Arther my friend. I have the Elrod, and I also an Epiphany thank to you, but i also have two Kubala Emotions coming soon along with two pairs of Emotion interconnects. We need to do a shoot out. If the weather does not cool of, it must be here. I will let you know as soon as they arrive (within a week I hope.
JD - looking forward to doing exactly what you're proposing! Even the timing is good as Im away all next week. Art
Jadem6 and Artg - Please let us know what your findings are when you're done comparing the Kubalas Emotions to the Elrod & Electraglide Epiphany.
Don't even waste your time, Art. That Kubala is going to kill the Epiphany. But don't you worry, I'll be happy to give your EG a proper burial...:-)
Just received my Isoclean Super Focus Power cord, which is amazing, and it will be added to the face-off with Elrod, Kubala, and the Electraglide epiphany at JD's.
I am very much looking to this!
My pal is buying an Epiphany,for his Preamp.He currently has a very good EG cable there,listing for about 3,000.00,but not as pricey as the Epiphany.He is going Ga-Ga over the Epiphany's extra conducters,and not having made any kind of comparisons,is automatically assuming it will clearly outperform his,already great cord.Of course,I have to hear his endless barrage of salesmanship,and bloviating,even though he has no clue as to a real improvement,other than assumption.
He is coming out of a P-300 to the pre,and I find it hard to assure him(which he wants me to do)that his money would not be better spent on going from the wall to his amp,with this cord.ANY THOUGHTS!!
Hello Artg and JD,
I'd like to send you our Dynamic Design Platinum power cords for consideration in your shootout, they cost $1600/6 ft. They are fully broken in and ready to go. please e-mail me at email@example.com with your information and needs. You can find some information on these award winning cords at www.dynamicdesignav.com.
Speaking for John and Art, yes we would love to try them out. this should be fun! I have sent you an email.
Art, the Kubala are scheduled to arrive tomorrow, so we should talk.
Art - Hurry back and get home!!!
Any updates on this shootout? What's the word, guys?
we're working on it, will report back.
Thanks, Artg. Looking forward to it!
Any status Art and Jadem on your cable shootout? Give us a quick report, if possible.
Part one of three in our power shoot-out was completed over this past week-end. Sorry it took us so long. We gathered at Jfoxs house. As many of you know, Jfox has a whole lot-o-tubes! This of course makes for a very full bodied, warm and fuzzy presentation. Jfox has been using NBS Statement cables for ever, I mean since they discovered electricity and wired his cave, so convincing John that power cables matter is a bit like selling trout to a salmon fisherman. (What ever that meant)
Because John has eight power cords in his system, any conclusions drawn here must be considered as characteristics of each cord, as heard through the other cords, in that we could not create a base of all one cord or the other.
The cords we had on hand were three Electaglide Epiphany and one Epiphany X (or Epiphamy as I spoke it until I finally drove the good doctor crazy and he felt the need to show off his mastery of the English language by correcting me) We had three Isoclean cords, one Kubala-Sosna Emotion, One Elrod EPS-2 Signature and of course NBS. I had used NBS Statement for years and never felt I was lacking anything until I found the Epiphany cords. I had lately discovered Kubala-Sosna (K-S) Emotion cables, speaker, interconnects and power cords. So I must say I am biased toward KS cables on the whole in that I am working at getting all KS cables in my system soon to replace the Nordost Valhalla! I now carry a belief that KS Emotion and Electraglide Epiphany are the state of the art in power cords today. (This was my pre-conceived opinion going in, I thought you all should know my bias before you read any more.)
So our process was to eliminate NBS one at a time and replacing them with Epiphany until we ran out. Two cords were needed on the Audio Magic power conditioner (one on the digital side and one on the analog side) NICE CONDITIONER, but thats another post. We then used Epiphany on the digital side. One on the Manley DAC, and one on the Genesis Digital Lens. Once we had a basis of four Epiphany cords we tried adding either the KS or Isoclean or Elrod cords into either the DAC or the pre-amp. This gave us the opportunity to theoretically hear the influence of each of these cords on two separate components. Again I understand this is an inherently flawed test, but I do believe we could draw some conclusions on these cords in an all tube system. We also experimented with an Epiphany on the Aesthetics Callisto pre-amp while replacing two Epiphany cords with the Isoclean. This allowed us to experiment with the Epiphany on the massive CAT Signature mono blocks.
