Jim, you're going to get responses on both sides of this issue. Here's what I think about that:
If most of your electronics (particularly amp and preamp) are from the same manufacturer, you (should) already have a built-in system synergy. In this context BTW, "synergy" means that the equipment has been designed (we hope ~!) to interface together electrically to have perfect impedance matching giving best energy transfer and faithful signal transfer. All the cables have to do is get the signal from one component to the next with the least editorializing of their own! In this case you want neutral cables, all from the same manufacturer. If your components are (in addition to being from the same maker) of the expensive highly resolving kind, then you want neutral, high definition (low time smear) cables, also from the same manufacturer. Why from the same manufacturer? Because then the cables, as a group will all have a uniform sonic effect in your system. If it's not right, then you know what to do: either change cable manufacturer, or try their more expensive line! (This is where a good dealer or The Cable Company comes in handy!)
On the other hand, if you have equipment from a variety of manufacturers, cables from different makers may be better suited to interface certain components. Here I would start with amp-preamp, speakers, source-preamp, and finally PCs in that order. This insures you'll best be able to hear the effect that changes in each successive system location have on the system as a whole. That's why PCs are listed last, because any effect they could have might go unnoticed if auditioned earlier in the scheme of things. Some folks consider this method as using cabling as a sort of "tone-control" or equalizer, to adjust/balance the sonics of their system. I suppose one could think of it that way, but to me, it's just using your ears to discover the best electrical interface between components. Then if after trying a variety of cables in a certain location, you still don't like the way it sounds, you need to change the component, not the cables!
If you look at my system, you see I have the same cabling throughout. I also have equipment from the same manufacturer throughout -- except for my CDT/DAC. So that's the one interface where I tried a few different brands of ICs, and (without prejudice) still chose one from my principal manufacturer. One might look at my system and think it's almost too resolving; but in fact it's very easy to listen to for hours and hours. I attribute a lot of this capability to the cables -- not the "sound" of the cables, but the fact that they allow all the components to work together as an engineered "ensemble" as designed.
I'm almost using all Synergistic Cable, and have found that in my system your conclusions about using the same manufacturer and type make a big difference. The more mine becomes wired with the same family of wire, the more impressive the system sounds. I will eventually have at least all Res Ref in my system from the interconnects to the power cords.
thanks. Not sure how the measuring tape will find how resolving my system is... SCD xa777, vk5i & vk500 w/BAT pk., w VR 4JR's. some other mass media items too, but the former is the focus. What you say does make sense. I sort of thought about things to that end as well... and even to the point of considering getting a BAT CDP, or at least a 'balanced' CDP to make the whole thing balanced... as I do think I'm missing some degrees of what it could be capable of given both sides of the signal are rendered, instead of just half of it... the XA is single ended out to the balanced only in & out pre. I don't think I'm encountering loss, just not the full wave extravaganza that could be possible. I think.
'preciate it pard'. I'm getting the Syn Res Ref in soon enough... I've another cable in curently from VooDoo... Bruce's top IC, THE ULTRALINEAR. Tried his Silver ref as well... and use his power cords, which I really enjoy over the others I tried prior to making those purchases from VooDoo. Though the IC's are brandy new and still runing in, they sure do a good job and in some areas they do quite well. A significant step up from my previous Cardas NR.
Based on your input here, I take it you really dig the Syn line up... though one thing you said about having the entire system runing RESOLUTION REF got my attention... It's my understanding the RES REF is more a mid range oriented cable... is that so? I'll find out soon enough.. Just thought to ask... Thank you kindly.
I also use all Virtual Dynamic cabling in my system. I agree with the other. 1 VD cable in your system really makes an improvement. But when the whole system in done with their cables with the same specs built into each cable, working together... Synergy. The more cables you add, the more your system benefits. Alot can be gained or lost from one cable to another and from different makes. Synergy is of upmost importants to get full benefit out of your system.
I have used many types of MIT and have never been satisfied mixing them with other brands, all the way from source to speaker. Having said that I just prefer the same brand all the way through, I switch out all MIT and go to all Kimber and vice versa, but I have mixed Kimber and other brands but still prefer one brand.
I keep getting that info... all MIT, all the time is best... and I may be starting to agree... vs. MIT + X = ??
