Thanks for the responses. I ended up upgrading to the Morrow SP7's as like what the SP4's do on the low frequencies. Would be expecting the SP7's to add quite a bit more of what I like. With the 60% off Morrow trade up and easy pay 5 monthly instalments helped with my decision. shubert the SP6's were only 50% off, so not much more to go to SP7's.
Thanks, initforthemusic. I just yesterday decided to try out Morrow. I ordered a 2 meter run of MA3 interconnects with the Eichmann copper RCAs. I also ordered the longer burn-in service, so I am looking at about a month or more for delivery. Patience is a virtue! I will post my impressions here as well.
I had the Morrow Grand Elite Reference SC's and thought they sounded very good. Next I tried Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme SC's and it sounded like I added perfectly integrated sub woofers, that's how much these cables changed the bass. Of course the cables add nothing but they allow more music through and they sound so very natural. CT cables just might the biggest bang for the buck out there.
Thanks, lancelock. I have looked at Cerious, but they are priced a bit out of my range, even if they might offer a good value at their price. I have a lot more wire to buy over the next year, and I simply can't afford to try the CT stuff. I can't afford the higher-end Morrow stuff, either, for that matter. The MA3 with the current sale of 40% off was about all I can manage. I also really like the Morrow business model - 60 day trials, discounts, trade-in allowances, etc.
Interesting lancelock, a person over here changed over to Morrow SP7’s from CT Graphene Extremes, and preferred the SP7’s.One of the reasons I went for the SP7’s. He uses the cables in his system full range. Different systems, music preferences etc., so many variables. As I’ve stated on numerous occassions one cable doesn’t suit everyone, or every system.
Hope my long wait will be worthwhile.
Well the SP7's have just arrived, very nice black velvet pouch with the cables. On the day our power is off due to planned upgrades! I'll set them up tomorrow, I only got the free 2 day break-in as like to hear the "changes" during settling in time. It might be a while as main focus is on my "Dragon Slayer" Speaker I've just got back from the designer which I had custom modded and had some issues to sort out.
Will be interesting to hear the differences during the "break in" period. Just had a thought I'll put them in my kitchen system and run the tuner regularly. That will be a quicker break in and fuller frequency. I've found silver cable to have a much longer burn-in compared to copper, I thought my SP2's burnt in reasonably quickly, so the SP7's will be interesting.
Holy crap! Just put the SP7's in my little kitchen system, admittedly they are only replacing a fairly budget pair of Silver Speaker cables, but wow massive improvement. The depth & weight that is now coming through the Pioneer SP-FS52's! Looking forward to break in & using them on my big Revels, will try them tomorrow as getting ready to go out now.
Initforthemusic: Thanks for the update. Since your last post, I took the plunge (the sale in May was too tempting) and ordered an MA-3 IC to replace the Monster Reference cable now connecting my DAC to my pre. I ordered the Eichmann copper RCAs (I have them elsewhere in my system and like them). I also ordered the long breakin, since, based on my time available to listen, I would need more than the 60 day return period to fully break them in from 0 hours. (I have a tube preamp, so I don't want to let everything run all day without me being there.)
I will post my impressions here as well. I should have them by mid-June.
Interesting that you have those Pioneers. My son-in-law just got a complete Pioneer surround setup (Elite AVR, towers, subwoofer, center and bookshelf surrounds) all the same Andrew Jones designed speakers. My daughter works for an authorized retailer, so they were a bargain. I have to spend a bit more time listening, but my initial impression was that they are a stone cold steal for the money. Surprisingly clean in the midband.
Well I've been putting some hours in on the SP7's. They did get a bit rough and ragged around the 60 odd hour mark. Will be interesting to hear when start to settle down.
Yes those Andrew Jones Pioneers punch well above their weight. I only paid $222 for the pair at a clearance centre in Oz less than 1/2 RRP around 3 and a bit years ago. Just a fluke I was actually looking for a new oven and cooktop and stumbled across these, and remembered reading positive reports. Mind you I'm running some much higher end electronics than most would into them. A tube Pre. into (my smallest in size and output) Power amp which punches out around 160 x 2, quite a bit in Class A and a lot of current. The little Pioneer's love it and sound way better than what would typically be paired with them.
