i use Monitor O with Genesis speakers, Sonic Frontiers Power 3. My system has neve sounded better. The cables have a lifetime warranty. They are worth every penny. I bought mine from [email protected] I got a really good deal.
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I can't say anything about the rest of their line but I recently tried an NBS digital cable purchased by a friend on Audiogon recently (unfortunately no model #). He got it for a song, 125.00. It absolutely removed the digital edge I was experiencing with the Cardas Lightning cable and really smoothed things out. I have got to believe that NBS is really good based on that experience. But they are very pricey.
I was auditioning three different XLR and one RCA interconnects, Silver Hyacinths, Harmonic Tech. Pro Silways, NBS Monitor IV and JPS Superconductor 2 (RCA) . My system (Audio Research CD-2, Audio Research LS-16, Plinius 100 MKIII and NHT 2.5i speakers) can be bright to a fatiguing point, which certain cables, so I was searching for cables that would complement my system. The NBS was far superior to the others. It was more revealing and quiet. I also tried the NBS Monitor IV bi-wire speaker cables. They were competing with JPS Superconductors and Transparent Music Wave Super. Again, I liked what the NBS did for my system. I turned out purchasing their cables via the NBS promotion (the speaker cables were free) which contained all Monitor IV cables: 2 XLR IC's, two Monitor IV Power Cords and 10' Monitor IV bi-wire speaker cables. I'm a happy camper.
Did you buy NBS through the dealers or direct to company? How much did you pay for a whole set? You can email me privately [email protected] if you don't want to post the price right here Thank you very much
Have on order two pair NBS Monitor IV ICs after auditioning them for a week. I've been running Goertz Micro-Purls and have been extremely pleased until I put the NBS into the system. A whole new world--wider, deeper, very dimensioanl (fuller), even greater transparency, better focus and imaging with more air around instruments. Not a member of the Wire-of-the-Month Club (4 sets of interconnect in 12 years, including NBS), I don't usually audition wire. My conversations with Wen-Li of eAudionet.com brought the NBS to the house on his recommendation. He's first-class and a joy to deal with and his prices are excellent. Contact him.
Worldcup86: the Nordost cables are very subtractive and not worth the price. The Cardas interconnects are forgiving, and good for CD sources. The NBS speaker cable should work very well with Classe electronics and especially with the JMLab speakers. I have actually heard this set-up and I liked it. Regarding the difference between Monitor 3 and 4: depends on the cable type. There is absolutely no audible difference in the digital interconnects, but a noticeable difference in the RCA and XLR interconnects and speaker cables: better midrange coloration and bass contours, smoother highs in Monitor 3. The differences between the Monitor 3 and the Monitor 2 are less. If you have the money, go for the Monitor 3. The Monitor 4 series can be beaten out for a lot less money by the Coincident cables on many (not all) parameters, and will satisfy more if you enjoy a directer, more uncolored sound (a neutral, monitor-like sound). But after comparison of Monitor Series with the old Classic series, I have decided to stick with the Classic series: first, I have too much money invested in these cables to start over; second, the newer cables seem thinner and lighter than the older ones. This observation applies even for the difference between the original classic series and the "mark II" classic series. I have said similar things on a different string here at Audiogon. Also, (it seems) there are at least three different power cable manufacturers who make better sounding power cables than NBS at this time. I say this, knowing that I will have to stay with NBS power cables until these manufacturers start to produce for the European market, with the EU plugs. The European power cable market is not as advanced as what you have in North America. You lucky overseas audiophiles.
Slawney, nice post on the NBS. I've had NBS since early KS I (going through KS II then Sig I) and feel that they are the best cable available, particularly on spatiality and voice (and, which is why the Japanese SE market went so ga-ga over them). I run all NOS tubes and all hard wired with electrostats, so these things important to me also. Admittedly, hideously expensive, but worth it if your system is at that point. On the other hand, once knew a new audiophile who bought Vandersteen 2CE's and put all Pro on them, which is a waste of money. Don't take this the wrong way - they're nice stuff - but JM with Classe will not be able to use a lot of what the Classic I (or even II) can do from Pro on up. Monitor series is more "neutral", less expensive and is more compatible with your system. Agree that Series III is worth the step, particularly in top end, which your system would like most. I now run Statement I (blue) & Pro I intercon's & Pro I speaker cable.
