Are you seriously recommending that I buy a cable because from the outside they appear to be well constructed?? You haven't even taken 5 minutes to hook them up and get any kind of impression of how they sound yet you are sure that I will be pleased if I buy them?
You state "The quality and workmanship is some of the finest I have seen on any cable costing less than $1000." How did you determine this? By far the single most important criteria for judging the quality and workmanship in a cable is the the interface between the wire and the connector. An otherwise great sounding cable is worthless with a bad solder joint.
I am sorry to be so blunt, but of all the posts I have read here over the years, this is clearly the biggest waste of space I have ever seen.
There is another thread spreading the word on W and M.
The author of the other thread hasnt had the time to listen to his either.
Both this and the other thread look quite similar in layout.
Do I smell something here?
It is my post (I assume) that you are probably refering to. The other Agon poster has not had any time with his new cables either.
My W and M cables were the very first to be won on Audiogon auction.
I totally agree with Herman and yourself and I see your concern over the similarity of the two threads (mine and the other guy's).
After I won the auction, which BTW was a chance that I took almost totally by the photos of the cable, I was hit with many questions and comments from other Agon'ers. I wanted to address everyone (at once) and hopefully shed some light on this new company and its product.
There were 3 main reasons that I bid on the cables.
#1: They looked like high quality. The discription of the construction and material used seemed better than Radio Shack.
#2: I could get them dirt cheap.
#3: Total change of my haggered old system.
With: * New (used of course) speakers. (Genny 400's)
* A new amp (I was still looking at the time of the auction).
* Rather than the gaggle of old snakes that have been jumping out of every drawer and closet, I deceided to get something "new" to go along with evrything else. I spotted the "W and M cables and interconnects" in the Agon Auction.
* Last but not least, a new front end. Still unresolved as I sit here on my sorry a. This months audio funds are limited to: either a good (and cheap) Tuner or a good (and cheap) CD player. Did I mention cheap ?
Herman, There is no doubt, if these things just "look" good, they are worthless to us all. I suppose that I am like the other guy that is posting... I am in hope that I did not make a mistake. It was a BIG chance.
#1: Unknown cables and interconnects (Zero feedback w/no web reference).
#2: Unknown company
#3: Overseas (UK) contacts and shipping. My first attempt at this.
#4: PayPal... My first adventure with it.
#5: No help from Agon members. No one knew anything about the cables or the company.
And of course all the other little horrors that go along with spending good money for an "Unknown" item being shipped by "Someone" from "Somewhere".
I'm just happy that I have them and not not dealing with an attorney about fruad charges or UPS about damage or lost goods.
Almost needless to say; I could have used the money to purchase "well known" products.
I now have to drag out the gaggle of old snakes, pick the best ones and compare them to the new W and M's.
I will say this: If my old stuff wins or these cables come up short in all their hype and pretty pictures, I will come down on this product like hammer in my postings. After all... it was "my" money that may go down the crapper with the cables shortly to follow.
I can always pull the wire out of their pretty jackets and shove some old Kimber inside..
David and Herman. You have caught me. Your deductive reasoning has caught the scheme it seems! With all do respect; your comments are the very reason for the opening line of my original post. There are always going to be flamers who should have probably bit their tongue a little more before saying what was on their minds. However apologetic they may seem after making rude and inappropriate comments. So where to start?
Of course there are similarities between Tubeears' response and mine. People have been asking about these cables, not only here but on other audio/video sites on the internet. I feel Audiogon is the best place to find information and I too felt it was best to post at least what I knew. People always want as much information as possible; even if it is only based on appearance. Someone has to be of the first few to buy and review a product. Enthusiasts on Audiogon are often excited about getting what seems to be a bargain before it is too late and my goal was to give them everything possible to make that decision about purchasing. What I did, was give people what they wanted to know, which was as much as I did. This is why I stated I would post a review under cables. I guess I should have been clearer in what I said, which should have been, “I will post a review later under cables”. Once I have had time to listen to the cables I will give them a full review. Good or Bad… These cables are in my opinion going for prices much less than they are worth. Heck, you can spend $50 on a set of AR cables at Wal-Mart. These aren’t going for much more than that right now.
