Review: High Fidelity Cables CT-1 Interconnect Interconnect

Category: Cables

High Fidelity Cables CT-1 Interconnect

At 1100 hours after installation, I can say with certainty Rick Schultz has hit this one out of the park!

I feel it’s necessary to quality my observations from two perspectives: first, as a former Virtual Dynamics customer and second as a High Fidelity believer.

I am familiar with Rick’s Virtual Dynamics products; and allow me to say, I’ve never been averse to spending an hour pre-bending a cable prior to installing, then awaiting the 1000 hour mark prior to realizing its full potential.

That said, I reacted with skepticism when Rick announced his new venture announcing superior offering reduced break-in. Indeed a mighty boast; however, Rick has never failed to make good on a promise.

CT-1 installs effortlessly and its sleek appearance is aesthetically appealing to all. Upon powering up the system one immediately “feels” the cable’s presence while experiencing a system transformation. It is literally altering the conductivity of the entire audio system.

As with any of Rick’s products, break-in is required; yet he has somehow reduced the necessary time by over 50%. Sure, the cable slightly improves over the 500 hour mark but the break-in process is enjoyable. One can literally smile upon opening the box.

On my experience, Rick has taken the best of Genesis, Judge and Ultra Clear as a foundation, while significantly augmenting the ability to deliver detailed impact on the audio system.

Bass is tightly focused and one definitely senses “pressure” generated by the recording. Midrange is sharp yet never overpowering fine details found in delicate percussion, strings or wind instruments; furthermore, depending on the recording, one can easily ascertain breath and microphone position.

As I reflect on my past audio experiences, I realize Rick has indeed ushered in a new frontier. Experience a master’s work in your system – it will change your definition of audio.

The journey never ends.
My audio definition has been changed quite permanently.

Installing the first pair between my Dac & Preamp I knew right away my system was way more musical.

Putting a second pair between my Preamp & Amps & a CT-1 as a Digital Interface from my Transport to Dac took the sound to a stark reality.

"CT-1 installs effortlessly and its sleek appearance is aesthetically appealing to all. Upon powering up the system one immediately “feels” the cable’s presence while experiencing a system transformation. It is literally altering the conductivity of the entire audio system."

Troy, you said it well!

I mentioned a similar comment in my review on the High Fidelity website, a continuity, literal transformation of the components as one.

These cables are VERY special, hearing is believing.

Enjoy the music!
I have owned the CT-1s for the last 8 weeks. I am running a pair from my Lampizator Level 4 DAC to my ASR Emitter I and a digital cable between Lampzator Transport and Lampizator Level 4 DAC. I had previously owned Virtual Dynamic cables and I could always count on the new versions being improved over older versions. The new CT-1s are astounding! Open, detailed, and a dynamic sound stage that captures the harmonic structures in totality. You forget you are listening to your system and just fall into the music. Another great achievement by the master! I can’t wait to hear the speaker and power cables versions.

One may rightfully conclude from reading my earlier post that I was fixated with break-in: specifically, what was the proverbial crossover point when I would not hear “ups and downs” inherent with new cables. I confess, I was guilty of this behavior. After all, I had always experienced this with new cables ...until now.

I believe Rick has profoundly changed customary “break-in” into an evolutionary process of maturation. Skeptical? I don’t blame anyone for questioning my rationale; however, session after session has led me to this conclusion.

Percussion is becoming more crisp, bass is tighter with greater impact, strings have greater resonance, etc., etc.. This “maturation” is new to me and I truly believed I was secure in writing an opinion after 1100 hours, yet the cable is still improving.

I was ecstatic following my “perceived” benchmark believing the cable was broken in but I am now mesmerized at how this single cable is altering my system and further feeling of music.

My system has never sounded better and I can’t fathom if this process will continue but I can say with certitude, CT-1 has altered the landscape and merits an evaluation by everyone who is passionate about music.
Hello everyone!

I am new here and would like to know if these CT-1 Interconnect cables are available for a trial period.

I would like to A/B them to some Crescendo Interconnect cables that I am presently evaluating that a friend loaned me.

I have auditioned quite a few Interconnects in the past, and am always looking for that better then what I have already cable-LOL

I am curious as to how these cables are constructed that are supposed to set them apart from other interconnect cables.




In single word, CT-1 is INTEGRITY. To expand, CT-1 manifests a confluence of impact, control, acoustic range and resonance.

One pair of High Fidelity CT-1 cables is exceeded only by another pair. Such is the case after replacing my last pair of Ultra Clear. Yet again, I was amazed hearing its intensifying effect along an escalating vector.

Rick’s earlier efforts have offered us snapshots of each of the aforementioned qualities; however, CT-1 collectively balances all elements and advances with presence.

I have never experienced greater impact and control of bass while realizing heightened details in every aspect of the performance.

"Blackness" between passages is exponentially more pronounced and I believe this separation enables one to pay greater attention to resonance. I was caught attempting to differentiate which type of guitar string is used, round wound, flat wound etc.; such level of detail enters uncharted territory.

