Review: Ridge Street Audio Midnight Silver Edition Interconnect

Category: Cables

Associated Music:

Patricia Barber Companion
Count Basie 88 Basie Street
Tracy Chapman New Beginning
Golden String Audio Repertory Top 12 In Gold
Norah Jones Come Away With Me
Luther Kent Luther Kent & Trick Bag Live
Diana Krall Live In Paris
Hugh Masekela Hope
Buddy Rich Keep the Customer Satisfied
Sonny Rollins This Is What I Do
Santana Supernatural

I’m an independent audiophile and have no association with any manufacturer whatsoever. I was very content with my interconnects and speaker cables, which I purchased in March of 2002. A friend had purchased a pair of Ridge Street Audio Midnight Silver Edition Interconnects and told me I had to hear these, so he brought them over and we put them into my system. Since I need to use two pairs of interconnects in order to make sure my reference interconnects weren’t masking any sounds. I ended up with two pairs of Midnight Silver Edition interconnects and a pair of Midnight Silver Edition speaker cables for review purpose.

Before I begin the review, let me state up front that I believe interconnects and speaker cables can be system-dependent. In addition, I also think audiophiles are capable of liking different products. Just because I prefer item A and you like item B does not mean one of us is wrong. We can agree to disagree over personal choices. My review is based upon listening results from my tube system and my Solid State system.

The Midnight Silver Edition interconnects and speaker cables are fantastic sounding products. If I had not heard them for myself, I never would have believed that they could have sounded better than my reference interconnects and speaker cables that I was very happy with!

The Midnight Silver Edition are extremely fast, neutral and transparent. They don’t favor one frequency band over another, and are very coherent, allowing me to hear deep within a recording. There is a wider and more dimensional soundstage with a deep fast bass, sweeter mids and extended silky highs with a timbre to kill for. There is a very black background that reveals the detail in a very positive manner, even when listening at very quiet levels.

Construction of the Midnight Silver Edition interconnects and speaker cables is excellent.

The Midnight Silver Edition speaker cables bettered my reference speaker cables (no doubt in my mind) by a larger margin. (I heard the same improvements as mentioned above).

The interconnects that I have owned over the past four years were all good. However, the Midnight Silver Edition interconnects and speaker cables are number one to me in my audio systems. I highly recommend you give them a try if you are in the market for interconnects and/or speaker cables.

Associated gear
First Sound Presence Audio Linestage I
Wadia Transport #20
Dodson Audio Model DA-217 MK II D
Cary 2A3 Monoblocks that sit upon SP 004 Sistrum Platforms including three direct coupled Audio Points or Bel-Canto EVO 200.2 Amp
Equi=Tech 2Q Power Balancer
Abby Speakers ported, modified Voight pipe with Fostex FE 166 E speakers or Legacy Studio Speakers
Velodyne F-1200X Subwoofer with Bass Euphoria RAC interconnects
Bybee Quantum Force – single ended Interconnect Filters
Bybee Quantum speaker filters
Pure Note Epsilon Reference Speaker Cables
Pure Note Epsilon Reference Interconnects
Purist Proteus Digital Cable
Purist Proteus 20 Amp Power Cord
BMI Whale Elite MK I Power Cord
BMI Whale Elite MK II Power Cords
BMI Shark Power Cords
Absolute Power Cord (cryogenically treated)
Virtual Dynamic Power Three Cryo Power Cord
Audio Points under all componenty
Salamander Archetype 5.0 with Mega-spikes
Dedicated 20 Amp circuits with FIM #880 (cryogenically treated), Wattgate 381 (cryogenically treated), Hubbell 8300’s and 5362 (cryogenically treated) outlets.

