Review: Pure Note Paragon Interconnect

Category: Cables

PURE NOTE Paragon Interconnects

After auditioning Pure Note Cables a few years back, I felt that I had found the right path to the cables of my taste. Happiness is finding the right cable as someone once said. Upgrading last year from the Epsilon REF v.4 to the Ceruleans, I couldn’t be more pleased, but I wanted to try the Paragon I/Cs figuring I had nothing to lose with the 30-day policy and the 50% off sale.

Build quality of the Paragon is top notch, though a little stiffer than I would like. They remind me a bit of the Cardas Golden Cross cables. Not sure about the purple color but I like the Cardas connectors. They provide a tight and secure fit. Introductory price is $375 for a 1M RCA.

My choice of music is mainly Brazilian, Jazz and I also like Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Pink Floyd and a few movie soundtracks. Listening is strictly 2ch for me. When not listening to CDs, I have my tuner locked in on WBGO 88.3 FM (great late night jazz from across the river in Newark, NJ).

My Cerulean cables were broken-in, but right out of the box most apparent was the MUCH darker background of the Paragon. The darker background is MOST important to me because this allowed for better detail, hearing deeper into the recording. Every instrument in the soundstage becomes more focused, more so in it’s own space. Midrange becomes more liquid. When I listen to track 10(Mississippi) of Train’s “Drops of Jupiter”, I can distinctly feel/hear the lead singer a foot behind the bass player. I can hear someone whistling along with Jason Mraz on track 9(After an Afternoon) of his live CD. Inserting back the Cerulean, it was all there, now that I know what to listen for, but I wasn’t consciously aware of it before the Paragon. As much as I like Dave Matthews, his voice can sound a bit like fingernails on the blackboard with the wrong cables, definitely not so with the Paragon. Distinctly still his voice but more natural and relaxed, not edgy or harsh. The Paragons have nice body and weight across the board, but I did not confuse it with warmth. They are very neutral. Pure Note recommends at least 200 hrs of break-in before critical listening and the Paragon goes thru the usual expected process, bass tightening, voices becoming more relaxed, etc. although these changes weren’t as much a night and day difference as was the darker background. I’d say that 100 hrs and you’re 95% there. PRaT is excellent and consistent from the beginning.

I’d have to take into consideration that about 2 months ago, I bought an APL CD player. Maybe this excellent player has a lot to do with the better experience, but I’ve spent much longer time with the Ceruleans. Cables being system-dependant, one can easily be happy the Cerulean cables in their system as I was, but IMO Tom Swenson of PN has really got something special here with the Paragon cables. The Paragons, for me have made listening just that much better in MY system. At the very least, especially during the sale, they demand an audition before spending mega $$$ for ultra high-end cables. They might surprise you.

Associated gears:
Dali Euphonia MS4
APL 3910 CD player
Placette Passive Linestage Preamp
SimAudio Titan
Magnum Dynalab MD-100 tuner
Virtual Dynamics Nite II PC
Audience PC
Various tweaks

Similar products tried:
-Acoustic Zen
-Analysis Plus
-Harmonic Tech
-Virtual Dynamics
-A few from AudioQuest, Straight Wire and Monster too many to name.
Very interesting, thanks for taking the time to write up the well thought out review.
Best regards…
I have also been a long time Pure Note customer and have owned their Signature-Cerulean cables. I am really satisfied with the Ceruleans, they do everything well, not a typical etched silver cable. Eventually I will have to upgrade to the Paragons.
Jose, you listed other brands you tried but not the models within those lines, would you care to share what they were?

The I/Cs were:
Acoustic Zen: Silver Ref II, Matrix II
Audience: AU24
Analysis Plus: Oval 9 (I think)
Cardas: Golden Cross
Harmonic Tech: Pro-Silway II
Stealth: PGS, M7,CWS
Virtual Dynamics: Audition
AudioQuest: Coral, Python
Boy, I guess I had a lot of time in my hands back then.

I was to keep the AZ Silver Ref II and the Stealth M7s in my system at the time, but I wanted to try the Epsilon REFs.
That's quite a line up Jose. Was your system the same for all the cables you tried, besides the aforementioned CDP change? Any you wish you had back?

Yes, my system was the same. I still had previous combo of transport/DAC with Cerulean cables.
No, to the second question.

Thanks Jose, the additional info is helpful.
I finally got a set of the Paragon RCA and agree with Jose21 that these are very good cables especially for the money. I have spent many thousands of dollars on the mega-brands only to be disappointed. There are many cables to choose from but most are lacking in the sonic truth.

The Paragons are ultra-smooth and quiet, very liquid in the mids and highs and a good step up from Pure Note's Cerulean. Very professionally constructed, on the order of Siltech (my ref). I highly recommend these cables especially if you are planning to outfit your entire system and not break the bank.
So do they lean more towards the musical ala wireworld eclipse, or the smooth but slightly less bloomed ala harmonic tech magic links?


Thanks for the reco, I ordered some today. I will let oyu know.