Both,I,and a friend upgraded from the ic-30 to the ic-70 at the same time.The difference was a significant increase in overall performance.It was well worth the upgrade IF you have a good setup.
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I agree with sirspeedy, I had the same result when I made the upgrade from the 30 to the 70. It is a superb phono cable. I never got the 50, as I am obsessive compulsive and knew that I would kick myself for getting the 50 when the 70 was out there. If you are saner than I, I hope there's someone out there who did the upgrade or compared the two. It would be difficult to compare the two in part due to setup purposes and in part because it takes a long time for these cables to fully break in.
This is slightly off topic, but thought you might be interested.
I used to own a IC 50. Then went to a Hovland, now a Purist Venustas (which is still breaking in).
The Graham was din to RCA. The others din to XLR. my phono stage performs a little better in my system running balanced.
Who knows if any of these cables were really broken in using my Lyra Helicon to drive it. Also, I'm using a SME 20/2 table with SME IV.Vi arm. I realize if you're using a Graham arm, you may get some better synergy given the internal arm cable is similar.
Caveats aside, I thought the Graham was wonderfully detailed, but thin in my system. The Hovland, much more warmth, slight less detail.
The Purist handily surpases both. In every area I can think of. It only has 150 hours playing time on it. It's still opening up.
If cost isn't a object consider the Purist. If you need a touch of warmth, then the Hovland. If detail is important, and your system isn't slightly thin in the mids, the Graham was good.
I have heard the IC-70 but not an IC-50. I liked the IC-70 for waht it didon the top end, as well as it was a warmer cable than the Harmonic Tech. Silver I have. But where the IC-70 failed was low end transpareny, ie., listening to symphonic music string sectiions were shown as a mass of sound rather that individual instruments as a group. The HT while deliniating these diffrences was not as musical overall. I always wondered if the IC-70 was not broken-in enough at the time.
As echoed by Gerardff above, phono cable break-in takes some time, given the small signal strength. I personally recommend the Cable Cooker to speed up this lengthy process and remove the break-in factor from cable evaluation. I have found it makes a big difference. My IC-70 changed dramatically after a break-in on the 'Cooker. The low end improved dramatically.
I own both the IC-50 and 70. The IC-70 is the superior cable. Using the IC-70 the last several years with the Graham 2.2 and Koetsu Jade Platinum, and Basis Debut Vacuum has been very enjoyable.
A problem developed after I replaced the Graham 2.2 with the Phantom. The Phantom is a far more revealing tonearm than the 2.2. The IC-70 now sounded grainy at the high end and weak in the bass. The biggest loss was the richness of the Koetsu midrange. Im not taking about warmth, but a very thin sound with loss of body to the midrange of the Koetsu.
I replaced the IC-70 with a Revelation Audio Labs phono cable. The Revelation was burned in with a friends Cable Cooker after I owned it one week.
The Revelation Audio Labs is the best phono cable I have heard; and I have tried many. The highs are detailed without hardness; the midrange is rich and musical. The bass is tight, deep, and powerful. The soundstage is huge with enhanced depth. Most importantly, it draws me into the musical performance.
The only potential problem for some users of the Revelation Audio Labs is that the cable is quite large. Revelation packs a material into the cable to reduce the mechanical resonance of the cable making it thicker than the Graham IC-70. Lightly sprung turntables may have a problem. I have no problem with the Basis.
I suspect that Bob Graham will release a new cable in the future. The Phantom exposes sonic shortcomings of the IC-70 cable not heard on the 2.2. I did love the IC-70 on the Graham 2.2
STEVE,I am happy you have such satisfying sound.My only question(and I'm not trying to be critical,or a contrarian)is after you switched from the 2.2 to the Phantom,and then added the new cable,did you,at that point draw your conclusions.Or,did you optimize the Phantom,after adding the new cable.I want to be very specific as to the fact that the sound you described,with the IC-70,seemed like you had not yet had the Phantom's bearing optimized.This could easily have contributed to the sound you heard with the Graham cable!!Thanks for the response.
Also,now that you are optimal with the Phantom,why not go back and try the IC-70 again to confirm the findings.The only reason I mention this is that the new cable you like,seems to be a fabulous buy.I have some audio pals that would love to upgrade their IC-30's to the IC-70,but can't swing the dough.
As of a matter of fact, I did go back and try the IC-70. I really did not want to have to buy a new cable right after buying the new tonearm. The Phantom was optimized for both cables in that it sounded best in the same position.
Since Revelation Audio Labs will refund your money up to 30 days if unsatisfied with the product, your friends can have some fun.
Steve.WOW!!Just checked out the website,too.Along with your testimonial,the white paper is very convincing.I will be looking,seriously,into this for myself,and my closest friend too.
What about a 90 degree connector,into the Graham?Is that available?Also is this thing really only 400 bucks?I'm pumped by this,as you have developed good credibility,as far as I'm concerned.Though I am staying with my 2.2 for the time being.I want to do some more phonostage tube rolling,and these little 6922/7308 suckers have gotten unbelieveably pricey!!Priorities,priorities!!Will it ever end?
Yes the connector is 90 degrees.
