I have been using the Stealth Sextet AES/EBU for years, after having run through Nordost Valhalla (very good) and Kharma Grand Ref (exceptional, still use it in different place in system). Got tired of constantly trying new digicables when the Stealth continues to satisfy. My bet is the choice among your list will be system dependent, so prepare to drive yourself crazy.
One thing I learn in my 30 some years in this hobby is that higher price doesn't always mean better.
I agree with what Neal said about the Stealth Sextet cable. I went through a very massive auditioning of highly regarded digital cables and found nothing better then the Sextet. For details take a look at my review here on the GON on this cable.
I know that there is a good cables available at low and medium priced category (tested over 20 cables in past year), but can you say that there is no better cable in higher priced category...
Sorry, but there is better cables existing in higher priced category, but it depends who is willing to pay the price... I do ..., but as said at the beginning thread that I wanted to include these six cables, which are over $1.000,00 and rated high in many audiophile communities (Asia, Europe and USA) as the best cables over $1000 category.
Sidssp, you can think that its not worth of paying higher price, but the reality has shown otherwise to achieve the maximum results ...of course depends on your system ...it does not make sense to put $5.000,00 cable to same priced system ...and I know that e.g. some cheaper cables beats e.g. Nordost AES/EBU ..BUT as Neal stated about his experience and the Varidig Sextet, I strongly agree with Neal that Sextet is a strong AES/EBU, but is it the best?!
...And newcomer ASI Liveline along with Kubala-Sosna Emotion are interesting and I have not had change to test them yet, but in next month I will have chance to test these cables ...and would like to hear audiophiles experiences...
Like said, this is thread to share experiences / information that provide support / guidance audiophiles when starting look around a new AES/EBU cables...
And I think I am not the only one who is ready to pay higher price, if needed ...to achieve the best sound out of my system and real-sounding system... Even I am a very happy and satisfied ...But I still continue searching the better ...ultimate perfection ...sound that I have not yet hear ;=)
...This is not cheapest hobby and everybody does not have chance to out cable (though I have), but its all about team spirit and support inside audiophile community...
You have a great cable no doubt as Sextet is at least a one of the best cables available, but before I will buy a new cable I would like to hear are there similar view as I have about these cables.
Would it be too much trouble for you to give a deeper view to those cables you tested?
Which cables you went thru and what are the strengths of Sextet vs. those other cables ...And was there any other cable that you could recommend otr consider e.g. recommendations to the bright, neutral and warm (tube) sounding systems...
I know that sextet works with warm and neutral sounded systems, but how about those other cables you tried? Have you had a chance to try e.g. MIT Oracle MA-X or other cables listed in here? MIT is only that I have not chance to get for the test...
Audio Nirvana, Sextet and Transparent I have tested and as mentioned testing continues on next month with Kubala and ASI...
- Ilkka -
I have owned the Sextet (carbon fiber connectors) and currently own the Kubala Sosna Emotion, both 1.5m and balanced. Both are excellent cables, I wouldn't hesitate to use either long term.
The Kubala is very smooth and may not have the very best bass.
So choice would depend on application.
As always: YMMV
My search hasn't been as exhaustive as some of the others in this thread, but I have found the Argento cables very good. Their SMR sounds great in my system (sorry my systems page is pretty out of date for those checking).
Since I wrote my review on the Sextet over six years ago I have continued to audition many other digital cables. The only ones I have not listened to that you have on your list are the Audio Nirvana and ASI Liveline, so I can't address how they compare to the Stealth Sextet.
I still have found the Sextet to be my favorite cable in my system. It just gets out of the "way" more then the other cables and lets the music flow out more naturally from my rig. I don't think the Sextet would improve a "bright/forward" sounding system, short of that I can't imagine that it would not have good synergy in most systems. If you wanted a cable with a very slight warmth added to the mix I would then suggest the Kubala Sosna that you have on your list.
Great input and similar experiences that I have with Sextet and in the next few weeks I will have a chance to test Kubala-Sosna (I hope) and ASI Liveline AES/EBU cables.
I am a very interested to hear what are the differences between MIT Oracle MA-X and Sextet? I know that Sextet is the best I know ...so far as not been able review Kubala and Asi yet.
