the Kubalas are great sounding but are on the warm musical side, never cared for the Purist.
The new Wireworld Platiniums are fantastic very neutral with excellent information retrival and no artificial detail great cables for the money, David Saltz the cables designer's reference is no cable at all in the system he tests specifically for loss and they creates geometries which minimize any loss through the cable.
I found Superconductor iii very neutral in terms of tones.
Copper Audioquest sounds great with just about anything. Their silver cables are good too but the results can vary. Purist 20th is not that neutral. I would also look at Kimber Select and Tara. You would probably like them as well. If you call The Cable Company, they will send you anything you want so you can try them in your system first, before you buy.
I would not say that either PAD or Kubala Sosna are neutral sounding, that is why so many love them, they are warmer and more musical sounding. Neutral is a very gray area, it means many things to many different people. Many will recommend Nordost as the most neutral cable brand, but I think that Nordost highlights the high frequencies, which is not neutral IMHO. Stealth Audio, Tara Labs, and the Kimber Select silver cables are also considered by many to be neutral, or more revealing sonically.
If your definition of neutral means passing the most music signal with the
least amount of editorial influence, try the High Fidelity CT-1 cables.There
are three different levels and these cables are the epitome of natural and
realism.The Ocellia Silver Reference cable is also very natural and open
with a very subtle tonal warmth.The High Fidelity is in a strict sense a bit
Ditto AQ stuff...Diamonback XLRs, King Cobra RCAs...even an inexpensive solid core something to my secondary power amp...all bought used and sound fabulous. Your results may vary, but beware of opinions on this stuff...except mine of course.
I understand the question and the responses, but in reality, how could one ever know which cable is neutral? One takes a cable and inserts it in their system and it sounds "dark"compared to what we had, so we say that cable isn't neutral. But how do we know that the "dark" cable isn't passing the true sound and the one we thought was neutral was altering the signal to make it sound more... "neutral"? Yes, I know that Kubala and Cardas are generally thought of as warmer or darker-sounding than some others and will tame down a bright system somewhat. That said, my vote goes to Audience AU24 as a well-balanced and "neutral" cable. Near as I can figure.
Excellent point Chayro, that is why I said that "neutral is a very gray area, that means many things to many different people."
Most associate speed and resolution with neutrality, but I also feel that just as cables can add darkness, they also can add light, simply by attenuating frequency ranges either up or down. Whose to say what 'neutral' really is?
It is a connundrum...I have never been forgiven for rejecting a pair of Mogami XLR ICs (reduced my rig to sounding like hamsters squealing into a megaphone) as nobody else has ever had issues with them except me. I still get hate mail, sneers from strangers, bad service in Parisian bistros, and general distain from that post, and it will likely take years for my reputation to recover. That said, I think when you listen to your rig and it sounds great, your cable quest is done...and I did it with mostly "previously owned and broken in" AQ stuff, with a Mogami (hey...I'm not dead inside!) turntable IC.
Look into the DNM HFTN IC's ($500.00 +-) and DNM Stereo Speaker Cable ($250.00+-). I have been using this combination for about 4 years and you will hear a difference in tube rolling and switching out gear.
Theses cables impart no "sound" of their own and let the music flow like there were no cables at all. Check them out here:http://www.dnm.co.uk/products.htmlhttp://www.simplifiaudio.com/online_store/dnm_cables_store.html
Don't have them in my system, but reviews of the Synergistic Research interconnects seem to indicate they're pretty neutral sounding. Audioquest seems like a good bet too. Best of luck.
@ wolf_Garcia,,Are you kidding?, Mogami cables are junk cables!, let them send me the flack!, I am a musician, I have used plenty of mogami cables, works well for the aplication the were designed for!, for high-end audio?, Give me a break!,, cheers!
Yeah...so I learned when taking an easy road to a pair of Mogami 3 foot XLR cables from Guitar Center...lasted exactly one day and back they went, replaced by AQ XLR Diamondnbacks that sound sweet. Again, the Mogami Jelco din thing works fine.
