Review: Warm Audio Premier Series Cables

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Review: Warm Audio Premier Series Cables

Words By Liam McShane

Studio Connections | Enquire for Pricing

The most overlooked and most certainly the most neglected member of the audio signal chain, it is the humble cable that connects all our gear, and without which, we would sit in silence. Some audio engineers thumb their nose at the concept of premium cables, quoting experiments read about on internet forums and claiming snake-oil. Other engineers completely forget about their existence, blaming power issues and dodgy pickups for audio dropouts and level fluctuations (ultimately to their own detriment).

In the case of studio and FOH types, many will have a bag full of broken or intermittently operational XLR and ¼” leads next to a rusty old soldering iron, with the intention of eventually trying to fix a decade plus of faulty or busted cables, if and when they ever get around to it. Most never do.

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It just goes to show how much procrastination, stigma, wilful ignorance and (above all else) considerable periods of downtime budding engineers are willing to wade through in order to finally land on one of the home truths of critical audio. Cables definitely matter. Cable/Connector quality definitely matters. You get what you pay for. Please sit down.

For starters, they are without doubt the most problematic area in the entire audio chain, often being dealt the roughest life of all in terms of being wrapped up, stood on, twisted, hyperextended and just generally beaten and worn down. This burly lifestyle is often at odds with just how important they are to the greater audio chain at the connectivity and conductivity level.

As bearers of all things signal, they are the vital lifeline between the thousands of dollars of equipment we as musicians/engineers are generally operating at, with a real and tangible effect on gain structure and frequency response. (Don’t even come at me with talk of bluetooth or wireless here, this is about minimal latency/maximum fidelity, studio quality audio.)

Fortunately, they are also one of the easiest issues to remedy, or in the case of Warm Audio’s new Premier Series cable range, remedy for the better, and forever.

For years, Warm Audio have been on a crusade to make the world of professional quality audio equipment accessible to the every-person, this time turning their attention to the interstitial, often overlooked, realm of professional quality audio cables for the studio and stage.

The new Premier and Professional ranges see Warm teaming up with Swiss cable maestros Gotham AG, the trans-atlantic tangle putting their collective minds to creating cables that meet the needs of a professional studio in terms of construction, connection and audio quality while putting it firmly in reach of the every person, in terms of affordability. This is both a noble and necessary pursuit as the further you move into critical audio and capture, the sooner things like cable quality and optimal connectivity become an important factor.

But how do these differ from generic, run of the mill fare? Well it probably starts with a basic understanding of the anatomy of an Audio cable and where the Achilles heels are (there are multiple). The first of these probably pertains to core construction and its effect on electromagnetic interference.

Traditional balanced cables are made with two cores for the signal, one positive, one negative, and a ground core, which normally takes the form of the outer wrap that encloses the cables. This is a relatively half-assed approach to shielding that can have dire consequences, especially for those living in any of the major urban centres, where Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is at its most apparent.

Warm Audio’s StarQuad design throws this traditional design out the window, utilising a total of four cores for the positive and negative signals, along with a ground core, which provides superior shielding against electromagnetic interference, particularly the kind that affects audio signal chains, the aforementioned Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). These extra cores go a long way to give total peace of mind about RFI anomalies; for anyone who has ever experienced a WTF moment when their instrument cable starts picking up and amplifying radio stations in foreign languages, Warm Audio have you covered.

In no mood to stop there, Warm Audio have doubled the amount of shielding that surrounds the StarQuad core technology, with the outer shield running in a contrary direction to the inner shield, forming a robust barrier against RFI, dubbed Double-Reussen shielding. Given the modest asking price, the value offered in cutting the time spent unplugging and replugging cables to locate the dodgy link, or source of unwanted interference, is of utmost interest to anyone who has ever changed their recording setup.

Cutting no corners in their quest for cable perfection, Warm Audio and Gotham AG have also engineered custom gold-plated connectors for this run of cables, which both look and feel a cut above anything else at this price point. The cables are enclosed in a *chef’s kiss* double woven nylon outer layer, making them resistant against sharp edges and corners, and crucially, far less likely to twist and coil and degrade over time. The purity of the connection is instantly identifiable at the sonic level and is definitely a level up from what you would normally encounter for cable like this.

An absolute buffet of technology separates Warm Audio’s Premier Series Cables from fellow offerings, but the real pièce de résistance of their efforts is the lifetime warranty on every cable. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of high-end professional audio equipment, and in turn the hallmark of every successful studio, is dependability.

Just as how the audio engineer gets to their studio every morning and turns on the power to start using their gear without any worry about a faulty patch cable or dodgy power supply, a well-established studio will put out record after record featuring the same expertly engineered sound for which they are so regarded.

Warm Audio, in recognising the importance of continuity in the signal chain, elevates the role of the cable from a disposable, interchangeable connector between pieces of gear, to a fundamental link in the concept of a studio itself, however small or large.

For more information, head to Warm Audio’s website and for local enquiries hit up Studio Connections.