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A Sonic Phenomenon - Rhapsodio's Family of IEM Cables






Pros:

- Extremely resolving


- Class leading sound stage expansion


- Punchy, tight and textured bass


- Magic mids


- Great extension and stage height


- Very musical


- Energetic and lively



Cons:

- Price


- Ergo


- Hardware cosmetics




Greetings friends and welcome to my review of Rhapsodio’s family of cables! After being wowed and falling in love with the Supreme V3, (even ordering it in CIEM) I now turn my attention - and hopefully yours - to Sammy’s line of very, very impressive cables. For those of you not in the know, Rhapsodio is a boutique IEM and cable maker from Singapore, headed by the very likable Sammy. Now based in Taiwan, Sammy took the cable world by storm some years ago being (supposedly) the first to wrap cables in the now very popular soft nylon sheathing. Years later, he’s still hard at work forging new ground, using exotic materials, and adding in his secret-sauce tuning tricks that makes his work so great, and so unique too. Avoiding some of the attention grabbing styles of the mega famous brands, RSD seems to float a bit in the background, like a great party that’s only known by word of mouth. But when you know about it, you know it’s special. Sammy’s work is very well known in Asian markets, but a bit of a secret to the rest of us - part of what makes my reviews and demos of his gear that much more exciting for me. Something new? something secret? Mmmmm delicious, gimme now please. He makes some amazing stuff, like the Supreme V3 and Infinity IEMs, as well as a whole lineup of cables (7!!), hereby referred to as the RSD family. His Copper Wizard, arguably his most famous, remains an industry mainstay, and some of his newer offerings are simply stunning. Like crazy amazing.. ahem…I’m talking about you Fantasies Copper. So when Sammy asked me to review his Supreme V3 I was super excited, and along with the IEM he sent me a whole slew of his TOTL cables to try with it. They were so impressive I felt they merited a review of their own, and so, here we are. I’ve spent about 5 months with them, in many different signal chains and IEMs, with lots and lots of different music. Now, some cables grabbed a bit more of my attention than others, so this review will cover all of what I have, while focusing a wee bit extra on a choice few I feel need special attention. And so, this review will cover the following RSD cables: Copper Wizard, Copper Evolution and Evolution SPC, Copper Hybrid, Fantasies Copper 2w and 4w, as well as Sammy’s newest silver/gold cable called the Luxe4.




A small note on cables, (and prices). I’m a firm believer in cables, so much so that I have invested stupid crazy money on my personal cables. While not as important as your IEM or DAP, I believe the cable plays a vital, and sonically recognizable role in your signal chain, one that should not be overlooked. While not having a sound of their own, the increased “potential” and “ability expanding” effect of cables can indeed be quite noticeable. It can be the final piece of the puzzle that makes it all click, or what opens the bottleneck allowing your other gear to shine. Sometimes, with the really great stuff, it even brings a paradigm shift in everything it’s plugged into, revealing things you didn’t know were even there and making your IEMs sing with serendipitous glee. That being said, I know many think this be just a silly waste of time and money - either not believing in it, or simply not caring - and that’s totally fine. The staggering prices give cause for emotional turmoil and even anger, I totally get it, I’m pissed off too. I don’t have to remind any of you about the insane price gauging and hobby-ending gambles some companies are doing now. It’s awful, I know. But, quality is quality, and when one is searching for the very best then what to do, but just take it. Companies make this stuff for people that care - if you don’t care then you’ve saved yourself a LOT of cash. That’s my view, and while I would be just as happy with something cheaper if it gave me the same level of enjoyment, I recognize you get what you pay for. So, I will be focusing ONLY on sonics and ergonomics for this review. All these cables are very expensive, some of them crazy expensive. But they sound fantastic, and at the end of the day, for me at least, how it sounds and how it makes you feel, is all that matters.











Before I get into the details let me quickly do my usual testing gear rundown and disclaimer in favor of transparency:



- These cables are all demo units, and will be returned to RSD after my review. I don’t own any of them at the time of writing. I was asked to review these directly by Sammy and RSD, nothing was asked of me in exchange for my impressions, feelings and experience. My thoughts are my own



- I review because I love doing so, it’s a great source of joy for me. I don’t do this for work, and I spend an enormous amount of time on these. I take it very seriously, as I know people rely on reviews before they shell out cash, just like I do myself. For that reason I only review things that interest me, things I would maybe buy for myself. That doesn’t mean my reviews are in any way slanted by pure adoration, I pride myself on being very neutral, open-minded, and sharing my thoughts in a way that will benefit the community. Honesty and no fluff. If I recommend something it’s because I genuinely loved it, and I think you may too.



