Probably would'nt try anything that is posted on that forum. Too many crazies over there.
43 responses Add your response
Currently, I am up to my latest generation of pairs of interconnects, and speaker cables. The latest design is very sophisticated sounding. There is all the micro-detail needed to yield the "you are there" (or more properly, the performers are here) experience, along with tremendous transient speed, and bass extension. That often noted "jump factor" is present in two different systems, even the one with older tube amplification.
The best feature is portrayal of harmonic richness when the recording is of high quality. All the complexity of the human voice, and instruments is very much like what I am hearing at the many live concerts I attend. And, as the old joke goes, better, because there is nobody coughing in the auditorium.
If anyone needs to know the well regarded, more expensive products displaced by the Reality cables, they can email privately, since subtle matters of personal taste dictate what each of us likes best. Suffice it to say that these are able to transmit the effect of any change in a system, which is a feature for a person like me who enjoys trying all manner of tweaks.
No one can claim the whole world must be wired from just one company, but these are extremely fine, and moderately priced.
My current system consists of
Audioprism Mantissa modded with vcaps
Blue Circle bc 24 hybrid
Tonian Labs TL NFSM monitors
The cables i've mentioned above all have one thing in common they are all highly musical yes they may have different characteristics Nordost strenghts lies in it's dynamics and Accuracy Tg audio are smooth detailed and dynamic, Audio note lexus cables are slightly warm, full natural cables and that have good bass extension
The straley cables are highly musical the seperation between instruments and imaging is outstanding . They are smooth and very real to the sound
I'm satisfied with these cables for a while
Sorry but i'm not very good at articulating the differences between cables
Should you have any further questions please e mail me
I also purchased the speaker cables and I could not be happier with their sound,not to mention an insanely great bargain. They beat out a pair of Au 24s, which by themselves are very, very good. The Straley cables do sound more like the real thing. I cannot say enough good things about them! I don't know how he does it for the price. I can't wait until he figures out his balanced interconnects.
Dbld, My earliest post at the very top of this thread is still operative. Even the slightest change while tweaking in one of my Reality outfitted systems is easily heard, so it's ideal when a system is basically voiced the way you like it, and you're checking out any system alterations. These wires "speak the truth" ,as the old cliche goes.
Judging by how exciting my Reality wired systems sound, I imagine you could really have a ball with Reality in your current super system.
I find that consistently using a single manufacturer's wiring throughout one system usually allows the full benefit of a particular design and material approach.
Any component fine tuning is accomplished separately with tweaking, and need the wiring to be the ultimate conduit of what the system becomes capable of delivering.
The final step is room tuning, once the wiring gets the best through to your speakers.
I ordered a set of interconnects, speaker cables and power cords. I have a very high end system Dynaudio Evidence Temptation, MBL9007 dual mono amplifiers, Theta Digital Generation VIII dac, GoldMund Reference with Van Den hul Grasshopper IV cartridge. I am in the process of upgrading my cables and are currently in the process of trying cables from differenct high end cable manufacturers like Tara Labs, Harmonic Technology, Siltech, Siversmith, Kubala-Sosna, and NBS. I currently own Acoustic Zen and Cardas Golden Reference. I won't get Gregg's cable for 2 weeks but I will keep you guys posted on how this cable stacks up against high end cables on a high end system. My system is so sensitive, it reveals everything about cables.
Ok, here is the report on the full set of Reality cables: a pair of Reality Speaker cables 6ft, a pair of interconnect 1.5 meter, and two power cords. I was really looking forward to these cables replacing my expensive cables so to be fair, I put the cables into my FryKleaner Pro cable burner for 3 days and put it on my system for additional 154 hours.
First of all my equipment and price as Listerner57 requests are as follows:
Dytnaudio Evidence Temptation speakers - $40,000
MBL9007 Reference Mono 440 Watt amps - $26,600
Theta Generation VIII dac - $9,000
GoldMund Reference turntable - $25,000
Van Den Hul Grasshopper IV Cartridge - $7,000
Theta Compli Multiformat Transport - $6,000
Theta and turntable connected to BPT 3.5 Signature Plus conditioner
8 isolated ground 20 amp MC cable(35 amp capable) cryo treated ac lines with isolated ground Hubbel IG8500 cryo treated outlets.
There are more equipment I don't want to list and bore you but the above is what was used as associated test equipment and my classical concert Disney Hall trained ears. Can't get much better than this to judge cables IMO.
