Audience Au24 vs. Ridge Street Audio?

Looking for upgrading possibilities from my current LAT International line, audiogoners advised me to look into Audience AU24 cables and Ridge Street Audio Poiema cables. Anyone compared the two? Another recommendation was for Virtual Image Piledriver 18 ICs. Any comment here as well?
I've compared the 2 side by side for many hours.
In my system, the Poiema was an outstanding performer. The Audience AU-24, however, was a little better in the following areas:

A. Transparency- a slightly deeper view into the soundstage.
B. Realism- can't quite describe it...the AU-24's just give me that "I'm there" feeling.
C. Smooth yet detailed- The AU-24's were better in this regard.

Of course, before the Poeima guys lambast me, let me state again that it's a wonderful cable...I just found the AU-24 a better fit for me and my ears.

If you buy the Poiemas, I recommend the single ended...I found them better than the balanced pair I tried.
I have the opposite view since I went from the AU 24 to the Poeima's . Both Cables offer fine resolution, I just felt in my system the midrange a little recessed on the AU 24's . It could be a matter of personal taste. Danlib where were you using the RS XLR becuase I took a look at your system {very nice ! } and correct me If Im wrong , but I though I read somewhere the Sony SCD-1 , even though it has XLR outputs, is not fully balanced. The RS XLR in my system {Classe } is fantastic. Anyway I have great respect for both companies as they are both innovative in their design.

I agree on your assessment of both companies. I tried the Poiema balanced between the SCD-1 and Sim P-5, between the ECD-1 DAC and the P-5, and between the P-5 and the Pass X-250 amp. Again, I just liked the single-ended version better in my system.
Strange , becuase I compared the Poeima single ended vs The Poeima XLR and preferred the XLR . Who knows ! Enjoy !
I have selected the Poiema cables over the AU24. I alternately used both single ended and balanced pieces from both companies....during the same time period in my system. The balanced cables were used between an AtmaSphere MP3 and AtmaSphere M60's. The single ended pieces were used between an AudioLogic MXL DAC and the MP3 AtmaSphere. I also had both single ended and balanced digital links which were alternately used between the AudioLogic and a CEC TL1-X transport. Speaks are Mini Utopias/Utopia sub and power correction is my own proprietary design. The AU24 took on a seductive, "you are there" type sound that was....well...interesting. Initially it is pleasant, but I grew tired of it fast. It gave way to a slow sound with muted highs. I would think that the AU24 may work very well in a system that suffers from aggressive high frequency abnormalities coupled with a recessed midrange. The "you are there" sound that has been previously identified is present for sure and could be very helpful in some set-ups. The AU24 digital cables muted the highs but produced the "you are there" sound to a much lesser degree than the interconnects. The Poiema cables not only better the AU24 cables, they are my reference after years of buying and living with many of the more popular high end designs. I never went as far as throwing down hard earned green for the ridiculously expensive MIT/Transparent products, but I have over extended myself at times just to hear what some of the Golden Ear boys are raving about. I can tell you this: you can spend a lot more than what you need to lay out for the RSD Poiema cables but I have yet to find ANYTHING that betters it. Poiema is true to the music that it passes from component to component. They will not color the signal in any way and will not restrict any of the dynamics that are essential in providing a realistic reproduction of a musical event. I love'em!
I didn't know Deano could be so *eloquent*...
I truly believe the RSA Poiema's are very high quality cabling and most likely will work great in most systems. However, it is also worth noting that system matching is critical. I know RSA claims they are not a tuning cable, however there are certain factors out there, such as some speakers will not work well with silver speaker wire or cabling. I called the Cable Company and talked extensively to find out many speakers don't mate well with silver, no matter the brand. I had that unfortunate experience with the Poiema's on my Meadowlark Nighthawks, in which should never sound the way they were interracting with the silver cabling. I was told from the research done in their records Meadowlarks prefer solid core copper, etc. I switched everything out to Synergistic Research Resolution Reference X2 and am astounded. Center image and pinpoint imaging in focus... sounstage well behind the speakers, well outside the speakers, almost as wide as the walls in the room. Harmonics, timbre, in spades, yet much quieter background.

I don't want to inflame any of the RSA camp, trust me, I kept wanting them to work and get better, but well into the extended trial period it was obvious it was not a match for my speakers/system.