- I start out with a very varied playlist of testing tracks to form my initial thoughts, and then spend several weeks/months with the review sample simply listening to whatever inspires me, like I normally would. I then come back to the testing tracks to solidify my impressions before sitting down to write the review. I listen while I write, one of my favorite parts.



- I love all kinds of music, and to form an honest opinion for any piece of gear I think it absolutely necessary to test with lots of different kinds of music. If you’re taking a reviewer’s word about a piece of gear you want to spend your hard earned cash on, in my opinion, you absolutely should take into consideration how their musical tastes match or differ from your own.






A few excerpts from my latest listening roster, in no particular order.



Jazz: Snarky Puppy, GoGo Penguin, Nubya Garcia, Mathew Halsall, Robert Glasper, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Hunter, Avishai Cohen, Kandace Springs, Chris Potter, John Scofield, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Esperanza Spalding, Gregory Porter, Julian Lage, Funky Knuckles, Ghost Note, Aaron Parks.


Rock: Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Talking Heads, Rage Against The Machine, Eric Johnson, Michael Landau, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Them Crooked Vultures, Tom Petty, Jackson Brown, Jethro Tull.


Vocals/Modern: Jordan Rakei, Tom Misch, Lianne La Havas, Asgeir, The Comet is Coming, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Glass Animals, Jacob Collier, Hiatus Coyote, RY X, Vulfpeck, Mark Littieri, Fantastic Negrito, Gary Clark Jr.


Electronic: Joe Armon-Jones, Hidden Orchestra, Om Unit, Yosi Horikawa, Archie Pelago, Arovane, Madlib, Emancipator, Kryptic Minds, Bonobo, FKJ, Djrum, Synkro, Moonchild.


Heavy Music: Animals as Leaders, Tool, Gojira, Polyphia, TesseracT, Meshuggah, Trivium, Sevendust, Periphery, Sepultura, Intervals, Plini, Polyphia.




For my source I used my LP6 Ti AE, and Sony WM1ZM2, along with short tests with N30Le, P6Pro and SP3000. IEMs were RSD Supreme V3, Traillii and Traillii Ti, Jewel, Amber Pearl and 64A 18t along with several short tests with STORM.












Without further ado, let’s get into it!




BOX & PACKAGING:

Seeing as I received demo units, I can’t comment much on the packaging or presentation. Some arrived in a soft bag, others in the typical RSD bamboo box I’d see before. Some of the wooden boxes only had space for a cable, others were big enough for a connected IEM too, I’m not sure what the final production box for each cable is. The one exception to this is the Fantasies Copper (FC 2+4) that came in an artsy black box, but without any kind of case.




ERGO & WEAR:

Speaking generally, all the RSD cables look and feel pretty similar. They have different colored wires, slightly different thicknesses and stiffness(es), but the fit, finish and style is a family thing. They all feature the same carbon fiber hardware, love it or hate it, that’s the RSD look. While the carbon fiber may seem rather “off the shelf”, I can confirm that these are indeed bespoke custom pieces, of very high quality, and Rhodium plated. They feel very solid, the workmanship is good, so this is basically just a cosmetic thing. I’ll agree that they don’t look the part so to speak, especially for such expensive cables, but after using them for months, with lots of cable rolling, I can tell you they do hold up and everything feels super stable. Some of RSD’s newer cables have a much more intricate carved Y split, and from what I am hearing this look will be fazed into the 4.4mm plug and 2 pin connectors soon. Yay! The chin cinch on most of the cables is almost useless unfortunately, as it’s much too loose on the thinner cables, and hilariously too small/tight on the bigger cables. If you sit still it will stay up, but any kind of moving around will cause it to drop back to the Y split. On the big FC4W it’s so tight you have to adjust it before you put the IEMs in your ears to avoid any extra tugging or potential damage to your gear. But when it’s set, it really stays put, and for me that’s great with such a heavy cable. On the whole the hardware leaves one wanting for sure, but it’s a brand thing, they all have it, so moving on.