As far as determining the workmanship of a cable I do feel that this is one of the nicest cables I have seen for under $1000. They are also much netter than many costing much more. People buy cables all the time without ever seeing them and often do so from a magazine or other source based on advertisement slogans. “I thought the testimonials on Audiogon were a good remedy to this. Maybe I was wrong! I took a chance on these cables based on the excellent feedback from the manufacturer and largely based on the good marketing materials/photographs that were posted. I have never had as good of feedback from a manufacturer as I have from W&M. Calculating in the fact that they are from the U.K. and the risks involved I was completely put to ease by their email responses. I never received as good of a response, as a dealer; from most U.S. manufacturers, with whom I spent tens-of-thousands a year with, as I did from W&M. Give a newbie a chance would you? When I received these cables I immediately removed all that I could to see the inner structure. I have sold pretty much all of the main stream cables you can rattle off and based on what I could see this is a darn nice cable. If I had wanted to destroy the fine workmanship in order to examine the solder joint I could have. But based on the amount of money it looked like the manufacturer spent on the cable components themselves and the fact that the connector was injected molded with insulation material, completely engulfing the solder connection, I decided to save my money and not sacrifice the very well built cable. The simple fact that I personally know it costs more money to hide a shoddy solder weld than it does to actually make the proper connection to begin with caused me to put my reservations to rest.
As I mentioned I used to be a dealer until just very recently. Not only was I a dealer but an owner who had invested a lot of time and money into the corporation. I have chosen to better my life and move on to bigger and better things and the fallacies surrounding products in the A/V market and my unwillingness to accept them were one of the reasons for leaving the business. As I don't know your background I will be more careful in my comments than you were in yours, and extend you a little professional courtesy. As a dealer and business professional I have been privileged to see the inside of factories and talk to people most here at Audiogon could only dream of. I would love to discuss details but in releasing this kind of information to a dealer and letting him/her see proprietary manufacturing processes, any manufacturer or representative worth their weight in salt utilizes quite an extensive confidentiality agreement. Trust me they enforce them too! I have seen and heard comments from people that most could only hope to hear or never hear depending on your preference. Things like “That cable costs us 50 cents to make and we sell it for $350” or more comes to mind. I have heard hoards of engineers laugh about the concept of break-in period, inductance, capacitance and various other terms you and I hear on an everyday basis in the industry. I am not saying which of these concepts or methodologies I practice, believe in, or preach. I am just saying that I have heard these statements on many occasions. People seem to think they know what they are speaking of and about the field because they are educated by articles in magazines, web-sites and various other sources. I have been trained over the last 10 years by some of the best in the business and manufacturers have spent a lot of time to put me in nice hotel rooms, treat me to the nicest meals and the best whiskey, scotch and “REAL Beer” money can buy. I have several certifications, designed hundreds of systems and Oh, I have a highly technical background and educational background. I feel that I know what I am talking about.
My review was based on the fact that there was not a lot of hype from the manufacturer in his advertisement and the product seemed to be of extremely high quality. I feel that quality of construction has “A LOT” to do with the sound of a cable much to your displeasure. Having purchased a pair of these cables I was able to see a nice diagram of the construction schematic on the cable itself. Considering it appeared to be identical to the cable I received there was no room for doubt and I felt I got a heck of a bargain. I did have the time to hook my cables up last night. I am sorry I don’t have free time in my day to just write reviews and hook up audio/video equipment all day long. As I have already stated, I am no longer in the business. Based on my initial listening I think that these are fine cables. The experience was transparent, warm and just what I had hoped for right out of the box. I am not a big believer in break-in period. I am not flaming or disagreeing with anyone here on Audiogon. I just simply feel that break-in is a factor of my mind and hearing getting used to the new sound more than anything else. Once I get used to the new setup I will post a review. I can only hope you read it and respond to it with as much candor as you did my original post!