All the gear save the CDP is BAT... cords are shuynyata, VooDoo... and speaker wire is Synergistic. Adding another MIT may well be the deciding factor, though still I've two more to try.. maybe 3, but that's it.
same cabling... tricky....really hard to make a blanket statement about this..
EVERY component/cable has some sort of sonic signiture or editorial effect...i found you can "generally" use the same cable all the through with the more "neutral" lines of cables (ie xlo, shunyata, kubala sonsa, nordost,audience etc....) depending on your system and taste and what is synergistic - i really like xlo signature ic's, soundstring speaker cable, and audience power cords ( all are very neutral/coherent, transparent at the frequecy extremes with bass slam)
as a general rule...it is really hard to run all silver ic/speaker cables... i have added a single set of silver ic or speaker cables and got good results(wireworld offers cooper, silver covered copper, and all silver..there is a house sound but it is different with differnt degrees of resolution)...some combinations sounded better then other... a really good idea is to ask the manufacture what cables they used whe the speakers/gear were voiced or ask the dealer what cables work well and kinda go from there...
there is no exact science (bummer)....like anything you have to experiment...
So far, the best I've used from SR is the Res Ref cable. I will be trying Designers Reference to connect my DAC to the preamp. I also will try the higher levels of speaker cables and the digital cables at some point. I believe that the Res Ref family hits kind of a sweet spot, both in resolution quality and the pocketbook.
Also, Elliot at SR feels that one wouldn't want to use all top of the line cables in my system, but use a blend to get the best sound. Which is kind of regreshing as they are not so concerned with emptying your pocketbook. So far he's been right on.
IMHO, you have to use the Quattro in place of the mini power couplers to really hear what SR can do for your system.
Hi - hopefully I can jump in and add something on this issue. There are several companies that produce cables that almost always give the best performance when used throughout a system. MIT, JPS Labs, Virtual Dynamics, Transparent, and Synergistic come to mind. Others like Cardas, Purist, Nirvana,Siltech, Acoustic Zen and Analysis PLus make cables that do stand alone and only in some systems do you benefit from using the same cable throughout. There are rabid opinions on both sides of course ( this IS audio after all), but the above products are consistant performers in both camps when appropriate to the system components. The one common denominator that should be mentioned here is that the GOAL is to try and make sure the relative transfer speed is the same throughout the system - ie - don't mix copper and silver in the same system because of teh difference in transfer speeds. Just trying to help eveeryone here by relating my experience. John
sgr, good. I've spoken with Elliot previously. I'd say you're right on with that assessment. He did indicate I should be at a little higher level... but figured the RES as a good fit... ditto for speaker ccables... with the Sig 10 an absolutely 'no less than it", speaker wire. Getting up above the Sig 10 will take some real doing... 15 ft runs. and wider spreads for biwiring on JR's than on most speakers. (Using 2 sets of synergistic spkr cabs... Sig 10 mid bass & up, Alpha quad on bottom driver - both are active)
big noticeable improvement using the Quattro? Worth the investment huh? Well if the synergistic RES REF is a keeper I suppose getting one of those things is in my future.... also, not totally sure, but I think the mini couplers allow for or contribute to some DC leakage into the electyrical sys... Quattro's fix that?
I've tried "cabling out" my system with a couple different brands of cable, and found it was "too much of a good thing" in both cases. At the end of the month I'll try a third manufacturer's cables, and if those don't work out I'll likely go back to the combination I have now.
Interestingly, I find IC's from the same manufacturer work great, but when I add the speaker cables I don't like the sound as much.
Maybe I just haven't used the "right" manufacturers yet. :)
If you decide to finish "cabling out" your system let us know the end result!
It is strange how some cables just sound better mixed with others to "tune" your system. I have alot of experience with all levels of MIT and they definitely have a sonic signature that some like and some don't. I do but like to switch in other brands from time to time....cause I'm half nuts. I always put the MIT's back in fairly quick. The synergy you get with all MIT really paints a specific landscape that can be awesome, especially in the midrange region, but throw in a rogue cable, IC or speaker cable and it just makes both sound inadequate in my opinion.
