Cables are good but nothing special in the sound. On the other hand you can throw away your speaker stands, these are so stiff the speakers will be suspended in mid-air. (I am not kidding, small monitors were lifted off their stands, same is true of the interconnects and power cords.)Good luck at bending these 2 x 4's. BTW the ends were put on in high school shop class last week, very POOR quality finish.
Accel- I'm living with two pair of FIM Gold speaker cables for bi-wiring. As Sdrconsultant has stated, the speaker cables are VERY stiff and could easily lift light weight components! Of course, that's why you must pre-form the cables to eliminate this from happening. As for setup, the cables do require time to relax after the initial manipulation. I can't stress this enough, the next day or two, double check the binding post connections. The posts can become loose as the tension from the cables diminish. They then take a couple of weeks to fully "burn-in". The sound, is difficult to describe. In most respects, I find it nearly revolutionary. Detail is presented in such a relaxed manner, that initial listening could lead one to believe that they are rather polite in the midrange. However, after living with them, I believe that the reduction in noise and other "artifacts" allows greater involvement and immediacy than any other cable that I've auditioned. Dynamics, both micro and macro, are world class. Timbre and harmonic structure are the best I've ever heard in my system. Needless to say, I disagree with Sdr's conclusion about the FIM Gold speaker cable. To each his own. If your system is pushing or aspires to state of the art, then I highly recommend the FIM Gold series cables. Just my .02
I have a pair of Gold series speaker cables, and have found the workmanship to be of the highest quality. In fact, some of the best termination work that I've seen. That said, I agree wholeheartedly with Jcbtubes findings. I haven't tried the speaker cables with mini-monitors yet, however I'd doubt that many who would be purchasing a pair of cables in this price range to use mini-monitors. Might be an exception or two. I like the idea that something that is good as the FIM Gold sells for so much less than the cables I'd used in the past. (It does make it harder to sell your used easily though). Just my 2 cents.
i agree wholeheartedly with jacks and jcbtubes. the fim's are world-class and the current wire of choice for avalon acoustics. (these folks can have anything they want, BTW, including the most obnoxiously-priced nbs.) me thinks sdrconsultant is a pimp for fatwyre? i hope winston never sells his wire thru those leeches.
Hi Accel, I have been using the FIM speaker cable and as Sdr said, it is STIFF. I pity the poor guy who has to bi wire. As Jcbtubes said, watch those connections. I disagree with Sdr on the construction of this cable. The FIM has weight, power, and is very rich sounding. There is an ease to the sound that I had to get used to. I have never heard a cable that has a density in the images as the FIM. This density in the images creates a dimensionality that is truly extraordinary. This is the first cable that lets me see (hear) the back of the soundstage as well as the front. I still feel that I have a lot to learn about this cable as it is so different from all other cables that I have tried. I wish I was better with words in describing what I hear. If you are looking for world class sound and have a high res system, then audition the FIM against any other cable. IMO this stuff is amazing. Do not think you can just pop this stuff in and out and get a true understanding of what this cable can do. I might be much slower than many others in doing comparisons but do not think you can come to a conclusion with a 1 day trial. I have had this cable for a time and I am still learning things about this cable.
Accel and Cornfedboy, clarification follows. First I am no pimp for fatwyre. Our company is a high-end custom designer of 2 channel and theater system for commercial and residential clients in Minnesota. Neither I nor our company has any connection with fatwyre. Second we have three complete installations with FIM gold at clients insistence. Two pair of tweeters blown out of JMLab Utopias, one Theta Gen Va DAC gone up in smoke, I could still notice the scent of burnt electrical components when I arrived, one dCS Delius and Purcell damaged. All of this destruction is a direct result of the FIM cables, more specifically the power cords. No one in the thread is questioning the beyond difficult to work with cables. Because of their stiffness they do loosen binding posts off speakers and amps and the power cords do NOT stay in components resulting in the above losses. I agree with all the posts saying they are amazing sounding cables. In our collective opinion not better but different than the other high end cables. The conclusion to all this is we will no longer install this brand of cable. It is not worth the risk. Clients are not always as attentitive as they should be. No matter how often we go back to the site and no matter what unique rigging we have tried it just isn't woth the risk of losing clients and damaging our reputation (looking foolish in the clients eyes with smoking equipment)for a different not better sound. Other posts may be right that these cables will become the world standard in listening but, from our point of view we can not be at every client's listening room for every session so this results in an unworkable product for us. IOHO we respectfully recommend against them. Thanks for all your patience reading through a long post.
Sdrconsultant: thank you for your polite and thoughtful followup. your experience does give one pause.
Sdrc- It is certainly regrettable about the problems that you've encountered using the FIM cables. Obviously, it was a poor choice given the customer's application or installation limitations. Certainly, if the equipment is to be moved around or not installed allowing adequate strain relief for heavy cables (and this would apply to any of the big-named, hefty power cords,ie. Shunyata KC, Electraglide, NBS, etc...) then the potential for problems would exist. Fortunately, having lived with most of these other cable brands as well as the FIM, I haven't encountered any of the catastrophic failures that you noted. Precautions are obviously needed concerning the pre-forming and rechecking after the cable has had time to relax, but I would hate to discourage someone from auditioning FIM cables. I have found them to be not only different, but sonically superior to the other better-known brands (MIT, Kimber Select, NBS, etc...) that I've used in my system. In your position as a consultant/installer, I understand your feelings due to your experiences. Possibly, your better understanding of the additional requirements for a successful installation using FIM cables could benefit the manufacurer and be incorporated into the installation sheet for the product to assist other users. Just a thought.