Good luck with the MA-3's, my first venture into Morrow was MA-4 RCA's with cu. Eichman's around 4 year ago. They were a pretty big step up from what I had then.
I've had solid core AQ cables both balanced and RCA in my rig for a while, and after buying a new amp without XLR inputs I needed a decent RCA cable…saw the Morrow ad and bought their "el cheapo" MA1 IC . When I asked when they were shipping the thing I got an email noting they're hand made (I hadn't read all the stuff on their site…SORRY!) and take a while…cables arrived with the 4 page break-in papers which I thought were pretty funny, kind of "out there", and 100% correct. A truly great sounding cable and it got me thinking about the trade up thing, although the 400 hour wait for cable nirvana tests my patience.
I have been using the Morrow Audio SP7 bi-wire for a couple years now. They are awesome to my ears, I bought them w/ the short break-in option, they did sound a little rough for 100 hours or so but now w/ several hundred hours (who counts anyway) they are a great addition to my set-up. Bryston integrated, Silverline Sonatina's, Oppo 105D.
I estimate I put about 50-60 hours on the SP7's in my little system. Had a music session with a few mates yesterday and the 2nd half I put the SP7's on my Revel Ultima Studios bass frequencies ( hey there driving two woofers each so I figure there getting a reasonable workout). Very pleased, been giving them a bash today so I figure they have roughly 110-120 hours (inc. the 2 day break-in). I feel they are on the upward spiral, after that little ragged period. I'll swap them over to the HF posts in a day or two, could be interesting. If they keep improving as per the info. sheet I'll be very happy.
I laughed at myself while breaking in these cables but figured, hey, I gotta see if this stuff is as advertised…I actually had white noise from a rarely used tuner running through them all night for a week or so, and then just ran my rig as usual when I was home…turned off the tube amp and let the tuner noise run while out (all the while wondering if signal really does travel through a cable driven by a preamp toward an amp that is off). Then you listen for whatever the instructions predict will happen assuming you have a grip on how much time has passed...In any case, worth the wait for an amazingly inexpensive (seriously…50 bucks) cable that seems to sound fabulous.
Well, the MA3s arrived yesterday. I am glad I did my homework and knew what to expect... otherwise I would have thought they were somewhat unsubstantial for the money spent, in terms of appearance and weight. But, I guess that is the point... the things that make other cables thick and heavy (and less flexible) don't necessarily help the cable perform well. Perhaps, the opposite is true. The felt bag is a nice touch. The quality looks good, the Eichmann copper RCAs seem securely attached. The assembler's names (Matt) was written on the labels. Nice touch. I hope to get them in my rig tonight.
Geoffkait…your incessant and weirdly snarky little comments simply make you seem like a weirdo who can't resist stalking me with inane, unfunny posts…do you need more friends? Are you simply lonely and sad? Need a hug? Not sure exactly why you feel compelled to continue this pointless endeavor, but know that it only serves to render your already sketchy position as a pseudo expert even more suspect.
Hey wolf, just a heads up. If ever you are looking to upgrade. I set up a system for a mate around 2 1/2 year ago. Just put in budget cables, Morrow MA1's was one of the I/C's, as get better components and look at upgrading cables later when budget suits. Took around my MA4's after 12 months, took his system up a couple of notches. He traded up @ the 50% off and is pleased. I only ever buy or advise to buy when Morrow cables are heavily discounted, I think they are good value at the big discounts, maybe not as much at the standard discount.
Well, they're in! (Oh, my cable assembler was Mike B, not Matt). So, my MA3s had the 10 day burn in, so ~240 hours, but they did sit unused from shipping, on Monday, until last night, so that could be a factor. I immediately heard differences between the MA3 and the Monster Reference cables that they replaced (about 15 years ago I worked at a retailer whose only decent cable was Monster, and employees got 60% off retail, so most of legacy cables are Monster).
Overall, the sound was smoother, particularly in the lower treble on up. With the Monster, there were some upper-mid/lower-treble areas that would kind of jump out at me (not in a good way). These jump-out frequencies were gone, replaced by some lesser jump-out frequencies lower down in the mid-band. They were noticeable, but not nearly as bothersome. One big area of improvement I heard was in the decay of cymbols, which seemed to go on forever. There was a smoothness to the sound that might be what TAS's Jonathan Valin (and HP before him) call "continuousness". Soundstage seemed a little wider, and there seemed to be more depth as well. There was an increase in detail, with certain lines of music becominng much more easy to follow than with the Monster. Bass seemed to have a little more definition, with no big difference in output, although there seemed to be an increase in the "subterranean" feel of really deep synth bass (Soundtrack to "The Mission", by Vangelis, track 1).
