Comparable soundwise to the CG interlink. Seductive and easy to listen to for hours at end. The sound is royal, fluid, well-defined and refined. Detailing is never in doubt. But this cable has rounded off transients, just like the interlink, and its livelyness is compromised. Analysis plus and Transparent manage to sound more dynamic while maintaining a relaxed presentation.
Hi Diamond B2WI biwire speakercable
Neutral and friendly but not rounded, undynamic or slow. A very fine combination of detailing and relaxed musicality.
Krell speakercable (prototype)
Very rare cable that is no longer available. I bought it from a person that claimed that is is a Krell prototype. Whether this is true I cannot confirm. But it does sound very good. It employs a combination of litze and solid core wire. The sound is both detailed, fluid and silky, somewhat resembling Cardas Golden Cross. The cable is very supple.
Kimber 4TC/8TC (single- of bi-wired) speakercable
Highly neutral, very lively and pretty well-detailed but when poorly matched, dryness and greyness are lurking around the corner. 8TC is more relaxed (especially in the bass) than 4TC and 8TC's highs are also more silky making the 4TC appear dry in comparison but in the wrong system all this fullness could be too much as 4TC can come across as faster and more rhythmic.
MIT Terminator 2 speakercable
Supercreamy mids and highs but with a fat one-note bass. Very seductive as a temporary treat but after some time this very thick sauce becomes tiresome and you start longing for other meals.
Siltech LS25MXT speakerkabel
Although affordable, this really is a very good cable. It is fast, open, detailed but never pushy or shouty. Its highs are silky and fluid. If there's something to complain about it would be a slight tendency for too much control in certain combinations. But at the price just very fine and will work in many setups.
van den Hul CS 122 Luidsprekerkabel
Quite neutral (not warm nor analytical), with open highs and a fair amount of detail and for the outlay not bad. Still I was not convinced by this cable and found it lacking drive while the highs can be brash. Overall it is a bit unnatural and there are many alternatives but still the vdH is not a bad choice for a starter cable.
For this cable I have the same feelings as for the Reference XLR interlink above: I love the rich lushness and luxurious feel that this cable lends to the music. Unlike the interlink though, this cable is not slow and in fact very dynamic and highly detailed. But it is never dry or sterile. It is slighly darker than the Ultra speaker cable but so much more musical and full of colour that it's an offer you'll gladly make. Also, this cable isn't hard to drive and sounds dynamic and fast on many systems.
Transparent Musicwave Ultra XL Speakercable
This speaker cable is more neutral than the Ultra interlinks but still very much a Transparent. Still the sound is very human and natural and the treble is open and airy without being harsh in any way. The Ultra is moe speedy and has more attack than the Reference but lags behind on many other areas such as colour, lushness, fullness of bass and spaciousness. This cable isn't hard to drive, like the Reference XL SS is. In fact, the Ultra will work in many systems.
This cable is branded Spectral but really is an MIT cable. It has a fluid, smooth sound that is never aggressive nor shouty. It's not really bad on detail but don't expect hyper-focused imagery here. Also the bass is a bit too wooly at times and can lack attack and pitch definition. Nevertheless this is a good cable to use in systems that are otherwise too clinical or analytical sounding. Compared to Transparent Reference XL, the MIT lags behind it on all accounts but I guess that's only fair considering the large price difference. A good alternative would be the transparent Ultra (XL): this more affordable Transparent is not as supersmooth as the MIT but is a lot more focused, dynamic and keeps your toes tapping.
Analysis Plus Solo Crystal 8 Speakercable
This cable's strong side is its bass: it's full and deep but incredibly nuanced and very nimble. Transients are very clear and detailed and yet the bass is never dry. This cable is quite colourful yet neutral and doesn't accentuate any frequency band. You have to be careful though in very revealing setups that this cable could tilt the sound too much toward the dry and analtical. It is also not the most fluid cable around. Compared to Cardas Golden Cross the Analysis is even faster, more dynamic and more specifically detailed but at the expense of the creamy fluidity that the Cardas offers. Please note: this cable has to run in for an obscene amount of hours before it relaxes: some 300 hours. Before that it sounds lean and too forward.
Synergistic Research Designer's Reference LS cables
Unlike their interlinks, the speaker cable is a smooth operator. Compared to even the Transparent Ultra XL, the Designer's Reference is full, warm, big-bodied and very much forgiving of bad recordings. It covers everything up with a nice full-colour blanket but this may well be too much of a good thing. The bass is full and entertaining but lacks some precision and speed. Overall this cable lacks resolution and openness, and the treble is dark and lacks extension. It is absolutely never grainy but just a bit too dark.
Comprised from Golden Reference cable, these jumpers should sound a lot different from the standard OFC wire I use between filterbox and speaker. Normally the filterboxes are attached straight to the speaker by means of solid metal connectors. Many people disconnect them to place them separate from the speaker. But what cable will you then use? As it turns out, the Cardas jumpers have much better bass, both fuller and more tuneful and articulated, very nice. The mid frequencies is another area in which Cardas usually excells and they do so here, too: more liveliness and an overall more acoustical feel. But where they are less than the simple OFC wires is in the treble which is noticeably more shut in and less ariy now. I'm giving them more time to acclimatise and run in and will update this review if I feel that they have improved in this area. I will also experiment with using a mix of Cardas on the bass and regular OFC on the treble.
Very nice cables that walk a fine line between warmth and smoothness on the one hand and detail and openness on the other hand. They are not the world's most articulate cables, nor do they focus like the best out there, but they are very forgiving as well as utterly musical. Like the interlink, I feel that Golden Ref is very close in sound to the Golden Cross. The latter may be even smoother, but there is a definite family character.
This is the last XL incarnation that sounds markedly different from the previous XL technology generation. I've compared it directly with the XL and the difference is both huge and unexpected. Whereas the recent MM technology tends to sound much more forward, dynamic and analytical than the older cables, this XL SS speaker cable does the opposite: its filter boxes are much larger and seem to contain more filtering. Or at least, it sounds that way. The XL SS sounds supersmooth, fluid and subtle but also overdamped, a little undynamic and less articulate. I feel that it is meant for use with much heavier amps than my Rowlands and tougher loads than my Magnepans. Altogether I preferred the older XL technology for its more honest and lively presentation while definitely maintaining the Transparent House Sound.
In line with other Echole cables, this speaker cable sounds very finely detailed, with fluid, airy, extended treble. Even compared to the Transparent Reference XL it still has excellent bass: a little more nimble and a little less solid. Mind you: the Transparent for me is bass king and for any cable to come this close on that aspect in my book is admirable. However, the Echole seems strangely out of balance in the midrange which is forward and shouty. It is not hard per se but is reminiscent of a certain projection that can also be heard with horn speakers. I have only listened to the cable for a short while when it was on visit but the owner indicated that the cable was well run in and that he observed the same midrange quality.