Sakura Systems OTA Cable Kit

Has anyone tried this "minimalist" cable kit? After receiving a recommendation from someone with similar musical values to myself, and whose ears I trust, I could not resist ordering one. I will report on how they sound in a few weeks, but am interested in others' opinions too.

For those that have not heard about them look at for an interesting read. The cable sounds as if it is very close to the specification of the conductors in Belden Cat5. So I may have spent around 100 times what the kit is worth. We shall see.

If you have not heard this cable, please don't bother posting your opinions of how it MUST sound here. Nor am I that interested in hearing how stupid I must be to order this kit - it's my money and you are free to make different decisions with yours. Sorry for this condition, but I am bored with those that have nothing positive to offer on this site, and post their opinions based on deductive logic rather than actual experience.

Gentle crimping isn't usually a good idea. Unless you can make a really good crimping connection, you better solder (and this comes from someone who hates solder). Good pressure is needed to keep the air off the contact.

Thank you for your kind words. Making condoms? That certainly is an idea to consider :-)))

Sead, Thanks for your thoughts regarding the Gaincard powering the Coincident, Super Eclipses. The reason I auditioned the "S" (50 watt) version is that I have a room (16' X 25' carpeted) that seems to damp things down, and I end up requiring more power. My experience with lower-powered amps and the "Supers" has been somewhat different than many others'--including the speaker manufacturer's.

The music needs to have a physical presence. I don't mean increased SPL's and thunderous bass, per se, but a kind of tactile there-ness that does not come through with small amps even on the Supers. Too often, lesser-powered amps seem to accentuate the visual, the shell of the thing in the recording that makes the music rather than the kinesthetic, lending a feeling of solidity to the thing. Sort of like shimmering ghosts on the stage instead of flesh and blood.

The recommended Manley Reference, 300B Retro mono amps were woefully underpowered for my room and music taste (large orchestral) IMO. I did not mention this in my original post to this thread, but the Gaincard-S clipped something terrible. Somehow, I doubt the 25-watt version would be the right approach given my experience so far.

I have settled on the Cary SLAM-100's with their 95 watts in triode mode. (They can be switched to 165 watts in ultralinear, but they don't sound as complete in that mode.) I heard the Atma-Sphere M-60's on the Supers and could not live with their lightweight presentation. I even found the A-S MA-1 MkII's to require some room reinforcement to bring out the same kind of weight in the bass that the Cary SLAM-100's bring. While the MA-1's are indeed fabulously transparent, extended, life-like, etc., they too seem to struggle a bit in my room. Perhaps with tube- and cabling adjustments, I could have drawn more from the MA-1's. For now, the Cary SLAM-100's are just about right.

Either I was shipped the 4-Ohm version instead of the 14-Ohm version of the Supers or my room, music- and listening-mode tastes just don't allow for the kind of amps most people pair with them.

In case you were wondering, I had my hearing tested. It's quite good. I did not go to lots of loud concerts in my youth. Some other audio-nerds have found my comments about their systems to be mostly valid. Who knows, maybe I AM wired incorrectly.

Thanks Sead,

I will use as small an amount of silver solder as I can possibly dispense.

I have found a new definition of purgatory: Breaking in the OTA cable at the same time as I'm breaking in a pair of Triangle Antal speakers and a Denon 103D cartridge. There are promises of heaven frequently punctuated by the threat
of something less pleasant.

BTW. I can see the commercials for Sakura Condoms "It's the closest thing to air." You could use that for the cable too.

All the best,

Add another audiogoner to the "lunatic fringe" or set of "disciples" or "purgatory" (all phrases from this forum) of people that has the OTA hooked up and breaking in. Sead (European distributor of 47 Labs, who has countless connections using the OTA already under his belt) made up a pair of OTA ICs for me, and they are breaking-in right now off the main system, between a CD integratred and a STAX headphone tube driver unit, so that I can monitor the OTA electrostatically every so often (no comments about soundstage until later, when I have them on the main system with the speakers). I started the break-in on 29.09.01, so the IC has about 25 hours on it, and what I have heard during this first stage is not too much different from what Redkiwi and Dekay have aleady said with admirable precision about this first OTA plateau: there is an alluring transient quickness to these cables that goes along with a startling immediacy and detail. Harmonically, there is already some exquisite if a little dry bass (open, deep, powerful), but certain mid frequencies are still thin, congested, closed-off (not all mid range frequencies, since guitars are absolutely perfect for some reason), and the highs are a bit vague. I am coming from wide-diameter stranded cables that I have been heavily addicted to for a long time ("garden hose") and the change is rather drastic (Sead said it would be) as well as highly exciting, since I am hearing things in a totally different way now, a way that is hard to put in "audiophile language." Last night I kept on mumbling to myself: it was as if the OTA cable is no longer "listening to the music for me" before I am, but letting it pass through the air to my ears "without the cable listening in." Later, I thought: maybe this cable will turn out to be far less of a "transducer" than other cables, at least that was the hope that took shape. What was instructive was the extraordinary level of pace, rhythm and timing (PRAT) that these single solid cores achieve and that Redkiwi has already glossed so well: all parts of a groove are now happening at the correct time, I can even hear if digital delay settings are slightly incorrect and clash with the main groove. Also surprising to me is the absolutely silent background, allowing me to hear ambient details outside the recording venue (birds chirping outside the window, cars passing outside, etc.)--a "blackground" I thought was only achievable through extremely heavy shielding, not this thin covering. I now think with hindsight that the OTA cable was an integral part of the emotive, vibrant, resolving, natural, direct and forward sound that I heard from the 47 Labs system at High End 2001 (Frankfurt), and that the comments of fellow audiogoners on this forum about OTA break-in will be absolutely prophetic of what I am going to experience through these cables for the next few weeks. Two final comments: 1. Sead related a beautiful anecdote about the OTA cable from the mouth of Junji Kumura (Sead, correct me if I am wrong with the name, since I know you are reading this): standing atop one of the tallest buildings on the "Zeil" in Frankfurt, he said: "You can toss one of our OTA cables off of this look-out point, and it would land on the concrete ground unharmed" ready to be put back into an audio system, but if you tossed one of those big cables off, it would be totally destroyed. Sead summarized the point of Kumura's parable: big cables create their own problems and obstacles. On another theme: 2.) I was crazy enough to flat-out buy a 47 Labs MC PhonoCube and Power Humpty without hearing it with my own ears first, and now have the power transformer warming up.
Just to throw another spanner in the works!

I had more OTA than I needed so I built a set of cables using three lengths pos and three lengths neg on the bass, and two lengths pos and two lengths neg on the panels (of my Martin-Logans) to see what multiple lengths would sound like - and being very careful that all lengths were identical.

Not fully run-in yet, but it is an interesting alternative. I find there is more ease, the sound is perhaps fuller and richer, and no obvious backward step in what the OTA was already good at - but that last observation will have to wait till it is fully run-in. Good as the OTA is, it may be that the multiple lengths will improve things through offering less resistance. But I am mindful of the impact on inductance and capacitance so am routing the cables carefully.