Best Buy, Five Star Award: van den Hul The WAVE.

Verdict: Admirable neutrality and detail: a hint of upper-bass richness seems to do no harm and images are a little further back than other cables here.

The magazine’s comments: With one of vdH’s less bizarre names, but a truly distinctive colour to its jacket, The Wave is a new model from the company’s confusingly vast range. It uses silver-plated copper conductors (the more upmarket ones use carbon strands), polythene insulation, coaxial construction and a ‘Hulliflex’ jacket.

Apparently the green colour signifies the 25th anniversary of vdH’s green mission to make cables that do not harm the environment. The central conductor is a generous 0.9mm diameter and the internal dimensions are such that the cable is also suited to video duty and indeed digital audio interconnection. It’s a little thicker and less flexible than the other cables in this Round-up, but still perfectly practical and it is fitted with very nice collet-clamp phono plugs which, in principle, give better termination to coaxial wire than the usual types.

Despite the differences in construction, we found this cable fairly similar to the Kimber, with a full-bodied and clearly defined sound across the registers. It has a very slightly fuller upper bass, which may tickle some tastes, but this does not seem to have any adverse effect on rhythm, which is lively and precise.

Treble is cleanly extended and once again there is a lovely natural quality to the way delicate high-frequency sounds decay into ambience (given good recordings!). Imaging is very good, with perhaps a slightly longer perspective in the depth direction. That’s something we’ve noticed once or twice before with vdH cables and we regard it more as a matter of taste than absolute right or wrong. Another highly capable and compatible interconnect.