The Paradigms and the Aragon 8008 are all warmish sounding components! The Satori/Matrix Ref or WOW IC's are the way to go here, indeed! The AZ stuff is going to be on the ever so slight lean side, but very neutral, clear, detailed soundin...overall a great match with your gear(all of which I"ve had in my home or store at one time.
I'm familiar with all the components here, and have sold most everything. I think you'll find you can't go wrong here.
Hope this helps
I was pretty happy with AP Oval Nine. I've used (am using) AZ Matrix ICs; personally, I think that AZ is a little overated. I replaced my AZ Matrix MK-2s with Nordost Red Dawns, and I think that latter works much better in my system (and it was $100 cheaper on the used market). Sometimes the most expensive and popular thing really isn't the best.
AZ is slightly warm IMO, I recommend Audience instead for more neutral sound and better value.
All i can say here is "sheesh". One guy says Brand A is warm, the other says it is slightly lean and the third says it is over-rated. Nothing against any of these folks as they are sharing their opinion and experiences, but how is someone to draw any type of conclusion from suggestions like this? You really have to try cabling in your system to see how you like it. That is, unless one person has tried that cabling in multiple systems and has found it to bring consistent results with it each time OR someone has the same exact componentry being used. Otherwise, it is strictly hit or miss. Sean
I agree Sean, the ideal method is to try the cable in your system but that is not always easy to arrange and I think it is best to have an idea of what to expect.
I think my comment about AZ being warm is conservative, I have heard it (specifically Satori, Hologram, WOW, Mat Ref and Mat Ref II) in 2 different systems and made many changes to my setup when I owned it. In general I think AZ cables are warm and smooth and if that sounds good to Adiorio he may want to arrange an audition. I know there are exceptions but typicaly I think cables have a sonic signature that is fairly consistant.
BTW I am guessing Adiorio does not need to be told to audition the cables and also probably knows there could be different results than the other responses.
Philojet: I actually thought that the AZ WOWs were "hot" in my system. I went from those to the AZ Matrix REf MK-2s (more refined, but still "hot"), and, finally, to the Nordost Red Dawns. YOO-REEK-AH. It was all about speed, I guess. The RDs let my Cary 308 CDP, VTL Pre, and Rogue 88 amp do their thing.
Yes, Sean, is right: try it for yourself. If you mix gear like I do, you need to tweak a lot, but, if you're patient, you're gonig to find something that works.
Sean: I just got a laugh tonight along the lines you bring up. I recently picked up a pair of IC's I'd never heard previously for auditioning, and this evening I went to audioreview.com just to see what other listeners were thinking. All over the map! And very few with a similar take to mine. Just shows to go ya...
P.S. - This sort of seemingly random variability in reporting on cable sonics *could* be interpreted as supporting 'objectivist' claims that the perceived sonic differences between wires reside primarily inside our heads.
Zaikes: My thoughts on cable performance are that each cable acts as an impedance transformer between the components it is linking together. Since each component has their own input / output impedance, various levels of reactance, various levels of stability, etc... there is no telling what you'll end up with. This is why there are so many variances from system to system using the same cables. On top of that, using the same cable at different lengths can do much the same thing i.e. alter the impedances that the signal sees. Sean
Adiorio I should address my stand on the AZ 'house sound' to you as my response was to your post. While of course YMMV regarding the sound of AZ products with your stereo I found them to be a little bass heavy, a friend uses the term 'driving force' to describe some products bass performance and this describes my experience with AZ products. I did not find any of the AZ products to be especially detailed but were not noticably lacking in those areas either. I think the Satori is a very nice deal, I really like that wire for the price. I do mean the single run, I have not heard a double run.
crazy4blues I found the WOW to be a little 'splashy' in the upper midrange but otherwise I think it too had quite a bit of bass which is why I describe my experience with it as warm.
Sean I have always enjoyed your thoughtful and informative responses and I welcome any comments regarding my (or any other) posts, I like another perspective myself. If anything I tend to get lazy and presume other have read the magazines and posts on Audiogon like I have, not always true I am sure. On the other hand when I post a question, I sometimes get responses stating audio basics when I would just like a response to my question. I will work on being more specific and deliberate (hence more respectful too) on my posts and responses.
Bottom line is, the more I listen to and learn about HI FI the more I respect system matching and that includes cables.
Phil: As i stated, i wasn't trying to "gouge" on you guys, but was just stating what is a fact. That is, ask 10 people a question pertaining to cabling and you'll get 10 different answers with the possibility for some overlap amongst those 10. Obviously, interpreting such data becomes more difficult than listening for yourself. Sean
Very well-put Sean. And it should be pointed out that doesn't apply only to cabling...
as far as specifications, is impedance the main variable to cable sound in your opinion? If so is there a target number or are they all over the map? For instance for solid state amplifiers I imagine impedance figures may be different than tubes amplifiers. I wonder if there is a 'safe' specification to impedance values or maybe it would be easier to mention an unsafe zone where you are more likely to run into sound variables.
This is reminding me of Paul Speltz autoformer/speaker cable where you tune the sound of your amp with different loads the amp 'sees' and tailor the sound to your liking. I owned an autoformer in the past and there was a big difference to the sound when making a change to the load value.
Sean, as far as your comment on 'gouging'. I feel you have been most gracious to all at Agon and am most happy to see your contributions on these pages.