Depends on your budget: Transparent Reference Cables (particularly XL) from 10 years ago...not necessarily the new MM1 or MM2 which are a bit cleaner though still full sounding. Very rich, full but detailed and good bass in particular. i use them and really enjoy them...and while they are warm/full, i dont think many if anyone would say they are bloated or slow.
Purist Audio Dominus even more so. Also v expensive
Going to the budget end, the old Audioquest Emerald ICs were very musical, full and warm. not as detailed though...brand new they were $400...20 years ago. Probably could pick one up for 35-65?
Of the few that I own or have tried the Harmonic Technology Truth Link IC's easily are the warmest and most full bodied and have the most presence in the lower range. I wouldn't exactly call them smooth or rolled off because the highs are still there. There must be hundreds or more out there but these could be one to try to get your hands on for a demo.
Grover Huffman SX: warm, full-bodied, smooth, transparent -- as well as tonally accurate, detailed, and incredibly quiet. All for $200. Amazing. And they don't take nearly as long to burn in as some people say.
Nice equipment...its worth spending the time you are, in order to get him the right IC. Given the Pass being (i recall) fairly detailed, smooth as a class A amp, and (i am guessing) the Cambridge is fairly straightforward...you'll want a cable that maximizes the delivery of information thru to the Pass...and maintains a fairly natural tonality. For value for money and excellent results, you may wish to try the new Sablon Audio Panatella...see the reviews on Six Moons, Jeff Day, etc. At their price, they will easily compete with and many would say better my old Transparent Reference at a third the price.
For this situation and those values, you'd be hard-pressed to get better for the money than the Audio Advisor's AudioQuest Black Mamba II for $99.95 for a 1M pair.
I have many kinds of interconnects, and a couple of types that I like better, but the Black Mamba has going for it the things you were talking about. It's monocrystal copper with six nines purity, so it is uncommonly smooth and organic. It is terminated with *very nice* AQ silver-plated RCAs that run $40/set on their own. It's very smooth and musical, but resolution is good as well, and unfailingly musical.
If you want to spend a little more and get more speed and transparency, try to score some Zu Wylde on eBay through the zu_promos vendor. You get the cables with free shipping and Zu's 60-day trial period. The Wyldes were a $300-400/pair interconnect that's been discontinued. I have two pair in my #1 system, and in fact these replaced Kimber Heroes, which in turn replaced the AQ Black Mambas.
You can go to Audio Advisor and buy Black Mamba II's on any day in any quantity in any length, they break in quickly and easily, and always sound musical. But if you want a little more clarity, detail, and dynamics without introducing harshness, the Wyldes will do that, but you have to wait for the right auction to come up and jump on it. Also, the Wyldes require more burn-in; they start edgy and require a couple weeks of sending signal through them constantly to smooth out and come into focus. But once you do you'll probably have an interconnect you won't think about replacing for a long long time.
Thanks to all who have contributed. Presently doing do diligence on the recommendations. Ultimately hope to narrow it down to a few, and then buy them here, try them out on the system, the winner will stay, and the others will get sold off. Think that will be the best way to approach this project to get the system to match synergistically.
Seabreeze, I'm not familiar with your Cambridge Audio CD player, but, considering that it could be your no-name IC that's making your CD player sound bright, not the player itself, you may want to audition what is generally regarded as a neutral cable, as well. A warm cable could, potentially, push you too far in the opposite direction.
You never mentioned a price range for the IC you want to buy, information that would be helpful.
08-07-11: Mrtennis hate to bust your baloon, but warm and transparent cannot co exist. check the definition of "transparent" and warm".
Hadn't really thought about that, but that's fundamentally true: "Warm" means a tonal balance tilted toward the bass with some rolloff of the highs. Transparent requires fast risetime, which means frequency response way out to the ultrasonic range.
I stand by my earlier recommendation of the AQ Black Mamba II for its smoothness and clarity without being bright.
However, in my experience, the Cambridge components tend to sound a bit bright and forward. The Black Mambas might help, as well as sitting the CDP on a set of weight-correct Vibrapods.
Pmboyd, for sure the no name IC is adding to the situation, but they are there temporarly, till the proper IC is selected. As Johnnyb53 mentioned, it is a brighter sound thats the nature of the CDP to start with.
Have had my powercord and IC on the 840, and it transformed it into exactally what I am looking for from a IC. The problem there is one my friends made the powercord, who moved, and I dont have his new number, and I actually use two differnt IC's together with a female adapter. One being a Belden WBT ends and the other a Micro Seiki. Together there magic. A friend of mine received a spoll of the Micro Seiki,as he is an importer of Audio, and wanted to test it, made some IC's from it, and our group of about 15/20 audio buffs would get together on weekends, during the winter months. So we were the beta testers. He never did introduce it to the market.
Which leads me back to just finding a single IC for my brotherinlaw. As I have the power cord sorrted out already.
so if i understand you seabreeeze, you are seeking a coherence, balanced frequency response and sufficient resolution without sounding analytical.
if this is the case, i have found a trade off, between attaining resolution orand a full bodied sound. i may have an idea, but i can't mention the name of the cable becuase i am reviewing it as we speak.
after the review has ben listed on audiophilia, i will let you know.
IMHO a good cable will present what is on it's input to it's output without any change to the signal at all. If the output of your CDP is thin, a good cable will not change that. It will present to your preamp exactly what was presented to it.
Virgo have had your power cords in sight, considering the source 3 fo CDP and refrence Master for Amp. Recently dis covered your comments about the Eminence, and how you fill about it.So how would you compare the Eminence to the other two I mentioned. What differences would there be.
Mrtennis writes: so if i understand you seabreeeze, you are seeking a coherence, balanced frequency response and sufficient resolution without sounding analytical.
perfectly said Mrtennis.
keep us updated as to when your review is available
Why dont upgrade your CD player first? I do have JPS Aluminata on loan, comparing to my much less expensive cable and while its clearly a winner, I still be upgrading my CD player first, because the price differences is shocking.
Seabreeze, The Eminence is a combination of those two power cords and then some....the answer is yes to your question. The right power cord in the correct position can transform the sound of your system to your stated preferences.
Actually i use two interconnects. The eminence 2010 with copper foil and copper wires from the source to the tube pre and an older model passion master 2009 from the tube pre to the tube power amp. Good performance and value for money. Full bodied sound with nice smooth highs.