MAC Palladium Sound Pipes: An experience..
The project was to “bring up” the sound quality of our CDP to that of our vinyl. Big order after our
vinyl was sorted and resorted with a tonearm rewire, Bent Audio transformers, and other continuing
tweaks on the TT. This resulted in a wide, spacious, detailed sound presentation. Individual instruments in a symphonic orchestra became distinguishable in not only their placement in a holographic sense, but also remarkably their individual character. Mixed quality of course depending upon the that particular chunk of vinyl. Acceptable, we got it.
Back to the CDP. Typically flat and “digital” on most symphonic, some jazz good soundstage…but overall little life or excitement to the sound. The music presentation was good, non fatiguing, with very few bad digital habits, but without the “life” and “vitality” that we seek. Sometimes a bowl of canned soup tastes good, but the carrots don’t crunch and taste like the peas, that taste like the potatoes….all sort of homogenized into one. A fresh soup has many characters, all individual, all distinct brought together to make a whole. Unique textures and flavors are what bring excitement and vitality to our experience. That is what our music brings to us. Get it if you can.
We had been using MAC AgQs(silver) with silver Eichmanns on the CDP. An email to Steve Hallick at MAC detailing the problem, actually more of a complaint brought on a set of the MAC Palladium ICs with Eichmann silvers to the doorstep a few days later. On the cooker for about 125 hours then into the system. We did not expect what we heard.
Selecting a few of the most non-descript classical CDs in the box without concern, we frumped down in our chairs to have a quick listen. Holy Batman !!! What’s this !!! Without exaggeration those proletariat, flat, digital, boring CDs came alive. There was now a full blown symphony orchestra
presented in a world class symphony hall. Yes, there is a difference in symphony halls. The soundstage was there with the instruments distinctly where the belonged. The sound was both sweet and dramatic. Even the character and volume of individual instruments were apparent. The textures, subtle nuisances along with the drama was there…..sometimes more than the vinyl.
no edginess , no mush, no color, just a pure sweet believable realism that took our breath away.
Now this was a fresh delectable soup with crunch where it should be, with individual delicate flavors properly blended to be savored and enjoyed, excitement and vitality.
Yet another dimension. No matter what we were listening to, there came a musical surprise. A triangle, the slam of a bass drum, the shimmer of a cymbal came across dramatically with purpose. Separate, distinct, with a realistic character that became a “where did that come from”.
A goose bumps “surprise” in the musical presentation. Now that’s power.
Bottom line how did it compare to the vinyl. Actually very well, sometimes better, sometimes not quite as good. A better explanation would be apples to oranges. Both very good, but with a different character. Most important we can now delightfully experience our digital media.
So, if this my fellow audio junkies is what you savor I highly recommend you give the MAC palladiums
a try. I do believe that if your system has the potential, these MAC cables will make it happen.
Push the envelope, it can be quite an experience. And besides Steve Hallick is one of the “good guys” out there.
This is fun!!
The System: unassuming, maybe overachieving
Fresh modded Jolida JD100A CDP with a tube roll
Rega 3, highly modded
RB 300 Arm modded w/ Incognito Re-wire w/ Eichmann silvers
Benz Micro L2 cart.
Bent Audio SU Transformers w/ Eichmann silvers TAD 150 Sig preamp, modded phono stage
Odyssey Stratos power amp, modded
Von Schweikert VR-1’s paired with big Rectilinear III’s
Copper Luminous Audio cables to the VR-1’s
Silver Luminous Audio cables to the Rectilinear’s
MAC Palladium ICs w/ Eichmann silvers
MAC AgQ ICs w/ Eichmann silvers
Power cords various Flavors/ VHAudio
All but power amp behind a BrickWall