Wire is supposed to conduct a signal, and some insulation is a nice feature. End of story. If you're hearing profound differences like the ones you describe merely by switching wires, one (or more) of them is damaged, or unsound design-wise, or something is out of whack in terms of cable routing (past an interference source?) or lack of insulation or damage to the cable or termination itself.
When I switch from a good cheap interconnect to a good expensive one, sometimes I hear a little more of what the source can do, sometimes I don't.
Given how much you're sweating this, I would just go to Radio Shack, buy some $15 gold interconnects, and spend the money you're going to piss away on wire on upgrading components...an area where you will hear a noticeable difference.
It seems to me that the Monster Cable has a more prominent upper midrange than the other cables. That does not mean that it "boosts" that range; it means that the Monster Cable is rolling off the rest of the frequency range AS COMPARED to the other cables.
What works for you depends on the characteristics of your system and your particular taste, so it could well be the case that the Monster Cable works best for you. Also, most choices do involve tradeoffs, so it is not likely that there is yet another cable that will be better in ALL respects, particularly where frequency balance is the subject characteristic.
You also need to consider that you are used to the Monster Cable's frequency balance so that is your current baseline. You may need to give the other cables more time so that you can become more comfortable with their sound. Once you become more at ease with their sound, you will be more likely to discover their other charms.
I use a good deal of Red Dawn and can tell you, BREAK IT IN...takes a good week of running a signal through it! will balance much better after break in.
All wires are not created equal.
Their price tags confirm that.
The audio properties they possess also cnfirm that.
Are the SR cables active, do you plug them into the wal as well? Are they connected properly, with the active ends at the upstream end of the signal path?
Were the MIT, Nordost, & SR hot (previously been playing/passing a signal all along) when the switch was made from the Monster to either of them?
Were the MIT boxes set accordingly to the imp of the downstream device they got hooked to?
if not an unfair comparison is being made... interjecting cold cables or misconnected cables in place of hot ones isn't the best way to evaluate them.
SR active cables take a good while to do well, MIT do too, though for other reasons. Nordost has fewer constraints in reaction time, yet they too do better after playing for a time.
Everything does for that matter... play better, or sound better after some warming up has been going on. Everything. 'Cept maybe light bulbs.
I've had monster wires before... several types too. i did find them fuzzy, and attenuating certain portions of the bandwidth as was said already.
true too when you switch from one perspective to another it may be best to evaluate each perspective on it's own merits or demerits, than to compare to some other thing. Especially if the comparison is hampered via implementation timing or integration into a ssytem.
Especcially if the comparison is of varying components, ex. a $200 item to a $400 one, cabling which has no active shielding to that which does, imp matching attributes to non matching, etc...
properly AB'ing cables is tuff... and we all compare most everything to everything else, regardless costs.
sometimes it is as simple as allowing for more time for items to be fully seen, or just getting used to a different approach to recreating the sonic envelope.
some wires tend to drop the stage back, some bring it forward, other's seem to focus certain aspects of the bandwidth better by diminish another.
Even switching the imp box on the MIT cables, will take a little time for this newly energized section of the ckt to be run in fully.
I'd say to properly eval your covey of cables, each should be listened to exclusively for a week... and only critically after four or five days.
Take notes on each. How's the staging? Imaging? Bandwidth balance? Extension? how's the bass? Is it musical, dry, too refined, grainey, etched, bright, etc.
When critically listening, play the same familiar music.
I'll assume here all are close to entry level cables as only the Red Dawns were named outright.
There will be differences i assure you, however they might be less drama between those diffs.
Either pick the ones that float your boat the best, or ones which add to the performance level of a balanced system. you pick. Always.
That the presentation of the mentioned cables will alter(reach their optimum) after burn-in has already been mentioned, and is accurate(usually takes around 200hrs of signal, unless actively biased). Also- It's been my experience with Synergistic that their products provide much more transparency to bass information and dynamics, than many other cables. If the frequency extremes(both directions) are allowed to be heard, this will make the mids seem somewhat recessed(actually more accurately depicted). Be patient, and don't critically judge the components until burned-in. Any of the cables you've mentioned will be more accurate/transparent than the Monsters.
