sonic signature of Pure Note Paragon Question

I just got a set of cables tonite , brand new. This is a first impression but i am alarmed . The entire system is Paragon . They are dry , lacking in air , have little bass and have little timbral richness. They seem to be hyper accurate however with good depth and focus. For owners who have had them a for some time , what characteristics will change and how will they end up changing / sounding ? Thanks !!
i have a pair of paragon RCA ICs for about a month, i don't think they are lacking in air, but i agree that they are kind of dry and a bit bass shy (not as smooth and bassy as my DIY gold alloy cables). BUT it is the most transparent cable i have heard in a while, plus the bass is very tight and fast - probably the best i have heard.
Not a Cardas cable for sure, that is very rich and heavy. I had to put many hours on the Paragons before they bloomed, but not uncommon for occ silver cables. After about 300 hours the balance was perfect. My acid test is percussion and these cables excel in that area. Listen to the stage as it will be free of hash and bloat (common to other cables) with sharp instrumental focus.

What brand are your old cables? As I have learned, system matching is important. I think the Pure Note cables also reveal more from your gear (good and bad) and poorly mastered recordings. This is where the Cardas does a good job in masking the defects.
Ok , 24 hours into it and they have opened up a bit. Still , they are lacking in midbass strength and timbral accuracy but detail is very good , even now. A touch bright and uncontrolled in the top octave but depth is still good and improving. Seems to have widened slightly. BTC , they replaced Nordost SPM s . System is Pipedream 21 , Condad johnson Act 2 and premier 350 . Apl Denon 3910 and Valhalla speaker cables with Elrod Statement and Sig series pcs round out system btw. I contacted co and was told 200 hours before they level out . 30 day trial period and i am racing against the clock on these! any other experience is appreciated. Thanks for the comments so far.
Brainwater, you appear to be in an experimental mood. I recently replaced a pair of Audience Au24 interconnects with another brand that are at the same price point as the Paragons. Solid core 99.999% pure silver. Teflon. Air dialectric. WBT Nextgen silver connectors. Email me for details if you're interested.
Brainwater: Do not attempt to evaluate anything in 24 hours. IME cables, speakers, and electronics require a few hundred hours. My Siltech G5's took forever to break-in (800 hours). Also, how is 200 hours "racing against the clock?"
Rch 10 , what i was referring to was the 30 day money back policy . Getting 300 real time playing in in a month is steady getting it , I am aware of break in of course . Im just interested in others experience with them and what changes will occur over time. The first impression was alarming . Grant i am indeed in an experimental mode and dont really want to spend 12,000.00 on Dominus which is what I was leaning toward so i am trying these for an experiment . I will e you....
Tvd, if your cables are Teflon, then they have a Teflon dielectric. The manufacturer must be implying that air is what you breath.

Brainwater, stay away from manufacturers that state 30 day return policy, but break-in takes 40hrs a week x5 weeks(200hrs). Drop the 12k on the D's and fuggedaboutit.

Steve, from the Revelation Audio Labs' website:
...each discrete ultra-pure silver wire conductor is
hermetically sealed within its own oversized 100% pure virgin Teflon
(PTFE) hollow sleeving tube, air being the best practical dielectric, and
Teflon being the insulation material with the lowest dielectric constant
(2.1). The interior cross section area of the tube is by design many times
greater than the diameter of the wire, which minimizes the area of
contact of the wire to the insulator. This system provides a huge air
dielectric that is unaffected by ambient atmospheric conditions. The
resulting characteristically low dielectric constant and extremely low
capacitance is responsible for the high propagation speed of our

Also, while you make a valid point about 30 day MBG and long break-in
periods, I'd personally rather have the option of an audition period and
return policy. Break-in can be accelerated with a cable cooker, if
desired. And, I've never heard any appreciable difference after about
three weeks of break-in that would change my decision of whether to
keep the cables or return them.
See this post here in the current forum:
I have approx. 100 hrs on the paragons. I agree they are a little dry & bass shy. But i do not find them to be lacking in air. They were a tad bright at first, but they're getting better & better. Bass is tight & fast.

& I agree, they're the opposite of Cardas' cables.

