Interesting. This must not be a very popular choice of digital cable. It seems odd to me as there are so many who use Oracle ic, speaker and pc's and they all are sota, up there with all of the very best if not at the top. hhhmmmmmm.
I have had the Proline Dig. Ref. also for some years between my dCS transport and dac. I never thought of replacing it; never considered it "dark" or "slow" though.
A few weeks ago I got an Oracle MA digital (RCA) with the articulation switch from a friend. Just to test it out. And I have to say: this is simply a diffente league! Way better than my own cable: way more black, way more openness just more alive. And this is "only" the RCA-version; dCS likes connection ballanced so this would even be better.
In short: don't try the MA unless you're willing to spend some money. It is that good!
Cheers wim (Holland)
thanks for the comments on the mit digital cables. i may be the only one who finds that cable dark and slower! i had suspected that the ma was a rough one to say no to. it is very helpful to read/hear others experience. i would be buying it on the blind, no demo available.
I use the MIT Oracle MA digital cable with BNC terminations as a clock cable between my dCS Paganini transport & DAC with Siltech Classic Anniversary G7 Firewire cable for signal transfer. In my installation, the improvement in sound quality pursuaded me to dispense with the additional Paganini master clock as I did not feel that it brought any more to the party.
Well I could not resist and the MA-X is on it's way. Should be interesting. I have a feeling that my quest for the right digital cable ends here. If not I will likely go back to the Proline Digital Reference as I found it to be better than any other cable I had here including the Stealth Vardig Sextet that had been recommend by most as the best.
I have had the Oracle MA-X digital cable for a couple of days and now have about 48 hours of signal through it. I am sure it has some more break in to do but I have a feel for it's overall character and impact on my system. The word that comes to mind is "amazing". I think the sonic character is similar to the Proline Digital Reference but it is multiplied at least ten fold. The first think I noticed was the depth and scale which is so natural and detailed. I really feel as if i can walk around and touch the voices and instruments. The closest I have come to this sort of impact is when I went from using the dac in my Theta Casanova to my Berkeley Alpha Dac. This cable is certainly like a component upgrade and may very well be the biggest change I have ever experienced in my system. It really makes no sense to me and I have no idea how this works but man is it real. No way a digital cable should have this kind of effect. Just wow.
I am posting this because I know there a quite a few forum members who have also been looking for digital cables. I have been through many in this quest...Nordost Valhalla, Stealth Vardig Sextet, Kubala-Sosna Emotion just to name a few and this is not even close. Each of those cables did somethings very well...the Nordost laser detail and holography...the KS musical warmth...the Stealth's massive , deep and realistic soundstage....wrap em up and multiply by 10. The Oracle MA-X is so much better than any digital cable I have ever heard in every way. I can find no weakness. It is expensive but relative to the impact, I have no issue with the cost.
I'm gonna like this.
I hope to receive the AES/EBU version of this excellent cable next week. Since I still have the RCA version on loan, I can compare them using my dCS set up. If someone is interested, I will report my findings between the two cables.
I have went through a many digital AES/EBU cables e.g. Stealth Varidig Sextet and Kubala-Sosna Emotion, but I have not been able to get MIT Oracle MA-X to my hand as MIT has not been so popular in Europe.
Currently looking around a new AES/EBU cable and I would appreciate a lot if someonw could clarify a more detail about the differences between MIT Oracle MA-X, Kubala-Sosna Emotion and Stealth Varidig Sextet...
It would help me tp get a some level understanding about "greatness" of this MIT cable before placing any order.
The following things would be a very helpful to know as comparison:
- How about soundstage vs. Stealth?
- How about musical warmth vs. Kubala-Sosna?
- Other big improvements like dynamics vs. Stealth and Sosna?
...All recommendations are always a more than welcome ;=)
My system is a pretty neutral sounding and includes the following items:
- Lyngdorf Millenium MK IV (Special Mod by Lyngdorf),
- PS Audio PerfectWave Transport and
- Dali Helicon 400 MK II LE / Helicon 800 MK II / Magnepan 3.6 Speakers
- Speaker cable is my neutral Acoustic Zen Satori Shotgun - Beated way more expensive Tara Labs ISM cables
Just want to note that there is another newer Kubala Sosna, Elation. It's a step up from Emotion. Probably could/should be thrown into the discussion.
