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So I got Tchernov Cable, model Classic MK II RCA. That's $500 cables and they are fourth from the top. Going up there are Classic XS MK II, Reference MK II and Ultimate. Retail prices are $800, $1500 and $3000 respectively.
The cables require 230 hours to fully burn in, they now have about 160 hours. I tried them with three sources - Acoustech PH-1 phono, Nak 682ZX deck and CEC TL5100Z cd player. The other end went into Redgum RGi120 integrated amp. I also sometimes run the phono thru the deck and then to the amp. In this case I put the Tchernov on the phono and Purist Neptune on the deck. Speaker cables are old Purist Colossus fluid, Purist Dominus Rev B Ferox power cord on the amp and CPCC Top Gun on both the phono and PS Audio regenerator.
Well, I can say that Vladimir Lamm's got some hearing.
These cables are about clarity and balance. They are also very quiet even without advanced shielding employed in higher models. There is nothing in the cables that would irritate me. They are not for 'tone controls crowd', obviously Tchernov people have no-nonsense goals and approach backed by a serious engineering and manufacturing. Excellent dynamics and bass, no harshness or brightness, nothing is bloated or diminished. In my modest system the resolution is almost as good as Neptune - the cable which is three times the price. Yeah, my speaker cables is the weakest link, but they are quite good and let me hear enough. I am a Purist fan but the Tchernov made an impression. I am thinking of whether to keep what I have or go higher in line to Classic XS MK II or even the Reference MK II. Not sure yet, or maybe I'll keep the Classic and try their power cord too.
I got my cables from the Canadian distributor, Jim is very nice.
Not from Vladimir in New York. I like Canada, you know.
Yeah, I'll post when I get the Reeference MK II and fully burn them in. They say 230 hours is minimum, I'll give them 250.
I might even keep the Classic MK II too for the cd player. The Reference is for the phono stage.
Now, this is youtube and the speakers there is the weakest link, I guess, not to mention the way they are positioned. But take a listen. Studer open reel deck sets the pace.
jafant, not yet but it is on its way to me, should be here within two-three days. I keep listening to the Classic MK II for now. Tchernov's Balanced Refined Copper is very balanced indeed. They don't try to make the copper as pure as possible, that's an interesting approach. Also, that copper is mined in Ural mountains, and every region's mines have different ore.
Yup, Jim is there in Ontario.
So I decided to keep the Classic MK II in any case. If the Reference MK II is much better I will keep it too, though by doing it I will use up all my upgrade allowance for the next year. In this case the Classic will go to the cd player that I don't play much. I compared it to the old Purist Maximus Ferox that I have used for years with the player and it was no contest. Already sold the Maximus actually.
Thanks! for the update- inna.
Tchernov cabling is slowly gaining traction in the marketplace. The competition is steep to say the very least. This is a very good thing for us "cable" guys. You are correct, in that, different variations of Copper and mined Ore across the globe.
Looking forward in reading your review of the Reference MK II.
It will be here today. My ritual with new cables is to put them for a few hours right away on the source I intend to use them with to see how they sound brand new, phono stage in this case, then I move them to the cd player to burn in, 230 hours recommended but I will do 250. Then I will try them with the Nak deck and then move back to the phono. Yes, overall cables are getting better and there are many brands,
When I fired them up a few hours ago, among other things that I could easily identify right away there was something else, very nice, that I couldn't figure out immediately. So I thought - What's this ? Then it occured to me - distortion level is much lower than with the Classic, and the Classic was already pretty good in this respect. Not distortion in bass or tremble to which I pay no attention when the cables are brand new but distortion in the midrange.
I'll report back in couple of weeks. The cables are now on the cd player cooking in an slow orderly fashion.
CEC player, this must've been years ago.
This is a little premature and just my speculation, but I think Peter Tchernov wants to prove that the idea of components dependent cabling is completely wrong. 55 hours on the Reference and counting. Unfortunately, I don't have his power cord to try - I am out of funds !
190 hours. They sound less burnt-in that Classic did after 190 hours. I think, recommended 230 hours for all models is inaccurate, but I'll see. Reference has a complex dialectric, much more so than Classic, and I will run it for 275-300 hours before critical listening regardless of how it sounds at 230 hours mark.
The Reference MK II now have 280 hours on them, and I think they are burnt-in. They start opening up fully at about 200 hours. I'll put them back on the phono stage tomorrow and will follow up with my impressions. A reminder - whatever I hear, the last cable in the chain is Purist Colossus fluid, and it's an excellent one but not a reference level at all. I am sure that with my system I cannot hear everything that the Reference is capable of, or Purist Neptune, for that matter. I think, the Classic, as good as it is, was a small step below the level of my rig, and I am happy about it.
The Reference has exactly the same sound signature as the Classic but it takes the sound much further. The striking clarity, balance and low distortion continue to impress me. There is a precision of the presentation that is never exaggerated or 'analytic'. Notes are separated as they should yet the flow of the music is convincing. Silence is played as silence. Wide soundstage. As for the soundstage depth and layering, I have a tribal/ambient recording with so many different sounds and spaces, and it is played as if the depth had no boundaries. The cable strives to be as neutral as possible according to the designer's understanding of the neutrality. It will reveal the shortcomings of the recordings and all that digital BS, no illusions here, but it will not throw the negatives in your face so you wouldn't want to continue listening. You hear them but the focus on music is not interfered with much.
Much Thanks! for the update- inna
it appears that you have discovered a very fine cable indeed.