The cables I have compared with are:
Tara Labs The One - 8ft
Acoustic Zen Double Barrel 8ft bi-wire
Cardas Golden Reference - 8 ft pair
Bogdan Spirit X shotgun - 8 ft pair
Analysis Plus Crystal Oval 8 - 8ft pair
Reality Cable 8ft pair
By the way, the order above is in order of ranking. Tara Labs The One and Acoustic Zen Double Barrel are very close in performance and have unbelievably huge soundstage, imaging, detail, neutrality and musicality. These clearly outperform the next two which are Cardas Golden Reference and Bogdan Spirit X speaker cables which are similar in performance. Cardas Golden Reference is a warmer cable while Spirit X is more neutral but similar in terms of performance and 85% of the top performers. I would rank Analysis Plus Crystal Oval 8 and Reality Cables are about the same in performance giving Analysis Plus and overall edge over Reality Cables. I would say Reality Cable speaker cables are about IMO is 7 our of 10 performer. Its not all its cracked up to be. I wish it was as it would have saved me lots of money but there is no way I'll take out my reference cables. I can see taht maybe in a lesser system, you can't tell the difference. However, in my high end high resolution system, you can definitely tell the difference.
Interconnect: I had a shootout about 2 months ago when I compared Tara Labs Zero($17,800), Tara Labs 0.5($7,800), Acoustic Zen Silver Reference, Cardas Golden Reference, Neotech 3001, Cyberlight P2A, and Bogdan Spirit. Tara Labs and Cyberlight P2A were clear winners. Tara Labs were ever so slightly better(due to being more quiet) than Cyberlight P2A but I could not justify the price so I ended up with Cyberlight P2A. Cardas Golden Reference and Bogdan Spirit X was next best giving Cardas a warmer presentation while Bogdan had more neutral presentation. Acoustic Zen Silver Reference in this case was a dissapointment. Anyway, I kept Cyberlight P2A, Cardas Golden Reference and Bogdan Spirit X around and compared Reality Cable interconnect. Sorry,not even close. It's even worse than Acoustic Zen Silver Reference.
I have a pair of NBS Statement power cords($3,000 each), Cardas Golden Reference power cords, BPT L-10 and FIM Silver power cords. Reality cables are a joke both for amp power connection as well as component power connection. I think Greg even admits this. My favorite power cord is NBS Statement - it rocks for amp connection. Cardas is great for component power connection.
So as a result, I returned all cables to Greg thanking him for the evaluation trial period but these are not for me.
Hope this helps.
One audiophile sent me a PM and said strangely enough Reality Cables beat Acoustic Zen Silver Reference IC. That could well be as I have found both Acoustic Zen Silver Reference to be at the bottom of the pack along with Reality IC of the lot I had for testing comparison. Frankly, I did not closely compare AZ Silver Ref IC and Reality IC as I was dissapointed in both of these IC and take time to really compare the difference. It just seemed to me that Reality sounded worse of the two but in someone elses system it can very well sound better especially in view of the fact that Gregg has two versions if IC, one for solid state and one for tube. I got one for solid state on Gregg's recommendation between my tube preamp and solid state MBL90007 amps. Perhaps, Reality tube version IC might have performed better. How much better, who knows but I'd be very surprised if it can equal Cyberlight or Tara Labs. As a matter of fact, I'd be willing to give up my all of my 3 pairs of Cyberlight cable for freee if a pair of Reality tube version IC if it can beat Cyberlight in my system.
Stereo_phile, It is interesting that your shootout confirmed the traditional concept that you get what you pay for.
When I checked on the prices of the speaker cables, they ranked in descending order:
As I had posted admiringly, above, "Your system and the wiring that has already worked for you reads like an audiophile's dream list."
The prices of the IC's in your shootout can be tabulated by someone else, but I suspect they don't come cheap, either.
Down here where the Shakespearean groundlings dwell, I still recommend wiring a system with Reality for its performance, its moderate price, and its home trial policy which lets each listener check for synergy with his/her particular system. (I have never tried the power cords.)
Drubin good point. I was told when I purchased these cables that Reality cables are shipped out pre burned in by the factory which is the reason why it takes a while to get these cables as manufacturer takes extra steps to make sure the cabes sound great. So supposedly one of things you noitce immediately is how great these cables sound when you hook them up.
So, I evaluated speaker cable, interconnect and power cable in that order seperately fresh upon receipt to hear this marvelous claim.
I first replaced the best speaker cable I've tried to date which is Tara Labs The One. Instead of noticing improvement I head a vast collapse in soundstage, unfocused imaging and lifeless dynamically limited uninvolving sound. Yes, immediately noticeable as deterioration in sound. I tried comparing with all other speaker cables that I have mentioned but was very dissapointed with the results. Additional burn in time with cable burner and more operation time did not make one iota of difference. Same results from interconnect and power cable. BTW, afte I hear the similar things happen to the interconnects, since my cable burner was busy, I left the interconnect hooked up on my bedroom system and left it on playing music from my cd player on repeat flowing music thru it. Again, after a week did not notice any performance improvement.
