Light years better
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Yes. The 3033 is better in all regards than the Monocle XL
To me, the 3033's are more life like than any highend Audioquest cable. I have used AQ Argent, Clear, Sterling, and Dragon. While the 3033 is close in many regards to the AQ, I've found the AQ to have a tone which sounds a bit "nasal" when compared to 3033. Kimbers 3033 is of course all copper vs. these AQ's which are (except for Dragon) silver/copper hybrid, thus it is easy to imagine how the 3033 could sound richer.. but... I don't think the 3033 is a rich sounding cable by any means... it's thin, fast and precise like the AQ except has more accurate or life like phrasing.
Even though this is a copper cable, it does not have the bold richness and tight bass of something like Cardas Golden Cross. In fact, I think the bass of the 3033 cable is a little wimpy.
If you jump up the ladder to 3035, you'll hear midrange vocals that sound like flesh! The texture is so real its scary -- the 3035's are an astonishing cable -- but still not as rich (in the bass) as the Golden Cross.
I am not a huge fan of Tara Air cables. To me they sound smeared. I've never tried BiFocal XL's since I immediately presumed that the Kimber Select was better. My speakers are Tri-wire capable and Todd at Kimber has recommended that I use Bi-Focal XL for the highs and mids and a run of KS-3035 for the low frequency. To me, that is a waste of the 3035. So.. what I did was run a length of Cardas Golden Cross to the Low Frequency and a run of KS-3035 to the Mids with a KS-9038 (3038) jumper to the highs.
Now my speakers have that organic richness, phenominal deep bass (I've never heard bass which was more "right" than with the Golden Cross) and sparkling highs. Pretty good solution for me and the first time I ever appreciated having Tri-Wire speakers since this solution wouldn't work
Is there a cable that's as close to the KS -3035 without the high price? I've been told to try the 26 to 30 AWG electromagnet wire for speaker wire. I think this is real strange, but I'm willing to try. Ever since I got horns with my SET's I've been dealing with the nasel sound. I'm thinking trying speaker cable upgrades,cause I've been using Analysis plus silver. Should I sell the AP and try some copper?
Close to the KS-3035's without the high price? Strangely enough I would have to suggest the 3033's as being the closest without the "high" price. I think a pair of 3033's can be picked up for 1000 or so used. As a matter of fact, check out higherfi.com on their sales page, they have a pair of 12' 3033's for less than I've ever seen them. All cables have their own family sound and Kimber Select is no exception. The difference between 3033 and 3035 is significant but somehow they are the same. I know that sounds silly but it's true.
I've never heard of Electromagnet wire for speakers... seems interesting though. IF you can get some cheap, it might be worth a listen but I wouldn't know what to expect.
For speaker cables, I think copper provides the richest sound possible. Cardas Golden Reference is a fast cable but still has that rich midrange bloom w/loads of detail. It's a good bet in the 1200 price range (used).
Many people like Silver cables but I've found them to be a little too much when used as speaker cables. They work great as interconnects (where the voltage is lower than in speaker cables) to preserve the fine detail.
Silver plated copper seems to "ring" or sound MORE nasal than pure silver cable. Aren't Analysis Plus cables silver plated copper? Acutually the only silver plated cable I've heard which doesn't ring is Nordost SPM but.. it too will sound thin and bright compared to pure copper.
I've had Kimber Bifocal XL and 3033 in my system. While they are both good, they lack refinement; and are slighty grainy on top. The 3033 was slightly better in MY system, but to me it was not worth the difference in price; specially when it will cost you more to Bi-wire. I agree that the 3035 has the family resemblance of the other Kimbers, but it is more than twice as good as the 3033 in my opinion. The grain is gone, and clarity, refinement and speed are added....for a price!
Last time I shopped for cables I did a shoot out in my own system : Kimber Bifocal XL, 3033, AudioMagic Sorcerer and
Straight Wire Cresendo. The Cresendo was way better than the others in every respect, incuding state of the art bass and no grain (I never have heard any Cardas in my system). The Cresendo compares in price with the 3033.
