VD Nites lost in my system compared to Sonoran Signature. First impression of the Nites was, wow oh so dynamic. However upon further listening back and forth the Nites were only loud. Playing multiple discs of various types of music I noticed that the sound stage never varied nor did the dynamic structure of the music really change, everything was always big and loud.. How could every cd I played,have been produced, engineered, recorded, mixed and manufactured by the same people at the same point in time. This is how the Nite's sounded to me. Going back to the Sonoran Signatures made me aware of varying recording techniques and venues. Dynamics were just that. Now there were quiet passages and all the dynamic coherence in between. Music had regained natural structure, texture and vitality..
Like any cable or cord the Virtual Dynamics line is system dependent.
After two months of use it was clear that the cryo'd Audition Package offered far better soundstaging, detail and transparency than any of the Cardas, Kimber, Mapleshade, Harmonic Tech cables I tried. I should mention that I never had a full compliment of those cables whereas I did with the Virtual Dynamics, so it really isn't comparing apples with apples, but still the difference was very amazing.
A few months ago I tried reinserting a Cardas Lightning L15, Kimber Illuminations D60 and Mapleshade Golden Helix digital cable back into the mix and they all had th effect of collapsing the soundstage. Again, this may have been because the rest of the system was made up entirely of Virtual Dynamics Audition.
A month ago I received a Virtual Dynamics Nite digital and an Acoustic Zen MC2 digital. The Nite extends everything the Audition accomplished, but I was very surprised to find that my system also sounded great with the MC2 in the mix, and it's much cheaper too.
Audiogon member Viggen has written a thorough thread here on the cable test we conducted at his place many weeks ago. The Virtual Dynamics that perform so well in my system didn't do as well in his. We heard exactly that same differences between cables and seemed to like the same qualities in each we tried.
I think it all comes down to system synergy and taste. There have been many, many rave reviews here touting the positives of Virtual Dynamics, but no matter how good they are it's not a lock. Virtual Dynamics cables have given me a level of transparency and soundstage size and focus I thought I'd never achieve, but I've also lost the warmth and organic nature my system had at the start of the year.
Theaudiotweak - you bring up an interesting point of consistent and varying recording levels and the way they seem when reproduced through Virtual Dynamics cables. I've kind of noticed a similar phenomena, but I assumed that's just how it was supposed to be, meaning that recording engineers had a loose but universal scheme for mixing and mastering. Do you think there is something artificial being introduced in the Virtual Dynamics chain? I'm open to any idea or theory.
Interesting! Could it be that the Virtual Dynamics tend to make things sound good by masking some of the problems in the music, sort of like Mark Levinson equipment, which tends to make everything sort of wide, deep, and nice in my opinion. I have heard a lot more raves about their power cords, so maybe they do a better job of eliminating grunge without damping the signal.
I received a VD Audition package a week ago and am still waiting for it to burn in a little more before making any final comments. As Gunbei says, these sort of things are system dependant.
My initial impressions: I like a lot of what I hear but... I still don't know if they are the end all be all. VD markets the Audition package as a synergistic package with their cabling from top to bottom. Sounded good to me and the price was certainly right.
I started off with the PC's on my CDP, pre, and amp. I put the Audition IC's between all the above and because my speakers are capable of biwire, I put the Audition to the bass contacts and my Harmonic Technology Pro-11's to the mid/treble contacts. After initial break in of a couple of days I noticed that bass was excellent and soundstaging was excellent. The only thing missing was the air and shimmer on high frequency sounds. On the highs that did make it through, the sounds decayed too fast from what I know to be true. Good, but not good enough.
I tried switching in my Harmonic Technology Truthlink cables between the pre and the amp and that returned much of the missing high freqency sound but with a loss of detail that I was getting from the Audition IC. I didn't like the sound of this. Switched back the Audition IC between the pre and the amp. After a little more time it seemed that the highs were getting a little better with this arrangement but something still seemed missing.
Today I switched the Pro-11's to the bass contacts on my speakers and the Audition speaker cables to the mid/treble contacts. The high freqency returned again and things sounded pretty good from top to bottom. In fact the treble seemed a little too much at times and I generally like a fair bit of treble to balance the bass. Tried with just the Auditions but the bass seemed to lose some pizzazz so back in went the Pro-11's to the bass. Problem now is that soundstaging isn't quite what it was before. Perhaps it's a little more realistic. For instance now when a drum kit is sounding from both speakers and has elements in the center they sound like they are in a similar plane front to back. With the Auditions on bass and the Pro-11's on mid/treble the drums on either side sounded in the same plane but the combined sound between the speakers sounded way off in the background.
One other thing: when the Audition speaker cables are on top and the Pro-11's on the bottoms I have to turn the volume up on my pre to get the same relative volume level. My volume control gives a digital numeric readout and is finely adjustable.
The Virtual Dynamics cables are all very well constructed. The IC's and speaker cables use WBT termination. The people at Virtual Dynamics are great to deal with.
Obviously I still have to let the cables burn in a little more and probably have some more mixing and matching to do to get the sound just the way I want it.
I bought the Power 3 and Power 1 power cords initially. The P3 has a defect I noticed after the purchase of my preamp when I was switching PC's around. VD was going to exchange it and I was going to purchase an additional Audition PC. Pricing was stating to get close to an Audition package so I traded the defective P3 and the good P1 towards the Audition package. I did compare the Power 1 to the Audition PC's and the Audition PC's are definitely more transparent than the P1 and with firmer bass and more revealing highs with greater detail. My advice to anyone considering the purchase of the VD PC's to buy in a the Audition level at least.
