First results: Valhalla---Ensemble.

I received the long awaited Ensemble cables today. These cables are very well build and made in Switzerland.
I compared the interconnects to the Valhallas first and was thoroughly disappointed: Half of the dynamic, (micro and macro) where suddenly missing, lots of details had disappeared, so I had my reservations when I hooked up their speaker cables. Same story.
So I decided to put the Valhalla Interconnects in and just swap the speaker cables. With the Valhalla ICs and the Ensemble speaker cables the system sounded awesome.
I was then swapping Valhalla and Ensemble speaker cables like crazy, but to the best of my knowledge, I could not hear any difference between the two. I think these Ensemble speaker cables are outstanding and defended their place against the Valhalla very well.
I then called my Ensemble dealer and he told me that all the cables are brand new and not broken it.
I should give the ICs around 100 hours and then put them to the test against the Valhalla again, the same goes for the speaker cables.
It this is true, the speaker cables would easily beat the Valhalla then and the Ics would be up to par with the Valhalla.
Does anybody know if burning in cables can make such a difference? Had I to decide today , I would buy the Valhalla Ics and the Ensemble speaker cables.
But I still have a whole bunch of other cables coming in and will keep you updated.
Re: the Ensemble ICs'- if you are talking about the Dynaflux- give it some time. I am quite happy with them...
Yes burning in cables makes a bit difference.
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.
Will break-in really get more detail and dynamics? Break-in from my experience usually gets me the opposite on cables too bright and detailed new out of the box.
Right on Sarah! Hey- re: the Isolink, I haven't picked it up yet. I DO have all the power cords and Mega Powerpoint outlet strip. Will the Isolink yield a large improvement? (CDP is Audio Aero Capitole 24/192).
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.