I first heard and wrote a review about the Ridge Street Audio Midnight Silver Edition (MSE) Interconnects and Speaker Cables in May of 2003. This was followed up by a review of the MSE Gen. II Interconnects in August 2003, the MSE Gen. II Speaker Cables in October 2003, the MSE Gen. II Digital Link in December 2003 and the Ridge Street Audio Poiema Speaker Cable in February 2004. Since that time, Robert C. Schult, proprietor/designer, has developed what he considers his most revealing interconnect and speaker cable named Poiema. I have had two pair of the Poiema interconnects in my system for more than two weeks and have been extremely impressed!
I thought the MSE Gen. II interconnects sounded fantastic, I tried to imagine how Robert could improve the sound. Technically speaking, I have no idea what Robert did. However, I can definitely hear what I would call a 10% - 15% improvement in my tube and SS systems when using the Poiema interconnects.
The improvement I heard while using the Poiema interconnects was in the following areas:
1) After carefully listening to my dozen or so audition CDs and a few LPs, I was amazed at the improvement within my system. I noted more bass definition (which was crisper with more focus), additional 3-D imaging left to right as well as front to back, and additional extension and detail as if I was at a live performance.
2) Quieter background, which allows one to hear deeper into the recording. This allows greater details to become more obvious. I noticed richer-sounding and more articulate treble, mids, and astounding bass that I never heard that clearly before.
3) The music sounds even more lifelike, as if I was sitting in the same room with a live presentation. Just as the MSE Gen. II interconnects and speaker cables are extremely smooth, fast, neutral, transparent, and allow one to hear deep within the music and convey the force, speed and robustness of a live performance, the Poiema speaker cables and interconnects do so to a greater extent.
The Poiema interconnects are very well engineered and constructed. They are attractive to look at and are very flexible and lightweight. In addition, they have very easy-to-read, yet non-intrusive, directional arrows and are clearly marked Poiema.
I have owned the interconnects listed below under "Similar products" over the past years and enjoyed them all. Each purchase was made as an upgrade in improved sound to my ears. Obviously, I prefer the sound of the Poiema. The Poiema interconnect are a significant improvement in every area. However, for practical purposes, here are some specific examples:
The Poiema provide a more natural presentation of the higher octaves and timbre as well as clearer details than the Audience Au24, more articulate mids and larger sound stage than the Pure Note Epsilon Reference (I have not heard the most recent Pure Notes interconnect), and better-defined bass and imaging ability than the Cardas Golden Reference. In all case scenarios the entire musical presentation is more "lifelike."
In my opinion, the Poiema will sound great in a good system, but they are not designed to be a coloring device to change the sound of an inferior-sounding system.
In conclusion, I realize that audiophile componentry is system dependent, and what sounds good in one system doesn't always work well in another. In this case, the Poiema interconnects sounded excellent in my tube and solid-state systems, and I highly recommend you give it a try if you're in the market for a new interconnect. I don't think one could lose with a 30-day money-back return policy.
Click to view my Virtual System
Cardas Golden Reference IC s and SC.
Maple Shade Clearview IC s
Silver Audio Appassionata IC's and Silver Symphony 48 SC.
Bear Lab Silver Lighting IC and SC.
Granite Audio # 470 IC
Audience Au24 IC and SC
HMS Topline IC and SC (not the brand new ones they came out with recently).
Pure Note Epsilon Reference IC s and S/C.
Midnight Silver Edition Gen. I Interconnects and S/C
Midnight Silver Edition Gen. II Interconnects and S/C
by Lak on 04-29-04