RINGMAT AUDIOPHILE CABLES

 

 

 

Adam Smith

Hi-Fi World

July 2008

RINGMAT PURE SIGNAL BLUE INTERCONNECT


"Inserting the Signal Blues into our reference system ... seemed to remove a hitherto unnoticed fine layer of 'mush' from the background of the music, making instruments more stable and vivid within the soundstage. As a result, soft acoustic material gained a better impression of intimacy and atmosphere, while more complex recordings became much better defined. Backing vocalists and instruments seemed to move forward within the mix to become more prominent, adding to the feeling that the performance had gained more of a coherent whole. The low end was confident and detailed, the Signal Blues capturing the rhythmical essence of bass lines to really bound them along with great enthusiasm and alacrity.


All in all, the Ringmat Signal Blues mark a fine and notable step up... and can be heartily recommended."

 

 

 

 

 

Hi-Fi+  Issue 49

Jan 2007

Roy Gregory

"Over the years, Hi-Fi+ have tried to develop a strategy that ensures consistent and musically coherent results across a wide range of products. Beyond that they have also suggested that listeners and the industry in general have seriously underestimated the impact that a coherent cable loom can make to the musical performance of a system. With this in mind, the editor, Roy Gregory, has carried out a survey of cables in an over-populated market based on what the magazine regards as 'affordable' and in an article headed 'Information Technology... Audio Cables for the Real World' he has reviewed those that survived the initial selection process. Yes, there are cheaper options out there but few that Hi-Fi+ would entertain in a genuine hi-fi system.

The survey included the Ringmat 'loom', made up of the Ringmat Pure Power Mains Cable, Pure Signal Premium Blue Interconnect (with the WBT Nextgen phonos) and Pure Power Speaker Cable (with WBT locking 4mm plugs). Roy reported as follows:

"The sound of the Ringmat loom is fast, light yet powerful, organized and energetic. Excellent pace, momentum and shifts in dynamic density are achieved without hardness or aggression, while textures, phrasing and vocals display a lightness of touch and air around instruments and within the soundstage. There is a slight rosiness to the upper mid and lower treble, a sweetness if you like, but it doesn't prevent them capturing the full air and beauty of the Gorecki piece, or the space and tension in the Barbirolli. The Cure sound impressively punchy without getting brash or congested, while the message in the music, be it classical, acoustic or pop was always well to the fore.

I wonder how much of the musical clarity and coherence available from the Ringmat cables is down to their use of such excellent connectors. I also wonder how much more you can extract from them (and the system they're being used with) in concert with Ringmat's various support and tuning devices. As they stand and used in isolation, they offer a superbly balanced and extremely musical solution which is well worth seeking out."

Gathered in that article readers will find a report on many other cable brands: van den Hul, Nordost, True Colours Industries, Kimber Kable, The Chord Co., Brilliance Hi-Fi, Cardas, Oehlbach, Abbey Road Cables and Supra."

To find out more, and a wealth of other reviews, buy the magazine: www.hifiplus.com

 

 

 

 

 

Hi-Fi+ Issue 19

Sept / Oct 2002

Roy Gregory

Ringmat Audiophile Cables
AUDIO SMORGASBORD
Ringmat join the cable wars...
by Roy Gregory

 

"Supporters of all things that support, Ringmat Developments recently sent us samples of their latest products, an interconnect and speaker cable. Quite a departure from their usual ground you might well be thinking. You might also be wondering who in their right mind would want to get involved in what is already a saturated marketplace? Well, undaunted, John Rogers has sallied forth with what are outwardly a pair of utterly conventional designs. The interconnect is a simple four core structure, as is the speaker cable, although the latter is both significantly heavier and more flexible than most cables at this price. Despite the four cores it is not intended for bi-wiring. Costs are £120 a metre pair for interconnects, a three metre pair of speaker cables weighing in at £225, and both are nicely terminated with sensibly chosen connectors. Extra length will cost you £7.50 and £25 a mono metre respectively. The terminations themselves are actually much more unusual than they seem, the interconnect using only one core for signal and three for ground (shades of the Eichmann ratio here) while the heavily stranded speaker cables are slightly reduced in diameter (from 56 to 49 strands) before being crimped up. The end result is a set of leads that sit firmly in the one up from budget category. So dropping them straight into the Madrigal starter system, immediately after the Valhallas probably wasn’t the kindest thing I could have done!

Surprisingly, the Ringmat leads stood up remarkably well, which speaks volumes for their musical balance, evenness and coherence. Sure, they lacked the detail, transparency, focus, dynamics and scale of the Nordosts, but at least they were playing recognisably the same recordings, and that’s quite a feat when you consider the extent to which the Valhallas embarrass the vast majority of even the most expensive competition.

So, with good bandwidth, especially at low frequencies, good presence and an excellent sense of pace and musical flow, the Ringmats can certainly hold their own against their price peers. But that still hardly makes them news. No, the thing that intrigues me is the way these cables dovetail with the other Ringmat products. I first noticed it when I used the Statmat CDi Blue in the 390S. A much bigger than normal difference. Experiments with a Ringmat on the record player were similarly impressive, as were the Statfeet.