I THINK i'LL wind up with all mit ic's (MAG3 on source, MAG3 from pre to amp)... THOUGH IT'S STILL UNSETTLED. Yet greatest impact was an S2... followed by an even GREATER impact from the MAG3. Mag 3 providing far more resolution and way more revealing. ONce the right selection of switches was determined... using the BAT impedance info for the amp the first choice of HIGH proved to be NOT quite as good overall as the MED. the sonic qualities that differed from choosing other settings on the impedance box, was that the phasing of the soundstage was off a touch here or there.. . the MED was the best position in the end. The bottom end was stunning. Mid bass was exceptional. It was like the cabling had a grip on the music holding it to a homogenous mix of sound in a reflection of the area available for it's reproduction. If I were to be extremely critical the one knock I'd have on the MAG3 apart from my personal taste for a less revealing offering, I'd say it held possibly to tight a grip on the sound. Neither strained or muted, less 'bloomy' ? for lack of a better word. and it could well be just me not being used to that sort of presentation. ON the whole very exciting to listen to... had it not been for company I had at the time I'd not have gotten much sleep during that trial/demo.
I've two questions...
The overall 'jump' from the S2 to the MAG3 was such a great leap I'm wondering Would a S1 from pre to amp be nearly everything the MAG3 would offer? albeit not the degree of resolution and likely lessened bass too.. though by what degree (s)?
in essence a MAG3 SOURCE, S1 p TO a..
and if the above is done, which speaker wires from MIT would be both a great choice and good value... (I'm thinking no more than the S1's, but eyeing the S2's. for value)...
Note here: One of those "If you never hear the model XXXX, you'll love the yadayada!" Well I did hear the XXX... and yep. Way good, a touch more revealing than perhaps I'd care to have but it did come across quite easy enough to take without the timberal upswing of some others... not quite the air a lot of cables have yet great spaciality, and placement of images... matter of fact the imaging was a standout attribute along with that remarkable bottom end and large sound stage. I'm not a 'res' freak by any stretch of the imagination. I'm into a warmer and full sound with musicality a must. the mag 3 & S2 combo did exactly that... swapping out the S2 for the mag3 and thus having TWO mag3's WAS EXPONENTIALLY BETTER.... for the brief period I had to check them out... I was convinced right then and there but now am a bit less so. heat of the moment and all that jazz I suppose. though easily I'd say another MIT IC adding to the mag already on the CD was a great compliment to the system synergy going on right now. another few weeks and I should know for sure if everythingstays on schedule... The VooDoo Ultrlinear is also in the mix though not quite the bottom end of the MIT's yet. (it's brand new) Very musical with super soundstage width and height.. very balanced... and way less the investment. Still too early to say much about the Ultralinear. It is promising though.
Blindjim, here's what I'm doing right now...I've got 330 SG from Merdian dac to a CJ premier 14 and 350 SG EVO from pre to Mac 501 mono's. I usually use a 350 reference where the 330 is but it is tilted up a little and slightly lean, where the 330 is more full bodied and maybe a little forgiving for digital.
I think the 330 SG is one of MIT's best for the money, I also have Mag 1 IC's but haven't really given them a chance, they seem to be in the 330 SG vein versus the 350 reference. The 350 EVO is awesome between pre and amp but I don't like it between my dac and pre...Sounds like you've got the idea with your synergy.
I'm using Mag 2 speaker cables, have used 750 S 3's in the past, in the HT right now. I think your IC's are more important IMO, you can get away with a lower model speaker cable, I've had oracle v3 and I think the Mag 2's are really close ....but still expensive. That's the problem with MIT - you should try to find 1 reference IC and stick with what you've got and my bet is you will be happy for a long time, too much reference level cable can be too much of a good thing. I think the 350 EVO offers alot, the midrange presence is fantastic...BTW, I'm using Thiel 3.6 so MIT is a good fit....good luck, let me know what you decide to do.
Just last night, I put in a Tice Infinite Speed power cord in place of the Tice PC-2 cord which was going to the cdp. That one power cord changed the dynamics of the MIT 750 Shotgun S3 speaker cables I had just bought.
Initially, I was unimpressed with the MIT cables. They sounded no more detailed than the Tice cables. It sounded like someone electronically changed the pitch of the music (which makes sense, when one considers that MIT uses electronics inside their boxes on the cables!). However, just the change of one power cable radically improved the MIT speaker cable's sound! The cabling end of audio is constantly surprising me!
My point: Every cable in a high enough resolving system will have a large enough impact on sound to merit experimentation. I have tried rigging the entire system with two or three brands: Audioquest, Harmonic Technology, Tice. Of the three, Tice speaker and IC wires are my favorite.
