INTERCONNECT-advice from knowers!

I am looking for reccomendations on diffrent interconnects to try in my system. My system consists of Dunlavy 4s, BAT VK150se amps, and Wadia 860. I have been using Harmonic Tech Pro Silway 2 balanced, it seems a little lean in the mids, and soft in the bass, but the images are so sharply defined, with a wide, wide soundstage that I keep coming back to it. I also for coparison have TARA Master Gen 2 which improves on the HTs weaknesses, but it seems to blur images together, and has a darkish treble that I don't prefer. Audioquest Lapis is also onhand for comparison. It seems to land somwhere in between the HT and TARA cables. I consider it the most functional of the 3 mentioned, but I would like to find a cable that keeps the strenghts of the HT and improves on it's weaknesses. I am getting a set of the Coincident interconnect for comparison. I would like to get recommendations from you guys who have worked their way up the ladder. My budget is 2k or less. Thanks, -Ryan
With an interconnect budget that high, you will be able to try most of everything out there. I've not heard the components in your system, nor have I heard your actual system. I will agree with you on the Silway II (I tried the RCA version). I think you might like the Diamond x3 better than the Lapis, the Lapis seemed to have a hollow midrange like the Silway (both were RCA versions, but the Silway's transgression was much worse in this regard), to me. Diamond goves up nothing to the Lapis, and instead has an awesome midrange and even faster/deeper bass. In another thread, I compared the bass of the Silway II to that of Diamond x3. If this bass were actual subwoofers, the Silway's would be the Sunfire Mark II (the Silway's was more dynamic, but tubby). The Diamond's corresponding subwoofer would be some imaginary ELECTROSTATIC subwoofer, whose bass is so fast, as to almost put you in a trance. And if you want bass that is even FASTER than Diamond's (I guess this would be somehow beyond the "imaginary electrostatic subwoofer"), with a tonal balance that does get slightly more hollow in the midrange than Diamond, but is vastly better in every way than Silway II (IMHO), try Pure Note's Signature interconnect. It's the absolute fastest silver interconnect I've ever tried (and has decent dynamics also), and I've tried a few. However, I did NOT keep it...since absolute speed wasn't really what I was after for the Rogue amp...these might be suited for the 2A3 kit I'm going to build, though. Good luck.
I, too will be receiving some Coincident interconnect. Hope it makes you happy. From what I hear, you should check out the Kimber Select products.
I have the Wadia 850, hooked directly to the Jeff Rowland Model 2. I auditioned the HT Pro Silway 2, and was not impressed. I am now using the Acoustic Zen Silver Reference (a new company from Robert Lee, who used to design for HT), and the difference was like night and day. I also had very good results with the Tara Lab Decade, but the soundstaging and detail from the Acoustic Zen are far greater.
Thanks Carl, I was thinking that Diamond might be the ticket. I recall you mentioning that you were going to audition Silversmith. I was considering this as well. If you did check that out what was your call on it?
Take a look at they have a variety of interonnects priced accordingly. I keep telling you guys you have to try them to believe them! (I have no association with the company, I am just a satisfied customer).
Hi Ejlif, awhile back I had the Quattro fil, Mac, FMS nexus, Coincident and Kimber Select 1030 ICs. I was very impressed with the Coincident. I prefered it over all the above except the 1030. 1030 is too expensive for many. The coincident can compete and or surpass all the above for less than $300. I wish you well in your search.
I would recommend the Dunlavy Interconnects, Tice interconnects and the JPS Interconnects. JPS makes an interconnect for 299, which just got a rave review.
Hi Ejlif, I have a pair of Dunlavy athenas fed by VTL 185 monoblocks and 5.5 preamp with an ARC CD-2 and pro-siklway II. I feel exactly as you do pertaing the desire to keep the detail and soundstage but fill in the gaps with the HT cables. What speaker cables are you using. I have the Pro-9 and i'm not sure wether to change out the Whole HT line and start over or just work with changing the interconnects. Carl, sorry for my ignorance but who makes the Diamond X-3, Coincident? thanks
Audio Musing is the magazine that raved about the JPS interconnects for 299. This is a good magazine, because they will criticize a product, if they dont like it. Here's there site.
