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SL3 System Upgrade Step 2 - Speaker and Power Cables

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Erictrostatic

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My upgrade plan step 2 is to get Nordost Blue Heaven Rev II speaker cables and PS Audio power cables (speaker, pre/power amps). Currently I'm using MIT T2 and factory power cables.

How does Blue Heaven differ from MIT T2?
What PS Audio power cable model is suitable? My budget is under US$200 per cable.

My goals as mentioned in my Step 1 thread:

1. Bring out and tighten the bass
2. Make the overall sound fuller, it's a bit thin right now if you know what I'm saying
3. Achieve a true representation of the musical instruments (is it called tonal balance?)

What else would you recommend?

Eric.
 

kach22i

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RE-1: Despite what I've read, I think just about any 100 watt tube amp willl give you tighter, fuller bass than a solid state amp - you might be asking too much out of an interconnect on this one.

RE-2: I don't think Blue Heavens will make the sound fuller (this is what I use), more detailed faster and brighter, perhaps a little more forward, all good things with M/L's. MIT's and "Transparent" have a lot in common - shared some of the same people/engineering early on, and both use passive componets (500 custom variations to suit your needs) to tweek the sound. Nordost has one speed - fast as light!

RE-3: Home audition/borrow from local high end shops using a credit card hold. In your house, with your equipmet is the only way to know for sure.

Remarks: The SL3 can sound thin, the later Aerius was a little better balanced and had less of a skeleton sound. Acoustats were the worse, but still a wonderful example of classic stat sound. You must ask yourself how much of the extreem frequencies (high and low) you are willing to give up to have a meatier midrange (pertains to both cables and amps) - it's a very personal decision.
 
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DTB300

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kach22i said:
RE-1: Despite what I've read, I think just about any 100 watt tube amp willl give you tighter, fuller bass than a solid state amp - you might be asking too much out of an interconnect on this one.
Maybe I have heard the wrong Tube Amps :)

I would agree on tubes being fuller sounding, but this fuller sound is less accurate to me on the low end. From what I have heard in my days, tighter, better controlled, accurate bass has always come from a well designed SS amp. For hybrid ML's, SS on the bottoms, and Tubes on the panels has always been the best setups that I have heard for my ears and tastes.

But like I say, maybe I have just not heard the right tube amps - and I have heard a bunch of them.

Dan
 

kach22i

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DTB300 said:
Maybe I have heard the wrong Tube Amps :)
I've heard low powered single ended stuff driving mini monitors - can't comment on the bass if it was not there. :D

I would not call my old S.S. Rotel (100 watt) a high current amp, perhaps it's unfair to compare it to a Golden Tube SE-100 (100watt) - the difference is stunning.

I've heard Maggies on Audio Research tube amps - kept wondering where the bass was until the pictures started shaking off the walls. :) I think you have to listen differently to grasp tube bass fully.
 

DTB300

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kach22i said:
I think you have to listen differently to grasp tube bass fully.
Huh? This sounds like a salespersons repsonse....

Sound is sound....either it is there and accurate or it isn't.

Tight and accurate will always sound less boomy and is usually mistaken for less bass...
 

kach22i

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DTB300 said:
Tight and accurate will always sound less boomy and is usually mistaken for less bass...
That's kind of what I meant when I joked about the mini monitors, the bass is there but you do have to listen for it. With the Maggies you felt it more than heard it - care to explain that one for me?


:)
 

DTB300

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Hey...instead of hijacking Erictrostatics thread on Improving His System for our discussion, lets start a new thread on Tubes and Low end...

Sorry...Erictrostatic....

Dan
 
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kach22i

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DTB300 said:
Hey...instead of hijacking Erictrostatics thread
If Erictrostatic wants his thread back he better get back in here with his whopping (4) four post.

Aint no thing as a free lunch - he's goning to have to fight for it. :D

Wires: There is a guy here using a bunch of Cardas Neutral Reference, perhaps this is an alternate direction Eric could explore.

Eric, you could do a search on the topic, and also see the achived thread. Better yet, take a peak at what the "Members Systems" are using. I'm sure if you PM (Personal Message) a few they might tell you a little more about their experiences.
 
