Review: Snake River Audio Mamushis Interconnect
Snake River Audio Mamushi Interconnects: More Than Capable Performers!
I ordered a pair of Mamushi interconnects with WBT Topline Next-Gen RCA interconnects from Snake River Audio. The owner of the company, Jonny, nearly immediately replied, very friendly, as if we old friends connecting with each other again. Jonny is also very proud of his cables and is 100% behind them.
When the Mamushis arrived, they came in a very nice box made from recycled paper. Really cool! Break the seal and you can open the box. There you find your interconnects neatly packed in an airtight plastic bag. When I cut it open, it made a hissing sound. Mamushis are snakes after all! But don’t worry, they don’t bite. You get a certificate of authenticity with your pair of cables with a serial number. The serial numbers are also on the cables. Their beauty is hard to catch on photo, the photos don’t do them justice. You have to see them, feel them. They are very sturdy built, not too stiff, but attention is paid to every little detail. By now I was very impressed. But how do they sound?
My cat joined me for a while during my listening session. My cat, Moonya, is a Scottish Fold and her ears are based on the folded ear principle. She liked what she heard and so did I!
I started with “Horses And High Heels” by Marianne Faithfull and from the first notes I heard that this was going to be fun! I sure liked what I heard. The CD was recorded in a studio in New Orleans and it was literary a living room full of musicians. Very pleasant to the ears, you could really pinpoint the different instruments. But the actual fun began with “Famous Blue Raincoat” by Jennifer Warnes. The 20th Anniversary Edition has some additional tracks added. “Ballad Of The Runaway Horse” was portrayed as if Jennifer was in the room with me, there was so much air surrounding her voice and the plucking bass was clear and realistic, the sounds in the background could all be heard. During a session with my audio dealer a while ago, we went with a fine comb through that track, and I thought I heard them all. Nope. Now I heard them all! It was amazing how many sounds were not at all audible then, but now they were all there and the Mamushis were able to retrieve them, push them forward so that they became easily audible. By now I was already very impressed by their performance.
Time for a bit of jazz! Oh My! Madeleine Peyroux and William Galison sounded grand! Their album “Got You On My Mind” is a great one and the first track “Back in your own backyard” got me swinging immediately. That voice just like Billie Holiday’s minus the underlying pain in hers, just got me singing along. The second track “J’ai deux amours” sung by Josephine Baker and Jacques Pills years ago, made me think: if they could hear it, they would be swinging along too! The third track always lets me hear the flaws in cables and equipment. “Flambee Montalbanese” has a mixture of different instruments in it. The baritone sax always gets a little lost in the track, but not this time, it was clear and deep, very deep. Quite great performers those Mamushis!
“The Well” by Jennifer Warnes gave me a scare though. Not in the negative way but in the positive way. As the drummer hits his drums, I was amazed to hear how well these cables bring the drums to the foreground. And “Invitation To The Blues” is always one of my favourites. Like all the rest of the tracks, it was just plain awesome to listen at.
On to Irish pop/jazz: “The House Of Ill Repute” by Mary Coughlan. The track “Pornography” waltzed right on the spring breeze. Delicious. “Some Cats Know” (and mine sure does) is one of the best tracks on the album. The plucking bass, the piano and drums all seem to integrate well around Mary’s voice. Mary’s “Meow” sounded coarser than ever! You’ll have to listen to the song to understand what I mean here.
Some experimental music now. I have this strange CD called “Whisper Rap” by an artist called Frances Bogart White. She doesn’t sing actually, she just talks while playing the organ. There are a lot of odd things on that CD. “Lullaby Of The Leaves” has the sound of a synthesizer in the mix while Frances speaks and plays her organ. It gives listeners such an eerie feeling. I do think it’s a great CD. And on the track “Midnite Wire Twister”, there joins a man in the song. Right from the beginning you get an ominous feeling and the song gives you the creeps when he does his job as wire twister. Then relief: a happy ending for both of them. The voices sounded great while the music and all kinds of sounds didn’t interfere with the music. Perfect.
Time for “Super Double Bass” by Gary Karr. The “Beautiful Dreamer” track didn’t make we want to dream but to listen. How that double bass went deep, deeper than ever before. “The Entertainer” played on double bass is quite different from the piano version, but lots more fun. “Adagio in G Minor” by composer Albinoni, is one of my most favourite tracks on that CD. The double bass of Gary Karr goes deep while the accompanying organ helped to create a very wide soundstage. One I could just walk through.
By now the Mamushis hadn’t put a foot wrong. What more could I throw at them?
“Misty” from Three Blind Mice! Ah, listening to that song always gives me a good feeling. Fingers gliding softly over the ebony and ivory and later hitting them pretty hard. It was all there, the air surrounding the recording, the soundstage open and wide.
I eagerly grabbed for Arturo Delmoni’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me”. Arturo plays an old Stradivari violin and the way he can play, it seems that he and his violin have become one over the years. “Meditation from Thais” by Jules Massenet, he treats that violin so gently it’s just plain beautiful and heart-wrenching. On Dvorak’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me” he hits that highest note, sharp and clean. The Mamushis let all that come through, it’s in their nature.
“Ballet Music From Faust” by Gounod is one of my favourite CD’s and I’m addicted to it I think. The “Bacchanale” gives such a full orchestral sound while someone is hitting that triangle with brute force. What a joy to listen to!
On the track “As I Roved Out” from Loreena McKennitt's “The Wind That Shakes The Barley” the drums were ever so present, the Ueillian Pipes as realistic as ever before. Loreena’s voice as clear as the water from an Irish stream.
It’s a fact. The Mamushis couldn’t put a foot wrong with me. I couldn’t find any flaws. I was just wondering if they sounded so very well with digital, what could they achieve with vinyl? The lack of a cartridge at this moment prevented me from trying some vinyl as well. There are so many records I would like to hear, but I already know that the Mamushis there too would perform miracles. They do not interfere with the sound; they just merely join your system. They don’t draw attention to them. You feel the music sounds right. I don’t compare any cables with other cables, but I can tell you one thing though: the Mamushis are the best I have ever heard. The company’s Jararacas are still under development. They’ll take over their Mamushis top of the line cables. It’ll be a tough act to follow, but Jonny Wilson of Snake River Audio proved it could be done by creating the Mamushis. My hat off to you, Jonny! A great achievement!
PS: Thank you for the wonderful free T-shirt!
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