Review: Cardas Golden Reference Interconnect

Category: Cables

I have just completed comparing the Cardas Golden Reference interconnects with the Cardas Golden Cross interconnects from the cd player to the preamp. The Golden Cross interconnects have a warm, but detailed sound. The voices and the instruments all blend to make a nice overall presentation. On the other hand, the Golden Reference had incredible detail, but the sounds did not blend. It had a higher and overall separated sound. It seemed to be bright on my system for a Cardas cable. The midrange stood out more noticeably and just didn't seem to blend for an overall presentation. I do tend to like my music a little on the warm side, but detailed. I felt the Golden Cross was more appealing and much more balanced. I did several different comparisions using several different types of music, from jazz to rock over a week period. I bought the Golden Reference a few weeks ago and it seemed to change the sound in different ways than I expected. Therefore, I decided to compare the two interconnects before passing judgement. My overall opinion is as good as the Golden Reference is, for my system and tastes, I choose the Golden Cross.

Associated gear
YBA CD1 Blue Alpha CD player
Kora Eclipse Tube preamp
1960's Siemens Gold pin tubes
Monster Cable AVS2000 Voltage stabalizer
Pass Labs X250 amplifier
Martin Logan Assent Speakers
Cardas Golden Cross interconnects and speaker cable
Cardas Golden Reference power cords

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Cardas Golden Reference must NEVER be used from a source component to the pre-amp, if Golden Cross is used from pre to amp. It must be the other way around, i.e. Golden Cross from source to pre-amp, and Golden Reference from pre to power amp. If used in the latter way, the sound is glorious!
I use Golden Reference interconnects both CD to Pre and Pre to Power and do not have any problem with the sound blending. I will say the soundstage is huge, larger than for Golden Cross, so wonder if speaker or listening positioning changes would cause the blending to occur for you. I usually find that adding anything new into my system requires some fine tuning of other settings for it to sound right. For me the Golden Reference ICs are faster, more immediate, more neutral, and have better pacing than the Golden Cross.
My Goodness, Irish hound, can you expand a bit on why there is a differance and enlighten us on what is going on between the component/pre-amp and the pre to power amp? i think we are getting a bit esoteric here, but I am interested......