The Cardas cables cetainly wouldn't be considered bright.
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I just returned a demo set of Colorado to the dealer. I have my whole system wired with Cardas Golden Reference.
I tried them(Colorado)between the LP12/Linto and also between my Ayre C5xe-mp and my ARC LS26. On the TT they sounded very close in timbre and some passages were maybe even a little more analytical than the cardas. I noticed the biggest difference on the CDP and that is where I decided to take them back. They were in my opinion muting or dull by comparison to the cardas. I did a similar thread about a month ago here before I tried them, you wish to search for that one and see the responses I received. But in conclusion I will keep the Cardas GR's, howevere I wouldn't mind trying the Niagra or Blue Sky. And to address your question more directly, I have never felt the Cardas to be bright, they will bring out the upper range in detail, but in a natural timbre.
I have a pair of Audioquest Columbia 72v running from my Thorens TT to an ASR phono stage and I am never fatigued by their performance. I'm about to replace my Grado mono cartridge with the Ortofon Cadenza Mono cartridge but plan to stay with the Columbia's. My other cables are all HiDiamond and I would recommend the HD Black Gold Reference rca interconnects to anyone but they certainly aren't cheap.
I agree with the commentary above regarding the break-in period being beneficial.
I replaced a pair of Voodoo Essence with the Columbia XLR's to run between a Bel Canto DAC3.5VB and a Pass Labs XA30.5. The Pass seems to roll off the highs a bit so the Columbia does not sound too bright to me in my system.
I owned the Colorado as well, but in my system it sounded more on the warm side. But the Cardas Golden ref is more warm sounding compared to the Colorado. But there is one thing you will loose. You will have less resolution and less decay with this cable. But it will give you the warmth in the mid freq.
My Dealer in New Jersey, called me specifically to tell me of the wonderful performance of Colorado. I greatly respect his ears and knowledge of what is available. Remember that all cables sound different in different systems, but I have no doubt that Colorado is an excellent cable due to his recommendation I have never had any luck with any Cardas cable I've had in my system.
Agree with stringreen. I've read very few positive comments about Cardas interconnects. I had one Colorado for my table into the phono pre. Once the Music Direct sale of Colorado happened I took advantage of the great prices to wire my entire system with Colorado. To do so I eliminated one Harmonic Technology Magic Link II and 2 Kimber Select KS-1021s. Never sounded better. As always based on your system, YMMV.
I started out with the Columbias. The sound was too diffuse with a weaker bass response. The depth was there but not the punch that you expect from a good kick drum for example. I traded out the Columbias for Colorados and had a more focused sound, natural detail (pluck of guitar strings) and natural bass punch was there. What really sold me was hearing live music and then coming home to listen to similar tunes on the system and being satisfied with what I now heard.
hifiman5366 posts11-18-2016 6:39pm
I'm curious to hear what your experiences were between the HT and the AQ cables. Is the HT "muddier" sounding than the Colorados?
I agree with tooblue cardas cables will tame a foward or bright sounding system, and still sound musical warm and rich sounding. I use klipsch speakers and they can be bright and to revealing at times. I also use cardas cross interconnects. The cross interconnects seem to be the sweet spot in the cardas line.