Following from Listener57's post, and taking it one step further, if the top performers in your shootout scored 10/10, then achieving 7/10 for 225 greenbacks gives you a tremendous price to performance ratio. I have tried Gregg's cables with other cables costing maybe 4 to 5 times more and can say that in my system Gregg's cables sound terrific throughout the entire sound spectrum and was about the only cable that could reproduce human voices, brass and stringed instruments and percussions with lifelike realism. Even if I could justify paying for cost of cables that are many times the price of my humble system, I don't think my system is resolving enough to show a substantial difference from what I am enjoying with Gregg's cables. You certainly have an uber highend system which justifies the cost of uber priced cables!It would have been interesting to know what your evaluation would have been had you used Gregg's tubed version ICs. Also, I have read elsewhere that Gregg's cables sound best with the synergy of Reality ICs and speaker cables hooked up and evaluated at the same time.
Good point. There is dimishing marginal return with many things especially in high end audio. People pay unbelievable amount of money for that last 10 per cent in performance improvement. So, yes on less than high end high resolution systems these cables may work perfectly. If you have less than perfect AC lines the difference factor may become even less. Your system is good as its weakest link. This is why a general rule of thumb for investing in cables is 10 to 15% of your system budget allocated. A set of Reality cables can be had for less than $1k and it will be perfectly fine for systems costing $15,000. My system costs well over $150,000 and it would have been too good to be true to have less than $1K set of cables outperform other high end cables that I have painstakinly taken long time to compare and choose for my system. I still would like to try NBS Black Label, Stealth Indra, and Pranawire speaker and interconnect cables to see how they compare but these are easily an order of maginitude more in price with only 20 to 30 per cent better in performance which is the price you have to pay to obtain diminshing marginal return on your money for performance.
I did try connecting all Reality cables at once and did not notice any synergy. Only lack luster uninvolving sound.
Anyway, after I posted this my personal opinion on cable evaluation, Gregg Straley does not want to give money back on speaker cable stating that I damaged his speaker cables using FryKleaner Pro burn in device. Funny I did not see any such disclaimers on his web site about using cable burn in device voids money back gurantee. What about all these magazine reviewers for cables, are they all damaging cables when they use cable burn-in devices? Sounds like a lame excuse for getting back at what I consider to be true and unbiased personal opinion as a consumer. I am not a dealer or any way in shape or form involved with audio industry or manufacturers of audio products.
Over the years, there have been postings in the various audio forums about the over-cooking of certain items of wiring.
Although I never kept close watch on this topic since I never owned my own burn-in gadget, it is not merely a convenient excuse for a manufacturer to question the effect of a particular gadget on a particular wire.
It is appropriate for each manufacturer to specify ahead of time any home trial ground rules. In this case, the manufacturer did not anticipate every possible contingency, nor were any formal constraints placed on the new user.
Sadly, it is possible audiophiles can still inadvertently alter the meticulously tuned work of a manufacturer. (Each reviewer may have to consider this possibility.)
For example, if during a home trial I were to coat a termination with Walker's Extreme SST, or re-terminate with an RCA connector, or speaker spade lug, of my own preference, then I clearly think of the wire as being altered. And, whether for better, or worse, I am the responsible party.
When the sound heard through a wire is changed by signal processing, this is more of a mystery. Is this additional alteration "better" or "worse," and does it constitute an irreversible alteration for which a manufacturer is justified in rejecting a product return?
In this case, I agree with the manufacturer that his product has been altered, but I understand that there were no specific limitation placed on the home trial.
Just because the manufacturer carries out his own burn-in, and material alteration (such as with cryogenic immersion), does not make it invulnerable to further alteration, either for the better, or for the worse.
This may be the first time this specific question about whether a user's choice to try his own preference in further cable conditioning constitutes damaging behavior during home trial. This situation really pushes at the boundaries of what constitutes correct customer service.
My bias is to side with the manufacturer's reluctance to take back altered products no longer able to serve in the future as typical wire samples of his handiwork for another audio system. Yet, there is no joy having to take sides when both parties are good people.
I have no connection with the manufacturer except as a long ago purchaser, and still satisfied user, advocating for affordable, high quality items on Audiogon.
I've asked Jim at FryKleaner Pro on his take on this and here is his reply:
> I have been enjoying your machine as it has been extremely useful...
> However, recently I have one menufacturer refusing to refund...
Well, I'm not sure what to say here. I have read through the
entire post and emails. I understand his concerns in that he believes he
cannot resell the cables, and that they are a loss to him. And I understand
your point that no mention of FryKleaner or any other device was in his
I'm not sure here what I can do for you. In my opinion, you stand on the
higher ground. Gregg did not make any disclaimer. I do not see where you
did anything wrong or out of the ordinary. If it were me, I would take the
cables back. But it is not me, and we all choose to run our businesses as
we see fit.