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EricE

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I don't know if you were talking about me but I used to use Cardas Neutral Reference XLR between my pre and power amp. I also compared it to a pair of Canare cables terminated with Neutrik XLR's that I made myself for 1/10th the cost. I actually preferred the sound of the Canare.... A few other audio buddies of mine also compared them to other cables like Golden Cross, MIT and some of the lower end Nordost cables and the Canare more than stood up for itself.

The was a flurry of cable selling afterwards......

I still believe that cables do make a difference in sound and you just have to find the right one for you and your system.
 

kach22i

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Erictrostatic

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Whoa! I like the tube vs SS discussion. I'll follow through the other dedicated thread.

Dan, my original plan was also to biamp - SS for bass, tube for panel (I have the same concept as you do, right or wrong, only our ears know). But I decided to go for a simpler route. Less equipment, well 1 less, less cables. Sometimes I find too many variables in the system actually confuse you; you become a hifi tweaker instead of music listener. But then, it's tweaking time for me now.

I don't think Blue Heavens will make the sound fuller (this is what I use), more detailed faster and brighter, perhaps a little more forward
Oh, brighter and forward, bad for me. I'll have to make sure I try them at home first. Thanks for the pointer.

You must ask yourself how much of the extreem frequencies (high and low) you are willing to give up to have a meatier midrange (pertains to both cables and amps) - it's a very personal decision.
This is true in gerenal, there is always compromise in finding a good sound. Like speaker placement, more bass or better imaging. But do you mean most cables and amps can only sound fuller with lesser highs and lows?

Tight and accurate will always sound less boomy and is usually mistaken for less bass...
So true. And the other extreme is dull and muffled and boomy bass, it's there but it's not. I believe I'm trying to find an in between point that suits my taste.

There is a guy here using a bunch of Cardas Neutral Reference, perhaps this is an alternate direction Eric could explore.
I'll check out the Cardas as well then.

The quality of Canare is amazing if you are a DIY type and open them up to terminate.
I've heard a lot about Belden and Canare. Too bad, I know I'll question my own termination.
 

Reverb

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kach22i said:
RE-2: I don't think Blue Heavens will make the sound fuller (this is what I use), more detailed faster and brighter, perhaps a little more forward, all good things with M/L's.

I thought that Nordost cables were designed to not change or color the sound in any way? That if the sound is bright or too forward, its your components not the cables.


It’s that statement that has me thinking do I need to try Nordost cables?
I have been using Audioquest cables for about three years now and have been very happy with them. They are not perfect, but I do like them. I tried PS Audios Statement XLR interconnects for a few months, They did give me a larger sound stage then AQ and there was a little more detail with lots more bass, but in the end I when back to AQ. PS Audio just didn’t have any transparency, the sound was large but very flat. Audioquest has a much more realistic sound then PS Audio, but that’s my option. Results will very.

I do highly recommend their XStream power cables.
 
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Erictrostatic

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Zip3kx07 said:
I do highly recommend their XStream power cables.
Zip, according to your system #10 thread, you do not have aftermarket power cables specified for your main speakers and power amp. Did you find out aftermarket power cable doesn't make a difference to the speakers (and power amp)? Or you just didn't update your thread?

Did you try out the cheaper PS Audio power cables (Plus and Prelude)? The Statement and Ultimate are quite expensive.
 

Reverb

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#1. I am running a 1st generation Sunfire amp. The 1st gen’s do not have IEC ports, so the power cord is fixed and cannot be swapped out.

I am thinking about upgrading to a Lexicon LX-7 with an Xstream Statement.

#2. My system is a work in progress, and lots of changes will be made soon, so once I get my new equipment rack and know how long my power cables will be on the ascents I will change them. The Theater center could get a Statment now, but I am waiting for Martin Logan to release some info on the new stage. If I change to the stage I will not beadle to upgrade the power cord because the stage will have the low voltage power supply.

My Martin Logan’s will get statement's when my budget will allow it.

I did unplug the statement power cord form my descent and plug it into the right Ascent to see if it made a difference. It most definitely did, the tone of peoples voices became so natural and real that I can’t describe it, and the sound stage doubled in size. The Statement is way over kill to use on a ML but from what I heard that night I will pay the price of admission.