So my following opinions are basic overall reflections of what we heard. Because Jfoxs system has so many power cords and so many variables it is hard to conclude anything as an absolute, yet I do think I now understood the overall characteristics of these cords, and their abilities to perform with, or without impacting the sonic characteristics of the equipment used. In a nut shell, my initial opinions were upheld. The Epiphany cord is indeed the state of the art. I believe the Emotion cord has reached this same level and that these two cords are as good as power cords get today.
Now one quick word about these two cords. The Epiphany is a bit harder to work with, as it is a cord made from two plastic tubes within its sheathing. The emotion is highly flexible and even limp if you will. The Epiphany has a list price of $6000 for six feet where the Emotion lists for $1200. (This brings me to a brief commentary on high end audio pricing) What the hell is going on? No one has ever paid $6000 for an Epiphany power cord or the list price of so many cons going on out there. Why list a price that is never paid? BMI comes to mind as one of the first here at Agon. List prices were quoted, yet buying them was always direct from the manufacturer and never at list price. So why $6000? If you are expecting to find a KS Emotion new for less than list, goof luck. The entire KS line is priced at a reasonable (if not bargain) price and in my city is not discounted by the dealer.
Ok, enough of that small rant! The point is the two cords I believe to be state of the art are of similar pricing, at least the Epiphany used vs. the KS new. A quick look on the for-sale side of Audiogon shows the Isoclean to be $1800 new and the Elrod $825 used prices.
Ok back to our shoot out. I am sorry to say the Elrod was quickly thrown out. It was not in the least at this level of performance. The Elrod was tight, condensed, closed in, muddy and simply uninteresting to my ear and to my cronies. It lasted less than 60 seconds before we all agreed to pull it out. The NBS also was thrown out, very clouded with out the quite black background or detail of the leaders. The Isoclean however was close and potentially on level with the other two. I will hold my final judgment, because I have reservations on how it will sound with my solid state amp, digital front end and a couple tubes in my pre-amp.
My initial impression is the Isoclean is quite aggressive and potentially creating artificial dynamics that could lead to fatigue. The nest step in our shoot-out is my house, so we will be able to have all Isoclean, or all Epiphany or all KS Emotion. I believe this will be very telling, and the only opportunity for us to set up a system with all of each, in that the doc needs four cables, and we only have the epiphany in these numbers. So in the next couple weeks I will have a better feeling about the characteristics of the Isoclean cords.
JD: Thanks for your report--I can think of many things, including root canal, I'd rather do than sit around comparing power cords, but they certainly do seem to make a difference.
FWIW, I am almost done rewiring my system in KS Emotion (four power cords to go), you are right, it is indeed a state of the art cable, at least in my system. It also works best as a complete system, as I'm sure all of them do. I am astonished at how even the power cords get rid of the high frequencty hash and present a smoother sonic picture without apparently favoring any frequency range over the other.
In defense of the isolean, it is very much system dependent. I find it more full bodied than the epiphany. Smoother and warmer, but i dont think its agressive at all - quite the opposite, it is a tad laid back next to the epiphany.
It all depend on what you find important, or rather what your component/system needs more of. I personally would not want a 100% epiphany or a 100% isoclean power cord in my system, which is why I have both.
I have never heard the K-S power cord in my system, but I did hear the interconnects and speaker cables (JD brought them over), and they were not to my liking all, so maybe it will be different for the power cord. I would agree in John's system the K-S was a better match than the Isoclean. Of course this reinfoces the obvious fact: everything is system and ear dependent, baby!
Round two is at JD's house, then round 3 will be at my place. More fun to come...
Nice write-up JD, but you got it wrong, we are both John's cronies, not visa versa!
I would have liked to have seen a Elrod Statement in the shootout as it is clearly superior to the Sig series and would evened out the playing field somewhat.
I just heard my pal's audio system,after not hearing it for about 2 months.Last session was a superb listening experience,as my other friends all agreed it was the best sound he had so far.Since that session,he upgraded his pre-amp P/C from a "high up the line" Electraglide cord(Don't know exact model,yet it listed for about 3500 bucks,according to him)to the Epiphany cord(nice Christmas tree/like "silver" casing as well).Unanimously,now,we felt there was a significant loss of warmth and body to both his digital,and analog sound.Really uninvolving,this time around!!
I have read that the Epiphany was actually an amp cord,yet when he comes back from his well deserved vacation,he will ask for an honest response as to our reaction,with the new voicing(which was "dreck").Any thoughts?
