For you contra-cable guys...

Discussion in 'Home Audio (Stereo Systems)' started by CheckSix, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. CheckSix

    CheckSix Gold Supporting Member

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    I spent an hour on the phone yesterday with Chris Sommovigo of Black Cat Cable. Chris has quite the reputation. Especially in Japan. He designed the Illuminati D60 digital cables back in the 90's that were the best! I still have and use mine. He even admits today, it is very hard to top the D60 for performance.

    I mentioned here I've probably under-spent on cables in my system. So, just for fun, I have a top of the line 1m pair of XLR interconnects coming in a few weeks. This is a demo pair to try out... retail on this 1m XLR pair is the Stargate model and is $6K. LOL!! Should be fun!

    I'm going to insert this XLR pair from the output of the Pass Labs XP-15 phono preamp, to the input of the Audio Research Reference 1 preamp. The Stargate has some really interesting design features and is difficult and time consuming to make. Chris hand makes all of his cables. He does everything from scratch.

    @pickdropper is a great friend and visits me frequently and knows my system well. He and I are both skeptical but open minded enough to listen. He's got great listening skills, so will be interested to see his reaction to this change.

    Stay tuned! and be patient! this is going to take a while.
     
    The-Kid, Tonekat, 2020jan08 and 2 others like this.
  2. pickdropper

    pickdropper I am Soldering Iron Man Vendor

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    I’ll be wearing my skeptacles. ;-)
     
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  3. 2020jan08

    2020jan08 Member

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    $6k :) You'd better be all ears!
     
  4. CheckSix

    CheckSix Gold Supporting Member

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    With that one big eye of yours, it's going to be tricky for you. I'll get the beer chilling, maybe we can go for beer goggles.
     
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  5. pickdropper

    pickdropper I am Soldering Iron Man Vendor

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    As long as it’s not that non-alcoholic placebo beer.
     
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  6. Buck Private

    Buck Private Member

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    I hear that....or should I say #metoo?
     
  7. CheckSix

    CheckSix Gold Supporting Member

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    Geeezus! you were raped by Harvey too? Sorry to hear that.

    :D
     
  8. middy

    middy Member

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    Better than hoarding wealth, it gets it back out into circulation...
     
  9. captwillard

    captwillard Member

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    Cables can make a difference. Unfortunately, the idea promoted by manufactures is the more you spend, the better sounding cable you will get. In reality, more expensive cables from a particular manufacturer won't always equal better sound...it could make things worse.
     
  10. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    so what happened?
     
  11. CheckSix

    CheckSix Gold Supporting Member

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    Got delayed. There are several things happening at the same time. He is sending me his AnalogMagik setup, when my new cart (Archon) that I bought from him gets to 50 hrs... I'm at 35. So, he needed to use the cables for another setup for a week or two. I'm predicting end of April now. I'll report good or bad or different when I get a chance to hear them in my system. Like I said in the 1st post. Patience!
     
  12. Buck Private

    Buck Private Member

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    There is nowhere in audio that triggers the "Law of Diminishing Returns" more than cables. Good quality,yes,mega-buck boutique,no. Looking at the connections inside of even the best gear sees a cable attached to ordinary wires. Long cable runs? Use XLR. There are far better things to spend money on that will improve sound quality than big dollar cables.
     
  13. captwillard

    captwillard Member

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    Yes, and no. Not every stereo component uses ordinary wires inside. My point is, if you use Nordost Blue heaven, there is no guarantee that upgrading to Odin will result in a sonic improvement. It may actually make things sound worse. You rarely (if ever) hear that from the audio industry.
     
  14. CheckSix

    CheckSix Gold Supporting Member

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  15. BPlexico

    BPlexico Gold Supporting Member

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    What is the home audio setup you will be testing it with?
     
  16. CheckSix

    CheckSix Gold Supporting Member

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    Analog path:
    Brinkmann Bardo + 12.1 tonearm + RoNT II power supply (on a HRS R3X iso platform)
    Acoustical System - Archon cartridge
    Synergistic Research Tricon 1.5m RCA phono cable pair
    Pass Labs XP-15 phono preamp
    >>>Black Cat Stargate 1m XLR cables<<<
    Audio Research Reference One preamp
    Tara Labs RSC Master 1.5m XLR pair
    Balanced Audio Technology VK-60 amplifier (all NOS tubes)
    Tice 416B Biwire speaker cables
    Paradigm Persona 9H loudspeakers

    Digital path:
    HP Laptop with Roon Labs and 4 Gig of stored digital files
    Benchmark DAC3 B
    Morrow Audio MA-6 1.5m XLR pair ----> input to Audio Research Ref One preamp

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. CheckSix

    CheckSix Gold Supporting Member

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    Initial impression:
    I got 90 minutes of listening in last night. The Stargates are in the vinyl path listed just above.

    So I listened to Roger Waters: Amused to Death on Analogue Productions; Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms on MFSL 45 rpm and Chris Jones: Roadhouses & Automobiles on Stockfisch 45 rpm. Immediately there were two things noticeable. More depth of stage and the music soundstage is totally detached from the speakers. It just emerges out in space in front of you. You cannot localize the sound to a speaker. It's projecting out into the space in front of or around you, as is evident on Amused to Death. It's quite eerie but oh so amazing.

    There is something else going on but I haven't been able to put my finger on it yet.

    More to come! As I listen more.
     
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  18. ddog

    ddog Supporting Member

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    im thinking your system warrants a higher res ic fo sho...miss my old house listening room...in fact im kind of missing being single so I could have a better system...just kidding honey...sure imaging is off the charts...all ears
     
  19. CheckSix

    CheckSix Gold Supporting Member

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    Today, I put in listening time again... this time I went with Joni Mitchell's - Wild Things Run Fast on ORG at 45 rpm; Diana Krall's - Live in Paris on ORG at 33-1/3 rpm and lastly... John Mellencamp's - The Lonesome Jubilee on MFSL. These are individually fantastic examples of vinyl at it's best. Total bliss listening to these on my system!

    As described in my previous post the soundstaging and depth remain fantastic. The complete illusion of soundstage out in front of you and the speakers disappearing. It's a wonderful sounding system but nothing extraordinarily different struck me today. Every aspect sounds excellent. At this level, it gets subtle on what is changing and different. I have to continue to explore different superb recordings I have and keep listening. I'll get into some Music Matters Blue Note Jazz catalog choices I have and see what it does with those. It takes time to absorb what is going on. Be patient!

    Just as a sidenote... the Stargate 1m XLR pair retail at $6,999.00. I had a Morrow MA-6 XLR pair in this same signal path position and these were $1,500.00 for the pair when I bought them. So, at retail, this is a $5,500.00 jump. Just to explain the change I'm listening to at the moment. Sounds like an insane amount of money for wires, right???

    I've temporarily reassigned the MA-6's to the output of the Benchmark DAC3 B for now.
     
  20. GibsonGeek

    GibsonGeek Member

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    Can you guys tell me anything about these somewhat massive cables I have encountered?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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