I am using the Jena Labs Symphony cables throughout my system (both interconnects and speaker cables). I was previously using Kimber Select 1030 interconnects on all my front end components, a long run of Transparent Ultra XL between my preamp and amps, and Transparent BiCable speaker cables. In my system, the Jena Labs cables produced blacker backgrounds (significantly lower noise floor) and more natural instrumental timbres. They also offered slightly more taut low bass reproduction and better frequency extension on the top end.
I am using Jena Labs symphony interconnects and enjoy them a lot. I have tried a lot of the other(but clearly not all) big name cables and I just find the Jena's fit my preferences the best. The Valhalla's are good, but when it comes to living with a cable I prefer the Jena's. They are worth an audition they have a natural midrange unlike any other cable I have tried in my system. Across the board they are great performers and in particular the Syphony's case they offer a good level of value(compared to other cables in a similar price, the idea that a cable that costs thousands to be seen as a value is pretty funny in itself).
I'm using the Symphony speaker cables in a vertical-biamp configuration with Jena's Dreamdancer cables, and I have to second the opinions of Bob and Tireguy. They are indeed great cables. What has impressed me most about them is their background silence and effortless way with macro- and microdynamics. Jena's premium stuff is top-flight all the way, but the Symphony may be their biggest bang for the buck. In the right system it's magical.
In english class I learned not to start off a sentence or paragraph the same way consecutively. With that said, I'm using symphony interconnects and fugue digital cable. I am still waiting to pick up their speaker cables. From what I've been told they don't mix well with other cables, so while I may not be hearing all that the cables have to offer, it's certainly very good. I agree with everything that has been said about them. The cables have a nice ease and body to them. The symphonys are certainly cables that you can place in a less than SOTA system and good enough that you won't be worrying about them in a better system.
I'm no expert on cables but I have tried my share of cables including the Valhallas. The Jena's have as low of a sonic signature as any cables I've heard. They might not do everything the best, and at first listen, their difference might not even be that apparant. With some other cables, you immediately notice it's there as their sonic signature, strengths and weaknesses, shine through. The Jena's, on the other hand, I feel they do a great combination of things very well and so they don't draw attention to themselves.
Howie - this thing about not mixing with other cables intrigues me. I bought some Jena Symphony ICs and love the quality of the sound - but am not so sure about their character. They appear to me to be a bit laid back - almost too laid back. So should I get Jena SYmphony SCs? More of that laid back sound and my system will sound horrible. Or will the SCs save me from the laid back sound of the ICs? Does anyone know? Are the SCs as laid back as the ICs or do they counter-balance the ICs with a more upfront balance?
Redkiwi, it would be helpful to know which components comprise your system, which cables you are currently running in your system other than the Jena Labs interconnects, and which cables the Jena Labs cables replaced.
I have a couple of systems, but am trying to place the Jena ICs in just one of these. The Jena ICs link a DCS Delius to Jeff Rowland Model 201 monos, which are driving Verity Fidelios via either Luminous Synchestra Signature, or Poiema, or Stealth UR speaker cables. Power cables are Audience PowerChords (I am limited in the chords I can legally use in New Zealand). The Jena ICs have replaced a long line of ICs I have tried such as Luminous Synchestra Ref, Stealth PGS, Poiema, Kimber 1130, SPM..
As stated, the Jenas have some wonderful qualities in this system, but they are just a little too laid back. I can see some Jena Symphony SCs here on Audiogon for sale but am concerned they might similarly be laid back. Howie made me reconsider this assumption with his comment about using Jena ICs on their own.
Redkiwi, I still have not added the SCs so I can't really tell you. I'm using SCs that are by itself fuller sounding with more of a bite to them. Many people have told me that the sound comes together when using a full set of Jena Labs cables so that's what I expect. How is your room? Is it on the lively side or damped side? Also, what gave you the impression that the cables are laid back? Some people prefer their sound to have more bite and a bit of an edge to it as some feel it produces a more exciting and up front sound. Others associate laid back with being slow. I don't think adding the Symphony SCs will give you an edge or necessarily an up front sound. It should make things even faster and smoother which might bring a sense of rightness. I'm not too familiar with your equipment, but your source, speakers, front end, and even powercords are more known for being smooth sounding and definitely not known to be upfront sounding?
Musicians often work on smoothing out their sound throughout the range of their instrument so that nothing jumps out at you when they didn't intend it. What would prevent their sound from sounding lifeless would be the loss of momentum which to me is like PRaT. If you think the Jena labs cables keeps the music flowing, it shouldn't sound laidback. It is however a delicate balance I think. I wish I can be of more help, but you sound like you know exactly what type of sound you want. The only other thing I can think of is playing with speaker positioning. Have you talk to Jtinn? He has extensive experience with Verity speakers and obviously the Jena Labs cables.
My suspicion is that the Audience powerChords are to blame for a softening of transients in the system, but when I compare the Jena to several other ICs I find they are a lot less immediate than say the Luminous Synchestra Refs, but certainly not rolled off like Cardas Golden Ref or even Stealth PGS.
Power chords are a real pain to try out here in NZ with reterminating in our pathetic plugs being almost impossible with 10 guage or larger conductors. Plus some US cords are only rated at 300V which is decidedly dangerous to use on our 230V supply.
I will hold back on trying Jena SCs until I have got my PCs sorted I think.
OK I take it all back. I have managed to improve the system in other ways - mainly by changing the power chords and improving the digital transport source. I am now able to better audition the Jenas against Quattro Fil and a few other lesser interconnects. The Jenas come out on top now and no problems with being laid back. Very glad I kept them and now want to find some Jena speaker cables.
Redkiwi: It's been said in the past that Jena S/C works well with other brands but the Jena I/C's work best with Jena S/C. I have the Symphony Ic's and the Valkyre S/C. Since the S/C carries an amplified signal I went bigger on those and am happy with that combo.
I am going to look out for some Jena speaker cables now, but not many seem to come up. Any length from 4 to 9 feet will work for me...