ESPRIT ▻ Eureka

With Eureka, Esprit has decided to let go. With this line, he offers his most radical, innovative and ambitious vision for audio cables. The French manufacturer has therefore incorporated into this completely exclusive series, the extent of its know-how, and a thorough attention to all the small details that only the experience accumulated over twenty years of research can bring. Of course, the price is very high, but the performance is breathtaking. Beyond the simple reality of figures and sensations, we wanted to decipher what determines the price of such an elitist product, and what explains its outstanding performance. To understand everything, follow the guide.

The first contact with Eureka is not sound, but physical. Indeed, these products, although relatively flexible, are very heavy. This mass is explained first of all by the quantity of copper they ship. Just a small point of comparison between different HP cables. The modest QED XT 25 has a section of 2.5 mm², the good old Linn K20 has 4 mm², while our Aura Spirit has 6 mm². Well, the Eureka shows 25 mm². Yes, you have read it correctly! 25 mm², i. e. a section that is simply gargantuan, and without increasing its capacitance, which means that this cable will not in any way «disturb» the amplifier. The Eureka series uses Esprit «homemade» techniques, i. e. a large mass of (very) large cross-sectional stranded conductors, protected by asymmetric airborne and polarized insulators, and by progressive and partial shielding. Of course, the assembly is entirely done by hand in France. For information, an Eureka modulation cord of one meter twenty requires between 16 and 18 hours of work. But beyond the assembly, this cable requires a lot of preparatory work since 16 different suppliers are involved in the manufacturing process. But when you want the best quality and reliability, you have no other choice. Moreover, the sound quality of these products is also the result of a global policy of high quality concerning the choice of conductors, the geometry of dielectrics and the placement of shielding, as well as the selection of high quality connectors. The plugs are made of certified copper and take advantage of a special polishing (it doubles the price of the plug) for better contact over its entire surface. The silver plating of the cards is 40 microns thick of pure silver. The connectors are not crimped, but the ultra-fast soldering at high temperature (500°) lasts only a few seconds and allows the plug and all the strands to be joined together in a very homogeneous way without compromising conductivity.

The conductors are made of pure single crystal copper. Although it is generally accepted that silver conductors are superior to copper, Esprit has been faithful for 21 years to the same 100% copper structure, a very high quality copper, whose conductivity is close to that of silver and far ahead of gold and rhodium, materials that are nevertheless very popular. The conductor geometry is symmetrical. The asymmetric dielectric allows a different polarization of the speaker cable. The parasitic effects generated by micro-discharges are managed with asymmetric dielectrics, polarization and the use of bi-material ferrites to compensate for microwaves. Indeed, the asymmetrical structure of the dielectric allows to obtain a specific conductor damping useful to avoid any residual hardness. According to the manufacturer, this typical hardness is often the result of massive use of the same insulation. Polarization is not carried out in the same way in the different types and ranges of cables. It can be applied in whole or in part depending on needs and characteristics. The device is powered by an Ultralife Lithium battery with a life span of 10 years. Asymmetric modulation cords consist of more than 2 x 1600 strands of pure 6N copper for a pair. The copper strands are also larger. Esprit uses completely different conductive and dielectric structures on asymmetric and symmetric links. Speaker cables use 2 x 6482 wires with a diameter of 0.08 mm. Esprit cables have a very low impedance and capacitance, which mainly affects the impedance behaviour of a loudspeaker and the stability of the associated amplifier over the entire bandwidth.

For once, it is not usual, you will have to be very careful with the installation. These large cables must be connected carefully, and above all placed in such a way as not to force the connectors. The Eureka sockets are of excellent quality, very strong and guarantee an excellent tightening torque, nevertheless, care must be taken not to create mechanical stresses on the connections of your devices. No fear to have on the level of associations, because the Eureka group is very versatile. We tried it with very different products, and with each experience he knew how to reveal the deep nature of the devices without ever selling off the most important thing: the sense of musical communication.

Let’s not beat about the bush, the Eureka are breathtaking. We generally prefer not to abuse superlatives, and it is true that with each proofreading, we remove many of the «too much» and «sublime», but in this case, it is quite difficult not to be impressed. I think we should feel the same way as a test pilot who puts his hand in the bucket of a prestigious GT. Moreover, the analogy is not a utopia, far from it, since a system equipped with a complete Eureka line gives such a feeling of power that you would think you were there, too. To be quite precise, there is an absolutely astounding «push» from the system. Suddenly your amp seems to have doubled its power, boosted its potential, and with ease, even insolent casualness. The Eureka’s coup de force lies precisely in this cocktail between a colossal energy distributed over the entire spectrum with great homogeneity, exceptional sound stage, and a unique precision. No matter what disc you listen to, everything is simply obvious. Of course, this can be summarized in basic objective criteria such as the extent of the sound spectrum reproduced, the dimensions of the sound scene, the resolution power, or the dynamic behaviour. But in all sincerity, that is not what we are remembering at all. We prefer to tell you about the incredible emotion that caught us listening to the Black Star where David Bowie exposes himself in a poignant and terribly moving way. Or tell you about this Spanish Rhapsody of Ravel by Abbado, which remains deeply engraved in our memory. Or all these discs tasted in extenso so much the idea of zapping didn’t occur to us for a single second. Magic works durably with the Eureka, because the boundary between the medium and the work recorded on it is becoming blurred. And it doesn’t happen every day, of course.

Majestic bass of abyssal depth, soft medium and exceptional texture, acute mineral and racy, dynamic so realistic that it is disturbing, holographic image «really», these are some of the exceptional virtues of the Eureka line. So let’s face it, almost all of us will not be able to access it. But knowing that it exists and that we can move towards such a high level of performance is great news. And this is the result of 20 years of experience, an in-depth study, a lot of work using numerous and expensive raw materials. And to finish on a very positive and somewhat «cocky» note, you will forgive us, this Eureka line has nothing to envy to products made in the United States or elsewhere on the planet. We definitely have some great cables in France! 


€ 7.200 (RCA modulation 2 x 1.20m)
€ 8.800 (XLR modulation 2 x 1.20m)
€ 7.350 (HP 2 x 2m)
€ 5.300 (cable outlet 1.5m)