I think that most of us here on Audiogon have found more than one item or piece of equipment that has made us sit up and go "Wow!". While it's great to experience that feeling, there's another reaction that I like even more. It's when you're swallowed up with emotion and just melt in your chair, bathed in the feeling that you've arrived in sonic heaven.
I believe that anyone who's been on Audiogon for a good length of time have certain people that they follow. I definitely do, I follow them as they go through their equipment upgrades and I read with special attention their advice in the discussion forum. Some of the many people I follow are Roger (Irish65), Robert (Strapper211), Dave (Calloway), ? (Teajay), John ( Jmcgrogan2) and John (Jafox). Others are Peter Israelson (formerly of StarSound), John Pharo (The Cable Company), Lloyd Walker and Roy Gregory (HiFi+).
I've received a number of personal emails myself from fellow Audiogoners asking for my thoughts on certain items. I'm glad to have experiences and opinions, and I'm happy to share them them freely.
I'm 55 years old and I've played music since grade school. I've been into music since 1965, when I first heard "The House Of The Rising Sun" on the car radio. I've been an audiophile since the late sixties when I went to visit my cousins and my uncle had an AR turntable, Fisher tube receiver and Empire speakers. I started buying stereo equipment in 1972 when I went away to college. Since 1972, as you can imagine, I've been through a lot of equipment and learned a lot of lessons upon the upgrade path.
One of the things I've come across is that there seems to be one of two primary ways that we listen to music. First, there is the way that I listen, the term normally used is transparency. I want to hear what each instrument is doing. I'm used to breaking songs apart instrument by instrument as if I'm trying to learn the song. I want to hear how all of the parts fit together into the song. The second way seems to be where someone simply wants to enjoy the music for the pleasure it brings as a whole. The term normally used for this is musicality.
I didn't think that the two could merge into one until last night when I replaced the Silent Source Signature power cord on my Wadia 581se CD Player with a Silent Source Music Reference power cord.
I originally chose the Silent Source Signature power cords because of the way that I listen to music. Being one who desires tranparency, the key to my quest seems to be finding cables that are considered as neutral as possible and as quiet as possible. As Roy Gregory (HiFi+) is saying over and over lately, the cleaner the signal and the quieter the background, the more dynamic the music, given your amp's headroom, as well as the more micro bits that you'll hear and the more real the music will seem. In addition to this, the more neutral the cables, the more revealing your system will be in regards to showing you what your equipment really sounds like. I personally would rather change equipment than try to patch my system using cables as tone controls. I believe that at the top level of equipment, it's subtle differences that appeal to a person.
The are scores of reviews about the Silent Source Signature power cords out on the internet for all to read. I've found them to be the most neutral and natural, the quickest and quietest cables I've had in my system. I don't want to make any manufacturer mad, so if you'd like to see my system, it's posted on Audigon. If you click on my different cables, you can see what I've had before. I've run all the way up to $3,500.00 power cords through the years, and over $5,000.00 on interconnects, so I've been around the block a few times.
One thing that I should point out, like John (Jmcgrogan2) has said, is that the Silent Source Signature is a hair on the lean side. This didn't bother me because my system is in a 10' x 12' room. A cable a bit on the warm side, a bit heavy in the bass or lower midrange, engulfs and overwhelms me in that room. So in my system, these $1,000.00 power cords beat out more than a few $2,500.00-$3,500.00 power cords.
So in comes the Silent Source Music Reference power cord yesterday that I bought from Robert (Strapper122) which lists for $1,600.00. Robert sold it because he found a power cord that he liked better, the Elrod Statement Gold for $6,000.00. I bought it because two months ago Lloyd Walker suggested that I move up to it. I already have the SS Music Reference interconnects and I auditioned the SS Music Reference speaker cables for two months. In this economy, I can't afford them, but I would love to have them. They are everything that Mike Malinowski (6 Moons) says they are.
I had put off looking into the Music Reference power cords because a dealer told me that the Music Reference wasn't a big step up from the Signature power cord, that Frank had only made it because audiophiles were wanting a complete SS Music Reference loom. Lloyd told me that what I'd been told wasn't exactly the case. If you've read the newest HiFi+, Cardas has come out with a neutral cable called the Clear. In the review it was stated that this cable is so good that it will stay with your system as you grow. The better the quality, the more it will let it shine by virtue of it's neutrality. This is what Lloyd told me about the Music Reference power cord two months ago, it's close in character to the Signature in mid and good systems. It breaks away from the Signature as your equipment climbs up the ladder. He said with my system consisting of the Wadia 581se CD Player and Burmester 036 Power Amp, the Music Reference would clearly outshine the Signature.
Lloyd wasn't kidding! I placed it in my system yesterday at lunch when it was delivered and let it settle in. Last night it bathed me in the most musical landscape I've ever had. Every great aspect of the Signature was there, and the leanness that John (Jmcgrogan2) has mentioned was gone. The bass and lower frequencies were more full and just as detailed as the Signature. It was never overwhelming, just tight and powerful.
I know that Silent Source is not a well known brand like Cardas, MIT, Transparent, Purist Audio and others. It's a small company more like Stealth, Dream State, KCI, Jade and Gabriel. But like these other small companies, I believe that it would really be worth your time to give the Silent Source Music Reference power cords, interconnects and speaker cables an audition. Lloyd Walker carries them, John Pharo at The Cable Company carries them as well as others here on Audiogon.Associated gear Click to view my Virtual System