If possible, you can first try upgrading your speaker cables with the "Super" model. They would be a nice match for your Super ICs. They are quite a bit more expensive than the Plus, but well worth the extra money. Good luck!
Before you waste any more money on Transparent, I think you ought to try some other brands that are more natural sounding, like Tara Labs or Nordost or NBS. Why would you pay to put additional electronics in your cables? That can only add distortion or subtract bandwidth. simpler is better
I agree with Mg123. I auditioned Transparent Music Wave, Super's and Ultra's. I was quite disappointed mainly because I found they lost detail in the higher ranges (clipping). I had NBS Monitor IV (and tried Monitor III's) ic's and speaker cables and found them very neutral and superior to the Transparent cables. The same with Nordost SPM's (not quite as neutral, but far superior to the Transparent). Also JPS Superconductor II's are very revealing and excelent cables. I now use NBS Monitor I ic's and speaker cable. They are expensive, but the clarity, detail and quite background are worth it. The Used Cable Company and eAudioNet will let you demo different cables for a modest fee. It's definitely worth the try. Good luck.
I will recommend you to change to Vantage cables! They can find something in silver, gold or a combination, who can beat Transparent in any ways. Vantage is the best cables I have ever heard! Just to point out, I have absolutly nothing to do with Vantage cables, more than I like there cables and can only recommend them.
I agree with hifir. Try going if you can to the super speaker cables as well. I've owned a lot of cable brands...transparent is pretty good. everything does something a little different. If not, maximize on the connection between source and preamp first, then amp to speaker, then preamp to amp. AC cords can make a big impact. Do you/can you install dedicated AC lines with isolated ground? Not much $'s, big help.
I would stay away from the Transparents. From my experience, they act as nothing more than tone controls in their apparent quest to eliminate RFI, etc. I switched to DH Labs' Q-10 Speaker Cable and Air Matrix interconnects. They are FABULOUS and won't break the bank.
If you like the transparent sound, stick with them. I have found that the plus level is where things start to get interesting sonically and at the super level the sound is quite special. So, start with the speaker cables first, either with the plus or, if possible, the super. That being said, I would suggest you think of upgrading your cd player first. While the cambridge is a great player, your system would benefit from a better source. I believe this would provide you with greater sonic benefits for your money than a cable upgrade.
Thanks for the responses guys. I really like the sound of Transparents so I plan on sticking with them. However, if I get a chance to listen to some other brands of cable, I will do so, and who knows, maybe I'll find something I like better. I do plan on upgrading the CD player, but not for awhile, because i'm saving up to get something in the 1.5k range (possibly a used Arcam 23FMJ, or maybe a DAC). Plus the isolation shelf I made really breathed new life into the Cambridge. JFrech, unfortuneatly I live in government housing, and can't mess w/ the wiring. At least I don't think I can. I will eventually upgrade to Super or possibly Ultra level speaker cables but I just don't feel like spending more than $300 bucks right now. That's enough to upgrade to an Ultra IC or Plus speaker cable. I'm leaning towards either improving the IC now, or just saving until I have $500 to get a used pair of super speaker wires. But that's hard to do when I'm also eyeing a nice new Taylor acoustic guitar. Why did I have to pick not one, but two expensive hobbies?
Hey Gil, I also have GAS (guitar aquisition syndrom)and the desire for a killer rig. A: get the taylor first. B: listen to it a lot C: listen to your transparent cables. By the time you get through C i bet the transparent are up for sale. I compared Supers to Harmonic Tech Truthlinks with pro-9 biwired speaker cables used in both cases (VTL tube amp and pre, dunlavy athenas and an ARC CD-2. The supers had an apealing midrange warmth, no top end and a bloated lower end. The truthlinks were a whole lot more neutral and realistic.
There are suposedly a lot better cables out there compared to the truthlink (i'm way to lazy to look) but the pro-9 seem to hold their own in the cable bashings. The ht are going for $150 to $200/m for the ic with the cheaper cost more prevalent on this site and the pro-9 are about $500.00 for 8Ft. Try the ht, you can always sell em again
I have super ic and speaker wire and I'm over all pretty happy. I am like one of the other respondents too lazy to look elsewhere. I'm a big fan of the Ultra speaker cable, I would recomend waiting and skipping the super and jump to the ultras, huge difference in perform.. cost too.
My 2 cents.
Transparent Ultra IC's have a pushed-up midrange, a bloated bass, and rolled-off highs that lack detail and are not clean. This was the result discovered in a comparison with Audioquest Python, which is $500 a meter. I think Transparent is extremely overpriced, over rated, and they can keep their idiotic networks.
Poor Airman, I agree with you I also enjoy the transparent sound, at least at the musicwave level and above.I started with DH-Labs Air matrix I/Cs and Q-10 speaker cable. Demoed the Transparent I/C and was blown away! No comparison at least in my system. Then I found a the speaker cable used on-line and WOW,what a differance. I am using Music link plus I/C between a MF A3CD and a MF A300 int amp.with music wave plus bi-wire speaker cable to BW N805s. What I hear is a tight clean bass, smooth not harsh high end,an awsome sound stage, and plenty of detail. Transparent products are pricey but IMHO, well worth the cost. Fr
I love my transparent cables. I have Transparent ref in speaker and in interconnect cables. However, I have found that below the Ultra level (maybe even at the Ultra level) the Coincident CST interconnects equal the performance and at a way cheaper price. Maybe someone will give you a 30 day trial before you lay down the cash.
If I do replace the Transparents, I'd want something with the same richness/warmth/musicality...and cheaper would be a big plus....what other cables should I look at? Right now I'm auditioning an Arcam CD72T, and the Audio Refinement Complete CD. The Arcam has great detail, good layering of sound, liquid highs, nice tight bass, but the mids sound somewhat thin and uninvolving...almost hollowed out (I think the player is already broken in...I'm going to check w/ the dealer tomorrow...I'm running it 24/7 in the mean time). The ARC is more musical, but doesn't offer much overall improvement over the Cambridge D500 I have now. Piezo, I'm seriously considering taking your advice and putting the audio thing on hold for awhile so that I can get the Taylor.