vibrations and not absorbing the energy of the flowing signal.
The conductors are hand-braided with each other and placed in an outer PVC jacket, over which a decorative PET braid is stretched. The layer insulating against vibrations and holding the entire braid together is made of natural cotton.

For this cable we chose gold-plated Beryllium copper BFA bananas. These elements are custom-made for us in Germany according to our specification and meet the highest sonic standards, as many cable Polish and foreign manufacturers have already learned. The connectors are mounted on the cable in a specially developed two-stage process. They are first crimped with a hydraulic press and then cast with silver solder, which allows the best possible contact of materials. At customer's request it is possible to terminate the cable with ETI plugs, which further improves its sonic properties.

The manual production process allows us to maintain the highest quality and repeatability. The cable at every stage of production is checked and measured. Additionally, at the final stage, it undergoes forming and breaking-in using a specially designed device. The last step before packaging is a listening test.

The LS-3.4 cables are inexpensive, they look good and are nicely packed - in a stiff, plastic case. After connecting the cable in the system, the box can be used for other purposes, for example, unused interconnects, tools, etc. The cables have a typical finish for this type of products, especially at this price level. They are covered with black mesh, and the space where the sleevings ends and separate positive and negative runs begin is covered with a heat-shrinkable sleeve. The connectors are very solid BFA plugs, also with heat shrink sleeves.

However, details matter and these in LS-3.4 were carefully taken care of. The main sleeves feature white endings with silver inscriptions, including large arrows indicating the direction of the cable. The positive and negative runs (each) are made of two twisted runs in black and white sleeves. It is worth paying attention to the colors, because in this case white is the POSITIVE (+) and black is NEGATIVE (-). The whole design looks very neat and tidy. The cable does not seem particularly flexible, but in normal use it works very well. This is the first cable that features the HiFC copper that I had a chance to listen to.

Same as all other audio cables, the dc-components LS-3.4 was compared to my reference cables. Only such a comparison guarantees obtaining repeatable, reliable results and gives the possibility of referring to different cables compared to the same reference. Comparisons with cables from the same price range make sense only when we do it in our system with the intention of buying a given cable. In this case this would make no sense, because - to make sense - I would have to compare it in one test most cables available on the market, which is simply impossible. The choice of several cables would be arbitrary, therefore methodologically flawed.

Even if we fulfilled this postulate, the comparison would tell us nothing about the reviewed cable itself, but about how it compares to other cables. In "High Fidelity" as a reference we use the most expensive and the best cables, because they allow us to look at the reviewed product from the right perspective, the REFERENCE one. And this cable is the Siltech Triple Crown. Both cables connected the Soulution 710 power amplifier with Harbeth M40.1 speakers. It was a A/B/A comparison with A and B known. Because of the difficulty in switching the cables, every change was performed after listening to three tracks.

dc-components in “High Fidelity”

Recordings used for the test (a sele- ction)

  • Miracula. Medieval Music for Saint Nicholas, wyk. Ensemble Peregrina, Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennet, Tacet 213, CD (2014)
  • Brian Flanagan, Where Dreams Are Made, Stockfisch Records 357.4091.2, SACD/CD (2017)
  • Count Basie, Live at the Sands (before Frank), Reprise/Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2113, “Special Limited Edition No. 197”, SACD/CD (1998/2013)
  • Leonard Cohen, Popular Problems, Sony Music Labels SICP-4329, CD (2014);
  • Linda Ronstadt & The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, What’s New, Elektra/Lasting Impression Music LIM PA 046, gold CD (1983/2010)
  • Starboy, Starboy, XO
  • Republic 5727592, CD (2016)
  • Tomasz Pauszek, Lo-Fi Lo-Ve, Audio Anatomy AA-006-17-CD, 2 x Master CD-R (2017)

Japanese issues available at

The sonic nature of dc-components cable is clear, in both long and short period listening, so there should be no problem with adapting it to our system and expectations. Its special features are speed and dynamics. Sound accumulations, quick hits, percussion trips – it's able to reproducing all such events with ease. The speed in question is more than just a "strike", combined with this stress-free sound produces a good tonal balance and an unobtrusive, but at the same time interesting presentation.

