Liutanie Audio Olimpo Gold cables | Introduction


Since the late 70’s and the advent of the first labelled audio connections – for instance, the historic Monster by Noel Lee – the production of the cables has been representing the major offer in Hi-Fi. On one hand, maybe too many people make cables. On the other hand, many manufacturers of electronic devices do not. Thus, the audio lover has to decide by his own, which connection is the best choice.


Technicians, detractors and professional haters have a clear idea about, even though with different motivations. When you have a good conducting material, with an adequate section and insulation, the measurable performances are quite comparable. Hence, it is useless spending lots of money.


Audiophiles can be rather reasonable or totally out of mind. In both cases, they feel the value and importance of the cables, maybe only for the fine-tuning of the system and not with the suggestion – wrong – of improving it radically, using machines and loudspeakers with low performances or low quality…


We can find cables costing few euro per meter, but technically correct. Then we have higher costs for realizations that – for geometry, technique and materials – boast a manufacturing “idea” that can be appreciated without following the logic of the market. Finally, we can have some “unpunishable frauds” like the common electrical cables coated only by some insulation or sheath that imitates the aesthetic-perceptible rules of the Hi-End, where you can judge only from appearances and… incompetence.


In such articulated – or even sick – panorama, the Liutanie Audio connections proudly introduce themselves. They aim directly to the category of the daring ideas – I say it with sympathy and an indulgent smile – because their creator is a friend and a collaborator of ReMusic, Roberto Borgonzoni, Shat Audio's owner. In this occasion, he acts as a designer and manufacturer of the full Liutanie series of cables, since the patron of the brand and enthusiast audiophile is Federico Colombatto.


Giuseppe Castelli e Roberto Borgonzoni


My most convincing representation of the Saint Martyr tried by the Wiring and Roberto Borgonzoni.


Considering the thorny toping of connections, with lots of patience and respect for the white gloves – see pics above and below – I have questioned Roberto in order to explain and justify his “extreme” choices, in terms of research, realization, manufacturing costs and purchase price.


Liutanie Audio Olimpo Driver Gold


The refined package of Liutanie Audio Olimpo Gold cables.


N.B. Pay attention: this article and the following ones will be criticized and will create an uproar. Cablescepticals and cablephilos will go away further on… However, we are audio reviewers: we test and write about our sensations, about what we hear or pretend to hear. Our readers are free to choose or decide differently. If you do not agree, we can confront. Anyway, at our home no one censures anyone.


Roberto e le sue creature


Roberto keeps firmly in his hands his creations.


Question: Liutanie Audio and its connections: who makes what?

Roberto Borgonzoni: Liutanie Audio comes from the synergy between two different personalities. Federico and I, together, although each one with his products of exclusive intellectual property. We have jointed our creations in one high-level production. Federico with his loudspeakers and amplifications. From me, my connections, created, designed and made by myself. They remain as my exclusive production, but the logo is Federico’s. Same thing are his loudspeakers and amplifications, where my contribution is only for the designing improvements, I make to improve the performances. We are like the railways tracks, flanked but independent along the run, each one with the absolute and exclusive property of our productions. Liutanie connections are Shat Audio’s, and Liutanie Audio is the only dealer authorized by me, since we have the same vision of perfection and the same passion.


Question: The scenario of this product is very crowded indeed. Why did you feel the need of creating new connections? What was missing in the other productions, specifically in the most serious brands?

Borgonzoni: Necessity is the mother of invention. Here the need of designing something new has been the direct consequence of the manufacturers’ incapability of making connections able to create a definitive joint without the usual problems. I mean, connections saturated by attenuation, equalization, reversal phases, annoying nasality or changes in the performances coming from the setting in. To squander money without appreciable results is a useless ordeal. I have spent too much, also in terms of time. I have also joined in cascade up to ten types of concurrent connections. The outcome was always pain. I was thinking to myself that I had to solve the problem getting to the roots of it. If while you listen you find only faults and lacks, what remains is “do it yourself”. Therefore, it has started. If the outcome is good, well the next step is to commercialize it and alleviate the audiophiles from the same pain. Remember Preston Tucker? Or Ferruccio Lamborghini? With the same determination, maybe like crazy, they created sole objects. In this illumination resides the ideas that make advance every field. To concretize an idea, you must believe it and run the risk.