With that being said, if or when in question on cabling I would strongly suggest looking into the Cable Company or the like in which you can borrow 3 or 4 different companies products that are already broken in and compare as to what works best with your system.
Kirk, the Poiema's were too much cable for your system. They would be too much in mine, too. When you e-mailed me asking about the cables and listing your gear I knew it, but wasn't going to knock down your enthusiasm. Some poeple must have the 'best', whatever that means. Because of that the Poiema's have been Robert's best seller, even though he wasn't promoting them at all. The Midnight Silver Edition's are as far as one should go in a class B system, IMO.

Copper cables quieter? You mean rolled off! Silver cables like the Ridge Street will let noise & digital glare through. If your electricity & digital glare are not under control then it's not fair to blame the silver cables.

Just a friendly reality check..
Whoa , hold on boys. If I knew nothing about Ridge Street Audio's Poeima's and read the above two posts , I would conclude that the cables only sound good with special speakers and a $100,000 system. The basics on my system are a Classe CDP-10, a Classe SSP-60, a Classe 301 and Legacy Signature III speakers. In my system the Poeima's sound great. I discovered this when I owned Audience AU 24 cables but this applies to any cables as far as Im concerned. On your digital front end , you should use some type of PC filtering whether it be a Power cord , Power conditioner or both. {Every cable, interconnect and speaker} should never touch a power cord . This reduces dramatically any "noise" or "glare" coming down the stream. I would hardly call my system Class A, and the Poeima's in my system are not "too much" , they are "perfecto" .
Psychicanimal- No, I am not one of those that "have to have the best." I chose components for their performance, not their price tag. The same holds true with cabling, as well as the RSA in MY system. I actually talked to Robert about this, as he also felt there was either a impedance or capacitance (don't recall which) issue between the preamp and the amp perhaps. He also offered to make another cable to correct the situation and send it out right away. Robert and his cables are first rate. I truly wish there were more companies like his! However, with that being said I made the post due to letting others know there is always something to be said for system matching. Most of the time system synergy comes into play when you least expect it.

I was not just going off on a tangent about RSA. I spoke with many on the cable interaction... from the manufacturer of equipment, to the Cable Company, who keeps track of systems and what works well with some speaker lines. For expample - from what I was told there are several dozen speakers out there that do not mate well with silver. Silver. Not RSA, but any silver cable. I wasn't trying to knock RSA, but to inform others that some speakers will react better to some cables than other. I don't chose cables to be a "tuning device" and that is what attracted me to Ridge Street Audio. I chose components on performance. In this particular case there was a mismatch somewhere. I was told that in particular Meadowlark speakers don't mate well with silver. Is that a fact? I don't know. Do I know how it sounded? Yes - the Ridge Street Audio Poiema's in my system sounded as if one speaker were wired out of phase. It was not "noise" or "digital glare" as you mentioned in your post. It was a compressed soundstage, and a prominant "reverb" in harmonics when there was a complex passage in the music.

As for copper cables quieter, again I don't know. I am not proposing them. If you take the time to look at my system I can assure you I don't have system "noise." Since the insertion of the Balanced Power Technologies BPT-3.5 Signature the background is dead quiet. Again, if you look at my system, I use an Electrocompaniet EMC-1UP for digital front end, many, many users here on A'gon will attest to this being one of the most analog sounding cd players out there! "digital glare?" - don't think so from there. Perhaps the Quicksilver tube gear or the Meadowlarks are inherently producing the noise or glare? Don't think so, as you can hear a pin drop now. Why? I can't say. I didn't purchase the "best" cabling from Synergistic Research but again basing on how I personally judge gear, by its performance, there is no comparison - and I will state again in my system. I won't necessarily take a back seat to the Synergistic Research being berated or saying it is rolled off... I actually think it is a copper silver combo, I don't know. I didn't ask. If they didn't work extremely well - I wouldn't keep them in my system either. As you would say, it is not fair to blame poor electricity and digital glare if there is none. In my experience, in my system, it was the silver cables that caused the sonic problems.

Again my point was system matching is a factor. If you have the ability to "borrow" 3 or 4 manufacturers cables form a company such as the Cable Company I encourage you to along with the Poiema's! Listen for yourself, in your system.

Neither the Ridge Street Audio Poiema's or the Synergistic Research Resolution Reference X2 are inexspensive. With the amount it cost me to biwire, and run two pair of interconnect would equal in most cases the cost of a component. The sonic differences between the two were not subtle, and were substantial. I don't have a money tree in my back yard, and I assume most others work hard to earn their money as well as permission from the wife... so when you are at the point to drop that amount of money on cabling I would suggest trying a few different cables in that price range and make an educated decision for yourself, in your system. There can be major sonic differences.