One thing that I noticed was more frequent spine-tingling running up the back of my neck, and my desire to keep listening past bedtime. Another point in favor of the Morrow is that a ragged zone of treble, like in the 5kHz range, which I had accredited to my speakers (Ohm Walsh 2000) vanished. So, happily, it seems this was not an issue with the speakers. And no, this did not occur at the expense of any treble detail or extension.
Music I listened to included Veruca Salt ("25"), Angelfish ("You Can Love Her"), Count Basie ("Kate" from 88 Basie St. XRCD), the Vangelis soundtrack for "The Mission" and others. All from my server, all 16/44 resolution via my Squeezebox Touch to my Superberry DAC (a highly modded Beresford 96/24 DAC), to my McIntosh C220 to Odyssey Audio HT3 amp to the Ohm speakers and Vandersteen 2Wq subwoofers.
Now, I realize there is still much break-in to occur, so that is why I am not going to call this post a formal review. But I am impressed. I would like the mid-band to smooth out a bit more, and hope they will. But even at this point, they are a clear improvement over the Monster Reference.
Update - One huge, and I mean huge improvement I neglected to include in my last post regards sibilants on voices. Previously, I had a fairly frequent issue in which vocal sibilants projected from a different location in space than the voice itself. Distracting? Heck yes! The MA3 completely eliminated this issue. Vocals and their sibilant components are now anchored together in the soundstage. This is really, really big. Prior to installing th eMA-3s, I had chalked this issue up to everything but the cables - the speakers, my room, the DAC, the preamp, etc. I am amazed that this was just a cable issue. As a friend and gear modifier always says, "everything matters." Cables certainly do!
Well, I've put some more time into the SP7's. What was interesting was I swapped in a different Power Amp which has only single Speaker outlets, so I put in a set of Bi-Wire cables and the SP7's sat there for a while before I twigged to put them back in my budget system, When I put them back in, well, they sounded pretty ordinary but settled back in after a couple of days. Re-reading the info. sheet it explains exactly this.
Anyway they have been back hooked up to the bass of my Revel Studios and must be pretty close to full break in. They are a pretty big step up from the SP4's with more bass depth & definition. Kick-drums for example, kick harder. I'm running Cullen cables on mid & high's, they are incredible value for money and have bested some higher priced cables in this area. They are not as good as the SP7's when running the bass driver's, they have quite good definition but lack the weight of bass that the SP7's transfers. I'll swap the SP7's over to the mid & high's soon, I did earlier but preferred the Cullen's in this area although the SP7's wern't fully broken in then.
So do I recommend the SP7's? Well, on the proviso you get the 60% discount on the trade up program (the RRP, like some other cable co's. is a joke), and for driving bass drivers, I feel they are very good at transferring lower frequencies. Just listening to a disc as I type and the kick-drums thump! Of course I would need to try many more cables to be definitive but they have bested a few other cables in this area. For mid & high frequencies and "full range" I really need to experiment a bit more, but thumbs up so far for bass delivery.
Thanks, initforthemusic. I continue to try and put more hours on the MA-3. I am prolly at about 300 hours. Although overall I am very pleased, the bass response remains puzzling. Sometimes, I hear wonderful extension and weight, sometimes there seems to be a lack of bass energy. An email from Mike Morrow confirmed that the bass is one of the last areas that will get fully broken in. I really need to spend more time listening to familiar music, but, like you, I suspect, I am not in this hobby to hear the same audiophile-approved songs over and over. With listeninng time being a very rare and precious commodity, I want to listen to whatever I want to listen to. So, I will try to be more patient with the MA3s. Interesting that you noted more impactfull bass as you moved up the Morrow line. Maybe I need to move up as well... ;-)
@bondmanp In my main system I use a balanced pre-amp so use XLR cables. Anyway had a small issue with the Pre. so I placed in the Doge 8 which only has RCA in's but XLR outs. I put in a fairly new pr. of hybrid (copper/silver) RCA's. The reproduction with these in place was a little on the bright side, so put in the Morrow MA-4's,allowing time to settle, not as bright, but not quite there overall. I placed in a pr. of Silver Litz RCA's, these were a massive step-up in this configuration. Hmm, the Doge 8 with the Silver Litz, RCA's sounds sensational. With this set-up I may have to re-appraise the Doge 8, a Pre. I've always had question marks on.