In history, there are plenty of disastrous ideas. Only with experiments you can find the right way and, as often happens, failures address us towards the right answers or new discoveries. Along a path of thirty years and thanks to the most severe self-criticism on my creations, I have been dealing now with a well-done product ready to be commercialized. I do not want to list faults and lacks other products, since we are aware of the limits that cables have in the market so far. Clearly, the finishing of my connections is not like the industrial ones, the artisanal make, although painstaking, will be never perfect. On the other hand, the respect for the first principles of sturdiness, versatility and, most of all, functionality – like in all hand-made articles – has a higher level that can satisfy the most demanding user. Each creation is a masterwork itself.


Question: What has inspired you? Which is the innovation behind the Liutanie connections?

Borgonzoni: First of all, passion. Everything lies on simplicity, following the cause-effect law. Most of the manufacturers focus themselves on conventional parameters. They just compensate discrepancies, without solving them once and for all. We have many innovations in the Liutanie connections. Aiming to the cancellation of the negative factors –or, at least, to a knocking down close to zero – I have got a remarkable increase in the electrical and acoustical rendering. However, this is only the beginning. I have been working on a detailed text – to issue with the product – illustrating the principles and methods used to create objects, which are a reference as per costs in money and time, as per the results that aim to the absolute quality. We are tired of objects that patch the sound up and then make it worse. We want to manufacture good products – still we will improve them in the future – but, most important, we want to offer to the new audiophiles a “survival manual”, useful to guide them in assembling a suitable system, and to the expert user, eager of information – all the widening he desires.


Question: Usually, in your realizations, you employ gold. It is a less performing conductor than silver or copper in term of resistivity. Why and how do you use it in the Liutanie Audio cables? Do you employ it as a main conducer or as a coating? In the last case, for which reason?

Borgonzoni: I cannot describe in few words a lifetime study on the metals. Each material has its own properties that vary when interact with other, for good or for bad. Even the best conductor cannot get to a perfect balance. You need to deepen the study to understand that is more important the interaction between the materials than their intrinsic properties of conduction. Only thanks to a deep knowledge and using non-conventional techniques, you can avoid the physical limits of the materials. My connections have different kind of parts: some massive, other plated, other active but employed as passive to get an active action and vice versa.

I employ lots of gold in all the metallic levels of the connection, core included. Of course, not solid gold: it is too expensive and can sound very badly. Its use is paramount for the properties that gives to the sound. All the materials inside the Liutanie cables are valuable, for their purity and for the typologies of fusions. We have many: a sort of formula to get an elixir capable of delighting the listening session. For sure, valuable materials weigh on the final price, but if you seek the maximum of the performance, you can appreciate the quality/price rate that marks our product.


Question: Geometries, coating, insulators: what can you tell the readers without revealing the manufacturing features of the Liutanie cables?

Borgonzoni: Well, I do not want to reveal too much. What I can say is that I hate insulators. More than the materials, you have to use them with measure. Same thing for the coating. It is not just a question of aesthetic finishing. I took information from every physical, chemical, mechanical and quantic law. I cannot say anything else - I am sorry - except that each conductor operates in average on different armours depending on the types of connection and each one has a precise purpose. All the connections I make use the same principle but have different geometries and configurations in order to assure the same performances even with signals with different entity, typology and widening. Each material is hand worked. The making is handmade, regardless of expenses for the instruments, the test systems and the materials. I have used several kinds of high-efficiency loudspeakers to decide the qualitative standard of the Liutanie connections so you can use them with every system regardless of the machines and the loudspeakers. You can use horn, dynamic, hybrid, isodynamic or planar systems. The readjustment in the whole spectrum is immediate. The whole system seems to take off and gives back higher performances. Try and see: seeing is believing!


Question: Interconnect power and mains cables. Which are the differences under the technical and manufacturing point of view? In your opinion, which are the main features of each typology?

Borgonzoni: As I said before, since each connection has to carry different signals, although neutral and exalting the acoustical peculiarities – it follows different rules of manufacturing. The sound is a living entity, not just a mere electrical signal. Therefore, you must treat it with respect and care. In manufacturing, each conductor needs an exclusive design and making. The most difficult thing is to apply a unitary principle even if the functional parameters vary. It is easy to sketch a circuit on the paper, harder is making it perform in a specific way or, like in this case, carrying all the necessary.

The great waste of resources depends on the prototyping. Differently from a printed form or a conventional connection, these connections are treated, compressed, conditioned, until they form a unique body, where every armour, in the building phase, becomes integral part of the previous and of the next one. If during a test, something does not work, you cannot disassemble it and everything is lost. To understand what is wrong, you have to dismantle the cable and then throw it away. The definite version has come after twenty different prototypes for every type of connection. In terms of money and times, it has been crazy indeed.



For further info: to Liutanie Audio website

by Giuseppe
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