Maxell XL102A stereo audio interconnect
Budget esoterica review magazine
Some of you audiophiles might have a classic amp or pair of speakers that you enjoy listening to, but do you have any favorite classic cables that you use? Today i will be reviewing what i believe to be a classic stereo audio interconnect, the Maxell XL102A. Unlike most audio classics, the Maxell is currently available for purchase complete with factory packaging in new old stock condition from Ebay seller, "total_media". The price is $12 with free shipping. Unlike some esoteric audiophile cables, the Maxell is lightweight, very flexible and unobtrusive. The rca terminations are nothing fancy, but they certainly get the job done. Maxell uses linear crystal oxygen free copper interconnect cables which are said to virtually eliminate impurities. Judging by the way they sound i would say their description is accurate, as these cables are some of the purist, most transparent inexpensive cables i have listened to. This plus their noise-reduction abilities brings to the table a sense of immediacy which i find quite compelling. When your stereo throws an image behind the plane of your speakers, there is simply less fuzz and noise blocking the image, giving you a better idea of localization and immediacy, and a new found sense of clarity.
1. Eric Dolphy, Out to Lunch, "Hat and Beard".
2. Sarah Vaughan, Verve Master Edition, "April in Paris".
3. Crosby Stills & Nash, CSN, "Run From Tears".
While listening to Eric Dolphy, i noticed that there seemed to be less noise apparent , which makes it a little easier to discern the different levels of depth of individual instruments. The Maxell offers a clean and transparent vision of precision. Accuracy to the signal that just disappears and leaves the music is the feeling i get while listening to the vibraphone and upright bass work on the opening track. A very compelling listen, for sure!
On the song, "April in Paris", by Sarah Vaughan , the vocals and piano coming from the left speaker have a beguiling sense of transparency and presence that make you feel like you are "peering" into the performance. The ambiance of the horns add to this effect. The vocals seem fairly full with very good emotional range. Very good timing and separation add to the pleasure of listening to this song. I almost felt like i was a patron at a restaurant listening to live music while i dine.
Once again while listening to "Run From Tears", by CSN i was impressed with the timing, almost feeling like i was getting a little bit of that elusive "analog magic". The vocals seemed fluid and also like they were magically "slowed down" in regards to timing. Something similar happens at times when i listen to vinyl, so i was a bit surprised when i heard it in this system.
The Maxell XL102A deserves to be called a classic interconnect and based on what i heard in my very inexpensive system, perhaps a "cult" classic at that. The purity and precision that it brought to my stereo system injected it with a bit of "magic". Perhaps it can do something similar to yours. Highly recommended!
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