Go for the Coincident you will love them.I have tried JPS,Nordst,Wireworld,MIT.The CST-1 are very very good.
Ejlif, yes I tried the Silversmith, both interconnect and speaker cable. BTW, Jeffrey Smith is by far the nicest cable guy you'll ever run across, IMO. My take ON THE SOUND was: The interconnect was the smoothest tonally, of all SILVER cables I have heard. The PENALTY for this smoothness IS HIGH, though. It was, FOR ME, dynamically laid back, and diminished the sense of "timing" in the music. The closest interconnect that I have tried so far, to the Silversmith, has been the pre-production Vantage all-GOLD-conductor interconnect from England. The Vantage is better at the sense of timing, and also seems to have the deepest bass extension (NOT the most "slam" or "weight", however....quite the opposite actually). The Vantage Gold has the nicest midrange clarity and warmth so far of any ic I've tried (better than my 350 EVO), but very little dynamic realism (UNLIKE the 350 EVO, for would be the polar opposite in terms of dynamics in the midrange/the whole range...the NBS King Serpent 3 had similar dynamics in the midrange to my 350 EVO, but this was confined ONLY to the midrange). However, the midrange of the Silversmith interconnect was very similar to the Vantage, as I hint at above. But again, the sense of timing was diminished so much with the Silversmith, that it put me off, especially considering the price of the Silversmith ($1600, I think). Mr. Smith informed me that I was "the only one who has found this with his cables"...and I told him I was ok with that. I still like him, cause he is kind, and he has built speakers (the most noble thing anybody can do, IMO)......................................Peizo: You aren't a fan of the top of the line Meadowlark speakers, are ya? ("piezo", their tweeter is the Audax oval piezo-motored one).....AUDIOQUEST, of course. Why do I not think that you've been reading all the mags for very long??
I have been jumping between cables quite abit. I was using AudioQuest Emerald, then Tara Decade, now I just switched to XLO Signature. I think there my favorite so far. Much Faster then the Tara, and better bass control then AudioQuest. PAss Aleph P to Aleph 2: XLO Signature Aleph 2 monoblock amps to Speakers: AudioQuest Argent +
Briweve: I owned the Signature 5.1 speaker cables for a while (be careful with those!! You could coil them up, let go, and cut trees down with them!!!...or kill people). I do want to try the Signature interconnect at some point. Is that the "1.1"? I think that it's possible that XLO's "six nines" copper could maybe be of better quality than "six nines" from other manufacturers, since they claim theirs "costs more per ounce than silver"...they don't say what purity of silver, though!
I am recommeding what has worked for me after trying varied brands all price range interconnects. I, too have Dunlavy V but source and amps from Classe. Try MIT proline between Source and pre-amp and Straightwire Serenade between pre-amp amd amp. This is the combo I have kept. Both cost around $ 300 retail. Balance configuration yiels better results. Try it before buy it. It works for me, it MIGHT work for you. With Serenade you gotta be real patient(speelling?), it take s long time for glare to go-away.
Thanks for the info carl. The piezo moniker was dumped on me in grad school (with no association to speakers at all for that matter) and just happened to fit here. and You're right, I don't spend a lot of time in the mags. I find that real world folks much provide better info for situations much closer to mine i.e. Ejlif. thanks again
When you're in this hobby a little longer, you'll find that the mags come in handy too, IMO.
I have never tired XLO speaker cable. But I do like the interconnects and how they match with Audioquest Argent Speaker Cable. Like I said I was using AudioQuest and Tara, interconnects, but I found I liked the XLO interconnect better, it was much faster then the Tara and better bass control then AudioQuest Emerald. As for the 5.1 speaker cable I have not tired in my system. I guess the XLO interconnects help with the lower end, well the Argent Silver brings out the Treble.