I do have a Power plus C7 on my HD cable box and one on my PS2 /Xbox. They did make a difference but no ware near the Statement. The prelude is grate for low end/ low demand gear; the plus will give you about 80% of the performance of the Statement for a lot less.


Also the Ultimate Xstream is brand new, I got a grate deal on it off Ebay, I am still braking it in so I can’t comment on it yet. It replaced a 1.5m Statement going into a MonsterCable SW200 (on wall) power conditioner.
 
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Reverb

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Erictrostatic said:
Did you try out the cheaper PS Audio power cables (Plus and Prelude)? The Statement and Ultimate are quite expensive.

This is why my speakers are still waiting for Xstream Statments. :D


I should add that all my power cables that are not Statment Yet are DIY's. They are not stock.
 
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Erictrostatic

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Zip3kx07 said:
I did unplug the statement power cord form my descent and plug it into the right Ascent to see if it made a difference. It most definitely did, the tone of peoples voices became so natural and real that I can’t describe it, and the sound stage doubled in size. The Statement is way over kill to use on a ML but from what I heard that night I will pay the price of admission.
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Zip3kx07 said:
The prelude is grate for low end/ low demand gear; the plus will give you about 80% of the performance of the Statement for a lot less.
You just pushed me more towards the Plus, if not the Statement.

I'll buy Preludes, Pluses and Statements and compare them and keep/return accordingly. So 6 cables for 600 now becomes potentially 3000... I knew it before I logged in.

Thanks for all your comments, they really help (me to spend money (wisely)).
 

Reverb

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The statement is a grate cable; it is what PS Audio calls a no compromise cable for a no compromise system. But you pay for that extra 20plus% increase in performance.

what ever you do I think you will be happy, if not send it back. :cool:

I think there is one better power cable on the market then the Xstream Statement, and that is Nordost Valhalla. But at $2,500.00 for 1M, :eek: I think I will stick with PS Audio. :D
 

kach22i

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Zip3kx07 said:
I thought that Nordost cables were designed to not change or color the sound in any way? That if the sound is bright or too forward, its your components not the cables.
Let me try to correct myself: Nordost is more accurate and revealing!

The "close mic" nature of studio recording is FORWARD sounding, the Nordost's allow this sonic artifact though without editing it or fattening it in anyway. Therefore it tends to sound leaner and more forward than other cables.

Furthermore the dipolar nature of the stats tends to recess the sonic images and without some toe-in the centerstage a lot. Nordost tends to help out M/L's that's why I think many of us like their synergy.

The M/L's don't have overly bright metal dome tweeters - those speakers benefit from a little top end roll off. They are purposely bright to sell to middle aged men who are losing their high frequency hearing first. Hair on the top of your head is not the only hair we lose - those little hairs in the ear canal go bye bye too and can't vibrate the earbone and fluid behind the eardrum.

Most of the M/L line especially when combined with tubes or lower current S.S. amps tend to roll off the top end frequencies - Nordost helps off-set that by being true to the signal source.

That's my two cents or theory today. :p
 
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Erictrostatic

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EricE said:
I don't know if you were talking about me but I used to use Cardas Neutral Reference XLR between my pre and power amp. I also compared it to a pair of Canare cables terminated with Neutrik XLR's that I made myself for 1/10th the cost. I actually preferred the sound of the Canare.... A few other audio buddies of mine also compared them to other cables like Golden Cross, MIT and some of the lower end Nordost cables and the Canare more than stood up for itself.

The was a flurry of cable selling afterwards......

I still believe that cables do make a difference in sound and you just have to find the right one for you and your system.
After days of research, I'm now very tempted by the Canare. Not only is the saving in BIG $ but more importantly, your success story. EricE, some questions if you can help:

1. You mentioned you prefer the Canare over Cardas, MIT, Nordost, do you mean interconnects or speaker cables or a mixture of both? What MIT model?
2. Do you or your buddies use long runs (>20 ft) of Canare speaker cables with success? Single or biwire?
3. Would you say getting the Canare terminated by bluejeans would be good enough?
4. In what ways is the Canare better/worse than say MIT or Nordost? (since I'm using MIT Terminator 2 biwire speaker cables and shopping for Nordost)
 

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