However, only through mixing and matching of power cords has the best of the system been brought out. Currently with Xindak FP-Gold power cords running to amps and the Tice to the cdp.
It truly is an art similar to becoming a good chef. Experimentation/trial and error will bring you to a good conclusion. Be prepared to have several hundred dollars, even a couple thousand tied up in wires for a while, but in the end you can (if you purchased them prudently) will be able to recoup most of your money and will have significantly improved the sound.
If you stick with only one brand of cabling, you will never really know what your components are capable of.
One last thought; I would not try to use cabling to "fix" what's perceived as a major flaw in the system's sound. If you just don't like what's happening, look for a component change, not a cable change. There may be exceptions, but typically I have seen that one gets "larger" payoffs by changing other components than cables.
If you like your gear and want to tweak it to improve what's already enjoyed, then go for the wire wackiness!
Given you made one change in a power cord, and the result was significantly noticeable, I’d say the MIT speaker wires you have did their job. They allowed the impact of the change to become apparent. I’d say that’s a good thing. I’ve never heard of the tice cables you mentioned… but that don’t mean much. I’m somewhat myopic in regard to cables and gear, and to a good degree pretty conservative. Although I do try to steer clear of those with too much ‘unobtainium’ in their construct. MIT is not alone in the amounts of unobtainium they employ in the construct of their interfaces. So far as I’m concerned the end result is the ticket.
As my system is an excellent sounding one, and given personal prefs, I seek only to tweak it to my liking. My one great issue is the speakers. Although the JR’s do well, and extremely so for the price, they do not possess the traits in performance that I would most enjoy. Not knocking the JR’s per se, just pointing to the facts of preference. What I want in a speaker is going to become quite the issue as ones with high recommendations also come with high prices. Homage, Sophia, Utopia, Totem’s upper end, etc. A sweeter reproduction of the mids and highs using some wiring chages are the focus.
Regarding the thrust of the thread, and having decided as one poster mentioned, replacing a most integral part of the IC chain, there’s lots of ways to go. Another MIT and I’ve seen that synergy with two different MIT wires. Both added to the overall enhancement of system sound. Still another cable, whose power cords I use has made changes as well…. And I’ve found with those I’ve recently integrated that similar technologies, does add some extra quotient to the mix. With the MITs in the sys, there were two IC’s involved: Source to pre, and pre to amp. Two out of the three were the same brand. Good to great results were achieved... albeit with a slight reservation in regard to the degree of resolution. As smooth as my electronics are, exposing every last detail on a CD along with many times the fashion it was recorded & produced, just ain’t what I’m about.
Just now with the addition of a Synergistic Resolution Reference active xlr on the amp… which coincides with the Signature 10 speaker wires I have on the JR’s, there seems another bit of synergy going on. I’m not thrilled with having to plug in wires to the power outlet if they ain’t power cords though… but ever how SAR came up with this notion of active networks for their cables… it sure is surprising what the benefits are. Amazing actually. Turn off the power to the cables and they simply aren’t the same. Nowhere near it. Plugged in though, and they are fairly remarkable. The additional benefit of less worry about crossing over other wires is diminished to just an afterthought, but for me, a good afterthought given I’m a bit ‘hard of seeing’ these days. But this is about the sound. And thus far the sound is quite good. Smoother than the MIT with near the same presence in the mid. Tight bass but not as abundant as the MITs. A silkyness in the top ranges yet with great detail. Symbols are as natural as I’ve yet heard. . . and air. Heavy on the air. They aren’t quite run in thus far and I’m splitting duty in that respect with an Ultra linear from VooDoo which has as much resolution as did the MIT Mag3 I previously tried briefly. The Ultralinear seems a mix of the MIT MAG3 & the Synergistic Res Ref. Lots of air, plenty of resolution, great balance, and very musical. I suspect that without another Ultralinear or VooDoo offering upstream or down, the resultant integration of a ‘stand alone’ IC at least in this instance, bears out to some degree, cable synergy. As my findings are not based on tons of different combinations of similar or dissimilar cables I can only go on what I’ve seen first hand…. No pun intended.
