Carl hears through Diamond

This all silver interconnect features the following:...........................Thick silver RCA connectors, far superior to all others that are not silver, IMO. They're also small in outside diameter, so they fit on female recepticles that are spaced close together on audio equipment, UNLIKE THE CARDAS SILVER RCA CONNECTORS! And the fit is always tight, again unlike the Cardas ones. DIAMOND HAS ALL-SILVER CONDUCTORS. "HYPERLITZ", "FUNCTIONALLY PERFECT SILVER", "SPREAD SPECTRUM TECHNOLOGY", "TRIPLE BALANCED", and even uses teflon and polysterene dielectric foam air tubes to separate the conductors.............................THE SOUND.....compared to the competition:........................If you want a new, all silver Audioquest interconnect today, you have to buy Amazon for $2000! I would have compared Amazon to Diamond, if anyone ever demoed Amazon...they don't seem to these days.................................MY SYSTEM CONTEXT: I bought this AudioTruth Diamond from Bob Bantz at Elusive Disc in Spring 1999. I used Diamond for two years with both digital and analog frontends in my system. I have both solid state and tube power amplifiers. Speakers are both panel and cone types, and the listening was done in two different rooms in my house, and also on Sennheiser HD600 headphones with a tube headphone amp. One room is a concrete basement with 4200 cubic feet volume, the other is upstairs with less than one third that volume. In either room, I used an array of acoustic treatments. I strongly disagree with those audiophiles who choose not to use treatments, and feel that their approach is invalid. An untreated room is not a listening room, it's just that simple..................................With the help of Paul and Suzanne at The Cable Company, a few other dealers and even manufacturers, I did manage to compare my Diamond x3 to many, many interconnects in the last two years (they aren't all listed here). Quite a few of these costed much more than Diamond. Forgive me for spoiling the ending, but....I FOUND DIAMOND X3 TO BE THE MOST NEUTRAL ALL-SILVER INTERCONNECT, BAR NONE!...........................................It was worlds beyond something like the very popular (and perhaps overhyped?) Harmonic Technology Pro Silway 2 (that HT has a very hollow upper midrange and a boomy bass). This particular comparison lasted 3 months (the Silway had about 1200 hours on it when I was finished), and I want to thank my good friend, Stewart Ono at Audio Directions in Hawaii, for his generosity on that one! The Silway's upper bass was more dynamic than Diamond's, but it lacked low bass and any sort of pitch definition. Everytime I used it, I was reminded of a "boom, boom" car stereo...even with the headphones..............................Diamond was more tonally neutral than the new Acoustic Zen Silver Matrix, and matched its presentation of dynamic contrasts. They both are fairly smooth and grain free, but the Acoustic Zen could get quite chalky in the low midrange, and certainly did not articulate enough of a feeling of musical timing in the bass range, compared to Diamond. The treble was similar in both cables, perhaps the Acoustic Zen was smoother in some of the treble range, and rougher in other parts. That was close...but the overall performance wasn't very close. That low mid, and even some upper bass congestion, really held the Acoustic Zen back...............................AudioTruth Lapis x3 had a hollow tonal quality in the midrange, similar to what the HT Pro Silway 2 had...DIAMOND HAD NONE OF THIS! Lapis is perhaps still superior to Pro Silway, though. It was definitely faster, and had clearer air in the soundstage. The extreme treble, above 10 kHz, was the only strongsuit of the HT Pro Silway, it was both smoother and more extended than Lapis's. I realize those two statements might seem to conflict, but I stand by them..................................Cardas Neutral Reference was very colored, sluggish in the bass, and NOT tonally neutral when compared to Diamond. The NR had decent dynamics and a nice "round" quality in the upper bass and low mids, but that was it. I would have liked to compare Cardas Golden Reference to Diamond, but no dealers ever seem to demo this particular cable................................Even the almighty NORDOST QUATTRO FIL is missing some punch in the upper bass and low midrange, and much of the dynamic envelope in the treble, that Diamond has. Symbols of all sorts, brushed, struck, clapped...they all sounded distant and just plain asleep with the Nordost. Quattro Fil was a tad deeper and faster in the bass below 60 Hz, but lacked a lot of the slam and weight Diamond has through the whole bass range, in my experience...made the bass lack the fullness/weight of real acoustic musical intstruments, and even reduced their size somewhat. The QF's midrange is decidedly resolute, creamy, warm, and uncolored (especially female voice)...but essentially everything in the upper midrange had a tendency to project forward, while the presence range immediately above seemed to null out. In my two years with Diamond, the midrange never drew undue attention to itself, the way QF's did. I am sort of a "midrange junkie"'s perhaps the hardest to get that last degree of "dial in" in a system. Exotic midrange speaker drivers fascinate me, but I suspect that the Nordost Quattro Fil is not designed for any system that "ruthlessly" reveals midrange dynamics, but might be perfectly at home in "cool" balanced systems. It did have a very low listener fatigue factor over longer listening sessions. Quattro Fil costs twice what Diamond sold for, yet Diamond always beat it for me in the weeks I compared it...go figure...................................Soundstage depth, the solidity of instruments as projected in three dimensional space, and the macro dynamic contrast of Diamond...have only been bettered by MIT interconnects costing MORE than Diamond. And of course, they lack the transient attack and extension at the frequency extremes, of Diamond. With my Krell amplifier, Diamond could draw attention to the attack transient, and also definitely made me hear a "solid state" quality in instrument timbres. But with MIT interconnects and a silver speaker cable, I could coax the Krell to sound more like a tube amp in my system, than even a VTL tube amp I heard with some esl speakers in someone elses system. I even tried the Diamond in this system, and the sound turned very "hi fi". The interconnect that the Diamond replaced here was Klyne Dragonfly Wings. We listened to both digital and analog thru the Diamond in this system. I concluded that either the system or the setup, was bright, and not neutral. The speakers had a "presence" control that affected the treble frequency response. I asked to lower this, but he only lowered it a little. So, maybe allowing a bright system to sound bright, probably isn't a transgression on the part of the Diamond..................................Diamond's soundstage width has not been bettered by any other interconnect. Additionally, that quality of "the separation of instruments in the soundstage" has only been equaled by Pure Note Signature and the VERY expensive Purist Audio Design Proteus. The Proteus achieved some of this because it was bright (i.e., NOT neutral), but I understand these can be tailored to the individual system. And for $2500, that's a handy thing, to be sure. The Proteus certainly had very low distortion, and the quality of instrument timbres shone through. However, I found that I only really liked it in combination with PAD Colossus used downstream from it. Colossus was a clear but dark/warm sounding cable in my system (the amp here was a Rogue model 88 tube amp)..............................If you have all solid state equipment that is also BRIGHT or revealing, I feel that you don't need "neutral" cables, and especially NOT any solid silver ones. BUT, if the solid state equipment has proved neutral and harmonically rich, then Diamond should let the speed, dynamics, and air through unimpeded...........................AND IF YOU HAVE TUBE EQUIPMENT, the Diamond x3 is just thrilling! The midrange is almost creamy, yet transparent as Zeiss lens glass. The treble is extended, and balances smoothness, with attack and snap. The bass is fast and deep, yet will allow you to hear "tube bass" without bloating and smearing it...............................In my opinion, DIAMOND IS THE BEST VALUE IN SILVER INTERCONNECTS THAT THERE HAS BEEN, AND PERHAPS WILL BE. I cannot imagine that Amazon is radically superior, or even an equal value for money (a hotly debated topic in this hobby...and what a waste of time it is to debate it, since we don't all earn the same amount).............................Try AudioTruth Diamond x3 sometime; it will be intoxicating. The experience will assuage both those who want to get the most bang for their buck out of their systems, and also those who simply have the need to get to the music on the recording and enjoy it. I usually want both...
Jim, FYI it isnt Wild Turkey and Ether, Carl is an Absinthe man....Just an update to the thread. I got my Cardas Golden Reference 1m cable. Totally different sound than Diamond. Not sure which I'll be keeping, as I'm stepping out of the "hobby" end of this sport, and getting an integrated amp, and I'll only need 1 pair of $$$$ ICs.
However, before I sold off the main system, I tried 1 pair of Diamondx3 with 1 pair of Cardas Golden Reference, and let me tell you all, this is the best I have heard. I cant imagine a more complementary pairing of interconnects. All the things that Diamond does spectacularly well, minus the somewhat cool sound, and also minus the horrible sound on poor recordings. Maybe the Cardas is a bit warmer than real life, but the Diamond is definately a bit cooler than reality. IF anyone has the opportunity, try this combo.
(incedentally, I DO have a 1m pair of Diamondx3 for sale, but you'll have to find it yourselves.....HINT .........