The Epiphany, probably, like most of the Electraglide cords, takes quite some time to break in. That could be a possibility.
I would agree to a point that the cord may have needed breaking in. It is also possible that the Epiphany was allowing you to actually hear his pre-amp. I would be interest to know what pre-amp it was. I also tend to believe the Epiphany is ruthlessly revealing and this too may be an issue. The Kubala-Sosna is as open and revealing, yet not as aggressive. I think any time you get into the top level of cables we risk pointing out weaknesses within the system, so using these types of cables is not always the best move.
The particular Epiphany was bought used,and broken in.The cord it replaced was a very expensive,yet also superb sounding Electra Glide model.The pre-amp is a highly modified,by great northern sound co.,Audio Research SP-15,that has gone through some extensive tube rolling,and is a SUPERB unit,not the villain here.I suspect that the previous cord was a better match.That's all!My observations were corresponded by all of the few additional listeners,on hand!All very experienced hobbyists.I,also have some Electraglide cords in my set-up,yet have resisted the upgrade path,since it sounds good to me,and I believe that "If it ain't broke,then don't try to fix it"!Unless,of course one can A/B something in one's own set-up,which was not what happened,here.In this case,the purchaser was happy,yet was greatly influenced by industry hype(the solid silver sheathing,on the cord,should have sent up a RED FLAG.Why does this skin have to be so ostentacious?Sales hype,for a megabuck PC,I suspect,and I have spent some dough,myself)and the rediculous SIX thousand dollar list price!
Best to all!!
Sirspeedy. We all agree the list pricing on the EG cords is down-right silly, since NOBODY pays more than $1100 for these. I would also agree that the EG is better suited for some applications than others. It is very fast and open, but in some systems, it might be sterile, and that's what you found. Thats has not been my experience, but I think if I had ALL EG's it might be too much of a good thing. I have some EG, some Isoclean in my system, but am still experimenting.
BTW, i did receive a new epiphany X which is better than the regular epiphany. It adds body, bass and is still very open and extended. Really superb. I've tried it on all my components, and in every single instance (to line conditioner, amps, preamp, digital), it bettered the regular epiphany. It was smoother and more musical, and still fast open, and dynamic. Bass much tighter as well.
Anyway, the power cord rolling is on. It still boggles the mind that they would make such a difference, but time after time, the ears tell the truth.
Artg,very salient point!Appreciated,as it is the EP-X that interests me,and on the used mkt.BTW--How come the Reiymo and new amps?The other stuff(AA Cap)seemed pretty SOTA!
Sispeedy. I am a restless soul, and found I could not tame the residual glare and harndess of the Berning, so I spent some time reading, and found that the Verity people (who make my speaker) use the Nagra VPA's to show off this speaker. I already had (and loved the little Nagra PLL), so it was worht a shot. The glare is gone, I love the VPA's in my system.
Finally, I got a good deal on both the sale of my AA and the acquisition of the Reimyo, so again I went for it.
Wow, I just discovered this thread. Cave man here indeed. And the issue of tubes; I have become quite a fond follower of Telefunkens. I guess this makes me a TeleTubey!
I am definitely guilty of living on the warm side of the fence but with the help of JD and Art, I am working my way slowly to center. This is rather fitting as I am quite a moderate by nature anyway. The CAT amps were really the first product I have purchased in a long long time that did not emphasize the warm side of things but rather brought on a level of resolution and dynamics that has to be heard to be believed. And this along with the full bodied nature of the Aestheix Jupiter models is a match made in heaven for me.
As JD pointed out, I have been running with NBS Statement cables for a long long time. These are an awesome match with the 80s-90s ARC gear to tame the forwardness of this product line and also retain the 3-dimensionality within it. But with the latest changes to my system, it was clear that I was long overdue to focus again on my system's cables.
In the end of the power cord shootout, I too had to give the nod to the Epiphany X in the context of dynamics and resolution. But there was something about the tonality of Kubala-Sosna that just did it for me. Perhaps it was simply that the K-S was not calling attention to itself....everything was just naturally enjoyable and therefore less focus on the listening to the sound and more so to the music. I really liked this cable. The remaining cables did absolutely nothing for me. I had heard none of these in my system and had no prior knowledge or experience with these.
One bias that I did have going into this shootout was the degree of difference the power cords would make. As JD wrote, the AM Power Conditioner is wonderful. I suspect without this, the power cord differences would not have been anywhere as significant.