I heard the 3035's at my local dealer,but did not take them home since I could'nt afford them at the time. I got the cresendos and almost imediately got to try Acousic Zen Satori (0nly $600/6ft. pr. retail). In MY system they TOTALY destroyed the Cersendos. They had the same base, they had the same palpability of images; but they separated everything better with an uncanny pinpoint accuracy (it made it very easy to define location and distance), Even better coherence (something the Cresendo is very good at)and an amazing extension in the upper registers that made everything but the 3035 sound dark...little tinckling sounds like bells and triangles FLOATED with incredible clarity and presision.
I sold the Cresendos at a loss, and still had money left in my pocket. I took the Acoustic Zen to the local Kimber dealer to compare it to the 3035's . We swithed in 3 different systems, tube and solid state with several speakers. The Satori was better in all systems but one.
A combination of of Rouge (tube) and Canton speakers took
some flesh out of the mid's. I noticed this in my system as a very slight leaness in the upper bass, so it can be a little system dependent. I've heard Nordost Quattro-Fil described in this fashion(Slight leanness),and I've also heard of a lot of people selling their Nordost and getting the Satori.
This is only my opinion! As always, try everything you can get you're hands on. My system: Micromega Sage 3 CD, Melos SHA-1 Hybred PRE, LLANO DESIGN (White Audio Lab)Hybred Amp, PS Audio P-300, Acoustic Zen interconnect and speaker cable, and PC's by BMI and Electraglide.
Don't waste your money buying a cable that will not let your system clearly speak to you. I had Monocle XL and KS 1020 and thought they were incredible. I liked cables with a silver/copper blend, and the 1020 IC surpassed the 1010 IC I had. (The 1030 was too sterile for my ears). I bought the Monocle XL because it was a lot less expensive then the 3033 and even more so then the 3035, which I wanted because of the hybrid design. Based on some feedback, that some customers prefered the Monocle XL to the 3033, was also a plus. But in hindsight, I'm glad that I never put out the money for the 3033 or 3035. I always had very positive things to say about these cables. I then decided after a year with them to do some cable research, try some other flavors and attain some more audio bliss; Transparent, Harmonic Tech Magic and I was considering the new KS1021 (which was now almost twice the cot of the 1020). Fortunately for me I came across a cable that I was not familiar with and all of the others paled in comparison. The cable? Ensemble, of Switzerland. I happen to be getting new speakers and the dealer talked enthusiastically about this new cable which he felt 'blew' everything else away. I know, you've heard that before. "But try it for yourself", he said. "let the cables decide for you". I am very critical with my system components and cables. I should be. I had invested a lot in the KS and Black Mamba Power Snakes and felt my system was amazing; low noise floor, speed, articulation, details, low level information. It all sounded good and how much better could it possibly get. My last words. I swapped my KS 1020 IC and Black Mambas for the Ensemble Dynaflux IC and their Mega Powerflux PC's. My jaw hit the floor. And this was within the first minutes of listening to new cables. Could this be happening? Am I really hearing what I am hearing? I was in audio denial. How could all my enthusiastic praise about the KS cables and Black Mambas have been completely erroneous. But it was true and I could not deny what my ears were telling me. I soon replaced my Monocle XL with Ensembles Megaflux Speaker Cable and fully realized the potential of what audio perfection must be like. I can sum up the experience like this; Compared to the Ensemble Cables, my KS and Black Mambas sounded as if the singer had a sock in their mouth and the musicians were behind a layer of thick fabric. Imagine every little nuance you can in a recording and that is Ensemble. I have heard plenty of praise for Ensemble, because I am one of them. Others have replaced far more expensive cable then I had, costing 2-5 times more. Name one, and most likely Ensemble has proved itself to be superior; Nirvana, MIT, HT Magic, Transparent, KS, Nordost, Discovery, Cardas, Nirvana, Silversmith, Audionote, and many others. But don't let me tell you. Listen for yourself. And hear what has been missing!