I have indeed realized the marked improvements when the same brand of cable either follows or precedes itself in the signal path. Of that I have no doubt. IN so far as MIT & Synergistic Audio are concerned. This ‘likewise cabling’ affectation or support of the signal does make sense. It would seem what is perceived as hype from cable manufacturers is not hype at all. It appears as simple justification. The cable makers ain’t using other cables when they are testing and developing their own lines. I’m satisfied with that bit of first hand knowledge. I found it true with having the same brand preamp & amp. Same brand ICs. Same brand IC & spkr wires. Same brand power cords at amp & AC line cond. Though I’ll still not dispute another’s experience with using different cables on components, be they likewise or not. I’ve one pair more to prevue and at that point I should be settled enough to make an informed choice as to which cable for the preamp to amp connection.
For me, it’s about the reproduction of music in such a fashion that it is involving, musical, and satisfying. I find it satisfying when it draws me in. When I’m swaying in my seat, slapping the chair arms, or openly remarking that the musicians I’ve just heard might well make a good living doing this professionally. That’s musical enjoyment in my opinion. Regardless the name on the components’ outside…. It’s how I feel on the inside. Getting there for me ain’t fun. Being there is. And ya gotta get there…. You want to see Mickey Duck, you gotta go to Disney. How ya get there is a whole different ball game.
“Same – same” does have the upper hand presently. IMHO. stay tuned.
I have always been of the opinion that one high-end cable or an other is good enough as one can get really crazy experimenting and this can be expensive. The above comments might make me reconsider.
...I'm with you. I've been a doubting thomas for some time in terms of wires. Extensive electrical background plays a part there for me. But ove the last few years I've found far too many examples of different cable makers offerings that have convinced me there is definitely something to all this... ... see above... and now the 'same brand' scenario sets me on another path from the 'all different' avenue. As the results speak for themselves. ...and yeah it can be expensive. IF you let it. I won't try those items whose price I can't justify. I get pretty hinky when the costs get up around 1500 or more (new)... but it's most difficult for me to justify spending thousands on devices and then not spending a fair amount to allow them to perform as well. I've found the interconnects and cables, as well as power cords and conditioning gear, are all complimentary, and conducivbe to the experience as much as is the components. Quite honestly, as has been regaled here ad infinitum, the costs vs. return don't seem to be justified much of the time anyhow.... and sometimes not hearing the differences by trying a higher level of gear ain't an altogether bad thing. Back to the "Ignorance is bliss", THING.... Finding out how much money for how much gain, is a tassk in and of itself.
Blindjim, you have great insight; outersight may be a bit rough, as based on your moniker and comments, but good insight! :)
I must say, I AM thoroughly enjoying the MIT speaker cables. I am actually using a run of the Tice for the subwoofers, which seems to sound marvelous along with the MIT's on the mains. I am hanging on to the Tice second set since when the new speakers arrive, they will be quite different sounding, and a new test will be in order.
I found that "synergy" with cables all being one brand is a double edged sword. Both with Audioquest and even more so with Harmonic Technology, the characteristic sound that their wires gives was pleasantly increased by addition of more of their proudct into the rig. However, at some point, it seemed to me the scale was tipped and I found myself thinking "that's too much" of their characteristic sound. Audioquest, I found had nice detail, but the soundstage was not all that large. Harmonic Technology was expansive sounding, shockingly "open" but when multiple cables were used it actually began to sound distorted to me, like it was losing focus.
It seemed a case of "too much of a good thing" where at first, the novelty of the change seemed superior, but with time, I found I was still fidgeting to try and eliminate the negative aspects of the "full system" wiring. Only using a mix and match method has yielded the results I was listening for.
The Tice cables are the only ones I have owned where I could live with it wiring the entire system, but even there, I ended up moving in two Xindak FP-Gold power cords on the Pathos amps, and WALA a new world opened up! I was SOOOO glad I didn't stop where I was.
I hear a very dramatic change in the sound just by swapping power cords! If I were to reverse the setup, and put one Xindak on the cdp, and two Tice on the Pathos Classic One's, the sound would easily be noticeably different (I actually did that, but the Xindaks were far better on the amps).
When one changes speakers, as well, the cable "merry go round" starts all over again...
It really has been a headache at times to get to the point of high quality throughout the cabling in the system, but once done, oh so well worth it! I can tell I'm at a VERY good place in the system which is almost perfectly pleasing to my ears, since I have several power cords, IC's and speaker wire laying about and yet I have no compulsion to be swapping them out. To me, that says, the system is sounding very musical/fulfilling to my ears. I agree that the ultimate test is if the head bobs and the feet twitch when the sound is pleasing. A very good indicator of things going right.
thanks Doug... if you say so... I appreciate it.