I will report again after 200hrs.
Hi Rick . You are the second that has disputed my observation that they lack air. To clarify somewhat and this is how i view it ; "air" around an instrument in a given space is what gives sound its musical body within that space and is important in its support of ambient retrieval . This combination is what causes the sound to " breathe " and have dimensionality . It creates a field that a listener can be involved in so a suspension of disbelief can occur. This air around the individual instruments creates a lifelike soundscape envelope that belies a mechanical impersonation of an actual event is in fact what we are hearing . Nordost Valhalla in my system is capable of this impersonation and so far I feel the Paragon is seriously lacking this fundamental yet critical ability; at least in my system . Point of example is track 7 on Modern Cool . The snare drum at the beginning and all throughout the song has , with the right innerconnect, tremendous air as the note seems to hang endlessly in mid air with a lingering sensual decay that luxuriously fades into the backgroung long after the other notes take center stage. Listen closely for the length of decay and air ....the paragon truncates it to the point of a shocking thud. In my system , playing real music in real time , I will break my neck to get 300 hours on them in 30 days before I make a non impetuous decision . This post was initiated to get owners of the cable to express their experience from fire up to full potential to help me understand that this cable will dramatically alter its signaure with time and proper break in . Otherwise I will return them and take another step up . As always , i sincerely appreciate any input.
Hi Brainwater,

Thanks for the clarification, I'll do some serious listening over the weekend on my system to see whether what you have stated is evident.

Your description of "air" is certainly different than what I had in mind. Now that I know what to look for, & I will for sure listen carefully, for instrument seperation, and air around instruments.

Will report back in a bit.......

Comparing a $375 cable to a $3500 cable? No contest. Why do you think Pure Note will best Nordost? In my all tube system the Paragons eliminate the ringing of cymbals, a typical problem with many cables I have owned. Since the Paragons have great transparency, tight bass, ect. they appear to have good control of the signal. The decay you speak of is surreal, IMO, and may not be in the recording.

Also you are trying to make a judgement so soon whereas Pure Note specifically states you need at least 200 hours before critcal listening. Perhaps you should follow this up in a few weeks. It seems like these cables are not a good match for you but if you do a search here you will find many satisfied Pure Note customers.

What other cables have you tried? There are many such as Ridgestreet, Pear, Verastarr, etc.
Hi Rick , I will await your response. BCT 1960 , Thats a fair question regarding the 350 vs 3500 but i have heard of and spoken to a few people that have said just that and sold their top shelf ics for the Paragon . My expectations may be unrealistic but i am excited to find out. I am experimenting and in this system I have not had many ics to compare to . The Nordost and Xindak gold are the only two so far . Maybe i am expecting a miracle with the pure Note but I dont " want " to spend a zillion dollars if i dont have to . If I must I will hoewever. I am looking at Kubala Sosna , Purist and possibly Shuntayas top pf the line IC . I have 80 hours on them and will listen for changes tomorrow. Again , thanks for all the help.
110 hours on them and indeed , its been a dramatic change since firing them up . Air has increased dramatically and detail is stunning for the money. Width is excellent and depth good. Imaging improving but remains good to very good , Top end extension still a touch bright and that may change over breakin period. Bass is well defined and takes some getting used to . Like the Valhalla , its an aquired taste and those who value transparency and accuracy over richness of instrumental character will find these a great cable for the money for sure. Im adjusting to them and continue to marvel at the changes they are making to the sonics. There is another thread going where the value over zip vs expensive cables is debated. All it takes is an open mind , trained ears and the willingness to do some comparisons and the sonic advantages are absurdly easy to ascertain if the system is transparent. The Pure Note Paragon is a good value already and improving.
I own the Pure Note Cereleum interconnects.
With my APL 3910 I prefer the Ridgstreet Sig over the Pure Note.
For me the Pure note never developed that deep clear bass note that I am so fond of. Not muddy bass, but clear and defined bass notes. You may find the same result with your system.
I also thought the same about the Speaker cables from the same companies.
I own a Krell Amp and Legacy Focus Speakers so I am partial to bass notes.
The Pure Note Cables get rave reviews from many,so it must be a system thing.
The Ridgestreet cables took a long time to break in. I own a AudioDharma Cable cooker that helps speed the process.

No conclusion except the Pure Note cables may not be the best match for your components (as it was not for my system.)

I went through a similar break-in process with Paragon interconnects. The first several days, they were hard to listen to. Very bright, almost harsh in the treble.

After the first week, things got better, and the 'brightness' transformed into what I'd call 'liquidity'. Tons of treble detail and air, but without any hashiness. The midrange rounded out, and bass came alive.

Actually, the bass became shockingly good- it is one of the things that really makes the Paragons stand out in my system. They provide impact and definition, without sacrificing low frequency extension. I've never heard kettle drums and timpanis sound as realistic- you can hear everything from the mallet stroke to the body resonances to the propagation of echoes in the acoustic space.

