That is far from the truth. My friend has Joule Electra tube amps driving JM Lab speakers and he uses MIT Oracle v2.1 ic and speaker wires. His system sounds very transparent and musical.
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Let's put it this way: MIT makes a good neutral (ie accurate) cable with good (ie low) time smear properties. But that only applies to their upper models, not the ones you are using -- which are about the same as most mid-priced product from any of the major manufacturers. If you like the naturally warm tube sound but not overdone, the expensive MIRs would be an OK choice. For the same money as the upper model MITs though, you should consider either Purist or Transparent as having better performance in those same with quieter background -- especially the Purist products.
What your dealer said about MITs not being appropriate for a tube system is highly suspect, but might in fact apply to an acknowledged warm and fuzzy cable like Cardas.
Bottom line: Don't simply change your present cables for a similar mid-line model in another brand. That would be a waste of money. And if you're going to move up, consider the two other brands I mentioned, along with Straightwire, Madrigal, and Synergistic.
Nsgarch provides many valuable comments here. I too ran with the 330 for many years and still use it in my HT setup. Compared to the latest offerings by many companies, the 330 is severely rolled off at the extremes and only has mediocre resolution. But this model does not at all reflect the top MIT models of a 5-6 years ago or today.
I have not heard the MIT V series ICs or speaker cables, but I ran with the 350 Ref Proline and 350 EVO which were the top MIT lines preceeding the V series. For the money, these are unbeatable in longer lengths. The price hit is only the first meter so if you need a long length from preamp to amps, this is an awesome value. And this is what I used for many years from various ARC preamps and amps (all tube) as well as BAT and Aesthetix preamps and Wolcott amps....again, all tube. The only issue with the MIT cables here was a slight valley in the mids. But I was able to compensate well by using Coincident speaker cables that were a bit too rich in the mids.
I have sense moved onto the Purist cables and have not looked back. These cover the frequency extremes, far more dynamic and more tonally coherent than the MIT models I listed above. Before you pay the multi-thousand $$ price of the top MIT models, you need to look into the Purist. But one thing for sure, the MIT cables' performance work mighty fine with tubes.
I agree with Jeff -- (MITs's hard-to-navigate website)
And I agree with John -- Purist makes amazing products. They won't "musch" a tube system, and they won't make a ss system sound like glass breaking!
Some of our great old standby manufacturers seem to have rested on their laurels for a long time now, without much in the way of design innovation/improvements. I'm talking about: Monster, MIT, Audioquest, Kimber, Straightwire, XLO, Magnan, and a few others I can't think of right now.
With Purist, even their bottom-of-the-line Musaeus outclasses the best of many of the aforementioned manufacturer's best offerings. Here's a case in point:
I have an all Purist (Venustas) system (even the phono cables and some Dominus power cords.) EXCEPT, I never did get around to replacing the ICs on my cassette deck (2 pair of Straightwire Maestro 2's) or on my tuner (MIT 330s)
I bought a used pair of Musaeus to use on my cassette deck as soon as I could find a second pair. In the meantime I thought I'd swap out the MIT 330s on my tuner. The tuner is an old Technics ST 9030, recently aligned and modded. Although it's a great tuner, I was disappointed in the only very small improvement after the mods. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when after installing the Purist Musaeus cable, the sound of the tuner improved several quantum leaps! Deep bass, great vocals, a real soundstage. It was just amazing, and as an unintended A-B comparison it really knocked my socks off!
The moral of the story: Always look for those manufacturers that are making real mechanical/electrical design innovations, and not just using fancier materials, etc. (Transfiguration cartridges, the new Martin Logan Summits are two other examples.) As for cables, right now, the ones that fall into that category (in descending order IMO) are Siltech and Purist, Transparent, Madrigal CZ Gel, Nordost. (I may have missed a couple.)
I just downloaded the Purist brochure. Web site opposite in quality to the MIT. Drew, I am personally a real big fan of accoustic zen. I also like the audioquest toslink cable. Check out all three web sites. With any of the above you will find lots of praise here on audiogon. I do intend to explore the Purist line. Oh, did you know about the cable lending library at www.fatwyre.com?
It is a bit hard to find at their web site. Call them.
Hi all. The way I heard it it is this: all cables that use network systems (MIT) do not sound good with passive preamps (tubes). I use my MIT's with the preamp set in active mode and they sound great. The system goes south in passive mode. Also, MIT does make speaker cables optimized for tube power amps.
Unclejeff, if you go back to the Purist website and download the catalog in pdf format, it is quite detailed and shows everything they make including specs and construction diagrams.
I read that the problem with network cables and tube passive linestages is one of impedance mismatch with the tubes directly coupled to the IC. Not sure where I read this however.
I've been using the MIT MI330 Proline (XLR) for ages. Tried a pair of friend's Nordost Quattro Fil a while back out of curiousity and it sounded so bright and shrill that my ears started to "bleed". This thread got me interested in this topic again and I had my friend bring over his PAD Proteus over to try last weekend. Well, the Proteus had more air, more extension, better bass control and impact, more resolution, more transparent, etc. But the MI330 sounded warmer and had more body/weight to Holly Cole's voice.
To answer the original question regarding tubes and MIT cables, maybe it's true (for earlier MIT cables). Our theory (and it's only a theory) is that if your system is overly bright, then it can be tamed with MIT cables. Maybe that's why Thiels (which I have) were always using MIT cables when paired with SS amps.
So Proteus was not the answer for me. Next, I'm trying a pair of Pure Note Paragon Enhanced....
Disclaimer: Can't speak to the later offerings from MIT. I just cannot stomach paying that kind of money for cables.