I am in the process of auditioning the Clairvoyant Liquid interconnects and am very impressed. They sound different from most other cables in that they do not have the distortion that most all cables seem to have. This is most noticeable on vocals which are very pure sounding with these cables. The other thing about these cables is tone. These hit the tone right on. No zing or other artifact going on here. They are also highly resolving and seem to bring out more detail than any previous cable I have had but doing so in a very natural way. I am currently using the very good Shindo interconnects and have used Valhalla, Stereovox and others. Musicality is my top priority and these are better than anything I have heard. Looks like I will be buying them.
36 responses Add your response
Dmailer that is a very good observation .what I have found is once you have the interconnects in the system it is just as dramatic with the speaker cables it is just like taking the performance and making it much more 3 dimention sounding , the soundstage just opens up as well as the layering of the instruments. At some point in the near futureI will be buying his mini reference line conditioner
with also liquid cables . The power cords even the entry level power cords are Very good and shoot well above the $400 price tag.
Since the topic of liquid conductors has been brought up again, it is fair to point out there are at least two other manufacturers of such products. Cerious Technologies has been making cables with liquid ceramic conductors for a few years. Teo Audio also has been making their Liquid Cables which are unique in their use of liquid metal conductors, a proprietary, patent applied for, blend of gallium, indium, and tin.
For those attending THE Show in Las Vegas in about two weeks, Teo Audio will be demonstrating in Room 4036 at the Flamingo Hilton. Please stop by for a listen.
The other 2 companys use liquid they are still using metals in their conductors, Audio Magic uses No metal for it's conductors
and this is why they donot suffer from the RFi and ringing at higher frequencies ,they have a very natural balance ,and have 4 different price points .I have several freinds who own them and even the entry level cable betters anything at it's respective price point, that is saying a lot !
I too have had the liquid air cables from AM in my system. Yes, they are exceptional in some ways, especially bass and PRAT. They are also smooth. However there was a tonal flaw which I just could not get over. The tones had a whitish hue to it instead of the regular coppery-golden hue which we normally hear from real instruments. This coloration was present all throughout the midrange to the highs. For example saxophone sounded like a white metal rather than sounding brassy. Same with Cymbals which sounded clean, smooth, shimmering but WHITE.
This was my observation after some prolonged audition of over a month, may not be apparent initially.
I went from the Liquid air Sorcerer to the Loquid air Illusions.Mrtennis makes a valid point.
Pan did not mention if he has speaker cables as well as interconects if so what model ? I know through experience
that the speaker cables need to have at least 3-400 hrs with some volume to get the current running through them.
I have 2 audio systems and The brass sounds realon both. I can even hear inflections of reeds such as with the clarinet that is very life like you are in the room with it .Your front end has a lot to do with this aspect from your amp all the way down and it's quality, as they say you are only as strong as your weakest link. The review that was done needed at least another 200 hours before the cables came into their own.
BTW after the review and breakin he liked them so much
He Bought them !!
is it possible that the cable might be revealing some flaw in your system that other cables are covering up ?
Hello Mrtennis, I agree that such a thing can never be totally discarded however good a system might be but the probability of such a thing AFAIK with my system is very low AND I took around this cable to couple of other Audiophile's places who all have very well chosen gears. The result was similar. And again I would like to emphasize that the issue is not something very apparent in the initial listening sessions, it occurs to one (if at all) only after one lives with it for some time. Obviously once you know what is happening it becomes easier to "listen" to those flaws in other systems as well.