What the Paragon does better than any cable I've heard is recreate an acoustic space- to me, this goes beyond 'imaging' to incorporate all of the secondary acoustic cues one gets from being present at a performance- echoes, reverbation, etc.

I've heard a number of interconnects (Z-squared Au-Au, Aural Thrills Palladium, Audience AU-24) that provide 'pinpoint imaging' by essentially shrinking the sonic image- things sound more localized because they are smaller. I can see how this could be advantageous in some systems, but it doesn't work in mine. On the other end, some interconnects produce very large and deep soundstages, but at the cost of more diffuse or 'larger than life' sonic images (Stealth PGS-3D, Kimber Select 1130, Wireworld Super Eclipse). For my circumstances (relatively compact system in a relatively small room, mostly classical listening) this presentation is preferable to shrinking the soundstage.

Once they are fully broken in (200+ hours, in my case) the Paragons are the only cables I've tried that provide a superbly precise soundstage without shrinking the sonic image. No smear, no diffuse images, no 'larger than life' performers- one hears everything beautifully presented as a coherent, holographic, life-size reproduction of the performance. It gets spooky at times, but in a good way.

Of course, system synergy is incredibly important, so your mileage will vary. For what it is worth, here are my components:

Rowland Concentra Integrated
Wilson-Benesch ACT-One Speakers
Meridian G08 CD
Equitech Son of Q Power Cond.
Alpha-Core AG-2 speaker cables
XLR inteconnects- Pure Note Paragon
JPS Labs Digital power cord (CD)
Granite Audio 560 power cord (Amp)
Assorted Sonex/RPG room treatment

Regarding a comparison between the Paragon and the Cerulean- they are similar in that both have the amazing soundstaging I described above. Where they differed in my system is that the Cerulean always retained some brittleness and hardness in the treble. For the Paragons, that went away completely following breakin. The Ceruleans where nearly, but not quite, good enough to replace my Kimber Select 1130s- the Paragons did so without breaking too much of a sweat.

Hope this helps- good luck.
Thanks Ozzy and Tommy. Yes , this is what i needed when i started this thread so thanks guys . Tommy , your description has eased my concerns a bit and am at 140 hours of real playing time. They sound much better and anyone who doesnt think cables breakin and improve cant hear . Im nearly satisfied at this stage. Last nite was a marked improvement with the midrange and lower midrange filling out some while the top two octaves became more liquid. Looking good so far. Thanks again for your help as always. i really appreciate the input. Brent

Brainwater - To be 'accurate' cables have to preserve the signal. Dryness indicates a loss of low-level resolution.
This thread is only useful to demonstrate the importance of break-in. As I said before, no one should judge a component or cable until many hours of break-in.
I thought I read it here but I recently read where a member stated that cables do not " soundstage " . The Paragons now have 215 hours on them and something amazing happened around 150 . Depth began increasing . It was not subtle and I am not imagining things. If this is not soundstagiong properties then what would you call it. I am now back to wanting to do a head to head with ..yes...... 3500.00 cables, the valhalla. I have an excellent memory for sonic signatures within a given system as long as the chain stays complete and i feel that even at this stage a comparison might prove interesting. Cables dont soundstage? Maybe yours dont in your system but here , its something to behold. These cables are really good and for what i paid { 50 % off deal } , a downright steal. This is the best money I have spent in a long time. . They stay. Thanks for all the help along the way.

Hello Brainwater,

I'm a year late on this archived thread, but how did the Paragon interconnects end up comparing to the Valhalla? Did you keep the Paragons in your system?
Two of my discoveries in the last two years are: Acoustic Reality eAR 1001 amps (2005) and Pure Note Paragon Enhanced cables (2006). I can spend a lot more money (and I'm willing to do that if necessary), but I don't need to.

I too am a year late coming to this thread but FWIW, about a year ago I pulled out my 10 meter QFil XLR between amp and pre and plugged in the Paragon Enhanced. It's still there. A little over two months ago I swapped my Valhalla bi-wire for Paragon Enhanced. Unlike Brainwater, there was no initial serious shortcomings... the speaker wires sounded awfully smooth and detailed ROOTB. However, last weekend I slid the Valhalls back in. The Verdict...the Paragons were easily 90% as capable as the Dost. The only performance area the PEs lagged in was three-dimensionality, and not by much and if I hadn't had the Valhallas as a longterm reference, no dissatisfaction would have been noted at all. We're talkin' a smidgeon here biggie. If I had to do it all over again I would definitely go with the Pure Notes. Value-wise, it's not even close.