Piezo, I have to back Carl up on this one. Magazines are not only important, but mandatory. Even as recently as a year or two ago, they were all we had. You can only talk to so many people, and they all have DIFFERENT opinions. Everyone has biases, even the reviewers. But eventually you find a guy who is into the same type of sound you are and you go from there. Also, some advice for a neophyte. DON'T listen to dealers, they only make money if you buy what THEY are selling. Listen to your EARS(and your heart). They are the only thing that matter. All else is unimportant. As Carl(someone who DEFINITELY knows what he's talking about) said, when you are in this hobby a little longer...
I was having the same problem with my system using nordost quatro-fil,went to nirvana sx and it is heaven.No more lean sound,thin or a slight bit forward.I you have any questons yell--roger
I used the JPS with the 4's. I am now using Audio Tekne which are excellent. In my opinion, I couldn't find any tube amp to control the bass. Your problem may be your amps. You will not get a night and day change from a new cable. I've owned the 4's,4A and now the5's
Carl and Trelja - I don't know about this mag idea. These guys are businesses first, journalists second, and then audiophiles. Sure, they are not lawyers, but still, I find they are merely a good read. For example, I find TAS is one of the better ones, yet they positively rave repeatedly over the Nordost stuff, which as Roger puts it is very much on the thin side. I have no doubt that Nordost works for some people in some systems, but to give it an unqualified rave smacks of some sort of agenda to me. I think the mags are useful when you are getting started, as they give you a way to think about improvements to your system - as opposed to swinging from one trade-off to another - ie. they are educational, but I am not so sure they provide good advice on individual components - I could list several components that I have experienced significant flaws with, but which the mags have failed to pick up on at all.
This topic is like inviting everyone to the Ice Cream Polar & think everyone will like the same flavor. I have found you have to experiment with different combinations until you find the one that best suits you. After all, the only ears you are able to hear through are yours. I might add, as you are grow older your hearing changes, so what you like in your system may change as well. Enough about Ice Cream. I have been fortunate try own many different cables. With your equipment, you may like the Goertz Alpha-Core speaker cables; I currently use a shotgun pair of the Ag 2’s. But I am always willing to consider others. Goertz offers many other choices in copper as well as silver. I like the Magnan Vi interconnect, very natural, great sound stage & detail. Each sound is correct, as compared to the live sound. I use these between the pre-amp & amps. I am using the Cary between my DAC & pre-amp. I may suggest to one & all if you have not tried the cable offered by Cary Audio, do yourself a favor. These are very cost effective, 2-meter pair only $80 RCA or $95 for XLR. Take time to burn them in & you might be in for surprise! There is nothing that I have auditioned under $400 that will even come close to the quality of the cables. Give your ears a Christmas Present! Even if they are not your first choice, at their price point they are handy to have, as an extra pair to use, while you are waiting for its replacement to arrive. Good Listening!
I didn't mean that I worshipped at their altar, I just meant that you're out of touch if you ignore the magazines. The good reviewers have listened to more systems than anyone who contributes here, and it doesn't matter what their biases are. You don't have to agree with them, to gather information.
And many thanks for the compliment, Trelja!
I happen to use TARA Master Gen 2, and I just got 2 pairs of good 'ol (and old-gold plated RCA's) Lapis x3 to try. Right away, it is more relaxed, smoother, more laterally defined than the TARA. There is some sibilance, but hopefully that will pass after a day of playing (see thread on burn in vs getting used to a sound). I had AT Opal before the TARA, and, while I immediately liked the TARA, it may have been "different" in a noticeable way, not "better" across the board. As long as I have both (plus some Opal) lying around, I plan on trying, to mix the interconnects. Instead of A-B ing the whole system, try switching just 1 pair at a time. Perhaps, as TARA's website cable selector might suggest, it could be advantageous to have different interconnects between the source and preamp than the pre and amp(s). Allthough I've never mixed before, the more I think about it, it seems to be possible that it might sound better (or worse) than using one cable exclusively. Good Luck. 'Sup Carl? 'Sup Trel?