ON the "two much of a good thing"... given the very limited trials I've been able to perform in my IC hunt... there definitely is that possibility. As with the MIT M3 + M3 exercise, I agree... curretnly with the Nirvanas SX + Sl, (SX on the source, SL on the amp), again I agree. those are only two instances one with dissimilar models, one with the same models... each case proved out as 'two much'.
A finer balance of the tweaking of the signal seems more the way to go. Finding that balance at odds with different brands did appear the problem... IMO. Likewise brands yet different models does seem far better the idea. though balancing the sonic signature of one with another is quite the task. Which led me to figure 'same + same' as the slam dunk in adding IC's. Not necessarily so. the recipe can become bland, gooey, or simply to spicy, and the spice can overcome the main ingredients.
given all the notes I've taken along the way with all the units I've tried I'll not go at lenght here to indicate their diffs... but will add it to the 'reviews' list some sort of way.. either as individual reviews of the IC's or as a shootout sort of thing.... as several were on hand at some point along the way and an A/B/C deal did transpire.
the favored item however at this point is the Synergistic Res Ref x2 active xlr.... (I thought only royalty had names that long)... and oh by the way as is the case with SR, I was informed today an "Resolution Ref 2" ??? is now out or soon will be very very shortly... A week? Two? Reportedly, this itteration has all the characteristics of the current RR X2 active unit yet with more detail. I found this out by inquiring about which sorce IC they would recommend given I were to buy the curretn RR... the 'new' RR2 came up... given my parameters for sound.
Also in requesting info on the Bel Canto DAC 2 a week or two ago, along with a request for info from another (yet considerably more expensive line), DAC manufacturer whose name won't be made mention of, as numerous emails and phone callls went without response, Bel Canto made mention of a new DAC3 that will also double as a preamp with loads of different type ins & outs, including USB, XLR, xlr digital in, remote control volume, ETC. Due out in about June I think... could have been July, I'm betting on June though... Priced somewhere in the neighborhood of $2K ... give or take... no price was given 'cause no price had been determined.
thought I'd jump in here and say thanks, give the update of what's what with which cable... and drop the other news too. I should have a final answer in two weeks as to whcih 'pairing' of IC's by then.. no more than three. For sure.
perhaps others have found that using the 'same + same' notion in IC's is a good thing... or a bad thing and will say so here and which 'same/same brand they used... to a good end, or not.
A somewhat surprising end to the currrent dilema of "Double Your Pleasure", 'same brand throughout or not... there may well be a more difinitive study around somewhere on this topic. there should be too. Although a goodly portion of mixing a 'this' or a 'that' into a system on the build is part of the so called fun aspect of this oft times errantly termed 'hobby'. I really don't think hobbies usually cost thousands upon thousands of dollars, euros, rupies, or if like me boxtops. Whittling, ships in a bottle, paint by numbers, now those are hobbies! this ongoing search and search again endeavor is no more than the satisfaction of ones own ego. I am long in the camp of “Buying stuff I don’t need, with money I ain’t got, to impress people I haven’t even met yet!”
I do have to admit a time or two, or eleven, I've made choices solely based upon ego. Most all of those were poor choices, and quite costly. I refrain from that altogether these days. I am for whatever reason caught up in the cycle of finding the satisfying sound too. Mine is one that when I touch base wirh reality finds itself far short of the 'At any cost' neighborhood. I dwell in the bowery. the impoverished areas of demoland, or usedville. Seldom is it to me to enter the grand halls of 'brandy spankity' new city. I do jump into the latter inadvertently, quickly, and leave it far faster... these days doing my homework prior to the purchase is a must. An absolute must. therefore I gotta say what's happend in this hunt for those like me that do their research beforehand. I'm not talking strickly reviews, though they have their uses, and are quite the truth of things at times. No. Not even talking with budgetary constraints. Though, I sure wish something would constrain me. No, I'm talking having the items on hand. Eyeball to ear... or vice versa.