One thing we all noticed was how much more significant the difference was with the power cords into the AM were than elsewhere in the system. The Manley DAC benefitted from the more resolving cables but it was really the Callisto where the biggest gains were achieved on a single system component. And at a far distance, the CAT amps had a very subtle improvement. There was definitely a pecking order in power cords. We did not spin LPs so the jury is out on the gains with the Io.
One thing JD pointed out, that I agreed with, was that the single K-S IC (DAC to Callisto) we had tried in my system vs. the NBS 2 months ago had a more significant improvement in resolution and noise level than my system fully loaded with ALL of the Electraglide and K-S power cords. So here again, there was a definite priority as to where to put the resources into system cables. And my experience with IC's from line stage to amp is that this link is even greater than the other IC links in the system. So this really is where my focus needs to be before I drop a fortune on power cords. And for JD and Art, I have a little surprise here. Stay tuned.
I have much appreciation to JD and Art for teaching me a lot about the importance of power conditioning and various system changes to bring on a level of resolution that has been hiding in my system since I did a major overhaul to it earlier this year.
Yes, Grasshopper - the cords matter!
Hi Tele-tubey, first off where the &%#* have you been on this thread. You do need to pay better attention when Art and I are talking behind your back. Secondly, I would like you to change your moniker to Tele-tubey, It's perfect!
OK John, you can go back into your cave while I talk to the other folks here...
...Is he gone yet?
Good, now what John doesn't know is the next addenda item is his digital front end. I will need the support of others here, but the Manely DAC and Whatever Lens and a Best Buy transport really must go. We tried the DAC at my house and it lost so much of everything, that I know for a fact a new single box digital is in John's future!
Now we need to keep this secret from John for awhile longer, too much advancement into the 21st century is dangerous for some. So for now, not a word...
...poor John, he was far better off when I was not comfortable teasing him. Oh well, it's a two sided relationship. He could boot me any time now, so those of you who believe in John's potential for change may need to take over.
Oh yes, don't tell TeleTuby I will be trying to convince him to get the single-box Teac Esoteric X-01 like the one I am breaking in right now. At the 80 hrs mark, even through the admittedly crappy AudioQuest Quartz RCA into my senescing ARC LS2B and a stock chord on X-01 to boot, I am already drunk with sound!
Gentlemen, I must tell you a secret....I really REALLY like this DAC. I know it is way way way into the warm fuzzy zone for JD, but even he must admit it did piano in a most drop-dead gorgeous manner in his system. It gave the piano realistic size in his system that his Sony simply did not. And for me being an LP guy, this DAC just gets me closer to that world. And who needs the bottom and top octaves anyway! So there! So until you guys can find me a more refined digital processor with all this DAC's magic, I am keeping this gem chained to my "sofa-table" audio rack. No comment please!
As for the BestBuy transport...how the heck did he know this? We must take JD's tarot cards away from him so he will get to sleep on time!
And Guido, please no more mention of the LS2. I have enough issues with heartburn already. I have an idea: maybe we can sacrifice the BestBuy transport and the LS2 through a ceremony given by Medium MacRae.
John, to tell you the truth, I just discovered tonight why my XXX linestage is so enjoyable. . . it is not the XXXX per se, it's the Gutwire Synchrony XLR that connects it to the JRDG 7M.
I just replaced the Gutwire temporarily with a Cardas Neutral Ref, as I want to take the former along for a weekend musical trip to the Aris Audio openhouse event in Salt Lake City. When I reconnected the system I thought I had just suffered a severe brain lesion. . . nasty nasty nasty!!! The ancient spruce of strings has been replaced by plywood. All pianos are now made from particle board. Did not try any vocals. . . I am afraid of what I would find. O yes, did I mention the bass is now angry and bloated?
And there. . . my XXXX linestage is now nameless. . . . but seriously the Cardas neutral Ref ruined my entire system!
In my view the Gutwire Synchrony is a kind of unsung tube-lover's hero. . . I am looking forward toward pitting it against worthier opponents than the Neutral Ref.
JOHN! I TOLD YOU TO GO AWAY!!!
How embarrassing, I never meant for you to read my comments. Of course the Manely is very manly and a must own DAC. Please forgive me, I of course was just joking around. I love your digital!!!