I got the Coincidents today and put them on for an initial listen. They have the best I've heard yet depth to soundstage, images are clear cut and focused. The sound is full bodied, with a slight edge that can become a little fatiging. The do have to break in so maybe the edge will dissapear? Piezo, I too am using the Pro 9, which I am going to search for a bester of after I get a handle on my interconnect prefrences. I got real excited when I read all the hype about HT stuff and got outfitted with the full lineup. I would be interested to see what a Stereophile reviewr would say a HT stuff. Thanks for all the replys by the way.
I have the Pro-9, and like it.
Did you buy the cables from a dealer or direct manufacture? Did you get a good deal? Let me know Thanks a lot
I bought mine used from Audionut.
I never said magazines were the be all and end all. Just that they are mandatory. Where else would I find out ALL the brands? Most people only speak of a few different brands(including us on this site). Take for example wire. Does anyone here ever talk much about Silver Audio, StraightWire, Tara, or XLO? Not that I am saying those products are good or bad. But, if you are not familiar with many brands, you are severely handicapping your potential for the best system you can have. Magazines are a necessary piece of the pie, to me. I, for one, am at a disadvantage just because of the Audio October issue no longer being available. Yo G13!
Kimber Select 1130 does it all. Very expensive but it does it all. I replaced my Pro Silway MkII with the Kimber and I was stunned by what I was not hearing with the HT's. If your budget will allow it you will not be sorry
I agree with Trelja and Carl that magazines are useful and i actually read a lot of the e-zine reviews. I also feel that guys like Carl present a lot of condensed information that i need to tap into while others like Ejlif have a similarity of situation that i really should pay attention to.. I spend a lot of time on the road and i need to narrow my audition choices some when faced with such an overwhelming selection of cables (there are days Devo's "Freedom of Choice" plays loudly in my brain!). Trela, you're right on when you say trust your ears. I've been a working musician on and off for the last 20 years and listening to the real deal is the ultimate reality check on where the home system is headed. My ignorance with the Audioquest was the indirect result of a dealer (who is usually pretty honest) who said Audioquest wasn't any good...I believed him and as a result ignored a whole line that maybe i shouldn't have. I recently completely rebuilt my system and while finding the right speakers and amplification was achieved by careful audition I must admit i fell for the HT hype for cable selection (i believe the HT cables are stereophile recommended). After months of moving speakers, altering the room to re-establish a system base line, It's time to look at changing things a bit. The fact that some one as picky as Carl ( a compliment) likes the pro-9 suggests that maybe an interconnect swap is the initial place to focus. Forums such as this are a huge help and the fact that they are interactive gives them an edge on static reviews IMO..though reviews have their place.
I am very glad that any comments which I have made on here, have had a positive effect. I have said before, and I'll say again, that reviews of cabling seem the least credible and the least translatable, to the reader, who then might use that review as the basis for the planning of which cables to audition. Not everyone feels the same way (about anything, duh!), and certainly cables sound different (to varying degrees) in whatever system context they are in. AND I MUST REITERATE SOMETHING I'VE SAID BEFORE: To anyone who has not done so, PLEASE TREAT YOUR ROOM ACOUSTICALLY. You'll be very glad to hear the differences between the cabling you try. They'll be cast in much stronger relief, than without room treatment. The imaging becomes more real, the sound less fatigueing over long periods.
worldcup 86- I got mine used, for 1/2 of retail. They are in my system. Aspects of them are the best I have heard. There is a depth of sound to these that is just amazing. The bass is really strong too. The treble region is a bit to laid back for my taste though. The cables are basically brand new and not broken in. I understand that they take about 200 hours to realize, so maybe they will liven up a bit in the treble. If the treble was right I think I would be happy with these, I guess I'll know in a couple of weeks.
You are right they take at least 200 hours to break in.