Based on some of your responses it is hard to tell if you are disgruntled with just my post or Audiogon in general. You make it sound as if, despite my bad post, you have a difficult time finding useful information anywhere here on Audiogon. You also seem to think I am in cahoots with someone else but based on your comments one might construe that you, yourselves, were trying to keep others from buying a fine product. Maybe you are the one in cahoots. If there was any collusion going on with myself and anyone else, as you suggest, don’t you think I would build the cables up much more than I did by giving them a full review? I caution you in your comments by the way! Of course you both could very well be one of those guys that used to came into the store, which I was a principle partner in, purchased $2000 worth of, how should I say this, over-marketed and over-hyped cables, and as you were walking out the door my business partner and the representative, who was just visiting that day say, “You just made $1500 on a set of cables!!! If my cost was $500 what do you think the manufacturer made!
I can’t hold your hand. You have to make the decision on what to buy. Based on your feedback and what seems to be an extensive amount of time available to deal and browse around on Audiogon, I would think you had better things to do than try to tarnish the name of a business that is really trying to make a good name of themselves and offer a quality product. Do I sense a displeasing olfactory scent? Just because you feel you are a legacy of Audiogon it does not give you the right to bash whomever your wish. Sorry if I am so blunt!
This is a bit like posting a movie review without yet having watched the movie, but rather because one found the producer and director to be very nice people who would answer any and all questions by a journalist and occasionally hook them up with a bit of scotch or a "real" beer. Nice fellows. Movie looks really terrific judging from the trailor and the posters. Producer and director are totally above board. Go see the movie. It's a great value and promises to be great. That's not a review. That's a walking info-mercial.
Who cares. I do not want to read about a pizzing match here.
I’m sorry, I glanced through but did not bother to read your lengthy dissertation. However, I did nothing to tarnish the reputation of this cable company. My comments were directed at you, not them. For all I know they are the best cables in the world. My point was that your post did not provide a single bit of useful information regarding these cables.
The bottom line is this; recommending an audio component based solely on how it looks is like recommending a painting solely on how it sounds. An utter waste of time. If that is rude or harsh then so be it.
I’m actually quite surprised you took so much time to defend your recommendation when it is clearly indefensible.
Would you buy a car without driving it?
Would you recommend a restaurant without tasting the food?
Do you buy shoes without trying them on?
Of course not. This is no different.
Herman, Why don’t you take all that penned up energy and pompous, pretentious, supercilious, know it all demeanor, and put it into something a little more constructive like paying the measly $100 average price that the W&M’s are going for, listen to them for a while and write your own review. Maybe you can teach us all something. Either you will prove me wrong in my immediate assumptions, which it sounds is of the utmost importance to you, or you will get a heck of a good deal on a good audiophile quality cable and help out an up and coming company in the process. Think of it as charity work and the opportunity to educate those of us who don’t seem to be as fortunate to have the knowledge that you yourself make so readily available.
Sorry I stepped on your toes but I don't think you get my point. I'm not angry, I don't have any desire to "prove you wrong." I believe you when you say they appear to be well constructed. I don't know it all, in fact I know nothing about these cables. I don't care about the cables.
I merely pointed out that posting a review about how an audio product looks without saying anything about how it sounds is a waste of time. There is no need for further discourse if you are incapable of accepting the utter truth in this statement.
I think that we seem to be missing the basic point of it all. This is not the "Review" channel, it is the "Cable" channel. Since these are virtually unknown cables, it seems logical (imho) that any tid-bit of info should be well rec'd. The info posted is more along the lines of the initial progression of the sale, receipt and "first impressions" of the items. The intent of "my" posting was to relieve the minds of anyone else that might be concidering taking a chance on the cables. Here on the "Cables forum" I wanted to let anyone (that cared) know...
A. The cables were "shipped" (the biggest single worry of dealing with a new company... especially an overseas one).
B. They were "boxed" OK.
C. The construction and material was "as advertised" (although this a bit tough to do without completly destroying the things).
D. (to) Submit my initial and "informal" (in no way a review) opinions of them.
A comment on "blind buying" (a bit of my personal adventures with it).
