: Joël Chevassus
Sources: Esoteric K-03, Lumin U1, Audiomat Maestro 3 Référence, Apple iMac Yosemite/JRiver Media Center 21, MacBook Yosemite, NAS Synology DS412+, Qobuz
Preamplifier: SPL Volume2, Coincident Technology Statement Line preamplifier, Audiomat Maestro 3 linestage, SPEC H-VC5
Power & integrated amplifiers: Luxman M800a x 2, Lumin M1, Red Dragon S500 x 2, SPEC RPA-W3 EX x 2, Apurna Apogée [on review], Goldnote IS-1000 [on review]
Loudspeakers: Vivid Audio G1, Vivid Audio G1 Spirit, Elipson Planet L, Lawrence Audio Penguin [on review]
Cables: Coincident Technology  Statement series (interconnects and speaker cables), Grimm TPM interconnects, Esprit Lumina USB, Esprit Lumina digital, Esprit Eterna USB, Skywire 2020 digital, Naturelle Audio Live 8 MK2 interconnects and speaker cables, Phi Audio speaker cables and interconnects
Power delivery: Triode Wire Labs 10+, Sebkawire Western Ultimate, DIY and generic cords
Equipment rack: Music Tools
Room: 7x7.5 m with high beam ceiling, acoustically treated by Tecsart
Review component retail: power cord € 5'300/1m; speaker cable €9'800/3m/pr; XLR interconnect €8'800/1.2m/pr, RCA interconnect  €7'200/1.2m/pr

What could be said about cables that hasn't been already? Richard Cesari, founder of the French Esprit Cables brand, has one word: "Eureka". According to Internet dictionaries, Eureka is a cry of joy or satisfaction at a surprise discovery. But it could also be an alloy of copper and nickel as used for electrical filaments and resistance wire. From an etymological perspective, Eureka was in fact the reputed exclamation of Archimedes when, after long studies, he discovered a method of detecting the amount of alloy that was mixed with the gold in the crown of the king of Syracuse. What then had Richard Cesari discovered if not a way to sell a copper-based alloy at the price of gold?

That's it for quick considerations about the name of this new top-line Esprit loom. Let's proceed to more serious matters about what I received a few weeks ago despite the fact that it's always difficult to pry detailed information from Richard Cesari. That's the more complicated aspect of reviewing cables when they don't involve strange or futuristic theories of conductivity or acoustical chaos. Unfortunately for me, Richard is a straight-up guy. He has made cables for a long time and works hard to build his flagship wires which require long assembly without magic theories, just basic concepts like conductivity, resistivity and shielding improved upon along the years.

That's why he's totally reluctant to spill detailed beans on how Esprit cables are designed. It obviously doesn't help my narrative but preserves his know-how. These Esprit cables still travelled in black protective zippered cases, the sole exception being the speakers cables which required a massive black suitcase due to their size and weight. This complete cable set is available now in black or white. For this  assignment, I received a pair of speaker cables with spade terminations, two pairs of balanced interconnects, one pair of unbalanced interconnects and two power cords, all brand new stuff in white livery. Considering the limited amount of information about this cable loom, I decided to kick off with a short interview to get a bigger picture of what's behind and inside those pricey wires.

JC: I understood that the Eureka models were originally named Lumina Signature. What are the differences in design and what were your expectations in terms of improvement and sonic results versus the previous Lumina series?
RC - The Lumina Signature was an anniversary series celebrating the 20th anniversary of our brand. This included 100% of the dielectric and polarising parts of the Gaia series as applied to Lumina's conductive architecture. Eureka is a slightly different concept, being a kind of hybrid between Lumina and Gaia. We take one part Gaia technology and one part Lumina design. In certain cases we might speak of 40% Gaia and 60% Lumina but these proportions may vary according to model. It's in fact in-between Lumina and Gaia.

JC - Why such a mythic name?
RC - As per tradition, all models have a name that ends in the letter A so here we are. I have no particular interest in ancient Greek scientists but I have been more influenced by the movie Interstellar if you see what I mean. But I don't want you to be afraid of quantum mechanics and relativity. I am a far simpler guy and my designs only focus on the usual proven concepts of audio transmission.

JC - The top Gaia range seems to be discontinued or more exactly, temporarily replaced by the Eureka line. What are your plans?
RC - The Gaia line will be completely upgraded with new patented designs. It will represent in my opinion a new breakthrough within the whole Esprit portfolio. But for the time being, I must confess to being very satisfied with what we achieved with Eureka.

JC - If we consider the various cables for this test, how much assembly time does each require?
RC - It obviously varies according to type and length. For instance, a pair of 1-metre RCA interconnects requires almost 17 hours of work. But beyond just assembly, this cable requires a lot of preparatory work since 16 different suppliers are involved in the manufacturing process. It might seem odd to call for such a diversity of contractors but when you target the highest quality and reliability, you really have no other choice.