I have the Oval 9's, They replaced Harmonic Tech which replced Nordost SPM Reference They are so good at their price point it is scary I can afford (fortunately) to put in whatever i think is the best in my system These are the best I have ever heard The $7000 Kimbers are close to these $300 Analysis Plus I have a Resolution Audio CD55 direct into Lamm monoblocks into Von Schweikert VR6's via the Analysis Plus
I have Oval 9 double runs from a pair of Musical Fidelity X-AS100 monoblocks, replaced AQ Argents for me at 66% lower price! At first I thought they were too smooth and relaxed, but after extended listening they make other cables sound strained and exaggerated, the music flows in a totally natural, liqiud manner from these cables. The 3D soundstage is massive, near reference quality, competes with the best available in this area. Acuujim above has excellent reference quality system, I think he just about says it all.....Cable Co will let you try at home, or Audio Advisor has 30 day return ploicy, $299 retail for 8ft is fantastic audio bargain, regards Sam.......BTW I prefer these over AP Silver Oval cables
Currently using Analysis Plus Silver for the top of my Avantis (Goertz on the bottom). Avanti's I tweeter has an excellent & tempermental top end & the AP is a match for it. Silver is bass shy, but that doesn't affect my system the way I use it. As Megasam says above, I thought, at first, it was too smooth & perhaps lacked detail, but I compared it to several other top of the line cables & quickly realized that was not the case. The detail's all there & the presentation is incredibly musical. AP copper has more bass, but struck me as less refined musically. Passing note: Van den Hul has a silver interconnect which is perhaps the most amazing single piece of equipment I've heard; other IC's I've compared it to are top of line Siltech, Nordost, Electra Glide, Omegra Micro & more. None close.
acuujim, what interconnects have you chosen for your system?
Harmonic Technology Pro-Silway MkII Balanced One meter
Looks like I'm in the minority here. I had high hopes for the Silver Oval speaker cable, I have compared directly to AQ Clear and HT Pro 9. I found the Siver Oval to be to laid back for my taste, however the soundstage was the best I'd heard. I overall ended up sticking with the Pro 9 because it seemed overall the most natural and true to the music. Components-Wadia 860, Pass Aleph 2s, Dunlavy SCIV.
I tried the oval 9 on my Van Alstine system (hybrid solid-state/tube) and Biro Speakers and did not hear a difference after a seven day break in. Bass may have been a little better, but I sent it back and am using the Kimber 4PR. With a Krell amp I can't say that its going to be sensitive to the cable either. But you can always try it.
I've just run in a pair of Oval 9's ( copper ) for appr. 500+ hours. I was told by a salesman at Audio Advisor that these cables sound horrible out of the box and take quite a while to settle in. I would agree. Out of the box, they literally SUCKED. I wanted to remove them instantly. This is exactly what the salesman also said his initial reaction was in his system at home. After appr. 70 hours, i could hear some slight changes for the better. 150 hours brought better performance. 200+ hours made them almost livable. 500 hours later and they might work if you've never heard what really good cables could do for a system. I have to admit that they did come a LONG way though compared to how they started out. I took them out and replaced them with a set of my Goertz MI-2's from another system. Almost instantly, the music, soundstage, life and especially the bass came back into the system. Two others outside of myself all agreed that there was no comparison and that the Oval 9's literally removed the "feeling" from the music. My girlfriend, who is no audiophile, was not in the room when i swapped cables. She could tell the difference within 10 minutes of playing time without ANY prompting from me. She too thought the Goertz stomped the Oval 9's without question. Keep in mind that results vary from system to system and personal tastes mean a lot. In this specific system, they didn't do very well. I do have to say that they did do some things quite well, but the negatives FAR outweigh the benefits. Needless to say, mine are going back. This is not meant as a flame or troll, just stating my personal experience to show both sides of the coin. Sean >
I would have to agree with Sean about his comments on the Goertz MI-2's. I am running a pair bi-wired to my Maggie 1.6's and really have been very pleased with the results. Best-Gary
I have the ultimate way to determine how good stereo "stuff" is. My wife has great ears and moderate interest in listening. She also pays the bills and the agreement is that I can't buy anything if she doesn't hear a difference (with at least some positives). We've been doing this for many years and I have come to trust her less invested but more objective input. She loves our Quad 63's, partly because they can't go too loud but also because of the usual Quad attributes. We were running 15ft AT Dragon from a Sonic Fronteirs Power 2 which most would agree is up there with the big guys/gals. It sounded as one would expect, great. I happebn to know the guys who developed AP and had always been curious. I accept that bias could be seen here but my wife has never met these guys. We (I) ordered a pair to try and went through the effort to A-B the cables. It was actually one of the simpler changes to evaluate. The AP silver cable sounded better in soundstage which we had preceived to be excellent. Quads also tend to be laid back but the AP brought a new sense on "life" to the sound with a "reach out to you feeling" as opposed to "here I am, come on in." While they are incredibly cheaper, there value is incredible. They didn't blow away the Dragon but were significantly helpful that this was a no brainer. One previous writer questioned the bass and since the Quads are crossed over at @100 to Celestion 6000 subs, I can't comment but am curious. Having listened to many of the great cables, and frankly being able to afford, within reason, what I really want (read NEED), these are a real bargin that loses nothing that I could hear. My wife also finds them to act as I have described. And yes gentlemen, there are women in this world who actually listen to the high end and while not her favorite thing, she does love the music and tolerantly enjoys the stuff that makes the music. Well, there is at least one woman so there must be more.