BTW, the PEs couldn't possibly have more than 40 hours on them so I've probably prematurely judged them based on what others have reported here so I just might revisit them soon. I knew I was going to keep them all along so I didn't go into perpetual disco mode to beat out the 30 day ticker.
I will add my plug. I have owned the Pure Note Paragon Enhanced cables for more than a eight months and they are still in place. They did need the recommended 200 hours to blossom but not bad initially. They have a nice musical quality and transparency when seasoned.

I sold my Valhalla interconnects and with those dollars bought the entire Pure Note suite. I feel like I spent my money wisely with just a few thousand dollars instead of over $10k. All of their products perform nicely including the power cords. With the cables out of the way I can sit back and enjoy the music.
I have gone thru multiple iterations of speaker cables, and i/c's. Audioquest Midnight, Bedrock, Jaguars, Acoustic Zen Matrix Ref 2, Hologram, PS Audio Statements, and Transparent supers. Finally ran across a pair of Pure Note Signature speaker cables (thanks Randy). These were the most "real" speaker cables I ever heard. I'm not into music which has artificial overtones. I want to hear what I perceive to be the actual recordings. I was fortunate enough to obtain multiple sets of Paragon i/c's and a Pair of Paragon speaker cables at what I consider a steal from other Audiogon members. How does $150-175/pair sound for interconnects which have been compared to those selling for thousands?

My only guess is that some are not willing to go thru the break in phase. Now I'm running Paragons thruout and am not planning on ever changing. Could not recommend the Pure Note products any more than that.
Sherod , I like the Paragons finally after a rediculous , tumultuous break in period in which I nearly lost all confidence in the forums .Both here and Audio Aslyum had members that touting it the next giant killer. They were nice for the money but to compare them to the Valhalla is well... not a comparison . I sold all but one pair that I keep when I loan out my reference. They are however a good value and I suggest them to people often who are looking for a fast cable in this price range.
Reading this thread, Brainwater owned the original Paragons which were much harder to my ears. The "enhanced version" introduced last July uses ribbon wire instead or the original round wire according to Tim at Pure Note. Sonically these are much more liquid, IMO. As far as break-in, every silver cable I have owned needed at least 100 hours with the sonics changing over time.
Eddycale , this is correct. The Enhanced version was released just days after I recieved my Paragons. I was in touch with the company and was not appraised of the upgrade forthcoming.
As a Pure Note Cerulean owner, the version before Paragon, I was under the impression Cerulean was the first Pure Note to use ribbon conductors vs. round solid core used in the older wires. I read this on the Pure Note web site.

Difference between Cerulean and Paragon is dielectric material, Paragon has slightly lower capacitance. Result is lower background noise according to Tim. Not sure what changed on Enhanced version.

Even with Cerulean, Pure Note is an exceptional cable and competes with just about anything out there regardless of cost.
I am using the Paragon enhanced in my system and have compared it in the XLR connection with Nordost Valhalla from my esoteric dv-50 to the preamp. The Valhalla is impressive and for the same amount as the pure note paragon it would have been a close choice. The difference was not better or worse, just a choice of preference for the style of presentation. The Valhalla had slightly more sparkle in a nice pristine way, I found the paragon enhanced to be more balanced all around.
With the paragon being priced much lower it was the easiest choice to make. I sold the Valhalla without any regrets. And yes, the burn in time for the cable was long and the sound not very pleasant and the beginning.
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semi646 posts05-21-2006 3:59pmAs a Pure Note Cerulean owner, the version before Paragon, I was under the impression Cerulean was the first Pure Note to use ribbon conductors vs. round solid core used in the older wires. I read this on the Pure Note web site.

Difference between Cerulean and Paragon is dielectric material, Paragon has slightly lower capacitance. Result is lower background noise according to Tim. Not sure what changed on Enhanced version.

Even with Cerulean, Pure Note is an exceptional cable and competes with just about anything out there regardless of cost.
Not too sure if you are still around as it has been almost a decade since you posted this. I cannot seem to find the Pure Note web site. I presume it has disappeared?

I have the Pure Note Cerulean speaker cable which has been sitting in the closet for years now. I intend to use these with some amps but need to check the capacitance of the cables. Do you happen to know where I can find the specification of the cables?

Any response would be most appreciated.