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New Cables Start Arriving

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, as some of you may have seen, I will be reviewing higher-end interconnects and powercords (under $1000/meter pair for interconnects, under $1000/six-foot for powercords).

The cables so far slated for review over the next few months include:
  • Acoustic Zen Silver Reference interconnects
  • Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference interconnects
  • Acoustiz Zen Tsunami powercord
  • BPT C-7 powercord
  • Cardas Neutral Reference interconnects
  • Cardas Twinlink powercord
  • Tara Labs RSC Air1 interconnects
  • Tara Labs RSC Air2 interconnects
  • Tara Labs RSC Air powercord
The first of the bunch arrived today -- the Acoustic Zens. Though I haven't had an opportunity yet to hook them up, I can comment on the first impression they make based on appearance.

First of all, the quality of build appears to be exceptional. The interconnects are huge -- about 1.5 times as thick as my Tara Labs RSC Reference Gen 2's. The Tsunami powercord (the smaller of the two currently made by Acoustic Zen) is also quite large -- hard to believe it's their "small" one. NOTE: I'm not hinting that a bigger cable is necessarily a better cable, but it's such a dominant physical trait of these cables, that I thought it noteworthy.

I'll start off by installing one of the two pairs of interconnects. This is good timing, as I've been listening to my rig all day, and for the better part of last night, in its original setup.

I'll keep posting initial impressions. Eventually, of course, I will write a review for each of each manufacturer's products versus my old setup.
post #2 of 13
*drool*

i'm ready for inital impression NOW
post #3 of 13
Jude,

Do you have a tape measure? Can you wrap it around the cables and tell us how thick it is?
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by KR...
Jude,

Do you have a tape measure? Can you wrap it around the cables and tell us how thick it is?
KR,

The Silver Reference measures about 9/16" in diameter (the main cable part does -- it's a little thicker just aft of the RCA plug at the heat-shrink-wrapped collar). The circumference appears just to be a hair over 1.75".
post #5 of 13
Quote:
The circumference appears just to be a hair over 1.75".
Nice, that's the same as my MIT cables.

The boxes are almost 7 inchs
post #6 of 13
What's the flexibility on these cables?
post #7 of 13
jude, you start off your initial impressions by mentioning build quality, and that's it?!? Man, you're killing me over here! What's going in the next update, how good of a fit it is on your amp inputs?

Oh, and did you decide not to audition any Siltech cords for now?
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by dhwilkin
jude, you start off your initial impressions by mentioning build quality, and that's it?!? Man, you're killing me over here! What's going in the next update, how good of a fit it is on your amp inputs?

Oh, and did you decide not to audition any Siltech cords for now?
dhwilkin, yes, the Acoustic Zens fit very nicely in my amp inputs. That is all for now.

Just kidding, man.

At this early stage, I'm willing to say that the Acoustic Zen Silver Reference interconnects are sounding very promising in my rig.

Regarding the Siltech's, dhwilkin: I haven't forgotten, and will look into their line.


Quote:
Originally posted by MooGoesTheCow
What's the flexibility on these cables?
Moo, the Silver References are quite stiff. I had to kick my Max out a little bit (further away from my desk's hutch) to accomodate the Silver References' more physically rigid, stubborn ways (versus my Tara RSC References). And I can't overemphasize their girth, as their heatshrink-sheathed strain-relief collars (just aft of the RCA plugs) are actually touching each other behind my CD/SACD player, given that my SCD-C333ES's RCA jacks are only the standard distance apart. HeadRoom wisely chose to spec the Max's Cardas RCA jacks with greater distance between them, keeping even these super-thick cables apart nicely behind the Max.
post #9 of 13
Oh oh, Jude has become the next TAS. Reviewing equipment nobody can afford.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by acidtripwow
Oh oh, Jude has become the next TAS. Reviewing equipment nobody can afford.
LOL! I don't know, man. I highly suggest doing what I do sometimes to get to know our members' rigs a little better -- take a trip through member profiles, by visiting the members list page, and checking out the profiles (I intend to make the profile fields searchable soon per someone's suggestion a little while ago, by the way).

I check out member profiles quite frequently, and I see things like:

-- Wilson Audio MAXX speakers
-- Avantgarde Trio speakers
-- Holmes-Powell DCT-1
-- Sony SCD-1
-- Krell
-- Sonic Frontier
-- Sony MDR-R10
-- Stax Omegas
-- Meridian
-- Linn
-- etc.

A stroll through the member profiles is very interesting!
post #11 of 13
Well, for $900 US I'd be buying a Musical Fidelity S-3 amp or some other good integrated amp, instead of a 1m piece of (silver) wire. Maybe it's just that concentration of rich people on these forums is (MUCH) higher than in real life so we do see reviews of stuff most people can't afford (or more precisely, do not value at the same level as, say, downpayment on a house or a new car).

On the other hand, when I do go to buy that amp (in a month or two), I'll ask salesrep to turn on those Nautilus speakers, or to let me audition that $100,000 system in their backroom, just to see how much are they better than what I have. It's useful to hear a reference, to know how much headroom actually is available for upgrades of your own system. It could be a curse, or a salvation, depending on person's hearing and discipline...

And also, it's all so relative. I got a CDN$120+tax 6-foot interconnect two weeks ago, and friends are slightly questioning my sanity (even though they've spent thousands on speakers just a month ago). jude's cables and our reaction are the same, just at the different scale.
post #12 of 13
Hey, spending a lot of money is relative. If you make $1mil and you spend $1k on ICs, it's like someone making $50k spending $50 on ICs... anyway, a lot of audiophiles aren't as rich as you'd think they'd be; they just save a lot and spend the money they have differently.

Jude's just giving us nice dreams in the mean time
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Beilin
anyway, a lot of audiophiles aren't as rich as you'd think they'd be; they just save a lot and spend the money they have differently.
Jon, that's true. At the hi-fi store I worked at many years ago, we had very wealthy customers because of what we carried and where we were located. But many of our best and most extreme customers were just average-earning cats (and some below-average-earning cats) who just elected to spend their hard-earned dough on hi-fi.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Beilin
Jude's just giving us nice dreams in the mean time
LOL! Yeah, for me too. The objective here (at least for me) is to see just what one might be able to expect when stepping into the domain of some of the higher-end, expensive, and very reputable cables, from the viewpoint of someone who hasn't yet personally stepped quite that far. So far so good.

My SCD-C333ES's redbook playback is definitely solid in the sub-$1000 price class. But considering that the most expensive interconnects I'll be reviewing are nearly $900/meter/pair (with a group average of around $620/meter/pair), I will try to mostly use the 333's SACD playback -- which likely compares favorably to many of the signficantly more expensive redbook players -- so as to feed an exceptional source signal through these fancy conduits into the very worthy Max. Again, so far so very good.
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