After "well over" a quarter of a century of living in rural Alaska (admittedly "some" in Anchorage.. but most in Nome (no roads) and some Islands) I have endured the wrath of many shipping mistakes and swindles. Not just for Audio gear and pleasure items, but basics like food and clothing. To have the advantages (in the "lower 48) of going down and looking, listening and feeling the stuff that you would like to have (just buy right there and then) is a real treat. The days and nights spent on the crapper looking and dreaming of Audio gear on the pages of the old underground mags and advertising leaflets were many. There were many mistakes and luckily, there was a good share of fine picks as well. I was one of the first to have an Empire 598 in Alaska (for sure the first in Nome). A good read on the "porcelain buss" sucked me into it. My Altec A7-500W's (VOT's in Walnut !) were shipped because I liked their looks (and talks on the phone).
I'm in Georgia now, but a fare distance from any audio shops. I still rely on the good judgement of others (for the most part).
All of this is what this thread is about. It is about the initial stages of the selling and the receiving of the cables that I (we) chanced (sight and sound unseen) bidding on. It may be many days, weeks.... perhaps even months before we "really" know what they "sound" like (after all, they are really not supposed to sound like anything at all).
I think that we may have just "short circuited" ourselves with the newness of the product and the overall excitement of actually having them. I may have posted a bit prematurely, but I was anxious to let Agon'ers know that the company was OK to deal with and that the product made it. (and, of course, "looked" good).
Herman, your system is just killer. I love the way that you put the thing together, It says a lot about yourself and your overall dedication to audio. I really think that you would like to hear a valid and uncompromised "review" of these things. It will come in time. As I stated earlier, my "front end" is about equal to some "Fisher Price" stuff that I spotted in Wal-Mart. I am in hopes that I can upgrade to the new "Barbie" model of "My First Sony" and get these cables singing like they should.
Tubby, if you want to upgrade your front end look into a USB DAC. They offer great performance and since you already have a computer it can serve as your source. Check out these links and do a google on USB DAC. There is a ton of info out therehttp://www.wavelengthaudio.com/usbdac.htmlhttp://www.scott-nixon.com/dac.htm
As to your statements of: I merely pointed out that posting a review about how an audio product looks without saying anything about how it sounds is a waste of time. There is no need for further discourse if you are incapable of accepting the utter truth in this statement.
It is not a waste of time if people are asking you to tell them as much as you possibly can about a product that they are seriously considering buying. Especially, when there is absolutely no information on them available. They want to know what to compare them to and put a dollar figure on the quality of them. I am sorry but if you don't think that quality of construction has anything to do with a cable. I was not simply saying that they were a pretty cable, which they are. I broke the cable down as far as I could and having seen and sold virtually every major mainstream cable over the last 10 years I felt this cable could hold its own with many of them from a construction standpoint. This is what people wanted to know and unfortunately they want to know it as soon as possible. Considering there is an auction every 3 days or so for the cables and people wanted to bid on them I gave them what they wanted.
If you don't care about the cables then why were you on the forum looking for them. You have to actually search the forum for a product you want to find more information about. Saying that you are not interested in a product when you actually took the time to look it up, read and respond to posts on it, seems counterintuitive if you ask me.
Being the connoisseur that you make yourself out to be I find it hard to believe that you have never purchased anything without actually trying it. Have you never purchased a high quality cigar based only on the smell of it or the visible construction of the leaves in the outer wrapper? My goodness, doing so might just be disastrous according to you. Have you never purchased a nice bottle of wine or whiskey based only on a date listed on the bottle? Lord knows what you might find after you crack the seal. We take chances everyday and this was no exception. I gave people an educated and substantiated opinion of the cables so they could make the best informed decision possible.
As to your comments about running shoes and vehicle purchase: I have indeed purchased vehicles and shoes without ever having tried them on or test drove them as you state in your earlier comments. I have purchased my fair share of what seem to be finely constructed Italian leather shoes based only on appearance and been completely elated with the results. In addition, the simple lack of abundance of certain vehicles to test drive, with the Nissan Skyline and Audi RS4 coming to mind, it is literally impossible to drive one before purchasing, especially if the one you want lies half way across the country. All you have to go on is what you have read. Yet people, including myself, have done it many times.