Hi, I was wondering if you could give your opinion of the sonic differences that you heard using the Epiphany vs the Epiphany X on the DAC or preamp (assuming you did this comparison). Thanks
Just a brief report on the major transformation of my system today with the Kubala-Sosna (K-S) Emotion cables installed throughout my system. I had the honor of JD and Joe Kubala to pay me a home visit with 7 power cords, 2 pairs ICs and a pair of speaker cables. My system has consisted of NBS Statement, PS Audio and Electraglide FatBoy power cords, NBS Statement and MIT 350 Evo ICs and NBS Statement and Coincident TRS speaker cables.
As with most cases such as this, one would simply do the entire system in one massive cable change. But Joe, JD and myself did one cable at a time....starting at the power cables into the Audio Magic power conditioner. I needed to hear for myself the changes at each component to better understand the links that would benefit the most. With each change to the Kubala-Sosna power cable, there was added clarity with small increments of silence between notes. This was on CD playback system and line stage components. The power cables on the CAT amps was quite a different refinement; this had much more to do with improved dynamic contrasts and was not subtle compared to past power cord auditioning sessions. No longer was each musician playing at the same level. And when the band all came together in one loud bash, wow, it was much louder. I was impressed.
As expected, the change of the ICs from DAC to line stage was a bigger refinement to the sound. The best way to describe the improvements was an added structure to the music. The recording's room boundaries could start to be sensed. And for the first time I felt like the music's speed had slowed down just a wee bit as if there was more space and air between the notes. This was one phenomenon I had not experienced before and was very difficult to describe. And for all you Linn/Naim fans out there, it was more than the simple label of PRaT. I had the Linn TT for 18 years and the experience today had nothing to do with a tonality shift or emphasis in the mids to give a false perception of the "timing" in the music. It was all about the incredible resolution of the system brought on by the K-S cables.
I was so overwhelmed with the improvements in definition and decays of the piano and a greater insight to the piano player's presence that I often missed the improvements in the bass rhythms and simply that the bass was due to an actual string bass player in the band. Fortunately Joe and JD asked me if I noticed the bass. And since I had not, we went back for another listen, and wow, much improvement here as well. There was so much resolution that it truly was tough to notice so much at once. And we did this over and over with each cable change. There was no need to go back to the original cable except one time to confirm the improved clarity brought on by the digital cable from the transport to the Genesis Time Lens. I use a cheapo no-name cable here and a Marigo 5.7 AES/EBU from the Genesis to the DAC and this cable is phenomenol. It would be interesting to compare this to the Kubala-Sosna as well.
Things got more difficult with the final IC from line stage to amp and the speaker cables. The MIT EVO cable and the Coincident TRS spkr cables compliment each other very well with the MIT being somewhat lean and the TRS being somewhat overly lush in the mids. To appreciate the Kubala cables in these final two links, they really had to be replaced at one time. We initially tried only swapping out the MIT but there was now much added midrange presence with the K-S. Joe was concerned that just changing out the MIT was not good enough as the TRS cables were causing the emphasized mids that the K-S cables were now bringing on due a greater neutrality than the MIT. And Joe was right on here. Putting in the K-S spkr cables, and the tonality was back in balance. My only concern was that there was a perceived change, i.e., reduction in the portrayal of the dimensionality in the music. Further listening made it difficult to pin this down but I need to further listen here. But one thing was very clear here: the K-S had a far greater extension and presence in the low-end. I had no idea what I was missing all this time. The Manley DAC can indeed dish out the bass if the rest of the system is done "right".
After changing so many cables, and listening to 3 or 4 tracks over and over and over, by 5 hours or so we were all quite mentally burned out. But it was very clear: there was so much more clarity, openness and a view into the musical performances that was quite honestly a new experience for me.
For Joe and JD to have made such an effort to demonstrate all of this for me was way beyond the call of duty. I thank you both very much. And Joe was even nice to leave me most of these cables for me to play for a week or so.
More to come.
Watch out John, Joe did the same for me, now my whole system is K-S Emotion. It was easier for him to do this with me, though, I only live 25 minutes from his home. They are extraordinary cables, and I had been very happy (except for the weight and stiffness) with the NBS Omega up till then.
I now own two of his (Kubala) power cords, which I use in conjunction with electraglide epiphany X. Good stuff indeed. I will probably try the IC's at some point, but am pleased with the stereovox IC/speaker cables, so 'why fix it if it aint broke.'
