As it turned out, inside Allnic's cardboard box each cable arrived in a plain large Ziploc bag. Additional small bags secured by rubber bands covered the plugs. All metallic plug barrels were also covered by the same thick blue plastic film I'd previously unpeeled from the Gryphon Diablo's black acrylic faceplate. These red Allnic cables looked exceptionally well made to instantly convey upscale luxury. With a combined $20'400 tag [pricing as of March 2018 per Hammertone Audio's website] for my loaner heap of seven power cords, long and short analog XLR, one digital XLR plus 3-metre speaker cable pair, I certainly felt that I was playing in the luxury leagues. Imagine telling that to our sheep-farming neighbour. After a year of raising his lambs, he gets €50/head. It'd add copiously to our non-native status far beyond our Americanized accents and having actually elected to move to and live in their country by our own free will, not dastardly circumstance. Best invoke the silence of the lambs and keep our very upscale cable consumption to ourselves.

In these photos of the power cord, we see not only Kang Su's obsession with contact integrity. We also appreciate that going to extreme lengths to shield any cable from RF/EMI only to use non-shielded plugs makes no sense whatever. Allnic's massive barrels on either end of their power cords are the antidote. Ditto the black duralumin barrels with silicon rings which shield the areas where the fully sleeved 12mm speaker cable breaks out from its PVC jacket into pig tails. Then note the spring-loaded execution of Allnic's spades which fold back over themselves to maintain superior contact tension.

Inspecting the goods, this clearly wasn't another me-too product just to fill out a catalogue; nor one that used cheap off-the-shelf parts, then slapped on a hefty tariff to raise perception. And If South Korea as yet hadn't factored on your list of upscale hifi destinations, you've clearly not crossed paths with the wicked speaker designs by Metal Sound Design or their contributions to Astell&Kern; nor the sundry footers and stands of HifiStay. Building to hifi jewelry standards isn't just the exclusive domain of Switzerland.

As already mentioned, Kang Su's Mu-metal shielding is exclusive to the low-current line-level cables both analog and digital. As AES/EBU, I had one of the latter to connect our Soundaware SD card reader to the Aqua Hifi Formula DAC. The analog specimens leashed up the DAC to the fully balanced Wyred4Sound STP-SEII preamp, that the differential LinnenberG Liszt mono amps. The seven power cords serviced two wall connections to their respective Vibex conditioners, then two amps, preamp, DAC and source. A more limited budget would single out the two wall-connected cords as the first junctions to upgrade.

In use the Allnic cables proved quite easy to route though longitudinal flex was far greater than the ability to twist any connector to fit. The physical cable structure was rather more resistant to sideways twists. To get plugs to line up as needed meant gradually flexing the cable over its entire length by how it was laid out. Allnic's very reasonable diameters meant no garden-house shenanigans and apparently very robust construction suggested that being inadvertently stepped on shouldn't be a concern.