As mentioned, all the RSD cables are pretty stiff. Some are 2 wire, others 4, but even the 2 wire feel like they have a mind of their own. They coil really well, and lay well, but if you try to adjust them other than how they lay naturally, well, then you’re in for a bit of a battle. For one the ear hooks are shrink wrapped which isn’t very flexible, so you can’t make the loop smaller or bigger really. The braiding is top notch and very pretty, but they can start to coil on you while using them. The FC2W and 4$ are really really stiff, mostly because they feature a few extra layers of shielding under that purple skin, so keep that in mind. For me, after I got situated, I found them to be just fine, and not too bothersome or attention grabbing. For RSD, like Brise Audio, SQ is really the only important thing to them. They focused on the sound and the rest is simply a byproduct of those needs. RSD is more colorful, Brise is blacked out, choose your poison.




After months of use I just enjoyed the cables. Even the FC4W, which is a crazy python beast, began to feel quite ok. After recently receiving the Nightjar Sovereign Symphony, which is quite similarly immensely sized and weighted, this kind of ergo is just par for the course it seems. I’ve gotten overly used to huge cables, and so my opinion is likely veered towards SQ insanity with comfort to the wind. If you’re sensitive to ergo and comfort you may have an issue with some of RSD cables for sure, but I can tell you the sound is worth the stretch. I’m a purist and they certainly have grabbed my attention.




So how do they sound? Let’s investigate one by one, staring with:







Copper Wizard


This is the cable that made RSD famous. Covered in black nylon sheathing it bears resemblance to the 1960s cables from PW Audio. It comes stock with the Supreme V3, in a 2 wire braid. It’s pretty soft, pliable and bendy, though it does retain some of that “mind of its own” rigidity. It’s very light, and disappears for me in longer sessions. Sonically it’s great, the RSD house sound is baked in here through and through. This is a fairly neutral copper cable that balances abilities and musicalities perfectly. Great crisp details, resolution and separation. Neutral note weight. Solid, deep textured bass, that punches like hell. Equal sub and mid bass, neutral quantity. Mids are very resolving and clear, with crisp and clear transients. Vocals and instruments have wonderful separation, clarity, space between layers, and realistic timbre. One thing you’ll find in all RSD cables is this timbre that feels like you can reach out touch it, natural and lively. The top end is nicely extended, fairly lively but smooth always. There is a good amount sparkle that stays controlled, very detailed, especially when paired with the V3 in stock configuration. This is quite a mesmerizing combo, the level of detail, clarity and openness is wild. Stage is large, more spherical than wide, with a very enveloping quality. Quite tall and deep, as with most RSD cables, this is one of Sammy’s secrets as well. Very deep stages, keeping things a bit closer in the middle, but stretching way up top and pretty wide too. Tuning wise all RSD cables tend to lean a bit towards the dynamic and tactile side, they are never harsh or bright, but they have a little extra spritelyness to them. The CW is energetic without being over the top, with a slight uprise in the lower treble and sparkle to add a touch of finesse and air. Great extension on both ends.



With the SV3 you can see why it is bundled together, this is a wonderful pairing. It keeps the V3’s neutral and revealing character without adding in any warmth, extra weight or coloring. It’s also right on the line of musical and technical, with a great wide open sound, While I preferred the Fantasies Copper with SV3, (a known super pairing that costs an additional $3500) I think for most this stock combo will be more than satisfying. It’s nice to see a company selling a summit IEM with such a good stock cable, one of the best imo. Well done Sammy!






Evolution Copper


Coming from the CW, the Evolution Copper (the previous flagship before Fantasies Copper’s arrival) is thicker and more meaty sounding. More bass, more lower mids, less sparkle and flash. The edges are less clear and crisp, it could be called more relaxed, of course this is only compared to the CW. Bass has more weight to it, and while it’s not quite as fast it has more of a DD style longer decay. More thump and rumble over the punch of the CW. Mids and vocals are more laid back, and while they are quite resolving it’s not the hit you over the head wowzers style like the CW does. Treble sparkle is also a tad more laid back, but stays really nicely extended. Stage size is similar to CW, with perhaps a touch less height. Technically they are both very similar, they simply adopt different styles of presentation. The CW is tied to that V3 sound, bell like and clear, with a touch of crispness that makes things very lively. While not bright, it’s not a sit back and chill kind of experience per se. Bleeding edge for sure. The EC brings things a bit more towards the middle, and I think if you didn’t come directly from the CW one would find it quite engaging and plenty intense on it’s own.



Comfort wise the EC has the traditional RSD stiffer PVC sheathing, but since it’s only 2 wires it’s very thin and light. When you get used to the slightly rubbery feeling it’s quite comfortable, just keep in mind it’s not as soft as the CW’s nylon cover.







