Xindak Cable Question


Based on the recommendation of many fellow Gonners here and first hand account of many satisfied users I have decided to give these a try. Wondering what the general opinion on break in time is? Also, is FS-Gold their top-of-the-line?
I discovered Xindak from Keith Forrest , a respected AG member some time ago. He let me audition the fs 2 sc s and compaared directly to my Nordost spms , there was no contest. The Xindak simply uncovered information the Nodrost obscured . The value was to put it mildly , stunning. I directly compared them to my valhalla and there was no comparison . The valhalla distroyed the Xindak in every way. Not to be discouraged , i tried the Xindak gold. Dispite some strange mixed input from members , I found the gold a huge step up in performance fron the excellent fs 2 . Without getting flowerly in descriptive adjectives lets just say that they are giant slayers for the price . I have the fs 2 on one system the gold on another and valhalla on one. I would not hesitate for a second giving the fs 2 a try , for the money they are going for on the Gon , its a certified steal. Break in time is 200 hours at least. I think the gold is the top but I am not positive on this. .... IMO of course.
Thanks Brainwater.

I did read Keith's FS-1 review in Stereotimes, where he was mighty impressed. Looking at the prices at least, it appears that Gold is top-of-the-line (most expensive). I know this is not a fair comparison by any means, but how would you compare the FS-1 with Valhalla? Since you have both, I thought you might have an opinion.

Also your break in time is in agreement with the responses that I got via email, so I guess we have consensus on 200 hours break in time.

Thanks again.
Sorry mate, I meant "how would you compare the FS-Gold with Valhalla"...
Amal , the steps are about equal between the fs2 , gold and valhalla in my opinion. The street price difference between gold and Valhalla is another story . I see you have the Xindak tube sacd player. Me too. Its a giant slayer on sacd and competed nicely with my marantz sa 1 which was 8k. The problem with the Xindak is that I hear it is using inferior internal parts and has a transport that Sony uses in their boomboxes. Its a reliability issue . I cannot verify this but was told that from an audio engineer- designer with no axe to grind. The sound however is what matters and I think it is stunning on sacd. Redbook is ok. I could have afforded the Valhalla on the system that i put the Xindak gold on and chose the gold bacause while the Valhalla is almost invisible , the Xindak has the ability to draw you into the music.The instruments just seem to linger a bit longer in the air and have a rich , golden tonality that I find facinating . Cymbals on the gold just stun you with their presence and have vastly different character from one another in a given song than the valhalla. I want different sounds for each of my 3 systems and am so happy with the gold and fs 2. I change my syatem all the time and may very well move on to another cable but for now i am just enjoying the music. Cheers.
Brent: Judging from what you wrote above, it would appear that you find the "lack of decay", "lack of harmonic structure", "lack of body & warmth" and the "TOO fast" sound of Nordost to rub you the wrong way. Would this be a logical deduction or am i reading too much into this? Sean
Thanks Brainwater.

I do have the Xindak SCD-2 and enjoy it a lot. I am no electronic engineer, but when I took the top off to see which tubes they had as stock, I noticed the layout to be very nice and could identify at least few branded parts in there, so I do not think all the parts they use are inferior. OTOH, since the SACD transports are different from CD transports, I'm not sure if they can use the "boom box" transports in SCD-2.

That being said, I do agree with you on the reliability issues. Mine refused to play CD-Rs initially and I was getting ready to send it back when it started playing few of them, especially the ones that were recorded with lower speeds (2X and 4X). Since then I have been able to play lot of CD-R (including some, the player initially refused to play!). Sounds strange, but I wonder if that was an adoptability issue.

I have decided to go for FS-Gold, probably two sets for bi-wiring. Given the price, I think it is a no-brainer.

Brainwater, i see that you use xindak's power cables as well. How do they compare to other power cables you've tried?
Hey Sean , no , not really. I want different sounds from each of my systems. I frequently try changing different links in my three dedicated listening rooms in an attempt to simply learn how these changes sonically alter things. Tube system in one , solid state in another and a mulltichannel music system in another . Its a learning curve and since i have no outside interests { and have a lot to learn still } , it seems im doomed to such trivial pursuits. I know the concept about sound absolute and its quest but i am on various paths looking at various things. I am on a tube kick having recently purchased the Cary cad 211 anniversary monos and have found the swapping of the cables facinating and not necessarily following convential wisdom either . As to the specifics of the question..... It is entirely possible that the spm cable was a bit too lean for my tastes but the cable simply was not resolving information the Xindak easily left non obscured. The Nordost may have been a bit more accurate in its determination of musical note decay but the Xindak gold was so obviously superior in creating air around musical notes , lingering into the back of the soundstage , that I found its presentation more realistic and was subsuquently sucked into a suspension of disbelief that the Nordost simply did not give me . At least on my systems in my own experiments. On the other hand , i need and crave the lazer like accuracy of the Valhalla { which have many of the characteristics of the spm s } to realize the complex structure of high resolution mulltichannel musical playback in my Meridian - Aerial room . The speed and natural sound reproduction pave a way for the complex layering of music in that room . Lots of ways to feel about what makes you tick as a listener. All this is just my opinion and though may be totally incorrect , I feel i am able to learn faster and can therefore get better at this stuff that consumes many of us.... Glad you are back man.
Brent: Thanks for the response and clarification. I can see how Nordost's might be of value in a multi-channel music and / or HT system. They definitely sound very sharp, precise and focused, which would aid in better localization and a reduction in congestion / blending of imagery. After all, with 5+ speakers throwing sound at you from every which way, a simplified presentation will increase intelligibility.

