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Interconnect + speaker cable

Black Cat Cable
3202 + 3232

Manufacturer: BLACK CAT CABLE
Price (when reviewed):
3202: 2050 PLN/1 m | 3232: 2250 PLN/2.5 m
Excl. VAT

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Provided for test by:

t happens from time to time that a Japanese traveling in the world falls in love with a place or person and that's where he sets up his business. But for a Westerner to start a company in Japan - it's a real rarity. And in the audio industry it is an absolute rarity. This is the case though - the BLACK CAT CABLE company located in the suburbs of Tokyo, where the production of its cables takes place. It is the work of an unusual person, Chris Sommovigo. This name has been known to us for at least a dozen or so years, because it is a man behind products of such brands as: Kimber Kable (Illuminati digital cable), Stereovox and Stereolab, and from 2010 also Black Cat Cable.

I evoked the name "Illuminati" not accidentally, but because it is associated with something that is often called the "founding myth", meaning the story of the early beginnings. In this case, these are real events related to the first audio cable prepared by Chris, thanks to which he turned from an audiophile to a designer and later to a designer and manufacturer.

As he mentions, it all began in 1991 in Los Angeles. He had a transport/DAC combo with Luxman transport and Audio Alchemy D/A converter. The devices were connected by a 75-ohm coaxial RG6 cable, used for example to connect the antenna and the TV tuner. As he said in an interview for the, a befriended seller asked him to try the digital cable from Audio Alchemy. He agreed, although stated clearly that he didn't believe in any differences between digital cables (you can find full interview HERE, accessed: Apr. 05th 2018).

He did try the cable out, and the comparison results were disappointing - the Audio Alchemy cable did not appeal to him. Differences though fascinated him, because - according to his knowledge – there should have had been none. Together with a friend, a radio frequency (RF) engineer, they thought it had something to do with the characteristic impedance of the cable not matching the load of the DAC. This conclusion led to creation of his first cable with precisely matched impedance of 75 Ω, which was supposed to fill the gap on the market – the aforementioned Illuminati. This is how the career of Chris Sommovigo as a designer began.

His personal history according to himself

A photo of my son Kai (11 years old) and I waiting for our hamburgers at EDY BURGER in Shimoda, Izu, Japan (BEST burgers in Japan!).

1992/93: The Illuminati cable arrives at the market, the first truly 75-ohm digital cable. I was 25 years old at the time. It took me a year and a half to get noticed by the market, during which I built a network of twenty sellers in the USA; I also had one in Hong Kong (First Impressions Music).

1994: Ray Kimber who heard about my cables called me. He was very interested in them and wanted to test them. When I sent it to him, he offered me a deal between our companies, thanks to which Kimber Kable (RKB Industrial) became a global distributor of the Illuminati cable.

In 1997, Ray bought the entire supply of Illuminati cables from me, along with the copyrights to them - the contract covered three and a half years, during which I could not introduce to the market any competitive product.

2001: Between 1997-2001 I worked on Stereovox cables - these were my first commercially sold analog cables. The first models were LSP-600 and SEI-600. They featured unique connectors of my own design - ever since I've always used plugs I developed myself.

Between 2001 and 2010, I designed and introduced many cables to the market. During this time, my and my business partner's paths slowly parted and eventually each of us went our own way. For the next three years I used the name Stereovox, but I had to pay for that privilege because the name belonged to him. Finally, I changed the name of the cables to Stereolab.

Some time in 2006 or 2007 I bought my first machine - it was a small, used winder used in the medical industry - and started the production of micro-braided cables that were used for cabling of Continuum Audio Labs Caliburn/Cobra turntables.

This machine was also custom made for me by the same company, and it has some special capabilities that allow me to safely braid very fine, enameled wires without affecting the enamel, but the customizations made to this machine are also what allow me to make the very complex "ZMX" (Zoltán Matrix) conductor that I use in my Indigo interconnects.

However, when the crisis came in 2008, sales of expensive cables decreased sharply and I had to design new, more affordable products to simply support my family. And so, in 2010, Black Cat cables were born. In 2011, I finally developed my own wire insulation process, which changed my situation - I did not have to rely on sub-contractors anymore. I could do everything myself and I finally started to experiment with new forms and ideas.

