NBS or Transparent interconnects balance


I am currently funning B&W Nautilis 802, Krell FPB 300, Audio Research LS16 with Rotel 991 CD and Harm Pro 9 Shotgun. Trying to decide b/t NBS Monitor 4 or Transparent Ultra Xl or other superior alternatives. Please help.
snowok1bde
I have a Krell KAV-250a, and the MIT 330 Shotgun Balanced interconnect is the best I've heard so far, except for 350 EVO. You can get these 330's used for artound $550. I've tried most of the rest, haven't tried NBS.
I haven't tried Transparent but have tried two NBS single-ended cables: King Serpent II and Signature II. Both have a big mid-bass amd a top end which may be a little too bright on some recordings. The Signature in particular has a beautiful midrange. Vocals are to die for. The Signature ever so slightly bright in the upper mids but if this is there, I would say it adds an "aliveness" to the music rather than calling it a fault. The Signature also conveys better than any other cable I've tried, the transparency, detail, soundstage and ambient information in which the recording was made. The King Serpent II, while quite similar to the Signature II in frequency balance, does not do as good a job with soundstage or ambient information and I would rate it well below the Signature II. Overall, I would say that the Signature II is the best interconnect that I have ever heard, although I haven't auditioned that many "expensive" cables. I haven't heard any of the Monitor series. My experience with these two cables makes me feel cautious about extrapolating these experiences to the sound of the Monitor series.
Carl Thanks for the reply. Have you compared the MITs with the Transparent. Looking at Harmonic Tech to lower the price. What do you think?
Ray Interesting comments. I have also heard from others about the extreme retreival of information from the NBS. Would like to know who has heard the new Monitor range especially the 4 which is cost effective for a NBS cable. Have also been told the cable is extremely fast. A friend is using the professional speaker cable and Magnan signature interconnects to balance the system. Have you any thoughts on Harmonic Tech as a low cost option?
I had, heard or compared NBS, MIT, and Transparent. After some experience with the latter two, I would not recommend either (no networked cable, please). The NBS professional and statement are really fine cables. Professional has a bit more midrange bloom and the statement is flatter, more neutral. I have had no experience with the monitor. The only cable that I have heard that beats the NBS is the Kondo Audio Note (Japan) Silver interconnects and speaker cables. At the price range you are considering, give the Kondo Audio Note cables a try (see Sounds of Silence webpage).
I have used the NBS for many years and have gone through most of the different renditions. I currently use the Monitor O throughout my system. I have heard no other cable that even comes close. Most other cables sound like listening with ear muffs on in comparison. Each rendition has been a definite audible improvement. I have not had the chance to do a direct A/B with the Nordost Quatrafil throughout my system which a number of reviewers seem to like (HP for instance). I find, however, he oftentimes prefers a rather lean (i.e. anemic) sound. I guess my ears just are not as golden as his. I did have the Transparent XL Reference and found it to be considerably slower than the NBS. I was like some of the tube sounds of yore. I believe it is quite important is to "voice" your system throughout. Each piece of associated gear has its own characteristics and will have an effect on the overall end sound. They culminate in room interaction for the resultant sound you hear. Therefore what is the ideal in a single piece for Joe might not be the key for Fred in his system. All pieces of gear have their own sound (flaws). There is, therefore, no ultimate piece for everyone and the perfect match for every system. You must voice each piece to the combination of all the rest of your total system. Each time you change a piece you wind up readjusting the rest to reach your endpoint of satisfaction. Ain't it fun! Boato2
Another cable line which you might rewarding is Nordost. I echo the sentiments above concerning networked cables. Blue Heaven is a bit "fast", Red Dawn a smooth and quick cable, and SPM Reference, the best cable for the money. It can be found on the Net at about cost, used. One word of advice, never use cables to "voice" your system. Let the equipment speak for its sound, the cables simply transfer the signal, imparting minimal sonic artifacts to the signal being delivered. Fast, neutral, detailed. Three words which characterize the delivery of Nordost's cables.
