Jorma design - customer feedback

Jorma design - customer feedback

So our customer Steve spent a fair amount of time doing some AB testing in his system. He has three power cables from Jorma Design (Trinity, Duality and Unity) and compared them against some well reviewed Shunyata cabling... Here is his feedback:

"All three of the Jorma cables are clearly quality products - well made and sonically very capable, with a performance that seems appropriate for their respective price points. These were all new cables and I would confirm Leif Olofsson advice that these cables need 200 hours run-in to sound their best. They noticeably open up and smooth out over the first 100 hours. While I had these cables I was able to compare with my own Shunyata Alpha HC (the high-current version of the previous generation Alpha cables) and two current generation Shunyata cables that I had on loan - an Alpha NR (£1,650) and a Delta NR (£770 - review in this month’s Hi-Fi+). All the Shunyata cables have a degree of inbuilt filtering (the two NR cables more so than the HC). It should also be noted that one of the difficulties in quick a/b comparisons with Shunyata cables is that these cables do not like to be moved, and usually need an hour or two to return to settled performance levels.

First, some context. These days I listen exclusively to headphones and mostly to the various forms of classical, jazz and acoustic but can appreciate pretty much any musical genre when well sung/written/composed/recorded. When building a music system I prioritise detail, natural tone and transparency but can also appreciate warmth and a deep strong bass with some recordings.

My system is an Innuos Zenith SE, SOtM tX-USBultra regenerator (powered by a Paul Hynes SR4 linear power supply), M Scaler and DAVE. Sometimes the DAVE is fed by a Shunyata Alpha HC power cable, and sometimes I use this cable with the Zenith. The other devices are fed via the supplied power cables and smps. DAVE, tX-U (via SR4) and Zenith all scale impressively with better power cables. Everything is plugged into a 6-outlet Shunyata Venom UK6 power distributor, which incorporates noise filtering that effectively isolates the devices from one another (one might expect this to give the Shunyata cables an advantage in my system). The UK6 is plugged into a wall socket via a Shunyata Alpha EF C19 power cable. My preferred headphone is the Focal Utopia but I also listen to a Hifiman HE1000v2 and very occasionally an LCD-4. The increased clarity and detail resulting from recent improvements to my system lowering the noise floor has encouraged me to make greater use of cross-feed on the DAVE and to also switch from a silver DHC Prion4 headphone cable to the warmer copper Moon Audio Black Dragon Premium cable. My music is all stored locally on the Zenith and is almost without exception 16/44.1 cd rips and downloads. I use the Zenith’s own inbuilt player controlled by iPeng on my iPad.

My approach to trying the Jorma cables was first to revert all devices to the supplied or similar basic IEC/C15 power cables to set a base benchmark, and then to focus on just one device at a time, trying each of the upmarket power cables I had in turn. All the upmarket cables brought a net improvement to each device they were tried with compared to the base benchmark, although there were differences between the cables (sometimes very clear, sometimes subtle). These differences were generally consistent across the devices, although slightly less evident with the SR4.

Jorma Trinity

This is a very good all-rounder. It is a confident cable (certainly not laid-back), delivering cleanly, clearly and with punch and energy through most of the frequency range. Perhaps a risk of it being a little too ‘in your face’ in a bright or noisy system but should do particularly well in a well-sorted system or one that is a little soft and/or warm. It lacks just a little detail compared to the more expensive cables and perhaps does not go down quite as low (or exert as much control down there). Its Shunyata counterpart is the Delta (see review in this month’s HiFi+). I only had the filtered ‘NR’ Delta to compare, not the unfiltered ‘EF’ (£660). The Delta is perhaps a little more laid-back and slightly less punchy, but it is clean (with the filtering), perhaps slightly more detail, and would perhaps be a little more forgiving in systems that are not well-sorted. It also impresses a little more low down. I might just prefer the Trinity over the Delta in a warm system. I think I would just prefer the Delta with my DAVE and the Zenith but could not pick between them with the SR4 (I have decided to buy a Trinity with the SR4 in mind).

Jorma Duality

Of the three Jorma cables this is clearly the fullest and warmest sounding - not one for typical tube gear, although there is no accounting for personal preference. With the other two Jorma cables I was fine with DAVE’s cross-feed on 3, but with the Duality I had to turn this off to get anywhere near the same tonal presentation. Compared to the Trinity, the Duality is a more refined cable, has slightly more detail (has better decay) and goes down lower. It is also slightly more dynamic than both the Trinity and the Shunyata Delta. That said, detail, transparency and opennness are less prominent because of the fuller and warmer sound (no bad thing, just an observation). This cable could work with the DAVE and the Zenith but I think in my system it would need to be counter-balanced with something slightly brighter. I found this cable to be most successful with the Zenith (helps a bit with the noise in the Zenith SE) and the SR4, and slightly less successful with the DAVE.

Jorma Unity

This is the most refined of the three cables. It has even more detail than the Duality. It goes down just as low, if not lower, and is even more controlled down there. Could do (in my system) with a little more warmth (should do well with tubes), perhaps lacks just a little soul and body for my tastes (might have beaten the Alpha HC with that), can sound a little clinical. This was probably the best of the Jorma cables with all three of my powered devices. The problem for it in my system is that it comes up against the Shunyata Alpha cables and their synergy in use with the UK6. My trusty old Alpha HC still for me beats all-comers with the DAVE. It is not as clear as the Unity but it has more than enough clarity and has a wonderful balance of weight, tone and dynamics. I could quite happily live with the Unity powering the DAVE were it not for the Shunyatas. Even the newer and slightly leaner Alpha NR, which I’ve only had since this Tuesday, is generally a match for the Unity - with its broadband filtering is just as clear and detailed. It is more than three months since I had on loan Chord Sarum T, Vertere and AQ Thunder power cables, so my memory of these is now a little sketchy, but the Jorma Unity reminds me a little of the Vertere cable (£2,000+) - fast, clean and detailed, but lacking a little warmth and body (perhaps not quite as deficient as the Vertere in this respect)."

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