Yes you will hear a significant improvement when you move up the line. I started w/ 3033, then 3035 then 3038. Everytime I moved up to the next level, I felt like I could never go back.
I have never tried the 3038's, but I will say that there is a drastic improvement in going from the 3033's to the 3035's, which I do currently have in my system. If you are contemplating buy either the 3033's or the 3035's, go right for the 3035's.
Nickt, I tried 3035 and found it kind of forward and edgy. However, I really like the all-silver 1130 IC. Is the all-silver 3038 smoother than 3035, i.e. more like 1130?
I had 3033 in my second system for three years and have now run 3038 in my main system for about the same period of time.
In direct A/B comparisons in my two systems (both of my systems are of such quality to fully reveal the strengths and weaknesses of cabling), the difference between the 3033 and 3038 was actually quite subtle (I tried them with three different amps). I suppose my main reaction was how incredibly good the 3033 is for the money. The 3038 is a bit more transparent and has slightly better image specificity, but the differences are subtle. I have used both Kimber Select 1011 and 1030 run system-wide in both of my systems as well, and find the differences between them to be much greater than between the 3033 / 3038 speaker cables (in my systems, the 1030 was quite a bit more refined than 1011).
On a related note, the Black Pearl silver conductor in all Kimber Select interconnects and speaker cables takes a full 1,000 hours to break in -- do not judge any Kimber Select silver product (3035, 3038, 1021, 1030, 2021, 2030) unless you know for a fact that it has these hours on it. As for any harsh sound from Kimber Select silver IC's or cables, one of two things is likely happening: (i) the cable or IC is not fully broken in, or, (ii) they are showing the grain and other flaws of mediocre upstream components (good silver passes alot more information from the midrange on up than copper and will expose the shortcomings of upstream equipment).
I could happily live with 3033 in my top system, but the 3038 is better. That said, I am talking about my experience with these products in my systems only -- nothing is more system-dependent than interconnects and speaker cables, and the only safe way is to try things for yourself.
I am surprised that you found the 3035 forward and edgy... are you sure that the set you tried were completely broken in? I have a set, and that is not how I would describe their sound in my system... they are very neutral and have excellent soundstage layering and depth in my system; Audio Research Ref 2 Mk II preamp and Audio Research monobloc tube amps, Wilson Watt/Puppy 6. I also use Kimber 1120 and found the all silver IC to be a bit hard and edgy sounding... anyway in my system...
Raquel, Just curious, what is your equipment list??
A Kimber dealer told me that even though the 38 was better than the 33, it wasn't that much better for the price unless the rest of your system had been taken up to or beyond that level.
He recommended spending the significant difference in price on better components and upgrading the cables as the final step.
Mgx1138, it's possible the 3035s weren't completely broken-in. They were a Cable Co. rental. Also, this was in comparison to Bifocal XL, a copper cable. The Bifocal XL had a bigger soundstage in all directions and more neutral tonality. Maybe in my all SS system (Meridian G08, Rowland Synergy IIi and Model 10, Soliloquy 6.5) it's better not to have too much silver. Strangely enough, I've never had a problem with the 1130 ICs. Mine have well over 1000 hours on them. Maybe the 1130 and Bifocal XL are a complementary pairing.
Nighthawk, according to Cable Company all their loaners are fully broken-in to enable customers to start listening immediately. I have auditioned cables from them and enquired about break-in and that was their response. I'm also curious how the BiFocal XL compares to the Selects, especially the 3033s. I'm using the Kimber silver balanced Selects in my system right now. I find that they can be a little on the sharp side of cheddar at times. Seems to be dependent on the software. If the CD is superb that's what comes through. If it's nasty the cables seem to communicate it a little too well.
I tried al three types of KS. While the 3035 was a big step forward in my system, the 3038 was too much. So I run the 3035 for 5 years now along with the 1130 IC in the chain - just wonderful!
Rja, I've also gotten that response from the Cable Co. The question is what do they consider broken in? It seems the silver stuff continues to change over a very long period.
In my system the 1130 moved the sound from Havarti to mozzarella - it's not quite to the cheddar level. I would like a tiny bit more bite, but every time I succeed at increasing the bite, I get pepper-jack, which can be a nice change of pace, but I don't want it all the time:)
I would suggest that a bit of skepticism is in order whenever someone whom you do not know claims that they have fully broken in a cable, component or speaker that requires many hundreds of hours of break-in time.
