Astral Acoustics Eclipse Evaluate — Headfonics
Immediately, we evaluation the Astral Acoustics Eclipse which is a brand new flagship aftermarket in-ear monitor cable consisting of a 24AWG Silver Litz geometry. It has a value of $950.
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Astral Acoustics Eclipse
The Astral Acoustics Eclipse is probably one of many smoothest-sounding silver cables I’ve heard thus far. Additionally, heaven is aware of what Henry and his workforce have slipped into the ‘proverbial espresso’ to additionally present that quantity of ‘welly’ on the low finish to most of my dynamic driver and bigger subwoofer IEMs.
Energy of dynamic drivers shine via
Easy timbre with paired screens
Not for impartial lovers
Softer on the treble
It’s an ironic accident that my first evaluation of the final two years has been from Astral Acoustics and each of them ‘headline’ silver cables. Final 12 months it was the Reference Silver, this time it’s their new flagship Eclipse aftermarket IEM cable.
Naturally for a flagship, the Eclipse value is a bit larger at $950 in comparison with the Silver’s $750 however contemplating the place high-end cable costs have been going these previous couple of years some would possibly contemplate this a extra cheap providing.
Surprisingly, the Eclipse pitch shouldn’t be impartial or reference, that accolade goes to the Reference Silver. This time we get buzzwords like heat, rumble, and sweetness. Phrases I don’t generally affiliate with a stereotypical silver wire.
Materials & Wire
The Eclipse makes use of a pure 5N Silver composition for its inside wiring. On paper, this appears on par with the cheaper Reference Silver, nonetheless, the Eclipse has a thicker stranding composition and a higher-purity silver materials moderately than the Reference OCC. It additionally makes use of an upgraded solder materials.
For these which can be new to what the 5N means, that is the purity stage of the high-quality silver used with 1N the bottom and 6N the very best. Although 6N silver is extremely costly in comparison with 5N.
That is how purity is outlined when buying alloying supplies. It’s not an entirely correct measure and is mostly taken as an approximation however the N stands for numbers on both aspect of the decimal level.
On this case, 5 numbers or 99.999%. You will note decrease purity requirements corresponding to 4N and it really works in the identical method at 99.99%. The numbers above provide you with a broader understanding of the whole vary used.
The Eclipse gauge can also be fairly giant with a 24AWG gauge score. It’s not fairly as dense because the Reference Silver which was a 23.5AWG Kind 6 construct however it’s nonetheless a bit bulkier wanting than your regular IEM cable.
One of many advantages of a thicker gauge is the discount in efficiency resistance in comparison with the same old aftermarket 26AWG candy spot. Ideally, dynamic vary and staging functionality from paired screens needs to be a step up with out having to go to 8-wires because of this.
Astral Acoustics makes use of a Kind 4 Litz geometry with a 4-wire implementation for the Eclipse which, surprisingly, is a bit much less complicated than the Kind 6 Litz construct of the Reference Silver.
There’s a motive for this and its extra to do with the specified tuning. For Astral Acoustics, they felt that the Kind 4 model sounds ‘much less tight’ when in comparison with a Kind 6 model which inserts in with their drive for a extra ‘musical efficiency’ from the Eclipse.
Usually talking, Litz is a wonderful wire for lowering the extent of resistance, particularly on decrease gauge variants. Their lack of fabric depth and wonderful insulating properties means they do a greater job than most in lowering the pores and skin and proximity impact on typical non-Litz wiring.
The Kind 4 Litz geometry options bundles of twisted wire twisted round a central fiber core and is a reasonably superior Litz construct for lowering the “pores and skin impact” in electrical wiring.
The pores and skin impact is the tendency of radio frequencies to be concentrated on the floor of the conductor. Litz constructions counteract this impact by growing the quantity of floor space with out considerably growing the dimensions of the conductor.
