All that use the Tenor/Kharma combo use the Nordost Valhalla speaker and I.C.'s. For Powercords the Elrod Sig 3's
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I have seen also people using Jena Labs and Kharma cables for IC and loudspeakers but I don't know the sonic characteristics and virtues of the different manufacturers and models: Jena Labs Simphony, Valkyre, Kharma Enigma, Gran Reference, Supreme Reference, Nordost Valhalla, etc
And I am looking for the best price/quality relation. Any advice?
I have real doubts with respect to whether all Tenor/Kharma owners use the Elrod/Valhalla combination. This is not intended as a critcism of either product. Cable choice tends to be a very personal decision dictated in large part by the preferences of the listener. this is not to say that some cables are not decidedly better than others, but that within the top ranks, different products may have different virtues and represent different trade-offs. Given that your starting point (Cardas Golden Reference, stock power cords) represents the low end of what is available, I think that you will hear decided improvements as you replace existing cables and suggest that you take the time to audition as many as practicable before making a final choice. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.
Chuck- Name a few examples???
I know a fair amount of kharma/tenor users(most have used the capitole mkI or/and mkII) and I have compared a good many cables on said system and have always preffered Jena Labs. Valhalla's, Nirvana, Silent Source, various Cardas cables, Kharma's enigma cables are a few that I have experience with using that same combo and the Jena's are always the overall leader. Some cables will do one thing a hair better at the sacrifice of 5 other things on a much larger scale- the Jena's just seem to do everything right and get out of the way. Most all people using that combo of gear are using Jena Labs- the exception would be Mikelavigne- who is using Valhalla's and elrods, with transparent opus mm speaker cables- he can not arrange to get a full system of Jena labs for comparing because he needs an awful lot of cables in some long lengths.
As much as I like the Jena Labs I agree with Fcrowder, cables in particular power cords are a VERY personal and system dependent addition to your system and you should try them before you buy them.
I did not mean to offend you! geez the guy asks for an opionion and I give him mine and everyone goes nuts. Frank Peraino uses the Nordost valhalla's in his setup(speaker cables and IC's) Mike Lavigne used the Valhalla IC's as well as the Transparent opus MM as speaker cable. As far as the power cords. I agree this is subjective some use the Shunyata and other use Elrods, et all. IT WAS JUST AN OPINION!!!!!
I think that Tenor/Kharma is a particularly synergistic combination that allows any good cable to sound it's best. depending on the listener's taste and sonic preferences many different cables can be perceived as ideal. the special combination of naturalness and clarity with the Tenor/Kharma allow cables that might otherwise be too truthfull and uncolored to simply get out of the way.......which is my interpretation of why i like the Valhalla/Opus MM combo.
OTOH i have heard the Kharma Enigma cable with Tenor/Kharma at shows and really liked it.....even though in my system i percieved it as colored but beautiful when compared directly with my Valhalla/Opus.
i have had maybe 10 other brands of cable in my system in the last 2 years to compare to my cables......none had compatability problems......they all sounded good to very good with Kharma/Tenor.
the Jena Labs, which i've heard numerous times with Kharma/Tenor, has a wonderful openness and naturalness that definitly compliments the Kharma/Tenor.
bottom line.....Kharma/Tenor will bring the best out of any cable.....and......Kharma/Tenor doesn't need "cable as tone control" to sound correct.
Thank you all for your help. Regarding my sound preferences I don't want my system too forwarded and my obssesion is avoid brightness that disturb my listening (these are not problematic areas now). I have some bass control problems in my room.
I have only tried the Kharma Enigma Interconnect and it made a big difference in the the bass control but it is not easy to hear Jena Labs cables being in Europe.
Jena Labs Symphony and Valkyre are significantly cheaper than Enigma cables, have you compared them? or what do you think about the cheaper Kharma cables (Gran Supreme, Supreme reference, etc)?
