I just happen to have 2 pairs of HS101's for my mono amps (Octave MRE130) and a pair to try from my phono stage (Aesthetix IO Signature) to the preamp (Octave HP500SE). I have to add credence to the fact that the Harmonix cables from the preamp to the amps, I am using a pair of 4.5 meter lengths, brought out the deep bass that my system was somewhat lacking. I made the swap from heavy duty transitor amps, Bryston and Mark Levinsons, to the tube amps, the first thing I noticed was a drop off in deep bass with the tubes. I always have used subs for my systems, no matter what configuration, this time with the Harmonix between the amp and preamp, the bass extension was so great, I had to back off the subwoofer volume a couple points lower, I use the Velodyne SMS-1 sub controller. Of course the comparisons of using the sub with the transitor gear would be the same in regards to the bass as the sub is dialed into the room and system to get the best synergy. Man, I was just shocked at the change. The soundstage and depth and overall musical presentation did not change as dramatic as I thought it would. I was using a spinoff of Acoustic Zen cables directly from Japan, the Neotech's, they have been my reference for years as nothing has really synergized with my system and ears as much as the neotechs do in that location.
The change of IC's at the phono stage to preamp produced some other changes. The current cables in that position are a pair of Audioquest Sky's in which I never feel a lack of presenece, air, depth or loss of total musical immersion. In fact, the wife and I have listened to a live performance of Sara K at a concert, and shortly afterwards went home to listen to the system with the Sky's, and we were just so amazed at the depth and accuracy these cables (Sky's) and the synergy the system has overall. With the Harmonix in place, the first thing I did notice as did my wife, that the luster and sheen of the top hats, cymbals were diminished, the same as someone putting a cover over the upper mids and tweeter or that the energy levels in this area dropped off, while the mids, predomintantly in the voicing, became more robust accurate. At first I was giddy, but felt that I was losing something in the top end, I was falling into a semi-comatose state of mind I guess hearing just the voices, it was very pleasant and despite the loss of upper energy, it was a different listing experience. One other thing I noticed was that the soundstage became more diffuse, with the pinpoint accuracy I had before with the Sky's all gone and the instruments wandering more or less all over the place. I asked my wife to listen to the cables, I did not tell her which ones were in at the time. Her conclusions were the same as mine, after A/B some vocal music, it became apparent that the upper riff signature of guitars, again Sara K, was somewhat muted with the Harmonix between the phono and the pre. We spent several hours comparing different music and my wife and both agreed that the Harmonix would be great as in interconnect for someone that has a bright sounding system or wants to tame the upper frequencies, but at the loss of imagery, pin point accuracy and depth to the soundstage. I can see how people can fall into the allure of a lush sound as it is captivating at first, but after prolong listening sessions, you start to feel as if their is just something missing. In the end, the Sky's remain in place and I have the top to bottom accuracy that went with them all along, with the voices still as accurate and pleasant as they were all along, sometimes differnt is not always good, at least for us.
I would in a similar configuration as mine, highly recommend the Harmonix as an IC between the amp and preamp because of the added depth of bass, I am not sure why the image did not collapse in this position, but the soundstage is great and the music is as vibrant as ever. I may go back to the Neotechs to see how the Harmonix living in my system for two weeks now compares and give updates later on.