I had the Anti-Cables for about 9 months after initially using Monster Cable. TH\he Anti-Cables were connected the best way possible - I cleaned the exposed wire with contact cleaner, then inserted the exposed wire into the Merlin binding posts and Amplifier binding posts. They were a definite improvement over the Monster Cable, but I still felt that my system's SQ was lacking. COmponents include:
- Pioneer Elite DV-79AVi SACD, DVD-A, CD Player (w/full mods by Ric Schultz)
- Pioneer Elite BD-09 Blu-Ray Player
Marantz AV8003 Preamp/Processor
- 3 Merlin TSM-MMs on Osiris Stands as LCR Speakers which are driven by 2 Hafler Transnova 9505 amplifiers
- 4 a/d/s CM-5s as Surround Speakers which are driven by 1 Hafler Transnova 9300 & 1 Hafler 9270
- REL Storm III Powered Subwoofer
- Pioneer Elite PRO-FHD1 1080p Plasma Monitor
- Monster AVS 2000 SS Volt Stabilizer for all but amps & TV
- Audience aR1p AC Filter/Suppressor for Monster AVS 2000
- Couterpoint PAC-5 AC Filter for Pioneer Plasma
- Couterpoint PAC-15 AC Filter for Hafler 9505 amp
The Anti-Cables weren't bad cables, and they certainly are an excellent value, but I was hoping that the Cardas cables would be an improvement, as I was not happy with the sound of my system. I was looking for Cardas SE-9s and found a pair of used Cardas SE-11s on A'gon for $170. I called Bobby @ Merlin to see if they would work well with the TSMs. Bobby confirmed my suspicions and stated that the SE-11 would be almost as good as the SE-9, and that either Cardas SE cable would be a significant improvement over the ACs. The SE-11s are much less expensive than the SE-9s, so I bought the SE-11s. (I bet the difference in cost between the two SE cables is much greater than the difference in performance.)
I connected the SE-11s and immediately heard a major improvement - the Merlins seemed to open up, both dynamically and in the upper mids and high frequencies. It was like I lifted a thin piece of cloth off of my speakers - significant improvement!
I was enjoying a great listening session when my wife came home - she walked in to my listening room and asked me what I did to the system. Before I could tell her, she said that whatever I did, it sounded a lot better.