I fault no one for questioning prevalent hyperbole used in describing audio products; but should one remain skeptical, I urge you to contact Rick Schultz directly for further details:

High Fidelity Cables
3941 Legacy Drive
Suite 204, B-230
Plano, Texas 75023
Tel: 1-972-312-1902

I am confident this cable will easily exceed any and all expectations – A/B comparisons are encouraged and welcomed!
'Unlimited' was my first impression. I can detect absolutely no compression. Tonality and coherence are unaltered. this cable does not play favorites. Bass is so controlled and dynamic, relaxed may be a better word. I found myself listening at much lower levels while remaining totally satisfied
with the listening experience. Levels actually were measured with a SPL meter and found to be louder, much louder than the cables I was using.
It is like there is an electronic vacuum existing within the interconnect which affects no impedance whatsoever.
The only interconnect I have ever heard that actually disappears in the audio chain. This is the interconnect to which all others will/should be compared. A true reference component.
05-December 2012

The only way of improving High Fidelity Cable’s CT-1 is by adding a second cable to compliment the first.

In my configuration, the second cable replaced an Ultra Clear connecting my pre-amp to amplifiers and only reinforced my first impressions.

To all those desiring an out of the box / ready-to-go cable, CT-1 is a veritable shoe-in. However, I am holding firm in my belief CT-1 takes 400 hrs. to fully bloom and mature. This said, one will never experience a more delightful break-in, with each listening session affording a slight improvement over the last. Often, the improvements are negligible, yet once the tipping point is reached, the “OH MY” factor begins.

As previously mentioned, immediacy of impact coupled with heightened resolution is the hallmark of this series.

Rick Schultz is re-assembling the audio puzzle with each new addition bringing us new awakenings. Indeed, this is a memorable journey!
Has anyone compared the CT-1 with Rick's new enchanced Ct-1? Or is anyone using the enhanced version?
I have backed off purchasing any expensive IC's pending the availability and audition of the balanced version, which should be available within 6 months according to Rick.
I have. Enhanced has even more detail and is a bit faster as well as being a bit quieter.
I have now had the CT-1 Ultimate ics for about a month between my CD player and preamp. The transparency and realism is amazing. They are apparently just starting to seriously break in at about 200 hours. I am hearing both a wider and deeper soundstage as well as more details than with the Enhanced version CT-1. Bass has tightened up and gotten quicker. There is an increased "ease" to the music that wasn't quite there before, as the noise floor has gotten noticeably lower. Separation/imaging,especially between voices, has also improved. I am also starting to catch low-level details I have not heard before, especially environmental cues - chairs and microphones moving, etc.
I've heard a lot of buzz around these cables, but as someone who was not a fan of Virtual Dynamics cables, let me ask a question. Does the CT-1 soundstage have the same immediacy of the Virtual Dynamics cables?

I thought the tonal qualities of the Virtual Dynamics cables were terrific, but the soundstage was much too forward for my listening tastes. I know that some folks love that immediacy of sitting in the front row, but I prefer a more mid-hall, laid back type of soundstage presentation delivered by cables like PAD, Stealth, Tara Labs, etc. So how do the CT-1's stack up in this regard?
These cables do not tune the sound like the others you mention. They simply get out of the way, so will reflect what is fed to them. Due to the very low noise floor, there is a greater level of detail that comes through, unaltered from the original recording. As the cables break in, the notes are held longer after the initial attack and the soundstage depth increases. At about 300 hours, I started to notice sounds coming from outside my speakers, which are making these big speakers pretty much disappear. For that to happen in my crazy-sized and acoustically-challenged living room is pretty extraordinary, IMO. Hope this helps answer your question. I have the Ultimate CT-1 between my CD player and Preamp. Speakers are modified VSA VR-7SE Mk2s.
Thanks Fplanner2000. How does the depth of stage compare to say a Purist Audio Design cable? Don't get me wrong, the Virtual Dynamics soundstage was very large, as high and wide as I've ever heard, it did come from well outside the speaker boxes, but it lacked depth. It was a rather flat and 2 dimensional sound stage. The cables I mentioned make my rear wall dissappear, and the stage goes way out into my driveway. LOL!

I suppose I'll just keep my eyes out for a used pair and try them for myself.
An easier, less expensive idea would be to just rent what you want to try from the Cable Company. I'm pretty sure they stock most of them. Be sure to inquire how many hours are on whichever you decide to rent.
04-11-13: Fplanner2000
An easier, less expensive idea would be to just rent what you want to try from the Cable Company. I'm pretty sure they stock most of them. Be sure to inquire how many hours are on whichever you decide to rent.

That sounds like a good idea, but I've never used The Cable Company for a couple reasons. First, I will not pay new cable prices, their used prices are high too, and secondly, being a PA resident, I get to add another 6% to the cost for sales tax in addition to shipping. Yes, I could try through The Cable Company and look to buy somewhere else if I like them, but I do not like to be disengenuous like that.

Like any hot ticket new item, eventually it will show up used on Audiogon for a decent price. I can't afford to live on the cutting edge of new technology, but I like to make notes for future reference. :)