I used to own Ensemble Megaflux. I purchased after believing all the HYPE given to this product line by both the West Coast and East Coast Ensemble dealers. Truthfully? It's not that great. Sakahara, to claim that Megaflux is better than some of the cables you mention (especially Audio Note) I've got to question your motives... I noticed you posted Ensemble "ads" quite a few times this evening.
I found the Ensemble to be decent cable... Similar to something like Harmonic Technologies Pro 9 or Tara Labs RSC Air. Nothing spectacular. Just shielded copper cable.
I listened for myself and then bought something else.
Theres always a few in the crowd, and thats good. But I'm only telling it like I hear it, from my experience. Period! I have no ulterior motives whatsoever. No one is forcing or paying me to say this. I am only spreading the good word. I am a music lover and high end audio addict [neurotic, obsessive, perfectionist] who wants to spend a reasonable amount of hard earned savings to attain quality music and is elated to discover a cable that radically changed my listening window-which is by the way, sparkling clean.
Once the Ensemble cables were in place, my passion for music erupted. It was reignited after going slightly stale for a year with my other cables. And the most notable affect it had on me was expanding my musical tastes, influences like, Jazz, Jazz/Vocals, Country, Bluesgrass, etceteras. I spent almost $400 on new CD's in a month- something I have never done. And isn't that what it's all about- the music??
The Ensemble cables brought my system to life. It sounded stunning. Well beyond what my prior cables and PC's gave me, and they cannot touch the level of realism and low level details that I am hearing now.
My thoughts are based on my 11 years [2 cents worth], and especially just the last 2 years, with more serious [expensive] refinements of my system. It's fueled by that hunger for more purity in the musical playback and the release of the emotional content that bonds us with the music and makes us passionate for it; it is why we have this obsession. And it is that that made me so excited about this new cable; the inner emtional contentI do not doubt that there may be another cable to satisfy me as the Ensembles did, but it might cost much more to get it. But as I mentioned, let your ears and the cable be the judge. Not everyone will agree. As was in your case, you were not satisfied-it's bound to happen. But based on your reply, you said you only had the Megaflux speaker cable. Perhaps you were not happy because your IC was in the way. Even though this post is regarding the persons interest in the KS 3033 speaker cable, and my post does relate to that, there is more emphasis on the combination of the Dynaflux FSF IC, the Megaflux FSF Speaker Cable and the Mega Powerflux PC's as a whole in relation to the KS cables and Black Mambas. I had many good things to say about KS, but I could not deny what I was hearing from the Ensemble. Its that simple. I will add that the Ensemble speaker cable just leveled out everything. It was not as dramatic an improvement as the IC and PC's were. But it still was in a league of its own and like nothing I have heard in my system. When I said that the previous cables and PC's sounded like the singer had a sock in their mouth and the musicians were behind a thick wall of fabric, I was not being facetious. It was meant only to be slightly humorous, but very serious. My investment was just put to shame. And all the glorious praise I gave them, faded away in a minute. Believe me when I say, the last thing I wanted to do was to throw away my cable investment. But after the change, I could not possibly go back.
I'm not forcing anyone to buy this cable, unlike many cable manufacturers with their suffocating advertising, dealer incentive deals, pay offs and biased reviews because of the designers name or the product label. I just felt compelled to offer my experience to someone asking for it and hoped that they would audition the cables I recommended and perhaps have the same wonderful experience that I had.
And does it really matter if I posted more then one reply? In the same night? In the same catagory? Am I not entitled to my opinion as you are with your perspective in regards to Ensemble cables, or others? I felt it was a superior cable with what I mentioned that I had and wanted to share my insight with others who might be in a similar situation. Sure, it is going to stir things up, I want it to. EXPERIMENT!!
I too, have auditioned Harmonic Techs lower range as well as the Magic IC. It did not move me as the Ensemble did. The Magic IC was similar to the Ensemble in ways, but not completely there.Thats it.