Here is a response from Revelation Audio Lab when I requested information on the phono cable:
Our tone arm version of the 'Paradise' analog interconnect cable utilizes the excellent Van Den Hull TAC (Tone Arm Connector), seen here:
Its 5 contacts are 24 karat gold over silver over copper plated. The connector contacts with their standard 270° pin configuration are based in a Teflon disc. The disc can be adjusted in any angle related to the connector housing. This to set the optimal position related to the tone arm. The connector housing incorporates a 90° bend to combine vertical mounting and horizontal cable exit.
The RCA connectors are of course the exquisite WBT Nextgen AG (Silver) Signature.
Like all our cables, we offer a 30-day home audition...it may be returned for a full refund of your purchase price if you are not satisfied.
Our 1-meter tone arm cable is $399.
E-mail Brad at Revelation Audio to confirm the price.
Steve,this looks too cheap to be that good.However,looking at the incredible practice of overpricing,in this hobby,it is probably CORRECTLY priced.One of my accounts is a cable manufacturer.I have discussed the pricing of audio cables with the owner,who is aware of this,and justs laughs it off.He said he wouldn't dare get into the audio market,as,to him,the price vs cost of product is "absurd"!!
In my business,I price my product based upon my costs.In high end audio,it seems to be like selling illegal drugs.Get what you can from your customers.That is one of my HUGE gripes with certain very popular brands.I know some behind the scene(actually,swept under the rug)info,and,though not surprised,am beginning to love guys like Arthur Salvatore,who stick out their neck,on our behalf.See HIGH END AUDIO .COM!!
Remember that Revelation Audio Labs sell direct. It is a small operation with no dealer network, minimal inventory; he builds cables when they are ordered. Overhead is far less here than a company such as Kimber or Cardas. Also, the usual dealer markup in audio is 40%. The dealer has his overhead as well.
In the past, I was sucked up in the audiophile fantasyland of cables. I owned very expensive Transparent Audio cables. My "Revelation" occurred after I tried a relatively inexpensive cable and found it to be superior to the Transparent cables I owned. This does not mean Transparent Audio is dishonest; they are excellent in marketing their product. Remember, they are a business, not a charity.
We consumers have to use our heads and mostly our ears.
I have ordered balanced interconnect cables and speaker cables from Revelation Audio Labs. One day, they will arrive and I will be able to evaluate them. They are far less in price than the Cardas Golden Reference interconnects and Silversmith Silver speaker cables I am presently using. I have found that price has very little to do with the ultimate sonic experience with cables. I guess it took me a long time to think for myself.
Is the Revleation Audio Labs the best phono cable? How could I ever know or determine this. The important thing is that it gives me a great deal of pleasure when listening to my music. This is what excites me.
By the way, dont you ever try a Precept AC power cable from Revelation Audio Labs. Like a XXX potato chip, you cant stop at one! I purchased 7 of these $800 babies because I felt they were outrageously good.
This, my friend, is the pure audio hobby: Buying an unknown product with most likely a very limited resale value- buying a product because it fulfills your musical expectations.
I may not like the speaker cables or interconnects from Revleation Audio Labs. But the AC cables and phono cables have provided me with one fine ride.
Steve,one of the things I really take pride in is my own signature matching,of components,and upgrades that have been done to my system,making it unique,to me.Sure I can buy new equipment(although I am embarassed by the obsene list price of the whole set-up) more often than I do,but I have learned(after 37 yrs in the hobby)to ascribe to a certain sound,that I like.When I can improve upon that sound,as with some CAREFUL tweaking,I get a real charge out of it.I have been able to "Push the envelope",almost yearly,lately.Too many people are concerned with the LATEST color picture in an audio journal.This is a detriment to getting really good sound,IMO.Some real experience,and the ability to not rationalize,which is hard to do,can take one a long way, in what a friend likes to call"THE ART OF MUSIC REPRODUCTION IN THE HOME"!!When you have heard as many differing set-ups as I have(I don't assume you haven't)you realize that it is DAMN HARD to get a really great sounding system.Having expensive stuff guarantees that all you will do is spend big bucks.A skilled hobbyist,like my dear friend Sid,has a nack for getting sound,in his room,that can only be described as "So impossible,the only explanation can be that the laws of physics just don't exist,in his room".It is that good.Both myself and quite a few industry people have been shocked at his thoughtful intuitiveness,and results gotten.This with speakers,although modded,are 22 yrs old.
The guy has been in the hobby for about 50 yrs,and knows what he is doing.He is a "thinker"!More important than a "listener mentality", from what I've learned from him.
To me,you seem to be headed in this direction.You have indicated that you are a professional,so can,most likely afford the high priced cables,but prefer to "think" things through, a bit more.BRAVO!!Now,why the hell did my son's medical school Stethescope cost so damn much?Seems to be like the "cable"mentality, at play here!!
I enjoyed and agree with your comments. I have been obsessed with this hobby for 35 years. I guess we are becoming Alter Kockers!
Yeah, whenever the word "medical" is attached to an object, the price goes up 500%. Such is the business of medical care.
Do you notice how the audio rags that once provided good advice to us have become worthless? I guess that is fuel for another future discussion.