@ wolf_Garcia, Mogami jelco?, whats that?, never heard of that one!,, cheers!
A Jelco tonearm din/rca cable for my Akito made of Mogami Neglex 2534...in pink! (Ebay)
Van den Hul cables are well balanced and usually work well in various systems.
@Audiolabyrinth you're a dinosaur!lol
Although they aren't that easy to find used, the XLO Signature series (either series 1 or 3 not the series 2 which were warm sounding) have been the most neutral I've ever had in my system. The series 3 are the current model and are available new. While not cheap, their price isn't crazy money either.
I found the most neutral for my kit was from Wywires. These beat out Kimber, Cardas, Morrow, Harmonic Tech, and a few more makers whose cables were less than $1,000/meter. Most clear, neutral, and true.
If by neutral you mean something that leaves the smallest footprint on the signal and simply passes it through, I'd check out the Darwin Silver ICs. For what I can tell in my system, it removed a kind of haze that I didn't know I had and everything became more coherent. I couldn't detect any coloration, fattening or leaning out of the sound, no editorializing either.
The Darwins have allowed me to use them as a bar of sorts to help me evaluate the efficacy of some older speaker cables I had laying around (which I have now gone back to) and a Blue Circle PLC. Trying older ICs didn't end up with the same degree of improvement so I truly feel the Darwin ICs are that good (neutral).
Good luck in your quest and all the best,
Synergistic Tesla Precision Reference or the slightly warmer Accelerator.
I think Nordost is generally perceived to have very few sonic colorations although some may feel they're a little thinner/lighter sounding than a lot of others. I find the Acoustic Zen Silver Reference IIs to be pretty close to straight down the middle in that they don't sound overly sterile or warm and let me easily hear differences in associated electronic components. Best of luck.
Kubala and Purist Audio are more on the warm side. I prefer the Purist because there blacks are stunning. I also sell Kimber cables and these are also more on the warm side. I sold Nordost for over 9 years of time and these are more on the cool side. And yess they can become a little thin in the low freq. I also sell Audioquest and these are more neutral compared to the other ones. But they also can have some warmth in the mid freq. I look at all the parts ( properties) which need to be there in a cable. Audioquest is one of the most complete brands in cables with all the properties you need. They can make a wide and eeep stage. But within the big stage they can give a very small and realistic dimension of instruments and voices. The blacks are stunning so you get a more palpable image compared to many other brands. Also the timing and speed is stunning. My 2013 Redwood loudspeakercable was superior in timing and speed compared to my Old Nordost Valhalla loudspeaker cable. Also the low freq are fast and give you all the layers you need to hear. Decay and resolution is also first class. I prefer the cables with DBS72.
Although I don't actually understand the post from Bo, I feel I have to object to it anyway...really...somebody has to.
It's wolfy again with his fast Rel subwoofer.
Mogami new reference? Wolfy did you use some coke this weekend? Hahahahahahaha...what an idiot!!
"The blacks are stunning..."
What do you mean by that Bo? You mention it alot in your posts along with your love of the 3D presentation of music. I remember when I bought my first CD player back in '87. It's what stood out, how quiet the background was. I felt that something was missing. Maybe because of the increased dynamic range of digital over my vinyl rig at the time? I hear people talk about "the blacks" but am clueless what that means. I personally find the lower the noise floor the more ambient information I hear and the better the cabling, faster transients and timing cues, the more I hear the musical information and ambient noise from the venue. To the contrary, my experience is better cabling doesn't make it blacker.
It's Bo with his same old BULLSHIT again. It's that simple.
