re: AP Crystal Solo Oval copper interconnects, update #2, pair #2.
A note and question to other AP Crystal Solo owners, thanks:
Just picked up a 2nd 1.5M pair of the Crystal Solo ICs to (test not mixing brands/types) to run identical cables between tube DAC to tube preamp and Preamp to tube Amps - end to end, all Solos. Removed my Cardas Parsec ICs which I like and they have their own sound/tone, decent at a lower price point, and maybe I'm just use to their particular tone having owned many Cardas ICs past 25+ years. This writeup is premature, no doubt - just capturing thoughts.
I can say I'm not yet use to the sound of the the recently new AP Crystal Solo ICs when run end-to-end. It's actually quite a bit different from what I even recall demoing Cardas Clear Cygnus which had an open and detailed (more neutral sound) compared to my older Cardas from the Cross lines which had a warmer and more veiled over sound which worked great for my brighter SS amps and not as well with my tube gear. Back to AP Solos... sorry, trying to rationalize this new sound with when doubling up with all AP solos; not broken in yet, fwiw.
With AP Crystal Solos ICs I immediately noticed an even larger and deeper sound stage adding in the 2nd pair in-line, more detail and texture, with maybe a tad less fullness at first compared to my Cardas Parsec which are well broken in. The AP Crystal Solos (both pairs) maybe have 60 hours on them max. Running two pairs, there is no hiding anything. What goes in is what comes out (good or bad), almost to the degree it's as if I'm hearing things i've NEVER heard before on any of my prior amps or 20+ interconnects I've tested before. It's clear all of my prior cables were leaving something on the table, and the AP Crystal Solos don't or not a lot. It's one of those IMO "watch out what you ask for" situations, or maybe I'm truly more use to a softer more veiled over sound. Another way to look at it is it sounds a lot better when I let my tube preamp and amps really warm up for 2+ hours, smooths out a tad more to compensate a bit I guess, for now.
While these are still settling in, relaxing, whatever happens letting them play (~up to 300hrs ???) is kind of frustrating and intriguing to see IF anything really changes (at all) once I get to 100-150-300hrs.
I'm not sure I really needed the 2nd pair, and intermixing brands was working well previously for my particular system. Now with all AP Solos end to end, it's as if I have a completey different sound to multiple components, and hearing something quite different now as my particular system is highly sensitive to IC changes, for good or bad. :) They sound quite a bit different from the AP cable one level below. These are way more open and transparent, have the dielectric same as the upper end silvers have as I understand it now.
Comparing the first 2 hours to hour 35-60 does sound a wee bit smoother now, maybe. The sound I'd characterize compared to my former smoother or neutral test ICs is this with AP Crystal Solo ICs:
Early Changes noticed at 35-60 hours:
-Larger sound stage (tall and wide too)
-Deeper sound stage (pushed back some more)
-Added layering (overtones,...reverb-ish harmonics?)
-Added detail at top, mids (not overly harsh though)
-Everything is faster, top to bottom (tight bass too)
-Change of tone(s); piano, guitar, voices are scary clear
-Cleaner and more open (for better or worse)
-Guitars have more grain, grunge, twang
-Familiar songs do sound different (wasn't expecting this)
-Hearing things I've never heard before in songs
300HRS ??? Break-In, Burn-In, Setting, Really?
I'm really curious to know impatiently WHAT actually changes with the sound after such a long break-in period.
-Does it become more open or smoother?
-What changes after the full 300hrs, if anything?