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Hello Biggy - I did my whole system in Cardas Clear Beyond changing from Purist Audio 20th Anniversary and was very happy with the change. The Purist were wonderful cables and backed by a wonderful company and true gentlemen - Jim Aud. The Cardas in MY system ....are the most true to life cable I have experienced. I am not sure of the ; too resolving but instead I found them to be true to the source and very neutral - which some people don't like. They are well made cable - sonically I enjoy them - a lot, and although not cheap - not stupidly priced for the performance you get.
So you moved from warm cables like PAD 20th Anniversary to Clear Beyond and you're happy ... maybe that means Beyond Interconnects are not too resolving and still musical, like Cardas website says:
"Improving upon the spectacular performance of Clear Interconnect, Clear Beyond combines the famous Cardas musicality with a wider, taller sound stage, deeper bass and increased dynamics. Everything just gets bigger and better, as a cable carrying the name "Beyond" should."
"Clear Beyond Interconnect brings noteworthy improvements in spatial imaging, dynamics, and low frequency impact while retaining the classic Cardas musicality."
"More than anything, Clear Beyond Interconnect is musical".
Can you compare the Interconnects alone to other cables you know?
Sorry about the delay - but I am from the school of thought in that I keep all of the cables the same brand. So I have all Cardas Clear Beyond. Unfortunately it does take some time for these to really break in .... as I am noticing at about 100 hours the interconnect cables really starting to sound really good. Musical is the way I would describe them .....like you were actually listening to the preformers live.
The Cardas Clear to me in my system and my ears in my room .......I would say they sounded a lot like Nordost Valhalla in their first rendition. The Cardas Clear Beyond take that speed, clarity and transparency and add the realism of music......some may call it warmth, I call it more like real music. I never listened to or owned Cardas Clear Reflection.
@garebear I had the same impression about old Clear interconnects: a Cardas version of the Nordost Valhalla v1 !
It would be nice for me to know if the Beyond interconnects would keep the same tonality and musical balance resulting the right cable for the actual Clear Reflection owners ...
@jafant when I chose the integrated (I did not want separates) for my B&W 803D 8 years ago, I meant to get the best in terms of woofer handling and driving capabilities, and the Luxman 509u is second to no one in bass control, better than more expensive and "Wattier" separates.
I think AB class Luxman amps are better than Accuphase ones, because of their better speed, dynamics, neutrality, driving capabilities.
At that time, the E450 could not ever drive the B&W 803D; maybe today E470 is better, but i still prefer Luxman for amps: my dream (sadly, it will remain that) is C900u+M900u!
I would consider Accuphase only for their top class separates with big AB class power amps (out of my budget and too big for my room), for the rest I prefer Luxman.
On the other hand, there is no digital source better than an high class Accuphase SACD, no other words needed!
@garebear I'll tell you more ... I did prefer A LOT the Nordost Frey 2 (I could try in my system) more than Clear Rev.1 (I don't want to know how awful could be the first Clear): the Nordost was more analytical but much better balanced and entertaining. Clear was too "flat" and boring.
@mikey8811 congratulations ! If Beyond won't be right for you I will buy yours ;) (joking, hope your system will sound awesome) !
@garebear , @biggy79
I've tried them out for a bit now.
In my system, the Clear Beyond interconnects have great bass, lots of midrange and low bass richness as well as bloom. However, it sounds loose and is not as focused. The highs are also slightly tipped up but I use a Cardas Golden Cross on the DAC to preamp link and that ameliorates the highs a bit. So far, there are things I like about it and other aspects not so much compared to the NBS Statements I replaced them with which are more focused but also more aggressive sounding.
I'll let them settle for a few days. I was wondering what sort of a difference you observed during the break in period.
@biggy79 Any chance you auditioned the Clear Beyond interconnects yet? Would love to hear your observations as I'm in a similar position. I currently have Cardas Clear Reflection balanced interconnects going from an Ayre QX-5 Twenty DAC to an Ayre AX-5 Twenty integrated, and Clear Reflection speaker cables to Aerial 7T loudspeakers. I love the musicality of the Clear Reflection, but would love a little more top-end detail, improved dynamics and faster bass, without sacrificing musicality of course. Hell, I just want it all. 😉
For what it's worth, I originally auditioned Audioquest Earth/Oak, Audience AU-24 SX, Purist Venustas, Cardas Clear Rev 1, Transparent Ultra Gen 5, Shunyata Python, and Synergistic UEF Level 3 before settling on the Clear Reflection.
Describing what you want to improve.....you might try an Audioquest interconnect with silver conductors. I am now using AQ Fire, but used AQ Niagara for a couple years also. FWIW I had Cardas Golden Reference interconnects to compare with Niagara. I think the AQ silver may do what you want.
I never experienced hardness and sibilance with Clear Reflection, too.
Maybe it is a burn-on issue, however consider to change DAC if you know yours sounds etched: good cables can only highlight problems.
When my system had problems I had hard and fatiguing sound even with the warmer Golden Reference; the fact you use Golden Cross makes me think ...
Now that perfect electric current powers my gear and a reference SACD player like my Accu DP700 is the source, no sibilance passes through neutral and transparent integrated amplifier and speakers, even with more "revealing" cables; rather, Clear sounded in my system even softer in the highs than Golden Reference (but also lacked in musicality, "body" and entertainment) !
@biggy79 I think you are right. My DAC has had a firmware upgrade which has enhanced midrange richness. This has counteracted the tipped up highs with the Clear Beyond I was hearing before. They are pretty good now.
@david_ten I am thinking of replacing the Golden Cross from DAC to preamp with a Clear Reflection.
Hopefully that gives me the same midrange and full bodied sound that the Golden Cross has but with more openness.
I think the Golden Cross is hard to beat in a solid state system, I preferred them to Golden Reference and they will remain one of my all time favourite interconnects.
Saw your post on the Audience thread, so cycled back to this one.
For me, the Clear Reflections offered the right balance for my needs and system. There are surely more resolving ICs and surely warmer ICs...but for my system and needs, they strike the right balance. And they are 'relatively' well priced, especially compared to some of the other dealer based alternatives. I think Cardas' description and positioning of these cables is pretty spot on.
I don't know your system components, but I wouldn't be surprised if they achieve what you are looking for: great "mid-range with full bodied sound and with more openness" across frequencies.
I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions once you have them in your system.