Do yourself a favor and get some plain old Belden IC's and upgrade your spreaker/pre/amp to your desired sound instead. If you are experiencing rolled off high-end, that probably has more to do with your Rotel than anything.
Thanks for the input.Upgrading components at this time is not a option.I am using used cables from the cable company to audition.The Nordost are Red Dawns and Blue Heavens.The Mit are Shotgun S3.The Synergistic are Kaleidoscope Phase 3.Out of all of them I prefer the the Red Dawns.The Mit Shotguns are new and not completely broken in so can not give a honest opinion on them.
I think what Larryi said is a good statement and that is the Monsters are my current baseline for judgment.I have used them so long that almost everything is sounding out of whack.When I listen to some of the other IC's everything is more refined and less bloated and guess I am use to bloated.When watching Roger Waters at the berlin wall the other night I was thinking on how much it sounded like actually being there.This was with the Red Dawns...but I was also being critical throughout the concert thinking,this is lacking punch or vocals or lead guitar is missing something.
So I guess what it boils down to is there is nothing wrong with these cables but it is me just being use to listening to music that has been presented in a different way that may sound pleasing but necessarily correct.
I always wondered why the Monsters took the lead guitar and lead vocals and really pushed them out in front of anything else.And I mean they really do push them way out ahead of everything else in the sound stage.so it does make sense that they are rolling off certain frequencies.So back to the drawing board and some more listening.
I was going to say what you describe sounds like "new" cable syndrome, but that is often also accompanied by tight, anemic or somewhat compressed bass performance. Even if used, cables can regress to a "semi-cold" state if they have not been "played" for a while. I would leave each set in for a week or at least a few days of solid playing and see how you like them then - at least you will be certain that they are "warm" and what you are hearing is close to their best performance in your system, and differences compared to the Monster cables are not artifacts of burn in.
I was going to say what you describe sounds like "new" cable syndrome, but that is often also accompanied by tight, anemic or somewhat compressed bass performance. Even if used, cables can regress to a "semi-cold" state if they have not been "played" for a while. I would leave each set in for a week or at least a few days of solid playing and see how you like them then - at least you will be certain that they are "warm" and what you are hearing is close to their best performance in your system, and differences compared to the Monster cables are not artifacts of burn in or lack of it.
Be critical of the production of your albums. Many rock albums - even by prominent artists like Waters - suffer from truly c****y engineering. Off the top of my head, I can't name a really well-engineered album in that genre. Maybe the "Final Cut", although I have not listened to it on a good system, so that, too may fall flat on its face.
Getting Cables to audition from the cable co is a great way to get into seeing the diffs from brand to brand, and price to price... the thing is though, to only try out one or two pair at a time max.
AS was said, left alone cables can and do revert to being cold and need days of operation to come around... especially MIT. they should not have given you new cables. I[ve owned a few MIT cables and gotten them mainly from the Cable co... SR too.
it might also pay off for you to read the reviews posted here and by other users elsewhere online to see what interests you now... there are so many brands and levels of cabling, it could take a few lifetimes to check them all out.
Better wires let you hear better, your own gear. Wires do matter, don't think they don't.
Try something different? If you have a preamp with a tape
loop,preferably remote controlled,try a pair in the loop.
If you hear anything that degrades the music,it would a
pair I would not want in my system.If all the cables do it,
then its the tape loop.Not a proven method,but it seems to
help me out.Anybody interested in better interconnects like
yourself hopefully benefits from my experimental method.
This is the problem with borrowing from Cable Co; not enough time to settle, especially when auditioning a number of variables. They don't tell you that; they surely didn't explain it to me either. I learned to know better both here & from my own experiences. Bob is a nice enough guy, but it hurts their business IMO when they throw too much at you like this.
These guys are right; cables can take a long time to settle, even when used. Much valuable insight imparted above; esp. from blindjim. On my rig, MIT took a good month; Synergistic's best cables took literally *several* months to optimize even when driven 24-7. Initially I thought for some reason they just weren't too good on my rig; now they're amazing.
