Previewing the Celeste with Eddie Hsueh
Reviewer Eddie Hsueh recently dropped his preview impressions of DITA's upcoming flagship upgrade cable, the Celeste. Read the original Chinese text on his blog here or read our translation here!
At the start of this year while at a shop, I was talking to DITA’s boss, Danny.
He mentioned that DITA was developing its new flagship upgrade cable in collaboration with “Kondo: that I simply had to try it especially since I had already tried so many cables, that I’d certainly feel that it’s different from the other silver cables I had tried.
I couldn't help but wonder if it’s the same renowned HiFi brand as Kondo Audio Note.
That’s a brand only folks who’ve been deep in the hobby for a long while are familiar with. Their cables and equipment are made pretty much only with these pure silver cables: Innards included
If you’ve done some reading online you’d see that Kondo uses 4N silver, which seems to be a far cry from the 7N Silver you see advertised everywhere.
But in my experience at a semiconductor factory, and like I have mentioned on this blog before: 7N silver does not exist, and 6N silver exists only in labs. 4-5N is a more reasonable number, and is pure enough.
Japan is clearly more practical with their numbers.
Kondo is one of the few manufacturers that go through the annealing, drawing and cooling process by itself, implementing it in their own products.
Compared to the UPOCC we see in some workshops, there's a marked difference in craftsmanship
DITA's boss mentioned that it was incredibly difficult to make Kondo's conductors work in the portable market, especially due to how high raw material costs were.
I myself had a bit of a shock upon hearing the costs, I had not known that these things could get so expensive.
A demo was only made available for listing recently, I've taken it from the shop to listen for a few days, paired with the DITA Perpetua, which also features internal wiring from Kondo, driven with the Lotoo PAW Gold Touch Titanium.
It has a fair bit of heft, few brands use white cotton as an outer wrapping. While I'm not to sure what the internal design is like, every Litz conductor should be individually insulated, perhaps using Teflon?
Especially since there's a bit of elasticity in the cable. There's a bit of cable noise but the has incredible personality.
The interchangeable plugs are a DITA staple, and the splitter has the logo of Audio Note Japan on it. That's pretty incredible, especially on DITA's first silver cable.
Before hitting play we can hear how dark the background is. Clean and completely absent of any noise. It's similar to shielded wire in this sense.
The sounds of the Steinway piano's hammers striking its strings are natural, clear, transparent and pure. Qualities that stand out even more against the Celeste's pitch-black sonic background.
While the sonic characteristics of pure silver are apparent in the Celeste, it nevertheless subverts the stereotype of silver cables being overly exciting in the mids and highs, with little to no bass.
Instead, the Celeste is coherent and pure without hurting the listener's ears. It's symphonically rich and can be easily used to listen to a whole album. This reminds me of Crystal Cable's Dream Duet and how that's another smooth, natural cable pick. But the Celeste clearly adds more to this smooth, natural foundation.
If you listen to the Toxic Eddie, DHC or UPOCC cables of the like after listening to the Dream Duet or Celeste, you'd find a marked difference in the smoothness of their sound.
UPOCC cables seem almost "blocked". For instance, the Eddie has warm and full mids and lows with an impactful bass and grand highs. When you lump these together, there's a slight incoherence, it's not as natural.
If you did any AB testing, you'd probably feel the same. But this is really only because there's an AB test involved, UPOCC cables are fine otherwise!
The Celeste is my favourite silver cable by far, it has made excellent use of silver as a conductor and I'm going to be cracking my head to figure out how I can get my hands on one for good.
I love it and I'm going to continue indulging in it.
More detailed impressions to come in a bit!