With a diameter of about 20 mm, Wireworld Eclipse 7 speaker cables are solidly built and literally fit into what audiophiles often describe as garden-hose variety speaker cables. The cables’ conductor material is made from the purest copper and they are configured in the patented Octo DNA Helix design, which is intended to minimize the electromagnetic loss. The cables reviewed here have a 2.5-m length with standard non-biwire banana-to-banana termination. With the MSRP of $1550 for a pair, they are not cheap, but in the high-end audio world, they are not at the extreme end of the price spectrum either. Read on to find out whether they can bring worthy sonic improvement to one’s high-fidelity stereo system.
Wireworld Eclipse 7 Speaker Cables
- Constructed from high-quality materials inside out.
- Great craftsmanship and finish.
- Massive looking and heavier than their 10 AWG specification indicates.
- Easily interchangeable terminal connectors.
- Neutral and balanced sound presentation.
- Excellent sonic transparency and details.
The importance of audio cables in achieving the best sonic performance out of your audio system is often a hotly debated topic among audiophiles or audio enthusiasts. People’s opinions are often very polarizing on this matter; either you are in the camp that believes cables do make a difference or in the other camp that believes all cables will produce the same results. There have been measured differences among cables, but physics aside, what really matters is whether these differences translate into audible sonic improvements. And because this involves listening perception, which may vary from person to person, there is no straightforward answer to this seemingly simple question.
Octo DNA Helix
Quantity: 8 (96 strands) Gauge: 10AWG (4.8 sq. mm)
20 mm (0.79ꞌꞌ)
41 mm (1.62ꞌꞌ)
Choice of Termination:
Bananas or spades
$1550 for 2.5-m (8-ft) pair (as reviewed)
Wireworld, Wireworld Cable, Eclipse 7, Speaker Cables, Eclipse 7 Speaker Cables, Speaker Cable Reviews 2018
When I look back into my audio-hobby journey, I can see the evolution of my personal view on cables as I accumulate more experience with various cables over time. In the beginning of my journey into this hobby, I could care less about the various cables connecting the components in my system. I thought cables were just cables, and as long they perform their duty in transferring the necessary electrical signals from one component to another, they should be fine. At the time, I used mostly good “budget” cables, and my opinion was partially formed by no-obvious-sonic-perceivable differences from these cables. In retrospect, the outcomes may have been because the components in my system at the time were not refined enough to capture the sonic differences. So, for many years with many component upgrades/changes, my view on cables stayed the same until I got an opportunity to try a set of rather high-end speaker cables in a much-higher price bracket.
That was quite an eye-opening experience for me as immediately I could perceive improved details, more-open vocals, and a better bass response from my system. The experience made me revisit my previous view on cables and prompted me to try different cables. I found that some produced noticeable sonic differences while some did not. Surely though, I started to believe that cables can influence the resulting sound of a system. I began to appreciate the fact that many of the companies specializing in offering high-quality audio/video cables based their cable designs on electro-magnetic principles of physics with the specific focus on maintaining signal purity and minimizing internal/external signal interferences.
The scientific theories used to justify the various cable designs out there sometimes can be rather exotic, but some have documented measurable electrical characteristics, and some have been granted patents. But still the real crux of the matter is whether the measurable differences in the cable’s signal transfer can translate into audible sonic improvements in one’s system. Since the object of this review is cabling, perhaps the relevant question to clarify for the readers is: where do I stand on cables in my current audio-hobby journey? Here is my answer: I embrace the fact that cables can contribute to a sonic quality improvement of a high-fidelity system, however the significance of their contribution is system dependent and, more importantly, may not always commensurate with their measured characteristics or price. The latter can be somewhat subjective due to the variability of human perception on the value of sonic improvement.
