Review: STEALTH GS 50/50 Interconnect
I have been a fan of STEALTH cables for the last several years and have had the entire pgs line, including the xl and 3d versions, at varying times in my ever evolving two channel system. I like the detail, delicacy and sunset glow warmth of that cable a lot. The majority of my attempts at improving my system over the past 18 months or so has all focused on cabling, the final frontier. Or so one might think anyway, but the grip of diagnosable audiophilia nervosa can strike hard, fast, deep and without remorse at any time.
I listen to a lot of acoustic music, alternative, rock, alt. country, some jazz and almost no classical. My system excels at detail, imaging and soundstage and I like it to err a bit, if any, to the warm side as I can't bear grain of any kind. Just can't take it. Yuck on the ears.
Just recently I had the good fortune of listening to, and then purchasing, the STEALTH GS 50/50. It was the cause of such a revelation of sound and system, I felt compelled for the first time to right a review. So, here it is.
The 50/50 is an proprietary alloy of high purity silver and gold in single crystal array which is cryogenically treated and woven in a "three dimensional TCTA multilayer multiguage matrix geometry." While traditionally rca terminated with Cardas "Ultimate" connectors, WBT terminations are also available. Neutrik xlr terminations are used for the more expensive balanced version. I used the balanced cable for this review.
No ordinary cable, this one. I replaced cardas golden reference from my cdp to my preamp with the STEALTH GS 50/50 and all hell broke loose. All the instruments and vocals came immediately into more focus with significantly more air and black background space between them. Crazy. Tighter bass with body and definition, midrange that melts in your ears, and extended detailed highs without any glare. Ecstatic escapism. And right out of the box. The depth of my soundstage improved by 30%. Holy cow! Most impressive was the presence of the instruments and the vocal. Right in the room with you, every string hit on the guitar or bowed on the bass. Every vocal inflection clear and humbly delivered in perfect resonance. All of the sounds so delicate, but defined and….well, alive. Relaxed. Oh yeah.
I had thought previously that at a certain level of system, once you had all the components matched up to your liking, there was always a tradeoff with cabling between non-fatiguing sound, a little more musical and relaxed, but with less detail versus lots of detail, but more fatiguing with a bit of etch. Wrong-O! The 50/50 provided an astounding amount of detail delivered all wrapped in Chinese silk. Comfy and confident. No grit, no glare, no edge, no etch. Funny thing was, I learned more about the potential of my system from using this cable. I knew the danes were capable of detail, and thought I had heard it….Wrong-O again! The 50/50 gave another heaping helping of the detail with no harshness at all: things I had never heard at all were obvious and apparent. I could listen and hear to new depths into the recordings. I had a whole new system! An entire new music collection! For the price of one cable! Jumpin' jiminy!
After a hundred hours of break-in or so, it seemed like the 50/50 disappeared. As if there was only open air, immediate transmission, entangled particles of sound only influenced by themselves….and the cable between my preamp and amp. So, I changed that cable around a few times and found that the only coloration to the music is that provided by the second cable. The 50/50 is as transparent and neutral a cable I have heard. It laid waste to all the cables I have tried over the past year and a half. For cryin' out loud! I can't wait to try another one for pre to amp! (Although, I do love the poiema! there…only one to
Dynaudio Contour 2.8
Plinius 8200p MkII
Systemdek 2x2 with Audionote wiring, Arm1 and IQ2 cartridge.
Sound Applications xe12
BMI Orca Mk2 (cdp and pre)
Audience Powerchord (amp)
Elrod EPS3 Signature (xe12)
Ridge Street Audio Designs Poiema!, xlr (pre to amp, ridge street xlr/rca silver adapter at the amp end)
Acoustic Zen, Analysis Plus, Argent Audio, Cardas, Discovery, Harmonic Tech, Empirical Audio, Jena Labs, Luminous Audio, NBS, Siltech, Synergistic Research…and others