There is no greater feeling than purchasing a piece of audio/video equipment and having it totally exceed your expectations. Especially if you paid much less than you feel it was worth. That is one of the driving forces behind Audiogon. I love to purchase gear from companies no one has ever heard of because the individuals who generally start up these companies do so because they hate what the industry itself has become. I believe in good value/performance for my dollar and based on my original post the cables were worth every penny I paid for them. Even if I just hung the darn things on the wall!
I don't search the forums. I only look at the "new today" section where every post comes up.
Of course I've bought things without having heard them, Perhaps my analogies were not perfect but I've never recommended that others buy something unless I've heard it or drove it or worn it or whatever..
Once again, you miss the essential component of my position: a review of an audio component that only tells you how it looks is worthless.
I would have to disagree with the suggestions made by Herman on the USB DAC for your computer. Doing so is no better than recommending you continue to use your current source and upgrade the DAC. Your system is still only going to be as good as your source. Even the worst Wal-Mart Special is better than most computer drives due to interference from other components and feedback from power supplies, fans, computer monitors and the like. If you are using a laptop, completely forget the idea. Most CD-Rom and DVD-Rom drives under most of the major names that make it into a large majority of computers are made by a single company based in China. I would much rather see you purchase a decent source component with its own internal DAC's than follow this suggestion. This is no different than the recommendation you would receive from me on the discussion of using your computer as a music server versus an external one passing through it’s own or external DAC's. You are still limited by the computers hardware at some point in the chain and suffice it to say, even the best computer audio components were never actually designed for or derived from actual audio components.
I suppose Herman; that you can actually make these recommendations to Tubby because you have actually heard these products and that they are not just based on something you have read or a visual interpretation. Otherwise, how can you be comfortable recommending them?
Tubby, most if not all of Bryan's points against USB DACs are completely unfounded. Even though they are not without pitfalls and take some careful research and effort to properly implement, hard drive based server systems are the wave of the future and offer ouststanding performance at a modest price. You seem like a reasonable, rational person rather than one who is on the defensive and just looking for something to attack. Take a look at the links, do some googling, and make your own decisions. I own and use a USB DAC and I am pleased with the results, otherwise I would not have recommended it.
"Even the worst Wal-Mart Special is better than most computer drives due to interference from other components and feedback from power supplies, fans, computer monitors and the like."
What complete nonsense. A computer is capable of reading hundreds of megabytes of data from a CD-ROM with not a single bit error, yet it cannot read a music CD ?
Also, since USB is a packetized protocol, a USB DAC must perform buffering and reclocking of the data before presenting it to the DAC, and so if the USB DAC master clock is of sufficient quality jitter is almost entirely removed.
Technically a USB DAC is capable of exactly the same performance as any one or two-box CD player.
I asked you a specific question regarding the links you provided to Tubby. You specifically state that "They offer great performance". You go on to say "You own and use a USB DAC and I am pleased with the results". Okay, you don't say a thing about the actual DAC's you are speaking of and yet you recommend them. Based on your arguments of my review of the cables it sounds as if you are fluffing the capabilities of these DAC's without any substantiated evidence whatsoever. Maybe you just felt that these were a good product based on things you have heard and that others might want to take advantage of the same opportunity as you. Sound familiar yet? You have continued to voice your negative opinions towards my comments about W&M cables. Yet, in making your recommendations on the USB DAC's to Tubby you make no review whatsoever. Instead you state the same things that I have commented on several times in the last 24 hours which is to take things how you wish and do your own research. You know what, "I own and use interconnect cables and I am pleased with the results; otherwise I would not have recommended them. That is about as general comment as it gets. Do you mean to imply that using a specific cable brand is more important than using a specific brand of USB DAC. Your comment makes it sound as if by choosing any USB DAC, the consumer will be totally satisfied.
Your right, you made a point to single me out, making derogatory remarks about my comments calling them a big waste of space. Then you turn around and make the same type of comment within the same thread no less. There is no singling out or attacking taking place. I am just pointing out the same things that you did. Maybe you would care to remove your original remarks.
I am not going to even attempt to argue with Seandtaylor99 because unless he has a degree in electrical engineering focusing on computers and electronics his remarks have no merit whatsoever.