Kubala-Sosna does not have as Elation AES/EBU. Only Emotion series has it. That's pity ;=(
If only in the Emotion series and not in the newer Elation series, you will have to wait for the upcoming Orgasm series.
I stand corrected! Perhaps they will release one someday.
The Emotion can be upgraded simply by treatment in the orgasmatron tunneling device and then burning in for approx. 2 million hours.
I think if you get it cryo'd, it might only take 100k years. By then, K-S will have a line called the Afterglow. Just be patient.
I tried the MIT Oracle in my system and although it sounded excellent in many ways I too found it slightly muted and rolled off in the high frequencies. I just couldn't get past the feeling that the sound was lacking that last bit of air and, given the price of this cable, I wasn't willing to live with this type of trade off.
Others seem to think this cable is fantastic across the board and has no high frequency roll off, so I imagine that system synergy is critical ( as with most cables). My application was a Meridian Sooloos MC 200 feeding a Simaudio Moon Evolution 650D.
Try the HiDiamond Digital Carbon XLR, it is a stunning cable with no weaknesses I can discern. I am also using a Logitech Transporter, into an Audio Note DAC4.1 LE.
Previously I've used the Marigo Apparition (RCA) and Kubala Sosna Emotion (AES). No comparison, imo.
They also happen to be fairly inexpensive, especially compared to other reputable brands.
Funny this thread has been revived, I forgot about it. I can't believe it's been 2 years since I got the MA-X, time flies! I still have it, use it and feel even stronger about it's ability. A lot of things have changed around it as it's now connecting a Berkeley Alpha USB to a Alpha Series 2 DAC. I can only say that it is by far a key component to my rig and does far more than any digital cable I have experienced. The only one I put in it's class is the Acoustic Revive DISX which in many ways is as good, just very very different in character.
As for the suggestion of the HiDiamond, I'd try it but am very leery of cable companies that have a zillion forum threads/comments from out of the blue.
How would you describe the difference in character between the MIT and Acoustic Revive?
Camb...I would say the MA-X is much more true to the source with much crisper edges/detail, more articulate. The Acoustic Revive is more musical, almost analog in character like all the AR stuff. Acoustic Revive has sort or a house sound that is very natural and organic. I would still call the DISX articulate, just not as much as the MIT (nothing really is to me). Not to say the MA-X lacks presence in any way but it does not have a glow/warmth to it. Being a true to the source kind of guy, I still prefer the MIT but it's pretty close.
Ironically, I'd characterize the HiDiamond as a superb balance between articulate and analog. You might want to see if you can get your hands on one, you may be pleasantly surprised.
I can understand being trepidatious about a product new to north American markets, kind of a shame though.
Wow, it's really strange but the MIT Oracle I bought from The Cable Company sounds different than you describe between my Sooloos MC 200 and Simaudio 650D dac. In my system the MIT sounds fantastic in many ways but it's a little roled off in the high frequencies, making it sound very warm and analogue-like but lacking in air and spaciousness. The bass and mid-range are fantastic and articulate but I can't get over the missing high frequency extension. Neither The Cable Company nor MIT can figure out why I'm experiencing this roll off in high frequencies - must just be one of those few cases where the cable isn't a good match for the system...
Richard,, I use MIT's Oracle speaker cables, so when a digital link upgrade seemed necessary I brought home the Oracle MA and although it was the best one I tried, I had issues with the price. I kept searching and found the new Shunyada ZI-Tron to be the MIT's sonic equal but at a third the price.
The cable I'm using is AES and is connected between an Ayre C5mp and an Audio Research DAC8.
Joncourage: Thank you for your suggestion, certainly I am curious. Our's is a very strange hobby especially when it comes to how new products come to market. Being around as long as I have there seems to be a pattern with products that have a sudden spike in forum activity/enthusiasm. Of course not all those products are being shilled but they all warrant caution IMO.
