Review: Lessloss Tunnelbridge Interconnect System Interconnect

Category: Cables

This is a follow-up to my review of the Lessloss Tunnelbridge - First Impressions - review on 12-16-10. I received the final production version of the Lessloss Tunnelbridge Distortionless Interconnect System a week ago and was anxious to compare it with what I remember from the prototype. I was immediately struck by the amazing presence of the instruments and/or singers on a sound stage that filled the entire front of the room. The background was dead silent and separation was outstanding. I knew I needed to let it break in for a week so I put on my break in CD and waited. After a about 160 hours I listened again. Oh My Goodness!!!!! To back track, I had compared the prototype to my Nordost Odin interconnects. I had since sold the Odins and was using my old Nordost Valhalla interconnects. The Tunnelbridge completely blows the Valhallas away, and from my memory of the Odins, they come up short as well compared to the Tunnelbridge. The sound stage is more true and better developed, and the clarity and purity of the sound is wonderful. It is so natural sounding. The electronic edge I have been living with for so long is greatly diminished. The separation of vocals and instruments even in complex pieces is wonderful. There is such space in the listening experience. The dynamic nuances and subtleties of the singers and musicians is amazing. I can hear the breath around the words and sense the performer's presence almost as if they are in the room. The purity of the sound is maintained from base to treble with little if any distortion on the extreme ends. I truly become a part of the performance. I have listened to a wide range of music (symphonies, quartets, chorus, jazz, blues, pop, rock, metal, gospel, all kinds of vocals from many different labels) and the results are the same no matter what I'm listening to. I find myself moving to the music constantly and frequently get goose bumps. If you have an extra Lessloss Blackbody, I would recommend using it on the Tunnelbridge power supply. It takes the experience to a whole new wonderful level. I also recommend using a Lessloss DFPC Signature power cable with the Tunnelbridge power supply. It definitely makes a difference. A stock power cord will deteriorate the sound stage and return that unwanted electronic edge to the sound. In my final evaluation I would recommend the Tunnelbridge over the Nordost Odin interconnects without reservation.

Associated gear
Wilson WATT/Puppy Model 5 speakers, Jeff Rowland Model 6 mono-block amps, CEC 51x CD Transport, Lessloss DAC 2004 Mkll, Nordost Titanium Sort Kones, Nordost Valhalla speaker cables, Lessloss DFPC Signature power cables, Lessloss Firewall power conditioner, Lessloss Blackbody field conditioner

Similar products
Nordost Odin interconnects
Nordost Valhalla interconnects

I JUST ordered and paid Louis for the Tunnelbridge system using the XLR i/c's & DFPC Signature power cord to connect PSU to my dedicated outlet/circuit.

My ? to you is the Blackbody. WHERE do you place it near PSU & WHAT the hell does this "magic" box do to improve the sound & is it worth its price ?

Tom - NJ
Hi Tom,
Congratulations on your purchase. I'm sure you will be more than pleased with what you hear. It will take quite a few hours for it to settle in. You'll notice improved sound immediately, but it will mature over the next 200 hours or more. As far as the Blackbody, I think Louis does a great job of describing the effect on his website. I describe it as a passive field conditioner that reduces the electromagnetic radiation generated by the electricity passing through the circuitry of your stereo components. Since electricity passes through all the components, from power conditioners to the speakers they all experience the distortion cause by this problem. I have a Blackbody pointed at every component I own including the PSU of the Tunnelbridge. In my experience, you will notice a difference every time you add a Blackbody to your system, but I wouldn't add more than one Blackbody per component. There seems to be a point of diminishing return when adding too many. I have a Blackbody placed about 8 inches from the PSU pointing North. Although I try to point the Blackbody North, some components don't readily allow me to do so. For example, I have 2 Blackbodies pointing at the crossover circuitry at the back of my woofer and mid/tweeter of my speakers which face South. The North direction gives the best results, but you will still hear a reduced digital/electronic sound so prevalent in solid state equipment. I currently have 12 Blackbodies in my system. I have also noted that you don't hear as dramatic an effect in the sound of you system when mixing other power cords, interconnects or speaker cables. The addition of a Firewall will also make a big difference. I also can't understate how important vibration stabilization is to you system. I have not found a better product than the Nordost Sort Kones for this purpose. I don't like their power cords or cables as much since I compared the LessLoss products to them, but I can't recommend their Titanium Sort Kones more highly. I hope this helps you make a decision on your next move.
I saw this thread and decided to add to it. I recently obtained two pairs of Tunnelbridge ICs for evaluation. I tried them in three different configurations. The following is a brief summary, which I hope to supplement as time goes on.

I first installed one pair of Tunnelbridge interconnects between my DAC and my digital room correction device (I don't use a preamp). The Tunnelbridge ICs replaced the Tara Labs Zero Golds, my reference interconnect. The differences were immediately evident even though I deliberately avoided any serious listening. The first was an improvement in bass response (really). The second was a change in the perspective of the soundstage. Finally, the character of vocals changed, and initially in a way I wasn't sure I liked. I let the cables break in for 24 hours before my first listening session.

After 24 hours I sat for my first listen. First, the terrific bass response that I heard initially remained. I made a point of playing a variety of music with significant bass content, both electronic and acoustic, staccato percussive and "grindingly grungy". The result was definitely the best replication of bass I've achieved in my system. Second, the change in soundstage was now clear. The perspective had moved from the 15th row to the 10th row, and the performers became a bit larger (by which I mean closer to life-size). Third, the sound of vocals remained a bit perplexing, but had changed in a way that made me able to better identify what seemed out of kilter. The clarity and accuracy of instruments was generally as good as the incredible Tara Zero Golds. However, the voices in the same frequency sounded different from what I've been used to. They were not bad - they just didn't sound quite like real life. It was as though they were inserted by way of a separate track after the instruments were recorded and the engineer had not yet made the necessary adjustments to fully integrate the vocal and instrumental tracks. I decided to let things play for another 24 hours and listen again the next day. I’m glad I did.