When you make a recording instruments and voices have there own track. This track can be an instrument of voice for example. You often hear some of the space were it was recorded. At the end all these tracks are put togheter to become a song. The space between all the instruments and voices are called blacks. The level in a palpable image of instruments become more apparent. Like they are all fully loose from eachother in your room. When you test every single part in your system over and over again you can raise the level in 3D and the level in palpable image. I Always complained at the people of Nordost by saying; Instruments and voices are smaller in proportion in real. And second they stand a lot more loose from eachother. Audioquest cables and inparticulary those with DBS72 give the extreme level in blacks. Instruments and voices are separated so free that it has become so easy to focus on every single part of a recording. Like you can run threw the recording and focus on one part at the time. Nordost cables can give a lot of information. But you also need to give the information the right place where it is put on the recording. This is what I call individual focus. Instruments ae very direct and small to point out. That is why I hate all the demos with voices and instruments which are 3 or 3 metres wide. Because this mistake is made so often. You loose the intimate sound as it is in real. When I was in the concertroom of my friend listening to a female voice she was so small in dimension. I closed my eyes and I was so focussed to here voice. Because here direct appearance took all my attention. It is like a magnet. That is why I say that when instruments and voices are bigger in proportion that the distance between you and the music had become bigger. The connection between you and the music is of a lower level. I miss often the feeling of emotion when instruments and voices are smaller and more intimate. All the people understand the difference in waht it does to your emotion when music become more intimate. By comparing cables you easily can hear the difference in stage. Instruments and voices can become smaller or even bigger by changing a cable. The depth and wide of the stage is different as well. The Olive 06HD also made my sound a lot more intimate. Because the image had become more palpable. The way how I use Audyssey Pro has given me a much higher level in touchable palpable image as well. 2nd and 3th voices are much opener and easier to hear than when I used the XP-20 with my Pass Labs poweramps. I also said it to the people of Pass Labs. My Purist Audio LE 2013 powercable on my Pass X250.5 also give a more palpable and touchable image compared to many other powercables. When blacks are stunning your speakers fully dissapeared. It is like you are in the same room with the musicians.
Mmmmmmmm....what are you saying......
Bo never ceases to amaze (or simply never ceases), and please, do not let him in the room with the musicians.
I would go for Mogami reference cables, advised by the Wolfy Master himself :)
"I hear people talk about "the blacks" but am clueless what that means."
Its a combination of a very clean top end and a wide dynamic range. All the components in a system contribute to it, and having a good recording also helps.
You are right that there are different ways to imporive it!
Zd it seems your definition and Bo's are a bit at odds, I guess this just adds to the confusion. Bo seems to be saying, and I certainly get this point, that it allows us to hear greater separation of voice and instruments, a greater palpaple sense of their place in the recording which would certainly contribute to a more dimensional illusion providing it's on the recording. Certainly I can hear this effect to a greater degree by changing to a better ic and speaker cable. Your description is a bit more focused on dynamic range and a clean top end, could you explain a bit what you mean in how it relates to "blacks" or as Bo describes separating instruments rather than the sound being more congealed?
For the most part I think many probably the vast majority of cables are purposely designed to sound a specific way in line with what the designer likes that probably have little to do with neutrality. So far as the neutrality of cables, it seems the ones I like best have smaller conducters. I don't want a "warmer, richer" sound but more accurate and natural presentation of the recording. You can't know which one is best for your application without listening to many. The best I've heard to date that offer a coherency and separation and more realistic tonal rendition of instruments and voices are the Omega Micro line particularly when used as a system. Unfortunately they are fragile and as you move up the line, thinner ribbons and less dialectric, they get more expensive but better still, the less is more approach and it is clearly audible even to cynics. THESE are very natural and have the effect in a system of a major component upgrade, at least the 4 systems I've heard them in.
I define "Blacks" as a slightly darker and thicker air around individual acoustic images in open (natural and pleasant) sound stage. This helps to see/identify acoustic images clearer. It's not like a halo/haze (bad! you dont want that!) which is the outline of acoustic images but more like background. Blacks make background quieter that the sound stage is not confused with many objects in sight. Blacks can be small just around images or huge to cover whole back ground. Some cables or gears have very dark background such as early Mark Levinson gears which famous for quiet and silky black background.
