Cable thoughts


Looking for Opinions. I'm using a pair of NBS Monitor IV XLR that date back to early 2k's. Bought them used way back when. I'm considering purchasing a set of Transparent Audio Ultra XLR with original mm1 technology, not mm2 or recent gereration 5. The price is pretty good BUT I don't want to go equal, slightly better or backwards. Just looking for some thoughts. I know at one time these were nice sounding cables but not sure how compared to today's technology. I also am using a pair of TA Super xlrs mm2 from my Ayre Codex DAC to Proceed AVP 2+6. Most of my gear is old but I love it and it still sounds great. Looking to economically upgrade thus I'm financially incapable of buying the latest greatest. 
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I'm working toward a loom of Oyaide wire. Currently using that for power cords, speaker cable, & headshell wire. The transformation so far has been very good to say the least. They replaced Tribularies PC & Morrow speaker cable. 
NBS cables were very highly thought of and pretty expensive though I can't admit I've heard them. Like as not they give up little or nothing to "today's technology" but only auditioning can really tell you. Maybe contact The Cable Co and spend some time auditioning various cables?
Buy Morrow Audio Cables, Pay for the burn in, live with them and pull your hair out, grind your teeth for another 200- 300 hours. And then one day turn your system on and be floored! These cables will change your life!

www.morrowaudio.com

And you dont need to spend a lot, the middle line or less (MA2,MA3,MA4) is where its at.

Matt M
@luvrockin - cables in this snack bracket all tend to be at the top end of the performance curve - the difference in their performance would be marginal at best -  so why change them?

Your cables are also nicely settled/burned in - new cables might sound "different" at first - then settle-in to sound identical

Unless you hear a better cable I would stick with the  Transparent Audio Ultra XLR.

The advances in metallurgy since your cables were purchased would marginal and old cables do not "go bad" - perhaps re-seating them might bring back some "sparkle"? 

I have read anecdotes as to the warmth of various new metal alloys such as tungsten or gold or gold alloy - but the fact is - for the most detailed and dynamic performance, copper of silver is best (I prefer solid silver), so those old cables are still pretty darn good! I consider the new alloys as nothing more than a way for a cable company to show they are moving in some direction, be it bad or good

There is so much hype around cables at this level it is difficult to make an assessment based on product literature - let your ears make the decision.

In the past I have taken my cables to the store and asked them for a side-by-side audition. That way you can tell immediately if there is any improvement.

Hype is a powerful tool for marketers - and audiophiles, in their quest for "nirvana", are often swayed, only to find they preferred their old cables down the road

Perhaps a vacation would be a better way to spend that money?

Regards - Steve

Steve, I like your thought process. It does make sense. I was loaned a pair of Transparent Gen5 Super XLR's and a pair of TA BMLP to try out. I actually have the MLP from the DAC to Pre amp and the TA BMLS from the pre to the amp. The system sounds great. very airy and detailed along with great soundstage width and depth. I'm going to try different combinations as well as much and matching the older TA Ultras I have, the NBS Monitor IV's and loaners. 
The NBS you have are better cables than the Transparent Ultra's.

Just try them in your system. You'll find the NBS more coherent and linear overall.

The Transparent's have a different sound. They are thicker overall. If you like that, then go for the Reference over the Ultra.

Take a trade in for the Black Label 2.  If not, you can buy it used on Audiogon or Audiomart.  Your system is more match with the classic series from NBS.  

Do yourself a big favor; the transparent cables are not in the same league as NBS,  No offense to anyone!  I strongly recommend a demo on the Black Label 2 from Nbs,  you will stop looking for any other cables. Mark My Word On This. You Will Not Be Disappointed!


Maybe i will try to Audition them somehow. There's no NBS dealers in the Chicagoland area, at least that I've found. I tried the Monitor IV's yesterday from Ayre DAC to preamp and did not like it at all. Maybe I want used to it? My soundstage narrowed considerably. The sound was much brighter, almost to bright. S's had an sssssssssssss which drive me crazy. Their definitely burned in. They're 15 years old. I ended up putting my older Ultras back in their place swapping between then and the loaned TA gen5 m2 BMLP. At the end of the day, I have the old Ultra's from DAC to Pre because I noticed a much better soundstage and more detail over the BMLP. I'm still going to keep playing because this is fun to me and it's what idiots like myself enjoy doing lol!!
OK I think the Monitor series is leaner sounding than the Classic series. The Classic series is great because they are linear and coherent throughout but still maintain body and fullness throughout.

Ayre is reputedly lean sounding although the Codex uses the double diamond stage which is meant to be fuller sounding. Ayre gear works well with Transparent or MIT which both give a fuller sound - I prefer MIT as I find Transparent can sound thick. Ayre themselves recommend Cardas cabling - so maybe try those perhaps from the older range as opposed to the current Clear range.

Did you try the NBS in the pre to amp position? I am guessing that if you use the Transparent Ultra's you have from Ayre Codex to pre and the NBS Classic series (if not the Monitor you have) from pre to power amp (what power amp do you use?), you will be happy. Try that and see how it works out.
That's exactly what I did. Tried the NBS from the Codex to my pre and didn't like it. The Ultra's are now in their place. My main power amp is a Mark Levinson 23.5. I have an email into NBS requesting to audition some cables. I'm tired of buying cables and deciding I don't like them after I start using them. I want to audition them first.
As an update, I just received an email back from NBS trilling me there is no way to audition their cables. To bad for that, I thought I would audition 2 pairs and possibly bought them if I liked them. Oh well, still in my quest.
luvrockin,

I feel your pain. Consider contacting Albert Porter (long standing member here) and see if he can help. He is brutally honest, remarkably experienced, and beyond all, a pleasure to know.

Dave
Thanks Dave, I think I will try that.