Camb: Yes, it does sound a little strange but with digital audio so many things seem to matter so there are near endless reasons why the MIT is performing that way in your system. I have gone through every possible adjustment to refine my source...power cords, conditioners, outlets, USB cables, digital cables etc and they all matter. The latest find for me is the USB cable that connects my exterior drive to my server. If you read the forums or ask and "expert" they will tell you this cable will not impact sound. Most will say the USB cable that connects the server to DAC will but even some guys say that will not. Well...in my system they both do and not in subtle ways. Changing the feed from my HDD to server from generic eSATA cable to an Acoustic Revive USB cable has been a transforming event for my systems performance. Tremendous reduction in S/N, depth, image placement, clarity...just exceptional. I never thought this would matter but so glad I approached it with an open mind and tried it. Point of all that is there may be other things going on that are causing the rolled off highs. It could be the cable, just seems a little out of character from what I know. Luckily there are a zillion choices in digital cables so if it is in fact the cable it is a relatively easy fix and you may even find a less expensive solution:)
Tmsorosk: It IS pricey! Honestly, I have issues with most of MIT's pricing but continue to use them because I'm basically an idiot when it comes to hifi. As a whole, I still think they are the best, just way too much cash...way. Thank you for the suggestion, seems to be mounting respect for the new Shunyata technology. I'd love to give one a go.
The latest find for me is the USB cable that connects my exterior drive to my server. If you read the forums or ask and "expert" they will tell you this cable will not impact sound. Most will say the USB cable that connects the server to DAC will but even some guys say that will not. Well...in my system they both do and not in subtle ways. Changing the feed from my HDD to server from generic eSATA cable to an Acoustic Revive USB cable has been a transforming event for my systems performance.
From a technical standpoint, I for one don't find that to be at all surprising, Richard.
Since you are apparently connecting the server to the DAC via USB, presumably the DAC and the external HDD are located not all that far apart, probably in the same room. Therefore RFI emissions from the HDD cable could couple through the air to the DAC and/or its cable, affecting jitter. Digital noise associated with the signals that are present on the HDD cable could also couple into the DAC cable through the common ground connection they have with the computer.
Those kinds of effects could very conceivably, IMO, have sonic consequences that would vary among different cables of the same type (e.g., USB). But changing from eSATA to USB introduces additional variables that are likely even more significant. In doing that, you've made major changes in the technical parameters of the signals being conducted by the cable, including risetimes and falltimes, which directly relate to RFI and noise. You've also changed the interface circuitry that is being used in the HDD and the computer, and you've changed the involvement of the CPU and related circuitry in the computer in processing the transfer of data. All of that likely affects the timing, magnitude, and frequency components of computer-generated noise, some small fraction of which probably ends up being conducted into the DAC, affecting jitter and/or bypassing D/A conversion and directly affecting analog circuitry in the DAC.
Of course, as we've discussed in other threads, IMO these kinds of effects figure to be highly system-dependent, and to not have a great deal of predictability, and to have a degree of correlation between cable performance and cable price that is much less than perfect.
Yes, it's a little strange how finicky the Sooloos is. Its performance is impacted not only by digital cable but also by where I place it (it was dynamically flat when placed on the shelf above my amp - much better when moved far away from the amp) and where I plug it in (highs were really rolled off when it was plugged into the same Nordost power bar as the rest of my equipment). Aside from placement and power source there's not much else to tinker with, as it has it's own ac to dac power cord/ transformer. Maybe I can try some sort of simple power conditioner to keep it from feeding noise into the powerline?
As a follow up, I found a way to turn off the up sampling and apodising filter in the Sooloos and now the sound is very open with extended high frequencies - with the MIT Oracle digital cable in place. Turns out the MIT cable was not the culprit after all.
For money's spent the Wireworld Platinum USB, and Digital cables together are amazingly good ,I have had AQ Diamind also good
More realism and depth with the Wireworld combo and under $1500
For both 1/2 m length. For digital some say you need at least. Meter.
Ii have found with Wireworld as the only comparison I did ,and -0
Drop in sonic integrity. Wireworlds geometric makeup tends to use bigger diameter conductors ,this may have something to do with it.
Personally I think th Kubala cables ar getting over priced IMO
But still a very good product.