Review: NVA Soundcord Interconnect
Budget Esoterica Review Magazine
September 2014 bonus issue
The British master vs. The American legend
Who has the better audiophile ears, the Brits, or the Americans? Today i will be comparing two interconnects with considerable price disparity. The British NVA Soundcord , which sells for $35, versus the American Kimber PBJ , which sells for $117 retail. I chose the PBJ as a comparison due to its similar tonal balance. Indeed, the tonality is similar but not exactly the same, a trait that i will be discussing in the review.
The NVA Soundcord interconnect is sold by Nene Valley audio through their ebay website. It is an entry level interconnect that boasts multistrand silver alloy cables covered in a brown teflon jacket. These cables definitely fit into the audiophile jewelry category, as they would not be out of place wrapped around Mr. T,s neck. A very high level of fit and finish will fool your wife into thinking you just bought her a valuable necklace.
Let's go ahead and start this review with the perceived tonal differences of the two interconnects. The first question we want to ask, is , are there any deviations from tonal accuracy, or are we hearing fuller or richer harmonic balance? To answer that question i will be listening to track number three of the cd, "Radio Face", by the Bob Smith Band. When i first listened to this song , i initially thought that the Kimber PBJ had the correct tonal balance and that the presentation of the NVA interconnect may have been slightly askew, tonally. Upon repeated listening, i am surmising and perceiving that the NVA sounds a little different tonally because of its slightly richer and darker tonal balance. The differences between the two interconnects were small , but i perceived the kimber as having a very slightly more open sound which laid out the sound stage slightly better. I also felt that the kimber might be better focused and more coherent. The kimber also seemed to have better elasticity and timing skills.
The tonal similarities of the two cables were also very apparent while listening to the Kenny Dorham cd titled, "Quiet Kenny". The tonal qualities of the opening track sounded very similar, with the NVA interconnect being slightly darker. I perceived the Kimber interconnect to be very slightly smoother , and perhaps a little livelier, but the differences were very, very small. The piano presentation of the NVA interconnects could be more "businesslike" or accurate than the Kimber, but once again the perceived differences were rather minute.
I did notice the Kimber cables slight overall superiority to the NVA while listening to the Jacky terrasson and Cassandra
Wilson cd titled, "Rendezvous". On the opening track i felt that the Kimber may have been slightly cleaner and clearer. I also felt that the Kimber was the more organic sounding cable. The NVA seemed to have a slightly zingier sound that detracted from the naturalness of the music. While concentrating on the vocals, there were times when i felt the NVA cable might have a slightly richer tone with more subtle inflections.
In summation i would like to say that the NVA Soundcord and the Kimber PBJ are both very good interconnects that are more similar than different. The NVA interconnects come close enough to the Kimber's that i would consider them the
"poor man's PBJ". I also think that the critical audiophile would pick the Kimber as the slightly better cable, overall. The NVA Soundcord offers excellent value for the money and deserves a solid recommendation. March on thy British soldier!
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