Transparent Super MM2 Vs Zen Satori Speaker Cables
Here are some highlights of recent a recent shoot out with the Acoustic Zen Satori Speaker Cables that I have had for years and the new damned expensive Transparent Super MM2 speaker cable.
Of course, the cable left standing is the one that sounded best to me and offered the best combination of detail, bass, midrange warmth, soundstage, dynamics, 3D background, delicate yet open highs, and all of that in my speaker system.
Years ago, I had one of the better equalizers around. I ended up abandoning it because it imparted a digital sheen to the music and robbed some of the natural tonal harmonics typical of a tube stereo system.
My favorite sonic balance for ideal sound with that EQ, was to created what looked like a highly sloped bell curve which rose quickly in the midbass toward a midrange that was pushed forward about 6db above the zero midline. It then sloped down in with a slower slope toward the treble region, which at at the very end of the treble, crossed the zero point midline to about 2db below.
It seems that I have found a speaker cable that does some similar sonic sculpting - without robbing the natural tube richness of the sound and did not induce a digital sheen at all like the EQ did.
The Transparent Super MM2 (latest version) speaker cable has added another level of analog warmth to my stereo system. No it is not perfect. By nature it takes a hint of the shimmer out of the voices, drums, and cymbals, although, not that much. In fact, when I compare the Transparent Super MM2 to the highly rated and prior favorite Acoustic Zen Satori cable, the shimmer that comes with the Satori, also takes on a perceptible cast of slight noise. That is to say, the Transparent Cable has a slightly blacker background, granted because some of the information is taken out of the highs with the Transparent Cable. Yes, I loose a little intonation in the highs with the Transparent Super MM2 over the very open natural sounding (prior favorite) Acoustic Zen Satori with the Transparent cable, yet also loose the slight tin like sheen that comes with it.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Transparent Super MM2 speaker cable and do not hear the overly blunted and dull sound that I heard with the Analysis Plus Oval 9. The highs are still open, just in a way that is more than balanced with a big return in net sound in the bass and midrange.
I really think that almost all components already impart their own sound bias and that you are always dealing with trying to balance and sculpt the sound by combining them. I think that is primarily why you have so many options in equipment and why people, often not realizing that, are often mistaking the sound of a component as superior, when in reality, all the component is really doing is balancing the sound of the stereo system in relation to the other components toward a net sound preferred by the owner. For a system that needs to be opened up a little the Zen Satori may be the best, and for a system that needs to be a little less forward sounding, the Transparent Super MM2 may be the best.
So, I choose the Transparent Ultra MM2 speaker cables as my favorite in my system without denying any sort of neutral audiophile imperative (that never really existed in the first place). My SET amp and stereo system, now sound like I thought it always should with the richness I want and have always been searching to acheive - without loosing much openness and detail. Now that search for the best balanced speaker cable in my system withing budgetary constraints is over.
Of course these transparent Transparent Super MM2 speaker cables, if coupled differently with speakers warmer than my Zu Druid or an amplifier less revealing and warmer yet, might sound dull and terrible. In my system, they are wonderfully synergistic for producing a lovely special rich yet still open sound. I gladly give up that slight extra nuance of treble detail and the tin like noise that came with the Satori (compared to the MM2, you would not notice otherwise), for a warmer bass and midrange and the detailed yet delicate highs that I have now with my much warmer, more analogue sounding system with the Transparent Cable.
I can only justify the expense of the cables in relation to what I have already spent in total and the beautiful transformative sound that they impart to my stereo system overall. I feel the need to think of them as putting my savings on the shelf where I can use them.