For small manufacturers it can be very difficult. I once took back a Chime
that was beyond the 30-day trial period. Ok, it was only a week past, so I
bit the bullet. That was $1750 cash I didn't have at the time. More
recently, I shipped a HagUsb to England. Never made it. Lost in customs, I
think. So I sent another one. That got lost too. I must say, the customer
was understanding. Anyway, he eventually moved back to Australia. I sent
him a third machine there. It arrived. For me, that's 3 machines out the
door for the price of 1. So I understand the pain. But still, you have to
do what is right, or it will come back to haunt.
There was one interesting comment in the emails:
"In my opinion the FryKleaner is not the best way to break in cables. If you
measure the voltage output it is not enough to fully break in the cables.
Take a volt meter and/or a scope, you will not see enough voltage or current
to make much of a difference."
And it appears to be true. However, there is more to break-in than raw
voltage. But not getting into the technical issues, Gregg virtually admits
here that a FryKleaner cannot be a problem.
I want to let everyone know that I received refund in entirety from Gregg Straley despite all the negative posts that I have made about Reality Cables. I have to admit that I was purposely harsh and tainted in my comments on his cables due to the fact that I was having problems obtaining refund which now I understand to be not Gregg's fault but someone hacking into his Paypal account that was causing the delay.
I want to appologize to Gregg for slamming on his products which I think is hell of a value for products in its price range. What I didn't mention in the post is that I also compared Gregg's cable with other high end cables that I had from the past such as MIT 330 shotgun interconnect, MIT MH750 Music Hose speaker cables, Monster Reference II IC, Monter M1000 speaker cables, and Cello Strings IC and speaker cables, Bel Canto Museas interconnect. All of these cable costs more than Gregg's cables yet my results showed that Reality cables clearly outperformed these cables by a good margin by being more open, dimensional with detail and being musical.
Congratulations to Stereo_phile for stating publicly how this all ended as a classic "Win-Win" situation.
As Jim at Hagerman Technology suggested, honoring the spirit of the home trial concept truly benefits both parties.
Gregg at Reality Cables provided the highest level of customer service, which is how he treated me, and his other loyal fans.
Stereo_phile exemplifies his own high ethical standard by explaining his initial review had consciously avoided giving any credit to Reality as a cost effective product line.
I have consistently posted over the years that Gregg at Reality lets you judge the quality for yourself, in your own system. That's a consumer oriented tradition which is alive and well.
Stereo phile, your review of the Reality cables doesn't do anyone any good now because you wrote your review when you were mad or frustrated. Would the review be any better if you would have received your money back faster? I am surprised that the post is still up after reading all of this. Makes me wonder if reviewers do the same thing.
I know for a fact that David Schulte of the Upgrade Company has the Reality ic's in his system right now and loves them. He has these in 1 of his 3 systems and has sold several pairs of ics, some retailing over 4k. These ics are great performers and are priced ridiculously low. There are also a few members out there that have sold there AZs and CGRs in favor of the Reality cables. Hopefully they will chime in soon.
Gregg's Reality cables between my pre and power sound more neutral than my expensive Neotech top-of-the-line Silver Ref (equivalent to AZ Silver Ref II). I am beginning to realise that cables are very system dependant. And, while it works for some, it might not work for others with a different system.
As for me, I will stick to Gregg's Reality cables (XLR). They are beautifully terminated with Vampire XLRs!
received gregg's reality speaker cables the other day. they are very transparent and neutral sounding-beautifully finished too.i am glad i switched to reality cables.his customer service is excellent-he called me a few times to go over the different wiring options-he took the trouble to look up the amp i was using and we discussed the options.great value for the money.
Stereo_phile wrote >>I have to admit that I was purposely harsh and tainted in my comments on his cables due to the fact that I was having problems obtaining refund which now I understand to be not Gregg's fault but someone hacking into his Paypal account that was causing the delay.<<
This is one of the most disturbing admissions on Audiogon. How does a reader deal with this in the context of assuming that reviews are honestly "hearing-only based" and not subject to anger/frustration with the manufacturer on an entirely different level? Or is this just normal human nature and Stereo_phile is more honest than most? I'll tell you what it does for me: I will ignore reviews and just listen myself!
Right you are: listen for yourself.
You should always check out previous posts on a variety of topics made by anyone you are thinking of accepting as your guru.
Usually the majority view on a topic is worth looking into, and the existence of a home trial policy lets you avoid buyer's remorse with new items.
To arbitrarily ignore reviews and the threads that follow would be depriving yourself of one of Audiogon's strengths.
Also, it is still a sign of good character for Stereo_phile to admit what caused a biased or inaccurate comment.
It is going on five years that Reality IC's (the OFC RCA jack option is worth the extra cost) and speaker cable reside in two of my systems, never displaced after years of listening for myself. As far as Gregg's website appears to me, his wonderful wiring is still basically made as it always has been, a tribute to getting it right (I have said this in posts elsewhere, but it is what I believe).