I also swapped around the Speaker Cables, allowing them time to settle. The SP7's on MId's/Highs & Cullen's on Low's. Nope sound's nowhere near as good when used around the other way. The SP7's on low & Cullen's on mids/high's just sounds so right, at least on the Revel Studios.
I’ve had Morrow IC’s for a few years. I sold off most of my electronics and started over early this year and bought a couple pairs of stranded wire IC’s along the way. I began to think that my new integrated amp wasn’t able to take advantage of better cables until I moved things around, and took the stranded wire IC’s out of the mix.
I put in all solid core stuff. MA3, MA1 and an Audioquest, along with Wireworld speaker cables. Wow, the clear focused sound was back in spades! Tighter bass, no harshness in the midrange, and imaging so well. Long story short, those stranded cables are staying out. I ordered a pair of MA5 with Eichmann silver to go with my MA3.
The trade up program is really a nice way to upgrade!
BTW initforthemusic, I've got the little brother to your Pioneers, the BS-SP22, that I swap into the system. For the money, these Pioneers are quite shocking.
initforthemusic: Thanks for the update. I ordered another MA3 IC to connect my tape outputs to my parametric EQ (from there the signal goes to my CD recorder).
So far, I have mixed feelings about the MA3 with Eichmann plugs I installed between my DAC and my pre. In some respects, it blows away the Monster Reference it replaced. As noted above, it eliminated the drifting sibilants that, apparently, the Monster was misdirecting. (Interestingly, a friend says he has a trick that fixes this issue in cables, and has offered to apply this fix to my Monster cable... I will let you know if this works). It is a clean sounding cable, with a wide soundstage, excellent detail and very good decay.
On the other hand, the bass is, well, funny. It is clearly extended very deep. But, and this may indicate more break-in is needed, the bass quantity seems reduced, almost as if it were a bit out of phase. Some recordings have strong deep bass, but others, the bass is MIA. This may be the recording, and I am spending time with more and more recordings to try and get a handle on this. It could be that the MA3 exposes out-of-phase recordings better than the Monster. Maybe the MA3 is "correct" and the Monster was "incorrect", but I was used to it.
Then there are the highs. No question that the MA3 is more open, more detailed and more airy than the Monster, but I feel like I might have lost a bit of the warmth and lushness I had enjoyed with the Monster cable (that's a strange sentence).
I am willing to keep putting more hours on the MA3 (I would guess I am at about 300-325, including the 10-day break-in I ordered), but I am still uncertain as to whether these are the right cables for me. Overall, they clearly best the Monsters, but I may need a warmer cable. I know, I should not use wire as a tone control, but I want to simply enjoy listening... principles be darned. I am looking at other cables, including the Hyper-Litz Cardas cables sold by KAB-USA. I wonder if the Cullen ICs are worth a try?
213runnin - Thanks for the input. I wasn't aware that AQ made solid core wire. And yet, some folks swear by stranded wires. For a guy who just wants to enjoy listening to his tunes, this can be a little overwhelming. I will give the MA3s more time and hope they warm up a bit. I wonder what an upgrade to the MA5 would do? Uh-oh.
Bondmanp, no problem. What I think Morrow says is that 500 hrs is the magic number for break in, but a lot of it will be done by the 400 mark. I can not guide you as to your bass issue except to suggest that the Morrow cable is more accurate, and is giving a more accurate representation of the music.
I didn't notice what speakers you have, or the amp, but they have a part to play in the warmth as well.
@bondmanp FYI the Silver Litz RCA's that worked so well for me are from E-bay. They are MS Audio, Sunnytoto or Sunny Audio is the E-bay store. They were a bit cheaper than the MA4's with cu. Eichman's, but are a big,big step up overall. I have Cullen XLR Interconnect's which I find good, although unlike RCA Interconnect's I hear little difference between XLR Cables but extremely significant differences with RCA Interconnects. I recommended Cullen Speaker Cables to an acquaintance and he purchased some Cullen RCA's as well, said they blew away his Van Den Hul's. So while the MA4's were a step up up from what I had previously (4 years ago), and still reasonable value when heavily discounted, I have now found better at the right price.
