Review: Kaplan Cable GS Mk.II Speaker cable

Category: Cables

Kaplan Cables (

GS Mk. II Speaker Cables

GS Mk. II Analog Interconnects (RCA)

HE II Power Cords

I have listened to a lot of various speaker cables, interconnects and power cords over the last several years including the following:

Power Cords: VH Audio Flavor 4 & Airsine, Black Sand Z I & Z II, Pranawire Kensho, Kimber PK 10 Palladian, and various others by Shunyata, Virtual Dynamics, Synergistic Research, Purist, Pangea, TWL (original).

Interconnects: XLO Ltd., Nordost Valhalla, Kubala-Sosna Expression & Emotion, Jena Labs Symphony, VH Audio Spectrum Cu and various others by Cardas, Siltech, Synergistic Research, Purist, Harmonic Technology, Morrow, Bogdan, Gabriel Gold, Moon Audio.

Speaker Cables: Nordost Valhalla & Blue Heaven, Synergistic Research Alpha Quad & Tesla, Jena Labs Twin 11 & 15, Ridge St. Audio Alethius (Cu & Ag), Kubala-Sosna Expression, Audience AU24, Purist Musaeus, Kimber 12TC & Monocle, Shunyata Gemini, Acoustic Zen Satori and various others by Pranawire, Tara Labs, Straightwire, Stereovox, Chimera Labs, Nagys, Nirvana, Analysis Plus.

Obviously not all of the cables were listened to with the same equipment or at the same time. However, my speakers have remained constant for the last several years and my amps & pre-amps have always been tube models. Front end has usually been a tube CD player or DAC. I have had a good number of other pre-amps and amps in my system besides what I have owned and some of the latter have been solid state (mostly Class A). I should note that all of those pre and amp combinations have been more expensive than what I own now but the Rogue integrated - running KT120s - compares favorably with them all.

My current system consists of an APC power conditioner (via a Pangea AC9) supplying a Mac Mini (8GB RAM, running Pure Music), a LaCie 3 TB external hard drive and an AR-T Legato Asynchronus USB-SPDIF converter (via a TWL 10). Other cables are a db Labs Essential USB and Purist Audio Aqueous Aureus Praesto Digital (BNC-BNC).

The DAC is a heavily modded Eastern Electric Minimax. The amp is a Rogue Cronus Magnum with NOS signal tubes and KT120s. These have the HE II PCs. Speakers are Aural Acoustics Model Bs (3 way, time and phase coherent) and a pair of Paradigm PDR100 subwoofers. The subwoofers are a recent addition but I had the Kaplan Cables before the acquisition and have listened extensively both before and after.

Room is 12 x 18 x 8 and treatments are Echobusters Corner Bass Traps and GIK 242 and 244 Acoustic Panels. Rack is a Salamander Synergy.

I listen to classical (all forms), folk/roots, jazz, rock and world music. Some of the albums used were: Junjo - Esperanza Spaulding; Traversata - David Grisman, et. al.; Bebel Gilberto - Bebel Gilberto; Bare Bones - Madeline Peyroux; Live At Blues Alley - Eva Cassidy; Further In - Greg Brown; Luna Live! - Luna; Funeral For A Friend - Dirty Dozen Brass Band; Beethoven String Qts. - Tokyo Qt.; Haydn String Qts. - Qt. Festetics; Bruckner Sym. #4 - Bohm, VPO; Schubert Trout Qnt. - Campanella, et. al.; Bach Goldberg Variations - Bruno Canino; Brahms German Requiem - Klemperer, Philharmonia.

Kaplan Cables are of all copper stranded construction, hand built with high quality terminations (Furutech, Vampire, etc.). The spades on the speaker cables are cold forged welded (bananas are available as well). The terminations on the power cables are un-plated copper. The speaker and power cables are a bit stiff but easily workable. The ICs are very flexible and are available in RCA or XLR. The coverings on all are black.

The first and most noticeable thing about these cables is their extremely accurate and natural tonality and harmonics. These are the most important qualities of any piece of gear to me. The fullness of harmonics do not entail any slowness or muddiness in the music, however. The PRAT is natural and the frequency response is even across the spectrum. These cables do not call attention to themselves in any way.

Simultaneously, there is a high degree of resolution to these wires: they bring out low level ambience cues and inner lines beautifully, producing both a very deep, wide and tall soundstage and great image separation, that in total, convey distinct and realistic layers of sound. The cliche about hearing things one never heard before applies in spades. And finally, macro and micro dynamics are both pronounced but balanced between them, conveying an easeful flow.

In sum the overall impression is one of great musicality. I have not yet been able to identify any weakness in these cables and they're the best I've heard. I bought all of the above (the speaker cables were demos).

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Thanks for the review, I've been curious about these.
I concur. I too bought their speaker cables as I thought they were the best I'd heard. Although I'm not too sure that the I/C's are as atandout as the speaker cable and the power cords. My search for I'Cs continues and I'm narrowing in on the siltech. any opinions will be appreacited.
How do the Kaplans compare to the Jena's Symphony?
How would you describe their soundstaging capabilities? Would you say they present a more immediate image, or a more laid back, deeper soundstage?
Sorry for the delay in responding; I was in the middle of an interstate move.

I found the Kaplans to be more resolving, tonally accurate and three dimensional than the Symphonys.

The Kaplans throw a very large soundstage that is wide, deep and tall. In my experience the last quality (a tall soundstage) is unusual. In my system, they were neither forward nor recessed: just balanced.