Let me go a step back. Many a times when we come across a "new" sound (due to a cable or an equipment change), we try to analyze it by breaking it into parts (bass, mid, treble, soundstage etc) because it makes it easier to analyze just one area at a time (Divide and conquer). Then, if some of the important areas sounds really amazing our respect for that component (in this case the cable) increases. Many a times, out of that respect we tend to give undue weightage to even the areas which "may" be sounding different but not amazing. Those are the areas which are the most difficult to understand in such scenarios. One is already clouded by the aura of the cable and now he has to say "No" to some of its aspects....possible if those aspects are really bothering else things take totally different turn, we rather try to believe that some of the not-so-amazing but new aspects is possibly the "right" sound and we need to get accustomed to it or some other favorable reason to accept what we are hearing. Many a times I have seen audiophiles are recommended to "Unlearn" to be able to appreciate the performance of a new component in the chain. And sometimes Audiophiles voluntarily try to unlearn because they "want" to appreciate a particular aspect of a component, may be it is the aura that component has created by the virtue of its performance in some other aspect or due to the image it carries or whatever.
My point is relatively simple. When "Realism" strikes, it strikes hard and it is instantly recognizable by our ears. If a cable sounds more real (due to lack of ringing or any such reason) it should not take a lot of time to judge it. If it is taking some time then we should be clearly aware that something about it is not correct which our ears have caught. One does not have to unlearn anything to appreciate realism.
For me Audio Magic cables did not sound real enough though I had to take some time to understand the "Why" of it.
there is another issue. if the cables were described as smooth and whitish. those two words contradict each other. whitish implies a grain structure.
Hello mrtennis, When I said smooth I meant it never sounded hard or harsh. Edges were too etched or sharp. The whitish thing I was referring to was about the timbral-glow of the instrument. I would say it was not very severe like some of the silver cables but it was there.
Audioman58, my associated equipments were as follows,
Transport : TEAC VRDS 10
DAC : Reimyo DAP777
Preamp : Acoustic Portrait PM1 Tube preamp
Power amp : Symphonic Line RG1 MK4
Speaker : ATC SCM40
Speaker cable was by Einstein Audio Germany (all copper).
Power cords were again all pure copper designs by Oyaide.
Pani, which Audio Magic Liquid Air cable did you try as there are 4 levels of them. As I mentioned earlier in this thread I had auditioned the Clairvoyant Liquid Air IC,s and I did end up buying them. They outperformed my Shindo IC's by a fair amount. The thing I liked about the shindo cables was the tonal qualities were more real. Surprisingly I find that the Clairvoyant cables were a major step up from the shindo in this area. Images have more body at the same time having much more detail. Things like sax/trumpet and cymbals have a more real sound to me with this cable. Most other cables I have had add artifacts to the sound which may be mistaken for extension but is really not music.
Hello A big part of your problem is your power your speakers ar super ineficient 85db and these speakers go into the 3 ohm range you need at least 250 wpc into 8ohms
O think Mr. tennis is correct.etween the very high xover point around 2.5khz that is right in the heart of the midrange this and taxing your amplifier I can see this
happening. I have no issues whatsoever with the Audio Magic Liquid Illusions the Brass has tons of bite ,after reading this my and my freinds played Miles davis kind of Blue and Between the standup Bass Piano and Trumpet
it was like the event was in the room .I am sorry these cables are outstanding in my reference system by any standards.My brothers freind have the one just under mine
with the Sorcerers and no such complaints. What model did you have and where did you get them from ? was it a whole system interconnects and speaker cables ?
I would like to respond to these outlandish accusations.I have both the Audio Magic Liquid Air interconnects as well as loudspeaker cables and I can say through experience the Bass and horns included did seem a little thin at first ,But after about 400 actual playing hours the cables sound stage ,instrumental layering and wholeness of the performance
just came together as a synergistic unit. I did try them with other cables. I do not recommend buying just interconnects or vs versa. If you did this then I can understand why possibly you were not happy .The capacitance and resistance is totally different and the synergy may not work out .This is why I bought the interconnects then shortly after the speaker cables .The Illusions are superb.
Audioman58, I am not trying to shy away from any issues that may be there with my system but would like to correct you on some of the data you have provided:
1. ATC SCM40 has a nominal impedance of 8 ohms and it has a very flat impedance curve. It never dips below 6 ohms during actual performance.
