The Mark Grant Cables HDX1 interconnects - Review 2021

Discover the HDX-1 RCA Interconnect cables by Mark Grant

Back in 2010, I discovered that after ploughing through so many interconnect cables. The art of getting something sounding right together with robust reliability and cost differed considerably.

My main cables of choice for quite some time were by Chord. They were made well and sounded great but a change was in the air. So, I made it my task to find something which would tick all the boxes, but maybe for a more reasonable price tag.

On a recommendation from a member of The Art of Sound forum, the name Mark Grant had been bounced around and got some great comments from a plethora of different users with a wide range of systems. Having this wider user appeal had to be something I needed to try.

Mark Grant HDX-1 interconnect cables

As you know, the great debate over cables can be fraught with argument and counter-argument and, yes... heightened passionate-fueled debate generally ensues. But, for me, I wanted to not be influenced by such discussions, like all my reviews, I wanted to be true to myself and not be pulled into a fruitless diametrically opposed argument.

I was pulled into using Chord cables because of such online discussions. I had not been in the realm of the audiophile before so at the time it felt like I was doing the right thing. Moving to Nordorst and other such brands, it seemed spending lots of money on cables seemed to become futile. To me, yes, each had a different sonic signature, but that became confusing and not what I wanted. To use a cable almost like an equaliser sounded like a crazy thing to do, and for that, the outlay didn't seem worth it.

Mark Grant manufactures his cables with only the best components and even the cable is of his own design.

The original 1000HD cables back then were the entry-level cables Mark made. The G1000HD cables also came with the choice of the much better WBT RCA plugs. At the time MG also make a higher-end silver cable, the Oyaide FTVS-510 fitted again with WBT Ag RCA plugs. 

The Sound:

Whilst I was still accustomed to the signature of the Chord, my initial thoughts of the Mark Grant cables were not as favourable, but giving the MG cables a week in my system, they gradually became something special. After a month of them being in my system, a quick swap over to the Chord cables brought a very stark difference and not for the better. 

With the Chord cables in place, the sound became brittle. The sound stage was still very impressive but the balance was leaning slightly on the shrilly side. On that note, my Chord Cobra 3 and Anthem cables simply had to go.

The G1000HD cables were in place for quite some time until I updated to the G2000HD's which were another step up in quality. The fitment of the WBT plugs brought even more balance and realism.

Fast forward to 2016, Mark introduced the HDX1 cables. The cable looks exactly the same as it ever did but with a slightly darker translucent jacket. The quality of the construction, however, remains excellent and not only that but the design had been tweaked and sported a new plug design, painstakingly chosen to match the cable perfectly.

The HDX1 cable is something really special. A step up in performance and ruggedness. The construction of the HDX1 consists of a solid pure copper core bound by two layers of pure copper screening and encased in a semi-translucent jacket. The cables feel tough and substantial and the rounded plugs create a secure grip and are very nice to use. The clamping pressure they place on general RCA sockets is neither too much nor too little.

The great thing is that you can order this cable fitted with WBT plugs, something which I'd like to update this review with at a later date.

Although the cable is still quite stiff, it's flexible enough to route to components and doesn't cause any undue angled pressure on sockets. One nice thing I have found with MG cables is that once they've been in place for a few days, they relax enough and mould themselves into shape. And of course, once you have them in place, they seldom move anyway.

I found that these cables do need a bit of time to burn in, probably a minimum of about 48 hours. But they also need to settle in. Just by leaving the cables in place for approx 72 hrs, I find this to be the case with most cables but once the HDX1s have had time to bed in, the sound becomes more relaxed.

So what does the HDX1 bring over other MG cables and what kind of signature would you expect?

Well, the signature of any cable has to be as neutral as possible as no cable is entirely signature-free. Just as we don't like equipment to reproduce a false portrayal of the sound, we don't like cables that over-blow the frequency range nor do we want crushed dynamics. The original G1000HD cables had a relaxed/loose character which brought a certain charm and was accurate enough in my system. And for the time, around 2010, it was very difficult to fault them. 

The HDX1 cables, however, bring things bang up to date. They give more depth and breadth yet still have that reminiscent charm of the original cables, a slight warmth still holds true but they also bring energy and an interlocking synergy to the sound. No part of the frequency range seems to be off-kilter or over-bearing, not enough to warrant negative comments, especially in this price range.

The bass is full, solid and stays solid, and the mids take a life of their own, pronouncing a cohesive space with the high frequencies. Altogether a very balanced, dynamic and realistic sound.

I've used these cables in all aspects of the Tannoyista system using valve and transistorised equipment and they have never failed me. And so with that, I can totally recommend the HDX1 cables for a user with a very high-end to medium-end system and who enjoys a no-nonsense natural sound.

Highly recommended.


Mark Grant Cables

Phone: 01482 887717


Mark Grant Cables
Link to the HDX1 cables


£58 for a 1m stereo pair

These can also be ordered with the excellent WBT plugs.