Review: Jade Audio MoonTails Interconnect
A Tale of Jade Audio’s MoonTails – THE entry-level interconnects
I’m not going to deny that I’m an avid fan of Jade Audio. It all started when I bought a pair of their Vermeil interconnects not having the slightest clue of how they sounded. I just knew I had to try them in my system. From the moment I heard the Vermeils, I realized that these were no ordinary cables. Since then I have tried the Hybrids and even the Reference Gold with the aesthetically appealing Bocchino Technology Amaranthine RCA connectors. When I asked Jade, the owner of Jade Audio, about an entry-level cable, he designed the MoonTails. Jade sent me a pair and as soon as I hooked them up and had a quick listen, I knew the MoonTails were quite special. However, they hadn’t unleashed their full potential yet. After about 70 hours of burning-in time, the MoonTails’ sound opened up further and they showed their true colours. It was like a landscape painted by Van Gogh, vivid and revitalizing. Then the real listening began.
On the title-track of Loreena McKennitt’s “The Wind That Shakes The Barley” their performance was nothing short of magical. Loreena’s voice and music have the ability to draw you into her mysterious musical journey. The air surrounding her voice and the instruments was uncanny. This might also be due to the venue where the recordings took place: in the historic 1832 Sharon Temple north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Some late-night listening to Frances Bogart White’s “Whisper Rap” literary gave me the creeps. “It’s such an eerie night” quotes Frances on one of the tracks and I couldn’t have agreed more. All those special sound-effects that pop up out of nowhere at the most unexpected moments were quite naturally portrayed. The MoonTails just let these sounds loose into the listening room and at times were quite beguiling.
On Patti Smith’s “Banga” the MoonTails performed extremely well. Often when Patti just quotes some of her poems woven into the song, her voice can get a bit lost in the mix. Not here, I could hear her voice loud and clear, almost as if it was shifted to the foreground with a great finesse. Quite impressive.
Barb Jungr’s “Chanson: The Space In Between” starts with the track “Don’t leave me now”, a translation of Jacques Brel’s “Ne me quitte pas” by fellow chansonnier Des de Moor. For once the words and their meaning are accurate. It’s not a copy of the version people know as “If you go away”, no, this translation is quite different and correct. He’s not afraid to see her go (If you go away) but instead he’s pledging his sincere love for her and begs her to stay. It’s a declaration of love. Anyway, Barb’s voice has something magical in it and the way she interprets this song, sends shivers up and down my spine every time I listen to it. “Sunday morning, St. Denis” starts with an accordion solo, then Barb sets in with a gaiety and frivolity that transcends you to the other side of romantic Paris. The MoonTails never failed me when I put on CD after CD.
Melody Gardot’s “My One And Only Thrill” sounds just extraordinary musical. Melody has a lovely, warm voice with a slightly bitter undertone in it. She brings her songs with a bit darkish but yet sophisticated finesse. I thoroughly enjoy that CD but especially the title track. Of course the MoonTails presented this with aplomb. When playing “Mira” from Melody’s “The Absence”, you simply get absorbed into the Brazilian spheres; you just let the music take you away without the slightest objection.
When trying on Katie Melua’s newest, “Secret Symphony”, the MoonTails simply amaze. This is the best CD Katie Melua has recorded to date and her voice often reminds me of Kate Bush’s. There are some really nice songs on this CD and it has become one of my favourites.
Now, are the MoonTails that perfect? Did I find any faults? Not exactly, I couldn’t find any music that the MoonTails couldn’t handle. Whether it’s jazz, blues, classical, instrumental, etc. The MoonTails just produce music. Lovely music, quite accurate, voices are clear, instruments well placed. The soundstage is huge and I daresay that their sonic signature approaches that of Jade Audio’s own high-end Reference Gold interconnects. Of course, if you compare the MoonTails to the References, the MoonTails are going to show their limitations, but are those really limitations? I don’t see it that way at all. The MoonTails are over-achievers; they perform well and can handle all kinds of music. They show you what is possible from their entry-level point of view err…. sound. They don’t leave anything out; in fact they reveal a lot more than other cables in their price range. They bettered interconnects I was using of about three times the price of the MoonTails. I prefer the MoonTails over the Vermeils and Hybrids and that might have something to do with the fact I’m using tube gear. The Hybrids can sound a little to over analytical and are thus very well suited to solid state gear. The Vermeils are a wee bit more refined than the MoonTails, but the MoonTails have musicality in spades. I do hope Jade Audio introduces the MoonTails loudspeaker cables too because imagine what the combination of interconnects and loudspeaker cables must be like…. With this, I can happily recommend the MoonTails to every audiophile out there, be it the novice, experienced or expert. My advice to you: don’t buy any other interconnects until you have tried the Jade Audio MoonTails.
Quicksilver Audio tube amplifier
Audio Synthesis Passion passive attenuator
Audio Synthesis Transcend Decade CD-transport
Audio Synthesis DAX-2 d/a convertor
TDL Chiltern loudspeakers
Jade Audio Reference Gold interconnect
MG Audio Design loudspeaker cables