Review: Placette (no name as yet) balanced Interconnect
I have a C.E.C. TL51XR CD player slaved/reclocked to a LessLoss (www.lessloss.com) DAC, which outputs to a balanced Placette passive, which feeds a pair of XLR-input-only active (triamped) ATC 50 speakers. All interconnect has been balanced LessLoss for about the past two years. These interconnects were carefully chosen after reviewing several balanced interconnects in the ~$1000/pair range borrowed from The Cable Company's lending library. All power cables are from LessLoss, and I have a Clean Power Center from Balanced Power Technology all tricked-out including all-Oyaide outlets. All cables are raised off the carpet with Cable Elevators. Vibration control is via Composite Products Carbon Fiber Isolators. All CD's have been cleaned with Shine-Ola once, and demagnetized with the Furutech RD-2 just before playing.
Guy Hammel at Placette Audio, an incredibly nice fellow, recently built a balanced passive preamp for me which just devastated my previous well-regarded preamp; so, I couldn't refuse his offer to audition a pair of his brand-new, not-yet-introduced balanced interconnect. I was not expecting much, and certainly did not expect it to defeat the LessLoss. Nevertheless, that's exactly what it did, and it was no-contest. I was shocked! [To be fair, LessLoss has since produced a new version of balanced interconnect which I have not heard. Their DAC and power cables are killer.]
I used a wide variety of music in the cable shootout: Patricia Barber-Live, a Fortnight in France; Mark Levinson-Live Recordings at Red Rose Music, volume one (SACD); 10,000 Maniacs-MTV Unplugged; Bach-6 Favorite Cantatas (L'oiseau-Lyre); Mussorgsky-Pictures at an Exhibition (RCA Living Stereo SACD); Nojima Plays Liszt (Reference Recordings); and Sonny Rollins-Saxophone Colossus (Prestige 20bit remaster). With the Placette balanced interconnect, it was as if my system was reborn. Every note appeared more "focused", with greater detail and impact. Precision and dynamics were the immediately noticeable effects. Lows were tight and defined, and the highs were clear and extended without any brightness whatsoever. Realism took a big step forward. Nojima playing Liszt and Sonny's saxophone were absolutely mind-blowing! Pictures at an Exhibition just about made me jump out of my seat with the explosive dynamics. Besides their fantastic music-making abilities, the Placette cables couldn't be more flexible and easy-to-handle. I won't divulge the price since they have not yet been formally introduced, but I will say that they represent an incredible value -- I have ordered more for my second (bedroom) system.
I have no financial interest whatsoever in Placette Audio or this review. My only interest is to make my fellow audiophiles aware of the unsolicited truth, and hope for the same in return.
CEC TL51XR CD player slaved/reclocked to LessLoss balanced DAC to Placette balanced passive preamp to (balanced-input-only) active ATC 50 speakers (triamped).
LessLoss balanced interconnect, which won out over several ~$1000/pr. balanced interconnect auditioned from The Cable Company's lending library.