I’ve been running Cardas Golden Cross in my system for a while now and have been pretty happy with them. But then a few months ago the upgrade bug started biting, so I got hold of some JPS Balanced Superconductor 3s to try out. Wow! A blacker black, more detail, better imaging, greater presence. I thought I had reached a plateau. But then a friend brought over his Nordost Heimdalls and they really changed things up. Distinctly different. The soundstage extended further both in width and depth, bass was even firmer than before, and the timbral accuracy seemed better than ever. When he took them away I was left scratching my head. Then my local dealer, knowing that I was in a kind of susceptible state, lent me some Synergistic Research Accelerators. After they settled down in the system, which takes a little while, I was in audio bliss. Air, air, air. Instrumentalists hanging in three-dimensional space. The presentation was somehow tight and relaxed at the same time. Goosebump moments. Eventually the dealer insisted on getting them back, and last weekend while I was looking for the JPSs, which I had temporarily mislaid, my son reinserted the Cardas’s in the system. I sat down for a moment to listen casually and was still there five hours later. Blacker blacks, lower noise floor, firmer bass, pin-point imaging, natural, unforced presence, not a hint of grain, somehow simultaneously articulate and warm.