Just finished breaking in the Darwin Ascension, the premium version of the Darwin Silver, and I'd like to discuss the results of the break in process itself.
Normally, most of us just break in a cable for as long as the manufacturer suggests - usually 50 or 100 hours. A proper break in almost always results
in better sound. But, what few of us do is follow the break in process, by
cutting in at certain stages to see what kind of changes are occurring at
that specific point. That's what this review is about.
First of all, my experience with silver cables tells me that they almost always
take much longer to fully break in than copper cables. About twice as long.
Turns out that the silver conductor Ascension was no different. A full break
in took about 200 hours to achieve. But, there were ups and downs along
the way that made for a very interesting "ride".
Initial A/B testing against my current reference showed the Ascension to be
rather "closed in", with veiled dynamics and a kind of soft overall effect. But,
knowing how long silver takes to reach maximum potential, I knew that break
in would show major gains along the way ... which it most certainly did.
After the initial sense of underperformance, the Ascension showed gains
at the 15 hour mark, but with some harshness noted. Gains in sound quality
continued at the 30 hour mark, but still with edginess and harshness. Gains
were substantial at this point. In fact, they were so great that it sounded like
a completely different cable - after only 30 hours of break in.
Major roughness encountered at 50 hours. Began to smooth out at 60 hours.
By 75 hours, all roughness is gone with sound becoming smooth and refined,
inner detail coming out. New sounds emerging. By 100 hours, refinements
heard at 75 hours had increased, but were becoming gradual at this stage of
At 125 hours, something unexpected. The sound began to regress, with
harshness returning, along with limited bass response. But with this, I also
noted that the sound stage was deepening and details continued to emerge.
All of this changed at 140 hours. Even though the bass was still a bit on
the light side, it was very well defined - approaching exceptional. Everything
was back on track again, with continuing improvements and no backsliding.
Gains in sound quality continued until about 200 hours was reached. At
that point, careful listening showed no further improvements. So, the results
of my systematic break in with the Darwin Ascension shows that this cable,
like all silver cables I have used in the past, requires sufficient break in time
to reach their full potential. And "full potential" for the Darwin Ascension
is something to behold.
I've been in audio nearly 20 years, and I have never used an interconnect
this good in all that time. Many IC's have come and gone. Most were
over promoted, disappointing, and forgettable. Not the Darwin Ascension.
It is really something very, very special in cable design. It easily stands out.
Few others can even begin to compare. It is that good.
If you are like me, and tired of searching for the perfect interconnect, why
not just give up the search and go with the best -- the Darwin Ascension. But, to really know why it's the best, be sure to give it the break in time it needs, to give you the truly exceptional performance it's capable of.
As for me, my search is over. It ended with the Darwin Ascension. I now
hear my music in ways I didn't think were possible. My level of enjoyment
is at a whole new level. I have never known such "realism" in music before.
Give Darwin Cables a try - and don't forget to give them the break in they
need to give you the best sound quality you've ever heard.