Adam, you can try others, but, for my money Transparent beats them all (and I've tried nearly all) in this category as well as a number of others (silent backgrounds, more natural timbres, etc.), and I do NOT feel that high frequency extension is compromised. When all is said and done, I believe these cables simply sound more like the real thing than anything else that I've heard. Unfortunately, this comes at a price (I ended up with the Reference XL), but, once you've heard the difference these cables make, its hard to go back. Fortunately, you can find them periodically on Audiogon to ease the financial pain. Happy Listening!
I happen to like Transparent Reference XL cable as well. I do find that they tend to slightly roll off the highs a bit and are not as fast as a few other cables. The gentle rolling off of the highs happens to compliment some systems quite well and is definitely not a negative if you have the right system.
While I like them a great deal, I did find something that I like even more... Nordost Valhalla. I find them to be the most transparent and holographic interconnect I have listened to. When Transparent releases the Opus IC, I have no doubt that it will be as good if not better in the areas you are concerned with. This will come with a huge price tag. Right now though, the Valhalla is the best I can recommend.
All of the Nordost cables I have tried have had remarkable imaging. I've tried the red dawns, spm & quattro-fils. You can really hear distinct improvements as you go up the levels.
Adam, have U reviewed speaker placement after changing cables? Maybe that can help -- before U invest extra money. Re, cables: to the ones proposed above, I would add bearlabs -- very neutral sounding, no perceptible "colour" added to my system.
Sub $1k Harmonic Technology Magic Link One
Transparent works best with the whole system done. What else are you using?
I take that back. In MY system Transparent really made a difference once I had wired the entire chain. Everybody has an opinion.
As an update to my previous post, I would also agree with "No money" that there is a definite synergy in the Transparent cables and that they perform at their best when the entire chain is done.
no money, My system contains mostly digital cable. I'm using Stealth Varadig, which I like a lot. The two analog cable's are Transparent Super & Stealth PGS. The Spk. cable is Transparent Super as well. What I'm attempting is to do is extend the high frequency and retain the holographic imaging. Adam
No Money, Forgot to list the equipment. Basically, the system is comprised of :Sony SCD777-ES, Tact RCS 2.0 digital pre & DAC,Llano design hybrid amp,Audio Physic Virgo's, REL Strata sub. I digitize my tuner and turntable with the MSB ADD1 (custom built power supply), upsampled with the Assemblage D2D-1.
Adam, how do you like the 777es? Built like a tank but I couldn't swing it and ended up with the s9000es. Really hope the whole SACD thing takes off, but that's another thread all together. I run Ultra to a Audio Research LS-15, Ultra balanced w/xl to Proceed HPA2 and Super bi-wire (soon to be Ultra) to ML aerius i. Maybe you can get a loaner set of Ultra to try? Transparent has a pretty good trade up policy from the "super" line on up. Do you have balanced outputs and inputs? It could be your system just doesn't click with the Transparent stuff, but I figure if you liked the other 2 sets enough to fork out the dough than try the whole system. It has an entirely different flow with everything Transparent. Good luck with you efforts, sounds like a nice system.
Magnan cables image very well. Huge soundspace with good body to instruments and vocals.
After five years out of the hobby, I'm rebuilding my system. I had made my research on what's new and found that dollar for dollar, single crystal, continuously extruded oxygen free copper is the best conductor. You can buy the wire for $2/ft in www.bottlehead.com . I found out that Phoenix Gold by Carver Pro uses the wire properly twisted, sheathed in teflon, with a ground wire, 100% shielded and in a very flexible and tough rubber hose. The connectors really grip hard...I figured because it is sold for studio and sound reiforcement use they couldn't come up with any Voodoo, pseudomathematical theories or expensive silver. I am extremely pleased. The sound is neutral and lets you hear what is.
I have just heard and then purchased a pair of Siltech's, and they are very nice cables, with beautiful, open highs, lots of air around instruments and 3-D presentation. Smoooth on top and a robust bottom end. Not inexpensive, but worth the musical values they bring to my system. They are not the flavor of the day, and you will not see many for sale here because people tend to keep them.
siltech,purist audio,xlo limited edition