I checked! Taste oh "honey" for the "poor"! At last! Thanks Campbell!
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I am probably the person who authored the thread that spurred SD's purchase. I have been trying to drum up interest in these cables. They are knockoffs of Kimber KCAG, and Silver Streak. They use the same braid geometry, and also pure teflon insulation, but substitute solid core wire for Kimber stranded(perhaps the reason Kimber tends to brightness/harshness in some systems). And NO(!!!), I do not work for the company, or get ANYTHING from them. I am simply a person who likes to participate in these discussions, and in the sharing of information(especially when it comes to us saving our hard earned money). Soneone who is always wondering why there aren't more cables that cost less than $200/meter, featuring the most exotic materials. Others cables could cost less than $50/meter. And that IS with a very generous markup. 12 gauge silver wire(from a jewelry supply house I checked out) costs $8.95/oz. And one ounce of that 99.99% purity wire is 3 feet(a hair under 1 meter) in length. But, please don't misunderstand me, I don't have a problem with someone charging $1200/m for a cheap copper cable(they can charge whatever they want), it's their company(and the market obviously supports them). Just that if someone is going to sell a pure silver cable for $70, I don't think it's beyond my bounds to share the good news! Personally, I am planning on buying a 2 meter kit(for $68!), and doubling the conductors to produce my own 1 m knockoff of Kimber KCTG. I want maximum bass extension, etc. Also, I will substitute pure copper(rather than the brass I always see, even in most exotic plugs), plated with gold. These are available from Orca Design, who imports many of the parts used in VERY high end speakers systems(Focal drivers, Solen/SCR caps, AXON wire/caps/resistors/accessories). The constuction is along the lines of WBT, but the price is not. How about 4 male RCA's for less than $20! My cable will surely be the equivalent of ANY $1000 cable out there. That's NOT to say it will be right in everyone's system. No cable can do that. Kimber KCAG works well in mine, so this does also. One more thing, wait till I make a 10 gauge SILVER power cord for less than $100! Good Luck everyone!!!
Trelja- Where can you get the Orca design RCAs? I asked Homegrown about a six conductor strand version, like my KCTG, and they said that they have a four strand version, not yet on their internet site, for $129 1m pr assembled, with locking RCAs or XLR, same price. They found no greater sonic benefit going from 4 to 6 strands. So, I am planning on ordering several sets of them. Now I must decide whether to assemble them myself, or just have them do it. What is involved in assembling these cables, both XLR and RCA?
Gjames, glad to see you're on the move! For the AXON RCA's, go to www.orcadesign.com. Then go to AXON, then accessories. These plugs appear to be of very high quality. Siver plated housing, gold plated contacts, teflon dielectric, WBT look, etc. $4.64 each! Careful reading shows that pure copper is NOT listed(but neither is brass), but as their other accessories ARE pure copper(spades, bananas, binding posts), I'm keeping my fingers crossed... While you are on the site, you can look up their distributors(Madisound, Zalytron, etc.), and go from there. They have a lot of speaker building info(how I found them, initially in 1992), so it's a great hit for many of us. To assemble cable, you just make the braid(they include instructions, or you can ask someone who braids their hair to teach you). Then, just make the(included silver solder) solder connection. I was told about the 4 conductor version from HomeGrownAudio, but think I will still make my own KCTG(with the AXON RCA's). Cheaper($68 + $20 for the AXON RCA's), more conductors, and a proven product to base it on(Kimber KCTG). Let's start a cable revolt, affordable exotic cable. Good Luck!
I bought three of these (silver) kits and assembled them, using lead free high silver content solder. They come with braided wire now which is convenient since the braiding process was the only thing part of the process where I could have used three hands. RCA's were of high quality. I added some additional shrink tube from Radio Shack and did a direct A/B with AQ Quartz. Only difference - little less prominent bass which is no big deal since I just turned the powered subs up a notch. Bottom line is this - they're a steal at $39 for the silver kit with RCA's. They are working on a speaker wire (silver) which should be really interesting. And the silver kit (1.0 meter) with XLR's is just $54. You just cannot go wrong with the quality or price.
