TACables Amber Review: Adapters No More

  • Modular plug design
  • Excellent build quality
  • Doesn't change the sound signature that much

  • None

TACables is a new budget cable maker from China. They are actually a sister company of Hakugei, which is also a cable maker from the same country that focuses on more expensive cables. They launched their debut product, the Obsidian, last year. Later the same year, they launched their second product, the Amber which is a bit more expensive but with more premium materials and especially having the modular plug design. The Amber currently retails for 59 USD, and was provided to me for free by TACables in exchange for this review

Wire Structure: single strand base 25 AWG 63 cores, 30% gold-plated 6N OCC, 30% litz silver-plated 6N OCC, 40% litz 6N OCC
Connector options: 0.78 mm 2 pin, MMCX
Plug options: 3.5 mm/2.5 mm/4.4 mm
Length: about 120 cm

Poco X3 paired with FiiO KA3, iBasso DC03, Shanling UA1, Tempotec Sonata E35 and Zishan U1

The Amber was paired with the following IEMs:
Ambient Dynamics Lyndale
Kotori Audio Dauntless
TinHiFi T3 Plus
BQEYZ Autumn
TForce Yuan Li
Moondrop Kanas Pro
Shozy Hibiki
Kinera Seed
CCZ Coffee Bean

Test tracks:
Africano - Earth Wind and Fire
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gurenge - Lisa
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Monsters - All Time Low
Ours - Taylor Swift
Stay - Mayday Parade
Snuff - Slipknot
Yesterday Once More - Carpenters
So Slow - Freestyle
Aurora Sunrise - Franco
Attention - Pentatonix
Blue Bird - Ikimono-gakari
You're Still The One - Shania Twain
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is(Will Understand) - Irma Thomas
Salamin - Slapshock
AOV - Slipknot
Hey Jude - The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
...and a lot more.

Unboxing and Accessories:
The sample of the Amber that I received did not come with the retail package. Instead, it came in a plain, brown cardboard box with a foam inside. The 4.4 mm balanced plug were already inserted, while the 2.5 mm and 3.5 mm plugs are contained in a resealable plastic pouch.
The Amber is an 8 core braided cable. Each wire has a thickness of 25 AWG and is a mixture of 30% gold-plated 6N OCC, 30% litz silver-plated 6N OCC, and 40% litz 6N OCC. Basically, the Amber contains gold, silver, and high purity copper in each strand. The Amber feels really solid, with each strand being thicker than average. It is a bit heavy and slightly stiff but not to the point where it causes discomfort while in use. Microphonics is present but very minimal. The insulation material they used was not specified, but it feels exactly the same as the Obsidian, so I assumed it is still DuPont PVC. The male connectors are made of plastic, while the splitter, chin slider, and the plug are all made of metal.
The modular plugs has a 4 pin type of connector with a notch to ensure correct inserting orientation.
Now let's get to the sound.

Just a quick disclaimer. Not everyone can hear any sound difference with different cables, luckily I'm one of the people who can. This review is not meant to spark another endless debate about cables, rather just to share my experiences with it, especially with the sound. 

The following effects are not observed across all IEMs, but rather the general effect it presented through all of them compared to the stock cable:

The Amber slightly reduced the quantity of rumble in the subbass, but retained the depth and the length of the decay. Meanwhile, there is a very, very small increase in the forwardness and thickness of the midbass.

The mids had minuscule changes that was quite hard to notice on some IEMs. But the upper mids had a small boost, adding liveliness to the vocals and air to the instruments.

Same as the mids, the highs had very tiny changes. The lower treble basically stayed the same but the upper treble received some improvements in its reach.

TACables did an excellent job with their first product, the Obsidian, that gives you a glimpse of how a premium cable looks and feels like without breaking the bank. And with the Amber, TACables has done it again. The Amber still has that excellent build quality that the Obsidian was known for, but this time, it gives an overall balanced sonic performance that minimally impacts the identity and signature of the gears that are paired with it. And with its modular design, it simply adds more to the Amber's already superb value.

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