Must be that Absinthe Carl sent me via DHL, they'll take ANYTHING.
How do the different Diamonds sound. Compare Diamond against x2, verses x3. Are non x2,x3 Diamonds cables still a viable solution?
I have no idea how those compare. Send them to me, and I'll tell you what I hear. I'm supposed to be getting more interconnects to try now, so I'll post my thoughts on them here as well. Cardas GR is supposed to be one of them...but it might all go bust for all I know. I've been trying for over a year to get them...

I'm hoping to blast the neighborhood next weekend with my ElectroVoice/Eminence system, and my Sunfire subwoofer. I'm wanting to try putting it in the end of this 10 foot long, 18 inch diameter drain pipe of my brother's (butting the back of it up against our brick porch to help seal that end). I think it will be loud and deep sounding, but I'm afraid it might also be too "one note" sounding for my taste, even in this "system" context. We'll see...You can never have enough bass outdoors, playing rock music...I'll be using my ART equalizer to help smooth out this "non-flat" project system.

Eminence has this new 2 inch exit, phenolic diaphragm based, 3 inch voice coil compression driver that I wish I could try (goes to 18 kHz, unheard of for phenolic?), but it'd be major mods to my cabinets, would require an active crossover, and I just can't afford it right now anyway.

The last time I had my EV/Eminence cabinets outside, it was very satisfying. It did maybe 90dB music peaks at 85 feet...but what would be cool is 90dB peaks at 150 feet!!
Carl: "The Monkees" are not really considered to be R&R (please try something else this year:-).
Carl's subwoofer cannon; or, the Sunfire bazooka. Is that why the military called them SUB-machine guns? How many dBs will you have peaking at 10ft for the stage divers? Sounds like a very extreme project.