Hey Trelja, what is the status on your Kimber KCTG knock off cable? I have assembled the Silver Solution kit and am currently evaluating them against my Linn cables. Initially a little more bright and revealing through my Maggies. I can't wait to try the speaker cable kit. I am also interested in Mapleshade's speaker cable. I am trying the Silver Solution's without the solder first and then I'll solder them up and listen again. Happy listening!
I received a pair of Homegrown's Super Silver 1.0m interconnects yesterday and am in the process of breaking them in. Out of the box they sounded horrible, no bass, sibilance on female vocals, tiny soundstage (again the bass), fuzzy HF and a total lack of musical involvement (on my part) during my midnight hour long listening session. Since there is very little written on the products I thought it necessary to share this dismal picture. Anyway, I placed a Berlioz CD on play/repeat and went to bed. I continued to listen to Berlioz this morning at a higher volume and the change that has taken place during the eight hour (a total of fourteen hours including yesterday afternoons' play time) burn in is like "night and day". I just listened to cuts from "Ry Cooder - Bop", "Kepa Junkera(a CD of Basque music that is my Holy Grail for testing new gear)" and "Paul Winter - Celtic Solstice (recorded at St. John's Cathedral, NY)" All of the gremlins experienced out of the box are gone with the exception of the low-mid bass, which has improved but is still hindering the fullness of the sounstage and my total involvement in the music. They still sound a little thin compared to the Radio Shack Gold and the (Bryston?) cables that I have been using. I was given cables and told that they were from Bryston though they are not marked so. I wish I knew more about the break in period for these cables, but if the LF increases I will be very happy with the product. They are processing a CAL Icon Mk II which is no lightweight in the bass department, but my amplifier (Musical Fidelity) and speakers (Castle) are not considered to be "bass kings". These are my first pair of (maybe) high quality cables. I will report back (the short version I promise) if there are any improvements in the bass and soundstage department. Anyone else using Homegrown cables? Please let us know your opinions on this affordable cable.
Osclib, I have yet to move on the KCTG knockoff. I was hoping to get to it this month, but... No excuses. It's my fault. Initially, a silver cable is a bit bright sounding to many people, but tends to settle in after a good amount of use. Note, that I would never claim that this is the be all, and end all for cables. Cables are system dependent. What is great in yours, maybe terrible in mine, and vice versa. That's why I don't get into the mudslinging that you sometimes see. My feeling is that this cable works well in the systems I have heard it in(tubes w/speakers which are not overly aggressive). The sound is tremendous to me. Also, I was thinking you could make an all copper cable with HomeGrown parts(or they'd do it for you). More for people with forward systems(ss gear, metal dome tweeters, etc.). As their copper wire is 39 cents a foot, it would be $7.20 for to do a 1 meter pair of interconnects + the cost of the connectors. That cable would certainly address the people who don't care for silver, and they wouldn't be able to complain about the price.
Gents, I am a true fan of Sergui's (aka. NEMO's ) cables. Interlinkhouse.com is his site last time I checked, but now I deal directly with him for custom stuff and don't use his site. Really a decent guy to work with, though I don't think he sells kits. When you get down to brass tacks.. the costs are reasonable given the rca's he uses etc. I believe, as anyone who has a good understanding of particle physics and rheology should, that his really small gauge wires are the way to go. I have checked out homgrown audio cables in the past, and his prices are quite close. If anyone wants his phone # drop me an email at email@example.com or DFL2000@worldnet.att.net . Even the girlfriend can hear the difference in his IC's, power cords etc.. That makes it a lot easier to get her to accept the price!!! And for those who have written before me....I too have no basis in his company. Try him out,I think you get a refund if you don't like his product, but I don't really know because I've never felt the need to return anything. Enjoy!! Steve
Monroemed, you forgot to mention how Home Grown Audio cables compare with Stealth in terms of musicality; price is only a small part of it. More details would be helpful. I've been using Stealth ETS for about three months now. My Home Grown Audio Super Silvers just arrive Friday and are still burining in; 200+ hours should do it. I'll post my observations in a couple of weeks.