Solid State:

Legacy High Current Amplifier 250 watts/ 8 ohms, 400 watts/ 4 ohms
Legacy High Current Preamp
Legacy Signature III Speakers (4 ohms)

Similar products
Cardas Golden Reference IC’s and SC.
Maple Shade Clearview IC’s
Silver Audio Appassionata IC's and Silver Symphony 48 SC.
Bear Lab Silver Lighting IC and SC.
Granite Audio # 470 IC
Audience Au24 IC and SC
HMS Topline IC and SC (not the brand new ones they came out with recently).
Pure Note Epsilon Reference IC’s and S/C.
Dear Lak,
Thank you for the kind words and for all your time, effort, and energy invested in this review. The weeks you spent with these cables is assuring to us that your impressions are sure and it's very gratifying to have our vision affirmed in such a thorough and concise manner. Here at Ridge Street Audio Designs, we are very excited about the future and what our products will offer audiophiles and music enthusiasts. Along with our currently available LuminEssence series line of cabling, our accessories and services, we are looking forward to the introduction of our Poiema series of cabling which I'm confident will turn more than a few ears on end. Along with that, my partner is in his own world preparing to bring to market the Sason Ltd loudspeaker in the not too distant future. With some unique and innovative proprietary applications, I believe these loudspeakers will set new standards in their category.

Again Lak, I appreciate your time and efforts to serve the audiophile community.

Best Regards,
Robert C. Schult, Proprietor/Designer
Ridge Street Audio Designs

Thanx for posting the review! Can you comment specifically on the HF's? Was one more "silky" than the other or more extended? Finally, which IC was more detailed?

The Midnight Silver Edition I/C’s & S/C’s have the best high-frequency sound of any of the I/C’s or S/C’s that I’ve ever had in my systems. The Midnight Silver Edition was smoother, and to a greater degree extended and detailed in an easy to listen to fashion!
Thanks for your review. But you didn't mention tangible body.
Are you referring to physical characteristics of sound/music or a description of the interconnects and speaker cables?

Can you compare the Bear Silver Lightning to the Ridge Street IC? Thanks.
Hi Viggen,
I thought the Bear Silver Lighting were neutral and I liked them however I learned that they did not allow my audio gear to perform to their fullest potential. Everything is more musical, transparent, and dimensional with greater bass, mids, highs and outstanding timbre. Don’t misunderstand what I’m trying to say, from the Bear Labs I felt I moved up the ladder, HMS Topline, Granite Audio #470, Pure Note Epsilon Reference, etc.
Sonic characteristics.
Poorguy, these interconnects have made my system sound realistic for the first time. Before using them it sounded like an excellent sonic illusion, with a high degree of *fun factor*.

The interconnects have no sonic characteristics per se and that's the beauty of them. What I find most characteristic of the Ridge Street Audio is that they convey the force, speed and robustness of live music (if the rest of your system is capable of).

Technically speaking, the interface between conductor and insulation is extremely tight and vibration resistant. The conductor is custom made, cryogenically treated and fused with hydraulic clamping instead of soldering.

I have been totally surprised at the way some of my old, poorly recorded salsa CD's can sound. With Mapleshade CDs it's unbelievable: everything is there. I am so impressed that I asked Robert if he could do the rewiring of my modded Technics 1200 tonearm wires and istall custom, hard wired interconnects. I heard reports of a modded 1200 outperforming a VPI TNT and an ultra modded Linn Sondek, so I figure using custom Ridge Street phono interconnects will be definitely worthwhile.

Now, I do not understand what you mean by equaling the terms "tangible body" with "sonic characteristics".
Lak asked me if my question regarding to sonic or physical attributes.
As far as I can comprehend the question you asked, I answered it in my review of the IC’s and Speaker Cables. What type of answer are you looking for? Give me an example or two and I’ll try to be more helpful!
Thanks for your kindness. I want to know if the instruments or sometimes even the players in the soundstage have tangible body with depth.
Yes, very much so!
What is there website, cant seem to locate it.
Lak just left my apartment after spending two hours doing a shootout of the cryo'ed Tice, Ridge Street and the Pure Note ICs and my military grade silver plated copper (Teflon insulated, cryo'ed and cooked), the Pure Note and the Ridge Street speaker cables.

We removed my 27" Sony WEGA from between the speakers and placed my Melos SHA-1 hybrid linestage (complete w/ its marble base, Mapleshade Triple Points, Goldmund cones and hockey pucks) on top of the TV stand. The shootout proved to be extremely productive and valuable.

