Darwin Ascension ICs
Like others here, I went and got a pair of Darwin Ascensions and it's no exaggeration to say they are a big step up from the standard Darwin silver ICs.
I know this because I have two pair already.
Seeing Tony's posting of his discount got me going so I took the money from an old amp sale and put some of it towards his cable. Some may say it was a wash but for me it was a big win-win. I do miss my Burson integrated but these ICs are making it a memory.
Having half the capacitance makes for much better timing and the misnomer "speed' can now be use without guilt. :-)
The coherence is outstanding as are all the end results: detail, extension, ambience, venue boundaries (or mixing tricks). I can clearly hear the bassist on Brubeck's "Take Five" let go of a note and hear it splinter before he grabs it back and just how quickly and repeatedly the drummer strikes and closes in on the cymbals. It's more rat-ta-tat than shimmer and it's the first time I can hear it.
The same goes for Sarah Jaroosz"s "Build Me Up From Bones". What use to be musical "smoke" in the background is very clearly defined playing (and what playing it is). Her vocal accompaniment follows her more than I previously thought (could hear) and the dynamics are a big step up as a result.
If you're on the fence about these cables, sell something that's lying around (it's what I did) or eat less (all us audiophiles can stand to lose a few) and get a pair while the pricing is reduced. These are a remarkable pair of ICs.
All the best,