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SET UP & LISTENING: SYSTEM ONE
The cables were installed in the main system consisting of an Aric Audio Unlimited tubed preamp, a Simaudio 760A power amp, a Bryston BD-2/BDA-3 file player and DAC combo. I also used the excellent CLONES Audio Asher DAC. Speakers were the Bryston Mini T stand mounts augmented by the aforementioned JL Audio d108 subwoofer. Everything was plugged into a Bryston BIT-15 power conditioner. Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 USB and Gold Starlight 7 AES/EBU cables provided digital connections.
The speaker and power cables have decent mass, so I just needed to make sure everything was routed cleanly and that components were centered on the rack. I was able to coil the power cords, as suggested, for a neater installation. I let the cables settle in for a day or two then set about for some extended listening sessions
What I first noticed was that the presentation, as compared to my usual cables, seemed to bring me one row closer to the music. I also noticed the soundstage got a bit wider. I also sensed that mythical, lower noise floor that is often talked about. I also heard more recorded detail on numerous albums I am intimately familiar with.
When one hears more detail with cables, this can be accompanied by the sound becoming brighter, or more analytical. But the Wireworld cables managed not to go this route. I had a hard time labeling the presentation as warm or cool. It seemed very much like it was right down the middle. Wireworld says if one is looking for cables-as-tone-controls, customers should look elsewhere, and after a few weeks with them, I would completely agree. They will show off the true character of your system. I liked what I was hearing.
I started out cycling through a number of new recordings from fresh new artists just recently discovered, then moved on to more familiar music. First up, Amanda Egerer’s jaw dropping debut, Folk Songs Of Many People. She draws inspiration from early 60’s folk music, Joan Baez, and Judy Collins, but with a distinctly original take. Her voice came through with wonderful clarity, and the sympathetic and tasteful arrangements were easy follow.
Tikounen -- a brand new release from the Brussels-based Tuareg band Kel Assouf -- was a real showstopper. The group mixes Saharan modality with modern production and a bit of classic rock. The exotic melodies and tribal rhythms were chock full of power and the dynamics were amazingly intact. This album really showed off some of the attributes of the Wireworld cable, namely, precision, the ability to preserve dynamic contrasts, and a wide-screen presentation. Remember, again, we are operating under the premise that cables cannot add, only subtract, so the Wireworld cables are presenting the music as described above in that they are doing little to alter precision, dynamics, and soundstaging.
A band I recently stumbled upon, M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, just released an exciting album called Mezcla. It recalls classic Santana and Chicago, with a bit of Afrobeat and Latin funk mixed in. It is an album that gets you off the couch, and the Wireworld loom framed the percolating percussion, horn bursts, call and response multilingual vocals, and general party atmosphere so wonderfully, it made evaluating a system utterly irrelevant, and everything defaulted to enjoying the music.