Amadi Cables "Maddie Signature"
I just wanted to provide a little feedback to any who may be in the search for new interconnects.
Like many others out there, you find yourself wondering if you can improve your system and if so how much and more importantly how much. I had started my search on here and had used my at the time current IC which were the Darwin Ascension and Silver (first gen), Zen Wave Audio D2 and my Pure Note Paragon to see what others had to say and what they had upgraded to.
Numerous times I had found owners of the above cables who had mentioned the Amadi Cables and how reasonably priced they were and they performed way above their price point. Well I had sent an email explaining my system to Philip and within hours he responded. Not only did he respond but after reviewing my system he gave me a call and asked a few other details and sent off four pair for me to try, yes four pair.
Before I get into the sound of each I would like to give you a brief overview of my system so you can have a baseline of system components. Avid TT with SME V tonearm running a Dynavector XX-2 cart. This is run into my Zesto Andros Phono stage, Metrum Octave DAC, Conrad Johnson Premier 16 LSII pre, Coda 15.5 amp, Legacy Focus SE speakers, Running Springs Haley and Duke power conditioning. The speaker cables are Acoustic Zen Satori Shotgun. Tidal was used 70% of the time which was ran on my laptop and fed through my John Kenny SPDIF and then into my DAC. The other 30% was vinyl. All cables were initially tested between my DAC and pre. My baseline was my preferred cable, the Darwin Ascension as I found it to be the most neutral, transparent and non fatiguing of my cables.
After 3 weeks and numerous late nights of switching cables over and over here is my findings.
OK, first up was the Phil Reference. These were very similar to my Darwin Ascensions which I find for silver cables to let the information through with no color and no bite that we find at times with silver IC's. Build quality was a plus to the Phil Ref as the Darwins are a little more fragile. If I did not own my Darwins I could surely live with the Phil Ref.
Next up was the Maddie Signature with rhodium connectors. Once again the build quality was superb. Now these were letting more information through. Great PRAT, spatial, sound stage seemed to open a little. However these were a little bright for me. Just a note here, after 22 years of serving my country flying helicopters I do have a slight hearing loss that has caused me to be sensitive to upper frequencies. Also my speakers have ribbon tweeters which if not matched well with my system (hence tube pre) can surely press me to the point of not enjoying the music. So even though I really was enjoying what these were doing they just were on the verge of to bright for me. The person that needs to brighten there system, well these would be the way to go.
Now time for the Maddie Signature with gold connectors. Right away these were what I was looking for. Just like the previous pair these were letting more information through then I have ever heard in my system. The sound stage was larger, both male and female voice were excellent. I really enjoyed them with more complex passages that makes you really dig-in to notice all the detail of each instrument, stroke of the strings, breath of the singer etc. Playing sax the majority of my life I can really appreciate when you hear the bite of the reed on the mouthpiece and these IC's do. The other thing I noticed is they are quick. I kept noticing what I call the leading edge of the notes to be more pronounced or some may say the attack of the note was improved.
Last up was the Barb Masters. I was really looking forward to trying these do to the fact when we first had discussed cables Philip really thought these would be the winning ticket for me based upon my system. I really like the build on these also, non locking mechanism but really did connect well. Overall they were close to the Maddie Signature (gold connectors) but were just lacking a little bit of the PRAT that I had so enjoyed with the Maddie's. Now I had switched between both sets numerous times and always compared my 3 primary tracks before moving on to other songs. Still the Maddie Signature was the winner but only by the smallest of margins. I did try the two between my pre and amp and here I could not discern one being better than the other.
Lots of nights listening and noting the differences and something I do not want to do for a long period again. But I am totally thrilled to now own the Amadi Maddie Signature and will have two more sets sent to me here real soon.
Once again, working with Philip was a pleasant experience especially in this day and age where people just want to sale you stuff. Also, throughout this experience I had kept him informed of my findings via Audiogon email and he would always reply within an hour to a few hours, amazing and I am on the West Coast and he is on the East. He numerous times gave me recommendations to explore and even tried to give me a score or two on one of our Oregon teams in Portland.
Well I hope that helps a few of you out there. Happy listening.