Are there better cables? Certainly. Are they available at a price I can afford? Probably not. These are days of ridiculous prices for some cables and some are snake oil and some not. My Auditions do provide mostly better sound compared to what I was listening to a week and a half ago. But, am I at the end of my cable journey? I don't know.
I will report more once the cables are fully cooked and I can render a more accurate evaluation. I do intend to try the Pro-11's yet without the Audition speaker cables just to see what I get. But as it sits at the moment, in my system, the Audition speaker cables by themselves are not enough.
Comments or recommendations welcome.
Interesting idea Erzielin, I guess only time and more testimony of other users will tell if that is the case.
Great post Cosmic_void. I think your Auditions will improve given time.
A couple weeks ago I replaced a Monster HTS2000 which my transport, DAC and preamp were plugged into with a VD Nite extension cord and three-way splitter. After an inital listen I was shocked to find that this was the first time I was disappointed by a Virtual Dynamics product. Even though soundstaging and detail went up a notch, the overall sound became thin and very sizzly up top. Almost unlistenable.
Now it's a completely different story. All the good things I experienced initally have remained and improved, and the negatives have receded. The tonal character is close to what it was before the switch out, but the holographic illusion is noticably better than with the Monster power strip. Background is blacker.
Cosmic_void, I'll be interested to hear your thoughts once you've lived with the Audition Package for a few months.
Just got off the phone with Rick at Virtual Dynamics. He says that the problem I'm experiencing is a phasing problem where one cable is out of phase with the other in the biwire setup I have. This manifests by cancelling some frequencies and accentuating others. Where two signals of opposite phase and equal amplitude will cancel each other and two signals of equal phase and amplitude would be additive. There are of course all manner of points in between. This will mostly manifest in the bass and midrange where signals overlap each other as they are close in frequency.
Rick is going to send me out a biwire pair of Audition speaker cables which should fix the problem. I will keep you posted. Told you these guys were good didn't I.
Cosmic, can't you just swap the pos and neg leads at the speaker for one pair?
In performance vs. cost? Everything, IMHO
Thankyou for your comment. The problem isn't one solved by swapping the + and -. In a biwire setup you will have phase relationships with the mid/highs and the bass. If using two different cables on the same speaker of two different lengths you will get phase errors according to Rick. As it sits now with the Auditions on the mid/high and the HT Pro-11's on the bass things sound pretty damn good. This is with the Audition cables on everything else as well. 3 PC's, 2 IC's. I will have more to say once the Audition biwire speaker cables come.
Slipknot1 - the performance vs. the cost on the Audition package is excellent in my opinion. I'd like to hear what the Nite cables sound like but alas I haven't won the lottery yet. =;-)
Another thing: My preamp has absolute phase inversion which inverts the phase angle 180°. This has the effect on some material of extending the soundstage way back. This can be done from a switch on my remote. Interesting but I don't use it too often.
for me it has beaten (speaker cable wise) (i now have the reference cable.
analysis plus 9's. QED's silver 12, Cambreidge flat solid core, power snake,a bunch of MIT, alumiloy and a few others.
Not in all aspects mind you, all of the cables had their own sound. But when doing the qualities vs cost thing, the references have won big time in my system.
I'm with you. I would love to get into the Nite package as well, but alas, my spouse would freak over "wire" costs.
The last batch of VD Power 3's that came into the house caused a: "you spent how much on extension cords?" Compared what i could have spent on a PC that comes close to what Rick's products do for my system, she has no idea ;)
Hey guys, while my system has been all VD Audition for the last six months, I did recently change my digital cable to a Nite. That's the only place I'll probably be able to afford to upgrade for awhile. The area that the VDs have been much better in my system than any other cable is transparency and the ability to throw a huge, focused soundstage. I feel the Nite improves greatly in all these areas over the Audition digital.
Well, I owe a bit of an apology to Rick. I was for a little while of the opinion that I spent "THAT" much for cables and although they sounded good there was no magic. I was thinking that if Gunbei is pleased as punch with his cables then why am I not. I'm a computer tech and am used to troubleshooting things so I went about reducing everything in my system to it's simplest configuration. I noticed that I was getting a fairly loud buzzing from the transformer in my amp when my pre was turned on. This buzzing of the transformer at 60Hz and all of it's harmonics was probably responsible for the lack of authority and tonal balance across the spectrum. Problem was that while I had the pre plugged straight into the wall I had the amp plugged into a computer grade surge protector used as and extension cord really. My place was built in 1960 and no one dreamed back then that anybody would need so many power outlets. I plug the amp and pre into the 20A circuit reserved for my AC unit and "tada"! Bass is back with authority and the highs sound great and there is a excellent overall balance. There is still a slight sibilance on some female voices but part of the problem may be the recordings. On the whole I am extremely happy with my Audition package after less than two weeks of use. I suspect when I get the biwire Audition speaker cables and take the Harmonic Technology I am using for the bass run out that I will get even better sound. I'll keep you all posted. Now to get back to listening to my whole CD collection as I've not heard it before.
The Audition cable have completed my system kind of like icing a cake so to speak. The cake is good with out but no where as good as with.
I don't have to worry about explaining to a wife about money spent on cables but I have some friends and co-workers who are absolutely shocked. "You spent how much for fricken wires?!!!" is a common refrain but when I sit back in the la-z-boy and turn it up to warp 3 I can't hear them anymore. I would recommend any of you do the same if you can.
As an audiophile and for almost 40 years of listening l can confess that to me the best pcord ever built with the technologie or i would say work put into it, remains the Virtual dynamica *GENESIS*.beleive me.when only one*1* can transform the whole system then it's the best.
please let me make it clear..!..I am talking about virtual dynamica*Genesis 1.1*