For example, logging 750 hours on something requires it to be run 24/7 for a full month. 1,000 hours is a long time and a concerted effort has to be made to ensure that those hours are actually logged. It was worth it to fully break in my Kimber Select 1030 and 3038, as they did not fully open up and smooth out until they got a real 1,000 hours on them, but it was a true pain in the ass and a six-week project. Breaking in speakers and speaker cables is a particular inconvenience, as most of us don't have a barn in which to put them where they can be run in 24/7. Even wiring one speaker out of phase so they don't make noise during break in is a pain, as the speakers have to be faced nose to nose for break-in, but then pulled apart, the leads flipped on one pair of speaker cables, and the speakers repositioned if, during the break-in period, the owner feels like listening to music. Von Schweikerts and Verities, to name just a few, take 500+ hours to break in. Given the inconvenience of break-in, speakers should be, in my opinion, broken in by the manufacturer, and I am perfectly fine with them working the added cost into the price, as the current failure of the industry to do this is intolerable (at least to me) ... "[H]ere are your new speakers. If you run them 24/7 for three weeks, they will sound like they are supposed to sound. Thanks for your $30k and good luck".
My apologies for the diversion from your question.
I use Kimber Select ic`s and speaker cable ( copper, hybrid, silver ) and the Bi Focal XL with B&W N802`s. If you like the KS 3033 then you`ll love the rest of the Kimber Select line. Kimber makes wonderful cables that not only sound great but look great. You can`t go wrong with Kimber Select...get what sounds the best to you and your system and as time allows move up the line....for my system the all copper 1011 sounds ``best`` to me but the silver 1030`s,1130`s,3038`s have a magic to them that can`t be beat...especially if they are broken in...the hybrids are wonderful but for a little extra get the silver.....most of all trust your ears.
Personnaly, I preferred the 3033 to the 3035 !
any observable differece between the 3033 and bi-focals, just curious.
Those speaker cables have a direction? Is the same if I use one end to the amp or to the speakers??
If there is a direction, how can I understand what is it?
I'm now testing a pair of KS 3038, they have bananas at one side and spades to the other. Can I use bananas either on the speakers either to the amp? The cable has no informations about direction....
KS 3038 is a directional cable, yes. There are little arrows indicating direction on the metal "beer cans" from which the connectors protrude, where the "cans" have been painted.
It might be a little late to join this discussion, but I was thinking of replacing my KS3033s with 3035s or 3038s. Then I placed a meter of KS1130 IC between pre and power amp, and the system improvement was stunning. Music acquired a realism that I had never before experienced (detail, dynamic range, imaging, the lot) and the system is now so quiet that it seems to suck the noise out of the air between cuts. Now I am going to replace the hybrid KS1126 between CD player and preamp also with KS1130, and while I don't expect a change as dramatic as before, I expect a nice improvement. So I keep the KS3033s at least for a while since their warmth should compliment the drama of the silver ICs. All this has shown me the vast importance of cables to any system.
i tried the cables you listed and all i could say was am i really this gullible?
I have all kimber select silver although I am happy with the sound the workmanship of the brand has gone way down hill I had to return mind several time when they where new now I am stuck with cables that have been beeten up a bunch and refitted with ends and barrels several times to replace defective ones. There are many other cables that sound just as good I went with the kimber because I like the presentation.
The regular kimber stuff is ok but I would avoid the select stuff like the plague, it is expensive and there is other stuff that sounds just as good if not better. Sorry to be so negitive but they are a joke these days.
I lived with 3035 for 2 years and could never warm up to them. Programmer is right, there are so many great choices for cables at all more reasonable price points.
I own the select 3033's and they sound better than my transparent ref xl m cables. More alive and tigger bass
It is all relative depending on your overall voicing of your system.
It is a little confusing from the above discussion of the posters as to whether the Kimber Select KS-3033s are silver or copper? One poster said silver, while another poster stated the 3033s had "warmth" compared to other Kimber Select speaker cables.
Could someone please clear this up? Thank you.
3033 is a copper cable. 3035 silver/copper and 3038 silver.
I have tried the 3033 but preferred my AudioTruth Argent.
I have auditioned Kimber Select cables few times in my system. I considered to buy one of them.
In my opinion Kimber cables were good these days when there was less competitors on the market.
Today in the Kimber price tag you can get much better performance or the Kimber's performance at much less price.
Today Select price/performance ratio is poor.