I talked to Deano last night about the shootout we were going to do and the experiments I'm working on with Lak and he gave me some suggestions on this whole matter. I can say that since using the Ridge Street cables and integrating the Elgar medical grade AC regenerator with the rest of my power delivery/noise control equipment I have had a serious paradigm shift. I am looking at audio in a very different way than three or four weeks ago...

The clarity and definition brought by extremely clean, stable power and using these Ridge Street Audio ICs and speaker cable is uncanny. I some ways it is excessive when I want to play my poorly recorded salsa or alternative rock CDs. With really good recordings like the Hugh Masekela album we were using the music is live, fast and extermely realistic with a three dimensional depth that brings a great sense of intimacy and joy. The Mapleshade recordings are even better!

Throughout all this testing my Dan Wright modded Swans M1 mini monitors/ Forté 4 class A amp combo has surpassed all my expectations. They have performed as a very powerful yet graceful, perfectly matched couple: like competition ballroom dancers. Near field is the ticket to intimacy.

With psychic power and primal intensity,
I've got a pair on the way to see what all the fuss is about. I thought I was enthusiastic about pure note but I wonder about you guys. Did you guys get a deal on these or what?
Hello Sonic_genius,

No deal, Psychicanimal pick-up one pair of IC’s on auction and brought them over to my system to hear several weeks ago. After several listening sessions on my various systems, (tube, SS, digital) and his, we have come to the conclusion that we like it very much (but I don’t want to speak for him).
I still think the Pure Note Epsilon Reference are very good, unfortunately I had to put mine up for sale on Audiogon, something you don’t see much of on the used market!
Best regards...
I have to chime in here to say that these are the most realistic and balanced cables I've heard in or out of my system. I feel strongly enough about them that I need to write my own review. I hesitate to say that they are "good cables for the money", which they certainly are, lest I give the impression that while they are good, spending more will get you much better. It won't!
I look forward to reading your review! Please shoot me an email when you post it, so I can be sure I don't miss it.
I'd also be interested. I've recently just broken-in the Pure Notes and I love them. I'd especially be interested in the differences between the 2.

Three weeks ago I had never heard of Ridge Street Audio but was very interested after reading the above comments and checking out their web site. I now have had Ridge Street Audio Midnight silver's i/c's in my system for 1 week and they are every bit as good as mentioned by everyone above. In fact they are Giant Slayers. I have not compared them to numerous brands like some but they have replaced my Nordost Blue Heaven. There was no contest. These i/c's are very neutral and allows each CD cut to reveal at least 1 new intrument or vocal that was never heard before. Vocals are in a different league with these i/c's, heck everything is in a new league with these GIANT SLAYERS. If the rest of your system is up to it don't even hesitate just order the Midnight Silvers and enjoy the music.
Thanks for the great review. Have you by any chance compare these to the FMS Nexus 2? I have heard a lot of good things about these 2 cables and wondering what are their strengthes/weakness, tonality in comparison to one another?
Sorry, I have not heard the FMS Nexus 2.
My previous favorite cables, before my current Sonoran's where FMS . Ya know I forget which top of the then currrent model line FMS was offering but they where really good. Alex Gibson, Mr. FMS ,is a terrific cable designer and maybe the grand-daddy of all current designers. I suppose I'am showing my age! We all should know about our roots!!!! Alex if you can hear me THANK YOU!
You are welcome Audiotweak.
The Midnight Silver Edition IC’s and SC’s continue to sound fantastic. A highly recommended purchase.
I have now been using my 1-mtr. pair of XLR balanced MSE interconnect and a pair of 6-ft. MSE speaker cable for ~ 2 weeks with my system consisting of an audio aero capitole MKII CDP, a Krell FPB 300cx power amp. and a pair of Egglestonworks andra-to-andraII upgraded speakers. These cables sound and perform spectacularly. They are smooth, accurate, fast, tonally balanced and very musical. They compare very well with my significantly more expensive MIT 850 SC and proline ic's. These cables are simply very good and for the money an unbelievable deal.
Ridge Street Audio Designs: Midnight Silver Edition Interconnects

Purchased from Audiogon.