Gallaine. You mentioned 200+ hours break in on the Homegrown cables. Is there an easier way for me to do this? I have been using them on the main stereo, but do not want to listen to them in this state and have already started switching back and forth with my old cables. Do speakers have to be connected in the line when breaking them in? Can I hook the Homegrown up to a source out from a second mini system that we have and run them to an aux. line in on my main preamp with the same results? I would "not" place the preamp selector to the Homegrown source so that I could continue to listen to the old cables and my CD source. Does this make any sense? Any suggestions? It took over 150 hours to break my speakers in, I had no idea that silver cables would take so long. I just want to listen to music.
Dekay, different components take differing amounts of time to break in. In order to make comparisons between products I want to be sure all of them are adequately burned-in. I choose 200+ hours as a safe number; nothing scientific about it. For interconnects I hook them up to my VCR in a second system, tune into a cable station and let it play, with the volume turned down, 24-hours a day for about 8 days. Perhaps playing pink noise or a special burn-in track on repeat would be a better choice. But, my way seems to work. An alternative is to borrow cables from The Cable Company; there cables come burned-in. The only drawback, of course, is that they don't carry every brand available. Hope that helps.
Gallaine, I would be really interested to learn your opinion on both the cables. I found Segui's great for my system, but when comparing high end cables it seems to be a real personal preference issue. I like Dekay's idea but somewhere I was told that you should burn them in on the components that you will be using. Perhaps this is just audiophile myth, I don't really know. Anyone have thoughts on this aspect?
Gallaine..I forgot one thing! You are using Sergui's ETS cables, and I have found these less than impressive. Too bright for my tastes, but a good price when compared to comparable cables. Remeber ETS means something like enter the silver, they are the least expensive of his cable. I started with them, but then I took a chance on his Fineline cross wrapped. Unfortunately the difference is HUGE and immediately noticable!!!!! I say unfortunately because I was hoping the difference would be negligable so I could keep using the inexpensive ones!!! I still have the original ETS's I bought but don't use them on the main system ( about $40,000 worth of stero toys!) Oh well I thought, just picked up ONE MORE expensive habit...just gotta work harder!!!! Enjoy! Steve
Galliane, Just checked home grown's site again. They use 22g wire, similar to the light star audio cables that used to be on audigon. This in my opion is way too big. Remeber the signal you are transmitting is tiny so they wire can be extremely small and still carry the signal. The thin wire does make a big difference, no or minimal skin effect. Think about it, If you used say 00g wire do you think it would better or worsen the sound quality? Considering electrons have mass they probable demonstrate similar properties to the rheological characteristics seen in complex fluid dynamics. This effect makes the bass and treble frequencies travel in different areas of the wire if it's too large. Very thin wires make it much more difficult to allow this to happen. If it sounds crazy, just give the finelines a try. If you are unhappy I'm sure Sergui would take them back and send you a couple ETS cables to replace them. Though if your like me you will probably have a new expensive habit to keep up with!Take care! Steve
Monroemed. Kevin @ Homegrown emailed this evening and Gallaine's method of breaking in cables is sound and will work fine. Kevin also noted that there should be a significant improvement in the sound at around the 50 hour mark. Since everything is kind of on auto pilot right now, I think that I will run them the full 200 hours or seven more days. I really know nothing about the fine points of (or more importantly what's even possible with) the new interconnects (I took fifteen years off from this hobby). This is only the third pair that I will have heard at home and one of those pairs is from RS. If they sound good with my Castle/MF gear I will post next week. If they don't I expect that it will be due to the lighter LF of my current system and will then try something copper or carbon within my budget, whatever that is, I seem to have lost track at this point. Mapleshades also look interesting and affordable, but the endorsements are a little too orgasmic to take seriously. I thank everyone for their help.
