The path to the MAX-S was not a straight line, rather it represented a journey which took Krautwire to the unexpected destination. The initial impulse was clear, however: to make a balanced cable for the bass part of a bi-amped system. That was how the thicker than thick conductors came into the game.

Function and form

Ease of use

The result was great and the natural outcome was ‘can this work as a full range interconnect’? After some adjustments in the cable’s geometry the new Krautwire MAX XLR was born, a cable that boasts of 8mm2 of total wiring that employs ultrapure copper plated with silver. The MAX uses stranded conductors rather than solid core wires to make it easier to work with. During one of the validating sessions it was suggested by the listening panel member to try it as a phono cable. Thus the MAX was terminated with RCA cinches and was submitted to multiple shielding to screen off the omnipresent electromagnetic smog. The final version, the Krautwire MAX-S, features WBT’s PVD Plasma-protect locking terminations and two layers of shielding, one of them based on special nanofiber cloth provided by a military supplier. The interconnect I hold in my hand is exactly like this and can actually be used anywhere in a high-end system. It is thick, robust, well-made, carefully silver-soldered, and workable enough. It is directional which is clearly marked and its serial number is engraved in it. Krautwire attaches a certificate with each cable to verify authenticity as fakes are also in circulation. This fact alone - that the copies exist - confirms the quality for nobody bothers to copy bad things.

Bass management


The good news with Cassandra Wilson´s 5 Original Albums pack (the re-edition from the Blue Note label) is that the albums are not remastered and thus exhibit the original dynamics (DR 12-14). Mrs. Wilson´s musical output was always very pleasing sonically and each album provides at least 2-3 tracks that can be used as showpieces of any audio system.

The bluesy Dead Letter ushered HBO´s True Detective series where it elevated the dark title sequence into an atmospheric piece of art. Through the Krautwire MAX-S the song was thick with deep and strong bass rolling from my speakers like a tsunami, balanced by sparkling dobro and Kevina Breit´s tenor banjo transients. Who would complain? The MAX-S allow the low frequencies to really shine through, no high pass filtering. If you like the ´fast´ filtered bass then look elsewhere. This Krautwire is honest and does not cut off the very lows. Audio veterans will like it, the beginners will like it when they pass the usual way from polished and hyped up to natural and real.

Clarity & delicacy


I did not have enough and savored the sonic fullness of the Krautwire MAX-S over and over again, like with Flamenco Havana (Ramón Ruíz a Anita La Maltesa, Naim). The acoustic Spanish guitar was oh so palpable in the Alpujara tarantelo, the body of the guitar was there, the fingers dancing on the strings were there, and I was there too. I would not recommend the MAX-S for the systems that sound closed-in or muffled. Not because it is dark, it isn´t, but because it is not bright. Perhaps the unshielded version, the Krautwire MAX, is slightly more ´lightweight´ and less demanding on the bottom*end control of your speakers. However, if you consider your system is good enough and its balance is all right, then it is time get the last bit out of it with the MAX-S.

Tonal accuracy

Temporal resolution

The Flamenco Havana album also features a traditional piece Jueves, presented here in an unusual arrangement with a didgeridoo and a rain stick. The rattling of grains and seeds sifted through the pegs in the hollow rain stick are primitive yet very efficient tool to asses imaging capabilities of a system. Especially when I heard them falling top down, precisely locatable in the soundstage with pinpoint accuracy. Give it a try on your system. On many I hear a very distinct and detailed sound of grains coming from a certain spot within the soundstage, but with no direction, a kind of homogenous event. With the MAX-S the directionality of this event was amazing and is a proof of the cable´s resolving power.

Spatial resolution

Soundstage width
Soundstage depth

And resolving the MAX-S is. The instruments and voices are accurately locked in the three-dimensional space that the cable opens up and my ears tell me that this Krautwire is soundstaging better than several times more expensive rivals. I also liked things like very fine front-to-back layering, rich instrumental envelopes, drumming with each tom in the kit easily identifiable, and many others performance elements that make the MAX-S quite exceptional.

In case you are hunting for a good interconnect the Krautwire MAX-S can be a hot tip. In case you need to protect the sensitive signal transfer in WiFi and Bluetooth noise polluted environment it is a must.

Price as reviewed:24 900,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Krautwire, Praha, tel. +420 724 076 707

Associated components

  • Sources: Accuphase DP-720, Luxman D-03X, Rockna Wavelight DAC
  • Amplifiers: TAD-M2500 MkII, Luxman L-509X
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Audioquest Dragon Zero | Bass BiWire, Ansuz Signalz C2, AudioQuest Carbon, Krautwire Numeric, Luxman JPR-15000/JPS-15000
  • Loudspeakers:  TAD Evolution One E1, Usher Mini Two Diamond, Sonus Faber Gravis I
  • Power conditioning: Shunyata Research Denali, Ansuz Mainz C2, Synergistic Research Atmosphere Level 2, Gigawatt PC-4 Evo+, Gigawatt LC-3HC Evo, Blackwater Continuum R3D, Supra LoRad


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