On an aesthetic stage, Litz will forestall nasty inexperienced oxidization tints on the silver wire that you simply typically see on common non-Litz builds. This cable ought to retain its coloration for its whole lifespan.
It’s laborious to not forged a look from afar at each the Eclipse and the Reference Silver and state that other than the barrels they give the impression of being the identical with that uber-silvery shimmer below an equally gentle and translucent PVC jacket.
That’s not a foul factor contemplating the Reference Silver was a good-looking fella in its personal proper and the Eclipse equally so. There are some very delicate variations within the samples I’ve right here, nonetheless, I can not say for positive if that’s by design or only a working manufacturing change or variation.
The primary is the braiding approach which has an ever so barely longer throw in comparison with Reference Silver. This could be as a result of thicker stranding contained in the Eclipse forcing AA to simply preserve a barely looser profile within the braid bending.
Given its giant gauge measurement, the general diameter of the Eclipse is a bit larger than your commonplace 26AWG aftermarket cable however on par with the Reference Silver dimensions.
Nevertheless, it’s nonetheless a really gentle PVC jacket in use right here so it by no means feels wieldy and stiff just like the Wagnus Zillion Sheep builds or the brand new PLUSSOUND jackets used on cables such because the Silver+. Additionally, it feels lighter in comparison with the Reference Silver with the brand new lighter barrel constructions being a significant factor in that lowered weight.
Regardless of the improved density, the Eclipse has an impressively low stage of microphonics throughout utilization. Extra so beneath the splitter than above which is sort of regular for many IEM cables.
One factor to notice is the absence of the PVC overmolds for pressure reduction on the base of the Eclipse jack, one thing that was current on the Reference Silver. I believe pressure reduction shouldn’t be internalized which is a plus for me because it helps tidy up the general exterior look of the cable.
Pressure reduction on the brand new splitter barrel can also be internalized with a medium-length gentle PVC overmold doubling for pressure reduction or ‘reminiscence wire’ on the connectors.
It’s all modified right here on the Eclipse ending with some new branding-specific black and silver alu7075 barrels, (aluminum). These do really feel so much lighter than the earlier Reference Silver titanium barrels and it has a serious impact on the dealing with in my view with much less ‘swing’ on the base of the cable when you’re dangling it.
While some would possibly fret in regards to the lowered sturdiness of utilizing aluminum over titanium, nonetheless, the brand new Eclipse barrels really feel fairly strong, simply with much less weight. They’re additionally probably the most mature-looking branded barrels Astral Acoustics has developed thus far and are distinctive from competing designs.
I do just like the silver and black distinction, and it’s a good complement to the silver hue of the primary Eclipse cable. Nevertheless, greater than that, it’s the extra complicated ending within the alternating black and silver rings, notably on the primary barrel and chin cinch that means a rising maturity in barrel design.
For terminations you get three barrel decisions, 3.5mm, 2.5mm TRRS, and 4.4mm Pentaconn. For connectors, you get a reasonably huge alternative of the whole lot from the final 2-pin 0.78mm connector and MMCX to the extra esoteric Match Ear and QDC’s quirky reversed polarity 2-pin connectors.
Equipment & Packaging
If there’s one space I feel a flagship cable ought to differ from the remainder of the lineup then it’s the packaging. There may be nothing strictly flawed with the AA packaging for the Eclipse. It’s the identical tried and examined small branded black retail field and the wonderful compact suede drawstring carry pouch which is good for conserving transport prices comparatively low.
Nevertheless, I feel if you will shell out $95o I might be searching for one thing extra grandiose maybe to provide it a premium look from the get-go. Perhaps the identical field however in a leather-based end? A better grade of leather-based for the cable organizing strap? Issues to contemplate possibly.
One factor that’s new since I final reviewed the Reference Silver is the inclusion of a guaranty card together with a pleasant envelope holder. It’s an aesthetic look and most welcome however once more, nothing overly substantial on what has come earlier than.