In this review, I will describe my findings on the Eclipse 7 speaker cables by Wireworld, one of the successful high-end cable brands that has been around for over three decades. David Salz, the founder, President, and cable designer of Wireworld Cable Technology, stated that his design philosophy is to minimize the audible losses of cables to approach the benchmark of a direct connection. The Eclipse 7 is fourth from the top-of-the-line of Wireworld speaker cables lineup and carries an MSRP of $1550 for a 2.5-m pair, reviewed here. With that price tag, they are indeed in the high-end category of cables. Of course, the question in everybody’s mind is whether they are really that good, worthy of their price tag. I must admit, that this is not an easy question to answer, especially because I think cables are more system dependent than any other audio component. Therefore, I will mostly describe how these cables perform in my system with the hope of giving the readers some idea on the potential improvement these cables can bring to their systems.
The Wireworld Eclipse 7 speaker cables are packaged nicely in a zippered semi-hard-shell case, which can be useful for storing or transporting the cables. When I opened the case, the cables’ sheer size and weight immediately amazed me, even though I knew from the published specifications that these were heavy-gauge cables (10 AWG for each polarity). The diameter of these cables is about 20 mm, larger than the standard 10 AWG speaker cables. Not only they are big and rather heavy, they also have a striking appearance. Although appearance may not carry a significant point for cables as they are often placed inconspicuously on the floor behind the speakers or audio racks, I do like the handsome look of the Eclipse 7 cables, which blends the red/black color-coded speaker terminal with a metallic-bronze PVC jacket.
It is obvious that Wireworld does not skimp on the materials used to manufacture its cables. This is exemplified in the Eclipse 7 cables, which are built using high-quality materials inside out. The Eclipse 7 speaker cable consists of eight insulated flat cables with 12 strands of purest Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) copper conductor each, twisted together in a DNA Helix structure (called Octo DNA Helix design). The DNA Helix geometry is a patented Wireworld design which enables flexible flat cables to have closely spaced and completely parallel conductors.
Composite insulation Composilex 2, which according to Wireworld minimizes the noise better than the conventional insulation material, is used to insulate the conductors. The goal of this overall design is to minimize electromagnetic loss, which may color the sound and reduce details. Because this Octo DNA Helix structure requires a good amount of space, it is understandable that the Eclipse 7 has a larger diameter than the standard 10 AWG speaker cable.
Each Eclipse 7 speaker cable has a hard-shell termination at each end, which is about 40 mm-wide. The two polarity ends of the cable protrude from the shell with clear red and black colored jackets. The cables come with the Wireworld Uni-Term interchangeable termination system, which makes it easier to swap banana and spade connectors by just inserting the “screwable” end connectors. The review cables came with banana connectors at both ends per my request. These are good-quality silver connectors that fit well into standard amplifier and speaker terminals. Overall, the cables feel very solid and display excellent craftsmanship.
Due to its sheer thickness, the Eclipse 7 is not as flexible as most smaller-diameter cables. Sharp bends cannot be accommodated by this cable. Hence, sufficient clearance behind your amplifier or speaker needs to be provided. Because of the Eclipse 7 weight and lack of flexibility, I found the cables are more convenient to use with speakers whose terminals are located near the floor. For use with speakers whose terminals are rather high off the floor or with bookshelf speakers on stands, I would suggest a careful planning of the running length of the cables to avoid unsightly dangling of cables from the terminals. These cables are easy to show off, but not easy to hide.
During the review, I used the Eclipse 7 cables to connect several combinations of amplifiers and speakers that I’m familiar with sonically, allowing me to identify the audible contribution of the cables. The amplifiers used were: The Bel Canto REF500S (stereo, 250 W per channel into 8 ohms), the Bel Canto EVO200.4 (4 channels, 120 W per channel into 8 ohms), and the Proceed AMP3 (3 mono-channels, 150 W per channel into 8 ohms). The speakers used in the review were both the NHT Evolution T6 and the B&W 702 S2 floorstanding speakers. The sources used were the AURALiC ALTAIR music streamer and the Bel Canto CD3t CD player with the DAC3.7 combination through a Krell KAV-280p preamplifier.
During the critical listening sessions, the Eclipse 7 cables impressed me most with their transparency and balanced presentation across the audible frequency spectrum. There was no obvious over-emphasis of a certain frequency that could distract me from enjoying the music. The cables’ treble response had good extension and were rich in detail while their midrange presentation was neutral and smooth. I felt that the bass response was one of the cables’ strongest suits. With all the cables I have tried in my system, the Eclipse 7 was among the best in conveying the bass presence in the music. I found that using these cables, the bass presented was always authoritative yet tuneful.
