Atlas Arran Transpose Loudspeaker Cable

hfnedchoiceNewly launched to fill the void between its Mavros and flagship silver Asimi ranges, these Arran cables might just be the sweetspot in the Atlas portfolio.

While audiophiles might ordinarily associate the 'home of the brave' with Linn Products, Scotland is also home to the hand-made Atlas Cables. Its new Arran interconnects and speaker cables are a clear evolution, taking inspiration from its solid silver Asimi range [HFN Dec '18], utilising the same geometry but with OCC (Ohno Continuous Casting) copper.

The more affordable Mavros range also uses OCC copper but contains a mix of solid and stranded conductors. In common with the Asimi flagship, the Arran speaker cables (priced £4795/2m and £5995/3m sets) get closer to the ideal of a 'single' solid strand with an air dielectric. In practice, each signal/return conductor comprises six OCC copper strands, four at 1.2mm2 and two at 1mm2, each strand shrouded in a cotton weave with microporous PTFE tape atop.

The six strands are then twisted and held in more PTFE tape, packed in a cotton filler and screened with an alloy/mylar film and woven copper braid. Running through the screen are two drain wires, 180° apart, and connected to the Grun terminal [see picture, below], which should be routed to a dedicated earth or equipment chassis. A soft PVC covering and royal blue fabric completes what amounts to a reassuringly heavy but not especially compliant cable. Atlas's Lux leather sleeves are a further £275/m option.


The signal and return conductors are supported at each end of the cable by an alloy barrel. One end has the Grun termination – the black plastic cap unscrews to reveal the ground connection. Atlas supplies an insulated wire that runs between here and an earth point

The 'Transpose' termination is directly crimped onto the copper conductors and will accommodate a wide variety of end plugs. Your choice doesn't affect the cable's lumped parameters, including the impressively low 7.3mohm/m series resistance, and insignificant 0.008dB/m power loss. (The Asimi has lower resistance still but its six strands are fractionally thicker and silver is a superior conductor.) Parallel capacitance is a low 98pF/m and inductance a moderate 0.47µH/m. All told, the Arran Transpose is an excellent choice for long runs, cost notwithstanding.

sqnote Ohno? Oh Yes...

I experienced the impact of Atlas's Arran with both the DALI KORE and next month's cover star, the Wilson Audio Alexia V, via a Constellation Centaur II 500 amplifier [HFN Dec '19] and was struck on both occasions by just how transparently it 'stepped out of the way'. Ultimately this is what we all want from a cable: to open up the sound of our systems to their fullest potential without shining a light, or drawing the curtains, on any particular aspect of performance. So jazz trumpeter Gabriel Mervine sounded as vital and potent, and yet as intimate as you might care to imagine with his backing trio on Say Somethin' [Octave Records; DSD64]. The brassy rasp was immediate and yet the ambience remained warm and close – the Arran coaxing these speakers to render their most compelling and colourful musical pictures.

Low resistance also brings deep and powerful bass – with sympathetic ancillaries. And so with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's 40th anniversary recording of Wagner's 'Siegfried Idyll' [Linn CKD540; 192kHz/24-bit] the sound was richly detailed, as it should be, at once sweet, clear and with striking instrumental power and textures. Whatever the album, Arran sets the tingle factor to stunning.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
If you are seriously contemplating a no-nonsense high-end cable upgrade then the Arran should be one of a mere handful of contenders on your radar. It is exceptionally well-built and finished, presents no wayward electrical properties that limits its application to length or equipment and, as important, provides a potent foil for the all-silver Asimi which is significantly costlier. It will reinforce everything you love about the sound of your system!

Price: £5995 (3.0m terminated stereo set)