Review: Creative Cable Concepts Model 12.0 Interconnect
Creative Cable Concepts Model 12.0 SB Interconnects
The Creative Cable Company Model 12.0 SB interconnects are something that came my way. And since they were a long length (20 foot) I decided to compare them to my Purist Audio Design Aqueous A interconnects between my preamp and amplifiers. These cables are completely handmade and assembled right here in the USA. They are not lightweights and are substantial in heft and sound.
The Creative Concepts cables are made by Bob Eisen. The cables are fluid filled or damped with liquid EMI/RFI blocker to maximize noise control and eliminate vibrations within the cable. The cables are quite substantial at ¾” around. The cable is stranded twisted pair with shield and features Cardas RCA ends. All heavily shrink wrapped and covered with a light blue mesh. These cables are directional and have arrows on the jacket of the cables pointing from the source component. They are color banded red and black for left and right channels.
I did not allow this cable to break in I let it go head to head against the Aqueous. But I suspect with at least 100 hours of break-in the cable would improve beyond my initial listening impressions. Since I had these in loan their stay was short here. But the comparison is very real. I need to set up some sort of system just to burn in cables. Possibly an AV receiver with FM or CD as a source playing constantly to burn in cables from the main outputs.
My first impression of the interconnect is that it is lively, clear and open with better apparent stage height than the older Aqueous. The cable has clear and believable highs and is not bright. The bass is solid and deep. The dimensionality of Tori Amos’ recording “Little Earthquakes” on German import LP and domestic CD is in the room.
Midrange is very good but could be slightly smoother. I suspect with time the midrange would improve and smooth beyond my listening notes. Ambience retrieval is really good and the delineation is more than adequate and does not call attention to itself in a way that would be called analytical. The cables are rich sounding with alot of resolution to the sound.
Dense choirs ("Precious Things") come across with their own signature. It seems as if this track always has something new to offer everytime that I hear it. I could go on listening with these cables in my system they are that good. Piano notes are not the most real sounding that I have heard but there is no artificial brightness. They are warm but not the very warmest cables I have heard. They are full and fleshed out. No thin sound here anywhere.
Layering is not as spooky as with some cables but the layering is wide horizontally in the stage and is well outside of the edges of the speakers if the recording allows for it. Instrumental depth (size) seems somewhat shallow likely due to inadequate break in but nothing that I would consider to be annoyingly so. Instruments seem somewhat smaller in size.
Dynamics are moderate not with wide jumps. They simply go from loud to soft. The cables themselves being very quiet. Stage depth I feel is better than the Aqueous A and is similar to Cardas Cross and does not sound as quite closed in as it does with the older Aqueous.
If you have a chance to listen to the Creative Concepts Model 12.0 SB do not pass up the listen as they are not extreme in price for a high end cable. One listen to the whispers on the track “Mother” on the Tori Amos LP or CD will have you on the edge of your listening chair.
There is a hint of flatness to the low midbass and lower midrange which can be viewed as either a plus or a minus if it flatters your system. But it does not annoy and it seems to tighten the sound of electric bass. There is some missing leading edge to the bite of guitars which can be heard as a softening character. But its presence is always in control and that is part of the signature of this cable.
Paul Gilbert’s CD, “Fuzz Universe” took on great bass and solid drum sound with the electronic soundstage expansive in dimension but mostly centered in mono within the mix between the speakers. This made the sound of this recording very cohesive and live sounding. The sound of this cable is consistence and never falls apart at the extremes. It really holds things together. This is a rock guitar players instrumental showcase and has great tracks and sound to go with it. Its one heck of alot of fun to listen to too!
On the Chesky LP of Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kije” (RC10) sounded lighter in weight than normal but beautifully detailed and delicate in its transparency to great extent. With tons of air in Chicago's Symphony Hall and great tonality this is a record worth discovering again and again. There is something new to be heard at every twist and turn of this music. Always an audio favorite here.
When I pulled this LP out to listen the other night. I realized that I had forgotten just how great it really is. The sound and the performance just come together in one of those magical moments of listening pleasure. I am going to keep this LP out and give it a spin or two in the upcoming weeks.
I have to say that I prefer my Aqueous A interconnects to the Creative Cable Model 12.0 SB but my belief is that I could live and like them in my system. I think that more break in time would affect the tonality of the cable to the extent that it would get better and better in every area over time.
I thought that since these cables passed thru my hands and I did have a chance to audition them. For readers and listeners alike I thought that this would be a good place to bring them to the attention of all. The cables have a warm and pleasing balance that does not lack much. If you can make sure you give them a listen if the opportunity knocks.
Creative Cable Concepts additionally builds speaker cables and power cords. These are worth invetigating too as well as their highly regarded digital cables.
Interconnects: Model 12.0
$600/1m pair, $100/m additional
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