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Foundation SX Series Cables

Build your system on a solid foundation.

Atmosphere acoustic field generator

Supercharge your cables.

Imagine listening to Charlie Parker at Birdland, then walk into Carnegie Hall to be seated at the best place in the house. This is can all be possible in your listening room by adding Atmosphere. No other product allows you to tailor the size and depth of your soundstage with stunning realism to accurately match the type of music you are listening to. Atmosphere is a multi-wave RF generator that has the ability to change your listening environment. Simply place it your room, turn it on, and let yourself be amazed.

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Carbon Performance Elevators

Elevate your system.

UEF Carbon Elevators lift your cables from the floor as they uplift fundamental aspects of system performance, including low-frequency weight and control, mid-range clarity, and high-frequency extension. Perhaps most dramatic is the effect on your system’s ability to portray soundstage scale with improvements in front to back, side to side, and verticle image placement, all with a greater sense of the sound field wrapping around your listening position. Our first cable elevators were made from aluminum after extensive double-blind listening tests, where aluminum exhibited superior sound quality compared to materials like plexiglass, wood, and ceramic. The one material we did not test was Carbon Fiber due to its difficulty to cut and fabricate. Fast forward two years, and we have perfected the use of carbon fiber in SR products, including our state-of-the-art SRX cable loom, Galileo Active Ground Block, Active Ethernet Switch, and MiG SX footers. So we built a set of carbon fiber elevators and compared them to our Aluminum cable risers. We found the same improvements as all SR products using carbon fiber, namely, increased resolution, inner detail, and clarity. The included HFT’s (Red Dot visible in photographs) use a new UEF compound first developed for SRX speaker cables and Purple fuses enteract with your cables EM fields for life like soundstage scale with enhanced dynamics and high-frequency extension. Of course, cable elevators are a controversial upgrade for many, so we make it easy to try a set in your system risk-free. Audition in your system, and if you disagree, return them to your dealer for a full refund.

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Review

50 Greatest Bargains in High-End Audio

"Jonathan Valin wasn't expecting much- and certainly not this much-from Synergistic Research's immensely pliable, bargain-basement Foundation Series interconnects and cables, which are far slimmer, lighter, and less sophisticated in design than their rich relatives, the superb Galileo SXes. But, trust him, sonically the Foundations come way closer than shouting distance to the Galileos.  Indeed, these two SR lines have a great deal in common-rich vibrant tone color, robust dynamics, spacious staging, lifelike imaging, high resolution.  Oh, the more sophisticated Galileos are less bottom-up in balance, more finely detailed, and harder-hitting than foundation: then again, they ought to be-the cost ten-to-twenty times the dough.  Put plainly, the Foundation Series is the best budget-priced wire Jonathan Valin has hear-and one of his references. (forthcoming)" 

The Absolute Sound, 2020 Buyer's Guide

 

Review

Synergistic Research is clearly on the cutting edge with their flagship Galileo line and new SRX power cable. The new Foundation Series cables are ample evidence of trickle down technology designed to capture new customers at price points where a lot of audiophiles call home. Dressing my gear with a complete loom from sources to speakers produced a consistency of sound among the different sources and easily revealed the differences when other components were swapped into the rig.

 I was skeptical that the Foundation cables would make such an improvement in my system, yet they have replaced cables that cost far more and taken my music far higher. Combined with a handful of their fabulous Orange Fuses, a $2000 to $3000 investment toward Synergistic Research's Foundation cables has taken my mid-five-figure rig well into six-figure territory. That's real value and an admirable feat!

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Rick Becker - Enjoy The Music - January 2020

 

Review

"Clearly, you are getting a fairer taste of Synergistic technology and build-quality than you might’ve expected in the affordable Foundations.  But it isn’t the relatively sophisticate way they’re made, but how they reproduce recorded music that comes as the true surprise."

 

Full Review>

Though my current set of Crystal cable Ultimate Dream wires from Gabi and Edwin Rijnveld of Crystal Cable and Siltech is undoubtedly the best (the most vividly and accurately colored, powerful, quick, detailed, three-dimensional, just plain lifelike) stuff I’ve had in my system in better than forty-five years of cable-swapping, its incredibly lofty price tag brings into painful focus a problem I’ve had with “gourmet” cables from the get -go.  You see, that “loom” (in the parlance of our time) of Ultimate Dream costs as much as my reference MBL 101 X-tremes, the MBL electronics that drive them, and the MSB DAC, the Walker and Clearaudio turntables, and the United Home Audio reel-to-reel tape deck that feed those electronics put together! You’d not only have to be stupid rich; you’d also have to be clinically insane---or an audiophile, which, I guess, amounts to the same thing-to buy it. (And the funny part is that the Ultimate Dreams don’t even come close to the sticker shock of the most expensive cable and ICs out there.)

                Over the years, the exorbitant cost of high-end cable has troubled me that I used to regularly swap out whatever goodie I was currently listening to for old-fashioned zip cords of various twists and gauges, just o make sure that I was hearing what I thought I was hearing---and not falling for the price tag.  Of course, the losses of bandwith, resolution, transient speed and definition, density of the tone color, and lifelike dimensionality, solidity, and presence were always and inevitably the same.  Which is why, after a decade or so, I stopped AB’ing and just accepted the fact that (to a greater or lesser degree) when it comes to wire you get what you like and what you pay for.  My only proviso when it came to cable-swapping was this: If I found something I enjoyed, I stuck with it rather than moving on (as I have so often done with other kinds of components)to the next “best” (and inevitably more expensive” thing.  After all, as my dear departed friend Ray Andrews used to say: “How good does ice cream get?”

