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I agree about the Nordost Vishnu
Originally, I thought it was thin, as in "lightweight sounding," not as in lean. However, I concur with Togo: after a change of tubes (no, the tubes didn't make it sound richer: they were simply old), I found it quite airy, transparent and, most of all, dynamic sounding. And now that togo mentioned it, yes, there IS an "ease" to the sound, which is pretty nice.
I've heard many dealers (even a couple of my own) don't like it, but I think they're far off the mark, although I can understand WHY they might not like it: it's not "powerful" in the traditional sense, like, say, an NBS. It simply doesn't add "weight," much the same as is the case with any Nordost products (I think the midbass in Nordost products ARE, however, slightly "lightweight," but only slightly).But it is, nonetheless, quite clean (in the good sense, meaning, not having distortion grafted onto instruments), and it is a very good cable for tuning one's system, in contast to say, "thicker" sounding cables, which many all "richer" but which also make it harder to determine correct VTA, azimith or setup in general. It (the Vishnu) will appear thinner in comparison to some cables, but it's quite fast, and it allows the harmonic series to develop completely. It does not overshoot or elucidate transients at the expense of the decay component of an instrument. I like it veddy, veddy much.
Oh, and it doesnt "lean out" the orchestral colors, either. I hate that effect veddy much, too. Probably it's best, as Roy Gregory pointed out, in tthe airiness, speed and staging of the musical experience.
I can tell you, it's better than I thought it was for the first 3 months I owned it. It wasn't until my turntable was working that I really heard what I could do!
Well I have the Vishnu on my Aethetix Calypso linestage, and going from the stock PC to the Vishnu imparted a greater improvement than the move from SPM Reference speaker cable to Valhalla on my Eidolon Diamonds. I can simply describe the sound as as a turbocharged approach with greater dynamics and transparency.
There's a report in the Inner Ear magazine on the Vishnu. They found exactly what I did: put the Vishnu on the preamp FIRST. I had put it on the amps and CD players. My reaction was...oh, yeah, that sounds.....better? Well, yeah of course it does...I think. Well yes, of course it does.
I went through that and then put them on the CD player...same reaction.
Then, AFTER we'd sold both of the Vishnu, but the day before we shipped them out, we put them on the preamp.
GOOD MOTHER OF GOD! So, THAT'S where to put 'em first.
Naturally, we were loathe to actually ship them out, but a deal's a deal. So we sent them out. Waaaaahhhhhh!
We bought two more today.....
Now, we're foaming at the mouth about what the Valhalla must sound like...and our Neuance platforms arrived today, too. Posted on another thread about that, but it was clear after we put our 65 pound mono amps on the Neuance platforms, the system sounded far better than when we put the Vishnu in. Dead vibations everywhere. So, the Neuance killed all the vibrations (and the amps had been on a Zoethecus z-slabbed table).
And to think when the Vishnus arrive again, the system's going to take a bigger jump than the first time, because the first time, it shone through even though the amps were vibrating on the Zoethecus (subtle vibrations, but the dynamics were definitely squashed. As I posited, it may have been having two amps on the same table, even though it was big enough and Zoethecus said the table could support 130 pounds). So, with the vibrations lying around dead (the poor dears), this is going to be a VERY significant improvement, and I mean VERY. The partner's not even going to wait for them to be shipped to us. He's heading for New York tomorrow to pick them up personally so he doesn't have to wait until Monday for them to arrive. I don't blame him one fractal!
Some dealers don't like the Vishnu, but I think, if you haven't truly killed the vibrations in your system, you'll only get SOME of what it can do. So, make sure your system isn't vibating; it'll allow some of what Vishnu does to come through, but not all of it. Do whatever it takes to kill all those vibrations and then you'll "get it." Now that I think about it, the preamp was the only thing in the system that had a Neuance platform under it. No wonder we didn't hear the Vishnu's effect as well under the amps: they were vibrating until we put them on the Neuance platforms this afternoon. Live and learn....
We'll keep you posted about the Vishnu when we get them. Who knows, maybe they'll be less exciting, but I can't see how that can happen. However, we're quite clinical about it (even though we're exctied), so if they don't deliver this time, we'll sell 'em again. Maybe the platforms will show some flaws in their performance now that the noise floor is vastly lower.