IMO, the Shotguns are a little on the warm side, while the AVt MA's are more neutral.
I demoed a pair of S1 speaker cables from a friend and wasn't too fond of the midrange, it seemed recessed and slightly congested. But, it's possible the cables weren't fully broken in yet. Since then I've been using the AVt MA's and couldn't be happier. 3D type imaging, tight/clean bass, perfect mids, and highs are detailed without being harsh or bright. I'm currently saving for another pair for my B rig.
I've used them with both Shotgun I/C's, AVt MA I/C's and speaker cables with tube amps and SS without any ill effects.
Let us know what you decide and your impressions on them. Be sure to fully break them in before any critical listening though.
I just finished auditioning different cables and ended up with the MIT Oracle 2.2 speaker cables/interconnects. I started with the Magnum 1's and was very impressed. Hard for me to really describe the characteristics of the frequency range but the cables made the difference of listening to music in my sound room to being at the recording event. I bought the Oracle's without even listening to them based on the performance of the Magnums. I was apprehensive on spending the money on the interconnects because I had my previous ones for over a year and hadn't found anything I like better, however I was extremely happy when I put the MIT interconnects in the system. For me the investment in the MIT's has been a good one.
When I asked MIT those questions I was told "As you move up the line, you'll get more."
I had a MIT Magnum 3 RCA for a good long while. I really liked it. I added later on a Shotgun S1 downstream of it as a main IC. With those tow ICs inplace, resolution improved, SS gained more specific imagaing. Bass was enormously improved with only the addition of the Magnum, the Shotgun added still more impact. Inner detail too was increased.
At first... then a funny thing happend. The color of the music became less vivid and less involving. Weird. Removing the Shotgun S1 from the chain and inserting another brand of IC, the timberal color returned. This event was with a tube preamp and SS amp. Perhaps with all tube gear it would have been otherwise.
I've posted reviews of my exp with MIT here on Audiogone if you want more details.
My review of the MIT AVt MA series on Dagogo.com should answer much of what's being sought here. :)
Nolitan, Regarding your last questions: The only way to ascertain precisely what any cable brand does is to outfit the entire system with that cable brand. Mixing will not tell you entirely what they sound like. Even different models of the same brand have very distinct differences. It's common for the upper echelon cables to bring "more of the same" flavor of the cables.
They can certainly be mixed with other brands. But, I recommend you keep the L/R channels the same. ;) Over time I have found more delight in keeping systems largely intact with one brand versus a hodge-podge of cables. I will occasionally tune a rig with substitution of one set of IC's or PC's.
If you try one set of interconnects it's interacting with the others as well, but you can still get sense of what it can bring to the party. As you keep replacing elements of the cabling with more of the same brand the sound will morph. Whether you love it or not is for your ears to determine.
Finally, the quality of the rig is a profound influence on the Efficacy (whether it's worth it) of cables. If you have an under $10k rig I would not recommend chasing high cost cables. If your rig is upwards of $30k it becomes important and at $50k (this is a rough measurement) it becomes critical. People who by default stick with econo wires on very high end rigs run a high percentage chance that they are choking the performance of the system. On the highest end systems it's of paramount importance to get an extremely well matched set of cables.
In all seriousness, if you already have aftermarket IC's, then you may first want to try an MIT power cord; I also wrote a reivew of some MIT power cord offerings. You will find nearly as much an influence from changing two or three power cords as changing speaker cables! I have done so dozens of times over the years and on a repeated basis in listening nowadays.
I think you were hear different things on different equipment. Im a poor man but on my big system I used all MIT Oracle cables and found the biggest diffence was in the speaker cables. I.M.H.O. MIT is warm and has very good control over your speakers. In my case 5 different sets of Thiels. If you get a chance A-B the cables and decide for yourself. I think you will find it takes alot of money to make a small improvement in sound. Spend the money on equipment or try a company (PS Audio) that will let you live with cables for no fee, just shipping. Good Luck!
