I can't give you details, but the Vishnu is a significant step up from the Shiva. I liked the Shiva on my CDP, but the Vishnu just sounds tremendous. (I did not a/b them directly.) Definitely worth the listen.
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I agree wholeheartedly with Episteme's comments. You will get more bass weight and better overall soundstage with the Vishnu. It is a huge step up from the Shiva, which is a great cord, but as you've pointed, a little lightweight. I use Vishnus on my Rega Jupiter 2000 CD player, and Quicksilver Horn Mono amps.
i have been auditioning a variety of PCs for my esoteric, same audio as yours, but in a very different system, so my comments can be taken in general only and within the context of my system.
i auditioned the brahma and valhalla on my ux-3se. with a TA ref xl [latest version] PC on the preamp, i preferred the brahma over the valhalla as the val thinned out the highs greatly and introduced glare. my system is already quick and resolving. speed and clarity was great with the valhalla though. the brahma was a happy compromise. however, neither nordost in my system seems to be the best choice. recently tried shunyata helix alpha [non-vx] on the cdp. the python was good, the anaconda clearly better, but less weighty overall than the TA ref mm PC i auditioned. the shunyata gave a more balanced top to bottom presentation IMO in my system. the nordost gave the extremes a thin clarity, the Transparent clearly gave huge bottom end wt, perhaps more than i need in my system. i will audition a few other PCs before finalizing. i have heard that some PAD PCs may be an excellent choice for the x-03. there are a few different PAD choices, no one can really advise you which is best in your particular system. check out some threads on here. there are numerous PCs in $500 - $1000 - $1500 - $2000 plus full retail price ranges depending upon length. dont know if anything here is helpful. cheers.
Thanks gang for your perspectives and advice. I've since had the opportunity to audition both the Brahma and David Elrod's Sig 2 & 3. Moved them around quite a bit, but ultimately found the best point for the Brahma was on the Esoteric. I don't feel David's Sig 2 quite agreed w/ the Esoteric - though it throws a nice soundstage, it was otherwise a bit too warm for my tastes. The Sig 3 really agreed with my Simaudio w-5 however. This amp really sings even w/ its stock cord, but the Sig 3 just took it to a new level. Bet. the stock cord, TG Slvr, Shiva, and the Brahma on the Esoteric, the Brahma is indeed the best compromise. As the x-03se is inherently detail oriented, crystal in its presentation, and quite capable of throwing a huge soundstage, when mated with one of the Nordost cords, whose signature also seems to be one of crystal detail, its almost over the top. The Brahma brings out enough mids and bottom to offer a well-rounded sound. However, it just doesn't have the soundstage and depth I'm looking for - remains somewhat 2-dimensional in my system. The stock cord and the TG slvr are far better with soundstage, though clearly other shortcomings prevail. Soundisntmusic: Your suggestions and observations are most helpful - thank you. I'm particularly intrigued with the A/B your currently doing bet. the Shunyata Anaconda and the TA ref mm. Seen sim. comments on the PAD pcs, though perhaps a bit out of my pre-owned range (roughly $400-800). Trying to gather enough research to give Paul a call at Used Cable and audition others from their library.
hi mbump -
at this time, i dont have access to the TA ref mm PC for reevaluation. my notes suggest it is excellent though adds more emphasis to the bottom end. i am looking for something that will not inhibit both top and bottom ranges, among other things that PCs do. At this point, i am more concerned with the nuances at the top end. ie, not slighting the highs in terms of body or texture. the anaconda alpha helix gave more evenhanded coherance, but perhaps a bit more upperend energy or color(?) than i want. soundstaging was excellent. as mentioned, the brahma was excellent, but the anaconda gave more depth. re: elrod sig 2 - i tend to agree with your comment. in my system, it introduced an excess of general warmth that i dont need now that i have aperex bugleboys in my pream. in terms of overall staging, i am unsure if you will achieve a really substantial increase in staging with any powercord vs change of speakers in your system. another thought - noted your listening spot is against the back wall. if there is any reverb, you might be reducing the perception of staging from your listening spot. hand a blanket against the wall as a quick check to see if the overall presentation improves (or not). also, do the wires of your piano vibrate or does the piano cabinet interact when you listen at moderately loud levels? just curious about this.
i will be looking at a PAD anniv contego PC and a tesla model for the cdp in the next 2 weeks. cheers.
Interesting stuff here... Mbump, you must have a lot of patience. Moving Elrod cables around is a very time consuming task to say the least. I've done it a bit and I know how much they change when they get unplugged. The last time I did some comparisons, it took several days for them to "re-balance" and sound right again. That being said; when they sound right, they sound right!
Keeping in mind that I have a very linear system, the Elrod Signature cables sound extremely good in it. They don't sound warm to me, instead they seem to bring EVERYTHING forward to a realistic and fully fleshed-out state. The high frequencies are smooth, detailed and natural. The mids are full and balanced, from low-mids to hi-mids (these cables have helped my system reproduce the most breath taking chesty quality in female voices I've heard)and the bass is deep, detailed and really well controlled.
If you have a stock X-03, I suspect that's where the issue lies. I've heard this player as well as the X-01 and while it's a nice player to listen to and a real beauty to look at, it's hardly what I'd call linear, natural or 3D. Over the past 2 years, I haven't found the these cables to over emphasize any frequency in my system... there's my $.02 fwiw
Quakfat - thanks very much for your perspective. I can agree that also within my system the Elrod Sig 2 pulled the stage forward, which in my particular listening situation is actually preferable (btw the Esoteric is the se version). Still they did mellow/warm the presentation out - might be more a reflection of the Meadowlark Ospreys(?). The Sig 3 on the amp is where I really enjoyed the changes - turbo-charged everything.
Update: In recent weeks had an opportunity to throw on some of Eric's Fusion pcs, Dream State, and Robert's Ridge Street Audio Alethias! (As I'm a college professor - these summer games are about to come to an abrupt end!). In the end no contest really. The Alethias! was the best mate with the Esoteric and had a significant effect on and synergy with the system. It had that rare quality of immersing the listener in the musical venue - certainly one of the most visceral effects on our system, w/o any sense of coloration. Went back-n-forth quite a bit with the Brahma. Though the Brahma has many sim. qualities of detail, presence, it did not throw the same soundstage, depth, and just natural balance as the Alethias! Though it is a stiff cord and consequently a bit difficult to manuever and adapt to the backstage area of your system, the Alethias!' sonic attributes went in the direction I was seeking, IMHO.