I have lived with FIM power cords for some time now and have had nothing blow up. You have made some strong statements (sdrconsultant), please explain how the power cord blew up your clients components, and the tweeters. Also I have taken the time to form the cords correctly and they have not one time come out of any component I have plugged them into. I find them to be the finest sounding (not just different) speaker and powercords I have ever heard. If you can't live with the stiffeness that is one thing, but to say that they blew things up because you did not poperly form and/or set things up properly is irresponsable. The cords are UL listed thus I am interested in exaclty how you came to the conclusion that it the smoking gear was resultant from the use of the FIMS. Thanks in advance, Mike
Greetings Mikeam. I will be happy to review setup and precautions taken for the benefit of the thread and maybe we missed something, who knows, one never knows everything? We would prefer not to get drawn into a discourse "the best sounding cables". Regarding the setup and precautions, I will address the system with the majority of the problems. First I will give you the system as it stands today and later revisit the components and accessories in and out of the system. Today's system = Transport = Theta Jade about 1 yr old, DAC = dCS Elgar 1 mo old w/ dCS Purcell 4 mo old, Preamp = Z - Systems RDP - 1 5 mo old, Poweramp = Krell 350Mc monoblocks 5 mo old, Speakers = JMLab Utopia 5 mo old. FIM Gold cables are used as speaker cables, AES/EBU connections between the Jade, RDP-1, Purcell, and Dual AES/EBU to the Elgar. FIM Gold power cords to all components into Ensemble power conditioning units (each unit has only one plug so there are many units). Racks are Billy Bags sand filled and shelving is 3/4 cracked glass for component racks and the two amp stands, all have Bags spiked feet. Unfortunately the space is all hardwood flooring and not a ground level room. Vibration and isolation have been Major Problems in this space and we are still trying to tame the room acoustics (on order 16 studio traps from ASC). Granted the system overpowers this room, I won't share dimensions, as most of us would not put this in this room. Rest assured the current space for the system is not the final destination. Remember equipment first, then build the room around the equipment, one of our company mantras. Sorry, I had to get one "sales" pitch in. Over the months other dacs were used, the Theta Gen Va, and dCS Delius. Richard Gray's power conditioners were in for awhile. Powersnakes King Cobras, Transparent Reference speaker cables and Reference AES/EBU cables and Reference Balanced interconnects have also been in previously. Initially as Tweeters blew we thought it was a speaker problem or someone just turning the the system up too far. After a couple of replacements and lengthy discussions with JMLabs and Krell we moved up the line to the front end. We delelted pieces, changed cables, and did anything we could to solve the problem within the component chain. The system was still blowing tweeters, grand total of five to date. As you may guess the Utopia tweeters are no inexpensive piece and the Gen Va new power supply is going to cost us also. On his own the client purchased some isolation devices, the name escapes me as I am typing, but let's call them "jigglers". They are a ball bearing between two steel discs. The problem with the system is it was sending an ear piercing screech through it after playing music for a short time. The screech would instantly fry the tweeters. By this time we knew JMLab was not that careless to make five bad tweeters. Here's a good laugh for you guys, here is what Krell said (paraphased) " our monoblocks have no limiting or filtering devices in them to keep ultra high frequency noise away from the speakers. In other words the Krells just take any signal and amplify the H@#l out of it, they were not surprised if the signal reached the amps there is nothing there to stop it. And what was funny is Krell was so proud of that fact. Incidentially, we also checked for the famous oscillation problem with the Krells. All this background for the long awaited conclusion to this story. As the front end components would sit on these "jigglers" in our room with vibration problems the end of the power cords would just slightly slip almost impreceptibly out of the component. Hence my comment on poor quality. With these cords being so stiff the component ends have virtually no grabbing power and very easily slip out of the plug either on their own, from stiffness, or from the slighest vibrations. Yet the plugs do not come out far enough to disconnect power from the component and shut it off. Upon quick visual inspection most would not notice the slightloosening of the plug. The result of this partial connection is these huge voltage anomalies and current swings throwing the system into all kinds of wierd stuff. BTW, when components were on these jigglers the power cords pulled the components off center and in the direction the power cord wanted to bend or twist. This information cost us dearly, maybe this forum could have saved some of these steps for diagnosing the problem. I learned my lesson to plead to the forum earlier. Bottom line, yes we should not have allowed the client to insert these jigglers into the system, and maybe we should have spent days and weeks getting these cables to settle into their final form. But the POOR quality of the ends on the power cords with no gripping power resulted in these losses. We feel the manufacturer should have been more attentive to this area given the stiffness of the cords. The poor quality is also targeted at how the ends are sloppily finished on all the cables power cords, interconnects and speaker cables, they look like they were hacked on or forced on the end of the cables not like other high end cable manufacturers. Incidentially the initial blow outs were happening in the absence of the client. It was his desire to "burn-in" the equipment and would leave it on for hours after he had gone to work playing burn in discs. So in all fairness it took a little while for us to get a grip on what was blowing the tweeters in the first place. Any way you slice it, from our perspective as a consultant/installer it is not reasonable for us to spend weeks bending these things into place or stand there forever and hold them in each component. Hence our recommendation, is even if there are the "best" sounding there are too many drawbacks and risks with them especially for the uniniated, we decline dealership and discourage there use for the reasons above.
