OEHLBACH XXL Fusion Two

TR19.11.2011

Speaker cables

Tonally the XXL Fusion Two is a mature speaker cable so do not expect any frequency lumpiness. However, its performance was quite dependant on the connected equipment so it required careful mix & match to shine.

Function and form

96%
Ease of use
27%
Sound
94%
Appearance

For example, Dynaudio Confidence C1s were a bad match - the sound was unfocused and bloated so much that I had to check several times that the speakers were connected correctly. I received completely different performance with the Xavian Guilias, as described further.

The XXL Fusion Two uses two bundles of twelve ultra-clean copper wires (HPOCC) that are braided together. The total conductive cross-section is 5,4mm2. The conductors are wrapped in a copper foild and damped by polymer padding. Oehlbach is among few producers manufacturing its own terminations - both bananas and spades are available.

Bass management

Weight
50
Slam
48
Articulation
42

The XXL Fusion Two's appearance represents everything audiophiles dream of - it is professionally made, amazing looking and easy to work with. The black braided jacket is terminated by precisely machined aluminum pieces with laser-engraved Oehlbach's logo. The final speaker leads are relatively thin and flexible so I had no issue to connect them to any speakers or amplifiers. The bend radius of around 35mm makes the XXL Fusion Two one of the most ergonomic cables in the test.

The expandable gold-plated bananas have extremely firrm grip in binding posts so no need to recheck the connection in use. I also liked plastic covers that protect the bananas from damage.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
41
Air
37
Transparency
35

The performance of the XXL Fusion Two is close to that of the Xindak SC-01; the Oehlbach is better spectrally balanced and delivers more mature sound, with little to no lifts at the frequency extremes. It can also provide a plenty of detail, perhaps a touch more than the Xindak. The fact that it doubles on price vs the Xindak is the only issue.

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
22
Dynamics
36
Temporal resolution
28

I was not sure how to approach the way this Oehlbach communicated the soundstage. Laterally it stretched the sonic picture more than any other cable in the test, but instead of just creating a wider picture it repositioned instruments within it. What I heard as natural imagimg before became sorted out to left-sounds, right-sounds and middle-sounds, with nothing in between. I know it is kind of confusing but thisis what I heard. It was like the XXL Fusion Two knew only East, West, North and South, with no Southeast or Northwest. So yes, the stage was wide but not natural and quite shallow.

Spatial resolution

Holography
25
Soundstage width
25
Soundstage depth
25

This review is a part of The Low and Mid-tier Speaker Cables Megatest that includes 18 different speaker cables. The pilot article is available at SPECIAL EDITION REVIEWS section of Audiodrom.

 

Price as reviewed:14 450,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Vlk Electronic s.r.o., TG Masaryka 1280, Zlín, tel. +420 577 430 883

Associated components

  • Sources: Primare CD32, Luxman D-05 and Accuphase DP-510
  • Amplifiers: Primare I32, Luxman L-590AX a Accuphase E-560
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Krautwire Fractal, Cardas Clear, Homegrown Audio DNA
  • Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Virgo V, Dynaudio Confidence C1 and Xavian Giulia, Chario Constellation, Xavian Preludio, Revel Ultima Studio2, B&W 805 Diamond and Atohm G 1.0
  • Power conditioning: Nordost Thor (modified), Snakeblock, Nordost Valhalla

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