Evolution SPC


In many ways this is an EC with a touch more air and sparkle. I hear it very similarly in terms of tuning, resolution, space, weight and stage. As could be expected the silver coating adds a touch of extra sparkle and clarity to the edges, a tad of extra punch too. The stage might spread a bit wider, slightly more enveloping, but it’s quite minimal. If you’re looking for an RSD copper sound that’s slightly laid back, but find the EC to be a touch too slow and smooth (respectively) then go for the SPC version. Just a touch more energy and bite. The EV and CW are fairly similar in many ways too, the CW tends to push things a bit more towards the top end emphasis, the EC is more mids and lows. The CW is the more technical and modern sounding, the EC and SPC sound a touch more “vintage” to me.









Copper Hybrid


This is more of a Phat “copper” sounding cable to me. It’s much thicker physically, but really soft and supple. A completely different ergo to those previously, just a nice soft plump cable. It has a nice warm and lush look, as the copper wires gleam under the clean super soft PVC. The sound is much like the look, a bit more relaxed, more warm and emotional. It’s lush, enveloping and inviting. Slightly less details, smoother edges. Bass is more pillowy and soft, less punch and taught as CW. Mids are beautiful and serene, treble is smooth with a touch of softness to it. It has big note weight, more body and thickness, but lacks some dynamics behind it’s taught’n’tight brothers. This is the cheapest offering I had to test, (still $1k) and as such its performs well over its price point but doesn’t quite keep up with the others in terms of resolution or details. Stage size is good, more oval than wide, surrounding you in the music as opposed to placing you further away.







Luxe4


This is something brand new, Sammy sent me one of the very first production versions. This is his take on a pure silver cable, but with a splash of 2% of gold added in. While RSD does a pure silver cable, the Ultimate, this is definitely different. The result is a super, super nice cable, with one of the most unique stages and presentations I’ve ever heard. While retaining the traditional resolving and smooth nature of pure silver done right, the Luxe adds some special golden flakes on top. It errs just a tad on the brighter side, while remaining very smooth and enjoyable. It has a bit of energy and bite in the treble, but not in an aggressive way. The bass is very tight and punchy, perhaps a shade over neutral in quantity while giving a bit more sub-bass and rumble than other RSD cables. Mids are more neutral/leaner weighted, and positioned more forward. As they move up in frequency they thin out a bit, getting into a more angelic and ethereal tuning, making vocals have this otherworldly sound to them. Something like RX Y sounds crazy, his voice is floating there surrounded by absolutely nothing but space and air. There is a bit of lower treble accentuation here, so while the voice sounds otherworldly, there is extra crispness and a tad of essence on the edges of the notes - it just adds this slight thinner quality that removes a bit of the “realism”, making them more outer space sounding. Not nasally, just thinner. I know some people really like this, the Ode To Laura has a similar tuning and it remains of the most favored cables ever made. The L4 treble is very detailed, but also a bit forward and accentuated. I wouldn’t say it’s really “bright” but this remains the most treble centric cable in RSD’s lineup. The gold plating does give it a bit more of a glowing vibe, so while there is a bit more energy up top it’s less energetic or fast overall than FC or ESPC. It’s very beautiful sounding, I took to calling it the White Angel. If you like ethereal vocals this is the one to get, they’re quite out of this world.




As mentioned, the stage of the Luxe is very unique. For one it’s very large, especially vertically. It’s quite holographic too, wide but also very tall and deep. But the most unique thing is where it places the music - totally above you. Not just the vocals - the entire spectrum floats above you. It’s like sitting in a lawn chair and gazing up at the stars - it’s all out there in space as vast as the sky. Drums, guitars, bass, keys, strings, reverbs and echos, all placed out in front of you and up. You do still hear details behind you, but the positioning is so unique. I had this idea while listening that I was in an IMAX theatre. Sitting in my chair, looking up at the giant screen, sound coming from in front and above, behind, all around. Rumbles of bass that seem to emanate not from one spot, but all over. While I wouldn’t say that the positioning is super precise, the layering and vastness certainly is very impressive. The FC still wins as a technical cable, with more punch and weight - the Luxe has more sparkle, air, with a thinner overall sound that adds a touch of treble energy while staying more relaxed.




Ergo wise this is the best cable RSD makes. It’s super thin, extremely light and flexible and crazy soft. Like a “normal” small cable, it looks quite unassuming and feels the same. I have the 2W, but Sammy makes an 8W also, and that would still be crazy thin. It has a nice quality feel, very soft and supple, bendy and almost lush feeling. Compared to the rest of the RSDs it’s less than half the weight and size. Comfort wise this is a no-brainer, it’s just fantastic. For me personally, socially, I would prefer more note weight, and less ethereal thinner upper mids. But that’s probably how one achieves such an immense and airy sound. Perhaps the 8W would add some of that in there, I’ll have to try and hear it someday. The Luxe4 is very impressive, very angelic. Gorgeous. If you like space, vocals and a silver sound with a touch of gold and smoothness, this is your cable.










