Danacable Lazuli™ Voilà Headphone Cable – Open Horizons

By and large aftermarket headphone cables are generic, that is to say that the cable manufacturer designs their cables to impart their particular sound or lack of sound as the case may be to whatever headphone you have just changing the connector to match the situation. The bulk of the Danacable Lazuli headphone cable lines follow this formula with the goal of simply providing you more; more bandwidth, more dynamic range, more phase coherency, more detail, and more soundstage. Enter the Danacable Lazuli™ Voilà Headphone Cable, a cable designed for a specific headphone with the intention of making that headphone perform better, not with just the music for which the headphone was voiced by its manufacturer, but with a wider range of music making the headphone appropriate for all styles and demands. In this case the HIFIMAN SUSVARA headphone.

Danacable Lazuli Voilà Headphone Cable

As to the design of the Danacable Lazuli Voilà Headphone Cable, I’ll quote Danacable themselves;

“Individually-handcrafted in the USA using copper and silver wires in a variety of attractive sheathing options, Danacable’s Lazuli™ headphone cables have long been known among headphone lovers as the go-to cables for many popular headphone models.

But just like speakers, Top-of-the-line (TOTL) headphones are designed with a certain sound signature that makes them especially suited to certain genres of music.  Danacable’s new line of custom Lazuli™ headphone cables is being designed and voiced to bring the most out of each TOTL headphone while retaining its sound signature.

The first custom headphone cable under the Lazuli™ line, the Lazuli™ Voilà, is designed and voiced for the Hifiman Susvara, arguably the best planar headphone in the market.  The Susvara is known for its naturalness, acoustically-accurate timber, and high resolution.  The Lazuli™ Voila cable will bring out the Susvara’s punchy dynamics and treble extension, making it shine with any music genre, from classical to pop to electronica and hard rock.

The combination of the Susvara headphone and the Lazuli™ Voilà cable, driven by a powerful amplifier such as the DanaTone™ Head Space™,  a reference-level DAC, and quality interconnect cables is the last headphone setup one needs to own. 

Besides the Lazuli™ Voilà headphone cable, look for future models in this new line of Lazuli™ headphone cables designed for other TOTL headphones.  At $4995 MSRP, these custom Lazuli™ cables may not fit everyone’s budget.  But the impact of a “voiced” Lazuli™ cable on a TOTL headphone setup is undeniably clear – when only the best will do!

The Lazuli™ Voilà headphone cable will be showcased at the NYC CanJam in March 2024, with an introductory price of $4495, effective until May 30, 2024.”

As for the appearance, the Danacable Lazuli Voilà Headphone Cable is made up of eight bundles of cable, similar in appearance to the three bundles that make up the Danacable Lazuli Rhapsody Headphone Cable I reviewed last September, half the translucent silver of the Rhapsody, the other half translucent black, braided together with a metal and carbon fiber collar where the wires are split into the two leads of four bundles each that connect to the headphone.

Living with the Danacable Lazuli Voilà Headphone Cable

I burned in the Danacable Lazuli Voilà Headphone Cable for a few days using the HIFIMAN EF600 R2R DAC & Headphone Amp, so I did my initial listening using that before moving onto my reference system consisting of my LSA VT-70 Tube Integrated AmpAudio-gd R2R-1 DACBlack Dragon CablesCore Power Technologies A/V Equi=Core 1000, and Vera-Fi Audio VBH-1 (Vibration Black Hole) isolation feet.

My first impulse was to simply dive in and start listening, launching Qobuz I selected “Asterisms” (16-bit/44.1kHz – Qobuz) by Sean Ono Lennon and was treated to some late ‘70s style progressive with a slight jazz bend (though it might have been meant the other way around, at least it is listed as jazz). The sound was sublime with a real in-studio vibe, and a massive soundstage. The timbre of the instruments was seductive, the bell-like sound of the Wurlitzer, the attack of the percussion, the gentle burr of the guitar, and the fluttering of the mute on the trumpet.

I moved on to “Seiji Ozawa: A Celebration” which is a boxed set of the complete recordings of Seiji Ozawa as a conductor. Since the cable was designed to expand the horizons of the SUSVARA, I felt it was important to see if it handled classical as well as other genres and was not disappointed, with an expansive soundstage, and realistic timbre, without that brittle top end often associated with HIFIMAN.