This isn't so much going to be a rave about the AP Oval 9s as much as a set of observations. Since my experience with owning high-end audio gear is limited I wasn't going to clock in here, but DennyD's comments sparked some remembrances that might be useful. Because most of my funds had been spent on hardware (McCormack DNA-1, SF Line 1, Hales Revelation 3, CAL Alpha/Delta), the first cables tried were all low-end. One dealer set me up with a pair of AQ Type 4+ with brass spades. An impulse buy introduced a home made pair of 14 AWG RS MegaCable with RS Gold-plated spades. An ancient pair of heavy-duty Monster Cable from the old system were already in hand. The system was assembled with the AQ first and I was in music heaven because the new gear is so superior to what it replaced. Eventual experimentation with the Monsters brought out better bass due to the larger gauge, but the HF was trash. My guess is the patches of green stuff growing on them had an effect... The RS cable extended the HF, but everything was so thin as to be irritating compared to the AQ. Knowing this system was going to continue to evolve and soon be moved to another house I was reluctant to spend time and money auditioning a lot of cables. OTOH, the experimentation with cables encouraged upgrading, as did the desire to find a reasonable reference point to gauge future upgrades against. I knew the cables were a big limitation, so based on the great reviews, reasonable price and my gut feeling I bought a pair of AP Oval 9s. These replaced the AQs which were the pick of the litter up to that point. Immediately the sound was improved overall. There was greater clarity, detail and extension, better rhythm and speed. The background was suddenly darker and the music stood out on it more vividly. Sorry if that sounds like an ad or list of reviewer adjectives, but it was almost a night and day change. DennyD's comments reminded me of what the two people most familiar with the system (besides me) noticed about the addition of the Oval 9s. My best friend, a golden-eared wonder boy of a musician, who has sat through several afternoons and evenings of listening immediately noticed the darker background, increased detail and improved frequency extension. Admittedly, he knew there were new cables, so this was a less than objective perspective. He does have a well trained ear and knows music better than anyone I know. The best perspective came from my SO. This woman has season tickets to the concert series at a local winery and loves to sit up front "for full effect", originally said "you want to spend HOW much on a stereo?" and has since proclaimed it to be "just like going to a concert", remarked on the improvement before she knew the cables were installed. The change was that obvious. All said, the Oval 9 has brought a welcomed transformation. There was one down side, though. Now the tizziness of the stock Sovtek 6922s in the preamp is too noticeable, so they need to be upgraded to something better. Maybe that's not a downside after all!