Fantasies Copper 2W


Here comes my personal favorite, the purple beast. The newest flagship of RSD cables, and for good reason. As soon as I heard this cable I was in love. It is one of the most revealing, textured, vast, fast and punchy cables I have ever heard. It’s insanely fast, noticeably changing all IEMs I tried it with, injecting speed, crispness and power to them all. It’s not bright, it still has the trademark copper girth, weight, power and fat body, but there is some added magic in there that produces this insanely detailed and dynamic sound. One could easily be convinced this is some kind of hybrid, some silver or moon rocks in there, but it’s just copper. It has fast and crisp transients, uber punchy and textured bass that is as fast and tactile as anything I have heard. The bass slams with great authority and power, but stays neutral in terms of quantity. It is very textured, rumbly and taught, addictive really. Going back to other cables always makes the bass feel slow and sluggish in comparison. Any other cable I try is the same really, if you like a dynamic, fast and very technical sound this one is for you.



Mids are crystal clear and open, with very good imaging, positioning and layering. The edges are super clear and precise without erring on the side of sharp. Instruments have great weight, noticeably thicker and more rich than all the other RSD cables (CH excluded). The magic of the FC is it’s uncanny ability to thread the line between technical and musical - somehow never adding too much zing or presence, but giving even the most lazy monitors as sense of urgency and speed. Timbre, realism, texture are all top notch. These are mids to die for, but more so on the side of energetic, even though they are still quite lush and big. Something like the Orpheus is smoother and more relaxed, but the FC mids have similar magic to them, just more on the energetic side. Everything feels and sounds natural, realistic and with that fantastic RSD timbre. Instruments sound lively but honest, more textured than smooth, and with a sense of vastness that could only be called mesmerizing. Vocals float above you in this huge space, lip smacks and breaths are tactile and in your face, in your ears, in your mind. When paired with the V3, or the Traillii (and Ti) this is about as good as it gets in terms of pure unadulterated resolution, punch and clarity without losing musicality and emotion. I’ll do some more involved comparisons below.



Micro details are quite interesting here, while the Orpheus probably still wins in terms of micro detail in the mids, (it’s speciality) they sound ever so slightly compressed compared to the FC. That’s not a bad thing at all, makes me think of Eric Johnson’s clean guitar tone, where the plucks and plinks pop out at you with a sense of percussive quality. The micro details with FC are less popping out, but I still hear roughly the same about of detail, it’s just mixed into the overall sound instead of being singled out.



Treble is very extended, sparkly and lively while never being sibilant or overly accentuated. In fact, that’s one of the magic things about the FC, it’s so natural and balanced while being insanely technical and fast. I hear the micro details in the treble just float in space, each with their own discernible space and edges, like I could pluck them out of the air individually. There is a tiny uptick around 8-9khz, but it’s so slight it just blends in with everything else, adding a flair of effervescence and air without being crispy or too sizzly. For anyone who is treble sensitive, this is not aggressive in any way, and I don’t find it bright, just very revealing.








It has a very big stage, super enveloping and vast. While not the widest, it is very tall, and extra crazy deep. It’s more 3D and holographic than ultra wide, and when paired with the V3 it achieves pure legend status, breaking all records for open-ness and depth in the mids and treble. Pretty wild stuff. Along with the depth I hear the extension up top to be fantastic, very airy and with almost no end vertically. The winner for best insane treble extension will still go to the Brise Shirogane, (review here) but they are very different sounding cables.




Ergo wise this is one of the stiffest cables I’ve ever used. Due to the extra layers of internal shielding, which you can see when you look closely, it doesn’t like to bend as much as its brethren. When wearing I didn’t find it overly cumbersome, but it’s not comfortable per se. Especially the ear hooks, they are very stiff and don’t like to be adjusted. I found them to kind of float above my ears instead of laying down flat. I actually took a hairdryer to them to get the bend a bit more to my ear shape, which did help, but they stay just as stiff. This isn’t the same kind of ear hooks like PW or Eletech, the shrink doesn’t softly bend and bounce back - this is more of a plastic feeling. Below the Y split the braiding is nicely done, the gorgeous purple weave, and without that shrink it’s actually fairly flexible and pliable. Honestly, I feel there is a sacrifice to be made with the FC, sonically it’s one of the most impressive, fast and dynamic cables I’ve ever heard, but for that you need to suffer just a tad. If one were to remove the ear hook shrink I think it would be a lot better, as it’s only one wire going over your ear. It’s not even very thick. With customs it worked just fine, with loose fitting universals it could sometimes push them out of your ears a bit, or mess with the seal.




