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Kimber Heros and Grado phones

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I just bought a set of 0.5 meter Kimber Kable Hero interconnects. I have a "pet" pair of interconnects (the most pleasing to me from what I already had), which is a 1 meter pair of Transparent Audio's MusicLink cables.

When I first stuck them like this: CD source > Kimbers > Grado RA-1 headphone amp > Grado 'phones, I noticed an immediate difference (or so I thought) over the Transparents. The whole sound had a much more natural, relaxed feeling. Very natural, very realistic. Voices had what I might call "chest" and "breath" meaning basically that they sounded organic and believable.

I have burned the Heros in for the last two and a half days, leaving the CD player playing into the turned-on amp with the headphones either in or out (if in, I turned the volume knob down to kill the sound).

When I woke this morning and gave them a shot, they totally changed, and not for the better! The rather convincing soundstaging was lost. Everything became mashed together and instead of having a 3D sound picture surround me, complete with nooks and crannies and all sorts of 3D texture, it was more like just a globe of cheap sound around my head.

As far as soundstaging, the music was outside of my head, but so much less interesting or convincing. It reminded me of those Koss '80s I used in Barnes and Nobles the other day (not terrible, but NOT what I paid for with these 'phones!)

One of the things I noticed is that the high frequencies are definitely being rolled off. The frequency extension of the Grados has now had it's gonads cut off. Drums are duller, they don't have the high, eye-blinking part of the "crack!" Instruments sounds are "simplified" with their lack of discernable upper harmonics.

Also, Micro detail such as little tinkling bells or clicks or maracas are just dead and flat, where they used to be a part of the 3D soundstage and you could locate them with relative ease. I am, of course, talking about those frequencies which, if you were to play them alone, would be pacing just near the edge of that line where your upper-register hearing perception cuts off.

This really pisses me off because I've heard that Kimber recommends you burn them in for 72 hours before doing any critical listening. I don't know if this means 3 days of regular average usage or 3 straight days, 72 straight hours, of straight music.

If these cables don't get their act together and at least get back to where they were out of the package (which would be mostly acceptable by me), I am going to throw a diva tantrum and return the frickin'-frackin' things. GRRRRR!

- Matt
post #2 of 9

Re: Kimber Heros and Grado phones

Originally posted by Matt

This really pisses me off because I've heard that Kimber recommends you burn them in for 72 hours before doing any critical listening. I don't know if this means 3 days of regular average usage or 3 straight days, 72 straight hours, of straight music.

- Matt
Depends on where you stand on the phenomenon of burnin time matt! Some people swear its real, others think its a complete myth

At the very least if you have them on trial for a few days then the least you can do is to run them in. Continuosly is better for say two to three days, however the longer you run them in the better

As an example some english companies reccommend the cables be run in continuosly for get this AT LEAST THREE WEEKS, before they start sounding any where near their potential best..........

I am also using Kimber, though I have the PBJ interconnect

One quick question, if you liked your "pet interconnects" so much why didnt you buy another pair the same? That way at least you would know what to expect....................
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

That's... idea of hell, too.

I didn't buy the interconnects because they were too much. The ones I've used that I tend to like are not mine, they're my father's. He lets me borrow them.

I wanted a pair right around $100 - $150, one of those "bargain" cables that everyone raves about. Generally, I don't like spending additional $350 increments for teeny improvements, not right now.

I do believe in burn-in to a degree. Obviously if companies are advocating it (and the only real strong advocation of burn-in procedures I've ever seen *is* from cable companies...curiously enough, I've never seen any other sort of product makers come right out and say it like many cable companies do.

post #4 of 9
I've never come across an interconnect taking that much of a nose dive! I'd suggest you reseat the cables on both ends and if they have a direction arrow make sure your orientated properly. One last thing, mood does definitely play a part in how we hear things so give it another try. If they still sound bad I'd revert back to your Dad's cables just to rule out that something else isn't the problem.
post #5 of 9
If it doesn't work out for you, try some MIT cables.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Nose Dive and MIT

Hi to the last two fellas to answer me. Thanks for your help so far.

On the nose dive: totally weird but totally true. I must say that the cables have improved *slightly* in the areas of impact, bass resonance and intimacy, but it is *still* friggin' rolled off at the top. I mean, tons of people have complained about this over at and I am just about to be the next.

There is unfortunately no directional arrows, but having experience with Monster and Tara Labs, I tried both ways and still nothing doing.

I was going to, in a fit of defiance, switch to the Kimber Silver Streaks. However, as above, MIT cables have been suggested. Now, by saying that a rolled off quality absolutely must not be and possibly that accentuated high frequencies is desired is not true, it's just that the degree to which these roll off is unacceptable.

As far as the MITs go, what do you recommend for around $100 - 150-ish? (All I wanna spend right now)

I want my wide, natural soundstage, believability and chimey/cymbal/tambourine/snare drum magic back!

Thanks for any continued help.

- Matt
post #7 of 9
I previously had MIT Terminator2's and liked them. However, when I got a good deal on a pair of used Cardas 300B's it took me all of about 2 minutes of comparison to switch over to the 300B's. I recommend you give the Cardas 300B's a try. Audio Advisor carries them and offers a 30 day money back guarantee. I think they're $120.00ish for a 1 meter pair. The only thing I miss about the MITerminator 2's is the locking RCA's. Unfortunately, the Cardas RCA's are not the locking kind. The bottom line however is the sound and in my opinion they are better than the MITerminator 2's.
post #8 of 9
With MITs, I have had the MIT T2 in my system for a while and the CVT 330 S2, which I have now and own. Forget about my mighty cables, since the current ones cost $699! (the MI-330 Shotgun)

The MIT Terminator 2 Interconnect Cables (T2) are hands down the best bang for your buck in cables. They will give you a taste of what really great cables and MITs can do. AA sells them new for $80.00 for a meter. Retail for these are $130.00 a pair . So that's $50 off.

AA also sells the MIT MI-330 Plus Series II Interconnect , which is the entry level cable in the family of cables that my cable is the top of the line of. AA sells them for $150.00 for a meter. Retail is $250 for a meter. So that's $100 off.

AA also sells demos for even greater discounts, you will have to keep checking to see if they have them in or not.

AA's site =

MIT's site =

Also shop around for the best price, good luck!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 


...for the Cardas and MIT hints, fellas.

What I'm wondering about both the brands is what do you notice as far as soundstaging, all-around purity, no "electronic veil," etc.?
How exactly did the cable improve upon what you originally had?


- Matt
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