Having said that, i found Nordost's to strip away the harmonic structure aka "density of layered sounds" that acoustic instruments produce. With less harmonic information presented, you can now concentrate on the primary notes, which now stand out and sound incredibly pronounced from one another. There is a tremendous sense of speed and detail, but it is achieved at the cost of natural musicality, warmth, body and air. To me, the Nordost is not "a bit more accurate in its determination of musical note decay", it is much poorer in this regard.

If i might read a bit into your post here, i think that you thought the same thing, but chose poor wording to convey your experiences. Otherwise, you wouldn't have been able to say "but the Xindak gold was so obviously superior in creating air around musical notes , lingering into the back of the soundstage , that I found its presentation more realistic and was subsuquently sucked into a suspension of disbelief that the Nordost simply did not give me". After all, if the Nordost was more accurate in harmonic structure and note decay, it would have sounded "more realistic" and "believable" as you noted with the other cable. I hope that you don't take that as criticism of what you wrote, as in a great sense, i'm agreeing with what i think you were trying to say* : )

In my experience, Nordost is a cable that helps achieve "hi-fi" type sonics / increased intelligiblity, which is great if that is what one is looking for. To me, the guys at TAS are all about "hi-fi fluff", hence their love affair with this type of presentation. To me, it is not a natural sounding cable even though it sounds very impressive when you first hear it. The fact that you chose a cable that offers greater "air" ( harmonic structure ) and density of spatial information for a 2 channel based system tells me that we are hearing similar things and desire similar sonic traits from our systems. The fact that you chose Nordost to help "reduce clutter" and "increase intelligibility" in a multi-channel presentation tells me that you've really got a good ear and sense of what goes where. Keep up the good work. Your hands-on experience seems to be paying off quite well : ) Sean

* If i was wrong in how i interpreted your above comments, please plant your boot firmly and spare no mercy. I don't want to put words in anybody's mouth or lead to further misinterpretation of someone else's comments.
Sean , the only place I would like to shove my foot near you is your front door so i could listen to the system you have and are creating and to talk some audio " shop " with one of the great minds of our audio community. I was on my third glass of 97 Opus 1 when I responded and was showing what a " deep thinker " I really am in my wording choices... heheheh . {I had just recieved my Phillips 1000 . I had Alex at APL do his magic and was floating a little higher than usual. If you have not heard what he can do with this unit you need to . Dont you still have yours ? Its so incredible I just ordered a mulltichannel unit for the theatre. } .... I just love this stuff and have no one to share it with . I spend about 5 hours a nite Monday - Fri bouncing around from room to room swapping cables , players ect in an effort to amuse myself. I just think I am bored! It is not an easy thing describing the changes a cable makes in that it is all too easy to see a major change as positive when it is a host of qualities you must evaluate to accurately reach a conclusion . My first impression of the Xindak was that it is more dynamic and resolving and that brought the soundfield to life to me but it was flat at first. A month into it and it had opened up tremendously . On Modern Cool , Patricia could be literally be heard inching away from the front of the stage as each week of burn in occurred . I still think it is improving. I think I must re evaluate the notion that ultra expensive equals excellence in audio. I know that seems naive to say but its not easy discovering the " diamonds " in our rough. Gitarrrtyp asked me to describe the Xindak gold pc and how it compares to say my Elrod sig and I have not reached a firm conclusion and cannot say till I do . Look how much I just wrote. i need a life. Ha
Brent: I'm glad that you're having good luck with and enjoying your SACD 1000. My unit went down after about 11 months worth of daily use. I sent it into the local Philips facility for repair and there it sat. They did not have the parts needed to repair it and told me it would be a month or two before they were in. After two months of down-time, i called them up to see what the deal was. They offered to refund my money, give me a 963 as a replacement or i could wait for the parts. I told them that i would have to think about the refund and would get back to them. I didn't want the 963 and i already had a 763 in another system. I figured that i would ride it out and let them sit on the unit, but never called them back up one way or the other.

After two more months went by ( four months now ), i called to see what the deal was. They told me that the parts for my unit had come in, but because they weren't sure if i was going to take the refund or not, they had used them on another unit instead. Needless to say, i was "slightly upset" and blew up. Wanting to be done with them, i took the refund and they did whatever it is they did with the defective units.

I ended up replacing it with a Denon DVD-2900, which has performed flawlessly now for several months. Then again, my SACD 1000 never gave me any problems until it decided to go belly-up, so i hope the Denon is more reliable. Judging from past experience, my guess is that it is a more durable product. I'll shut-up now so that those interested in Xindak cabling can read what they came here for : ) Sean
Alex has identified the problem that plagued that unit. Phillips could not identify it and discontinued production and then came the Best Buy fire sale. My understanding is that it was the mace and furore chips . His ability to repair it is grand enough but the mod he is doing is incredible. I am going to do a review of my impression of the 2 channel unit first and then the mulltichannel one after that.
I'd be interested to read what others think of the Xindak Gold power cord as well. I have one and think it's OK but I'm curious as how they would compare to some of the other big names out there.I am using noname DIY type power cords which I guess are alright and find the Xindak to be around that type of sound quality. I have no idea if my power cords are really good or just OK. The music sounds good though and that's what matters. I too find myself playing with cables and isolation devices for the sake of experimentation's sake and find it an interesting excercise to play with different cables. I cannot afford to play with different components . I am a one system type of guy because I cannot afford another big system but have a small second system in my spare room composed of a vintage Maranntz 2252b and Jamo bookshelve speakers with an older Denon CDP.I call it my daughter's system but I'm fooling no one. I just like to play.