There are a lot of new cable kids on the block. The latest thing is very thin diameter wire in the cables. I heard two cottage industry cables last year featuring tiny diameter wire. While they were nice in the midrange and treble, bass response was ABYSMAL(nonexistent?). I can't say for sure yet, because these new cables have not been weighed in on by enough of our great comrades to draw ultimate conclusions. But, the bass response issue worries me. We don't read anything regarding bass response in these new ads, do we? Why? Let's not further propagate the myth that silver cables are weak in the bass, just because we are not using the proper diameter wire. All cables are a compromise, I will choose the full audio spectrum for my cables. I do not yet say emphatically that this is the way these thin diameter cables sound, my opinions are only based on my limited experience. I look forward to the impressions of other people's experience regarding the issue I raise. I just don't want us to fall into the flavor of the month cable. Changing for change sake.
I am borrowing some XLO cables from a guy. I don't know much about them and it doesn't appear they have a Web site, but their coating is clear and the wire's I see within are thin, and they do not lack bass. If anyone knows more about these cables, please fill in the blanks. I am using XLO Reference Series Type 2.
I want to echo Trelja sentiments about not falling prey to the "flavor of the month" syndrome. The reason I am upgrading interconnects is because I just upgraded my CDP and Preamp. Home Grown Audio has received some good reviews from people on this site that I have grown to trust. Some of you probably remember that not too long ago Shunyata Research King Cobra power cords were supposedly the king of the hill. Now it appears that FIM has "dethroned" them. Or maybe its the Stealth HAC. No, no, it must be the
I like the Homegrown Super Silver cables in my system. They now have approx. 225 hours on them. I found them unlistenable up to the 150 hour mark, but after that they have balanced out nicely. They have an extremely detailed sound. The sound from small hollow percussives that are struck shoots out, as it does in a live performance, the same with rimshots etc.. The sound is clear and detailed (cymbals, strings, brass, voices and piano sound right) and the decay is realistic. I do not notice any added sibilance at this stage, other than what my speakers are already known for in professional reviews. A known defect of my CD player (CAL Icon MKII) which is a reverb quality in the midrange is more noticeable, but I can live with it, and it is not a fault of the cable. My only slight disappointment is in the bass response. The copper cables that I have been using seem to be more to my liking in this area with less of a one note bass and a more realistic (though somewhat fuzzier) portrayal of kick drums. A friend who now uses very expensive custom silver cable (and that has tried many silver cables) has told me that this area does improve much longer down the breakin line on most silver cable. My speakers are also underpowered for the size of our living room and I will soon be bi-amping them. Hopefully this will take care of it. I do not think that I can now go back to less detail than these cables offer, even for added warmth in the LF. Though it did take 4-5 hours to adjust to the new sound. I also moved my speakers around a bit to adjust for the additional HF information that I am now receiving. I do not wish to spend four times this amount for cable. I am keeping the Homegrowns and will order a .5 meter pair to hook up the mono amps that should be arriving by the end of the month. I would be interested in seeing reviews of these cables by people that have full range speakers in their systems. Mine are Castle Isis without a subwoofer.
I have heard rumors that Homegrown will offer pre-braided kits and a speaker cable kit. Any one have any info on this? I have Silver Solutions(no solder) running from Linn CDP to low-fi Denon Integrated to Magnepan MMG's. Have not been home enough for proper burn-in, but will report back after 200hr mark. Does AudioReview have any reviews on the site yet? Regards, Osclib
Addendum to most recent posting. Right after I posted the follow up on Homegrown Audio's Super Silver cables this morning UPS delivered my new (used) Harmonic Tech. Pro AC11 powercord. I replaced the stock cord on my CAL Icon MKII and (what else) began listening immediatley. I have gone through most of the cuts that I felt had some LF problems with the new interconnects and now do not have any complaints regarding their portrayal of the LF's. It seems that I have now gained another half octave (from the source) of useable bass and the interconnects produce it well. By improving the source the LF got better, much better (the previous lack of warmth was not the fault of the interconnects). Even bass lines from Buena Vista Social Clubs CD's are not only realistic but are also much more defined (would someone please fly to Cuba and overhall that gentleman's bass amp). The kick drums are also more beleivable and everthing else is just as it should be. There are many other areas that have improved with the addition of the PC, but as far as the Super Silver cables go, try them.
