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Tuesday, 30 December 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Audio Art Cable Reviews
High performance audio cables are often the most controversial element of audiophile industry. This is generally due to the way they are marketed, and questionable claims made by wire manufacturers, and by the price escalation that has recently reached hard to fathom proportions. But one thing is beyond certain, the quality of cables vary just as much as the quality of any audiophile component. Skeptics love to take a stance against audiophile cables, and the amount of venom spewed is sometimes rather surprising. Anyone who has put any effort into assembling a system would know that good cables make a difference.It certainly costs more to design and assemble a high quality cable over mass-produced fare that often is included with electronic components. Better material, high quality copper and silver, and really good connectors don’t come cheap. And then we have ...
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
DH Labs -- run by Darren Hovsepian, hence the initials -- makes excellent analog cables, including interconnects, speaker wire, and power cords. They also make top-notch digital cables. I know this because I own and use every flavor of their digital wire, AES/EBU, TosLink, Coaxial, BNC, and USB as references. I consider them to be tremendous values and stellar performers. I often recommend them to friends looking for digital cables who don’t want to spend a fortune.One admission, though: the cable I use the least is the USB cable. That is because my digital sources, a Simaudio MiND 180D streamer, outputs AES/EBU, and the Simaudio Neo 380D DAC includes the MiND module, which precludes use of a digital cable. USB has not been a big part of my digital landscape.But that has changed a bit. I have a desktop set ...
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Darwin Truth Silver Cable Review
Over the past year or so I have come to rely on a few cable manufacturers that make reference products at their price points and even beyond. Darwin Cables, who I first heard about from Mark O’Brien of Rogue Audio, initially sent me their standard Silver offering, which sells for $295. I was so impressed, I went on to review their higher-level Ascension, which featured several design enhancements essential to high-end cable performance: low mass ends, military grade solid core silver conductors, and air dielectric. Darwin is a bit unique in that they not only use scientific methods to voice their cables, but they also rely heavily on subjective impressions from a carefully chosen listening panel, for lack of a better term. Sometimes what looks good on paper does not translate into improved performance.I have to admit, after having the ...
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
The Furutech Flux Series Cables Review
I have reviewed cables and accessories from many different types of companies, including one man operations, modest sized operations, and established larger firms. Each has their own approach, and each has certain advantages. Small companies can deal direct with customers and provide a more personal approach and personalized recommendations. Larger, name brand firms may have economies of scale, which allow them to control costs and offer a larger variety of products at all price points. Regardless, I can say I have had good experiences across the board, especially when the designers are dedicated to maximizing sonics, and rely on valid engineering principles instead of fads. Furutech Co. Ltd -- founded in 1988 and based in Japan, but with offices and facilities around the world -- is a very well established entity. They make a dizzying array of products across a ...
Monday, 10 June 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Darwin Ascension Silver Interconnect Review
Darwin Cables very much impressed me with their Silver Interconnect, which I evaluated not too long ago. At its $295 asking price, the Darwin Silver is amazingly coherent and musically complete. In fact, it's still in my system, performing admirably. But my personal Darwin story does not end there. Tony Bender, co conspirator at Darwin Cables, sent me a note, indicating they had developed a cable a notch up from the Silver, called the Ascension, and wanted to know if I'd like to hear it and do a formal review. I said yes (of course). To “ascend” means to go climb, or go upward. It seems the folks at Darwin felt they had a legitimate breakthrough in performance via careful tweaking of materials and build. The Ascension's appearance differs from the standard Darwin IC in that it features clear ...
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