Audioquest VDM-3 review

High-end results from a mid-priced cable

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

Upgrading your DAC cables can be highly cost effective. This one is excellent value with gains that are clearly audible


  • Very good results

    Great value

A digital cable seems like the simplest thing in the world - the requirements are just the same as a TV aerial cable (priced about 15p per metre last time we looked) and digits are digits.

Except, of course, for jitter, induced noise modulation and all sorts of other side effects that, between them, make the job of a digital interconnect at least as demanding as that of an analogue one.

Audioquest make a startling array of cables to suit each and every purpose and the VDM-3 falls somewhere in the middle of its digital connector range. Beautifully finished in braid, with phono plugs wrapped in a fetching shade of dark red, it certainly looks the part.

And this beauty, Audioquest assures us, goes more than skin-deep, with construction suited to high-end ambitions. Each cable features a thickly silver-plated copper core, polythene foam insulation and silver-plated copper braid and conductive plastic screen. The phono plugs are silver-plated, too, which all goes to make up a high-spec digital coaxial cable.

The very best DACs are considerably less critical of digital interconnect quality than not so exalted models, and this cable made little, if any, difference when feeding a dCS Elgar.

With more realistically-priced DACs we tried, though, it had one of the most pronounced effects of any sensibly-priced digital cable we can recall, cleaning up the overall sound and seeming to reduce grain markedly.

While there's no tonal change in the sound, the reduction in grain makes subtle treble clearer and sweeter, while the bass also seems to gain some extension. In short, this fine cable is well worth the expense.