Getting back to Speaker Cables, having Mono Blocks with dual Speaker Outs, has been a revelation regarding running Speaker cables, Running dual Speaker Cables just gives so much flexibility in allowing different combinations, I find the SP7's bass master's & the Cullen's absolutely outstanding value for money on mids/highs (when used on bass performance was adequate,but not at the level of SP7's). Much better results than Bi-Wire cables that I have tried.
@213runnin Just listening to my Pioneer SPFS52's @ the moment, just ridicuously good for such little money. As I've previously mentioned people shouldn't be afraid to run good electronics through them. In all probability being a budget Speaker then the majority probably rumnning them with budget electronics, they are deserving of better.
Thanks, all. 213runnin: The signal chain in question is Superberry DAC (a highly modded Beresford DAC) > MA3 (w/ Eichmann Copper) > McIntosh C220 pre > custom Litz RCAs (also w/ Eichmann coppers) > Vandersteen M5-HP crossovers > Odyssey Audio HT3 amp (w/ cap upgrade) > Ohm Walsh 2000s and a pair of Vandersteen 2Wq subs. The only thing I changed was the IC between the DAC and the pre, so all of my impressions refer to that change only.
initforthemusic: Thanks, I looked at the Cullen web site. Not too much info on the cable geometry, which, I think, matters. Is it stranded wire?
In any case, I will continue to try and put more hours on the MA3s, and try swapping the Monster back in once my friend applies his magic fix, and I will report back.
I checked out MS audio and Sunny Audio on ebay. It set off some red flags for me. Their definition of Litz seems off. MS Audio seems to be a Chinese company and the english in the ads is weak.
I'm not sure what to make of this, but it could be some more of that chinese knock off product, or at least cable that is poorly manufactured. I don't think it's for me.
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Cullen Cable was founded on the simple premise that high quality audio cables could be produced in the USA at reasonable cost. This goal is achieved by drawing on many years of experience in many facets of the audio industry, then applying that knowledge and combining it with a no-nonsense approach to cable design and manufacture.Copyright © 2017 Cullen Cable. All rights reserved.
@213runnin There are some poorly made Chinese products & some superbly made Chinese products. The MS Audio Silver Litz fall into the latter category. Beautifully made & finished, and such a solid feel, and their sound quality matches this. They are easily the best sounding RCA in the dozen or so I have. They bested the Morrow MA4, which I am a fan of, by a big margin, and have a more solid finish to them physically.
initforthemusic: Yes, I read that. It really says nothing at all. There might be very impressive technology in his wires, and the end result is what matters, but that paragraph says practically nothing. All I was able to learn is that his ICs use either one or two runs of 18 gauge wire. Stranded? Solid core? Dialectric? Shielding? Capacitance? No way to tell any of this from the web site. Maybe he doesn’t want to give away his receipe for his special sauce, and I respect that, but most cable makers tend to provide a lot of details about the technology in their wires. Just sayin’.
Thank you, initforthemusic, perhaps the MS audio stuff is good. I have a personal preference to stay away from Chinese sourced electronics and accessories when I can because of their manufacturing industry which is allowed to rip off any design they choose. They do not respect Patent laws or human rights, and often make such products with substandard materials.
The Cullen products look pretty good but since I've been using Morrow cables and with my gear found them to be jaw droppingly good, I prefer to stick with them. With their deep discount program, easy pay program and 60 day trial period, they really have won my loyalty.
Perhaps with your gear other cables do well, and in your location, buying products from the US is probably not cheap. In the end, you gotta go with what works in your situation, and more power to you.
I respect your principals 213runnin. Yes there are quite a lot of Chinese clones. But I have to say these MS Audio Silver Litz RCA's are the real deal. Bested my other best RCA's, Phono to Pre., CD to pre., Pre. to Power on many different components. I have no hesitation recommending them.
When our $ was around par, it was terrific buying from the States. Postage has gone up a lot too. So yep, not quite as economical as once was.