Speaker cable shootout Townsend Audio Fractal F1, Fidelium, AA Statement e SC Cryo rhodium

Ordered a pair of the Audio Art Statement e SC Cryo with rhodium banana connections, a set of Townsend Audio Fractal F1's, and may order the Fidelium speaker cables soon. I am interested to see how these speaker cables will perform against each other on my system. I have field coil speakers and the McIntosh MC2301 tube amps. I am only testing the midrange-tweeter connection because that is where I should hear most of the changes. If  it does not pan out well, I have spares for other systems and tests. 

One note about the Townsend Audio Fractal speakers, is that I am pretty sure that the LCR thing attached to the speaker cables is very similar to a Zobel network.  An Impedance Equalization Circuit, also know as a Zobel circuit, can be used to counteract the rising impedance of a voice coil caused by inductive reactance. The cause of this impedance rise is due to the speaker's voice coil inductance (L e). I asked Townsend Audio to answer my question regarding this concept. I had a German dealer add a Zobel to my system in Europe and I did not hear any change at all (B&W 800s, Octave MRE 130 tube amps). 

For folks who have 16 ohm speakers such as myself, I am not sure how the Fractal F1 will sound with my already high ohm design speakers. Will be interesting for sure. 

Look forward to more updates as I receive the speaker cables and start testing. 

The comments for the Fidelium such as best speaker cable in the world by someone who has a 600K system and the unique ribbon design compared to the Townsend concept of ribbons built inside the wire, and the Audio Art statement SC Cryo getting excellent reviews has prompted me to take this step for the community and provide feedback.

My Neotech pure silver speaker wires, 9 gauge, ultra high definition speaker wires (6K a pair x 2 pair) are in for some competition. 





I must be in the minority because I did not like the Fidelium’s. To me they were way too anemic. But many here rave about them.

I then tried the Fractal F1 and was impressed and I still use them. I am using tube mono amps and the speaker cables are only 1 meter long. This may make a difference. Both companies allow a return period.

BTW, I don't think it a Zobel just fancy dressing...



Please, I Am Not A Robot!

Do we have to click I am not a robot for every time we post?   Major inconvenience.

I don't know if the Fidelium is the world's best speaker cable.

It remains the best cable I've ever heard.....

to the OP ; good on ya. The norm for Fractal is hyperbolic praise…before they arrive….


Having grown up and experienced many different audio products for over 35 years, the One thing I have learned in this hobby is that no matter what someone else says about another product, it more or less does not necessarily mean that said product will perform the same on your system.


Sure, when tendencies of reports about a product seem to paint a vibrant and glorious picture as stated in one or two forums (maybe 3 - 5 people praising stated product, those who hang out in those forums), to me, it is not indicative of how that product will perform on your own system. There is also the counter factual, those who use the same product and do not have positive experiences, but, sound degradation by using the product. That is why it is always a good idea to try and test anything (mostly cables), if possible in your system, especially if the vendor offers at home trials. 

At the end of the day, my experiment will only showcase a products ability to work reasonable well within the operating parameters of my system, and hopefully, without any gross degradation in sound qualities. I have learned also that some cables which sound different, are not better, they are just different. 

My three basic rules of cable evaluation:

1. Cables will sound different, but not better or worse (lateral move)

2. Cables will degrade the sound 

3. Cables will offer some improvement in sound

This means that in my world, cables will have 2/3rds of a chance of not being better than what I currently own. 

I have been there done that with Uber priced cables. I ordered 7 Sigma 2 NR power cables, only to not use 3, because, less was better on my system.

If you have been in this hobby for a while, you will learn that you are the only one who can say from a personal perspective whether or not the flavor of the month will agree with the totality of the ingredients of your system and your hearing. 


I am not a robot!! 

Rhodium is just hi-fi marketing BS. You don't need corrosion resistance for audio connectors, in fact silver oxide is a very good conductor. Silver connectors have the lowest resistance. but gold is very good. I use silver(1) or gold(2) plated connectors for all cables.

Also, i am sorry for my snarky post above. I should have added that in my opinion a first rate speaker and filter ( crossover ) designer should be including appropriate Zobel network in the design. How did your listening go ?


@ozzy Kind of a sidebar comment, but I have been listening to these cables from EWA in the UK - their ls-25/ic-25 speaker cables and interconnects. I am liking these more than Fidelium, although I would need to match the interconnect again to get a true AB test.

their site is abcaudio.biz

reason I thought of you is one of the testers for their ls-80 speaker cable was liking those more than his F1 Fractals. They’re not that much money comparatively, even when you factor in the exchange rate. Alan who owns it is a really good guy, not sure though on overseas loaners…

Anyway, for what it’s worth.

