Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, 4GHz quad-core engine with 4.4GHz turbo boost, 3TB Fusion Drive, 16GB SDRAM, OSX Yosemite, PureMusic 3.01, Tidal & Qobuz lossless streaming, COS Engineering D1, Metrum Hex, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi La Scala MkII, Fore Audio DAISy 1, Apple iPod Classic 160GB (AIFF), Astell& Kern AK100 modified by Red Wine Audio, Cambridge Audio iD100, Pro-Ject Dock Box S Digital, Pure i20
Preamplifiers: Nagra Jazz, Esoteric C-03, COS Engineering D1, Clones Audio AP1
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8, FirstWatt S1, F6; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; Gato Audio DIA-250; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; April Music Stello S100 MkII, Vinnie Rossi Lio, AURALiC Merak [on loan], Clones Audio 55pm [on loan]
Loudspeakers: EnigmAcoustics M1, Albedo Audio Aptica, soundkaos Wave 40, Sounddeco Sigma 2; Boenicke Audio W5se, Zu Audio Submission; German Physiks HRS-120, Eversound Essence, Gallo Strada II w. TR-3D subwoofer
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; KingRex uArt double-header USB; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Arkana Research XLR/RCA and speaker cables [on loan], Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo USB [on review]
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Krion amp shelf
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, Verictum Silver X Block on preamp and amp
Room: Irregularly shaped 9.5 x 10m open floor plan with additional 2nd-floor loft; wood-paneled sloping ceiling; parquet flooring; lots of non-parallel surfaces (pictorial tour here)
Review component retail: $340/0.8m, $380/1m, $420/1.2m, $580/2m, $680/3m as reviewed

Curious Cables. There. With a single well-chosen word, a king's man from Queensland ends up up-ending pervasive bad attitude. He admits that the efficacy of his cables is curious given that by serving the USB standard, they merely move data packets. Should those packets care what wire they traverse as long as it's made to basic spec? His ears tell him that they very much do; give a crap. So what's an enterprising chap to do who puts more faith in his very own senses than musty textbooks? If you're Rob Woodland, you roll up yer sleeves and get cookin'. This reportedly went on for twelve long experiments-filled months. Having been a Keith Eichmann licensee to manufacture the in/famous Bullet Plug RCA connector and having designed the CablePod and Bayonet Plug, he's not exactly a newbie about thinking outside the cable box. I distinctly remember a long-ago chat with Germany's cable pope, Hans-Manfred Strassner of HMS. He declared himself partially responsible for WBT's NextGen connector. As a popular cable maker, he'd long used their terminations. With the appearance of the Eichmann, he simply couldn't in good conscience continue with the German RCA; unless they came out with something which at least matched but ideally outperformed the Australian upstart sonically, then also mechanically.

The Curious outgrew a self-serving quest for better computer audio sound. Accordingly, Rob's website presentation—he sells direct—isn't on outlandish tech talk; about how his wire acts as a super conductor at room temperature or other such bollocks. He only claims that it restores dimensionality as the attribute he found lacking in commercial wires. He also feels that his comes closer to the sound of vinyl. Early owners have gone on record to say that it beat their Audioquest Coffee and Diamond, Dynamic Design, Furutech GT2, Mapleshade, Nordost Blue Heaven, Vertere DFi and Wywires. Aussie contributor John Darko prefers it to the Black Cat Silverstar and Light Harmonic LightSpeed. Having covered this ground already, we'll borrow from John's find that the power leg "is made from fully shielded mini coax whilst the data line is pure silver. Very close attention was reportedly paid to grounding." As you saw, even the physical makeup of this Down Under wire is curiously inside out. The 5V power line runs separate but joins the plugs on either end by tucking into their shrink wrap. It's a hybrid approach. It apartheids but doesn't occupy two USB ports on your computer like double-header designs from Acoustic Revive, KingRex and Zu do. If you watch Rob's YouTube video, you'll confirm that his focus isn't on the electrical or mechanical. His is squarely on the musical outcome. And we can all agree how that ought to live—and die—on its ability to communicate. How do you measure that? With a Swiss-made goosebumpometer or a Serbian chicken-pimple counter? Building 'greater feeling delivery' into a cable is obviously so not a talk you'd dare have outside your psychiatrist's chair. Standard engineers would choke in fact. But any man who celebrates the curious needn't suffer the usual limitations. He can openly focus on what matters to him whilst still being backed by plenty of acknowledged prior cable-related successes. If the Curious USB succeeds in its mission—to voyage where no prior USB cable has gone, deep into audible space—we'll have to accept that the how of it will remain mysterious.