Sorry about not posting for so long. I have gone through a few pieces of equipment and have had good and not-so-good experiences. The good ones are major shifts in my amp plans. Without a lot of detail, the Onix SP-3 integrated tube amp just did not work out for me. I started over again and picked up a MUSE 160-mkII power amp and a McCormack TLC-1 (passive) pre-amp. I have owned 3 TLC's over the years. I know them, and I like them. They are a oasis of transparent friendship that have very few drawbacks and have a lot to offer (for a good price). The MUSE 160mk2 is a bit of a legend for its neutral musicality. It has that gentle "Jeff Rowland" type of sensual detail that make delicate images appear. The amp makes it seem as though there were little speakers positioned within every square inch of the room.
The speakers are (still) the Genesis 400's.
The Front end... I'm still waiting on a new CDM 12.1 replacement Laser for my McCormack SST-1 Transport. CD's are temporarally off of my Philips CD/DVDp Audio-Quest co/axed to my AMC Dac-8. I'm listening a lot to the Polk XM Radio tuner (also co-axed to the AMC Dac). Everything sits on VibraPods or isolation cones.
This bit of information (not intended to be a review) does not seem (at a glance) to be a favorable one (especially for my future re-sale or trade/ if need be). However, if read between the lines, you will see that these cables have their spot in Audio Heaven.
The good intentions of W and M audio was to create an interconnect that would compete with the best. They have achieved their goal of a VERY high user/buyer feedback (with much initial and current praise for an outstanding product). I was the first to give them a positive (Audiogon Feedback) notation. I will certainly stand by that. It takes a lot more than just a short listen, or a glance at a box to be able to find the character and heart of a true high end audio piece. The issues are the basic quality of construction, the company's interests in itself as a contributer to SOTA and (last, but not least) the consumers satisfaction with the product.
note: The interconnects that I am addressing here should not be confused with the W and M Audio speaker cable. They are another topic entirely.
The W and M interconnects seem to be a classic and solid case for correct and very precise equipment mating and synergy. As my newest system started to take shape, I noticed that it lacked the fine detail and openness that I have grown to expect from higher end levels of equipment. Narrowing down the reasons by way of elimination and substitution (yes, and lots of listening) I have reached (imho) a valid conclusion about the W and M Audio interconnects.
The W and M Audio interconnects are smooth and unrestrained over the ENTIRE audio band. From top to bottom they are musical, non fatiguing and polite to the extreme. The somewhat relaxed overall sound is not completely "dulled" but seems to lack the clear and precise "edges" that outlines or creates the borders for the instruments. NOTE: As to the lack of soundstage (as per Tplavas), it seems to "breath" in and out at times as the HF content is subdued and clarified (perhaps an artifact of ferrite ?). The stage seems to widen as the dynamics increase (as though the sense of air and space were power dependant). The overall sound is not one that is either blurred or veiled but it seem as though it is a bit distant, not allowing the crisp attack of the percussions show through, nor does the shine of the brass "shimmer" as it did with the silver conductor cables.
When I switched speakers to a pair of Klipsch KG-3.2 horn loaded, efficient and generally too bright sounding (for my tastes), the interconnects seemed to blend in very well. Much of the "edge" was taken off of the horn, and there was no loss in detail. The soundstage problem also was much less apparent. In fact, on the Klipsch, the stage seemed to open wider, and took on a more 3D image. On both speakers, the bass was very tight, defined and dropped as low as either speaker system was capable of. This is the interconnects strong suit, the low end transfer and pace. As it creeps up the frequency ladder, the tonality gradually takes on the sweetness and rather reticent behavior that is better suited for systems that exhibit a more aggressive nature.
Ironically, my tastes tend to enjoy the smooth, polite and more of an overall "tube" sound (in my choices for a "perfect" audio system). My choices for an amp, pre-amp and speakers are all smooth sounding. Whether taken as individuals or as a system, mine will come of as tube-like and more musical, than analytical. The W and M Audio cables may have pushed my system "over the edge" even for me. With the Klipsch KG 3.2's all was fine. However, the Genesis 400's are (for good reason) my speaker of choice. I will not sacrifice the tremendous spatial capabilities of the Gennies for just the basic tonality of the Klipsch and W and M combo.
I beleive that the W and M Audio cable would be a higher powered, single ended, tube amp to HE speakers dream interconnects. Perhaps an 845 to Cain and Cain's or perhaps even big Mac's to K'orns or the many speakers that I gave up because I could not find an interconnect that would work the magic needed for a high-output tweeter/mid combinaion.
I have made the hard decision to rid myself of the W and M Audio interconnects. I was the first of their customers and I know I will not be their last. Their interconnects will work wonders in systems that can make use of their wide bandwidth and their smooth, relaxed nature.
I hope that this has been of help to those that are concidering the product. I have been as honest as I can and my fingers are now numb.
I made my interconnect comparisons with (against) mainly the following:
* Clarity Labs .... "FoxFire" (cable ref. for Vac. tube valley ..... Responce Audio)
* DH Labs ...... BL-1 series 2
* Straight Wire "Encore 2"
* Monster .... Ref ONE
Speaker cables were:
* W and M Audio cable
* DH Lab .... T-14 double runs.
* Nordost ..... Super Flatline (doubled for non-biWire)
* No-name .... OFC flexJacket triple 12ga. braid.