In March 2014, together with my in-laws, I visited Japan. I clearly noticed the differences between the American and Japanese societies. They were significant enough for me to came to the conclusion that I would prefer my children to grow up there in Japan. So we put things in motion and by the end of 2015 we moved.

This machine was also custom-made for me by a company here in Japan, and it chiefly produces the 3232, but it also helps to produce all of my other cable models by offering me the ability to shield and insulate the cables at the same time. There are certain capabilities built in to this machine that make it quite sophisticated, such as the four individually speed-controlled motors that allow me to finely adjust and vary the braid density for both the conductors and the insulators by adjusting the individual deck-speed, rotation speed of the capstan (which pulls the cable from overhead), and the speed of the take-up reel behind the machine (not seen in the picture). Wasn't cheap ... still paying it off…

Between March and July 2015, all my belongings arrived to Japan, including machines and tools that I used to make cables. At that time, I did not have much to do, apart from long walks, admiring views and thinking about new cables. It was then that I imagined a new form, which was realized in the Red level series. It is based on a simple but elegant design, thanks to which I could get an extremely good sound using several types of conductors. Based on various types of conductors, several cable models were created:

  • Micro-Tubular Copper: „The Tube”,
  • „Pure Silver”: „Lupo”,
  • „braided micro-fine enameled copper”: „The Matrix”,
  • „Matrix” conductor braided over an insulated copper micro-tube: „Triode”,
  • spirally rolled ribbon made of pure silver: „Ultranova”.

Of course, I still offered also digital cables: Silverstar! 75, Digit-75, Digit-USB and Trøn. In 2017, some cables underwent modernization and obtained the status of "Model 2". At that time, a new interconnect , the 3202 was created based on an idea which contradicted the common approach to the construction of interconnects. This new series is really exciting for me because its performance - for the price tag – is really good and some aspects of sound are impossible to achieve in any different way. And that's a story about how I and my cables got to where we are today!

It should be clear by now: Chris Sommovigo is not so much a designer, but rather an artist and an experimenter. He also has a soul of a warrior, so every brand he made cables for was been successful, and its products found numerous satisfied users. Let me add that the cables of his design often stay in audio systems forever despite the fact, that there are other, better ones on the market, but there is something special about them that one simply can't find anywhere else.

| 3202

You can see the very delicate arrangement of very fine, individually-enameled pure copper wires in a braided matrix around the Teflon/Air tube, with "nami" processed internal wires that terminate to the ground plane. This is a twisted pair of individually-enameled copper wires, because sometimes we separate the two for balanced cables in order to terminate one of them to pin-1 ground and the other to the shell or chassis ground.

The new interconnect, Chris mentioned, could be made due to installation of two new machines custom-built for him, which joined the older ones brought from the USA. All production is done manually on them. What's more, it's a one-man company - every inch of Black Cat cables goes through Chris's hands. Only "bare" wires are outsourced. Even the packaging - simple and nice-looking - is made in his workshop. For this purpose he buys washi-paper (a hand-made paper) in a store that is 350 years old.

The series of cables we review is the newest in the Black Cat range - it was launched on November 14th 2017. A separate website was designed for them -

As you could read in "A few simple words ...", the owner of Black Cat every now and then tries new ideas that go against the generally accepted principles - mainly because he is able to test them and compare to other products. The 3202 interconnect was designed in this very way, by questioning the usual methods. A classic signal cable, used first in recording studios and then adapted for home use, features a simple, concentric structure - with wires running in the middle (for RCA a single wire, for XLR two of them) and a braid. The wires transmit positive signal - for XLR in phase and out-of-phase - and the braid is a return wire, also acting as a screen.

In 3202 he reversed this design, running the positive signal (+) OUTSIDE of the core, and the return signal INSIDE. Its predecessor was the 2014 Goldilinks interconnect. It was an eight-element braid (in the company materials "matrix" term is used), wrapped around an insulated copper tube; this is Chris Sommovigo's own solution, used by him since the early 2000s.

In 2017, he decided to „turbo-charge” this design and increased the conductor-mass in the outer braid by 400%, decreased the dielectric constant, and employed a new process - called “Airwave” - to ensure that a quite-small center conductor would remain uniformly positioned in the air-dielectric of a thin-walled Teflon tube. A side-benefit of this new geometry was also an extraordinarily low capacitance. The interconnect is terminated with gold-plated Lovecraft Mini plugs.