Some may try to tell you that your components or your ears or whatever something is wrong, if you're experiencing these issues; surprised we haven't heard from those here too. Shaun you've already proven otherwise to yourself, even with lesser priced equipment.
This can be pretty tough to determine; cables come in all flavors & prices; it can be a real challenge to figure out what works best for YOU with YOUR setup. And just because something works well for you doesn't assure similar results on a different rig, & vice-versa. This is why many of us buy used here & experiment at great length, then sell off later what we don't find in our best interest. Or keep them for later experimentation if/when we decide to change the componentry.
I'll share with you another mistake of ignorance that I made when I started the cabling audition process. Be aware that you need to warm up your solid state equipment and LEAVE IT ON (expept when changing cables of course) before comparisons are valid. Cold equipment sounds cold; 24 to 30 hours is typical to reach thermal stabilization. Warmup time can vary by the component & you'll get to know from experience how yours behaves.
A second set of ears can also be useful, as we all hear somewhat differently. Have some fun with it all & best of luck. You'll certainly sharpen your listening skills along the way.
I do not see a mention of speaker wire. I would make sure to use a quality speaker wire (not zip cord) and then see where you are regarding sound.
Also, fwiw, I would be tempted to replace everything with Bluejean wire. They have been mentioned in these pages many times as consitently good wire products.
You can try different cable til you are blue in the face. You will get different results with all and after a few weeks will see the weaknesses in eveyone. You have to settle on something and if you want to save money just a well made wire will suffice.
my 2 cents...
Larryi hit the nail on the head. Although I agree somewhat with the other posters about burn-in and settling in - I believe you should be hearing most of what a cable will make your system sound like right away. Sure, your will hear subtle changes as it settles in and perhaps significant changes if you have a trained ear. It also depends on your definition of significant. But in general, there will be no monumental swing that all the sudden you go "wow there it is!" At least that has been my experience with a variety of IC's and speaker cables. YMMV
Ok I have had 2 days now with the MIT Shotgun S3 and now am in nirvana heaven.When I first got them I gave them a small listen and discounted them as a contender.That has all changed as I put them back in last night and left the stereo on all night and all day today while at work as I had the cdp in loop.When I came in tonight I could here the music and thought wow that sounds pretty good.So I put in one of my go to cd's for auditioning and was totally blown away.I have listened to cd after cd since getting home and am truly amazed.They are so smooth with female voices and the bass is not in the least lacking in any respect or is it bloated.Voices and lead giutars are no longer in the background but they are not too forward as the Monsters where.They are upfront and where they should be.There is a smoothness and clarity that is just what I was looking for.There is punch when called for with a drum kick and symbals are right on the money and not overly exagerated.
When I first got these I thought what the heck is audio coming to.I get some synergistic research ic's and have to plug them in the wall.I get some Nordost and they are flat ribbons.I get some MIT and they have boxes on them.Had to call NIT to ask what that was about and what setting to use which I had wrong.I thought...don't they just make regualar ic's anymore with out all this fancy doodad stuf.But if it works it works and now can send all the other cables back.Thanks for all the suggestions and help.
The rest of that group likely need the same attendance or time at the helm as did the MITs, to really show what they are made of too.
Its why I and others said try one or two pr at a time when renting/borrowing cables.
The MITs? BTW
they've not stopped changing in just two days.... their extension will increase some more.
Playing with the imp switch on those boxes, keeping both at the same position as you do, naturally, will either recess or encroach the midrange
. And why I mentioned it early on as selecting the proper notch for the downstream gear.
Move it about and see for yourself
it wont hurt anything, and the selections are for approximate ranges and not cast into stone.
it tickles me to hear people say this instrument, or that one, was not in the right place (s).
Yeah? According to what? Oh, you mean where they were when you sat in on the original recording and maybe then too the mixsing? I think one would needs be in that venue or has heard the same recording on a vast amount of gear combinations that some better perspective might be attained as to orig placements of musicians
but its still a guess unless you were there, just more educated a one I suppose..
Wires can and do, change things more than just the harmonics. Another thing is those recordings arent always uniformly set about a stage. Sometimes it just bes that way, especially with live recordings. Even then the mix may not completely follow the antics or movements of the players in fact. Like if there is no use of stationary or ambient mikes, and only those for the players who are restricted in their abilities to move about
singers, brass & reed sections, drummers, etc. Mixing recordings can place instruements just about where ever it is desired for them to be put.