All that leads me to the following statement (s). I picked the Synergistic Research Resolution Ref X2 active XLR as the IC for my amp. i tried eight IC’s prior to making the choice. ranging in price from $550 - $1700. Popular names and not so popular name brands. Soundstrings, Nirvana, two from VooDoo, the Silver ref & Ultralinear, two from MIT, the Shotgun S2 & Magnum 3, Cardass golden Cross, and of course, the Resolution ref. I didn’t pay much heed to anything apart from the sound I got until I got enamored by the results obtained from like manufacturers. Namely the MIT offerings. Startlingly dynamic to say the least about the MIT’s though, there is more I could say. All the cables possessed their own unique additions to my system. The call I made for myself was one of compromise. I went with the one that lent itself to a colorful and smoothly dynamic presentation, along with a superb presence in the mid range to which I am so fond.
I sacrificed the enormous depth of bass and impact of the MIT’S. Don’t’ have quite the mammoth sound stage of the Soundstrings. Improved upon the lack of proximity to the presentation than the Golden Cross provided. Found more naturalness in the sonics than the Silver Ref allowed. Found more transparency in the mid range than the Ultralinear (which for all intents and purposes didn’t get the fairest appraisal as most of the time I had it in ‘new’ right out of the hands of it’s maker condition, all but a few hours were spent running in the cable), I did wish to have it for another couple days as it appeared to be on the brink of filling out and had begun to sound quite impressive. Such was not the case regrettably. I also found more dynamics and tonal range than the Nirvana SL could provide. I would liked to have had the Nirvana SX Ltd in XLR form as it was noteably a favored IC. The sonic envelope maintained by the SX is quite involving. The only kick I had about it was the overall relaxed presentation. That being said it remains an interest for future consideration, so good an IC did I find it to be. Far more dynamic than the SL yet both the Nirvanas found me leaning into the soundstage from my listening position… and ultimately I did move in the chair about a foot or so. Regardless, the presentation is as natural overall as any cable I’ve auditioned in this effort save one. That one showed up a touch late and is the most expensive of the lot and as the final cuts have been made I’ll not mention it here…. Another time perhaps as it is even more intriguing than the ones previously auditioned. In combination with the Nirvana SX Ltd RCA I was in amazement much of the time. Remarkable. OK, enough.
Given the dynamics, smooth presentation, low end resolution, almost non existent background, mid range transparency, upper end refinement and overall warmth, it’s richly textured and defined sound, the Resolution Ref X2 active set the tone. It was neither the least costly nor the most expensive. I didn’t care much for having to plug it into the wall either… given current fuel prices. (yeah, it ain’t much, but it counts), maybe that’s upcoming from SR. The RR does have as good a resolution/support center as I have yet encountered. Quite user friendly, and willing IMO, to go the extra mile…. As do many others. I made the decision knowing full well I was buying it on the heels of a new iteration forthcoming from SAR. A more detailed version of the Res Ref should be out now. The Resolution Reference 2, is what I think they called it. About the same money I believe. Around $1300 for 1M XLR with the active network.
So yeah, I spent more than I wanted to at the onset. Made a couple compromises, did neither prove or disprove IMO the ‘same same” scenario, but am pretty pleased with the results. It’s a far step up from the Cardass Neutral Ref once occupying that spot. Night and day differences. Over twice the price too. I did find one other rule of thumb that is bandied about here fairly regularly…. As the costs of the interconnects rise, so does the refinements and traits of the cable. Overall that is. In specific areas one cable may well duplicate another. The big picture, the presentations, however are quite dissimilar. I will indeed for those contemplating this same path or considering some of the same wires, post my experiences in the personal review section on Audiogone shortly, as I have copious notes on each…. With the exception of the VooDoo Ultralinear given it’s sudden departure for purposes of a more formal review.
Lastly, I saw a thread here some time back that said with the active network one does not have to worry about warming up the cable. I will assume that was a facetious remark. They do in fact need to be run in regarless the active network and if they remain unused yet plugged in as I ddi during my comparison for a few days, don’t count on A/B ing them with another set. Unless of course you’ve got them running in or on another rig. Even then, I think the comparison might be tainted, in that instance. They need both to be plugged in and plugged in.
I sincerely appreciate each and every note, thought, remark and shared experience I am as always in your debt. Maybe I’ve been equally of some help to someone else.
The aforementioned 'reviews' as to which and what led to my ultimate IC choice are now being posted as 'reviews' in the member review section as promised. Several are up currently, and a few more on the way and should be up shortly, so if you're a mind to see waht I thought about cable synergy do look there.
All have my sincere appreciation for any help rendered.
