Review: Mosaic Chimera Speaker cable
Mosaic Chimera Speaker Cables
I listen mainly to rock, classical and jazz music, but also some genres which are difficult (for me, anyway) to classify, such as Enya. I also use the stereo system for two channel home theater. The most important aspects of the sound for me are, in order, accurate tonality and timbre, detail, smoothness (but without being rolled off or even having a hint of muddiness), bass control, and soundstage reproduction.
The Mosaic Chimera speaker cables have been in my system for several months now. They replace another excellent set of cables, the Mas Signature Hybrid Reference speaker cables. The most noticeable change in the sound was the increased retrieval of musical details without any added harshness.
I was already ecstatic with the sound of my system and had no reason whatsoever to contemplate any upgrades. Still……the Intuitive Design Summits were (and still are) SO stellar that it made me wonder what else their designer might have up his sleeve. Thus I decided to violate a rule and “fix” something that wasn’t even close to being broken. There was no "reviewer's discount" to disclose. I paid full retail ($2195 for my set, which are something like 10 or 12 feet long, as I recall) for a pair of Mosaic (brand) Chimera (model) speaker cables. I did this in spite of the fact that I was quite pleased with the speaker cables I already owned, the highly excellent Mas Signature Hybrid Reference cables from Audioparts. I liked those enough that I reviewed them on Audiogon a while back. However, the Chimeras are even better (and, to be fair, considerably more expensive). If money were no object, I'd still own these, unless the designer came out with something even better later.
As stated, the most remarkable difference is the substantially increased retrieval of musical detail without any loss of smoothness. This was strikingly obvious after having the Mosaic Chimeras in the system for a while, and then removing them to compare with the Mas. Switching back and forth the difference was immediate, unequivocal and substantial. And yet the Mas Signatures are excellent cables (and an absolutely killer value). Keep in mind that it was the Mas Signatures that were in the system when I wrote the wildly positive (but nevertheless absolutely true) Summit review. I believe that the reason it wasn’t more obvious at first is because the Chimeras bring out all this “extra” detail WITHOUT SOUNDING HARSH OR GRAINY, i.e., they are musical and natural. That seems to be a tough combination for any hifi component to achieve, yet the Chimeras pull this trick off wonderfully. This "smoothness but with amazing detail" thing must be something that Dale Pitcher strives for in his products, because it’s also true of the Summits. The Chimeras manage to accentuate this unusual combination of strengths even further. In my system, it’s not so much that they add smoothness. Instead, they retrieve a lot more detail without being harsh or strident. They seem to have inherently more overall resolution, rather than boom or sizzle. It’s not like turning up the contrast knob on a television to give the illusion of a better picture. These cables provide a TRULY better sonic “picture.”
To give you an idea, the detail through the mains is on a par with that of my Stax electrostatic earspeaker system. That system consists of the SRM T1 tube energizer and two pairs of earspeakers. One of them is the original Lambda Pro Signature version and the other is a pair that WERE Lambda Pro Signatures, but have been modified (by Yamasinc) with the new 404 diaphragms. It is roughly at the level of their current second from the top unit. The person who sold to me the Stax system listened at my house one day and he thought that the Summits and Chimeras brought out even MORE detail than the Stax. I don’t know if I’d go that far (and I don’t plan to do a bunch of A-B testing between the speakers and the headphones to find out either), but I certainly think that it’s significant that the mains can rival a set of Stax for detail. Furthermore the mains' OVERALL sound is considerably better to my ears.
The Mosaic Chimeras made the “Stereo Times 2007 Most Wanted Components Award” under “Accessories.” Stereo Times contributor Kee Kim states that they “utilize nano-tube carbon elements in the modules at the speaker termination. The manufacturer does this to (among other things) provide for improved electron symmetry at the termination. The Mosaic Chimera cables had a natural, open, airy sound and an ability to draw you into the music.”
Note: The Chimeras do require a breaking in period before they sound their best. Out of the box they can sound thin and unimpressive. However, once they break in, it’s a totally different story.
-Onkyo Integra DPC 8.5 universal player.
-Dodson 217 Mark II D digital to analog converter with 218-like upgrade
and aftermarket cryo treatment.
-Odyssey Extreme Tempest preamplifier.
-A Parasound R/EQ 150 has been modified so that it can be in the signal
path but emulate a hard wire connection when set on bypass, which it
-Odyssey Extreme Monoblock amplifiers.
-Rel Storm III sub-bass unit.
2. Interconnects and speaker cables:
-Groneberg Digital Reference interconnect from cd player to DAC.
-Audioquest Python interconnects from DAC to Preamp.
-All other interconnects are Audioparts mas Signature, cryo treated
-Speaker cables are Mosaic (brand) Chimeras (model), made by Dale Pitcher.
-Cable to the Rel Storm 3 is Signal Cable (brand) speakon/neutrik type
3. Power cords, etc.
-Dedicated circuit with two pairs of Porter Ports 20 amp outlets in a
-Two adjacent outlet doublets have also been replaced with Porter Ports 20
amp outlets, but these are on the household circuit, separate from the
dedicated circuit of the 4-plex.
-Groneberg Reference Power Cords for Osyssey Stratos Extreme monoblocks,
plugged directly into the Porter Ports of the 4-plex with dedicated circuit.
-Groneberg Reference power cord for Odyssey Tempest Extreme Preamp.
-Some higher end Transparent Reference cord for the Dodson 217 Mark II D
-Shunyata Hydra, original version, with white outlets. This has most if
not all of the front end components plugged into it, and it is plugged in
to one of the other two Porter Ports outlets that is not on the dedicated
circuit with the 4-plex.
-Rel is plugged with a "regular" power cord directly into the wall, into
the other Porter Port duplex that is also not on the dedicated circuit that the
4-plex is on.
-The Onkyo universal player sits on a Sistrum platform by StarSound Technologies .
-The DAC, the preamplifier, both monoblocks and the Hydra sit on
Audiopoints by StarSound Technologies, and the points sit on the matching discs.
-Stillpoints with inverse risers support both speakers and both stands,
with the whole assembly sitting on huge granite surface plates (I got the
75 pound plates for about 130-something dollars, including shipping, on
-First generation Dakiom Feedback Stabilizers are put on the back of the
CD player, the DAC and inside of the Rel, spliced into its amp.
-Second generation Dakiom Feedback Stabilizers are on the back of the
preamp and the back of both amps.
Mas Signature Hybrid Reference cables, Canare cables.