Where do you get EVS nude attenuators?...................I've not heard a system context like yours before. I've tried Analysis Plus Oval 9, don't like it. Tried Harmonic Technology Pro Silway 2 interconnect, didn't like it. I like MIT cables, they're better than all others I've tried so far......................My system: Krell, Paragon (Dynaudio) or small Maggies, Resolution Audio CD50, VPI/Benz, and ASC traps (plus some Echobusters and RPG foam).
Analysis Plus is the most neutral product I have yet heard. The issue becomes what your system really needs. While I am not familiar with all of your system, I know the Thiels quite well and find them very analytical (rather dry and unforgivingly accurate as opposed to more colored and therefore forgiving). No one way is right, just depends on what your idea of ideal sound is. Analysis helped my very high end system improve some things that I personally like over top of the line AudioTruth (Dragon and Diamond). After 20 plus years it boils down to personal preference and confidence in your own ears. I find it is easier to trust my and my wifes ears because they are harder and more expensive to replace than the equipment.
I have not heard AP, but I use Harmonic Tech throughout my system and I strongly disagree with Dennyd. I have tried top of the line Transparent, Cardas, and Goertz and settled on HT. It is very revealing and may not sound good with harsh electronics like Krell. I'm using the cables with a Theta digital, Rowland Electronics, Vandersteen 5 system and they work extremely well. They require substantial breakin. Dealers should allow you a 30 day trial period. Definitely worth a listen. I believe the EVS designer uses a modified version of HT cables in his system. Good luck.
I too have AudioTruth Dragon and Diamond, and didn't hear the Oval 9 as being in the same universe as them (it's not even as good as ANY other cable I've tried!). I like MIT better than all the others I've tried (AP, Straightwire, Transparent Reference, Cardas Neutral Reference, Goertz, Harmonic Technology, Kimber Select, XLO Signature 5.1, and a few others). Krell's sound is ANYTHING but harsh, and I can hear extraordinarily well, too.
I own both HT Pro 9 (double run) and AP Silver Oval. After a lengthy audition of both I settled with the HT, I'm not sure however that this is necesarily that good either. The AP is state of the art in soundstage width and depth, I was absolutely amazed when I first heard it, I thought it was the greatest. After I got used to the soundstage I noticed that the sound was smooth and laid back, but much to so. It also seemed to lacked dynamics and rhythm, to sum it up I would call the AP rather unmusical and uninvolving. I had very high hopes for the AP as I had read great things about it, but it just didn't work for me. The HT is in a way similar sounding (huge soundstage) but it improves on the timbre side of things ( I know that this is a frustrating description) and was more musically involving. I suspect there might be some problems with the midrange of the HT however as things like the middle of the piano have a kind of glare that can be rather irritating at times. I also am using the Pro Silway 2 balanced interconnect and 3 of the HT power cords. I am going to do some comparisons of the HT stuff to see if I can fix the midrange problems I am having. I suspect that it is the HT that is causing the problem as I have really decent components Wadia, Pass, Dunlavy. Who knows though one of those might be the culprit.
Have Thiel 1.5 speakers out of a CJ Premier 11a. Purchased Analysis Plus Silver To see how compared to my Transparent audio Music Wave Plus. Sold Analysis on Audiohgon as MUC preferred the Transparent. Analysis great soundstage, but warm sound which I like just dissapeared
The affordable MIT cables I have have as much soundstage width as any cable, and much more depth than any other cable. Images are also more solid, real, and not "wispy" like they've been with every other cable. More dynamic contrast than any other cables, too. And there are essentially no penalties for this, either, at least in my system...or any ss system I try them in. I plan to post an extensive thread comparing all these in the next few weeks.
Hi, A well known speaker designer sent me his thoughts on HT vs. AP cable, in reply to my inquiry. (I won't use his name because I didn't ask his permission). Hope it's useful to you. I've only used the HT cables. "The Harmonic Tech Single Crystal cable (copper version) is very sweet and warm, lending itself to work well as equalization for systems which might be bright or forward due to the electronics or a "hard" and reflective room acoustic. If your system leans towards "warmth" and you crave more detail and "air," you will need to use the Analysis Plus cables. I prefer their copper, not the silver, unless you have a very warm tube based system. If your system is overly warm, go for the Analysis Plus silver cables. Perhaps try mixing the copper speaker cable with the silver interconnects if you want a more neutral sound."
Regarding speaker cables only: I've compared the Oval 9, with Harmonic Technology Pro-9, and I find the opposite to be true. It is the HT that has more air, and more bass, and the Oval 9 was very fuzzy and soft, and closed in. It did have unusual synergy with a Synergistic research interconnect, however: the RCA Kaleidoscope Phase 2. I find it interesting that neither of these worked well with any other combination I tried. I've found that not one cable manufacturer makes cables that all have the same sonic character (Kimber comes very close to being the exception, however). Whatever works is fine with me, but you do have to try for yourself. Cable reviews seem like the ones that have the least "translatability" to the buying public, because they can perform so differently in different systems, with different combinations of brands (or even if they're all from one brand)...and that's not even taking into account the reviewer's own biases and hearing.
I agree with Carl that the HT spkr cable (Pro 9+) has better air and bass than the Oval 9. I use all HT on my system, including power (with the exception of Goertz from pre to amp, to remove some excess warmth). I chose HT Silway 2 from source for neutrality after trying Goertz, Transparent, and DH Labs. IMHO, hands down, for the money HT can't be beat. For the record, I'm using Theta digital, Levinson pre, Krell, and Dunlavy.
I should clarify that I've tried three HT cables, and the Pro 9 speaker has been the only one I've liked. I felt the Pro Silway 2 RCA interconnect had a huge hole in the upper midrange, the bass was loud but sluggish, and the treble was smooth but VEEERRRYY forward (however, the LOW midrange was perhaps the best I've heard from any interconnect, but this narrow range was the only thing the Silway did right...either thru 600 headphones and tubed headphone amp, or thru Maggies and my ss power amp at that time). The Pro 9 is nearly as smooth as AudioTruth Dragon Plus, has more bass dynamics and extension (and the DEEPEST bass extension I've heard yet...the bass speed of either of these is handily beaten by the MUCH cheaper Wireworld Atlantis 2, though...it has allowed any speaker to have a bass quickness reminiscent of the better full range esl panels that I've heard...VERY FAST), and a midrange that is transparent yet "juicy". If the Silway 2 had sounded like THAT, I would have kept it. Same for the Pro 11 power cord, it was very bright, and this has been the conclusion of everyone I've known who has tried this AC cord (who was also NOT an HT dealer...the dealers tend to like whatever they sell, of course). I'm sure there are a few who like the entire line, but I only like the Pro-9 speaker cable. Like my other favorite cables, it doesn't do "everything", but I seriously doubt that I'll ever part with it. No cable "does it all" in every situation...
And yes, those HT cables that I did not like, were indeed broken in for around 1000 hours (I had them for over 3 months, and they had perhaps 500 hours on them before I got them). Their character changed very little over break-in, and that has always been my expereince with cabling. Break-in changes the character that is apparent upon initial listening, in a very small way. I realize conventional wisdom/propoganda says otherwise, but I only care what I hear myself, and not what somebody tells me to hear.