2. The cross over point for the midrange to tweeter is 3.5khz and not 2.5khz. I hope you know it is a 3 way speaker.
3. Symphonic line amplifiers are extremely conservative in their ratings. They put out loads of current. My amp is a full dual mono design with a current capability of 60 amps per channel and stable to 1 ohm. It is class A/B but is biased high in class A mode. It is possible that you may not have come across this German amp because they are not popular in US.
Coming back to AM cables, as I said I took it around to couple of other audiophile's places and came out with the same conclusion. No, none of us had AM speaker cables, we were only trying the interconnect. We also got to try the liquid air digital IC. Very similar signature. If you really think one needs to have the Liquid air speaker cables as well in order to like the interconnects wholeheartedly, well I am not sure if that should be a criteria but we didnt fulfill this criteria for sure.
BTW, I have also heard the earlier Sorcerer 4D interconnects in my system and thought they did everything amazing except the midrange tonality which was drier to my ears. The liquid air is definitely better than the 4D but still that midrange is the weaker zone IMO. Somehow I think it is Jerry's signature sound to keep everything clean, transparent, smooth, fast and uptight but something not very accurate about midrange (he may not be concentrating as much towards that zone). It is pkay because every designer has a sound in his mind which he works towards and it may some detractors as well (like me), not a big deal I suppose.
Vacuumtubeman, as an audiophile I always feel happy if a fellow audiophile has found a great product for his system which gives him higher levels of musical enjoyment. I see that you are excited with the improvement you got from AM liquid air cables. You are not the only one, I know few others who are big fans of AM cables, both liquid air as well as the earlier silver cables. I suppose you guys are really lucky because the AM cables are outstanding in many areas of music reproduction and I dont think it is easy to match them in those areas. The fact that you guys do not hear any issues with this cable in your system is boon I would say. These cables are priced very well.
The liquids were designed to be the most neutral cable I have ever built
along with the quietest cable I have ever built. As we all know, all metal
based cables will ring to one degree or another via signal going
down the cable or room vibrations. This ringing just adds to the overall noise
component that our speakers reproduce, other noise issues to be considered
are line noise, component internal self generated noise, noise riding the
ground, ambient rf and emi, Audio Magic has products to address all
As far as the midrange being a problem in my design this is just not true, the midrange is where most of the music happens and to neglect that range
is just nuts, as witnessed by most of my customers over the years my products always lean towards neutrality and are very balanced over the
audio spectrum, that being said, there is no perfect product that everyone
is going to like.
In regards to your experience with the liquids it's a possibility that there
was not enough break-in on them, usually 200 hrs. and they sound good,
400 hrs and they get alot more refined, and they will improve up to 1000 hrs.
Being a neutral design they may be exposing flaws in your system???
or maybe neutral is not your cup of tea.Like I said before nothing is perfect
for everybody, I have had way to much great feedback from customers
to entertain the thought that midrange is a problem with my cables.
The liquids are the most natural sounding cable I have ever experienced
and am very proud to offer this product to the audiophile community.
I have a lot of respect for what you do. I have heard many of your products, not just your cables. I can see real innovation behind your products which not many designers in the industry do. I also know you have lot many satisfied customers and I can see why. I would have loved to be a part of that community as well. But then if I do find some issues with the cables it should not directly imply that either my system is flawed or my taste is not neutral. I use some of the most neutral gears this industry produces, ATC speakers and Symphonic Line Amplifier. I swear by neutrality but the fact is I could hear a particular signature sound with AM cables which I could not get over with. The cables did not disappear in my system.
In the end the debate can always go on as to whether the system exposed the cable's weakness or is it the cable that exposed the system's weakness.
you may be describing what you perceive as the sound of "silver".
it's unlikely that a stereo sysyem will sound smooth and whitish. these adjectives are almopst contradictory.
depending how implemented, and the rest of the system, the so-called silver signature is most evident in the treble region.
