Review: Pure Note Paragon Interconnect
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.
Dali Euphonia MS4
APL 3910 CD player
Placette Passive Linestage Preamp
Magnum Dynalab MD-100 tuner
Virtual Dynamics Nite II PC
Similar products tried:
-A few from AudioQuest, Straight Wire and Monster too many to name.