The name 3202 describes the number of the copper wires conductors used outside (32) and inside the tube (2). The outer coat is made using a self-developed technique - it is a kind of "braid", but it is spatial, wrapped around the core. Chris calls this Matrix-32 layout. It is comprised of 32 individually-enameled pure copper strands braided into a very fine tube of counter-rotating helices around a thin-walled PTFE ("Teflon") tube. It is the same material as the one used in more expensive Matrix Mk interconnects. II.

PTFE is simply Teflon. The name „Teflon” however is reserved by this material's inventor, American company DuPont, that also developed Kapton – a material used, for example, for coil carcasses in drivers, as well as Mylar, material used in membranes for headphones. That is why other companies use the name PTFE instead.

A thin-copper twisted pair of Airwave™ conductors, Nami-processed to ensure that they remain substantially suspended in the air, is run down the center of the PTFE tube. „Nami” in Japanese means „wave”. Chris forms this cable into this shape using a special machine custom-made for him by Christopher Hildebrand of the Fern & Roby, from Richmond, Virginia.

| 3232

You can see in the cutaway the structure of the 3232, with its coaxially-disposed braided tubes of bare copper wire, it's cotton-rope core, and the braided nylon insulators.

I have not mentioned it yet – the 3202 interconnect has a really small diameter. The speaker cable is equally thin as for this type of cable. Right where the cable goes into gold-plated connectors one can see that the positive (+) and negative (-) runs have a different design – that's another feature characteristic for this only for this company.

3232 is a multi-layer cable. Its design starts with an internal ø 6 mm core made up of pure cotton strings, made in Japan. The core works as a mechanical vibration dampening system. There are 32 wires of pure uncoated copper with a diameter of 0.127 mm2 each wrapped around it. Then comes another layer wrapped around them made up of nylon fibers, another layer of 32 copper wires - same one as used in the inner layer (which explains the name: 3232) - and finally an outer coat of nylon fibers with a characteristic black and red weave.

The difference in the endings of both runs comes from necessity to separate them: the positive one is the inner one, led out along with the core/tube, and the negative one come in the form of a "braid" ("matrix"). Let's add, that the company offers optional XOX spades connectors, that one plugs into bananas - it's a simple and convenient solution. Both cables from the 3200 series come in small, cardboard, hand-glued boxes, lined with a red felt. The whole is simple, modest, but also elegant.

All these elements are handmade by Chris. As he repeats in interviews, he has no intention of expanding his company, which means that it has limited production capacities. But he also says that he had always dreamed about such a life - a life in which he has time for his family, for friends and for music. His wife is an educated violinist, and he experiments with recordings himself, so we will probably get something to listen to from him soon.

The Black Cat cables were compared to my reference ones, especially to the Siltech Triple Crown. In addition to them, I also used Crystal Cable Absolute Dream (interconnect) and The Ultimate Dream (speaker cables) and Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0 Triple-C Absolute interconnects. This is the only way to uncover the true sound of the tested cables, and not to try to capture differences between them and other cables from the same price range. Please take this into account when you read this test.

The interconnect was used to connect the Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition Super Audio CD player and the Ayon Audio Spheris III preamplifier - two tube devices. The loudspeaker cable was inserted between the Soulution 710 power amplifier and Harbeth M40.1 speakers. I also used SPEC Real-Sound Processor RSP-901EX. The test was an A/B/A and B/A/B comparison with A and B known. I listened to short, 1-2 minutes music tracks.

Recordings used for the test (a selec- tion)

  • From The Imperial Court, wyk. Stile Antico, Harmonia Mundi USA HMU 807595, SACD/CD (2014)
  • M
  • A Recordings in the Groove, M
  • A Recordings MA-ND2017 3500, CD (?)
  • Stereo Sound Reference Record. Jazz & Vocal, Stereo Sound SSRR4, SACD/CD (2010)
  • Maanam, O!, Pronit/MTJ, Damian Lipiński Mastering, Master CD-R (1982/2017)
  • Peggy Lee, Black Coffee, Decca/Esoteric ESSO-90143, SACD/CD (1956/2016) in: 6 Queens of Jazz Vocal, „MasterSoundWorks”, Esoteric ESSO-90143/8, 6 x SACD/CD (2016)
  • Polish Jazz Quartet, Polish Jazz Quartet, Polskie Nagrania „Muza”/Warner Music Poland, „Polish Jazz | vol. 3”, Master CD-R (1965/2016);

