Marigo Labs Apparition 5.7
One of the finest in the world.
One of the finest in the world.
I too am looking for a digital cable.
From what I have have read I am going to get one of the two following cables.
i2digtital cable of you have more money
Or the Stereovox HDXV for less money
Both share the same designer.
The Sterovox will off about 90% of the performace of the i2digital for a 1/3 of the price.
Also, take a read of this article. It says we should use a cable with the length of 1.5m. I tried it with my current digital cable and noticed a positive improvement with a longer cable.
Hello, to everyone on this thread. If Gfroman and Hooper would be nice enough to share their impressions of the sonic virtues of the Marigo 5.7 cable, it would greatly appreciated by me. I have always been curious about this cable and you guys have direct experience with it, so please share your thoughts. Thanks.
Ketchup, I am using the Blue Jeans between my Sony 9000es and the Dolby DTS converter and frankly cannot hear any difference between it and the Purist on movies.
This of course is not a definitive test as my surround sound system is hardly state of the art. I am expecting the latest version tube DAC from Scott Nixon tomorrow and will give both cables a try with music.
Referring to the Marigo Apparition 5.7, it is a well built but very stiff 1.5meter cable. Bending the cable to fit your configuration is no problem however.
This cable seems to do what a digital cable should do, convey every bit of information from the DA to the transport without any digital hash, harshness, etc.
Assuming you have a first rate DA and transport, the 5.7 simply gets out of the way and lets their strengths shine through.
A disclaimer, since having a Marigo digital cable in my system since 1998 - I have become a distributor for their products. I am a devoted follower of Marigo Labs for sure!
Have I missed it but what kind of digital equipment have you got? Recently shopping for a 25' AES/EBU digital cable, I got prompt Paypal service on Mogami 3173 available here:
Drill down for pics and specs here:
With a suggested maximum length of 1,000 feet, 25 feet of 3173 does exactly what it should: it works like a charm. Digital coax may be more voodoo, but of the three real world AES/EBU choices, Belden, Canare and Mogami, it's a safe bet your CDs passed thru one of them on their way to you. The topper for me was that Mogami 3173 is the only one to address the long-run specific criteria.
Interesting observation Albert.
A group of us audio nuts tested a half dozen digital cables. All but one sounded the same to all ears. That one is the Virtual Dynamics Masters. It was definitely better. All the others couldn't be told apart, including the three wire stuff you get with every cheap DVD player.
Since then, the VD has been making the rounds throughout our audio club, vanquishing all comers. That is, until it met the Audio Note digital. Dang those guys do things right. And, the AN cost half the VD.
Ndeslions- for half the cost of one of your Furutech Digi Ref IIIs, you can upgrade your RCS PSU and get more details, more dynamics, more air, then any cable can provide.
Mr.Porter- I looked at your system, where do you use/need a digital cable?
If you're only running at 44.1K, there's lots of good digital cables, for 96/192k,I like Audience Au24 AES cable. With Audience's 30 day money back policy, they're definately worth a try.
The tops in my actual experience are Nordost Valhalla, PAD Dominus and Kharma Grand Reference. All very expensive but well worth the money if found used.
Next level down are AZ MC2 and Nordost Silver Shadow. Close on their tail are the iX2 Digital and a raving bargain is the Better Cables Silver Serpent digital.
Hope this helps. Foregoing based on my personal experiences.
My understanding is a digital cables impedance, inductance, total length, internal reflectance and quality of terminations all play a role in its ability to preserve data.
Lots of discussion here at Audiogon on the subject, including the concept of maintaining 75 ohms as that is supposed to be the standard.
Then there is the issue of whether the DAC and transport are TRUE 75 ohm and would benefit from that exact termination.
Connectors play a role, with BNC type claiming to be "the" 75 ohm standard. In response, Canare built an RCA version that is reported to be just as accurate.
So as usual, the answer is not easy and why many of us choose to audition various cable to determine what works.
Being a transmission lines for high-frequency digital signals (megahertz range), all digital cables must first meet the "minimum" requirement of a 75-Ohm impedance. Some expensive digital cables unfortunately do not even meet this simple standard and most consumers have no way of knowing that.
Having the correct 75-Ohm impedance alone is of course no guaranty of a perfect signal transmission. As Albertporter already mentioned, connectors, termination, length, etc., could also affect the signals.