As a Jazz fan, specifically, I enjoy drummers who use brushes on their kits.
These are quiet to almost silent musical passages, challenging to reproduce in any system. For me, this is the ultimate compliment to any cable/power cord's faithful reproduction.
I look forward in reading more on your thoughts/impressions.
300 hours. I am tired, I feel like I've been doing the work together with the Tchernov Reference.
The damn thing has a great openness and exquisite upper midrange and tremble, to the point that it seduces you into something you are not really aware of. It's almost like being inside the sounds. And this is with mid-level transistor set-up. Very precise, fast, dynamic and harmonically correct. Not a trace of harshness, except for that usual metallic-like transistor equipment signature. Exemplary soundscape presentation. When three singers are singing together you clearly hear each of them and all of them together, just as you do in reality. Vocal, violins and acoustic guitars are particularly impressive. I don't have a well-recorded piano so can't say. Bass lines are fine, bass goes much lower than my speakers can handle, and it is tight if not as full as I might want it to be, but not at all lean either. Generally speaking, the cable lets the music flow and in a sense it steps out of the way. This is a truly passive component, very reserved, it doesn't try to be more than what it should be, it's a cable after all not an amplifier or some other kind of sound processor. Unlike Purist Neptune fluid. While listening to the Neptune I always have an odd thought that there is a small tube in it somewhere, it makes an impression as a 'mini tube preamp' of a sort. This is not necessarily negative, it depends. Neptune's midrange is very sophisticated, and the cable's presentation has more weight. And less neutrality.
They are both great cables and they are very different.
But you know what? In my rig the best sound I get is when I run them both in the chain with the Tchernov Reference on the phono and Purist Neptune on the deck that works as an active preamp in this case. These cables work perfectly together. But the Tchernov is on the source not the other way around, that was not that good. I can't be sure but I think the Reference is higher resolution than the Neptune, and it is definitely sharper. My Redgum integrated has a passive preamp, so yeah I do lose a little of resolution when running the signal thru the deck but it's worth it.
I would guess that the Reference would work even better with tube and hybrid electronics, and it certainly likes analog source more than digital, but what doesn't ? Another guess is that if you like Quad or other panel speakers you will like what Tchernov cables do. Yes, Classic MK II is an excellent cable but you can't compare - Reference MK II is indeed on a much higher level. So, yeah, I would like it to have a bit more fullness and weight, but it is possible that in fact I want it from my phono stage and amp. I also got used to Neptune, which though doesn't distort the neutrality much, definitely exaggerates some things, and it does it in a very appealing manner.
Both the Tchernov and the Purist are class acts. Good for me that I don't have to choose. I wouldn't mind having Nottingham arm rewired with the Reference, by the way.
If the Tchernov is general than the Purist is admiral. Give them a try.
Very nice summation and review- inna.
It is possible, quite possible, to mix brands of cabling and get an excellent outcome. No doubt that Tchernov is an up-and-coming brand. Purist has been around for awhile now and has a strong following. Good to read that you are pleased w/ this newest edition in your system. As I have reported many times, so many cables, so little time.
I would be interested in reading about the sound/presentation of the Tchernov once 500 hours in logged.
It will take some time, I play the turntable only a few hours a week, most of the time it is tape. Perhaps someone with a high resolution system will test the limits of the Reference and reports his findings. I am also impressed with the old Purist Colossus fluid speaker cables and Goldring 1042 MM cartridge. When I think Purist cables I always think of fluid cables. I suspect Jim Aud made a mistake by abandoning making silver alloy cables with fluid, though I didn't try Purist's two top current models or Corvus which is the same as Neptune but filled with contego, a mixture of fluid and ferox. No wonder that you can't find older fluid Dominus or Colossus used, I am not the only one who keeps them. Dominus ferox power cord is great, though, but power cords are different things.
As I mentioned previously, I get the best sound when I route the signal from the phono stage to the deck and then to the integrated amp. So the cable chain is as follows : Nottingham tonearm cable, Tchernov Reference MK II from phono to deck, Purist Audio Neptune from deck to integrated, Purist Audio Colossus fluid speaker cables.
Power cords. Custom Power Cord Company Top Gun for the phono stage and Purist Audio Dominus Revision B Ferox for the integrated. I also use Top Gun with PS Audio regenerator. It would be interesting to try Tchernov Reference power cords, but they are quite expensive too.
I keep Tchernov Classic MK II cables for my CEC cd player which I only rarely use.
Interesting review. I too have heard good things about TCHERNOV wire.
"Bass lines are fine, bass goes much lower than my speakers can handle "
How is it that you can determine this?
It may seem like a stupid question, but if your speakers don’t go down that deep, how can you be so certain that these interconnects deliver the goods much lower than your speakers can handle? I mean, how can you hear it, if your speakers don’t go down that low?
As an aside, your review has many component variables. One thing I would love to read about, is if you dispensed with everything except (say) your CD-player feeding directly into your Integrated Amp - driving your speakers: Therefore only one Interconnect required in the chain of events. Then compare those findings directly with another Interconnect - I suggest REFERENCE versus CLASSIC - in the same way. This approach would remove some of the variables (Like other Interconnects in the chain of events - and differing sources...) and should tell you exactly how each particular Interconnect sounds - with a constant set of circumstances.
A lot of extra work for you - I know - but it would be interesting to learn how these new Tchernov Interconnects differ from each other now, a few months on.