If a cable that cost 1/10th or less of that then another cable and yet offers say, 75 to 95% of the more expensive cables sonic worth, isn't there something seriously wrong with that companies pricing?
Enjoy the music
In case their is curiosity as to the associated components used with the Ensemble;
BOW Wizard CDP w/ Shun Mook Ultra Diamond Resonators
EVS Ultimate Attenuator (soon to be replaced by a tube pre; Wyetech Jade, Hovland HP100 or CAT Ultimate).
Rowland Model 10
Kharma Ceramique 2.1
Lastly, why didn't you infor[u]m us of what you bought instead of the Ensemble. I'm curious.
Sakahara, Good reply. I didn't intend to offend you. I just listened to the Megaflux (alone) and didn't think much of it. The cables made my system sound muddy. The sound stage collapsed and frankly I felt ripped off.. Especially after listening to (and believing) people who's oppinions I trusted. Heck, after reading your posts..... I want to try Megaflux again!!
My system(s) with Megaflux cables were: (Keep in mind I had NO power products on my system until recently.)
Day One: Krell FPB 250, Krell KPS28 CD, Krell KCT. I used Cast interconnects and had Wilson-Benesch Act One Speakers. Prior to using the Megaflux, I used Sterling speaker cables. The Sterlings were better in every way except for the amount of bass. Speakers are Tri-Wire and they were jumpered with the stock plates.
I sold my Krell stuff and purchased Chord Electronics. SPM1200 Amp and CPA Pre Amp. With a Marantz SA-1 Cd player.
Got a mixture of interconnects (bad thing) NBS, AQ Diamond, SPM Reference, Cardas Golden Reference & Cross... side note: I noticed that with the Cardas Golden Cross anywhere in my system, the bass was astonishing....
Same speakers. With this setup, I used my Sterling... hated it. The Megaflux sounded a wee bit better than the Sterling -- much warmer and rounder. Sold the Sterling and purchased FIM Gold. MAN! That sounded great! but.. after a few weeks I thought it was too much. The FIM was far superior to the Megaflux in this case. I sold the FIM and purchased KS-3033... It was okay in this system.. Not great but okay. I felt is was more resolving than the Megaflux and less than the FIM -- but still didn't have the bass I felt my speakers were capable of. My speakers were still jumpered with the stock plates.
Notice a trend here?? I sold several cables... and not the Megaflux. Do you know why? Because it sat on the market and NO ONE WANTED IT! I couldn't GIVE it away...
I sold my Chord, bought a GamuT (it was hard to sell as well but I managed to sell it too)... Sold my KS-3033 and purchased KS-3035 which I prefered to the Megaflux as well. Then... I did the best thing I've done for myself in a LONG TIME... I bought a pair of Electrocompaniet AW180 Mono Blocks and that changed everything. Any cable sounds good with EC! Even the Megaflux... but I still felt it didn't sound as good as the KS-3035 in my system.
I was still using the stock plates on my speakers.
Then I ran the MegaFlux to the low frequency binding posts on my speakers, the KS-3035 to the Mids and a solid silver wire to jumper from the Mids to the Highs. Finally the MegaFlux was doing what I needed it to do and I felt pretty happy. Suddenly... after 3 months, someone wanted to buy my Megaflux (to my surprise).... I sold the Megaflux, replaced with Cardas Golden Cross and have never looked back.
Today I use the Golden Cross for my LF, the Kimber Select for my MF and am actively seeking the right HF cable for my system. I have Shunyata Viper V2's on my EMC-1 24/192 CD Player and AW-180 Monos. As far as I/C's go, I am currently driving myself nuts trying to find the right combo.
Sakahara, I might add that one thing stood clear in your post and that's the idea that Cables (ALL) are a system themselves, designed to be used as such. Combining cables is only for those who like me, are nuts! It would be easier to buy all one cable type and then change components to produce the sound we seek wouldn't it?
Sorry for rambling... It's late and I'm exhausted.