Bullot, take a look at my review here on the GON on the Stealth Audio Sextet digital cable for details why I still think this the best cable sonicly compared to about six or seven other highly regarded cables. The last comparsion was between the Sextet and the reference Tara Labs digital cable, retails for around $6000.00, with the Tara Labs sounding a very distance second sonicly.
$6,000 for a digital cable, oh my. It sure makes the hammers and toilet seats purchased by the government look cheap.
Like Teajay said, read his review, and then check out a used Stealth Varidig Sextet.
I had a Virtual Dynamics Master, then a Revelation and finally a Revelation Signature. The Stealth Varidig Sextet has an "it's just right" sound to it that easily bested the VD pieces in my system.
My personal favorite is the Harmonix (combax corp) Digital interconnect. I've tried a lot and ended up with copper over copper/silver or silver. It's around $1000 bucks.
As they say, system dependent or to each his own:
I found the Tara Labs worked best in my system when compared to the Stealth Sextet & the Virtual Dynamics Genesis.
Much better bass definition & balance through the frequency range over the other 2.
I'm sure you will get many other opinions when it comes to digital cables or cables in general.
Thanks for all the opinions, and relating your different experiences folks! Anyone tried out the Kharma Enigma? Teajay......I'll check out your review right now!!
Another to consider is the Harmonic Technology Cyberlight/ Photon cables with the latest battery pack 4. Really good cables -- incredible detail presented harmonically natural. The Sextet is also very, very good, but I ultimately sold mine in favor of the HT.
I also use a Tara One. Not as airy or detailed as the HT, but brings its own set of strengths, notably in the bass with weight and authority, and very smooth.
I'm beginning to think you just have to try them out with your electronics and see what matches your system and tastes.
I tried the Kharma Enigma, Tara Labs The One, Zu Ash, Straightwire Gold, and Kubala-Sosna Emotion Digital Cables.
In my system the best one was the Kubala, then in descending order was, Kharma, Tara Labs, Zu Ash, then Straightwire. The last two cables I just had lying around from a previous setup.
I compared a Kharma Enigma Coax Digital to a Kubala AES/EBU so some of my findings may be due to the differences in design. I didn't spend too much time evaluating the Tara Labs Cable, since it was quickly deemed 3rd best in my setup.
The Kharma had a more forward midrange when compared to the Kubala, and the bass was not as robust as the Kubala. The treble on the kharma was a little zippier than the Kubala. The Kharma's bass was a little leaner, when compared to the Kubala, however the bass was always tight. . The Kharma's low level resolution was slightly better than the Kubala, which surprised me since I felt the Kharma Cable was not as quiet as the Kubala. This finding probably had more to due with the slightly more forward midrange of the Kahrma.
The Kubala was better balanced from top to bottom. The bass, midrange, or treble never stood out. The bass was full and tight, The midrange was luscious, and the treble was silky smooth. The Kubala also had a more laid back soundstage, behind the speakers. I also felt that the soundstage was slightly deeper and wider on the Kubala. I preferred the fuller bass of the Kubala, yet it was never bloated. The sound of the Kubala was also very musical and coherent. The Kubala had a quieter and blacker background, but some of this was probably due to the AES/EBU input.
For those of you out there who don't want to spend this much money on a digital cable, I found the Zu Ash, very much to my liking, and the most similar to the Kubala, with just a slighlty less quiet background, and a slightly smaller soundstage.
I think at this level it's all about system matching.
CORRECTION: The Tara Labs Digital Cable that I demoed was "The Zero" not "The One."
Another suggestion would be the Synergistic Research D-3 digital IC. It easily trounced a very good Esoteric digital IC in my system costing more than twice as much, which in turn had sounded better than VD Rev.
The D-3 is probably 1 of the last true real "bargains" in high-end audio today. It is definitely worth auditioning - you will probably be as amazed as I was.... It is still in my system and is absolutely worth a try. A good SR dealer will let you do this for no charge, which pretty much makes this a no-brainer. All systems are different, but this IC is really something special, especially at its price point!
I have heard nothing better in my system under $5K
I have tried many digicables, including the Kharma Grand Ref (very good, still use with my Wadia i70 Transport)and Nordost Valhalla (also very good), but have had the Stealth Sextet running from my modded CEC TL-1X to Dodson 218 DAC for the last 3 years and never even think of trying anything else. It just does nothing wrong and everything right.
For value, PNF Audio beats 'em all! If you spend more, most of the time you'll just get bling...!
Thanks for all the great feedback suggestions folks. I currently have on order, and am expecting their arrival in the next week or two........the Virtual Dynamics Genesis and Stealth Sextet. I will compare the two and keep the best one for my system. Perhaps periodically it will be fun to keep comparing. I'll post my results here!
there really is no best, only different and that will really depend on the rest of your set-up including taste. Out of the two you are trying I ended up with the Sextet with latest connectors in my set-up and don't miss the ridget, heavy design of the VD product, actually I have Stealth through out which replaced the VD Genesis cables I had at one time and no longer cable hunt.
I had the V.D. Revelation Signature and auditioned a Pegasus Gold Digital from
John at KCI and never looked back, much smoother and less mechanical to my ears,
my RCA jacks thanked me too.
Update: I got the VD Genesis in and could not audition it. Visually and with respect to build, it was amazing, beautiful in every way! However, the weight was too much for my RCA connections to handle! Believe me, I wanted to audition it, but would have had to put the wife behind the system stand, holding the cables weight from damaging my RCA connections. Obviously the vision of her behind the system, stepping around the wiring nightmare back there,and holding an interconnect while I listened to music, put enough fear in me that I sold the VD unauditioned.
Didn't you have a way of proping it up? It's been said that VD digital cables are actually their analog IC's.
I wanted very much to listen to this unit, I waited so long for them to make it, but because of my system setup there was just no easy way to deal with it. I could have pounded a nail in the wall and rigged up some string (rope) to try and hold the weight......but if for any reason the string gave way or nail came out, I have no doubt my RCA's on the back of my components would be toast. In the end I thought......you know, I'm not going to keep the thing with a string tied to a nail, to hold the cable up, anyways, so what's the point.......and now that I think of it I couldn't pound a nail in the wall either cause my projector screen was in the way and I would of had to move it up. I just couldn't think of a safe or even semi-risky way to get it done. It is incredibly beautiful stuff, but I think you need a deep stand/rack so you can hold it up with cable isolators and such.