Let us compare our positions.
ME::::: I am not recommending a specific DAC. I am recommending that you explore the world of the USB DAC based on my positive experiences with it and the overwhelming support of it from many quarters. Take the time to google the topic and read. There is a preponderance of evidence out there that supports my position that a USB DAC can deliver fine sonic performance.
YOU::::: You are recommending that I buy a specific cable because you think it looks good.
I fail to see any relationship.
I may have been less than eloquent with my initial response but I spoke the truth. Give it up Bryan. Nobody agrees with you. You have been backed into a corner because you cannot possibly defend your initial post (buy this cable because it looks good) and like a cornered animal have taken to attacking everyone's position whatever it is no matter what merit it holds.
You spew a bunch of gibberish about computers and then dismiss seandtaylor because he didn’t back up his facts (yes, they are facts) with an engineering degree?? I am very sorry to see that this has deteriorated into a pissing contest but you offer nothing of consequence.
I believe I will move on.
What happens when and if you ever hook up these new W&M interconnects, give them proper break-in, and conclude that they sound like dog poop? Do you come back to this thread and state, "Well, I finally listened to these beautiful interconnects and they sound like cr#p. Even the cheapest Radio Shack ic's sound leaps and bounds better. However, because they are some of the most beautifully constructed interconnects I've ever seen, I still have to highly recommend them to all my fellow Audiogoners. Cheers!"
"I am not going to even attempt to argue with Seandtaylor99 because unless he has a degree in electrical engineering focusing on computers and electronics his remarks have no merit whatsoever."
Actually I do. I have a EE degree and I write embedded software for internet protocols, cellular modems and GPS tracking. But I don't want to argue. If you can show that what I've written is untrue then go ahead. I'm no expert on USB but I know it's a high speed packetized protocol, and, as such will require buffering and reclocking before feeding a DAC.
I find it hard to believe that you have an EE degree and you are designing software protocols for computer chips. It does not make since to me. Seems to me you would have more of a degree in computer science, programming or CIS. I'll have to check with some of my colleagues to see when programming started being taught in any major University Engineering degree program. The simple fact that you cannot speak intelligently of USB cables shows me that you had no business countering my comments as you did. Who gives a crap of whether it is a high speed packetized protocol. The simple fact that a USB was originally designed to and to this day conducts enough current to power a device connected to it makes it a horrible connection for any audiophile device. Heck, lets just design a new digital or analogue interface that will allow us to power our equipment through powered interconnect cables. Then we won't even have to worry about buying good power cables. Would you power your LCD TV with a HDMI Cable that also transmits your audio and video signal? I think not. Heck, you guys might!!! Who knows….
There have been plenty of people who have agreed with me but rather argue on here with people who seem to lack the appropriate credentials trying to back it up with a bunch of B.S. and actually read my rebuttal post, they have instead sent me emails asking me about the cables in person.
Sherod, if you would have taken the time to actually read my rebuttal to the original post Herman made you would seen that I plainly state that if I don't like the cables after I hear them I will plainly say so. I hate people like you who think they can be part of the crowd by posting in the middle of a heated thread without actually reading previous threads. Go read a book or something and educate yourself rather than doing something to make yourself sound stupid.
I have wasted way too much time on this post and I refuse to argue with people like you. No one likes a flamer and all you guys have done is ruin your credibility on Audiogon. Now, excuse me while I "LISTEN" to my extremely nice new cables which sounded "EXTREMELY" transparent and warm directly out of the box. This is the “BEST SOUNDING” cable, out of the box, under $1000 dollars I have ever heard. Happy now you flamers! I can't wait until I am actually used to them. I can't believe I paid so little for such a “FINE SOUNDING" cable. I will be buying from W&M again very soon. I can’t wait until their power cables are ready!!!
