Review: Kotori Audio Epsilon - Cable Fantasy

Disclaimer

Thank you, Ray, from Kotori Audio, for sending me the Epsilon IEM cable. They were sent to me in exchange for my honest review and opinion. If you’d like to buy the Epsilon, you can Kotori Audio's Official Website.


Introduction

As a hobbyist and enthusiast in audio and music, Ray Tan, founder of Kotori Audio had his fair share of trying out different products, buying them, regretting ever getting some of them, accidentally destroying them... the story is probably the same for all of us.


Observing at the audiophile industry from user's point of view over the years, he feels that more manufacturers are just squeezing out "new" products for business gains and profits, without considering much about the user’s needs and wants, it's all about money.


Hence, he founded the Kotori audio, with the objective and goal of creating products for a purpose - to share the joy of the hobby with others. As such, they offer products that are built from ground up, with performance in mind, while offering variations for differing tastes and requirements.


Epsilon is the latest flagship from Kotori Audio. It is the end product of culmination of Kotori Audio's search for sonic and ergonomic perfection. Through knowledge and experience, the careful material selection has led Epsilon to what Kotori Audio believe is the perfect blend of copper to craft the best possible listening experience.

Technical Specification

  • Kotori-lite Insulation

  • OCC Copper Litz

  • 1.2M cable length

  • 24 AWG, 4-braid

  • Furutech Connectors

  • Premium Kotori Audio Y-Splitter

Unboxing Experience


The packaging of Epsilon is relatively simple - a black cardboard box with the Kotori Audio's logo printed on it. Opening the box, there is a brochure to introduce you the details of Epsilon. Besides that, all the space in the box is reserved for our mighty Epsilon.

Build and Physical Appearance

Soft and supple - this is my first impression towards Epsilon. I talked to Ray before reviewing the Epsilon. He is quite particular on the insulation used on the cable. The first batch of Kotori Audio's model has slightly stiffer external coating. Ray chose that material because it has longer lifespan as compared to other materials in the market. You are not going to experience stickiness on your cable after long. This is why the softness is compromised slightly. On Epsilon, the material used is perfect. It has both durability and suppleness which all audiophiles are looking for.

Besides being soft and supple, Epsilon‘s braiding is neat - it hits the sweet spot between being too tight or loose . This neat braiding contributes partially to the softness and suppleness of the cable.


Epsilon has a premium look, because of the plugs soldered on it. They are from Furutech. Founded in 1988 at Japan, Furutech is definitely one of the best plug you can have on premium cable, like the Epsilon. I did my research on Furutech's website, the plug used on Epsilon is a hybrid plug constructed with rhodium plated alpha hybrid copper and SUS (stainless steel). Based on my understanding on material, it is hard to solder the cable to rhodium. I am pleased that Kotori Audio actually able to solder this flawlessly - the connection is absolutely stable.

Ray designed a premium Kotori Audio Y-splitter for Epsilon. The colour scheme matches well with the Furutech plug mentioned. I believe it is CNC machined cut. There is a chin slider on the cable. I am glad that this chin slider is working perfectly. I have a lot of bad experiences with chin sliders - they are normally too loose and they will start to move down whenever I move. This issue is not present on Epsilon.

Sound Analysis

I will not call the Epsilon a typical Copper cable. It is unique, extraordinary and different from the norm. It refreshes my perspective towards how a copper cable sounds like.

Warm, lush, coloured, affordable, suitable for entry-level users... these are my perspective and memories towards copper cables until I met the Epsilon. It portrays a totally different characteristic to what I remembered. It is neutral, open and transparent. Initially when I received this cable, I am planning to pair it with sub-SGD1000 IEMs. After several hours of auditioning, I decided to push it beyond the barrier of SGD1000, it matches perfectly with my TOTL IEMs.


ItsFitLab Fusion (Triple Hybrid Driver Configuration)

This is my favourite pairing. The Epsilon helps to refine the transparency of this pair of IEMs. Fusion is definitely not the most transparent IEMs I have. There is slight boost in the mid bass, resulting some colouration in the overall presentation. I tried several pure copper cable on the Fusion perviously, they will colour the presentation even more, causing some degradations on the fidelity. Epsilon is on the other side - instead of boosting the colouration, it helps to tighten the mid bass boost. You will still get the mid bass punch, but in a more defined and precise presentation. The cleanliness of the presentation elevated significantly.

Origami Audio Silver (Single Dynamic Driver)

Pairing the Epsilon with Origami Audio Silver, the appearance is definitely eye-catching. The colour scheme of the Furutech plug matches perfectly with pure silver shell of the IEMs. How about the sound? It is as great as how it looks! Origami Audio Silver has a characteristic of focusing more on the mids and treble side. It has great detail retrieval capability. The Epsilon helps to further enhance the separation between notes and transparency on this IEMs. I used to pair the Silver with Ego Audio Gin, which is a pure cable to enjoy the ultimate clarity and transparency. With Epsilon, I get to enjoy the same too, or even better because the bass is prominent as compared to Gin's pairing.

Peak Audio Origin (Single Planar Magnetic Driver)

Planar magnetic driver is very capable in treble, but it might have slight distortions in the decaying part. Peak Audio Origin tends to have this problem too, especially you are cranking up the volume of your DAP to feed it with sufficient power. The Epsilon tends to help smoothening the distortion of Origin, yielding a cleaner and tidier presentation. This observation is found on the Fusion too. Fusion has a magnetostatic driver, which is a hybrid of planar magnetic, dynamic and electrostatic driver. Based on the pairings with these two IEMs, I believe Epsilon will be a great choice for IEMs with electrostatic drivers too, such as JOMO Audio Trinity.

Verdict

After several pairing with different configuration of IEMs, I find that Epsilon is suitable for most of them. It basically improves the performance of a particular pair of IEMs from where it was, without adding any new flavours which do not belong to the IEMs. It is rare to have such transparent copper cable in the market. For those who are after absolute transparency in your current setup, the Kotori Audio Epsilon is definitely a great component to add into your equation.


You can place your order on Kotori Audio's official website. They offer the Epsilon in 4-core and 8-core, with various type of connector and plug. 4-core Epsilon retails at SGD$319.90 while the 8-core Epsilon retails at SGD$519.90.