Rcr, I agree with Mike LaVigne. Right now in my home I have the Jena Labs Pathfinders, the Nordost Valhallas, the Kharma Enigma and the Kharma Grand Reference cables (with Harmonix on the way which, based on their very neutral Studio Master Power cords, I am looking forward to hearing). I only have the Pathfinder interconnects right now whereas with the Nordost and Kharma I have both the interconnects and speaker cables. Because I now have the Exquisites with the 30mm diamond tweeters and the new midrange drivers, I am again playing around with interconnects and cables to make sure I fine tune my system to meet MY tastes. My first impressions are that, like Mike, where I had previously thought the Kharma cables a tad warm, in my system right now they sound very good (any of that colored or warm sound has been ameliorated by the Harmonix Studio Master PCs and Kevin Tellecamp's incredible SRA Ohio Class XL bases under my Tenor 300s - I cannot speak highly enough of the improvement brought by the SRA bases - but that is another story). OTOH, both the Valhallas and the Jena interconnects have some great strengths in my system so I am having to carefully system match the power cords, interconnects and speaker cables before making any final decisions.
If I were forced to make an analysis of the three (and AGAIN guys, this is based on only my limited tests to date and on MY tastes, system, room and preferences) I would say this:
Kharma Enigma - nice suprise now with the Harmonix cords and SRA bases - smoothest and most non-fatiguing [not that the other two are slouches in this regard] of the lot and with the least amount of "halo effect." Possibly because of the incredbly low distortion and resolution of the diamond tweeters, I do not now feel there is any loss of detail or information at all with the Kharmas.
Nordost Valhalla - a tad leaner in the bass but with a slight edge in bass articulation. The best imaging and pin-point focus of the three but not as rich and smooth as the Enigma.
Jena Labs Pathfinder - richer in the midrange and upper bass than the Nordost, but not quite as good as the Valhalla with image focus but a little more relaxed (don't shoot me but I hear a little more smearing of the images with the Jena versus the Valhalla). These are kind of bewteen the Enigmas and Valhallas.
I am having a problem with the balanced input connector on my Tenor 300 (simple solder connection) so I cannot listen to the Jenas right now. When I fix that problem, I am going to be doing some more testing. Forced to pick today, I am favoring the Kharma Enigma but that may change as things go forward and I do more testing.
To all those who disagree with my analysis, no problem, I am just calling it as I hear it in my system but, as always, YMMV.
Oh yeah! Well my speakers can beat up yer speakers! That's what this crazy hobby is all about my friend - different stuff may sound different to each of us due to all the variables in each system and since we all hear differently. Also, as I stated, since I have been switching PCs as well, I need to do more testing with more consistency (changing only ONE variable at a time [e.g., the interconnect only] and then re-test all the cables to ascribe any absolute qualities as they apply in my system). That is why I said "if I were forced to make an analysis" because I have't heard the Jena's (which I had preferred prior to making the PC cord and amp stand changes and before that I preferred the Valhallas with my Midi-Grands) since my balanced input connector failed [I have single ended Kharmas and Valhallas].
Besides young buck, you are WRONG just because nobody yer age should have THAT good of a system! (just kidding - I am just jealous cuz I had to be an old geezer before I approached that level of system).
Now about those wimpy ass Maggies!!! ;-) Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!! Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time! (I am hoping you are Monty Python fan, if not, ignore those last two sentences)
Frank- Now is that a south african hamster or a north african hamster? Because that will change the outcome- and if you cryo treat the hamster.........
