For me... in my system... I'll take the Magic IIs over the AZs... any day.
That said, the HT Magic IIs ain't the end of the road either.
I've had both at one time or another in my rig (s). I use the HT M II as the main IC. it has decent bass, not the last word there, good tone, nice detail, and resonable resolution, while not bleaching out the color of the music.
I refer to the Magic II casually as the 'poor mans' MIT magnum. though they are quite different in some areas they are more alike than different... namely the color aspect.
Let me put it another way, I could easily go with the Magic IIs thoughout, but not the Magnums throughout, I don't think. They are too intensely revealing and reduce the vibrancy of the musical tones.
The HT Magic IIs are a better cable too than the older Is, yet both are worthwhile considerations as ICs. I found the IIs overall a better solution for me than the AZ cables for the IIs conveyed more of the venue ambience, and allowed for great detail without being strident or too 'hi fi-ish' sounding. Tjhey work well just about where ever. I loaned out my own set to a friend who has the older Is and together he felt his system got a significant shot in the arm and was well pleased with them, until he had to send them back to me. Like the Cardass neutral ref cables, I think everbody should have a set of each issued to them when they get serious about building a system as a baseline ref or last step. Depending on the means, of course.
Magic IIs work well also with tubes or SS. the price tag on the AZ & HT says it all IMHO.
I will be adding a Magic II to my system today b/w preamp and amp to go with a Kimber 1021 upstream. It will be replacing (possibly temporarily) a Kimber 1016 which is very nice, full-bodied with nice texture. I am hoping for a little more resolution while maintaining texture.
Interesting description Blindjim on the Harmonics - sounds like they will be interesting in my system. I own and have used many variants of MIT over the years. My only complaint is the higher marques just don't have the midrange texture the lower models like 330 SG have - but the 330 series doesn't have the resolution the higher marques have so it's a trade off like most cables are. The higher marques of MIT I am referring to are Magnum M1, 350 reference, and 350 SG EVO. I haven't tried the more recent iterations such as MA, dots, or Oracle except in speaker cables and found the same to be true, lack of midrange texture with my Thiels.
For me a MIT Mag would likely sit on my source outputs... as it has before. now there is a pair of Nirvana SX Ltds there. The imaging is better with the SX and the music is delivered uh, easier than it would have been with the Mags. The SX have better ambient retreval as well, but not the bass the MITs do.
The MIT Mags do image better than the Magic IIs by a noticeable bit. But again, the IIs are pretty good and especially for the $$$.
Thanks. Right out of the box it sounds very nice and seems to accomplish what I was after - beautiful detail retrieval while maintaining texture and timbre purity the system delivers with the help of the Kimber 1021's upstream. More time will tell...
Further take after a few albums.....nice and detailed without grain or unnatural brightness that I can detect. Very balanced tonality wise with a layered and deep soundstage compared to Kimber 1016, MIT Magnum 1, MIT 350 SG EVO. Also more holographic soundstage compared to the my other 3 cables mentioned. Perhaps the biggest difference is how much more dynamic this cable is compared to the others. Sorry I can't comment on AZ Matrix II since I haven't heard it.
This cable is between my preamp and amps with Kimber 1021 upstream and a captive tonearm wire on my Hadcock tonearm.
the AZ MII is no where near the Magic II. price in cabling is usually quite close to it's performance level. Usually. Once you get up above the $1K mark per pair, I've found things simply are different flavors.
The one thing not all cables do is the bottom end... really well.
It's funny you should say the MIT Mag 1 wasn't as deep a sound stage as is the Magic II. I felt they were about the same... the Magnum merely have more of everthing than the Magics.... save for the color in the tones.
My Magic II is also as my main IC. I had been using my sub with the Dodd monos until the Butler arrived... there was now little need if any. Consequently I used also a pair of Y cables with which to supply both the amp & sub... OK. no using the sub, I thought to disconnect the little 3-4 inch y's and eliminate them completely.
The diff was not subtle. Whoa! The little ys were very much drying out the sound and affecting both resolution and details.
Another cable which I've found to be just fantastic is my SR Resolution Reference x2 active shielded cables.
I find them besting the Magic Iis in sound stage representation, bass sound field size. Images too are as or more stable. Again, they sold orig for $1250 per set... vs the 800 for the Magic IIs. So there is that.
The thing is they don't mate well with the Nirvana SX Ltds. Lovely. So I gotta sell them so I can do something else... like get another MIT Mag. lol. or a new to me, PC like another Elrod or something.
Glad things are working out for ya man.
Thanks Jim - I have been a long time user/fan of MIT. I started with them pre-network days with their vari-lay technology and always wanted music hose SC but couldn't afford it! The magnums are excellent and you nailed it with the tonal color difference compared to HT. I had Magnum M2 SC for a long time - that was good too but again with Thiels the midrange was just a bit on the dry side. Have been using Audience au24 for a while - does everything well, doesn't get in the way, overall a balanced cable. Have you tried any HT SC - like the pro 9 reference?
if by that you're pointing to HT squeaker cables, No.
I am considering moving my power train into my listening room, and for that I'll need some new ones. I use the SR Sig 10 active x2 version now.
I've found, as previously mentioned, SR had been an outstanding value and performance cable co until they began the system dependant approach with the Tesla line up.
natuarlly I don't tell any of my cables if they've been outdated. their signatures remain in tact and their ego's aren't severely bruised that way.... and oh, yeah, I get to have more fun and spend way less than jumpin' on the What's new? band wagon.