Japanese issues available at


If there was ever a Gold Standard for me when it comes to the performance of an audio system, the word “Effortlessness” describes it perfectly. There is no sense of strain, of work being done - the music emerges whole, unsullied by artifact, and the system itself fades away. I have been chasing “effortlessness” since I first heard and understood it for what it was. It is more than ‘resolution’ for sure, and more than mere ‘transparency’ or “coherence” or “continuousness” ... it seems to me as a convergence of all these things, and more.

source:, accessed on April 10th 2018

The "effortlessness" (or "smoothness") Chris mentioned is a perfectly accurate description of his interconnect's performance. A comparison with a much more expensive reference provides a proper perspective, but also shows the advantages of the reviewed cables in the best way. It is a presentation that is on the one hand energetic, fast and extremely dynamic, and on the other hand focused on conveying the synergy of all elements that make up the presentation. Nothing in this sound "jumps" out of harmony, nothing tries to focus attention on itself.

The 3202 interconnect sounds in a smooth, harmonious way. Its tonal balance is shifted more strongly up than in the reference cables, both Siltech and Crystal Cable. It resembles more of what, also many times more expensive, Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0 Triple-C Absolute cable presents. It is not about making sound too bright, but rather about focusing listener's attention on the open midrange. The treble is nicely extended, but it never really called for attention, it was me who wanted to focus it there. It's a very coherent sound and there is no place for such "bumps" as coloration.

The bass does not go as deep as with all reference cables, but - I'm sure about it - nobody will even notice that unless they compare Black Cat with Siltech or Acoustic Revive. Probably because this range is perfectly controlled in 3202. It is a "musical" control, so to speak, and not "technical" one, because the whole range has a soft, very natural character.

It was clear with every type of music I listened to during the test, but it strikes in a special way where naturalness and softness are synonyms, like on the M•A Recordings disc that comes with the tested cables, or on the unique release of the Stereo Sound magazine titled Stereo Sound Reference Record. Jazz & Vocal with recordings recorded and mixed in the digital domain in the DSD format. Listen, for example, the song Green Flower Street by D.J. Fagen, feel the impact of the bass and kick drum, and you will know what I'm talking about.

However, I was truly convinced that my perception of this interconnect's performance was right after listening to Black Coffe by Peggy Lee released on SACD by Esoteric. The title track starts with a powerful trumpet, recorded from a distance. Immediately after it enters the vocal, placed much closer to us. The whole performance, however, is a relaxed, "stress-free” feeling, does not impose itself on listener, but rather "proposes" something. This interconnect beautifully presented this special “easy-going” mood, melancholy and the possibilities opening before listener, i.e. the excitement and anticipation (as I read it from this album).

It was also clear that it this cable brings the foreground closer to the listener, and that it is not as resolving as my reference cables. Sure, these are cable from a totally different price ranges but ultimately I wanted to determine the nature of this cable's performance, its "sound", or how it modified the audio signal in absolute terms. In other words, I wanted to show it "as it is" rather than what I could see it through the perspective of other cables from the same price range.

The resolution is therefore lesser, which translates into a more unequivocal presentation of sounds, putting more “emphasis” on them. The whole is also less nuanced and shallower. The scale of the presentation is also smaller. But when we confront all that with the price of this cable, we realize that it does not really matter, because most systems it will probably work in won't even show these differences, maybe except for the scale of presentation. The 3202 is phenomenally well-balanced and extremely dynamic. The open upper midrange is only part of an open sound, and not a quality in itself. It is simply a fantastic interconnect!


The Chris Sommovigo speaker cable in the general terms is similar to the interconnect, so there is no doubt about the common DNA of these two. And yet these do not sound the same. The 3232 deliver a lower and richer sound. There is not as much information about the top of the range as it is with the interconnect, but the fluidity of the sound, that I emphasized earlier, here is even better, even more strongly marked. It is a cable that goes deep into the sound. It does not stay on the surface layer, as if it was of a lesser interest to it. It does, however, shows small internal changes, delicate shifts that cause the recording to live, to be in a constant "motion".