Oh, almost forgot: had Nordost SPM full system for a year. Very linear and open, but thin in harmonics and especially in upper mids. Cardas; sounds nice/pleasant, but can compress dynamics. Cardas & Nordost polar opposites, so wonder why you'd be going toward both at same time. NBS exceeds each by wide margin in appropriate system.
I also tried the best Harmonic Tech, XLO, WireWorld and Tara. I don't think any of them had, overall, what the Mon 3s have. The NBS have over 200 hours on them and I'm most satisfied with what I'm hearing--they just keep getting better. And yes, they're spendy, but I belive they're verymuch worth the investment and probably the best NBS value for the buck. I also auditioned the Mon 3 power cords. They add even more of the NBS "non-sound," but we're buying a new house--I'll now have a dedicated listening room--and audio upgrades are on the back burner.
The NBS Monitor I and II are amazing cables. Before fully being fully broken in, they have an added midrange warmth. After about 150 hours of playing time, they open up. They allow tremedous amount of detail to pass through. The sound is never bright but very detailed and 3D. Very dynamic, solid powerful bass. The NBS Monitor I and II cables replaced Cardas Golden Reference and Golden Cross in my system. Before I purchased these NBS cables, I did compare them to the Nirvina S-X Ltd. These NBS cables allow my system to have more clear midrange quieter background reveal more hidden details. More powerful and solid bass. There is no comparison. The Cardas cables are in the distant 3rd place. The image became very fuzzy, with a soft more bloated bass by comparison. My system: Muse Model 8 and 296, CAT Ultimate preamp, Krell FBP 300, B&W Nautilus 802, PS Audio PP300, Shunyata King Cobra, ESP Essence, NBS Monitor I and II cables
Slawney The cords were the Dragonfly with most common 14 ga.THHN (gasoline resistant or direct bury cable commonly used for well pump wiring).No joke you can buy this stuff at the hardware store dirt cheap run it through a braided shield and a mesh sheath and you can make all the six foot cords you want for 20 bucks a piece.My experience is that at least the Dragonfly model I used is a rip!!
Mar00 Thank you for the technical information. It correlates with my experience: I tested a Dragonfly XLR cable once and I did not like it: it could not spatially resolve instruments, had a very narrow soundstage, and worst of all had the loudest, boomiest bass response I have ever heard from a cable (Monster close runners up). In short, the Dragonfly (the cheapest cable in the series, I think) had none of the features that attracted me to the more expensive cables in the NBS line. It seemed to me that the NBS virtues only became audible from KingSerpent upwards (with the analog cables). I am a little shocked at what your dissection of the Dragonfly revealed, and wish cable manufacturers used better quality cable for their purposes. As it is, the production costs for some cables are probably about 5 or 6% of their retail costs, the rest going into marketing and the high profit margins of the cable company and retailer, I suppose. Nevertheless, I still use NBS, and I still like them.
Mar00; You speak with forked tongue!!
I have a Dragon fly power cord. AND it is made from ribbon conductors. It certainly is not regular lamp cord
Why is it necesary to smear this product and the integrity of the company? If you do not like the cable, that's OK. But do not come on the web and disseminate misinformation.
I've switched most of my system over from Cardas Golden Reference (which is excellent) to NBS Monitor 0. The NBS and Cardas tonal palette is very similar, on the warm, rich side, but the Monitor 0 has amazing fullness in the lower midrange-midbass without seeming to lose any transparency in the upper midrange. Highs are clear but maybe not as extended as other lines. These cables go beautifully with very revealing speakers (Eggleston Andras) and electronics (Pass phono amp and line preamp, Classe CAM-350 amps), but I'd be careful of them with tube amps and warmer speakers (e.g. Kharma).