Purchase decision of this cable was based upon my prior experience 0f 9 months with the RSA Reference Mark II Interconnect. They worked well in my three systems in my home including my tube and Hybrid pre & power ampler and the cheaper outlaw 1050 receiver.

After using them for 9 months I feel they are a good value and very much enjoyable. The Midnight Silver Edition is one of the few cables with Eichmann silver bullets close to 300 $ price point with good reviews and opinions. This is a cable to keep long time and not the cable of month.

My other earlier purchase of their RSA Reference is neutral and it is like a copy machine without any significant additions or subtractions and it is non-fatiguing. It is also a well-made cable with Copper Eichmann Bullet Plugs. It took less than 15 hours of break in time unlike my other cables that took 250 hrs+. Silver cables, when designed right, have good tonal balance and smoothness and lack the brightness associated with silver.

I expected the Midnight Silver Edition cable to be better based on the reviews, the use of Eichmann Silver Bullet Plugs, damping, proprietary materials and treatment along with other technical stuff. It is! Not a huge difference but good enough to justify this purchase.

It is delivered after being broken in by the manufacturer but still needed about 10-12 hours more break in. There is no brightness, edginess or any “silver” sound. The Eichmann Bullet Plugs fit well after using a hair dryer.

The Midnight Silver Edition works very well in my three systems and suites my musical tastes. I only listen to music about an hour or less and mostly to voice recordings with out much of instrumental music. I also like violin (Stephen Grapeelli, L. Subramanyam and Shankar). For me, the representation of flute and of the human voice and their tonal variations are important. It does those extremely well preserving emotional impact (provided the other components can do that in the chain).

Though it is against conventional wisdom, I prefer the Midnight Silver Edition between the pre and power amplifier and the RSA Reference MkII between DAC and pre amplifier.

It sounds different and distinctive with openness and expansion without interfering with the frequency spectrum.The high frequencies are smooth, crystal clear, and well detailed without any fatigue. It is not shy in the home theater set up either. It has good low end for all action movies. In all my three systems they are enjoyable. System dependency is not a problem with what I have.

The differences are easily appreciable when compared to Home Grown Audio Silver Lace and Zu Varial interconnects from Zu cables. The Z cables are also good but more pricey.
In all I can say these cables are to keep.
Associated equipment
Van alstine fet valve pre and power amplifier.
EFE T 36 speakers
omega DAC.
Onkyo CD player.
Audio magic stealth power conditioner
Quantum electro clearpower conditioner.
V.R. Sola
I've been using my Midnight Silver Edition Cables (Interconnect & Speaker Cables) for +/-3 Weeks. They sounded great when I connected them but now they are extremely transparent and at the same time, very neutral. The Interconnect alone is very good but when you connect the Speaker Cables with it, it is a whole different ball game. These cables has to be used together to have the full benefit of them. They are still improving and at the moment they are so reveiling that if you have a weak link in your System or you are listening to a recording that has some default, you will automatically her it. Very, Very IMPRESSIVE!!! Before buying any Cables, you have to try them because they really are GIANT KILLER Cables and the prices are very low for the quality. Also, you can't lose with their 30 Day Buy Back Policy.
I will be burning in a new pair of the Midnight Silver Edition Gen.II Interconnects. I'll post a review sometime in September.
This question is actually in regard to the associated equipment you used in the review.
Is the First Sound Presence the Deluxe (current) version, or the older version from around 1996? I'm wanting to determine if I would get the same results with my First Presence, which is a Mk. I version.
Gbmcleod, My unit is an older Presence Audio Linestage I with an upgraded power supply. I would think the Midnight Silver Edition would sound very good in almost any system it was put into. I have experimented with my SS system (individual components) including (lesser expensive) a Kyocera R-861 and Yamaha RX-770 Receiver. The Midnight Silver Edition sounded very good.

I am using the Midnights Version I in my all SS system and the sound is very good indeed.