Overall, if I had to make an example of what the FC sounds like, I might say it’s tuned like the STORM. Very even, neutral with a tiny hint of warmth, but fast and tactile. Extremely detailed but musical, with fast bass, neutral but bodied mids, and very very revealing treble that never gets bright or overly crispy. Adding it to my Traillii JP injected some serious attitude and speed, making the bass far more punchy, and the mids more revealing and clear. It removed a touch of the looseness of the Bird, and brought it closer to the Ti. With Jewel I found it actually a bit too much, with Jewel’s overly energetic upper mids, the FC’s slight added lift in the lower treble brought it to my limit for that area. It was fantastic for the rest of the spectrum, but a tad crispy in the lower treble. I did LOVE it with the AP, my favorite pairing with the Orange Tiger. It kept the energy of the bass but made it even more punchy. It toned the midbass bump a tad, which for me was a bit much out of the box. Mids got sharpened, tightened and clearer, while keeping them musical, and extending the treble. It was wild how dynamic the AP was, bringing it a touch closer to the Mentor in some ways. Unfortunately with the APs big shells I found the ergo to be too difficult, and the FC tended to push them out of my ears. But sonically stunning. Also amazing with the Traillii Ti, making the more modern, neutral and punchy Bird even more so.



I loved this combo so much that one day, just for fun, I brought out the 4 wire version, and this was another level entirely…








Fantasies Copper 4W


The anaconda! This monster is massive, very expensive, thick, super stiff, unwieldy and of so cumbersome. Ergo is crazy bad really - but the sound is… spectacular. It takes everything about the FC2W and injects a much larger and wider stage, more note weight and power, with deeper and more textured bass, and mids that carry with them this sense of otherworldly-ness. I don’t even know how to describe it. Macro-dynamics are nuts, and while being more dynamic and vast, it also comes off as slightly less intense and crispy over the 2W version. Swapping a touch more musicality and emotional depth over the raw intensity and edge of the 2w, and a tad less sparkle to boot. (Keep in mind this is only in comparison to the 2W version) Remember the timbre thing from earlier? Reach out touch it, natural and lively? the 4W takes this up several levels too. It’s maddeningly textured and realistic. The 4w is still insanely fast, punchy and textured, but the way it portrays this is more mature, more natural and effortless, and with greater sense of dynamic range and emotion over the 2W. The 4W isn’t a dark moody cable, not at all. It has a lot of energy, a lot of bite, but it’s just so musical too. There is the traditional RSD slight uptick in the lower treble, but I found it to melt into the rest without ever drawing much attention to it.




The 2 wire has a deep stage, but the 4W has this plus a much, much wider stage that’s all around you, especially in the mids. Deeper too. Pairing the SV3 with the 2W seems a touch more wild, more sharp, and little closed in by comparison. The 4W ups the ante of space, positioning, and layering by a step or two, or three. Vocals are huge, instruments are big, weighted, and very natural. The sense of pitch black background is really special too - allowing the ultra highlighted details pop and click from a background as dark as a black hole. All those extra layers of shielding seem to be doing their job. The SV3 can have a slight edge to it, crispy by some standards, and the 4W actually smoothes this part out a bit compared to the 2W, making the SV3 bigger and more analog. That crazy IMAX stage of the Luxe4? The FC4W has this too, but on steroids. It too brings the entire sonic landscape all above you, looking up onto the abyss that is the heavens, but even bigger, even more vast and even more endless. Totally. Crazy. Insane.










This next part might be a little bit crazy, so hold onto your hats. Anyone who knows me, knows I have a big space in my heart for the Orpheus. It’s magic. It’s been with me though thick and thin, and it never fails to floor me; it’s majestic. Most would agree the Orpheus has the largest stage ever, so I must tread lightly here, but the FC4W makes the Orpheus almost sound 2D in comparison. Sacrilege you say! Orpheus is very wide, vast and lovely. It straddles the edge of technical abilities and analog musicality. But when I switch to the FC4W I am greeted by a stage that feels 10x as big. (It’s not, but that’s the feeling I got) It’s so much taller, more deep, and seems to be coming from everywhere. The height is the first thing that throws me, I didn’t realize how much the Orpheus rolls off the top until I compared it, AB’ing many times, vs this purple monstrosity. This. Is. Holography. Full Stop.