I have XLO type 5 and type 5.1 speaker cables. They are identical in the sound stage, resolution, and imaging. However, Type 5 sounds slightly darker around acoustic images, and Type 5.1 sounds natural and transparent that you see through the sound stage like nothings there which makes easy to see the picture on the back wall. Theoretically, Type 5.1 is the better cable. I choose XLO type 5.1 speaker cables for my home 2ch sound system because my room is acoustically pretty dead and the back wall is dark. This makes the pleasant sound more stand out from the dark back ground. I choose type 5 cable for my studio set up because my studio is acoustically live/bright and the back wall is with 2 big glass windows. This darker background helps to see/hear acoustic images without interference from bright surroundings.
I have an extra Type 5.1 cable that you can compare both cables at my Los Angeles studio. Also, I have few isolation devices you can hear the difference.
So now I'm NOT an idiot? So confusing...anyway...None of the "high end" salons in my Near Boston area had a din cable to fit my Akito arm. Lame but true. The Jelco cable looked great (Ebay) and has a well made gold din plug, nice gold RCAs, and says "Neglex 2434" on its pink (!) skin...it seems to be able to get electrons from my table to the preamp in decent shape, and if a much more expensive cable would do a better job of this I will never know because I'm perfectly happy with this one. Maybe I AM an idiot.
Correction for above post!
my room is acoustically pretty dead and the "Back wall" is dark.
Back wall =>> wall behind speakers = Front wall.
A background lacking hifi reproduction gear generated noise is all this should mean. I want to hear the glass clinking Madmen era laughing drunk ass NY crowd at the Bill Evans show...or the cool man low hum of anticipation at a symphony...the room Yo Yo used for his solo Bach. Otherwise you can keep your dead background, and add "black" to the lexicon of useless audio terms invented by reviewers...like "speed" and "PRAT". I'm stickin' with "alive" and "ambient" and "warm" in my listening room...dead will be here soon enough.
My experience is similar to Mihorn's. The way I put it is some components/cables that have more of a "quiet" or "black" background is like hearing a band playing directly in front of a thick, black curtain. Everything on the stage is a little more solidly present and clearly defined in its own space, but things like air, space, reverb trails, see-through transparency -- while still there -- are a bit squelched relatively speaking.
By contrast, other components present more like a stage that is set in the middle of a room where you can see right through the band and sounds fly off freely in all directions making it easier to get an idea of the recording space/venue. Things like reverb trails seem to trail off further into space, and it's a little easier to place players in more of a 3D space although the images are more airy and less solid sounding. It's kind of like the difference between a "they are here" vs. "I am there" listening experience. I have no idea which presentation is more accurate and I enjoy each of them depending on the type of recording and music I'm listening to. I also find the "black" background makes me feel like I'm sitting closer to the band whereas the more airy presentation pulls me several rows back where sounds are more distant but I have a better perspective of placement within the venue. The cynic might say it's a little like turning the treble control a little up or down, but I think that's a little too simplistic. Anyway, that's my experience with it and the best analogy I can come up with to convey it. Hope it helps someone somehow.
Well by Milhorn and Soix's definition of black, which I understand through their descriptions and have heard in some systems over the years including my first real hi-fi system from the mid 80's with a CJ pre-amp that was really good at this, a darker presentation. It seems to me that such systems are obscuring musical and ambient information with greater focus of the instrument's fundamental tone which would also obscure harmonics, decay and ambient cues of the venue. To me this is clearly less resolving therefore less accurate. Not that it's a bad thing, just a matter of choice, certainly not mine. I have never heard this effect in live music only on hi-fi systems.
So it seems, at least to me, there are different meanings of "the blacks" to different listeners'.
Many highend systems at shows can give a deep and wide stage, but the individual focus of instruments and voices is not really palpable. But when you use all different parts very precise you even can get a combination of a deep and wide stage with a very direct and palpable image. This both is needed for the absolute sound these days. Blacks/ lower noise floor is an important part in how precise the music is presented to you. It set all the instruments and voices free in your room. It gives you a higher level in enjoying your beloved music.
ACROLINK MEXCEL: Neutral, dead silent and open.
Audience AU24e or AU24se fit the bill in my experience. Fast, detailed, neutral cables that don't cost a fortune.