TransParent Cables vs. Others

I am using TransParent Music Link+ ICs and will be looking to try a few new ones after I purchase a cd player this Christmas. I am using tube gear and think my system is warm, with excellent mids and highs. The bass is pretty solid but at times can be a little boomy in the upper bass/lower mid region. I would be looking to smooth out the bass (not take away) and add to detail. What IC under $500 used is the way to go?

What is your opinion on TransParent wire? Is the high priced stuff really worth all that $$$. I am interested in Cardas, Nordost (Red Dawn??), AP, and Acoustic Zen but am open to anything worth the $$. Or is staying with the ML+ the best option for the money?

I used Transparent Ultra and Reference interconnects and speaker cables for many years, until I tried the Ensemble line of cables last year. I have replaced all my expensive Transparent with the far less expensive Ensemble. Bass is smooth, definitely not boomy (which I too hate), mids and highs are sweet and detailed. You can find Ensemble cables for sale used on this site for extremely good prices; for instance, a 1 meter pair of Ensemble Dynaflux (their highest end interconnect) is listed for sale for $350 (retail $850). Masterflux is the next level down from Dynaflux, and it too is very very good. I recommend trying the Ensembles and just listing them for resale if you decide you like what you have better. You don't list your associated equipment, but I use Ensemble on tubed gear.
Check out Discovery's line of cables and also Analysis Plus Oval 9s.
Definately love the Transparent Ultra xl Phono grade cables.. I use them for my solid state system.. very big improvement over the Mit cvt 330s I had...
For a tube system, I love the Alpha core interconnects..
They are inexpensive and sound wonderfully open and warm but not too boomy in the bass. Worth a shot for a 100 bucks...
Transparent and Mit are the main interconnects in all of my systems....
Good luck,
Custom Audio LLC
I use and love transparent refernce. I think they are they best you can get for the $$'s. With that said, cable are one of the most subjective things you have to wonder about. What sounds great to me and my set up may sound bad in yours. You have to try be you buy here....
Transparent makes great cable, but so do several other companies. I have used Cardas and liked it a lot. Most recently though I have been using Purist cables. I have done reviews of several of their best cables if you are interested. The bottom line for me is: they sound better than anything I have ever heard in my system.

If you have the oppurtunity to audition them, I do not think you would be disappointed. Every time I moved up in the line I thought it was the best cable ever. Unfortunately I have not always been able to afford them. Good luck!
When I had my Audio Research LS25, ARC VT100MKII, Levinson front end and Merlin VSM-SE speakers, I tried some Transparent cables. They made my system sound lifeless -- uninvolving. To my ears, the stuff is a blatant -- and very expensive -- tone control.

I don't think you can go wrong with Cardas Golden Cross (very smooth but perhaps lacking in absolute resolution) or Acoustic Zen Satori (very quick and revealing.) At least that's been my experience.
I agree with 9rw except I would not say the Transparent Ultras are lifeless....only that in my ARC based system, they clearly showed a rolled-off top end compared to every other cable I tried. I did not consider these a good value in cables at all. The Audioquest Diamond cables win the award for lifeless!

The Cardas Golden Cross is indeed an excellent cable which is very hard to beat for value. But I have found that too much of this in a system, expecially a tube based system, can make the mids too warm and over emphasized.
I have a solid state system and love the Golden Cross biwires. In yours, you might want to consider Red Dawn IC's, which will give you good clear bass extension with the upper end detail for your tubed system.
Hello All,

I owned the Transparent Super XL speaker cables and Ultra XL balanced ICs and was very happy with them. I was in the market for a DVD mod and spoke to Stan Warren. He mentioned a set of cables he was making and selling for $105 for a 10'pair of speaker cables and $55 for RCA ICs, including shipping. He also informed me of his 30-day trial. I felt all I had to lose was the shipping charges, if I did not like them, so I purchased both the ICs and the spkr cables and compared them with the Transparent. I got the cables together and listened, first, to the Transparent. After about 45 minutes and a lot of my favorite music, I replaced them with the Stan Warrens' and let them warm up for about two hours. After warm up, I listened for another 45 minutes and I came to an astonishing conclusion. Disc after disc, song after song, the Stan Warren cables were much better. The mids were fuller and cleaner, the high end extended further but maintained crispness and musicality. The bass, which had not been bad with the Transparent cables, came to life with the SW cables. The soundstage was wider, taller and deeper with a blacker background and more space between the instruments. The difference in the speaker cables was startling but the difference between the ICs was subtle. The difference in price, Trans' Super XL spkr $1800.00 and Ultra XL IC $2200, compared to the difference in performance was shocking. I was so impressed with Stan’s cables, I sold all of my Transparent cables and finished my entire system, including subwoofer cables, with Stan’s' cables. My system can be referenced hear on the virtual systems. If you are curious about the Stan Warren cables you can do a search of his name in the forums and find his phone number here on Audiogon. Of course, everybody may get different results according to their associated equipment and the effect the room may have on the sound of the system. I am not associated with Stan in any way and do not get any special consideration for pushing his products. I am just a very satisfied customer that is sold on getting the most performance for the least money.......John
I've found that all above comments are true about Transparent, but that the real magic starts at Reference and above. I know it's silly money, but in my opinion worth the price for what Transparent does so well.
I have tried Transparent cables, Cardas and German HMS cables. They produce good cables indeed, but IMHO their prices are ridicously over the top. The best recommendation came from Audiogon member Lloyd Guiberteau: Try LAT-International-cables. Their speaker-cable, right from the box, (for 350 $) was already better than my HMS-cable In Concerto which sells for more than 1000 $. The same happened with the LAT-interconnect IC-200. I do have a friend who works for one of the main high-end distributors here in Moscow, and which distributes Transparent in Russia.
Even he was dumbfounded by what the LAT-cables do in comparison to much of the completeley overblown cables his company sells. Unfortunateley, they are almost never reviewed by the mags, and they know why, I guess. See for details and their informative website