It was at this point I decided I needed to establish a reference level comparing the Lazuli Voilà with the stock cable. While in general I am not a fan of A/B tests, it was necessary in this case since the headphones in question were not mine, so my familiarity with them is limited. So using my HiFiAudio.Guru Qobuz playlist (https://open.qobuz.com/playlist/10673532) I picked out several of my usual test tracks, in particular, “Can-utility And The Coastliners” (“Foxtrot” – Genesis – 16-bit/44.1kHz – Qobuz), Dario Baldan Bembo’s “Non Mi Lasciare” (16-bit/44.1kHz – Qobuz), and “And You And I — I. Cord of Life, II. Eclipse, III. The Preacher the Teacher, IV. Apocalypse” (“Close to the Edge” – Yes – DSD).

Simply put, the sound with the Lazuli Voilà was more relaxed, more musical, more dynamic, less harsh, with less of what I think of as Transient Intermodulation Distortion, that strident brittle harshness associated with solid-state amplifiers that creates a slight ringing in my ears, but it was when I put on “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” (“Van Halen” – 24-bit/192kHz) by Van Halen that what they were going for came clear, the sound was more energetic, more exciting, drawing you deeper into the music, while at the same time, more musical and pleasant to listen to allowing you to listen at higher volumes getting at the essence of the music.

To compare the Lazuli Voilà to the Lazuli Rhapsody I found something truly amazing on Qobuz; “Glass: Cocteau Trilogy” as performed by Katia Labèque and Marielle Labèque (24-bit/48kHz – Qobuz). I have been a huge fan of the Labèque Sisters for forty years, since they released their “Gershwin, An American in Paris”, so a Labèque meets Glass is an epic find for me. The musicality of the Lazuli Voilà/SUSVARA with my reference system was palpable, extreme dynamic range pushing the SUSVARA to their limits, the liquid sound of the two pianos fully realized with fantastic resolution despite the limited sample rate of the recording. Switching to the Lazuli Rhapsody I noticed a slight drop in the musicality and articulation as well as basic excitement though, for the most part, the dynamics were retained. Interestingly there was no really perceptible change in timbre and tonal balance.

Returning to rock I picked MGMT’s new album “Loss Of Life” (24-bit/96kHz – Qobuz). While the sound was magical “Mother Nature” felt a little congested with the multi-layers of distorted electronic instruments while listening through the Rhapsody, moving back to the Voilà the clarity was immediately increased.

The Lazuli Voilà handled the MGMT so well I was drawn to pull up “Birds of Fire” (Mahavishnu Orchestra – “Birds of Fire” – DSD) which is my resolution torture test with each of the musicians doubling up their tracks giving you two percussionists, two guitars, two keyboards, two violins, and two basses creating a cacophony of music. The Lazuli Voilà gave the SUSVARA electrostatic speeds offering one of the best interpretations of the track I have ever heard.

Conclusions on the Danacable Lazuli Voilà Headphone Cable

I have said this many times before, but it bears repeating, cables make as much difference to the sound of your system as any other component short of the actual Headphone, so though $5 grand may seem like a lot for a cable, when matching it to a $6,000 headphone for a system that you would be willing to spend an equal amount if not more for a DAC which in the long run will probably have less effect on the overall sound of your system, especially if you are using high resolution files, then it is totally justified. And in the case of the Danacable Lazuli Voilà Headphone Cable, it definitely raises the bar for the HIFIMAN SUSVARA, from what you would expect from a $6,000 headphone to what you expect from a price-is-no-object headphone, competing favorably with the best in electrostatic headphones.

The Lazuli Voilà adds a level of detail, dynamics, and musicality to the SUSVARA without changing the sonic signature that made the SUSVARA appealing in the first place. As advertised, the Lazuli Voilà opens up the SUSVARA for use with any genre of music without compromising the performance with the genres it was designed for, moving the SUSVARA from the category of a great headphone to that of a spectacular headphone.

If you own a SUSVARA, you owe it to yourself to listen to the Danacable Lazuli Voilà, especially if you are using it with something like dCS or the Chord DAVE, if you have already made the investment, don’t shortchange yourself on the last component. The Danacable Lazuli Voilà headphone cable receives my highest recommendation.

MSRP: $4,995

Introductory Price: $4495 (Until May 30, 2024)

Manufacturer’s Website: www.danacables.com

Manufacturer’s Contact: gingko@gingkoaudio.com

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Gary Alan Barker

Gary Alan Barker is a writer who has been a member of the Audio Industry since 1978, having acted as technical writer for several high-end audio companies, and been an electronics hobbyist since 1960. He has also been a musician and writer since the mid 1960s.

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