Happy listening!
I'm kind of at a loss as to how to contribute here because at least the last 4 posts have needlessly gone off topic. If it had stayed on topic, I probably wouldn't be posting but this thread appears to have gone wrong and so now, hopefully, this post will keep it from degrading any further. If this forum were different and I were a moderator, I would either move the last 4 posts to a different venue or say "Start a new thread if you want to continue this part of the discussion.".

Hopefully for benefit, here are my thoughts on this that hopefully will be a conclusion to the last 4 posts. I'm stating my opinion and this is not an invitation to debate.

Is the Cable company a valid resource? Certainly, for some folks in many situations. Was Audiofankj's experience with out cables a noise issue? I don't think so. Was the performance with the Poiema!s in that system a synergy issue. I don't think so. What was the issue? I don't know with any certainty.

It's water under the bridge now and I'm not going to go on a witch hunt to figure it out but I do have some possible ideas. After doing a bit of research, It wasn't an "impedance or capacitance" issue I'm sure. I'm also certain that, because our cabling is very proficient at telling you what's in the recording and what the gear is doing with the recording, that the cables were revealing a deficiency somewhere in the system. Audiofrankj acknowledged this and to his credit, is more than most people would do. All systems have deficiencies to one degree or another. The selection and application of cabling falls into one of two camps; predominately neutral or predominately tuning devices. We've chosen the former camp. With that, our cables will allow a high performance, well assembled system to portray a musically satisfying experience that is excellent (in spite of the deficiencies), not perfect. Perfection is unattainable. On the other hand, our cables can also reveal how painfully obvious perfection isn't available. With the "tuning" camp, cabling will help provide a musically satisfying experience but, in my view, introduce further compromise away from excellence when the system is viewed as a whole. Again, in my view, one of the downsides of this approach is that it becomes much harder if not impossible to discover and address the "weak link(s)" in the system.

Specific to Audiofankj, here are some ideas I could investigate. He mentions an "out of phase" character. First time I've heard him use that descriptive. Couple of possibilities here. Maybe he has his listening chair positioned so he faces the wall and his back faces the system. Maybe he sits in a manner that puts him upside down with his legs resting on the chair's backrest. Maybe he uses mirrors for room treatment. These possibilities are certainly opposite of what is normal but, knowing Audiofrankj, I'm thinking "NOT!". What is more conceivable is that one or more of the drivers in the speaker system is reversed polarity. Some designers do this to meet other design criteria. It could be that through the course of the signal getting to the loudspeakers, the polarity is inverted somewhere in the electronics...not uncommon. Some people are sensitive to this while others aren't. Knowing how obsessive Audiofrankj is (LOL!), I wouldn't be surprised if he is. I don't know if this was the issue. I do know our cabling will reveal a reversed polarity system and I know that with lesser cabling, it's significantly harder to discern. I know also that a system polarity issue can be the difference between very (or not) good hi-fi vs. the "Real" or the "You Are There"(YAT or YID if you're more comfortable with "You Is 'Der") illusion. Beyond that, I don't know and can only say that you win some and you lose some. Fortunately, for us, we win 93% of the time.

So, now, maybe this can rest. I can't speak for Hassel but if this thread had been my initiation with the same question, I would have shook my head and pretty much ignored the last 4 posts.

