Re: the Ensemble ICs'- if you are talking about the Dynaflux- give it some time. I am quite happy with them...
7 responses Add your response
I have been using Ensemble products for about a year now, and YES they take 100 hrs or more to break in! I thought they sounded very good when I first got them, but after about 6 weeks, and after 3 months in the case of the Isolink power transformer I bought to plug my CD player into, they really came to life. The details and dynamics are unmatched by anything I've heard in my system, but I have not come close to the Valhallas. I was using Transparent Reference interconnects and speaker cables before the Ensemble. I have now replaced all the Transparent with Dynaflux and Masterflux, and am ordering a pair of their speaker cables (called the Megaflux) as well. Plus I have bought as many of their power cords as I can for all of my components. Anyway, for your comparison purposes, I hope you can keep the Ensembles for a few weeks so they have a chance to burn in. If you think they sound as good as the Valhallas, you will have saved yourself a BUNDLE. Keep us posted on your results.
Sugarbrie: I thought the weeks-long break-in period resulted in greater detail and dynamics, maybe because the background got blacker, more silent! The dynamics increased because the softer sounds were more audible, increasing the range of sounds I was hearing. I didn't find the Ensemble cables bright out of the box. They sounded good to me--just far better after several weeks.
Sutts: the Isolink w/the Megaflux power cords (into a Powerpoint strip, of course!) definitely increased everything I was hearing and enjoying w/the interconnects alone even more! Again, quiet quiet background, incredible detail, NO harshness or stridency even with piano or vibes (a sound that can sound really bad on many systems; I used to hate MJQ and other groups featuring a vibes player for that reason, now I love them!). I use the Isolink for my Marantz SACD-1 player. I don't have another one on my preamp (yet!), which is a BAT VK 30SE. Then I have an ARC VT100 Mk III and Genesis 500 speakers. The sound is fabulous and I hope I have reached nirvana now, at least in my home. I love Ensemble, as you can tell. I haven't been as taken by a line of cables since I discovered Transparent in the early to mid-90's and busted my budget on them. The Ensembles are a lot easier on the wallet, don't you agree?
Absolutely Sarah. I am trying to decide on whether to hold out for the new version of Isolink (will be out in the next few weeks- a new one with 'dual' IEC's, upgraded transformer, etc.- hey- maybe you can buy that one and sell me your single...), or spring for the current model and get a break on price. But I AM very impressed with the Dunaflux IC's so far. I came from Golden Cross, and lost nothing, yet gained improvemments in noise floor; dynamics; neutrality; and tonality.