The downside is the cable is just so heavy, thick and wildly stiff. And the ear hooks, omg, they are ridiculous. They are so thick, and coated in the stiffest shrink wrap known to man. The cable really floats above the ears, it’s almost comical. When I compare it to the Nightjar Sovereign Symphony, they are actually quite similar in weight and size, but the SS is softer and more comfortable. The SS doesn’t have ear hooks at all, and honestly, for a cable of this size this is the way to go. As with the FC2W, removing those ear hooks on the 4W would have a HUGE impact on using this cable normally, making it much more similar to the SS. I’ve asked Sammy to remove them on the 4W, I’ll edit the review once I’ve tried them sans shrink, and let you all know.



Now I am not saying it’s better than the Orphy, not at all. In terms of stage envelopment I can say it’s quite a step above, but the rest of the tuning comes down to preferences and not skills. The FC4W is very very detailed, and quite fast and crisp compared to the slower and more mellow, almost darker Orpheus. The Orphy has more bass, and with that it sounds a bit bigger on the bottom. FC4W has very deep bass, very textured too, but the quantity is neutral. Mids are a toss up between the ultra wide and sweetly detailed Orpheus, vs the gigantic and everywhere mids of the FC4W, the latter being more intense and closer to you, the former further away and focusing on microdetails over pure details. The FC4W is just so detailed, so much information, one could possibly describe it as being more technical, but I think it comes down to perceived detail and not something tangible. We’re talking bleeding edge for both, especially in the mids. The top ends are quite far apart in their approach - FC4W brings more energy and height here over the Orphy’s very smooth vibe, it’s just a very, very different tuning. Orphy sounds positively rolled off in comparison, which could of course be a great virtue as well - the FC4W with a bright IEM could end up being rough for sure. Again, it’s not bright - it’s just very transparent up top, and this could push things the wrong way in certain pairings.




Which do I prefer? All I’ll say with certainty is the FC4W is one of the most impressive cables I’ve ever heard. Astounding really. The sound is big, vast, weighty and nicely energetic. Resolution, timbre, abilities, all absolutely break neck speed here. And the stage is, well, so big I can’t even describe it. It’s an animal, pure and simple. This is not a sit back and relax cable, though I am listening to it now with the V3, relaxed perhaps not, but sitting for sure! It’s just so big and heavy, not for the faint of heart. Sonically though.. drool and wow and wow and drool…









COMPARISONS, SUGGESTIONS & RECAP:


MOST RELAXED: Copper Hybrid > Evolution Copper > ESPC > Copper Wizard/Luxe > FC4W > FC2W



MOST PUNCHY: FC2W > Luxe4/Copper Wizard > SPC/ Eco Copper/ Copper Hybrid



BRIGHTEST: Luxe > FC2W/Copper Wizard > Evo SPC > Evo C > Copper Hybrid



BEAUTIFUL MIDS: Luxe > FC4W > Copper Wizard/Evo/ Evo SPC/Copper Hybrid





-If you have a warmer or more relaxed IEM and you want some extra energy: FC2W



-If you have a lean and analytical IEM and you want to smooth it out: Copper Hybrid or EvoC



-Same but a bit more bite: Copper Wizard or EvoSPC



-Ethereal vocals: Luxe4



-Biggest and baddest: FC4W








FC2W vs PW 1950s Shielding


This is an interesting comparison, both of these are rather neutral and reference tunings, both pure copper, both very detailed. The FC goes for a bit more modern twist, highlighting lower treble a tad, and more punchy and fast, while 50S is a bit more mellow, more bass and slower comparatively. They have a lot in common, more than their differences. 50S could be considered warmer, but just a tad. FC has more forward mids, slightly more sub bass, and slightly more extension. Sounding more like a hybrid over the 50S’ more vintage feel. Stage size is similar too - different sides to a very similar coin. 50S is very clean and clear too - one could call them cousins maybe.