Oh man…,what a ride so far. Two cables arrived, Townshend F1 and Audio Art Statements gold. This is a quick update and not detailed. It will be enough to make you salivate for more, LOL. 

My intent was to compare these against my reference Neotech speaker cables which seem to be impossible to find at all. Pure silver high definition, 9 gauge. 

Well, the king Neotech is still the throne, but, for somebody who has other listening priorities, these might by kicked off, but, I doubt it. All cables are 2.5 meters. 

1. Neotech ultra high definition 9 gauges pure silver speaker cable. Unobtainium lately. This cable has been my go to reference speakers cable for a few years. Tried many others, Nordost, too anemic, Audioquest, to bland, some German brands I forgot, Harmonix, nope, and the list goes on. The Neotech are pure in nature and provide a total top to bottom full scale presentation of music. Cymbals splash have great resonance and reverberation, drums are deep and vocals are realistic. A top performer from top to bottom without any single standout feature…all balanced and great sounding. Stereo image is massively wide.


2. Audio Art Statements SC cryo gold. Listening notes, stereo imaging is compressed, not wide, but narrow, bass is deep, a little rounded off on the upper end. Voices: Holy cow, the Statement SC cryo gold had the best voicing of all cables, but, it’s less upper frequency definition took away the sparkle, literally from some music. If you wanted to have a speaker cable for voice only, this speaker cable is it. The narrow image makes the vocals seem to be compressed in the middle for some songs, but when not, the vocals are quite realistic. 

3. Townshend audio F1. I give these cables a close second to the Neotechs. If one appreciates the attributes of what I use to describe the Neotechs, then you will appreciate what these cables can do for you at less of a price too. I noticed a slightly less resonance and reverberation of the cymbals, and although voices sounded close, I felt that the Neotech had more air associated with voices. Both bass and upper frequencies seemed to be close to the Neotech, but the Neotechs do go down noticeably deeper in the bass. I say this is a good cable for what it offers because compared to my reference cable, these are the most like sounding to my cables that I have ever heard, and that’s a good thing.

The one thing I was concerned about with these cables is how my amps might react to the resistors or whatever is placed in the F1 cables. After the 4th time inserting these into my amps, my right McIntosh MC2301 amp went into protect mode. Uh oh, short…pulled out the Townshend cables and tried both the Neotechs and the Audio Art, no issues. Tried the cable again and it sounded like it was a bad internal connection because I had a slight buzz of music, crackly, and distorted, while the other side played perfectly. So, I have to test this one cable and measure for a short. I don’t know what it could be. I only had these cables for about 3 weeks. 

I am still leery about the F1 cable tech used with very high efficiency 16 ohm speakers. My Neotech being so thick, don’t allow for any electrical influences to taint the sound. The F1 allows one to match mismatched speakers and amps to have better outcomes. If you need to rationalize why these would be good for you think about this…they take out the guessing game and provide a means towards resolving impedance mismatch’s. I am not sure what the speaker cable anomaly is, most definitely short related. If not, than the impedance circuitry is not matching well with one of my amps. Also, each speaker has its own 18 volt 5 amp power supply to power the magnets due to the field coil design. I believe A less complex system should not have issues. 

This is short and probably more questions to be asked. Will provide more details. But for now, Neotech still king, F1 second, Audio Art, third. That is of course on what you are looking for in sound qualities. 


Is this a neotech product or it’s another brand that uses neotech occ silver? I’ve seen this occ silver neotech cable that the company sells, but it must be 6x the price of the audioart statement (interesting cable, liked it but returned it) or Fidelium.

My Neotechs are pure original Neotech speaker cables. Neotech is also an OEM supplier to other companies…one I believe is Acoustic Zen. Yes, the Neotechs are expensive, but my goal was to benchmark my cables against highly popular cables. I was fortunate to obtain my Neotechs from a European dealer who purchased spools of the OEM versions before Neotech stopped selling as whole looms of wire to certain market segments. 

If you search for 9 gauge OCC silver Neotech speaker cables, you might find some 

Thanks for the link, unfortunately these are out of my price range.☹️ I'm using solid 16 gauge silver for the highs and silver plated 12 ga. for the mids and lows. I'll bet your 9 ga. sound great!

You are welcome. You cables are fine for what they need to do. I am a firm believer in silver and gold, and silver/gold hybrid cables for their sound qualities. I have used pure copper for a while also from Neotech, but 11 or 12 gauge. They were my first high priced speaker cable for me at the time upgrade. That was way back in 2002. Your cables will blow away the copper Neotechs. When I first tested silvers, I did the biwire copper silver mix, but shorty, just went to pure silver.  I have learned as I matured in this hobby, is that what may seem obvious upgrades, are in fact, not. It’s a matter of your personal tastes and system interactions….the secret Italian sauce.