Hello Mrtennis, I am still wondering whether we both mean the same when we say "smooth". To me smoothness is a presentation without unnecessary edges combined with lack of overall sharpness. It has nothing to do with the tone color, thats my definition.
To illustrate, two cables which I find smooth yet tonally very different are Transparent Audio and Audio Magic. The AM has a very different tonal color though.
Coming over to sound of Silver...oh yes I am highly sensitive to the sound of silver. Especially the vocal range. Even a small trace of silver sound catches my attention almost instantly. Again I would say it is mostly in the vocal range where I hear the most. And, I have realized over time that anomalies are much easier to detect than strength. Most of the "Silver" effect can be heard all the way from lower midrange to high treble. And, vocals do cover a huge range. If a cable is flawed in the highs, chances are very high that it will show up in the vocals as well and it has always done in my case. It is extremely difficult to reproduce rightness of vocals. To me till date not a single Silver interconnect has got the vocals right. I would admit that I have not tried the high end Kondo, Audio Note, Argento and the likes. Would like to try them some time and see if my perception changes. But yes, you are right that the AM cables did have some "silver" sound.
whitish to me means roughness, or grainy.
imagine a piece of wood that is smooth. if it suddenly feels rough (whitish), it is no longer smooth.
so it matters what you mean by whitish.
in photography it would be considered a chromatic aberration.
so, in audio , while it is not a frequency response phenomenon, if it is a timbral error, there is a good chance that smoothness would suffer.
I would like to add more thing that should rather complete my stand point. I like copper cables in general, not that they dont have flaws, they do but the typical flaws that arise around a copper cable is quite different than that of silver cables. Personally I can live with the typical flaws of a copper cables but not with the flaws of the silver cable.
Obviously the goal is to eliminate the flaws and get to a cable which does everything well. Really good cables supposedly do that (doesnt matter silver or copper), I am waiting to hear a really good silver cable though.
Pani, given that you and your friend's assessment of the cables are so different than mine and others who have heard them can you let us know where you obtained the cables and the number of hours that were on them when you did the evaluation? As Jerry mentioned they require considerable break-in. It is possible that they did not have the proper break-in hours. Also did they come from an authorized dealer or were they bought from an unknown source.
I just sold a pair of these cables on the 'Gon so now I feel I can give an unbiased opinion - the fact is, I sold a pair of the entry-level Liquid Airs because I upgraded to the Liquid Ilusions. I think they are simply outstanding cables for the money that do all they're reported to - excellent PRAT, resolution, air, dynamics and smoothness. They're extremely well-balanced, although they may give a slight amount of emphasis to the upper midrange. But I think that's part of what gives them their PRAT, and they do so without ever compromising their smooth, juicy sound. At the same time, it's my experience that these cables will definitely expose the shortcomings of inferior sources. I also think these cables mate particularly well with tube amps, as their extreme fidelity comes across as a little "solid-state" to my ears - in a good way, mind you.
One other thing that should be said - Jerry Ramsey is one of the finest folks in audio you will ever deal with - part of a dying breed in this industry, IMHO.
Pani, the info written by you re. the RG1 Mk4 is not correct. The RG1 Mk4 is a 130W/ch amplifier, it is a strictly class-AB design & it is not "biased high in class-A mode" - the heatsinks of that size simply do not support that kind of thermal dissipation. Further, your amp uses 350VA-400VA transformers with something like 32-35VAC secondaries. Thus, these transformers are able to support only 12.5Amps of current. There are 3 BJTs for push & 3 for pull. So, your amp is limited in how hard a speaker load it can drive. It might very well be sufficient for your needs but it is not outputting 60Amps of current per channel! You would smoke those output transistors as you'd stray out of their SOA + the power transformers cannot support that sort of current.
Also, the RG1 Mk4 is not stable into 1-Ohm. It is certainly not cited by the manuf & I know this to be a fact! Where did you make up this info??