I thought I'd post a preliminary review. Before I do, I should tell you something about the equipment they are hooked up to. The Super Silvers connect my Roksan CDP to a B&K Reference 10 A/V Preamp. My power amp is a B&K AV6000 driving a pair of Paradigm Reference Studio 60s. I also have a HSU Research VTF-2 sub. Not a purist system. But then, I like movies too and can't afford separate systems. My musical taste ranges from BIG symphonic and orchestral works to chamber and choral music and from Rock and Pop to Country. So I've put a variety music through the Super Silvers. What does this cable do right? Sound stage galore. I mean, huge...HUGE. I thought my neighbors were going to come over and ask me to kindly remove the violin section from their living room :) I've never heard a wider, taller, deeper sound stage on my system. The presentation was a tad more forward than I am used to; forget front row, you're in the performers laps! With these cables the music was more palapable (I've always wanted to use that word) and had more impact (another good audiophile term). With respect to bass extension it was the tightest, lowest, and richest bass my system has produced. I had already upgraded my power cords so I think the Super Silvers just wrung out the last drop of performace in this area. Percussion was especially nice. Brass sounded very good. But lest you think I believe these cables are the best thing since sliced bread there are some negatives. Extreme highs, especially those produced by metallic instruments, are somewhat harsh. Massed woodwinds sound metallic and thin; though, oddly, solo woodwinds seem pretty accurate (I used to play clarinet). But the worst problem is the female voice. When Joni Mitchell sings on her latest CD, Both Sides Now, the "S"'s are sibilant; it makes her sound like a snake. The same problem with Jacintha's voice on Autumn Leaves. I am somewhat in a quandry. What this cable does right in my system it does *right*. But I don't think I can live with the sibilance. So, I'll 'em another three or four weeks. I don't plan on returning them. If they wont work in my system now maybe they will in a future one. I like what these cables do right that much.
I have some comments regarding the super thin conductor cables that were all the rage a week or so ago. Previously, I commented that my limited experience with these products produced very poor bass. I checked out Silver Audio's website(who make KILLER cables), and they state the same thing. Coincidence? Anyway, I will be testing HomeGrown Silver Solution cables against some new thin gauge cables they are rigging up. They have tried thin gauge(MANY gauges, actually) in the past, and found the 22 gauge to be the best overall. But, they follow this site, and want to make the best product. As such, they have asked me to beta test the thin gauge cables. I will do this shootout, and let the chips fall where they may. As far as the 6 conductor cable(my dream of copying Kimber KCTG), they have not been able to braid six conductors. Solid core wire is too difficult to replicate KCTG with. Sad, as anyone who has heard KCTG is aware the bass is phenomenal. Me and a friend once did a comparison in his system with HomeGrown, Kimber KCAG, and Kimber KCTG. KCTG won hands down in the bass, with HomeGrown better through the rest of the audio spectrum. We surmised the solid core conductors were superior to the stranded(used in Kimber). So, I have always wished for a 6 conductor HomeGrown. Well, maybe one day... One step closer to the cable revolution!
Gallaine - You write a very informative review. I wish that I could express my thoughts as clearly. The sibilance seemed to start dropping out at a little over 200 hours on my pair and was not a problem past 225. I do not know how long you have been running them in. I started them out on the VCR but switched them to our mini system for the past few days playing the soundtrack to "Stuart Little" on repeat (it's the only CD that we have with techno bass on it). If I didn't mention it before my speakers are Castle Acoustic Isis (which I doubt anyone has heard since they were not widely distributed in the US). The amp is a Musical Fidelity X-A1, soon to bi-amped with X-A50's. The cables really make the MF shine. I am not familiar with your equipment. I hope that they work out in your system. Wouldn't it be nice to have generally accepted top notch cables at this price point? The industry would go scrambling. They have been very nice at Homegrown with all of my stupid questions regarding break in and how to avoid listening to it, etc.. Even though I use a power conditioner I still have sound fluctuations throughout the day. I cant wait to give them another listen around midnight.
