Cardas Golden Cross
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No disrespect, but IMHO trying to tune a system in this way with cables is ridiculous. You ask for advice on the sound of your system and don't even bother to let us know what equipment you have. The other components, especially speakers, have so such more impact on this than cables that asking for cable advice is like asking what kind of pepper will make my pot roast taste good without knowing what your other ingredients are.
It is not ridiculous - he clearly stated what he is looking for. He is not asking your opinion of his system or what you think it should like - he wants a romantic sounding cable, they do exist. Also your analogy is way off - he is not asking what will make his roast taste good rather what will make it sweeter.
I've heard that Yamamura cables have a quite "soft" and romantic sound, emphasizing the midrange a bit. Does any of you know this cable? Maybe are cables that use natural materials, like cotton, paper + laquer, silk, etc. are more sweet sounding in general. Could a power cord also make a sytem sounding "soft", sweet and elegant? I prefer these characteristics more than muscular dynamics. I don't like a too "black" background either: this way music sounds dead.
Chris, it would be nice to know a little about your system, because although I agree with Herman, and also about the legendary warmth of Cardas products, I don't think cables will really give you the sound you're describing. When I read:
" . . .soft and elegant character, somewhat subdued (not edgy) highs, but with excellent resolution and good imaging (not diffuse)."
what I thought of FWIW, is the sound of great vintage tube components like Macintosh, Fisher, Marantz, Scott, Soundcraftsman, Dyna, etc.
Nordost Heimdall IC,.. yes this Nordost in my system is very warm, yet quite resolved. Fleshes out voices very nicely and full deep bass presentation. Warmest and most romantic of the 12-15 IC's I tried.
Also had a good experience with a Shunyata Taipan Alpha Helix pc on the CD player. Vocals were incredibly romantic. Highs were pushed back, but had great resolution and delicacy. Bass was also killer. Convinced me of the impact of power cables on a digital source.
For the elegance of Rolls-Royce sound: Marigoaudio.com
Able to transmit the emotion, unveil rich harmonic detail, without any rough edges.
Also, agree with others about tube equipment (with appropriately selected tubes) providing appropriate starting point. Then, even "accurate" wires can transmit romantic sound enabled by your component choices.
Chris, I don't know how sensitive your speakers are, or what kind of music you dig, but if they jive with SET? That would be a very nice (romantic) way to go. That with neutral ICs and power cords will get you that romance that no IC or power cord will. If your speakers are not sensitive enough for SET go for push/pull.
Maybe this would help:
System: Accuphase digital front end
Accuphase preamp + Tamradio iso tranformer
Acoustic Reality eAR Figaro ICEpower amps
Dunlavy SC-V speakers
Pure Note Paragon Enhanced RCA (phono)
Wireworld Gold Eclipse XLR
Cardas Golden Reference speaker cable
Essential Sound Products The Essence Ref pc
+ Lavardin pc for digital
Sensitivity Dunlavy speakers: 91dB/W/1m
Until now I haven't heard SET's with my speakers. Maybe I would try Sun Audio push-pull 20W tube amps.
PS: I replaced the Pure Note Paragon Enhance XLR between the pre and poweramps with el cheapo RCA interconnects and the sound improves! There is more presence (midrange), soundstage appears less further away. Of course the pure silver Pure Notes are more refined, but are a bit "mechanical" in character and more laid back in sound. I would like to have cables that are combining the characteristics of the two forementioned cables. To what extent can a power cord alter/reshape the sound of an high end system?
I agree, Heimdall are to me the best of the newer Nordost. Very neutral and proper presentation of the music. I have listened to all in this line, Tyr, Valhalla, Frey etc..Didn't like any of the other ones except for Frey, but they don't reprsent the value of Heimdall.
If it is romance you are looking for though, like someone mentioned earlier, tubes will satisfy that very well. When I first got into this hobby I would never have considered tubes. 10 years later, it is all I can sit in front of. All of it connected with Heimdall with much satisfaction.
it is impossible to give advice with the requirements that have been presented. if a component is somewhat soft and subdued, but detailed, how detailed and how soft ?
by soft do you mean an attenuation in the highs ? if so some resolution will be lost.
i suggest rasking for suggestions for cables that attenuate the high frequencies, without including a requirement regarding the issue of detail.
having owned cardas cable for yours, including golden hex 5 c, hex 5 c, golden cross and twin link, i think one would have to refer to the original hex link to attain a significant loss of high frequency energy.
as a reviewer who has auditioned and reviewed many sets of cable products, i am not aware of any interconnects or speaker cable that attenuate the high frequencies.
it is possible that there is some power cords that will do this, but it is so subjective.
i would say that it best to listen to all cable that you can afford and judge for yourself. borrow as many cables as you can and draw your own conclusions.
no one can tell you what is soft sounding, including the best intentioned audiogon members.
I know the sound you are seeking as I am a huge fan as well. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a nice smooth cable that is a step or two to the warm side of neutral. I would suggest you focus your search in either long grain copper(Neotech) or gold/gold alloy cables. Yes I make gold cables but I'm just trying to point you towards the metals that will most likely give you what your looking for. Good luck in your search, when you find them you'll love them!
i auditioned a pair of eichmann cable, but do not recall its designation. it did provide resolution, but certainly not richness, otherwise, i would have kept them.
in my mind, richness implies a loss of resolution. i don't see how you can increase resolution and have richness at the same time.
there is a contradiction between achieving greater richness and greater reolution.
there will always be some resolution. as your "sound" becomes richer, there will be a loss of resolution.
again, there is the question of how one defines richness.
i believe a reduction in sound pressure in the treble region and a slight increase in emphasis in the lower midrange are the characteristics of richness.
mrtennis, maybe dynamics would be a good term to use? Everything just has a little more... something. Not sure about standard audiophile terminology quite yet. Just a little more... there, or real? And definitely better resolution, detail, and depth. Whatever it is I am enjoying my system with the Eichmanns in it.
I own a pair of Yamamura Millenium 6000 interconnects and would call them
"natural" or "organic" rather than romantic. I use them for vinyl and compared it to Pierre Gabriel, second from the top I think, and some very expensive Virtual Dynamics. The Yamamuras, in my system, beat the Pierre Gabriel by a moderate margin and trashed the Virtual Dynamics, which I found too bright.
I use a pair of Harmonix GP interconnects from my cd player and these, if anything are softer than the Yamamuras with more bass. I think these are great
cables for someone that's trying to get softer sound.
If anyone has Yamamura Millenium speaker cables a available, I might be interested.
i owned the magnan v i. they are not overly warm, but are not egregiously objectionable. i would say the cable may be slightly warm of neutral. if they were more forgiving, i would still own them today.
i have not found a very warm cable, having auditioned many cable products as well as having auditioned other cables at shows.