Luxe4 Vs Ode To Laura:


While I haven’t heard the OTL in quite some time, this comparison was on my mind a lot when I was listening to the Luxe4. The OTL is more copper sounding, more fat and oomphy, with a more powerful and intense tuning that grabs your attention. Bass is fatter and more punchy, more guttural. But the rest is in many ways quite similar, maybe Luxe4 is OTL’s long lost silver cousin, or brother, or at least friend? Both are very resolving, with lot of midrange bite and clarity. They both have very tall stages, ethereal upper mids with a touch of extra treble energy, with vocals that sound out of this world. Both have great bass too, while OTL is faster, Luxe4 is no slouch either. L4 is more silver sounding for sure, but still has this angelic quality the OTL also possess in its own way. Ergo wise they demolish the rest of these, just so comfortable, thin and light. Just wanted to share this thought, for those that love the OTL, the L4 would be a very interesting idea for those looking for a little bit of variety.









FC4W vs Nightjar Sovereign Symphony :


Putting the Nightjar Sovereign Symphony into the mix here is very interesting indeed. I have just received the SS this past week, and it’s way too early to make any conclusions, or even strong statements, but I will give a very small preview here ahead of my full review coming soon. The SS seems to take good things from both the FC4W and Orpheus, more alike than different, with the SS seemingly sitting right in-between the two. It has the immense staging and big note weight of both, keeping much of the neutrality, speed and transparency of FC4W, while having a lot of the analog and emotional feeling the Orpheus brings. And a touch of warmth to boot, with the slightest sense of glow and gleam too. It’s not as fast and punchy as FC, nor as smooth as Orphy. Stage wise it may be the biggest of them both, but not the widest or tallest, it has a very enveloping stage that surrounds you. Size wise it is very similar to FC4W, being very heavy, thick and imposing. The win it has here is the lack of any ear-hook shrink, which makes it much easier to wear, without floating above your ears and pulling IEMs out of your ears as much. Sonically it’s a very impressive blend of musicality and technicals, while the FC is massive and powerful, this might be a touch more soulful, but only time will tell. In keeping with RSD’s style, the FC4W is their pinnacle product, the absolute best they can make, nothing held back. The SS is Nightjar’s effort for the same, and I’ll have to spend a lot more time to see which of these monsters emerges the winner - if any.



I wont say the SS has the best of both worlds, but I am getting some hints in this direction as I hear it breaking in. Again, I’ve only had it a week or two, it’s far too early to judge heavily here. Stay tuned for that.








FC4W vs Orpheus:


Quick recap: FC4W has a tighter and faster sound overall. Orphy is unapologetically slower, more rounded, smoother. FC bass is punchier and more neutral, Orphy has a bigger bass quantity that flavors mid bass. Quality is similar despite their characteristics being almost opposite. Mids the Orpheus is more stretched out wide. FC has a tighter sound, faster and sharper transients, mids are more forward, stage is much deeper and tall. Similar note weight. FC is more neutral, Orphy is warmer. Treble is quite different, Orphy is rolled off and smoother, FC2 is brighter and more revealing, with more extension. Both have pitch black backgrounds. Very different approaches, very different sounds. Both very very impressive stuff.













CONCLUSION


So there you have it, the best RSD has to offer, something for everyone really. In keeping with the RSD house sound; technical and revealing, fast and articulate, slight uptick in energy in the lower treble, big sound with big note weight - they all pass the test for great sound, and big upgrades over mere mortal stock cables. As a huge fan boy of PW Audio cables, this was an interesting experience to discover another equally impressive family of cables that cover many bases as well, and offer huge sonic upgrades with whatever I used them with. They are more colorful, heavy, rubbery, and unwieldy than the PW stuff. I used to think the Orphy was almost silly big and heavy, now it feels small and light in comparison. It’s funny how my audio cable journey has progressed, what began as the most I could handle, becomes sort of medium, in my unquenchable quest for the best it does seem that bigger is maybe indeed better. More is more. Or I’ve lost my mind, and I should re-evaluate my life’s choices. Or not, that sounds super boring!




But there is also something secretive, unique and rather mysterious about Rhapsodio’s work, almost like those in the know, know, and the rest of us are always wondering if we’re missing out on something. I can tell you that Sammy’s work is really special, and if you get a chance, check out his cables. They all sound great, the Fantasies Copper cables are really a work of tuinig art. The new Luxe4 is something very special too - you just need to hear them to know what I mean.



I hope this was helpful, informative or at least entertaining. I know it was long, but there’s a lot to be said here. I wish to take a moment to thank Sammy for letting me spend such a long time with these, answering my myriad questions, always being willing to send me more stuff, and just in general being one of the nicest guys on the planet! Thank you bro! :)


For anyone looking to get one of these for themselves you can do so on RSD’s web-shop here - or via one of his dealers here.





Thanks for reading!





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