If you ever decide to look at cables again, I recommend you try Gregg Straley's "Reality Cables." Since my posting to this thread I have experimented with first his speaker cables, then interconnects, and now have my system completely wired with his stuff. It took all the colorations away and let my equipment transmit a relatively unadulterated signal, which allows my speakers to faithfully sing.
Until wire is reinvented, these cables will stay in my system.
using cables designed by different manufacturers enables you to tune your system to your taste more readily than using one brand for every component.
i prefer mix and match.
if you are handy design your own cables.
You know i actually began an effort in constructing some spkr wires... flat ribbons. trust me, being handy ain't all there is to generating great cables. addressing issues such as inductance, capacitance, resitantce and impedance is no minor thing. there is a lot to the cable design and construction effort... and experience is surely another aspect... not to be taken lightly, even if youre knocking off a replica just for yourself. Suffice it to say, I'm sold on the folks who have been tghere and done that and I will tip my hat to them for their efforts.
Mix and match or all the same doesn't matter actually if you get where you wan to be. I simply submit that one brand is a simpler approach and personaly experiences indicate a 'built in' synergy redialy avaible with far less hunting and matching up of various cables. That's all. Not a recommendation, but a tact on system building... and not a bad spot for which to start. That's the "fun" in the hobby, right?
i read in a von schweikert manual that if your speakers are bright then you are using too many different kinds of cables. "use the same cables throughout to decrease the brightness"
does anyone also take account for what cabling is used my the speaker mfr internally as well?
As a general rule of thumb that may or may not apply to your specific situation or taste and obviously subject to exceptions to the rule, if you want to fret over cables and spend massive amounts of time optimizing your system, then go with different cables throughout your system. If you don't want to spend too much thought and effort and are willing to have your system only reach 99% of its potential, then stay with a single manufacturer.
Seriously, in a perfect world I'd have every wire inside and outside every component made by the same manufacturer.
Going with the same cables through out the system is only good if you are using the Equipment from the same Manufacturer product line.
If not, each Component must stand on its own when it comes to its indivdual Cable needs. Some cables will let your equipment shine others won't.
It’s great to see just how many varied lines of experience here say going with ‘same same’, throughout is fine, and others indicating ‘to each’ their own. Of all the more remarkable and fascinating results I’ve experienced thus far after sampling a fair number of ‘wire’, there is definitely that ‘mystical’ mix that generates a truly special additive character to the systems performance. Finding wires that ‘work well with others’ is a must. Keeping to one or two manufacturers in the power cord arena is a worthwhile avenue to follow IMO. in my case Shunyata and VooDoo do very well together there.
Co-incidentally, MIT and Synergistic also working in tandem provide excellent results… with Synergistic having the edge in sheer numbers in the signal carrying department of my rig.
AS the last poster promoted , I predominately have my system two thirds the same. (a fluke, not an intention) in almost every area. So that might be the reason behind the reason… but in fact I just don’t know really. Just sort of worked out that way. I have found it a safe bet to go with something in the brand already at the party than to start chasing about without a clue.
If there is an explanation for additive benefit, subjectively determined or not, the thing that comes to mind is the ‘phase’ relationship of the wires themselves, or the sourcing of the ore itself. There could not have been the same impedance matching, given such dissimilar pieces… so phase stands out as my main suspect. Yeah, I know everyone is attempting to make everything in proper relationship to phase. I wonder. With inductance, resistance, impedance, and capacitance all integral, and inherent dissimilarly valued elements of cable production, there is no established standard for them from maker to maker.
What ever it is I will give the “Closer matched” award to models from the same maker… and it might be simpler… as the sourcing of the materials or method by which they are processed... beats me, but somehow it just makes sense to me.
Lastly, as significant as was the acquisitiohn of the IC I chose, so did I find just how much change to the tonal set, and sound field itself, can be had by making minor changes in structure, setup, dampning and isolating components… but that’s a subject for another time. IN any case I’ve found there truly is something to the ‘same same’ approach. Given, I’ve two separate systems; I put what I could from one into the other, and each time the results of likewise cords for example, provided cohesive and homogenous results in performance, and elevated quality of sound. Things were simply more musical. Regardless the system using the wires. .. but then it’s probably just me. However it shakes out for you and your rig, I will remain a proponent of using as much of the same cabling as I can, till that tact disproves itself… or I’m forced by ‘price’ to look elsewhere. Last I checked, price does matter… at some point… and I think I’m getting the point lately.