Review: Focal Elite Speaker Cable / Morrow Audio MA1 / Van Den Hul MCD MKIII Jumper

Budget Esoterica Review Magazine
February 2020 Issue

Vintage Stereo Cable Trifecta 

It has come to my attention that some of you like playing with vintage stereo gear. I do too. I have found a loom of cables that should make that vintage gear you are using sound a little bit better. I have noticed that some speaker cable  for instance can make vintage speakers sound better than you thought possible. So today i will be reviewing a system consisting of a 1970's vintage Fisher stereo receiver and, to make things interesting i will pair it with the venerable Dynex SP-115 bookshelf speakers. It turns out that the little Dynex speakers are better than i initially thought they were. The three different cables i am using are the reason for this. The other reason is i mounted the speakers using Mt. Fuji Tuning Blocks.
This definitely improved the bass response. 

The first cable i would like to introduce is the Focal Elite 15 AWG speaker cable. This cable is the key to making your vintage gear sound better. It is a little more expensive than regular bulk cable, but if you are using vintage gear you owe it to yourself to give it a try. 

Cable number two is a custom made amp preamp jumper i purchased from Canuck Audio Mart. The cable is made from Van Den Hul MCD 102 MKIII interconnect cable and is terminated with Switchcraft rca connectors. This cable works very good with vintage amps. 

For stereo audio interconnection between amp and cd player, i chose the entry level cable from Morrow Audio. This would be known as the model MA-1 stereo interconnect. Price is $60 for one meter with standard rca connectors. 

Reference Cd - Gregory Porter, Take Me To The Alley.

I was pretty impressed with the bass response coming from the little Dynex speakers. Listening to track number two, "Don't Lose Your Steam", i heard a slightly punchy and bouncy bass from the left speaker. The purity and directness from the vocals on track number three, "Take Me To The Alley", was quite evident, and a bit surprising considering the cost of this system. The percussion on track number thirteen, "Holding On", was fairly crisp sounding. 

Overall, i am very impressed by what these cables did for my inexpensive system. I recommend all three cables as solid cable choices. For vintage speaker usage , the Focal Elite speaker cable is a must buy and should not be missed. 

Associated Equipment

Fisher 143-92531600 stereo receiver with audiophile fuses and rca noisestoppers
Dynex SP-115 Speakers
Target speaker stands
Mt. Fuji Tuning Blocks
Onkyo DV-SP405 DVD player
Supra power strip with audiomagic xstream power cord

Found a surprising discovery over the weekend. I have been using Morrow Audio Cables and thought they were pretty sweet. I bought a new custom made audio cabinet, so had the place all the new components. Where I really wanted to place my VPI Scout turntable my PH4 Morrow Audio was just too short. So off I went to dig around for something temporary, I had a set of Blue Jeans Interconnects LC-1's. So i put them on the turntable and spun some vinyl, Then I thought let's compare them to the Morrow, (I could still use the Morrow but they were not long enough to be hidden). I was amazed after listening to the same songs on a perfect half speed mastered LP, the Bus Jeans actually sounded better, not by a lot but more open and better clarity. So asked another friend that even uses higher end cables than i do to come have a listen (he has better ears than me) he was amazed! so now I have to ask myself was that upgrade worth it? Hmmmm I don't think so. Listening and opinions on sound are all very personal. But 2 of us can't be totally out. My system is McIntosh Amp, Preamp, and McIntosh Speakers. We plan on testing the Speaker wires next weekend.