The "fast" cables are often bright and sharp – the LS-3.4 is exactly at the opposite end of the axis, i.e. in direct comparison with most silver-plated or silver cables, and they seem fast, it will appear quite dark. Not because of the withdrawn treble, but because there is no clearly defined attack, no hard leading edge of the sound. Such character results from something completely different - it's a fast sound thanks to low compression.

In direct comparison the Siltech Triple Crown seems much denser and saturated, but also it has a more open upper midrange. The LS-3.4 smoothes the gentle emphasis of sibilants, which I clearly heard when listening to vocals of Linda Ronstadt from the What's New album, recorded with The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, and Brian Flanagan from the Where Dreams Are Made. Interestingly, both albums were prepared with particular care, yet they show some anomalies in terms of upper midrange, audible as light nasality (Ronstadt) and delicate sibilants (Flanagan). In both cases, the Polish cable allowed them to sound nicer.

Because it is, in fact, the most important asset of the tested cable. The sound on all the discs I listened to developed freely, lightly, one can even say - ethereally. It stays firmly on the ground due to strong mid-bass that is fast and taut. The advantage of this set of features is that the sound is not dry. It is full-blooded, saturated, vivid and agile, i.e. having the ability to change the shape, tone and intensity of the sound depending on what album is played at particular moment.

But the lowest bass is lighter and does not go as low as in the reference cable. It is simply a limitation of a construction from this price range. Also, the upper treble is tamed, there is no very clear openness, which is also a characteristic feature of such cables. In the LS-3.4, however, we do not pay special attention to it, unless we specifically refer to these aspects of sound. Let's listen to Almost Like A Blues from Leonard Cohen's Popular Problems, Starboy's recording made with Daft Punk musicians, or the LO-FI LO-VE album by Tomasz Pauszek – anything where the bass is strong and builds the whole presentation, and it will be clear that it is a well-balanced cable. It just does not go so high and it does not go so low as the reference Siltech and some other best cables from this price range.

Together with speed and dynamics, we also get something that many music lovers dream about: a large, impressive space. I have mentioned a very good tonal balance before and I stand by this assessment. But this is not a perfect cable. There is a slight emphasis on the part of the upper midrange (above 2 kHz) that means that all elements associated with phase/out-of-phase effects, that are actually building the space, get additional support. The presentation is large, the sounds coming from the sides of the speakers and surrounding us are perfectly reproduced, as, for example, in the title track Starboy.

The spatial elements are also very well marked in recordings of a different origin. The Count Basie at the Sands (before Frank) album begins with a short intro, during which one can hear people at the tables, as well as the man announcing the performance of Frank Sinatra, and earlier the Count Basie group, appearing here - as we would say today – as a "SUPPORT". The orchestra is close to us, the microphones were obviously directed at it, and the other elements are presented as a background. But even they were legible and well-placed in the hierarchy with the dc-components cable, i.e. they did not dominate, but they did not disappear under the orchestra.

This is because the center of the stage is not pushed forward towards listener. The elements in front of us are arranged in a semi-circle behind the speakers, even if the vocal is clearly and intentionally placed in the front, like on the Leonard Cohen album and in the recordings of Brian Flanagan. Which makes sense, because in this way the cable does not impose anything on us, and the music flows effortlessly. If it pushed the foreground forward listener, it would also have to reveal that its resolution is good, but not outstanding, which is what one can expect at this price point.


I am writing about such details because it is a very good sounding cable. It managed to intrugue me enough so that I switched cables many times expecting some results. It's an interesting, well-thought-out sound. All elements are where they belong and it will be easy to decide whether it is "your" sound. The most important features are speed, dynamics and space. It is also very transparent, but never too thin or too ethereal sounding. It has an internal "coherence" that makes listening truly enjoyable regardless if one listening to the compressed sound, like on Starboy's album, or very natural one of Count Basie orchestra. There are no tangible music layers, no thick bass though – one can not have it all at this price level.

A very good cable offering an interesting sound. The combination of lightness, speed and good tonal balance with proper richness of the sound is quite rare, at this level it is almost an endemic species.



- Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
- Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
- Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE

- Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE

- Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
- Power amplifier: Soulution 710
- Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE

- Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
- Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
- Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
- Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
- Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
- Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE

- Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
- USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
- LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
- Router: Liksys WAG320N
- NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
System I
- Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
- Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
System II
- Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
- Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA

System I
- Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
- Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
- Power Line: power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m); wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
System II
- Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
- Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
- Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
- Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
- Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
- Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
- Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4

- FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One