New MAD Focus cables..delicious
About 9 months ago I bumped into into a cable manufacturer selling on Ebay. They were called MAD (Modern Audio Design) and they were selling silver interconnects at a VERY reasonable price. I had been wanting to try some silver jobbers with my AH Tjoeb cd player and tube amp, so at that price, combined with a money back guarantee, I had to order a pair of Pearls for $70.00 . WOW! What a bargain. Even before breaking them in completely I was knocked out. As they seasoned they did nothing but continue to sound even better. I was ready to replace all my interconnects at this price with this quality.....but, I had a goal.
My goal was to put together a quality turntable, phono pre-amp and cartridge with my CR Developments Kalypso tube amp. It wasn?t going to be inexpensive and took every penny I could put together for months but I finally purchased a beautiful used VPI Mk. 4 turntable with a 12 in. JMW Memorial tonearm. I put a Dynavector DV-10x4 Mk. II cartridge on it and bought an ASUSA tube phono stage. It was heaven......but an incomplete heaven. Even though the Monster interconnects I was using seemed satisfactory (I thought!) I felt I had to finish the set-up off with a pair of MAD cables. I emailed Eric at MAD for suggestions. He told me about their new FOCUS shielded interconnects. He was very proud of them & thought they?d be a good match with my gear. That was good enough for me so I ordered a pair.
Another WOW! These interconnects are incredible! Build quality is immaculate and HEAVY DUTY. Really nice looking cables. But I didn?t buy them for a beauty contest. After installing them I immediately realized how much of the subtle stuff, the ?nuances? I had been missing. The stuff that fools your senses into thinking the musicians are in the room with you. The Focus cables made the kind of change in sound quality that I normally associate with an substantial piece of gear upgrade. That seems to be a MAD trademark! The soundstage went way wide and deep. All frequency ranges improved, especially the bass which I had originally been mildly disappointed with. No longer! As the Focus continue to break in these improvements continue to be even more pronounced (just like the Pearls). It is very impressive to get this kind of result with such a hi-end turntable/cartridge/amp. I?m sure it takes hi-end gear to get the most out of the MADs but I bet they?d dramatically improve even that old Pioneer receiver and Sony cd player I?ve got in the garage. I?ll have to experiment with that sometime.
Being an audiophile with finite resources is all about goals, and now that the VPI and friends are in place I have a new one. That goal is to replace all my cables with Pearls and Focus and maybe a pair of XTC Blues which I?ve yet to try. But hey, at this rate, there is no doubt MAD will go 3 for 3!
Enjoy, Chuck Shay