Oh no....You know, no one agrees with you Bryan…no one likes you Bryan….My dad can beat up your dad Bryan… You guys are indeed pathetic… Find something else constructive to do with your lives. I am done with this thread period!!!!!!!! Cheers
Forgive me, my intrusion Bryandaws, on your heated debate with Herman. I had thought that these threads were for all members to share their input. Weren't you directing this thread to "all" Audiogon members? Actually, I was kind of making a joke about your initial "review" based on how good they look when you hadn't even listened to them. I totally agree with Herman that this approach was a waste of thread space, but it did build into an interesting debate which I felt compelled to throw in a little joke. Didn't you laugh just a bit? You really do need to take a chill pill and relax. Now that you've supposedly listened to these interconnects and like them, I am happy for you. Would I buy them based on your recommendations,er,"review"? Nope! Not a chance. I get a little queazy anyway when I see cables with ferrite cores built into them. IMHO
Bryan, since credentials seem to be so important may I be so bold as to inquire about yours? Since I know you will ask, I have been involved in electronics at the component level for almost 30 years after working on a wide variety of communication equipment in the military, taught electronics at an associate level for 10 years, and have been repairing medical lasers for the past 15 years. I spend a fair amount of time reading about this topic and discussing it with fellow hobbyists and friends I have in the industry, and then applying what I have learned by building and modifying my own equipment. That doesn’t mean I know everything but I do know you can’t judge a cable by how it looks.
Also, please elaborate on your statement “The simple fact that a USB was originally designed to and to this day conducts enough current to power a device connected to it makes it a horrible connection for any audiophile device.” Since the function of the interface is to transfer digital data to a receiver chip I fail to see any correlation between the amount of current it carries and the sound quality, but I am eager to be enlightened. It seems to me that if the data arrives intact it doesn’t matter if the cable is carrying a micro amp or a mega amp.
"I find it hard to believe that you have an EE degree and you are designing software protocols for computer chips. It does not make since to me."
Then you obviously have no experience in embedded software. Embedded software engineers tend to come from either an EE background or computer science. Embedded software is actually a mix of EE and computer science. The best embedded software team will comprise members with EE degrees and members with computer science degrees.
The power transfer of USB is, as Herman points out, irrelevant. The USB power is transferred on a separate pin, carrying 5vDC. I would not expect any quality USB dac to use this power supply, partly because it is polluted with noise, and partly because it can only supply a couple of watts, which is insufficient. I suspect that it is left open circuit (not connected) on most all USB DACs, and that the DAC has its own separate power supply.
The high speed packetized nature is COMPLETELY RELEVANT, because it means that a USB DAC MUST buffer and reclock the data stream to the DAC, unlike an SPDIF based DAC which can attempt to regenerate its DAC clock from the SPDIF datastream. We all know that using SPDIF for the DAC master clock makes the DAC subject to the jitter in the transport, and is generally regarded as an outdated design. Since USB must reclock this weakness is removed.
So the computer can read data with zero errors, USB will transfer with zero errors, and the data is buffered and reclocked before being presented to the DAC chips ... it sounds like a formula for excellent digital sound. Of course it can be ruined in the execution, but then so can any one box or two box CD player.
We are holding off for a short while on the CD player. We stepped sideways, and slightly up, in "convenient listening" instead. We purchased a "Polk XRt12" XM Radio receiver. We both like it quite a bit, but I can't in "true conscience" call it a "higher end" device. I do not believe that it is a suitable unit for "sorting out" the smaller differences between cables and other gear (at least for the benefit of helping "others" decide on their values, pro and con).
I do notice, however, that the "W and M" cables have a "easy" and "relaxed" presence to them. I have switched back and forth, between some of my other cables, trying to actually "shed" some of that.
Other cables at hand:
* AudioQuest (older, unreadable model)
* MIT 330
* DH Labs BH 2 (Liar's Silver)
* Monster 950 and 1000
* Tranaparent Interlink
The cable listed should not even be in the same league as the W and M. However, "all" have their "individual" positive and negative qualiies.
It is in the "midrange" that they are fairly laid back (not at all "veiled", because the "nuances" are there). They seem very polite and nonirritating. With the new "Onix SP-3" (that is metric TON of "Bloom" and comfortable "tube" sound) coupled with the notoriously "laid back" Genesis 400's, I'm drowning in audio "Whipped Cream".
* Strong and Heavy low end.
* Reticent, very "polite" midrange
* Very extended, "silky" top end.