Overall, I would describe the Eclipse 7 characteristics as politely honest, since these cables did not seem to hold back anything from the signal transferred from the amplifier to the speakers, yet they possessed neutrally smooth sonic characteristics. The honest characteristic of the cable allowed me to easily capture the subtle nuance differences of the amplifiers used through its transparency. The cables did not hide the slightly-warm characteristics of the Proceed AMP3 as compared to the more neutral-sounding Bel Canto amplifiers or the slight difference in the treble smoothness between the Bel Canto REF500S and the EVO200.4.
The Eclipse 7 cables also excelled in conveying the energy of the music, down to its micro level. The cymbals in the track Templemeads from Acoustic Alchemy’s Roseland (2011) album sounded realistic with detailed micro-energy textures.
Coupled with the cables’ clear conveyance of attacks and transients, the track World Stage from the same album sounded grand and lively. The Eclipse 7 managed to prevent the busy passages in this particular track to sound messy and congested, providing the simultaneously playing instruments with their own seemingly separable musical lanes.
Vocal presentations sounded full-bodied and natural through the Eclipse 7 cables. The intimacy of Diana Krall’s voice in Sway from her Turn Up the Quiet album (2017) was conveyed in its full purity by these cables. The refined nature of the cables captured vividly the sound of her breathing and slight mouth-clicks in the recording.
The song also indicated that the Eclipse 7 speaker cables were adept at conveying focus and depth of the musical stage. Diana Krall’s voice seemed to come from a focused location in the middle of the two front speakers, not occupying a wide area of the stage unrealistically. The accompanying instruments were portrayed in their steady locations at various stage depths, creating a believable musical atmosphere.
Out of curiosity, I also compared the performance of the Eclipse 7 speaker cables with two older pairs of cables that I was very familiar with and had some significant flying time in my system. These were MIT Terminator 2 from circa 2000 and Nordost Frey from circa 2006. The MIT Terminator 2 was between a quarter to a third of the cost of the Eclipse 7, while the Nordost Frey was about twice of the cost of the Eclipse 7. How did the Eclipse 7 stack up in comparison to those cables in my system?
The MIT Terminator 2 was among the top performers in its price class and definitely no slouch but in the comparison exercise, however, the Eclipse 7 exhibited sonic traits that were perceptibly superior to the Terminator 2. The Eclipse 7 just seemed more neutral with better overall transparency and treble definitions than the Terminator 2. The Eclipse 7 also portrayed a sharper image focus and a more three-dimensional soundstage. So, the Eclipse 7 was the clear winner of the two.
The comparison between the Eclipse 7 to the Nordost Frey, however, did not immediately produce a clear-cut winner. The Nordost Frey was the more expensive cable of the two by a significant margin, but impressively the Eclipse 7, with its slightly darker overall presentation, could hold its ground well in the comparison. Performance-wise, they were equally adept in many respects, but if I had to pick one, I would have to give a slight nod to the Nordost Frey in terms of the conveyance of the last drop of transparency and a tad better vocal palpability. If price was also factored in though, the choice became less obvious as the subjective perception of value comes into play. As always, let your ears and wallet be the judge on this matter.
True to the WIREWORLD design philosophy, ECLIPSE 7 SPEAKER CABLES can surely deliver sonic performance that will elevate music listening satisfaction.
- Solid built quality and finish
- High-quality materials inside out
- Interchangeable screw-type connectors
- Balanced response across audible frequency spectrum
- High-degree of sonic transparency and details
The solidly-built and massive-looking Wireworld Eclipse 7 speaker cables prove to be an excellent performer during my evaluation. Justifying the design philosophy and the engineering behind the design, these cables exhibit neutral and balanced characteristics. They are excellent in conveying transparency and refined details, elevating the music listening experience. While sonic perception is relative, the Eclipse 7 speaker cables convince me that they can bring out worthy audible improvement to one’s high-fidelity system. They are not cheap by any means, but if you are looking for speaker cables that can potentially bring out the best sonic performance out of your system, you should put these cables on your audition list.