Sincerely and kind regards,
Let me respond to Robert with what I hope is an "on topic" post:)A few months ago I decided (before I had heard of RSA)that my Krell KMA 160s/Wilson Watt-Puppy 3/2's were too "harsh" for my ears and I started looking for a new Amp (tube) (Separate thread in Amps). This is taking longer than I had hoped because of a dearth of dealers in Connecticut selling the tube amps that I am looking for, so in the meantime, I changed my front-end and tried various cables from The Cable Company and also RSA Poiema! balanced interconnects. I really liked the Poiema! between the Esoteric DV-50 and ML-32 pre-amp. It was my first choice (vs Syn Res Ref x2, Au 24, and various others, although I must confess that the cramped space behind my set-up made the RSA cables a breeze to install (vs the heavy PAD cables - however, I did hook up the Vensustas for a short time and still liked the RSA the most after a shorter listening period than maybe a true reviewer would give - it was enough time to savor the dynamics, depth and sparkle of the sound (not the cable, Robert!!) -just seemed more musically pleasing. So I kept the Poiema! cables. Then I did what I have wanted others to do for me - but nobody has obliged - compared Poiema! with PDA Venustas/Dominus Speaker cables. What happened, is either a reflection of what I knew before - (which I suspect) or else a function of the cables (which I doubt) :the Krell/Watt Puppy combination is too harsh, lean, almost, but not quite glaring (my wife said it was brightly harsh and left the room - she exaggerates......)with the Poiema! cables and with the Venustas was pleasing, mellow and laid-back to an acceptable - but still, to me, neither musical enough nor "warm" enough for my taste. However, I believe that the fact that the RSA cables sounded so good with a front end of gear that is probably neutral and accurate and too bright with a system that is probably too lean/ bright to start with,is affirmation of what Robert is saying. Poiema! cables are in my opinion extremely dynamic and accurate, and, in my opinion, just showed me what I already knew......
I will put my money where my mouth (or pen) is, and keep these cables until I get my new amp, which I hope will be an Atma-sphere if I can find a used one, and will then compare it to PAD Venustas again. If they are still too lean and bright, you'll see Poiema! cables for sale. But I wouldn't count on that!
For what it's worth, on my junior rig, in a small room, the Poiema! sounds glorious on a modified Jolida 502B/Totem Sig 1 set-up.
(The RSA were still "better" - in terms of tonality and range than the Au-24 in my speaker cable tests, behind Syn Res and Harm Tech Magic Woofer as well as Venustas - which is how this thread started!!)
Robert, you did real good! Congratulations. BTW, my little sister tried your MSE Gen II's between her DAC and classic NAD 7125 receiver when I set up her stereo back in October and she wanted to keep them! She said that of everything that was done to her system they made the most improvement. She wanted them for free, of course...
One more thing quickly, I owe Darrylhifi a humble apology. Please forgive me for lumping you in the "last 4 posts" Darryl. I actually didn't consider your post as part of what could could have been the degradation of this thread. I assumed people would get that and that was wrong of me to make that assumption. As usual, when one (I) assumes, it makes an ass out of u and mes (I've never been able to figure the "mes" part).

And now I feel I must also apologize for having to post this but if I didn't, I think that would be the greater wrong.

although I was the one asking for advice, I did not get the feeling the thread went off-topic. Interesting questions were raised. I, for one, have found the advice of Robert Stein of the Cable Company to be as helpful as correct.
Thanks everybody for advice. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have experience with the Virtual Image ICs. If I were in the US, I´d give them a try, but living in Moscow I will go for cables I can easily sell off if the result is not to my liking. Reading all your advice and other threads on this forum and elsewhere, I have just taken advantage of Audio Advisor´s special sale and ordered 2 PS Audio Statement ICs to try. I tried their power cable against Shunyata Black Mamba, the Eichmann power cable, a HMS and a LAT, and the PS Audio trumped them all. Maybe their IC is of the same quality. On top of that, I will order the new Pure Note Cerulean IC and speaker cable. And if the distributor here in Moscow is right, he shall receive Audience 24 cables soon which I will try as well. I will post about the results.
I have never heard of Ridge Street Audio cables until this. Interesting..

Going back to the original subject of comparing the AU-24 to the RSA Poiema (and considering Audiofankj's incompatability) are both the RSA and AU-24 made of silver cable?
So then guys, what's the best cable to use in a nuetral set up which is lacking in weight/warmth? (my dilema is decribed in more detail in my thread headed 'help with interconnects/speaker cables'
There is no best. Period. Cable performance will vary from system to system, and only testing different brands and models in your system will provide the answer you seek.
What is the difference between the Poiema! and Poiema!! cables? Has anyone been able to compare them side by side?
Hi Nvlashi.

Maybe a little behind the ball here but it's appropriate that I answer the first part of your question.

The difference between the "P"! and "P"!! was primarily materials resulting in a more "relaxed but solid" if you will, presentation. The "P"! used three conductors, the "P"!! uses two. The measured parameters are more consummate to the amp/speaker interface with the !! and the performance is more rhythmic and energetic.

The Poiema! is no longer available being replaced with the Poiema!!. Poiema!! Signature is also available.

Hope that helps a bit.

I agree with TVAD (as usual). I also think the Mfg. should stay out of the Forums and let the users as seen here comment.
I think Manf. should be allowed to comment if it is to explain their product and not promote it. Robert did just that and that is all, AOK with me.

I really don't have a problem with a manufacturer commenting in the forums if the comments are educational, and Robert's comments are usually heavy on education and light on hype.
I like the input of the manufacturers.Always clears up some questions I have.I for one appreciate their input to explain their products.

I had Au 24 sp cable in my system.Using Spelz Anti-Cable now.The Audience Au 24 cables are sold....

I am getting RSA Poiema !! XLR interconnects soon.1m pair being reterminated into two 0.5m pairs by RSA.Cant wait to try them in my system !

Will let you know what I think of the RSA ICs.