I am lucky enough to have a friend, a EE who worked in data transmission and has the equipment to measure the basic performance of digital cables. He showed me on his scope signal problems caused by impedance mismatch and reflections in the cables. The test signals became distorted with overshoots and other ugly noise spikes. This is not acceptable, especially from cables costing upward of $500. He did some simple things to the the connectors/terminations, and suddenly the test signal emerged perfectly undistorted. Listening tests with and without the fix confirmed the clear sound improvement.
And these are only problems that we understand pretty well. Engineering variable, however, are rarely fully defined and understood. There are often hidden parameters that we failed to account for at first, second, or even third pass.
So as a consumer chosing a digital cable, the first thing is to get absolute assurance of a 75-Ohm impedance. Then, find out about the quality of the connectors and terminations. If these issues are resolved, you would have avoided the first-order problems. Your ears will do the rest. It's pointless to try a digital cable that's are not even 75 Ohm.
Sometimes I wished that there were stricter regulations for digital cables, for example a 75-Ohm label like food nutiritional-fact label, based on actual measurements, not just wishful thinking. It would not be a guaranty of great sound, but it's a good start.
Sorry to be so slow in responding, the Scott Nixon DAC is a substantial improvement over the stock Sony 9000es, which probably comes as no surprise to anyone here.
The Scott Nixon may require additional break in as it seems to improve with each additional hour. I suspect changes are due to the outboard (toroidal) power supply and internal caps but perhaps the DAC chip as well. The tube supplied with the Nixon is basic and I have yet to try a NOS in it's place to see what that does.
Right now it's running with the cheap Blue Jeans digital cable from the Sony and Purist Venustas (Nixon analog outs) to my Aesthetix Callisto.
Very nice digital, particularly considering it's $575.00 price tag. It performs as well as some $10K players I've had in my system, so I will probably keep it.
I will try a shoot out between the Blue Jeans digital and Purist digital in the next week or so, but I'm inclined to stay with the Blue Jeans if for no other reason than matching investment with the rest of my digital.
If I could justify an Audio Note or other cool DAC, that would be a different matter.
I also recently auditioned the Synergistic Designers' Reference and Absolute Reference digital cables. I felt that both were better than the Marigo 5.6 on my system. They both provided a better soundstage and more air. The Absolute Reference was quite a bit better than the Designers' Reference. It it one of the best digital cables I have heard, but at a price tag of $2,000 it better be.
Kuzibri, I would agree to a great extent with your praise of the Varidig Sextet, I would just word it as the most musical/organic cable I have auditioned so far. I just posted a review on the Sextet last week here on the GON stating that I believe it really offers a qualitative shift towards analog ease and musicality compared to any other digital cable I have ever heard. I just don't like to call any piece the "BEST" in the world because their are many different flavors along with personnal taste and system synergy. However, anyone looking to audition a reference level digital cable, and doesnot include the Sextet in their audition process is making a big mistake, I believe in both our opinions.
Unclejeff, I also admire the work of Mr. Robert Lee, the rest my system is cabled with Acoustic Zen, including his new reference the Absolute, the AZ E=ZEN2 is a wonderful sounding digital cable and very reasonable priced, but don't be a "true believer" the Stealth Sextet is on another level sonicly compared to the AZ cable. So, maybe you would audition the two cables in your system and then let us know what you think then.
Disclaimer: I am a Stealth distributor
The Sextet is sold with a full money back 30 day audition period and to date no purchaser has returned the cable to me for a refund. Many of them were Nordost, Siltech, Stereovox, and XLO owners. In a highly competitive marketplace, it is indeed a very fine product.
I use a Valhalla digicable (XLR) between a CEC TL-1X and a Dodson 218 DAC. IMS, it surpassed both the PAD Dominus and the Kharma Grand Reference, both of which I found to be a bit reticent, but not by much in either case; just enough to cause me to switch. I have not heard the Stealth Sextet.
I recently tried the Triad Acoustics Golden Pinnacle series and was very impressed. They have a patented EAM (Electron Alignment Matrix) technology (I know it sounds hoaky) that separates the frequencies into "designated carrier constructs." Whatever it does, it sounds AWESOME! They are not cheap ($489 retail), but definintely worth it. No -- seriously, I would try Radio Shack.