Nothing in this hobby is mandatory... except for curiosity.
Well, that and some $$$$$.
You are gonna get tons of folks saying "yes, go all brand x, OR No, choose what you like as its your ears."
I've done both... and kind of prefer the latter. it's a mite more troublesome but the results pay off better IMO.
I like the MIT Mag series on a source better than as a main IC. Check out Dougs account on them at D Gogo too. I suppose hes talking retail prices here on the rigs he described, so I cant chime in on the above $30K range as to whats going to be needed cablewise in the upper atmospheres but anythings possible. Regrettably, or thankfully, Ill probably never know what wires are needed to run a $50-100K rig, so its a moot point for me.
I would only caution aginst one thing having too much of a good thing is not good usually. Meaning just cause you like a Zip Zap cable on your whatsit, dont mean adding another exact same type downstream is gonna become complimentary to the total mix . Again, such is my own exp.
My experience with high end MIT cabling is that without question the nuance,spaciousness,detail,soundstage, dynamics and musicality improve with each move up. I use Spectral ref electronics and the improvements are very significant to my fussy ears. Buy used, buy the best you can,check out joe Abrams for knowledgable advice
I like to experiment so I had many MIT cables since I started using them three years ago.
From the older Terminator 2 biwire up to AVT1, Shotgun S3 biwire and interconnect and Shotgun S2, Magnum M2 and Oracle V3.1 biwire and recently the newer MA series with Shotgun MA and now Magnum MA.
I realized that it's nery important to have all the MIT cable of the same line. This aspect is even more important for the MA series . In the past I had a mix and match of different MIT cables and evethough I recognize the benefict of each one of these cables, my system wasn't sounding as good as it does now with all the cables of the MA series ( actually still a mix and match of Magnum MA xlr for interconnect cd and pre and pre and amplifier and Shotgun MA biwire but that's ok according to MIT and in fact they work great together)
There is a strong sinergy that comes out like for magic when the cables are matched properly.
I loved the silky and very elegant sound of the Magum M2. The Shotgun it's nice but doesn't come even close in finesse and authority compared to the Magnum.
MIT grades his cables based on the number of poles (14X 36X 42X etc)
I personally think that there are other factors that are to be considered and aren't fully expressed by the multipole technology only.
I had the Oracle V3.1 biwire that has about the same numver of poles of the Shotgun MA biwire that I purchased right after I sold the Oracle (36X VS 33X if I well remember)
Based on this parameter the two cables should sound more or less the same . They don't at all. The old Oracle biwire V3.1 was sounding more holographic and a bit more dynamic than the newer Shotugn MA biwire so at the end the difference in favor of the Oracle was more than subtle.
Evaluated by it's self I prefer the Magum M2 to the Shotgun MA internonnect xlr altought the latter has a higher number of poles.
I have to say that these comments are partially affected by the fact that the MA series works at his fullest only when all the chain is MA and not one cable only so my opinion might be impared my the fact that I hadn't an all Magnum M2 set to compare to an all Shotgun MA set.
Again I realized that the MA series puts the turbo only when everything is MA ( MIT discloses this aspect on his web site but I din't think that it was too much of a deal but it is)
Anyway the real deal is the Magnum MA . Really a fantastic cable worth the money with terrific performances. Infact I will upgrade my speaker cables to the Magnum MA as soon as possible ( man ! this stuff is not cheap.....)
I also made experience with MIT power cables. Extremely effective. I started with the Zcord II up to the Shotgun AC1 and Magnum AC2.
The real thing starts with the Shotgun AC1 .The network really does a great job in filtering the power wave. The Magnum is of course extremely more effective. In my experience the componet that gets the most benefict from clean and filtered power is the CD player and it's internal DAC, second comes the Preamp, third the amplifier. Putting a Magnum AC2 under your CD player and than going back to your stock power cable and is more or less like turning on and off the light.
Still the key is the balance of you audio chain (which applies to the cables as well as the audio components ) so to get the most out of these cables you need to have matching interconnect , speaker and power cables.
