Neotech NEP-3200 (DIY)
- Price: $59.00/ft
- Conductor: 16 x 17 AWG Solid-Core UPOCC copper
- Gauge: 9 AWG
If you want high-performance without the high price tag, DIY-ing your own cables is a great way to go. If the Furutech DPS-4 is out of your budget, the Neotech NEP-3200 may be a perfect alternative.
Neotech is best known for manufacturing Ultra-Pure Ohno Continuous Cast (UP-OCC) copper and silver conductors.
I had very specific criteria for the DIY power wire. It had to be solid core and UPOCC copper. Reason being, solid-core power cables tend to sound more gutsy and unimpeded while UPOCC copper typically has a more natural tonal quality.
The Neotech NEP-3200 is a 9AWG UP-OCC (ohno continuous cast) Copper AC power cable, that uses 16 solid copper wires that are each 17 AWG. Each of these solid core wires is individually insulated with FEP (fluoropolymer) insulation. Each wire is woven around a fiber-filled PVC core to maintain structural integrity, and minimize conductor movement.
Depending on the connectors you use, this cable could be built relatively cheap. Total cost for 4-feet of wire with Furutech FI-28(G) connectors on both ends was about $450 USD. All of which could be purchased at VH Audio. As far as connectors, I think the Furutech FI-50(R) NCF may be able to bring out more of the highs. If I had to do it over, I would use these – but it would no longer be budget-friendly.
It’s worth mentioning: this cable is the most inflexible power cable I’ve had the pleasure of building. You’ll probably need to move some equipment around or get a longer length. You don’t want to risk fracturing the cable – which could be very dangerous (starts a fire).
Secondly, it’s not the easiest to DIY due to the stiffness of the 16 solid-core wires. Prepare to use some elbow grease.
This cable at first sounded pretty bright. It was thin and a bit rough in the midrange. A sound I completely didn’t expect. Luckily, after ~300-ish hours – it settled into its “true form.” If you don’t believe in break-in, try building this cable.
There’s something really special about how this cable molds the music into 3D objects. Not just from a density perspective, but one of smoothness and tone. The scale, gravity, and muscle this cable imparts are simply unmatched. It grips but has an ease in the way it delivers music. It’s also surprisingly quiet and focused. There’s not a lot of bleeding, bloom, or blurring.
What’s the catch? Treble. Cymbal crashes are heavier and give off a duller shine. Also, the inner details and textural cues of voices are somewhat masked. In other words, the sound is more homogenized with more opaque skin over everything. It just solidifies everything with not a lot of air. As mentioned, using the Furutech FI-50 NCF(R) connectors may help balance this out – but I haven’t tried that yet.
Regardless, the Neotech NEP-3200 sounds superb on amplifiers and active subwoofers. Especially since a lot of HiFi gear tends to tilt towards resolution and transparency. As a DIY project, this cable is very rewarding. And I believe most audiophiles will find a place for this cable somewhere in their stereo.
- Quieter than the Acrolink 7N-P4030II
|Who should buy this cable?|
|The NEP-3200 is perfect if you’re looking for a more dimensionally tangible and molded sound. It sounds like more physical bodies and instruments in front of you. It’s dense, heavy, palpable, and so damn physical. In addition, it’s buttery smooth with no grain or sharpness whatsoever. |
Consequently, it’s also a great cable if you want give the lower midrange and below more fill and body. This especially applies to the mid-bass region.
|Tonally darker than natural. It misses out on a little bit of that “golden glaze.” You won’t get colorful gradations of more resolving cables. This includes lower-level nuances, textures, and details in recordings. They’re more clumped together.|
The top end is also rolled off – there isn’t a lot of sparkle or air. In short, there’s a thicker coat on everything. Which isn’t a bad thing if that’s what will give your stereo synergy.
Not flexible at all. You may need to move things around.
|Full-bodied, sweet, romantic, and dense. Punchy.|