All of which suggests to me that either the Ringmat products manage to interrelate regardless of system (which is pretty weird) or that John has managed to define certain common features in their performance, features that work in concert with the cables. Certainly, what was an indifferent degree of treble separation and definition in the original system was dramatically improved by the application of other Ringmat products. Similar effects were noted across the range, building detail, dynamics and finesse onto the basis of the cables’ impressive body and presence, lifting the overall performance well beyond the norm. All of which I think you’ll agree, is pretty spooky. 

Good cables at the price, but much better in concert with the other Ringmat products."

 

 

 

 

 

John Rogers Comments on Roy Gregorys Review

I am extremely pleased with what I consider to be a fabulous review, and to have it as the first review of our cables is most encouraging. 

From the literature for our cables you will see that we embarked on this somewhat perilous course because we simply could not find a cable most people could buy that did justice to our other products. Accordingly, without our own cables, users would be unable to reap the full benefits of using our Ringmat and Statmat based designs.

Most hi-fi cable suppliers have to assume that their cables would be used in systems where a typical range of distortions and phase anomalies would exist from source and at intervals along the signal path. And yet the sound using their cables would still need to be of the highest order, without displaying the distortions which are a natural phenomena of all systems that are not suitably treated by our products. This is not an easy task, and for serious cable companies it means considerable expense and resource to develop such cables, resulting in complex designs and high prices, and, in some cases, extremely high prices.

Our approach has been completely different. If the appropriate Ringmat and Statmat based designs are used in a system, the distortions and phase anomalies inherent in the set-up and operation of the components of all systems are largely removed. In this way, all we need are cables that operate as near as possible to a bit of straight wire without needing to cover our tracks for the otherwise inherent failings of hi-fi systems, as other cable suppliers have had to do. This makes the design and construction of our cables much more straight-forward and therefore we have been able to market them at a sensible price whilst still offering the highest fidelity in performance. Accordingly, they can be put up against the most expensive alternative cable products, and provided the system used is appropriately treated with our other Ringmat and Statmat designed products, they will not only acquit themselves with honour but, in most cases, will blow away the competition.

Because, unlike other cables, Ringmat Audiophile Cables are not tailored to mask inherent system distortions, it is essential that they are used with other Ringmat and Statmat based products. Otherwise, it is the old adage, rubbish in, rubbish out. Or you could start with the Ringmat cables and then see how the other Ringmat and Statmat based products will dramatically lift the sound. There is no “voodoo” in this, and is the simple explanation for the results Roy Gregory reported in his review of the Ringmat Cables. As he says, he found these results “weird” and “spooky”, but if we analyse what he says it all makes sense and is why I am a happy man. Let me explain.

The session starts with Roy Gregory slipping the Ringmat Cables into a system he has just been using for evaluating the Nordost Valhalla Digital interconnect, with the Nordost Valhalla Reference Interconnects and Speaker Cable. Now I know these Nordost Cables are not everyone’s cup of tea, but some sections of the press around the globe still regard them as the best cables in the world, or at least amongst the best. To put this into greater perspective, a 1m pair of Valhalla Reference interconnects costs some £2,195.00 and a 3m stereo pair of the bi-wiring speaker cable £5,500. In comparison, the same length of Ringmat interconnect is £120.00 and a bi-wiring of the Ringmat speaker cable (2 x £225.00) £450.00. (Incidentally, an extra length of Ringmat Pure Signal interconnect cable costs £15 per mono metre, not the £7.50 mentioned in the review).

The first thing he noted on listening was that the Ringmat cables stood their ground and were not blown away in comparison with the Valhalla cables which preceded them. Sure, by comparison, the Ringmat Cables “lacked the detail, transparency, focus, dynamics and scale of the Nordosts ... (and there was) an indifferent degree of treble separation and definition... .” But this is what I would expect because this description fits entirely within the parameters of a system that is full of those distortions which inevitably, and always, arise when the components are not supported or treated by other Ringmat and Statmat products. As explained above, other cables are designed to mask these distortions, whereas the Ringmat cables simply output what is put in. Rubbish in, rubbish out. Pure signal in, pure signal out. The Ringmat cables were doing precisely what they were meant to do. They are simply more accurate than the Valhallas.

Now move to when Roy uses the Ringmat products and a whole new ball game is in play. He only used the Statmat CDi Blue, a Ringmat and some Statfeet, but already the sound is being transformed. “A much bigger than normal difference.” “Normal” meaning other cables. Had Roy used all the Ringmat and Statmat based products presently available, it would have sounded even better, and there is yet still more to come. In the end, the sound will be light years beyond what the Valhalla or any other cables could ever offer.

As a footnote, here are the measurements of the respective cables, just to show that the Ringmat cables really are comparable with the best. (Generally speaking, the lower the figure, the better).

 

Measurement

Ringmat Pure

Signal / Power

Nordost Valhalla

Reference

Cable Type: Interconnect

Capacitance

44pF/m

72pF/m

Inductance

0.108microH/m

0.180microH/m

Cable Type: Speaker

Capacitance

137pF/m

38.6pF/m *

Inductance

0.054microH/m

0.314microH/m

Resistance

0.00165ohms/m

0.00855ohms/m

 

* Note: The lower capacitance of the Valhallas is not untypical of many flat speaker cable designs.

 

 

 

 

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