As mentioned before, everything is system dependent and up to personal likes & dislikes. I do have some comments though. Audio, like anything else, is a relative thing. If you've been walking from place to place, a Yugo is a nice car to own. Once you start driving a Chevy or Ford, that Yugo doesn't seem so nice anymore. The Chevy or Ford would then pale in comparison to an Audi, Lexus, etc.. as your experience and knowledge of the subject grew. It's all a relative thing. Unless you've truly tried dozens of cables in the exact same system, your point of view is going to be limited to your experiences. This is not to belittle anyones opinion or experiences. It is meant to simply keep things in perspective. As to FPeel's comments about his preamp tubes sounding "tizzy", i would simply comment that maybe it's the cables aggravating the situation and not a real problem with the tubes. If the problem doesn't exist with other quality cables, then either everything else is REALLY crappy and doesn't reveal the problem or the Analysis Plus cables are miles ahead of everything else. My experience with a system that was known for sounding warm and full with several different speaker cables in use was that it became overtly tizzy and thin once the Oval 9's went into the system. Since they are the only cables that have caused that problem other than some very inexpensive cables that used lower grade materials, I would call them the culprits and not something else in the system. The less expensive cables were not as severe in the problem either. This may be an isolated incident, but at least i have compared MANY other cables within that system to base my judgments on. Sean >
Sigh. Such is the problem with full disclosure, isn't it? Sean, I'm not a good person to use as when proving one's arguments. My position in this is essentially neutral, so believe what you want, but don't use me as your "proof"; I'm much too likely to refute it. My belief is that the AP cables are not the source of the "tizziness." Why? For a couple of valid reasons. First, to some degree it was there before, but due to the inadequate cables in use was not apparent to the point of being a distraction. In other words, if I focused enough it was there. The Oval 9s added a great deal of clarity and now it's more apparent. Before anyone says it, yes, I know the difference between HF clarity and brilliance. Second, the stock Sovteks used in the Line 1 have a reputation of being pretty mediocre tubes. I'm actually surprised they do as well as they do. I am also using the stock power cord and understand that doesn't help matters either. Now, this is not to say Sean is wrong. He's certainly right on with the Ford and Lexus analogy and I'll gladly accept that that may be why I'm enjoying the APs. Kind of like a dog that got neutered before having sex: I don't know what I'm missing. So, for now leave me to my bliss. A tube upgrade is in the works (if I can just find some worth buying...) as is a power conditioner and cords. If the problem persists after that I'll post an update. Until then...ahhhh! Life is good!
FPeel, I'm sorry if you thought i was singling you out. I didn't mean it that way at all. The "theory of relativity" comments were meant in general and not to anybody(s) in specific. As to the specific comments about FPeel's specific situation, I have spoken to others that have had similar problems with these cables and was kind of offering this as both a comment to the discussion and a suggestion as to what may be a different line of thinking to you. I hope that you did not take offense to this. Sean >
FPeel, I owned the SF Line 2 and replaced the Sovtek tubes (rear two which matter most) with $55 Amperex gold pin NOS from Upscale Audio. For the same reasons, they are zippy. The Amperex added warmth, body, and better 3D imaging. I was using a double run of Audioquest Forest at the time. I also had a McCormack DNA2 LAE amp. I changed to Harmonic Tech Pro 9 which was a good improvement. I have since changed to AP Oval 9. I agree with of of your observations about this cable. My system is quite revealing and nonforgiving. I have body up the wazoo. I'm running the Sony SACD, Nirvana S-X ic, EVS Attenuators plugged into the back of a Bel Canto EVo digital amp and Eggleston Andras spk. I am waiting for the Nirvana S-X speaker cable to come out to evaluate against the AP Oval 9 but I fiqure for 2m the cables will cost approx $2K. Enjoy your bliss.
THIS CABLE IS BY FAR,THE BEST PER DOLLAR PERFORMING CABLE IN HIGH END AUDIO.i also firmly believe that cable is system dependent,but this cable has worked great in solid state and tube gear of various brands.that i have tried.
My experience with this cable was negative, and I'm in the vast minority. I'm ok with that. Apparently, it's the only cable that can accurately reproduce square waves, according to the literature. If that's true, then most other cables must NOT be able to reproduce square waves without ringing, and yet I like them better anyway.....I'm ok with that too...not that I believe any manufacturer's claims blindly anyway. Bottom line, there are better cables for less money, and you can hear them if you visit my system.