Please, if somebody has had a chance to do real comparison between MIT and Sextet, your input will be highly appreciated. I have heard extremely good reviews about MIT, that its delivers almost everything perfectly, but also downsides are that its not able deliver reality and be lively sounding as Sextet? Can someone comment on that?
Teajay, my system is pretty neutral sounding, and I think Sextet is a strongest contender at the moment, but like said Kubala and ASI on the way to my and my friend systems ...And I always appriciate audiophiles you are willing to share they experiences and recommendations on the way searching the perfect audio nirvana ;=)
- Ilkka -
It's been a while since I have had other digital cables but I spent a great deal of time auditioning prior to selecting the MA-X. For me, it was simply better at everything and the gap was not a small one. Both the Sextet and Emotion are very nice cables as is the Valhalla but none of them produced the level of detail and even more so, image placement, that the MA-X did. Some of the comments above describing the Sextet as musical, rich and full sounding is very much what I heard as well. It produced a massive stage in my system and is overall quite pleasant. The Emotion is very similar, slightly less detailed and less articulate in the lower registrars.
At this level it is important to spend time with these cables in your own system. I think you will find that they all have different character's so it becomes a subjective choice. I'm a detail freak....Spectral/MIT/Wilson/Berkeley so the MA-X fits my taste well. Others prefer some bloom and more warmth and could care less about getting exactly what was done on the recording. Many many flavors for many many tastes....
Thanks for your great input. As described the Kubala-Sosna is for people who love very warm sound...
As I love details (though I am not freak ;=)) and neutral sound (why I love Millenium MK IV), you can easily make differences with different component (pc or interconnect).
...how you would describe MIT vs. Sextet in case of neutrality and instruments sounding close to real?
...Is MIT able to deliver instruments warmth or is MIT a lot of dynamics and details leaning a little bit more analytical side comparing to Sextet?
...Frankly saying if we assume that system is E2E a very neutral sounding from recordings point, but instruments should take a little step forward sounding a more real which one you would recommend?
(Taking guitar and playing it vs. recording)
Sorry that I tried to approach a same thing from different angles, but hopefully you understand what I am looking for ;=)
Yes, we audiophiles have different tastes, but there are also the people who share the same taste ;=) My perfect audio nirvana is that instruments e.g. guitar sound close to real and neutral (warmth sound is there when it is there) even I would played myself at the same time when playing the same song from front end (source) ;=)
Ijarvile....I really am not sure, it's been some time since I had other cables here. I definitely found the MA-X more true to the source. My system does produce very "real" sounding instruments and I suppose the digital cable is an influence but all of my gear was selected for accuracy so it's also a sum of the parts.
Do let us know the outcome of your trials.
I have all JPS Aluminata in the studio. I've tried lots of cable from Mogami to Transparent.
Did you get to here the ASI cable?
Since this thread has come back I will complicate it some more. A good friend of mine has an Acoustic Revive DISX and loves it. He also has the MA-X which I believe he likes better but it's very very close according to his reports. He modified the DISX adding a battery power supply so that matters too.
DISX goes for 1k and 1.5K for PS?
I need Spdif and looking at the MIT MA-X. I guess the MIT is one of the top Digital cables going.
Would love to know if the ASI can run with the MIT.
We have not executed our tests yet.
the Hi-Fi Expo is coming up in Helsinki ...So it will take a some extra time before this review is done / wrapped up.
I will get back when this is done. Test will cover up the most of these cables mentioned in here and there is need for break-in period.
Glory, if you are considering the S/PDIF cable, I would recommend either MIT or Sextet, depending on your system.
What I have heard from people is that ASI Liveline is stronger contender with AES/EBU than S/PDIF connection.
MIT makes great cables, but their customer service "Suc...s" as they do not even bother to answer some technical questions ...related to jitter and quarter wave length issues as there is different implementation techniques which can have a some level impact.
Especially jitter has a big impact to the sound quality.
Down to Teo Audio STD/ MIT MA-X or the Harmonic Photon digital Spdif cables.
Running Lampizator T/D. Into ASR Emitter 1.