Marc Audio started its business of marketing quality audio cables in its on-line store only two years ago. They did not have all of their products available at the time of launch, so we reviewed what they had, as they became available. These included the Reference Line and the Signature Line.
The Reference Line is their most expensive cable, but at $870/meter-pair for the RCA interconnects, they are not all that pricey compared to many other cables out there. The Signatures are their mid-priced cables ($549/meter-pair for RCA interconnects). Now, Marc Audio has introduced the Premium Line, which is their least expensive line of cables, at $158/meter-pair. Their construction quality – and more importantly – their performance, belie their very reasonable price, and I think they are one of the best values in cables out there.
The conductors (wires) are manufactured in North Prairie, Wisconsin, and the assembly and terminations are done in Door County, Wisconsin.
The cable has OFC copper conductors, with the + conductor in the center, consisting of several fine gauge (20AWG) tightly twisted wires, with a foamed polyethylene dielectric, and which is surrounded by 36AWG copper mesh that serves as the ground connection. PVC covers the cable.
The RCA plugs are Furutech FP-162 (made in Japan), shown below.
I tested the Premium Interconnects with an OPPO BDP-95 universal player, LAMM LL1 preamplifier, Classé M600 monoblock power amplifiers, and Carver Mark IV ribbon speakers.
You have seen me write this many times, but in terms of the sound quality, I could not detect an audible difference between the Premiums, Reference, or Signature cables. The most surprising finding was that the reactive impedance curve for the Premium interconnect was better than both the Signature and Reference interconnects. A lower reactance will result in better signal conduction, whether you can hear it or not. As I have also mentioned before, the signal conduction difference may be subliminal, and just allow you to listen to your music longer without fatigue.
This suggests to me that the RCA connector may be responsible for the better performance. As I am sure our review will spark some experimentation at Marc Audio, I have asked them to prepare a 1 meter interconnect from each of their product lines, with the Furutech RCA connector, so that we can vary only the cable and not have the compounding variable of a different connector on each cable interfering with the performance analysis.
The bottom line here is that for 158 bucks, you can get a pair of RCA interconnects that perform spectacularly!