I'm in the same boat as you are Carl. I didn't have much luck with it here. One point that i would like to mention though is that, according to the Goertz literature, it too can reproduce a square wave. The difference in their literature is that Goertz uses direct comparisons to high grade Litz / braided type wires in their literature whereas the Analysis plus does their comparisons to a "solid 12 gauge wire that is round in configuration". Nothing like "picking and choosing" your reference points. Sheesh, compared to a Briggs & Stratton, a 1962 VW Beetle motor seems like a power-house. I would also like to ask that, if their "hollow oval" design is the cat's meow, why don't their silver cables use the same geometry ? Those are stacked on top of each other ( like Goertz ) instead of being of the flat coaxial design that the copper uses. There's something to think about. Why make all the hoopla about something and then NOT use it for your top of the line product ??? That should tell you something right there. Regardless of all this, i am a firm believer that there are major differences from system to system and personal taste is the bottom line. Buy what works and sounds best to YOU. After all, your the one listening to the system. >
Sean, as you said so well in your original post, it all depends on your system and your taste in sound, that is why home trail of cables is recommended. If you want dynamic, exciting sound Oval 9 is not the best choice. If you want smooth, natural sound then Oval 9 is great choice. I originally tried Oval 9 at home and returned them because I thought they were too relaxed and smooth, no excitement. My Argents I thought had more bass and treble extension and sounded more powerful. After a couple weeks back with my old cables (AQ Argents) I slowly realized I really missed Oval 9 natural smooth as silk sound, and massive soundstage, and tried them again. This time they stayed for good and Argents were sold, and I am very happy with my choice. So it doesn't matter what any chart says, or reviewer, as you say correctly it what you like for your system, regards Sam
Mikeg, Thanks for the input. It helps confirm that my upgrade path makes some sense. Sean, No offense taken at all. Your comments were well made and the discourse appreciated.
My experience was that a less expensive cable did everything better than the Oval 9, including warmth, natural-ness, large/deep/wide/ soundstage, speed, bandwidth, detail retrieval, imaging solidity, edge delineation...and you name it. And to compare the dynamics (both micro and macro) and sheer slam factor, to the Oval nine, is like comparing that 1960's VW to a top fuel dragster...This other cable was the previous series of MIT's affordable Terminator 2. These were at such a low price, that I gurantee my great grand children will be using mine (perhaps if only as a novelty) in their systems, in the 22nd century....Put another way, I'd never re-sell these, unless someone offered me many thousands of dollars for them (and if I couldn't buy any more of the closed-out "new" ones, the amount would have to be in the tens of thousands of dollars). That's how much I like them. Yes I'm biased, but for good reason, IMHO. And it's not as if many other cables didn't also beat the Oval 9, because they did in my system. My amp (during these particular comparisons): Krell KAV-250a. CD player: CD50. Speakers: MMG. Amp's power cord: Black Mamba (at that time). CD player power cord: MIT Z-Cord 2, plugged into Chang 6400 CLZ. Interconnect: MIT 330 SG Proline. Room treatment: ASC and RPG profoam. Except for the Chang, I've compared all of these to the competition, some of them to many different competing products.
Hi Carl, What speaker cable are you using? Sounds really good for solid-state...
My comments would be redundant. Here are the experts. It doesn't get any better than this! Your cables are THE true reference, capable of showing texture and inner definition, and expressing all the musicality while not imposing any character of their own. These are exactly the ideals all companies should hold their products to." -Chad Baures, Bel Canto Design The Analysis Plus Oval Nine cable sounds more natural and less colored than any cable I've heard. It sounds like what I hear through my headphones when I do my final listening check." - Joe Fratus, Art Audio "When you voice loudspeakers, a cable's contribution can adversely affect your judgment about the prototype's actual performance. By virtue of their superior transparency, we have used the Analysis Plus Oval 9 cables to finalize crossover work on two new designs. We will also use it for upcoming tradeshows. As a manufacturer, it allows us to hear what our speakers are doing without any cable-induced colorations." -Bernie Byers, President, Soliloquy High Fidelity Loudspeaker Company Looking at the retail price table, I remain puzzled how they can sell these cables so affordably... rest assured that I wouldn't bother introducing a new cable company in this space if I didn't believe this product to merit serious consideration... they offer rock-solid engineering savvy, a firm grasp on the science behind the hoopla, and intimate access to high-tech gear the actual use of which might confound a lot of competitors..." -Srajan Ebaen, Soundstage!,
I've been using a double run of the Silver Sonic T-14 and love the clarity and tight bass it presents. Has anyone compared this speaker cable to the Analysis cables? Associated Equipment: NHT 2.5i Acurus A200 stereo amp. Acurus Act3 preamp. Marantz cd-17 (using as a transport) Thanks! Ricky Hunter
Oops! Forgot to add that I'm using Transparent PDL digital coax, and Transparent Link 100 rca.
Apparently, since I'm not a manufacturer, my observations regarding the Analysis Plus Oval 9 are somehow suspect and uncredible. For this, I apologize for not being a manufacturer, or for not being a dealer with a stake in the sales of this product. Every manufacturer has all sorts of science to back up their claims, and yet they don't all make the same product...go figure.
Ekmaia, read all of what I wrote, I clearly answer the question, before you ask it.