Review: Mosaic Chimera Speaker cable

Category: Cables

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.

Associated gear
1. Electronics:

-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
usually is.

-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
aftermarket cable.

3. Power cords, etc.

-Dedicated circuit with two pairs of Porter Ports 20 amp outlets in a
4-plex configuration.

-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.

4. Tweaks:

-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.

Similar products
Mas Signature Hybrid Reference cables, Canare cables.
Thanks for the review. I have pairs of the Intuitive Design Mosaic Chimera carbon nanotube interconnect cables between my turntable and phono stage, between the phono stage and preamp, and preamp to power amp. I also have Chimera speaker cables and Reference Chimera power cords powering my preamp, amp, phono stage, and PS Audio Power Plant. With each successive addition of these cords I was absolutely floored at how much better my system sounded in every way: bass, dynamic range, soundstaging, detail, you name it. It was like a major component change each time I added a cable to my system. And they replaced some VERY expensive NBS Black Label cables. I took a major economic bath when I subsequently sold the NBS but there was no way of going back to conventional cables once I heard the Chimeras. And I have tried a lot of conventional cables in my system. In my opinion the carbon nanotube cables are revolutionary and the way of the future.
I concur with Mr. Hoovers review. I also use Chimera Ic's and speaker cables (not the power cords) and my system's resolution, dynamics, and musicality were all enhanced by their use. Their is a tremendous ease to the sound marked by liquidity as well as an increased bandwidth (I believe their lack of distortion lowers the noise floor even further). Micro as well as Macro Dynamics have a "you are there" quality to them. Notes "float" in space with such natural decay and lifelike quality. All I can say is "BRAVO" to Mr. Pitcher-This is a "tour de Force product" and the "reference" in my system and over the last 40 years I have heard alot of 'em
I have had Essence 10As, which are Dale Pitcher's speakers, for almost 13 years. They were updated about 3 years ago. I purchased 2 pairs of Intuitive Design Chimera speaker cables also. The 10As are biwired with them. Out of the box it is not good, which I expected. But surprisingly only after about 30 minutes it was getting pretty good. Now over 100 hours they are in a league of their own. Rlawry, you mentioned soundstaging. That is the most noticeable improvement. The stage is not wider or deeper, it is more evident. The integrety of the stage is clearly defined. The instruments and vocals have more energy without being in your face and yet have a natural ambience and decay. The micro dynamics, the subtle stuff can be heard more easily not because it is louder but because the cable is so much quieter. The words being sung can be understood more easily. Just like Mdhoover I am hesitant to make changes but am glad I made this one.
Thanks for the responses so far. It sounds like you guys are some "heavy hitters" when it comes to audio in general, and cables in particular.


It's pretty impressive that someone would switch out NBS Black Labels for Chimeras. What all did you switch out, and how much were the comparative prices? Do you have his power cords? What's the rest of your system like?

Powder and Saygrr,

Did you go through a lot of different cable brands before settling on what you have now? What are your systems like?

MR. MD Hoover... Cablng to (my Knowledge) was not much of an issue 'Til the early '80's. (I remember purchasing Distech and FMS IC's at around $85.00/meter at that time and they were at the top of the "A" list. I have personally been thru many IC and speaker updates---(AND THEY HAVE ALL BEEN UPGRADES) over these years! I replaced Nordost Valhallas with Dale Pitchers "Orion" cables in 2004 (because they were better in "MY" system). From there I graduated to the Mobius/Mosaic line of cabling--and they are STAGGERING---"In their ability to convey music on an "EMOTIONAL level".
I was amazed that the Chimeras were so much better than NBS Black Label cables. I had a pair of 8 ft fire-hose sized BL speaker cables, retail $20K, and 3 pairs of 4 ft BL interconnects, retail $10K each. I also had some other top-of-the-line NBS interconnects and some Monitor 0 and Statement power cords that ran $3K each. So now I have all Chimera power cords, interconnects, and speaker cables. The rest of my system is Essence power amps, CAT SL-1 Ultimate Mark 2 preamp (I also have an Essence Jasper Reference preamp being modified by Dale Pitcher), Aesthetix Rhea Phono Stage, Wilson Watt/Puppy 7 speakers, REL Storm III subwoofer, SME 20/2 turntable, Graham Phantom Tonearm, Audioquest AQ7000Fe5 cartridge. I also have some digital front end equipment, but who cares?
The speaker cables I had before the Chimeras were MIT 750MH and DH Labs Q-10. I prefered the DH Labs over the MIT even though the MIT is much more expensive. The Chimeras are much better than either cable. I like Rlawry comment about digital. I agree. My source is Benz H2O cartridge, Morch DP-6 arm, Oracle Alexandria table, ARC PH-3SE phono stage, ARC LS-12 line stage, McCormack DNA-1 mono block amps modded by SMC to the Platinum level. ICs are Audio metalurgy GA-Os and BEL.The components have there own room and the listening room is dedicated also. Very nice system Rlawry. Anyone going to RMAF in October?
I am aiming to attend RMAF, hopefully, if business doesn't get in the way. It sounds like a good place to hear a lot of equipment without the crowds of The Home Entertainment and CES.
OK, you guys have inspired me, and now we (my wife and I) have tickets to Denver for the RMAF. See you there. It should be fun.
This review peaked my curiosity and I went ahead and contacted Dale to try out the speaker cables. In the process Dale also sent me 2 pairs of ICs and 2 PCs (one high current and one low current). I'm using all cables except the low current PC in my system right now. I started with just the speaker cables and while I was impressed with the sonic improvement, the cumulative effect and overall improvement associated with adding the 2 pairs of ICs was much more pronounced. Adding the high current PC was a more subtle improvement at first, but it appears the cable is adding more to the mix as it settles in.

Just for reference I use a variety of cables including Stealth, Gabriel Gold, Oyaide, CRL (FIM), and Ridge Street.
Do you plan to keep the cables, or haven't you had enough time to audition them?
I am still auditioning and will probably make a decision in a couple of weeks. I do like what I hear so far, but I need to do more A/Bing against a few other cable combinations.

Also, I neglected in my last post to indicate I also use Purist Audio cables.
As mentioned in rlawry's review/post I kept the Chimera speaker cables and two pairs of the Chimera ICs.
Four years have passed, are Dale's interconnect and speaker cables in your systems, or have you by chance found anything even better? If so, what?
Wow Sufur, sorry I missed your question until now! Yes, the Chimeras are still in the system and I haven't even considered changing them. I've also added one set of an earlier generation of Dale's interconnects to the system [in place of one of the sets of Audioparts mas Signature, cryo treated interconnects] since writing this review.