It’s immediately apparent that Galen & Company are onto something special with their Iconoclast cables. Within a few minutes of listening – we knew this cable meant business.

The first word that pops into our heads is “musical.” The second word “natural.” Third, “captivating.” Fourth? “Reference.” This is especially the case with the Iconoclast Series 2 UP-OCC interconnects.

After running through a playlist of heavy metal, hip-hop, folk, pop, electronic, and classical – one thing was very clear. Each recording sounded believable. The tonality and weighted presence of instruments and voices are incredibly accurate. Providing a very tangible sense of recording space – and most importantly, the artistic intent.

It manages to do this without compromising soundstage, air, and depth. In fact, it never sounds contrived, artificially sized, or spectrally stretched. Resonances have a realistic length of decay and performers had a textural essence we don’t hear from many cables (and we’ve heard a lot). In short, these cables sound unimpeded and true to life.

Sometimes, components manage to wow you initially; but over time certain weaknesses reveal themselves. That was not the case with the Iconoclast cables. They impart something so organic and homey – you wouldn’t want to change a damned thing.

In Puss N Boots’ cover of Neil Young’s Down By The River, you can’t help but be drawn in by Norah Jones’ vocals. The full-bodied and transparent character of the Iconoclast cables highlights the seductive nature of her voice. Tone and dynamics are spot-on as Norah rifts away with her electric guitar midway into the song. Finally, natural separation can be heard as all three ladies kick back into the chorus towards the tail end of the song. The level of coherence given by these cables is astounding.

Piano notes are melodic with proper legato in Bad Company’s Ready For Love. There’s a palpable sense of the skin thickness when the drums kick in. Cymbals have naturalistic bling with a good balance of weight and air. Paul Rodgers voice is so well contoured and nuanced. You could hear his exertion and feel his synergy with the rest of the band. The presentation while neutralish-warm does lean slightly forward. This character lends well to both studio-based and live recordings.

An old favorite – Foo Fighter’s Everlong. Written after Dave Grohl’s divorce from his first marriage. This track gets busy pretty quick – and gets lost in a lesser system. It’s amazing how the tonal and dynamic structures are layered so dimensionally. From the ongoing electric guitars to the rapid firing of drumsticks, every piece has its own color and physical energy.

The acoustic version of this track demonstrated tactility and weight within the delicacy of strings and voices. You could just imagine the wrist and finger movements on the acoustic guitar. I’ve heard this track thousands of times – but never with this level of lifelike articulation. Considering this isn’t an “audiophile” recording, the Iconoclast removes the rust and allows you to rediscover old gems.