Equipment Reviews – Jorma Design Cables
Introduction – Jorma Design is an award-winning Swedish company founded in 2001. They had always worked closely on design maters with the Marten the Swedish speaker designers and in 2016 they became a part of the Marten Group. These days all Marten speakers are internally wired with Jorma cables. Jorma say that they were founded ‘on a straightforward principle – to convey music without adding or subtracting anything from the original signal’. All their cables are made by hand at their factory in Gothenburg using the purist 99.999999% copper conductors available.
Jorma build cables to order and have a close relationship with Nintronics in the UK. Their range starts with the Trinity and progresses up through Duality, Unity, Origo, Prime and culminates in their Statement products. They make Speaker cables with spades or bananas, Interconnects in XLR or RCA versions, Mains cables with UK/US/Schuko plugs, USB, Digital and Ethernet cables. They can make cable to special order and with terminals specified by the customer and standard mains cables come in 1.5m lengths unless specified otherwise.
System Components – I used my home system as a reference point for this review which is based around the Innuos Zenith Server with USB Reclocker and a couple of CD Players, mainly the Nagra CDC feeding the Michi P5 Preamp and M8 Monobloc amps into Marten Mingus Quintet speakers.
My cables are generally a mix of Jorma Trinity interconnects, Trinity speaker cables and Trinity mains leads plus a couple of their Unity Power cables feeding the amps. So, I mostly use the entry level cables from the Jorma range in my home system which I have found to offer excellent value for money with the potential to upgrade as funds allow.
Cables Reviewed – As a user of Jorma’s entry level cables I chose the following selection for review, Prices in parenthesis are for my entry level Trinity cables:
· Origo Mains - £2,450.00 (£800.00)
· Prime Mains - £3,750.00 (£800.00)
· USB Reference - £2,750.00 (not available in Trinity range)
· XLR Statement Interconnect - £11,250 (£975.00)
Performance – I am a solid believer in the use of cable looms by the same manufacturer having previously used Transparent and Nordost ranges. I find that entire looms from the same stable bring added performance and coherence that mixed types just don’t seem to be able to match. My only transgression at this time being the use of a USB cable from a different manufacturer. I will upgrade it to Jorma when funds allow.
Reviewing cables is hard work because of the need to access rear panels to make and remake connections so I decided to approach it one cable at a time as follows:
Prime Mains – Installed to power the Michi P5 preamp and replacing the Trinity cable I found it added a bit more clarity but lots more power and authority, particularly in the bass. Before
Lucinda Williams voice started to go downhill, she released the album Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone in 2014. I played ‘Foolishness’ from this album and found the Prime cable added depth and clarity to her voice making lyrics easier to understand. Hotel California by The Eagles had the opening guitars singing and the applause was less brittle, less shouty and more bearable. The opening percussions seemed set further back in the mix allowing the other instruments and vocals to find their rightful place in the mix better than I am used to hearing. Playing Eric Church’s album Desperate Man, I chose the tracks Heart Like a Wheel and Drowning Man and found a more open sound with less grain to his voice and darker voids between the music. All in all a worthwhile upgrade in the right system. This cable costs more than the Michi P5 preamp so it’s probably overkill in my system but it does show what good cables can achieve.
Origo Mains – Origo sits in the middle of the Jorma range and as such is probably our best seller because it is the best value for money for all but the highest of high-end systems. I used two of these cables to Power the Michi M8 Monobloc’s replacing my Unity cables. Origo is only one step up from Unity in the Jorma range so the difference wasn’t night and day. Nonetheless it did add a little to the to the soundstage but going further up the Jorma range would I’m sure bring added benefit. One thing to note is that the Origo mains cables and those above it in the range are pretty inflexible so you need to allow plenty of space behind connected components to allow them to bend into place.
Statement XLR – This is where changes really started to be noticeable. I used it between the Nagra CDC player and the Michi P5 and later (see review to come shortly) between the Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC and the Mola Mola Kula Integrated amplifier. This cable sits firmly at the top of the Jorma range and at £11,250 is 11.5 times the price of my own Trinity XLR. I would say it’s a cable most of us can only aspire to but for the lucky few who can justify the expense and have a system that is able to resolve details at the highest level then this should certainly be on your shortlist.
I’ve always been a cat lover and one of them, Harley, likes to spend the evening with me listening to music. OK so he mostly sleeps through it but when I connected the Statement XLR and played Wild Horses by the Boss from his Western Stars album Harley actually sat up, ears forward and had a good listen. Clearly, he was hearing something more than he usually hears and I have to agree with him because there was so much more detail coming through. I could rest my case there because this album has never sounded better, and it was very obvious that Bruce was actually singing ‘orses’ and not ‘horses’ as I had always just assumed was the case.
Finally, I played Memphis Train by Melissa Etheridge from her 2018 album Memphis Rock. I’ve seen her in concert three times over many years and was at the O2 in 2018 when she toured the UK to promote this album. Played through the Statement XLR her gravelly voice was everything I had heard live.
Summary – I reviewed the USB Statement cable prior to this review and was equally impressed by the added performance it can bring. Cables are always going to be one of those areas where there are believers and doubters, but I can assure you that using better cables in your system will always enhance performance. I would probably go with the flow and
recommend starting with better mains cables and then move on the speaker cables and when those are in place start to upgrade your interconnects. The Jorma range offers everything you could ask for from a cable upgrade and I would again emphasise the gains to be had by using a single manufacturer for an entire cable loom. Don’t forget how important it is to get your mains supply clean as well and it’s worth investing in some of our excellent mains distribution blocks and treatment devices. I hope to review some Jorma speaker cables in the New Year. Don’t forget that if your speakers have two pairs of terminals and you are using jumper connections please throw away those that came with the speakers and replace them with something from the same manufacturer as your speaker cable.
Please contact us at Nintronics to listen to any of our Jorma Design cables and any other equipment in our three dedicated listening rooms, current Covid -19 restrictions notwithstanding.
Thanks for listening and if you have any questions than we are happy to try and answer them for you.
Bob at Team Nintronics – December 2020.