I've yet to see a piano or vibraphone big enough to span the width of most stages, but I've sure heard them sound that large.
Think the ic world was nifty
now try some power cords.
Thanks for the information.I do have a few questions as I see you did or may still use the MIT cables.
When I called MIT and asked about the impedance switch setting they told me that my amp input sensitivity was 33k ohm.He said to set the impudence switch to medium.I had it set at high.But the manual says for 33k ohm should be set at low.So I decided to try low.With the low setting things are a little more detailed and a lot more brighter.With the medium setting it is just smooth as butter and if there is a loss of detail it is very negligible.Also the bass is extended compared to the low setting.You said that the switch limits or decreases the mid range.I take it that the lower the setting the more mid range or do I have this wrong.Not sure why the tech at MIT told me to use the medium setting but will call them back on Monday.I know you said the setting was not set in stone and can be played with.With your MIT cables did you keep the recommended setting.Thanks.
I think what I said was the mids could be recessed or made more prominate (marginally so, yet noticeable) by playing with the imp sw. Not louder or softer, although it might appear that way to some.
... and yes, other aspects of the sound do change too by moving that sw about. it was an eye opener playing with that sw. Teaching me the importance of properly matched and improprerly matched cabling, and what it can do to the sound, if the imp is not right or even close.
AS the Tech alluded too, those numbers aren't 'live or die' figures... given he pointed you to another settings. Their Spectral gear likley does very well on the lower pos.
I did post a review of some ICs, look there for more info as I simply can't recall exactly.
I've had mine set to where I like it so long now I don't recall exactly what all is affected and how, but those results are at your fingertips now, so do investigate.
it'll get more complicated when or if you go to XLR. They have two switches.
I sold my Magnums and now have Shotgun S2s. I use them off my rec into my tube pre for the rec's tuner and cable box radio stations, till I can find another pr. that suits me better. I would like to have again a magnum 1 or maybe a 2, albeit, not to supplant the S2, but to use elsewhere.
More playing time will show you still more resolution, and that buttery smoothness might fade some and morph into a bit more dazzle. it's probably due to the connections within the MIT cabling, as there are more in them than in most other cables.... and there's those components too. that all adds up to lengthier run in or re-run in times. or such is my exp.
Some say around here, simply leaving the upstream item on and the downstream item off, can aid the run in some. Not sure if that is applicable to MIT though... and my exp doing just that shows the effect as quite marginal at best There's no replacement for conducting a signal. IMO
In the end, that switch needs be where YOU need it to be in your system for your preffs. it's your dime, so you make that call. period.
Lastly, as imp varies, maybe this will show you more on that mechanism's worth. Say you add or mix a SE preamp, with a Balanced amp. Now what? The amps input imp is shown to be 50K. usually that means 50K total using XLR cables or both legs of the XLR interface. Or 25K per leg as RCA.
My exp says, it's either one of the two closest to the rated downstream input imp. the mid point usually is the one size fits all, selection... with some exceptions, and why the tech said use it.
Thanks again for your help.Part of my problem is probably the 9 dollar ic from monoprice that I have from cdp to pre so looking to get another S3 for that and or a S2.Not sure which would be better.I read your review with interect and maybe missed something so will re-read again.Also is it safe to use the switches without turning the system off?
I do like the medium setting as it does give a more fuller soundstage and without the edge that the low setting gives.I am running in the low setting now as you said once you change the setting ,that setting has to be run in.Although the low setting is nice it reminds me of the Nordost Red Dawns but with more edge and could be due to not being burned in.If I put one of my warm Monster ic,s from cdp to pre it takes the edge off but also removes some of the clarity.Thanks again.
Also you say..."My exp says, it's either one of the two closest to the rated downstream input imp. the mid point usually is the one size fits all, selection... with some exceptions, and why the tech said use it".Should it not be set to the UPSTREAM components input sensitivity or the end point.I have the cable from pre to amp so would it not be the amps Sensitivity?Thanks.