How long of Speaker cables are you looking for? if a 6 foot pair will work you can borrow mine try them out- I know it may be a while before you get your pathfinders- I realize I only have the valkyre's but there still pretty good ;)
Rcr- Now I can't say this is conclusive but I have tried these cables in a few systems that I was/am familiar with and the results have always been the same. The Valhalla's are very quick, transparent, good soundstage(but not the widest), not the blackest background(in particular the speaker cables), and can be shrill if anything in the system is less then top of the line(not a cable fault, if your system isn't up to the task they can be ruthless in showing you!)- I would suspect with tenor/kharma/capitole you would not experience this shrill/unnaturalness- unless you had really dirty AC power coming in. The kharma's on speakers other then kharma's are dark and slow, but convey a HUGE soundstage- it makes for great back ground music, but if you try to critically listen it literally will put you to sleep and besides for that much money who wants background music! The kharma cables on kharma speakers is another creature all together- the darkness and slowness is less noticeable. They are very full and natural sounding, this could be due to the silver components used in the kharma speaker crossovers- I dunno for sure though. The kharma's don't have as black of a background as the Jena's and they're not as fast and dynamic sounding as the valhalla's- all trade off's! For the money I don't feel the kharma's are worth it, if they were in the valhalla price range I would think differently, but they are too much of a compromise for that much money- IMO. Another thing to consider which Frank mentioned is my age, I am a LOT younger then the other guys here(early 20's) and human hearing changes as we get older at around 30 most typical humans lose around -2dB@10khZ and up, which can have a HUGE impact on how we hear the differences we do. Something that is bright to me may be fine to someone who is older and so on and so fourth. For what ever all of that is worth, I wish you good luck on your quest- and make sure you let us know what you end trying and your experiences along the way.
I've been using Jena Symphony interconnects and Jena Valkyre speaker cables on my Tenor 75's for a year. I'm also using Elrod Sig 3's on the amps and Elrod Statement on the AA MKII cd player. This combo brings plenty of life to the music. I originally auditioned my interconnects with rca's, but balanced sounded much better. I've had all the Nordost (speaker and interconnects) in my system, but always come back to the above combination. I have the Verity Parsifal Encores which tend to be a little polite. I've heard the Valhalla's sound great in other systems, just not mine.
I have the Pathfinders and I love them. I have one 3ft going from my Meitner DAC6, one 5ft going from my Meitner Switchman 3 to my Tenor 300's. I use the 8ft Pathfinder speaker cable going to Frank's old (young) Kharma Midi Grands. Two words, "sonic bliss" and I want to be done. I don't want to know there is better because there always will be. In a sense I know I will never be done. LOL! Does that make sense? I hope not. ;^)
Avnut, the reason I have the Kharma/Tenor combo is that I listen to MANY different types of music and, to my ears, they do ALL genres exceptionally well. For example, last night I listened to large scale classical (Dallas Wind Symphony), blues (Muddy Waters), funky soul (Tower of Power and Liquid Soul), pop (Kenny Loggins new CD), jazz (Al DiMeola, Tom Harrell, Jeremy Pelt), folk (Mae Moore) and big band (GRP Big Band). How did it sound? Well, to me, it was HUGE, had an analog like physical "thereness", yet it was delicate, spacious, lifelike, tonally accurate, smooth, the list of superlatives TO ME goes on and on. But, YMMV.
Beg to differ Fmpnd. Kharma speakers just don't have much in the way of pop and are better suited to small groups with less than dynamic recordings. Glad you are happy with your purchase, but that is why there are more speaker builders than any other category in audio as everyone seems to like a different set of tradeoffs......The Sound Lab speakers are the cleanest speakers out there, but they don't do pinpoint imaging, the Wilsons are usually a bit amusical, but pin point imaging and dynamics are great, Rockports can be too revealing of system problems, but are my cup of tea as a tool.......Tough to make the Acapella Campaniles work, but Fred has just about succeeded after a year of different wires running through his system as it is hard to make the midrange horn disappear...The JM Labs do just about everything and are just musical as the devil...Point is choose your poison and work within the limitations....Nothing out there is perfect in all parameters.......
I'm rather amused with this thread, as some of the participants are posting almost as though their lives depended upon their being right. I haven't heard all of the speakers and cables mentioned, but let's just say my Sound Labs aren't going anywhere, as they get the notes right and tend to disappear pretty well for me. There are no separate drivers, so the sound is effortlessly seamless, and the timbre is consistent regardless of listening position. You tend to forget about the system and get into the music...all of this is my opinion and should be taken with as many grains of salt as desired...I sell them, too, so there's my disclaimer. When considering spending significant amounts on audio gear, one must audition several candidates and not trust anyone else's ears or comments...Fcrowder is completely correct. The one that works for one person may not be the other's cup of tea. You have to ask yourself, will I be just as delighted with this choice five years from now as I think I am now? Four years after receiving the Ultimates I'm still amazed and enchanted. Do what floats your boat for the long term...