                Which brings me to the product under review, Synergistic Research’s new budget line of cables and interconnects, the Foundation Series.  At $599 for a one-meter pair of interconnects and $649 for an eight foot pair of speaker cable, the Foundations are indeed reasonably priced.  They are also downright plain-looking. Unlike Synergistic’s expensive offerings, they have no in-line filters, no ground wires with associated outboard active grounding stations, no tuning modules with gold and silver “bullet” attachments.  No fat, hefty, gough like twists of wire, either. In their simple black or white coverings, the Goundation look almost anorexically thin, light, and basic, through their looks belie the relative sophistication of what’s inside their plain-Jane wrappers.

                Each Foundation RCA interconnect has four (six for the XLRs) 99.9999% pure monocrystal silver conductors in an air deliectric with a braided-silver, “Quantum-tunneled” shield.  The connectors (silver Teflon SR 20 RCA or Neutrik (NC-3MX-BAG XLR) are coated with graphene to lower noise and are silver-soldered to the conductors by hand.  The speaker cable has foru 99.9999% pure monocrystal silver plus four 99.95% pure “ high-current” copper conductors in an air dielectric with braided-silver, “Quantum-tunneled” shielding.  Once again, the terminations (SR BoFa Banana and SR Silver Spade connectors” are silver-soldered to the conductors by hand.  Both the ICs and the cables are said to be burned-in at the factory for five days, in a two-step process. 

Clearly, you are getting a fairer taste of Synergistic technology and build-quality than you might’ve expected in the affordable Foundations.  But it isn’t the relatively sophisticate way they’re made, but how they reproduce recorded music that comes as the true surprise.

                It’s been my experience with high-end-audio components that they often (though by no means invariably) sound the way they look.  So something that appears to be markedly thin, light and basic-as the Foundations certainly do-tends to sound thin, light and basic.  Though these Synergistics done completely overturn this paradigm-sonically, they are certainly thinner, lighter, and less complexly and fully detailed than the 65-times-as-expensive Crystal Cables (or than Synergistic’s own 27-times-as-expensive Galileos)-they are nothing like the tissue-paper cutouts that I’ve come to expect from budget wires.  Indeed, and in spite of some clear losses in focus an at the frequency extremes, they sound more like Synergistic’s high-priced offerings (Galileo has been one of my references for almost a decade) than anyone could reasonably expect.

                Take, for instance, a recording I’ve been listening to a lot lately-guitarist/vocalist Hans Theessink’s 2011 LP Jadermann Remixed-The Soundtrack, on the Austrian Blue Groove label.  As I said in my Clearaudio Master innovation review (TAS 301), this is a record that will sound more or less great on just about any bonafide high-end system.  The tricky par-and the entire raison d’etre of The Absolute Sound-is the “more or less.”

                Theessink’s mainly acoustic blues and gospel numbers are, as I noted in Issue 301, lit up like a musical Christmas tree with marvelous instrucmental ornaments-from the thrilling bottleneck glissandos of slide guitar to the coffeepot burble of the Hammond organ vamps-but the centerpiece is Theessink’s Johnny Cash-like baritone (backed up by the vocals of Terry Evans and Bobby King).  Via my reference Brystal Cable Ultimate Dreams, Theessink’s voice is smooth, dark, and husky with deep throat and chest tones, wonderfully focused (without any sense of edge enhancements or redction of natural size), and shockingly three-dimensional and realistic-as are the accompanying voices, guitars, and other instrucments, which have the speek, color, and transient detail of life.

                With everything else remaining the same, the Synergistic Foundations reatian a surprising amount of this same sonic realism on voices and guitars, etc.  However, timbre, through quite plausibly lifelike, is not as rich, dark, and vibrant, and images (both at centerstage and at the sides) are not as well-defined as they are via Ultimate Dream.  It’s as if (as is probably the case) a small blur of noise has crept into the presentation, slightly (and I mean slightly) de-focusing images, softening transients, bleaching timbre, damplening down the high-end air that makes studio ambience so audible with the Ultimates, and introducing a bit (though not a particularly annoying bit) of shoutiness on fortes and gortissimos, particularly at very high volume levels.

                Still and all, the noise that is being added by the Foundations does not keep Theessink from sounding like himself.  (Indeed, one could argue that the Foundation is slightly more neutral in midrange balance, albeit less detailed and extended at the frequency extremes, than the much richer, darker, quieter Ultimate.) Nor does the Foundation’s mild de-focusing of images and slight shoutiness on fortes keep Theessink’s voice (and the accompaniment and backup vocals) from sounding “there.”  Yes, vocal and instrumental are a bit outsized, desaturated in color, thinner in substance, and less well-controlled on hard transients, but they haven’t lost their inherent character and with it their tast of realism=as has so often been the case with budget wire in the past.

                What is true of the Theessink recording is true across the board.

Now, I have to remind you that the comparison I’ve been making-between Synergistic Foundation and Crystal Cable Ultimate Dream-amounts to a difference in dollars that would allow you to buy the rest of the system I’m currently using, with money left over. Is Crystal Cable’s Ultimate worth that much dough-and is Synergistic’s Goundation that much lower in fidelity?  To those questions, I’d have to answer:”Yes” and “No” If I could afford Ultimate Dream, I would but it, but then I’m crazy.  If I weren’t crazy, I could happily live with the Foundation with give you approximately 35%-40% of what the Ultimate Dreams offer, for sixty-five times less dough!  If that isn’t a bargain, I don’t know what is.  One of the highest-fidelity budge wires I’ve hear, Foundation obviously comes enthusiastically recommended.

Jonathan Valin - The Absolute Sound - April 2020

Review

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. 

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Alan Sircom - HiFi+ -  July 2020

Review

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. 

Read full review>

Alan Sircom - HiFi+ -  July 2020

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