The focus, detail, clarity dynamic and warmth that these cables will give you is beyond immagination and you need to have them connected to understand.
Regarding the open Oracle on an italian blog:
I'm Italian and I went thru the whole thing. A buch of bullcrap to make it short, with many comments that make no sense along with people that express their satisfacton for the MIT products. Still many are negative.
I don't know what people think to find inside these network boxes? GOLD MAYBE? and they are disappointed because they see only cables (of course) and electric devices that apparently may seem common but they are not.
If this thing was so simple and after all with no value, MIT competitors ( the others with network boxes) would have figured out how to copy the multipole technology many years ago. So far I know they didn't and they keep on eating the dust, proof that the technology behind these cables is much more sophisticated and the secret is not in what you see ( even with a network box open) in what you don't and can't see.
By the way none paid me for this. I just love MIT cables because they work. That's why I invested a little fortune in them and I'm glad I did. That's it
Yes Sir. There are very competent fellas over there. The owner of the cable opened it because of its noise. What he found out is that when the cable is connected to the "network", show in the pic, the shielding of the cable disappear and it is not replaced by a shield of the case/box (the two shells are not connected with the ground). Discussion goes ahead on technical side (components and values found in the box), on what a cable is expected to do,on how is relatively easy to deposit patents for everything in the USA and the absence of a peer review on them, on price matters in the audio market and so on.
I know what kind of sound the Terminator 2 and 4 interconnects delivers because I own them and have experimented.
I do not doubt that the high end versions probably sound better either.
I am skeptical though that the prices many cable companies charge (not just MIT) for the high end stuff is justified. I think a lot of it is just clever marketing to collect a large margin on a niche product.
Years ago companies made little profit on electronics. The profit margins were in the speakers, phono cartridges, and accessories. I suspect some of that still exists today.
No offense for the glorious T2 but the Terminator are very old cables and their performances aren't even comparable to the newer series. In fact is enought to put in comparison a T2 with a Shotgun S3 ( I did it with the biwire version) to immediately realize tha the difference in favor of the S3 is HUGE.
Regarding the guy that opened the Oracle V2.1 is important to say that he isn't the original owner but he purchased it on the resale market.
Not a factor to underestimate because on the resale market there are around defective used MIT cables that appear cosmetically perfect. That's very tricky. Twice I had issues with used MIT cables that turned out not to perform properly and I had to pay MIT for the repair . The Oracle V2.1 noise issue sounds like the cables was defective. May be due to some improper use of the previous owner. Who knows? For example a shortcut of an amplifer may cause a certain degree of damage to the components inside the MIT network box.
Based on my experience in the "low" budget area the best value for the money in The MIT catalogue is by far the Shotgun S3. I had the S2 and S1 and I don't see that much of a difference. They are better than the S3 but at this point to have a real improvement the next step is to move to the Magnum seres. The Magnum line has a quite different sound personality compared to the Shotgun. Warmer more articulated and detailed. Really a great product. My experience is limited to the Magnum M2. Regarding the MA line and in cosideration of it's cost I haven't been terribly impressed by the Shotun MA that still carries the Shotgun personality although on steroids . I have been really flattered by the Magnum MA. This one is really terrific. Basically a top of the line Oracle of the previous seres that has been miniaturized in a smaller network box.
I consider the Shotgun S3 and the Magnum MA followed by the Magnum M2 the best value for the money in the MIT line. Unfortunately I can't afford the Oracle MA and I have no clue of which kind amazing perfomances is capabable of.
These comments are based on my personal experience and my audio components . Others may find different results due to different set up.
Mapman, like I said what you have are old cables that are far from the performances of the new products, even in the low range price like Shotgun S3 I wrote that the difference between T2 and S3 is huge and I confirm. The comment is referred to dynamic, microdetail, sound stage, low frequencies response etc....sorry I'm not a journalist but I think that this is pretty self explanatory.