I found yet another company making silver cables inexpensively, they claim they have been doing so since 1993. http://www.kljtech.com/ Here is the ad I came across: KLJ Technologies has been handcrafting superior quality silver interconnects since 1993. After years of research and development, the culmination of science and inspired listening have come together to produce our newest interconnect AG-III. Our intelligent design, along with the use of the finest silver and connecting components combine to create a cable with amazing clarity, dynamics and a sense of acoustic space that are incredible. This musically accurate and harmonically correct cable uses a multiple conductor braid with all conductors being identical legs of hand-polished 99.999% pure solid-core silver. Each silver wire is individually insulated with pure Teflon. Our braided cable design eliminates noise without the use of a signal distorting foil shield. We use Sound Connections RCA and XLR connectors as they are of the highest quality. All terminations are made with silver solder by skilled craftsmen. Experience the exquisite transparency and extraordinary value of AG-III. *Manufacturer-Direct Price* 0.5 Meter Pair $79.00 1.0 Meter Pair $99.00 1.5 Meter Pair $149.00 2.0 Meter Pair $199.00 2.5 Meter Pair $249.00 3.0 Meter Pair $299.00 *All prices are for cables terminated with RCA's.* *For XLR termination add $15.00.* KLJ Technologies 5211 48th Terrace North Saint Petersburg, FL 33709 Phone:(727) 521.9836 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: http://www.kljtech.com
Just went and checked out the KLJ site. The first thing I thought when I saw the cables was that I was looking at Vampire Wire interconnects. Looks like some of the same connectors that Vampire uses. I own some of their cable and just love them. The Homegrown sure seem tempting, I think I might try a couple of the kits.
Dekay, thanks for the post. I like the cables enough to keep in my system for another couple of weeks. I wont have much time to listen to them this week. So, I thought about hooking them back up to my VCR and giving them another 50 to 100 hours of break-in time. So far they had about 200 hours. Incidently, we are entertaining out of town friends this weekend. They have never heard my system. Their first words were, this is a very nice system. It is nice to get a second, and third, set of ears to listen.
Well, here is my final review. Pretty much everything I posted in my preliminary review remains true. Though the sibilance in female voices has softened it is still there. For a while I had TMC Yellow Label interconnects between the preamp and power amp. Together with the Super Silvers they extracted gobs of detail. But, both are high achievers with respect to bass resolution and detail. When used together the bass became too prominant. Oh well, I guess the search continues for the perfect mate for the Super Silvers. I was discussing room treatments with another enthusiast and we got off on a tangent (its always fun to discuss this hobby with people who are truly interested). On this tangent we talked about interconnects. He suggested that the brightness might not be inherent to the cable. Rather, the cable may be revealing noise in my AC power. The Super Silvers do everything else so well I am willing to keep them and audition some power filtration components. On a side note, I've had more and more people make very positive comments about my system. So, the interconnects must be doing something right :)
Gallaine: Do you have the opportunity to do critical listening - say after midnight? My system still sounds a lot better/smoother in the late/early hours with or without my cheap Monster HTS2000. This is something that I need to address before I spend more on the other equipment. We live in a an apartment building which limits my choices. I have also been using my 0.5 meter pair of Homegrown's while Carl is auditioning the 1.0 meter pair and it "seems" that they are even a little more smooth, however with a slight loss of detail. Would the length make a difference? I won't know for sure intil I A/B them.
Dekay: I also live in an apartment. Since I usually go to work early critical listening after 11:00 pm isn't an option except on the weekends. I have noticed that my system sounds its best later in the evening. I've read reviews that suggest the PS Audio Power Plant "recreates" this effect through-out the day. But at $1000 it is not a cheap solution.