Which is very interesting, because the resolution, or the ability to differentiate, is at a similar level with both cables. It's just that - I apologize for anthropomorphization, but it's inevitable - as if they shared tasks. The interconnect brightens the sound, opens it, and the speaker cable completes it. These shifts of accents may not be large, at least on an absolute scale, and yet they make a big difference. The loudspeaker cable is the one that saturates, enriches the presentation and adds some weight to it.

It delivers performance with it, which is both detailed and deep. Which I believe is achieved by a unique, truly exceptional, coherency of the sound. In this price range, unprecedented – I haven't heard as yet any other so smooth, balanced, nicely sounding the cable for less than - say - 10,000 PLN. It perfectly presents a black background, creates a musical event, and not just shows a set of sounds. It is also fast and dynamic, although in this respect the 3202 has an upper hand.

3202 + 3232

The sound qualities of both cables described above do not change when both of them are used together in a system. This is an open sound, with a lot of treble, with perfect dynamics and fantastic coherency of sub-ranges. The listener's attention is focused on the midrange, and this is due to its richness, density. The sound is not “warmed up”, but rather “flows” naturally by itself, lets the music sound without trying to “organize” it in its own way.

It is not a coincidence that the owner of Black Cat adds a M•A Recordings CD to his products. They are - in terms of tonality - very similar to Naim Records recordings realized in the Real Stereo convention (you can find out more about this technique HERE). They feature this incredible effortlessness, resulting from the fact that the musicians play together, at 100%, without overdubing and editing, but also because of phase coherence - the recordings are made using a pair of microphones. When listened to using the reviewed cables, they sound incredibly smooth and almost "live", as if we were there. However, their tonal balance is shifted to the center of the band, they are darker than recordings made with closely set microphones. Without going into discussion about the superiority of one solution over another, let's say that both are just an approximation of the real event, both create their own worlds, completely different ones.

With such recordings, Black Cat cables sound dark, but show a lot of details. Let's play, however, something recorded using a more traditional method, though also great, such as the Polish Jazz Quartet album from 1965, phenomenally remastered by Jacek Gawłowski, and we will see that the balance will shift up. The bass is not as full and as "deep" as with reference cables, but I got used to it - in this respect Siltech cables and Crystal Cable are unrivaled. By connecting Black Cat cables we get the sound under control, there will be no brightness, but the tonal balance will be set higher - higher than with Siltech's loom and - even more so – with Crystal Cable's. The nearest reference point in this respect will be the Acoustic Revive cables from the Triple-C series, and in the lower price range the Chord Company products.

I have stayed on this subject for a long time only because it is a characteristic feature for this set, and not because it is a weakness. Because these cables sound smooth and natural on the one hand, and illuminate the system on the other, opening it's sound - they are extremely fast and dynamic. In comparison, it may seem as if other cables from this price range somehow suppressed the signal and filtered it, forcing bass to arrive not simultaneously with the treble, while midrange lives its own, independent life. But these are the rules of the game and there is nothing to worry about - in systems in which these types of cables shall work, it won't matter much. However, you must know that Chris's cables play in a different league, really - this is very rare - and they should be used in more expensive systems than their price indicates.


Black Cat wiring reminds us what really counts in music is "coherence" of all the event on the stage. Music must have a clear theme (I do not mean the melody, but the "story" it tells). This set is incredibly well-balanced and although it modifies the sound, it does so without focusing on particular aspects of the sound, and does it in one "package". The tonal balance in this system is shifted upwards and that is why the sound is open and transparent. They will be best utilized in systems more expensive than the price of cables indicates, because one needs high quality system to benefit from all the advantages of Black Cat cables.

This is a very rare case in which one could say that the cables are "too cheap", both because they sound better than other cables in this price range, and because inexpensive systems need something else – a warmer sound, lower bass, they do not require such high dynamics and speed, because they would not know what to do with them anyway. After combining the inexpensive system with Black Cat cables, the effect can be worse than when we balance the electronics problems with less sophisticated cables. Am I exaggerating? - I do not think so. Audio is an art of a wise compromise. So, thinking about Chris Sommovigo's cables, think about them in the context of expensive, elaborate systems. That's where they belong. As I see it the 3202 and 3232 truly deserve out RED Fingerprint.



- 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