John, you summed up the experience quite well. I must explain that I am not affiliated with Kubala-Sosna other than the fact that I have been fortunate enough to have met Joe, and use his cables. He has become a friend, and I enjoy him (the man) even more than his cables. My impressions at this point are jaded (excuse the pun) so take my thoughts with this in mind.
Having said that the CAT Signature amps and Aesthetix Callisto are amazing pieces together! This was the first time I full appreciated the CATs for what their potential is.
For John, I believe the entire experience was eye opening and yet too much for one session. I found once I understood what I heard on my own system with these cables, I could not go back. The KS cables do something Joe and I have spent a lot of time discussing on the phone and in person. They are so quite, and so neutral that the initial impression is something is missing when they are installed. I think I'm getting a handle on it, and yes something is missing.
In our Audiophelia world we consider edgy, fatiguing, bright, and aggressive as part of open, extended and airy. We are so conditioned to accept these traits if we want the high frequency extension that we program ourselves to accept them. The KS cables simply do not have these negative characteristics, yet they are more open, more airy and far more extended than my Valhalla's were. Where I was accepting thin and possibly brittle sound with the Valhalla's I now have body and tonality. Joe and I actually discussed this over dinner last night. Even the lowly triangle in real life has body and form. Trying to reproduce this generally means a rolled off high end, or accepting it as a sound hanging in space, and not associated to anything. I hope that I said that clearly, because it is important.
So the first impression, and as Art explained when we tried KS speaker cables and interconnects on his system was as described above. He felt there was a lack of attack and dynamics, again these are words I believe we have programmed ourselves to use to explain the problems with other cables. I may be wrong Art, and I'm sure you would clarify if needed. (Remember the demo speaker cables we used had a loose spade, in my system this was a big issue compared to a proper pair.)
So redefining and reprogramming our vocabulary is an issue when first listening to a full out KS system. As for the bass, it is full and tight, but because of the neutrality, anything else going on with the equipment will become clear to see. I honestly do not mean to pick on the Manley, but please consider the faults we heard in my system, to achieve perfect lush midrange which the Manely does in spades. There has to be a better solution that will take your system one huger step forward. I believe we can find it in one box, and you can reduce the three components into one, less cables, less hassle, less bloated bass. That was my only complaint yesterday; the base was too thick to be pleasing to my ear. The good news is those amps were driving an amazing amount of bass through the electrostatic speakers, so I'm sure theer is nirvana close by.
I must thank Joe for allowing me to drag him over to my friends house and spend an afternoon. This is not exactly the most efficient use of his time, and given the unique qualities of these cables, Joe's time is in demand.
Thank you Joe and thank you John for allowing me to push you into places you were not sure you needed to go. I had a lot of fun yesterday, and with every day together I have grown to enjoy your company more.
Wrong JD, the cables sounded plain old 'crappy' when I tried them. In my all-tubed system, it was too laid back, too rolled off, too compressed. Im not buying the 'our ears are conditioned to think' nonsense either, sorry dude.
Now, it may be that this was a matter of the cables being damaged, and I would be happy to try them again, but as of today, I am not jumping on the K-S interconnect/speaker cable band wagon. OTOH, I freely admit I really like the power cord.
Understanding that I also once had all Valhalla cabling, and MUCH preferred the stereovox cables, so it's not like where I am coming from is shabby, mind you.
To the extent we can believe the audio press, reviewers gave it a 99 (out of possible 100) for tonality, and 100 for noise see here:
Anyway, I'm making the point that for me, round one was a no contest: the stereovox cleanly trounced the K-S. Again, I referring to the IC/speaker cables, not the power cord, which i like quite a bit.
Sounds like round two is in order!
There's so much talk about Epiphany X vs. the Kubala Emotion vs. the Purist Dominus power cords. Has anyone compared the Kubala Sosna Emotion power cord against the Harmonix XDC Studio Master? Or any of the above vs. the XDC Studio Master? How do they compare?
Well, FWIW, I'm not sure which of the Harmonix cords I heard at my dealer's (it was fairly pricey, in the $1200 or so range), but it had a distinctly "warm" or "mellow" sound compared to others I have heard and particularly vs. the other cord they put in its place while I was listening. Probably similar as a general matter to the Kubala-Sosna (unfortunately I did not hear them both in the same system), though my impression was that the sound of the amp with that cord was a little too warm for my taste, masking some of the low-level detail in the recordings I was listening to. However, I heard it with an Accuphase amp that is a little warm to begin with; perhaps it would be better suited for a more neutral or leaner-sounding amplifier.