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Reviewer: Paul Candy
Financial Interests: click here
Digital Source: CEC TL51X transport, Audiomat Tempo 2.6 DAC, Windows XP based laptop, M2Tech hiFace USB-S/PDIF interface
Analog Source: Well Tempered Lab Amadeus, Pro-Ject Tube Box phono stage, Ortofon Rondo Blue cartridge
Amps: Audiomat Opéra Référence integrated
Speakers: Green Mountain Audio Callisto (on sand filled Skylan stands), 2 x REL Q108 Mk II subwoofers
Cables: MIT Magnum M1.3 interconnects & speaker cables, MIT Magnum digital cable, Wireworld Equinox 6 interconnects & speaker cables
Cords: MIT Magnum AC1, Wireworld Aurora 5² & Silver Electra 5²
Stands: Grand Prix Audio Monaco four-tier rack on APEX footers with silicon nitride bearings
Powerline conditioning: BPT Pure Power Center with Wattgate, Bybee Quantum Purifier and ERS cloth options, GutWire MaxCon
Sundry accessories: Acoustic Revive RR-77, Auric Illuminator, Audio Magic/Quantum Physics Noise Disruptors, Caig Pro Gold, Echo Busters acoustic room treatments, Isoclean fuses, HiFi Tuning Disc Demagnetizer, Nitty Gritty record cleaning machine, Soundcare Superspikes (on speaker stands), dedicated AC line with Wattgate 381 outlet
Room size: 11 x 18 x 8’, long wall setup, suspended hardwood floors with large area sisal rug, walls are standard drywall over Fiberglas insulation
Review Component Retail: Introductory price $625; regular price $750

Today’s subject was not entirely unknown to me as I had read Jeff Day’s review of Sablon Audio’s Robusto power cord at Positive Feedback Online. Since Jeff had previously given me props for turning him on to the Leben CS-300X I reviewed several years ago, it’s only fitting that I return the gesture now. In fact if it weren’t for his article, I’d have passed on yet another review solicitation from yet another new cable company. They seem to crop up at an alarming rate these days. I should point out that most experienced reviewers run for the hills when their editor even mentions the words cable review. However knowing that Jeff and I look for similar qualities in gear and that he was impressed with the Robusto, I eagerly took a bullet for the team as it were and contacted Sablon Audio’s owner/chief designer Mark Coles who sent along enough cables to outfit my system.

The design of the Robusto power cord is based on years of careful experimentation. A self-professed cable nerd, Mark examined just about every power cable design available - stranded, solid core, braided, twisted, shielded, ribbon, silver, copper etc. He dismantled many to see how they were constructed and also experimented with different connectors. In fact Mark claims to have spent at least $6.000 in various connectors alone. What he learned during this process was that each approach had advantages and disadvantages. Silver was not necessarily more transparent than copper. More wire usually sounded better. Teflon could thin out sonics. Ohno cast '9 to the power of n' purity didn’t necessarily sound better. Various connector platings can add colorations. Above all, Mark learned that synergy was key so he set about designing a power cable that exhibited the positive aspects he observed through his experimentation while minimizing the negatives to achieve a musically truthful yet robust character. Hence the Robusto name. After considerable beta testing and favorable comments, Mark decided to form his own business to offer the Robusto to a wider audience.