Review organized by Marc Loubeau / Prestige Audio Diffusion
Review sample kindly supplied by HVP Audio
Retail prices per pair in the Netherlands and France, incl. VAT:
Unity Interlinks RCA/XLR 1.0m – 3.150 euro (as reviewed)
Extra length per 0.5m – 400 euro
Unity Speaker Cables Spade/Banana 2.5m – 5.750 euro (as reviewed)
More/Less length per 0.5m – 500 euro
Unity Power Cable 1.5m – 2.000 euro
Extra length per 0.5m – 250 euro
Jorma Audio has been a long-time personal favorite cable manufacturer. Starting with their entry-level products, I instantly liked the No.3 speaker cables and kept them in my system. When I later reviewed their successor, the Trinity speaker cables, they were also instant successes and I used them as references for many years until they were ultimately superseded by other cables that worked more synergistically in my system. Meanwhile, the Jorma AES/EBU and digital RCA cables remain my favorite digital cables and I use them exclusively. At some point, I heard the Jorma Statement power cables in another person’s system, and that made a lasting impression. At close to 10,000 euros for a usable length and needing many such cables for my system, however, I never dared audition them at home.
When I was asked to review the Marten Parker Trio loudspeakers, Dutch Distributor HVP Audio also delivered a trio of Jorma cables to use with the speakers. As I found during that review, these cables turned out not only to work superbly synergistically with the Parker Trios, but they also proved a smashing success by further elevating the overall quality of the system to beyond levels that I was able to reach so far. As such, I felt these cables deserved their own review.
Unity XLR interlink
The Unity interlink is powered by technology from the higher-tier Origo level, elevating it far beyond its roots as the first production series. The cables are crafted with fine materials including 99.999999% pure Copper (3x 0.75mm2) and transparent PTFE (Teflon) with tin-plated 96% effective RFI and EMI copper shielding wrapped in multi-threaded ceramic fiber filler underneath a PET outer sleeve, finished with a distinctive maple shell at the cable’s destination ends.
Unity Speaker Cable
Like the interlink, the Unity speaker cable is powered by technology from Origo, elevating it far beyond its roots as the first production series. The cables are crafted with fine materials including 99.999999% pure Copper conductors (2x 4 pc of 0.75 mm for a total Gauge of 2 x 3 mm2 in transparent Teflon. The cables are shielded from RFI and EMI with an effectivity of 96%.
Unity Power Cable
The Unity power cables are crafted with fine materials including 99.999999% pure Copper and transparent PTFE (Teflon) with tin-plated 96% effective RFI and EMI copper shielding wrapped in multi-threaded ceramic fiber filler underneath a PET outer sleeve, finished with a distinctive maple shell at the cable’s destination ends.
The cables were initially listened to in the main system that consists of the CH Precision C1.2 DAC, CH Precision L1 preamplifier, and CH Precision A1.5 power amp. Digital sources include the Grimm MU1 and Antipodes K50, both running Roon, and the Aqua La Diva M2 CD Transport. This system is normally flanked by Magico S1 MkIIs but following the previous review, the Marten Parker Trios were initially also still involved. My default reference interlinks and speaker cables are Driade Flow Link Reference 808, Mad Scientist Black Magic, and Driade Flow Reference 808.
The Sound of Jorma
Marten loudspeakers use Jorma cable inside, and as one might expect (or hope) there is indeed a superb synergy between Jorma cables and Marten loudspeakers. In my experience so far, Jorma Cables are exceptional in combining superb transparency and resolution with a natural, fluid, and unforced presentation. As it happens, Marten Loudspeakers possess a very similar balance, resulting in a further enhanced expression of these aspects.
Having owned the entry-level No.3 and Trinity speaker cables, currently using the AES/EBU and Digital RCA cables on a daily basis, and having reviewed the Origo interlinks and speaker cables as well as the USB Reference and Ethernet Reference cables, I felt that I had a decent handle on the performance of the various performance tiers. So far, my impression was that the entry-level cables provide a fast, neutral, and slightly lean presentation while the Origo line provided a rather more luxurious presentation with more warmth and smoothness. The AES/EBU and RCA digital cables lean toward the former while the USB and Ethernet cables lean more toward the latter.
Armed with the aforementioned personal Jorma experience, I was expecting the Unity range to offer a sound similar to that of the Origo range, from which they inherited some design features. As it would turn out, I was both right and wrong!
Listening – Unity Power
To kick off my experiences with the Unity Power Cable, I started with the CH Precision C1.2 DAC while the Marten Parker Trio speakers were still connected. Normally powered with a GigaWatt LC-2 EVO, the change to the Jorma Unity Power cable retained the level of resolution and transparency while adding a pleasant increase in air and refinement, a sweet and mellow, and particularly liquid and well-saturated midrange, and a warm, smooth bass. Powered with the Jorma, the DAC’s presentation was now pretty much the opposite of what it was with the LC-2 EVO. Nevertheless, the cable does not reduce transparency and while it adds a good dose of richness and saturation, it also does not color the sound. Hardness in recordings is reduced and dryness does not get a chance. Conversely, the GigaWatt can verge on the lean side and it can exacerbate dryness but it also encourages propulsion and expression. On the other hand, the Jorma has a gentler, more free-breathing, not quite as lively and dramatic but arguably more organic approach.
For my next comparison, I moved down one CH component in the rack, to the L1 preamplifier. The L1 has a leaner delivery than the C1 DAC and for that reason, it is normally powered with a GigaWatt PowerSync ULTRA. This cable has a very different build than the LC-2 EVO and a fuller and smoother sound whilst retaining a crisp and energetic stance.
Swapping from the PowerSync ULTRA to the Jorma Unity, I was expecting more similarities than differences but to my surprise, the effect was even more pronounced with the preamp than with the DAC. While it sounded really sweet and refined, I found myself longing for more expression and excitement.
As always, any cable’s success ties in with the match that is made in a system. At this point, I should note that CH Precision equipment may be known primarily for its ultimate neutrality but it is also incredibly refined, gently sweet, and never hard or edgy.
Given that the Jorma Unity power cable is also highly refined, lush, and just a bit polite, I think the match with the likewise gentle and refined L1 pulls the sound a little too much in one direction for my system and taste. But my personal preference aside, I would venture a guess that unless one seeks a very smooth and relaxing presentation, the Parker Trio loudspeakers probably also benefit from more lively and expressive cables.
Interestingly, I also vividly recall hearing the Statement power cables which did not at all sound euphonic. Based on my experiences with the Unity power cable, and knowing that Jorma’s various performance tiers have deviating sonic operating points ranging from tight and lean and tight to lush and sweet, it was tempting to conclude that the Unity range verges toward the sound of the Origo range. But as I was about to learn, that assumption would turn out to be incorrect.
Next: Listening – Unity XLR Interlink