The RG1 Mk4 is an entry-level power amp. A very good entry level product but do not bloat its capabilities to what they are not. Thanks.
And, the Symphonic Line of power amps are reasonably well-known in the USA - more than what you would normally think.
Bombaywalla, here are the specs from the manufacturer's site that I have just quoted in my post:
Apart from this I have personally spoken to RG and he confirmed the same. About the high bias in class A, this was again confirmed to me by RG because I was initially worried that my amp gets really warm even when it is not being played. The higher models (RG7,RG4) are biased even higher in class A is also something I learned from my conversation with RG.
There is no reason for me to bloat anything or make up info. Now, I have not heard a Kraft but how good is an RG1 is something I have done enough research to understand (apart from believing my ears). A Plinius SA-Ref sounded like shit in front of this amp and so did an Accuphase E450. There are many other comparisons I have done in the last 2 years of my ownership. Nothing could even touch this amp. While I am not using a 1 ohm load with the amp, I am neither using easy loads. Both Dynaudio and ATC needs loads of power to sing and this one amp has tamed both of them like babies.
Coming over to specs again, my previous Plinius 8200 MK2 integrated amp was rated at 35 amps per channel max current output. It had just one 400VA transformer. The SL sounds at least 3 times more powerful and controlled, relatively speaking. I am not a techie but you know what, all of us cannot be correct, someone is definitely bloating specs. Who is it, me, you or the manufacturer ?
Thanks for the link to the S-L specs. Looks like you certainly quoted what was written on that website. What bothers me is that his German website does not give even half of these specs:
why are his English & German websites so out-of-whack? Of course, this is not for you to answer. I might have to call RG himself.
2ndly, we connected the RG1 Mk3 to a B&W 802D & it basically stunk! Yes, we got music out of the speaker but that is all I can say.
The RG1 Mk3 are Sanken output transistor based & the Mk4 is Toshiba transistor based. I have looked at the specs of both these transistors & the Sankens can run higher current by about 10-20%.
So, between the RG1 Mk3 & Mk4, I would expect the RG1 Mk3 to do a better job on a tough load like the B&W 802D but it did not!
I know that you quoted what is written on the English S-L website but I can tell you that the amp did not live up to those specs when put to the test in practical situation. I am very familiar with the RG1, RG4 & Kraft amps from both the hardware & sonics perspectives.
Hence, if I were you, I would take those specs with a huge grain of salt (even tho' you spoke to RG himself). I.E. do not totally count the amp out of the equation if you feel that something does not sound correct to you.
Bombaywalla, first of all please refrain from outright accusations unless you know where someone is coming from.
Coming over to the specs, I would either believe all his specs or none of his specs. I cannot imagine why he will specifically bloat the specs of one of his amps. Having said that I do find this amp very conservatively rated just by going through its performance in comparison to other similar speced amps I have heard.
Talking about driving capabilities, all I can say is I have seen quite a few weird examples where a particular amp just doesnt work with a particular speaker. A simple illustration was when an Usher BE-718 sounded lifeless on my SL while it sounded glorious on a $500 Marantz integrated. The same Marantz sounded totally out of control when it was made to handle my Contour 1.3SE which the SL tamed like a baby. As I said I am not a techie, so I will not jump into numbers, response curves etc...but I know things are not as straight forward as you are making it out to be. An Usher 718 is anyway an ill designed speaker, so anything is possible with it. However it was just to illustrate how things can go awry with amp-speaker matching.
Till date I have not been able to put a finger on the amp, I am lucky to have found something so good. Thanks to you guys who helped me in this regard.
Another such example was when I drove a Maggie 1.6 through the RG1...the Maggies were singing and dancing like never before. I dont know the specs of the Maggie but going by your other posts it seems to be a difficult load. The room was about 400 sqft in area there was absolutely not a hint of strain on the amp.