I compared Transparent Reference (latest "XL" version) directly to MIT 330 Shotgun and AudioTruth Diamond x3. The Transparent came in third, the MIT was best. The 350 EVO is much better still. I've not heard Transparent "Reference XL", and after my own experience, don't want to.
i use nbs professionals, friends would bring there cd's over and would comment i cant hear that in my system, i would tell them it was the cables. everyone i let try the nbs cables didn't want to return them. one person has a krell with 801's another audio reseach, cat pre, maton logans. Cables were mits, audioquests, xlo's and it wasn't even close comparision. see review by robert harley in the absolute sound issue 122. nbs had best sound at the ces show i understand, why stereophile and the absolute sound aren't printing this is obvious a problem with the honesty and objectivity of the business.
Hey guys, the reason you do not read much about NBS in most of the magazines is that the people at the company can just plain be jerks. I know of a number of dealers who have sold their cables, but refuse to any more because of the headache and heartache of dealing with this company. I also know of dealers who really focus of cable and have tried to get the line but end up backing out because of what they find out by trying to deal with the company. The cables can be great, especially the Monitor series, but buyer beware. Also the resale just ain't very good. I agree with the comments about the network cable. The network cables also seem to age prematurely.
Hi Steve, Other than the outrageous price of the NBS cables is there any other reason for the poor resale value? I see some of these cables being offered at resale for very low prices.
I feel that those who don't like MIT haven't heard MIT. Lots of cables have won "best sound" in a system. Doesn't necessarily mean anything, they generally pick a different cable manufacturer every year.
Thanks for all the postings guys. Apparently Walter Fields has employed new staff to facilitate sales esp with his new monitor range which is supposed to be better than the old range. Seems strange because I believe you can still by his old range at a much dearer price. I need a 20 foot run so am looking to run with the Harmonics, (demo this week) until I move gear and just need a 4 foot run. Carl, haven't heard the new MIT's though I sort of lost faith in them when the main guys set up Transparent. Seems a lot of new competition on the block that is aiming at a more cost effective market like Analysis plus, JPS, Mid range Synergistic and of course Harmonic Technology. I think it is good for the price range but a little overrated. Anyhow those are my comments for the evening. Happy listening guys.
Thanks for all the postings guys. Apparently Walter Fields has employed new staff to facilitate sales esp with his new monitor range which is supposed to be better than the old range. Seems strange because I believe you can still by his old range at a much dearer price. I need a 20 foot run so am looking to run with the Harmonics, (demo this week) until I move gear and just need a 4 foot run. Carl, haven't heard the new MIT's though I sort of lost faith in them when the main guys set up Transparent. Seems a lot of new competition on the block that is aiming at a more cost effective market like Analysis plus, JPS, Mid range Synergistic and of course Harmonic Technology. I think it is good for the price range but a little overrated. Anyhow those are my comments for the evening. Happy listening guys.
You need to audition the NBS, I just came back from a b ing their speaker & digital cable. resale value and nbs being jerks has nothing to do with the sound. they are clearly superior. i won't mention the other cable names. top name, you have to try them yourself. they take awhile to break in. i've never met anyone that wanted to switch back
I've compared The Transparent Reference XL to NBS Master, Professional, and Statement. All three are better than the Transparent. Midrange, bass and detail retrieval are astonishing
Lefty Have you heard the NBs Monitor 4 Interconnect. I am very interested in comments from anyone who has heard these.
No I haven't but I can tell you that even the lower priced NBS are stunning. I have compared the Mind Serpent (list $350) to the Harmonic Tech top silver and copper and the NBS was considerably better...wider stage & better imaging. The new Monitor series is essentially the same as the old. Walter Fields says the Monitor is more geared to professional studio use.
Thanks Lefty. I'll talk to your contacts about other alternatives.