When I resumed the next evening, the bass and soundstaging remained the same, but the vocals had changed dramatically, sounding much more natural. The significant improvement over the second 24 hours led me to conclude it was a break-in issue, so I decided to insert the second pair of Tunnelbridge ICs. I biamp with two pairs of Electrocompaniet monoblocks, and Electrocompaniet makes those amps with both imputs and outputs, so you can biamp by daisy-chaining them. Consequently, the second pair of Tunnelbridge ICs were substituted for the Silent Source Music Reference ICs I use between the bass and mid/treble monoblocks. I worried that this configuration would accentuate the disconnected vocals I had heard when I inserted the first pair of Tunnelbridges. To my very pleasant surprise, not only did the vocals become completely integrated with the musical instruments, but upper bass response improved significantly.

I loved the sound and left this configuration in for a week, but couldn't help thinking that I have two of the best interconnects money can buy (the Silent Source Music Reference and the Tara Labs Zero Golds) and I should figure out how to incorporate them. The problem is that I need a 4 meter run from room correction to my amps, and I use Silent Source Silver Signatures for that connection. Though it was not an ideal configuration to test the Tunnelbridge system, I decided to "creatively" incorporate the Tara Zero Golds and Silent Source Music Reference ICs into the system. I reconnected the Silent Source Music Reference to the outputs of my RP-1 digital room correction device to get halfway to my bass amp, then connected the Tunnelbridge ICs to the Silent Source IC's source end to get to my bass amp. The Tara Labs Zero Gold was then inserted between the bass amp and mid/treble amp. The result exceeded my expectations. The bass performance was even better than before, the level of detailed nuance was astonishing, performers became totally lifesize, and all of it was suffused with a very organic, natural-sounding presentation.

I recognize that this last cable configuration probably masks some characteristics of the Tunnelbridge that need to be evaluated separately, so I plan to do some testing in another system so that I can do some additional comparisons with other high-end interconnects. I'll try to post my impressions after I get done.
I'm finally updating my 10-1-11 comment on the Lessloss Tunnelbridge interconnects. This won't be a full "review", but I will hit the highlights.

I've now been living with at least a pair of them in my main system for 2 months, and I've also used them with multiple components. Specifically, I've now used them with the Lessloss DAC 2004, the MBL 1611 DAC and the Lindemann 825 CD Player/DAC. All those connections went either directly to a Lyngdorf RP-1 room correction device, or to a Pass XP-20 or XP-30 preamp and then to the Lyngdorf. I also used the Tunnelbridge ICs between the Lyngdorf and Electrocompaniet Nemo and Nada amps, as well as between the amps themselves (I biamp, and the Nemo and Nada each have outputs as well as inputs). My comparison ICs were the following: Tara Labs Zero Gold (my reference interconnect), Aural Symphonics Chrono, Silent Source Music Reference, and Silent Source Silver Signature.

My initial impression when I first connected the Tunnelbridges 3 months ago was repeatedly confirmed over the next two months - this is the best cable for reproduction of bass that I've heard. It has an excellent balance between extension, definition, weight and dynamics. In fact, owners of bass-deficient systems that have been tweaked for "extra" bass will likely find that those tweaks are no longer necessary. The only comparison IC that matched the excellence of the Tunnelbridge was the Tara Labs Zero Gold. Its bass was slightly more rounded than the Tunnelbridge bass, but otherwise the they were quite close.The Tunnelbridge isn't cheap ($2500 for a 1.5 meter pair and $2600 for the power supply, though you only need one power supply for 4 stereo pairs of Tunnelbridges), but it's still 1/3 the price of the comparable Tara Labs Omega Gold.

The initial concern I had about vocals disappeared over the course of four weeks. Everything else about the Tunnelbridge sounded excellent right out of the box, but vocals took the full four weeks to match everything else. The majority of the improvement to vocals took place in the first 72 hours or play time, where the vocals became increasingly more natural. However, the vocals remained relatively forward, making them feel less integrated with the instruments than with the other cables. This gradually disappeared over the next three weeks, after which the vocals were correctly integrated with all of the instruments. I found this to be a fascinating phenomenon, different than break-in of other cables I've reviewed. In those cases the entire musical spectrum took time to settle in correctly. With the Tunnelbridge it was only the integration of vocals with instruments that took time. Go figure. Your mileage may vary.

Overall the Tunnelbridge is very uncolored and is extremely quiet - as quiet as the Tara Labs Zero Gold (which is saying a lot). This is presumably due to the power module's effect, much as the Tara's is due in part to the effect of its grounding station. None of the other cables I compared use a separate station to deliver a quiet background, and both the Lessloss Tunnelbridge and the Tara Zero Gold stood out from the rest in their ability to deliver low-level detail. I would have to say that the Tara was more nuanced, but I don't know if I would have noticed it at all if I was not making conscious direct comparisons.

Though I tried many configurations, the greatest bang for the buck with a single cable came from installing the Tunnelbridge between the DAC/CD player and the preamp or room correction device. this was also the case with the Tara, but less so with the other ICs that I compared.

Again, not cheap by a long shot, but a very good value that competes well with the upper $$ echelons of high end cables.