I will be seeking out something akin to what I've expereienced so far and maybe somethign entirely different, however at this stage I've been liking the idea of acquiring a bit more of the Nirvana SX influence... and they are atop my list for squeaker wires. But they're OMG! EXPENSIVE. i'M ALSO THINKING MAYBE jps... and HT.
We'll see... pretty much all of the wires which have impacted me and some which I almost bought are posted into my A'gon reviews.
Yeah the nirvana sx is ultra expensive! I have tried the SL's and feel they fell slightly behind Audience and Straightwire Maestro II (not by much at all)and into the same league with Kimber monocle XL and Goertz M2. All of these cables are at a similar price point and perform as such. My beleif and everything I have read is the SL's are in a different league. Good luck with that one!
I may try the Harmonic Tech pro 9 ref when I get in the mood for the garden hose asthetics - looking at those tiny Audience wires coming out of 500 watt mono's just looks funny - but they sound big!
Tried both the SL & the SX. Two different worlds. I think the SL are made for those rigs that aren't terribly afixed to the idea of great sound. They can take off the edges and ease up the too bright highs... like #80 sandpaper. you'll definitely wind up with a smooth sounding reproduction. they were too smooooth for me. The SX are another story entirely!
I think the key in spkr wires is finding some which add or subtract nothing or very, very little. I also like the idea of keeping with the same brand along the path as is poosible. Power cables too. For a long while I had Voodoo and then Shunyata... now it's more Shuyata & Elrod. Another one of each is perhaps on my horizon. So depending on which ic I use to upgrade the Magic IIs, may indicate which brands of spkr wires I'll go with, as they'll be of the same brand as either IC.
'course... this is highly speculative, and who knows what will be 'to me' next. I'm leaning towards the Oppo BDP... then wires.
Currently I'm getting up the gumption to attack some fiberglass & mineral wool to DIY some traps. yeech.
Sounds like you need to spring for another run of SX! Just do it....I'm going to get another run of magic II to get the full flavor. I've always been a fan of same brand wire, esp for ic's. We'll see...
Good for you Pops
Does HT make a Magic spkr cable?
SX = $2500 for 8ft or less is a hunk for me. Plus, at least two ded ckts have to be tapped onto and new outlets reaportioned. Another stand for the preamp is needed too. There might be something I've overlooked too.... so the upcoming squeaker wires addition is a ways off... unless I simply add a lengthy supply cord to the RSA Haley plc and use only one ded ckt for pre & amps.
Like the Wicked witch of the West said, "Waht a world... What a world." as she melted away.
Oh, and there's that BDP 83 Xmas gift to myself and a new full on high end bed too! I need a new bed badly!
Sleep is overrated....."Keith Richards"
I believe the HT pro 9 reference is top o line - I don't know if they still make the tweeter/woofer cables - they were way more expensive than the aforementioned - at least they aren't listed on the website.
I'm in your boat Jim I need a lot of stuff too and could use a new stand myself...plus there's always the upgrade virus....I feel a cold coming on.
By the time I get a 'round-to-it' wires might be either replaced by new tech, or just outright illegal... and I need biwires or jumpers..
Nicotico: I have owned both of these as interconnects. IMO, AZ has more of a "copper sound" (more bass fullness) while the HT has a more "silver sound" (smoother and more extended highs, tight bass). Yet both are a mixture of copper & silver (don't know the exact ratios). In my system the HT was ultimately less fatiguing and more musical, even if giving up a bit of bass presence relative to the AZ.
Actually, I'm reasonably happy with the Matrix Ref II in my system. I have the Silver Ref II in front of it, if that tells you anything. If I had to quibble, I'd like about 10-15% less "body" in the mids and 10-15% more detail in the highs.
Those who had experience with both the Matrix and the Magic: do you think the Magic Link II would get me there, or would the Magic Link II be too much of a departure from the sound of the Matrix Ref II?
There's a review online by a fella who calls himself Levi I believe, for Enjoy the Music? who writes about the Magic II, and the Silver ref II, perhaps that will get you closer to the truth.
I think there's more to it than just the cabling though... all I heard from many others was the Silver Refs were better in the II version, than before but could sound bright in the wrong system.
It could have something to do with it like Raul said too.. the amount of silver vs. copper, but I'm not sure. I feel brightness might be too much of a good thing, or perhaps not enough in other areas below the top end being promoted and thus the highs are noticed more and become edgy or don't blend well enough into the mix.
I've had all silver over copper cables and some outright silver and they weren't bright. I do prefer a mix of the two, but I'll seldom ask for it and just try the cable as there are so many other variables than just the mixture... connectors, impedance matching... resistance, etc.
My Nirvana SX is a very smooth wire, yet has superb detail and venue retreval. My Magic II follows it as the pre to amp IC.
As I use a preamp, I have other sources with different cables on them, and the Magic does well with all of them and I don't feel I'm losing anything. For the $$$ preowned, I think they do a great job in my rig, with my ears.
I'm sure there are equals and or betters out there... I just haven't found them yet.. and I'm not in the mood to hunt them up right now... so that says something I suppose.
Of course, all these cables are mighty popular so if you got one and didn't like it you could pretty easily sell it again.
I've got 2 runs of magic II, one from my phono pre and one from my linestage to amps. I haven't spent alot of time with them yet but the time I have has been very good. They definitely better Kimber Selects in my system, more nuances, natural timbre and just ultra smooth even with all the detail they retrieve.
They are also more dynamic than any IC I've had in my system.