Synergistic Research’s Foundation Series cables uses 6N purity pure silver conductors using Synergistic’s own handmade Air String geometry with the company’s UEF (Uniform Energy Field) Matrix shielding. This last is pulled from the more up-scale Atmosphere X cables, placing UEF technology in a grid pattern inside the cable and with a graphene sleeve extending around the connector itself. The RCA cables feature four of these Air String conductors per channel, while XLRs use six per channel, woven in an air dielectric, all wrapped in a tight braided jacket. The loudspeaker cables look almost identical to the interconnects, use identical materials, techniques and jacketing. They even physically separate the positive and negative, with two distinct conductors for each speaker terminal connection… but they are thin and flexible enough to be unobtrusive, and they come in a choice of black or white too.
Foundation Series comprises loudspeaker cables, interconnects, phono cables and headphone cables, but Synergistic Research has that name for a reason – synergy. So, we went with an entire system’s worth of cables, including UEF Blue Series power cords from the range below Foundation and digital cables from the Atmosphere X Series above the Foundation line. These dovetail perfectly with the Foundation Series cables and should be considered as part of the full cable system but will be the subject of a later test.
Consistency and detail are uppermost with Synergistic’s Foundation cables. They are remarkably revealing, both of equipment, but in particular of the music played through that equipment. Consistency in this case means both cables perform equally well and deliver a well-balanced sound that is coherent and precise from the lowest notes to the highest. A good vocal is projected – but not ‘pushed’ – into the room and neatly delineated from the rest of the band, with a coherence, stage presence, and microdynamic precision that makes the band sound like a band, not simply a collection of musicians vaguely playing together and never once falling foul of the ‘audiophile disease’ of making a huge soundstage at the expense of the cohesiveness of musicians in that mix. The sheer amount of detail the Foundations produce does mean thin and compressed-sounding pop can sound, frankly, bloody awful… but in fairness, revealing more of what goes on in the studio sometimes reveals more bad than good. Just be prepared to re-evaluate those tracks you thought ‘good’; the trick of using Shure SM57 microphones on drums to give a ‘live’ feel comes across as more ‘trick’ than ‘benefit’ here.
Foundation has the added bonus that for more attainably priced systems, it covers its tracks well and could stay in a system for the long haul; in fact, it’s only when you insert them in a monumentally high-end wide bandwidth system do you begin to crave even more detail and extension… which points you further up the Synergistic range. And best of all, it makes systems sound coherent and entertaining and both of those qualities seem to evaporate at Synergistic’s removal.
Synergistic Research has taken the technologies used in its top cables and trickled down to an affordable level without sacrifice. Foundation is an excellent, er, bedrock in audio that can make a potentially good system into a really great one.
Price and Contact details
Synergistic Research Foundation interconnect cables: $599 1m RCA (as tested)
Synergistic Research Foundation loudspeaker cables: $648 8’ spade lugs (as tested)
Manufacturer: Synergistic Research
UK Distributor: Electromod
Tel: +44(0)1494 956558
Read Next From ReviewSee all
Rogers LS3/5A SE stand-mount loudspeakers
The LS3/5A is an iconic design. Change it at your peril. Rogers is a classic maker of LS3/5A loudspeakers, and they just modified the LS3/5A. The LS3/5A SE replaces the front baffle of the loudspeaker with a new material and improves the sound. Will there be pitchforks and torches ready to burn the heretics, or does it make a good speaker better, asks Alan Sircom.
- Alan Sircom
- Nov 2021
Line Magnetic LM-512 CA preamp/LM-845 Premium integrated/power amp
Line Magnetic has captured the hearts of many audiophiles with its high performance valve/tube amplifiers at extremely keen prices. But are they really a great deal? Jason Kennedy thinks so.
- Jason Kennedy
- Nov 2021
Børresen Acoustics 01 Silver Supreme Edition stand‑mount loudspeaker
In a world where loudspeakers are boring, in a time where people are held captive at home. One man, a renegade speaker designer, can change everything. Now. More. Than. Ever… Børresen: Rise of the Silver Supreme
- Alan Sircom
- Nov 2021