The W and M cables are open and extended, allowing the bloom and ease of the "Tubes" (5881/6L6GC X4 .... 12AX7WB x2 .... 6922/6DJ8 x2 .... 12AU7 x2) to show through. They seem to allow the sound qualities of the equipment (that I have now) to show though very well. Images are placed just about where they should be (by past recollection of my older gear and what I can obtain from the existing system). There is a bunch of smearing due to the lack of good input (kinda goes without saying, I quess). Definition and resolution are lacking as well (ditto).
I had a bit of a problem w/ imaging earier. It is somewhat resolved. With some different placement of the speakers and the realization that my "front end" sucks, I must live with this little delema for a while.
Positives that stand out:
A Wonderful "top to bottom" response and transparency (yes, I know, "How can YA tell.. Well, there are some notes, at some times that "do" happen and the cable doesn't stop it).
Negatives that stand out:
A bit "too" laid back" for my system (as it stands). "Nothing" that I throw at it (short of FM static) is irritating. Perhaps a "plus" to some" but it tells me that "something, somewhere" is missing (where's my old Klipsch and Sure V15x3 when I need them)
We have Half Asked decided on a new "Onix XCD-99" (for next months CD expenditure). Nothing but good has been said about it (so far) and I just love the Onix SP-3 Integrated amp (maybe just a bit more power would be nice).
I am anxious to get on with more info (to myself, and all A'goners) about what these W and M cables are capable of.
Moron all this later :-)
I have pulled the W and M (interconnects) out and replaced it with some StraightWire Encore. I had normally reserved the StraightWire for systems that had a harder or harsher quality. With the Polk XRt12 XM recv'r, the sound is more open, has more life and the imaging is better. There is most certainly a synergy between the Polk unit and the StaightWire that I cannot get from any of the other cables. The Polk is cleanly set up and placed on Tip-Toes. I have treated as a "Hi-End" device. Vibration, heat nor associated interference is not an issue. The W and M interconnects only seem superior in one area, and that is their ability to transfer an deep, clean and tight low end.
It is truly unfortunate that I write these words about the "W and M" Interconnects.
It is my belief (for reasons purely related to synergy) that the "W and M" interconnects cannot relate (within my current system) the sonic character that I was hoping for.
A moment out (for those that desire) to lap your slobbering chops and roll about.
Changing cables (with all of the intensity and reluctance that Medusa combs her hair), I have made a decision on the sonic character of the "W and M" Interconnects. With the W and M Cables installed, my system lacks an overall sense of "Life" and "Pace". Replacing the "W and M's" (with selected others) brings the "Life" and "Pace" back into being. In "defense" of the "W and M" cables, the others are somewhat void of the positive attributes that the "W and M" cables do have (with spades).
* Truly marvelous "top to bottom" response.
* Open and transparent midrange.
* Deep and wide soundstage.
These "W and M" cables (imho) would work very well in a high end system that needs some "edge" taken off of it. I have (a few times) searched for cable like this and would have truly liked to have had them. The resulting purchases have mostly been cables that were "Dead" or "Wanted" to be. Some of them, I did, (out of pity).. euphonize.
The "W and M" SPEAKER Cable (on the other hand) is some of the "best" that I have ever used. Fortunately, I do have a few types of cable and I have made some comparisons. The "W and M" SPEAKER Cable sounds a bit like a cable that I "DO" know (and like); the "Harmonic Technology" (with a just a touch of "JPS" thrown in).
Nice stuff....... A +
Perhaps it is that the "W and M" Interconnects just do not work well with TUBES (or perhaps just "some" tubes). Perhaps they just do not work well in a "relaxed" system... Anyhow, I'm weary of dinking around with it. Off to the closet.... (where "did" I put that FANCY box ?)
Where do W&M cables come from? I can find no website for the manufacturer, no reviews in magazines, no retail or web outlet? The only nplace I have found them is on ebay and other autction sites.Therefore who is buying this stuff without having any background on the cable or the company, the cables performace etc?
They were selling power cables with counterfeit Oyaide connectors here on Audiogon. So take that into consideration before making a purchase.