Apologies to the forum for the long post above. Our hope is that by laying ourselves bear to your citicisms of diagnostics and foolishness of our embarassment at having this happen to us we may all gain for SDR's mistakes and encourage the community to share all our collective boo-boos to save others. We toil on with unknown thanks from the masses
Sdrc- Thanks for the detailed explanation. Given the rather unique failure mode, it's no wonder that it took many tweeters before the problem was realized. In retrospect, the "pulled the components off center" should have been a clue that the power cords weren't formed properly to remain seated into the component. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. As for the quality of the terminations of the FIM cables, I can only guess that they changed their termination techniques after the production of the cables that you installed. All of the cables that I own are extremely well terminated, both electrically and aesthetically. Since the IEC connector shell of the FIM power cord is industry standard, it must have been the bend stress that wasn't allowing proper mating. Again, thanks for the lengthy and detailed explanation.
Again I thank you for the explanation. The problem is was unique. I think the "jigglers" you refer to are the Vistek Aurio Isobearing devices. Great devices which I am thinking of placing in my system. If I have gleaned the information from your thread correctly, the problem exists due to the horizontal displacement of vibration (due the design function of the Vistek devices) which caused enough movement in the equipment to cause loose connection on the IEC connectors. I take it that the unstable connections sent high frequency signals to the amp and then onto the tweeters which were promptly fried. This would seem to be a "combination" problem and not one isolated to FIM. I do, however, understand your standpoint, that being business. Best regards, Mike
Well put Mikeam, I haven't heard of this before. I doubt that there is little if any horizontal deflection with my equipment stands. I can attest that I have a system full of FIM Gold cables, along with JM Labs for the past 19 to 20 months without ANY problem what so ever. The FIM is a stiff cable which requires proper installation, taking adequate time to bend the cable into position. After reading this post, I've checked the heavy duty IEC connectors on the back of my Tube Research 100 and it still is tight within the connection, as well within its' mounting.
My Utopia tweeters are still working fine and I'm very pleased with the complete line of FIM Gold series cable.
SD, I am sorry to hear that those highschool shop class quality FIM connectors caused you so much problem. Next time, ask those high school students to provide some type of screw on attachment, so the FIM cable can be screwed to the frame of the component's iec input.
Then again, screw the whole component that is connected to a FIM cord onto the stand which it sits on to make sure it doesn't flow off the shelf when the FIM cord "unbends" itself. Then again, screw the whole stand onto the ground it sits on...
Actually, maybe it's that you have lightweight components, Viggen. You know, where the power cord weighs more than the component, like Aragon. If you read the above posts, it sounds more like an IEC jack failure on the component end.
I am not the person with problems with FIM powercords.
Also, the lightest Aragon amp is 47lbs; 6 feet powercords are not over 47lbs at least not mine.
And, Sd states the problem is with the jigglers and the stiffness of FIM cords not iec connections.
That's funny, Viggen. I've owned FIM Gold series cable nearly 2 years with NO problems what so ever. (Of course, my mono blocks weigh over 130 pounds each). I should also add that thousands have owned FIM cables with no problems, (otherwise they'd have posted here). I'm guessing that since you remark about Adcom and Aragon, you haven't used nor seen FIM. This said, how valid are your comments? Try nill. Nothing. Nada.
By the way, I own JM Lab Utopias, (the same tweeter), maybe, that SDRCONSULT says blows with FIM. I've used them for the past 20 months WITH JM Lab Utopias without any problems. Same is true with 5 other FIM/Utopia owners that I know. I HAVE experience. You do not.
FIM is not Audioquest. Thank God.
Good day to you, Sir!
Man oh Man,
Do you guys read the previous posts AT ALL??
OK, just to make sure you FIM cable owners who aren't English majors can read, I don't own FIM cables nor have I commented on them.
I have commented on SD's EXPERIENCE with FIM cables. He made an adhomenin attack on FIM's stiffness causing his professional woes by calling the connectors "put on in high school shop class last week, very POOR quality finish.
If you can read, you can tell I am defending FIM, not desparaging it.
Now, don't take your cables too personally. It's only a damn cable SIR.
Actually, your grammar is pretty good. Maybe you ARE an English major.
I'm with you. I was wrong. I am sorry, Viggen.
NB: i have heard from several very reliable sources that fim cables are no longer in production. so, if you like 'em, buy 'em now. if you own 'em, good luck. -cfb
It's ok Steve; I still love you man.