Bob, I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I never made any absolute statements about the Kharmas (or any other speaker) - just stated MY opinion. I am surprised you like the Rockports as I do too. But, as my post indicated, my post and the opinions stated therein are based on MY tastes and listening preferences. Also, your statement about the Kharmas is made without having heard the 30mm diamond tweeter, the new midrange driver and my woofer (which are different than Mikel's whose system you have heard with the Tenor 300s). Unless you want your ears to bleed, my Kharmas have as much pop as I could ever want.
As Brian noted, whatever speaker YOU like IS the best - period!
Fmpnd, no have not heard the diamond drivers, but will say that the woofer Mikel has is pretty much spot on........Like Rockports? Yep, have had one of their TT and a set of Syzygy 3 ways for over a decade and just traded a preamp for a set of Sound Lab M-1s which are cleaner than any Kharma or Rockport ever made.......We'll see if I can get them to image :-), but not selling the Rockports anytime soon as they tell me what is going on with wires and gear faster than anything else I have heard.......Nothing is perfect unfortunately as I mentioned earlier......
Will be sharing our CES suite with Rockport, Parasound, CTC, TG, ACME and Grand Prix this year.......AP1302......
Bob, my comment about the drivers in my Kharmas vis a vis Mike's was only to inform you that ALL of my drivers are different than those in Mike's not to insinuate in any way that mine are better than Mike's (since I know you have heard them lately with the same Tenor amps I have).
Hey whatever floats yer boat is what I always say when it comes to audio. Right now, my boat is floatin as well as I can ever ask it to. (I just hope I don't hit an iceberg!).
I hope to get by to see you at CES! Will Andy be showing with you (if so with what? Antares? Miras?) or are you just going to be using your Rockports?
Really liked the woofers in Mike's speakers and wish my Syzygys had a woofer like that as had to use Entecs to get into the 20s and the amps/speakers in the Entecs just don't keep up with the Parasounds.....Got to get into the 20s to get the size of venue right unfortunately......Lose 15-20% of the size of venue with Syzygys running full range and they give it up in the mid thirties....Yes, I travelled to Seattle recently, heard Mike's system and we played with preamps and phono stages one evening.....The amps had ten days on them and were pretty green, but we had a nice time.....Listened to Ted Smith's system with the larger JM speakers and he had break-in issues as well with the big woofers having them just over a month, but liked what I heard. Spent a few days with Mike B in Eugene, Oregon and his home-built speakers and highly modified gear was really cooking, best sound of the trip......It always works this way as invariably things are breaking in when someone wants to come by for a listen here as well :-)
We will be using the prototype of a digital system that will be in one box one of these days into a Blowtorch preamp into Parasound JC-1s into Rockport Miras. All the cables will be TG Audio. These Mira speakers will be introduced at the CES and are a departure for Rockport. Mere mortals can buy these $13,500 speakers and Andy says they sound better than the Syzygys, nice trick given the much better box with the Syzygzs. They go a bit lower and are sweeter and cleaner according to Andy. Here's hoping the paint (piano black) has been dry for more than a few days when they arrive in 'Vegas.....Hard to get good sound at the CES with warm-up and break-in issues to deal with not to mention about three hundred digital devices polluting the AC and static due to ten percent humidity there.......Best to stock lots of Peet's coffee and beer and just enjoy the company as it is like a annual reunion party.
My comments may be arriving too late, but for whatever can be of use, what I have found to be the best combination "for me" is the Jena Labs for interconnects and speakers and the Shunyata Anaconda and Anaconda vx for the amps and digital.
My system; Kharma 3.2/Tenor Wi75/Phillips Meitner DAC6e.
I tried several other combinations including Elrods, Synergistic, TARA, etc, etc.... I have find that the most natural and musical result is the current combination in my case...then again, does that mean that I will not look into other options ? we all know the answer to that.