Review: Argent Audio Pursang S Interconnect
I usually don’t participate in the different user forums. I rather like to investigate them for advice and help. I would call myself a passive participant instead of an active member. However, the significant improvements from a new pair of interconnects (Pursang S from Argent Audio) I incorporated into my system has forced me to rethink my position. I just wanted to let more people know about the improvements a new pair of interconnects can make.
I’m not affiliated in any way with Argent/Rosinante Audio or Ric Cummins the owner. Ric is just a great guy whom I first met on the phone several years ago when asking for advice in buying a set of Room Lenses. I wasn’t sure how the Room Lenses would work with dipole speakers such as my Martin-Logans. Since that day I have approached Ric every time I had questions about how to further improve my system and this has led to a series of significant improvement in my system.
About a month ago Ric contacted me and ask me if I would like to upgrade my Pursang interconnects to the Pursang S. He tried to convinced me that the difference would not be just minor but well worth the money.
I was, at first, skeptical that any improvements could be realized over an already excellent interconnect but over the years I have learned to trust Ric’s advice.
When Ric’s Pursang S cables arrived several days later via USPS I couldn’t wait getting it into my system. I just put a couple of my favorite CD’s into the transport and was surprised about the improvements over the Pursang in sound. There was a significant difference over the Pursang interconnects. It was almost scary how natural instruments and artists appeared in the soundstage.
But I wanted to give the upgraded interconnects some time to run in. After 24 hours in the system playing the same CD over and over again - I was ready for some critical listening. The soundstage had opened up even more and the upper treble smoothed out. Resolution increased. I found myself sitting in front of my system into the wee morning hours pulling out one CD after the other and having a good time.
The dynamics were fantastic. I listened to the Empire Brass Quintet playing Hopper Dance (Telarc). The track opens with a thunderstorm then continues with massed brass and thunderous percussion. This will challenge any system’s dynamics. The new Pursang S was up to this challenge. Most impressively the thunder, which just was there before, was now coming from everywhere – I even turned my head more than once. The Pursang S was able to reproduce all the dynamic shadings of the percussion.
Next was Blues Company’s, Red Blood (Inakustic). The track includes churning guitars and some terrific male harmonics. There is a rock solid bass underneath the performance. If you crank your system up you can get your loudspeakers to clip easily. The Pursang S was able to resolve the massed voices terrifically and the bass had this foot tapping attribute I really love. I had the impression that the bottom octave went even lower as with the old Pursang..
Next was Joe Beck and Ali Ryerson with Scarborough Fair/ Norwegian Wood. Some great easy listening of an Alto Guitar and Alto Flute. This track is my favorite to test upper frequency behavior. The Pursang S again was super real -- almost too real. I was listening to the sound of the fingers on strings and the flautist’s breathing. Speed was again excellent when the percussion enters at 1min 7sec. There was no edginess present at any time, which sometimes happens with some systems or cables.
Next I checked on female voices – I listened to a German artist called Constanze Freud (she is one part of the band Friend n’ Fellow) with an a’capella song named “This Love”. Again resolution was outstanding. I could hear the sound of breathing, of lips, of tongue and teeth. Her voice was natural, S-louds where never spitty, but smooth and easy on my ears. More remarkably Constanze was in my room, no doubt. I could hear her head moving at various times during the track. Again, almost scary.
The next one was a test of real instruments. I picked Marc Cary’s Melody in C with the sounds of piano, trumpet, tenor sax, bass, flute and drums. The sound was coherent with no focus on a particular player. The soundstage was wide and deep with spaces between the individual players and a 3 dimensionality that I never heard in my system before. Not that my soundstage is not 3 dimensional, however with the Pursang S, this characteristic has improved immensely.
Continuing with one of my favorite Mapleshade CD’s, Midnight Blue’s Inner City Blues with Selena McDay singing, Artie Sherman on a Hammond B-3 and Curtis Pope on trumpets. The music is a special blend of organ trio jazz, soul classic R&B. Pierre Sprey’s minimal miking creates a realistic soundstage and the Hammond and trumpet are so unbelievably real, as is the voice of Selena. The trumpet had the brass bite, but the sound was never edgy. You can hear Curtis moving his trumpet as he plays, left to right, up and down. Some tracks show him up front in the soundstage in some tracks he is playing more in the back. Before the Pursang S it was never that obvious, but with the Pursang S there is just a realism there that I can hardly describe..
I could easily go on like this for hours, enthusiastically talking about the improvements I heard in all the CD’s I heard since the Pursang S entered in my system. If asked what the most significant improvement the Pursang S brought into my system, I would immediately say it’s the improved realism. I always thought my system includes a great deal of realism however never as good with the Pursang S incorporated in it. The artists came alive in my listening room. I was totally impressed with the 3 dimensionality of the soundstage. I heard artists moving about in the soundstage, I heard them turning their heads or standing up. With every CD I pulled I heard more and more. The width, but more especially the depth, of the soundstages has increased.
In addition the Pursang S is very fast with outstanding dynamics, micro and macro. It has excellent resolution but instead of sounding analytic it becomes very musical and involving. The sound is coherent from top to bottom. For me the Pursang S is the best interconnect I ever listened to.
Unfortunately all this makes me eager to try the Pursang S speaker cable in my system. Unfortunately, because I will have to save some money before indulging that fancy.
Acurus ACD11 on wheel bearings (Ric recommendation - it really works!) on Dark Matter platform
Pursang Digital interconnect
Perpetual Technology P-1A
Audio Magic I2S Mystic Reference Cable
Perpetual Technology P-3A DAC w/ Modwright mods
P-1A and P-3A sitting on Pulsar Points
Both connected to a P3 power supply with Revelation power umbilical cables
Pursang S interconnects
Acurus DIA 100 on Nordost Pulsarpoints
Acurus ACD11, DIA100 and P3 power supply connected with Brujo power cords into PS Power Port outlets
All outlets have Quietnoise plugged into the second outlet
All device have various Mapleshade brass Heavyweights sitting on top
Rack is a Lovan Classic (Black Matter platform sits on top of it)
Jaden speaker cable
Martin Logan SL3 on Nordost Pulsar Points
Customized wiring post cable bridges
Accoustic Solid Final Tool turntable with Rega RB300 arm and Audio Technica OC9 system on 4 inch solid maple platform sitting on mapleshade Isoblock feet
Lehmann Black Cube phono pre amp with PSX power supply and Brujo power cord
Jaden Signature interconnects
3 Room Lenses
CARA (Computer Aided Room Acoustics) program to optimize listening and loudspeaker positioning.