…and upgrading the speakers is a bigger improvement on that.
Crystal Cable Ultra Diamond XLR…I like overkill.
I am the Audio Philistine:
Mogami 2893 mini quad microphone cable. I bought a drum of the cable.
Due to the my system layout with 4 x power amps, preamp and all the various source equipment, etc. boutique cabling wouldn’t have been practical, durable, and too expensive.
I have a pair of speakers at the front and a pair of speakers at the rear end of the room and due to the lengths of cable required it wouldn’t be practical…also, with uber cable there is invariably a perfected length for the ‘ultimate performance’…
When I use different makes of interconnect I simply readjust the DS volume and the preamp setting to suit ‘my’ preference and I do the same with the Mogami.
I used to use Kimber Select 1036 and the balanced version but I sold them on ebay. I also have MG balanced interconnects and many other makes of cable lying in a cupboard so it isn’t a case of I haven’t heard them, etc, etc…
I just have a lowbrow approach when it comes to interconnects. It’s all flavor at the end of the day… I never sit listening to music thinking I have to buy better interconnects…
…But it’s all part of the hobby and if others gain greater enjoyment by using top shelf cables then good on them…
Brodric, those Crystal Cable Ultra Diamond interconnects, we use them here as curtain tiebacks in the downstairs bathroom…
Yeah, that’s right…I bet they do a good job at that!
With you 100%: 1.) Why wouldn’t you take advantage of internal balanced design of your components? 2.) XLR cabling is self shielded and designed for long runs. 3.) XLR cabling is almost immune to marketing forces and so avoids the hype/angst between brands and cost way less than any boutique RCA cables. 4.) It’s the cabling that the professionals who record, mix, and master the music you listen to. 5.) IMO the purpose of cable is to properly connect components, not color the sound.
Note that the basis of my prosumer system is a DSJ. professional subs (one for each channel) connected via XLR that feed JBL 708P reference studio monitors via XLR. So I’ve avoided speaker cables altogether. My “high-end” XLR cables come from Best-Tronic, the 10ft runs cost a ‘whopping’ $69 each.
Excellent cable choice, especially as it is very flexible and easy to work with this thin cable.
I certainly don’t want to start a debate about cables, but the difference between the interconnects I’m currently using, the Supra EEF’s and the Transparent Ultra’s was equal to or greater than most component upgrades I’ve made over the years. So looking at it as a component upgrade, the high price tag makes sense. That being said, it’s still hard to justify 3 K for a one meter pair of interconnects.
I have a pair of MG Audio Cu 2 ic’s showing up Fri or Sat, which I hope sound as good as the Ultra’s, for a whole lot less.
You don’t need to justify spending 3k to me. If you get more out of your system with said interconnects then that’s great. Like I said; I am ambivalent.
I don’t need more than the interconnects I built. I just increase or decrease the DS volume by a couple of dBs either way then I get used to it and I continue to enjoy listening to my music…
Everyone of us is right.!
In the past we had a member who argued that Mogami, Canare, etc. were fine for recording and production, but audio signals operate differently on the playback/reproduction side and thus playback demands expensive specialty cables.
He rejected the argument that if the cables could send the delicate signal from the microphones to the mic preamp, or from the mic pre to an ADC, they could similarly send the same musical signal from a DAC to a preamp, etc.
I am currently editing and mastering a this past weekend’s recording of Beethoven’s Fifth and the premier of a new trumpet concerto. The cables used so far are all XLR and are performing brilliantly.
Yes, as I would expect them too…
I forgot to mention that building one’s own cables is also fun and satisfying.
I like the AudioQuest MacKenzie XLR cables. The sound from the system with them in place is excellent and I appreciate good build quality. They are a price step up from some mentioned here but do not require the second mortgage to purchase.
Indeed. And bespoke to ones requirement is another plus.
I, like Dirk, ELK, build my own balanced XLR interconnects. For directions see DIY forum Resources, How To Make your own XLR… One big advantage for me, every time I want a new cable length, the cost is under $30 per pair.
I’ve been auditioning the MG Audio Cu2 ic’s between the DSD and BHK 250. Although better in some areas compared to my current Supra ic’s, they were not on the same level as the Transparent Ultra’s. But to be fair, they’re less than a third of the cost of the Ultra’s. There’s a very special synergy happening between the PS Audio gear and the Transparent Ultra’s, that is quite extraordinary. The improvement affects every parameter of the music, and is not subtle or hard to discern. I’m not even sure how these improvements are possible from just switching out one pair of ic’s.
A lowering of the noise floor, I wasn’t aware of until hearing it’s absence, which gives rise to an abundance of low-level detail, and spatial cues, previously buried. Bass impact and extension I didn’t think my system I was capable of, combined with a marked improvement in pitch, definition, and bass texture. And none of these bass qualities interfered with or muddied up the midrange, which now manifests more bloom and harmonic richness. The treble was also more extended and smoother, making cymbals sound much more realistic. Overall the music sounded more vibrant and alive, with more accurate and convincing tonality and timbre.
I’m still hoping I can find another cable that allows these qualities to come through, at a more reasonable price, but if not, I’m afraid there is no turning back or ignoring the newly discovered potential of my PS Audio gear.
If you have the opportunity, I would highly recommend giving these cables a try. What they bring to the table is much more than just a minor tweak in sound quality.
PSA DS DAC to PSA BHK250 - Nordst Valhalla 2 XLR (0.5m) cables and they sound great.
At twice the price of the Transparent Ultra’s, I would imagine they sound amazing. I’d be tempted to try them, but they’re way outside of my budget.
@Gary_M - You’re right about a reveling system and the noise floor. The subtle details I hear just amazes me. However, I just listened to Neal Peart on a 5 minute drum solo on Rush’s last album (streamed) and it blew me away. When I think of detail and sound stage, it isn’t Rush; more like jazz and classical… holy crap. I was listening to it at 100 dB and unbelievably solid and moving… I just went Roon Nucleus+ w/ Sbooster Ultra MKII LPS plugged into my PSA P20 and I’m just blown away at the detail I’m listening to streaming. I’m amazed… what is the point of using my PSA DS DMP w/ SACD if Ted is coming out with another amazing firmware update from Redcloud. In that upgrade he is lowering the noise floor; revealing a lot more detail; should be out in a few weeks.
Just curious what you’ve compared the ICONOCLAST cables to. From what I’ve read these cables have definitely caught my interest.
I didn’t do a lot of comparisons. My TPC interconnects replaced some old XLO’s (couldn’t tell you the model) and Kimber Silver Streak. I’ve also had Cardas Neutral Reference. (All balanced.) The Iconoclasts beat them all handily, in my opinion.