August 1, 2009

Up, Up to the Sky

This is an old post of ours in the blog we previously contribute to.

After I reviewed the Siltech Forbes Lake G6 SATT interconnects, I was certain that my cabling set-up was a weak link. I absolutely loved what the Forbes Lakes did to my system, but I could not afford the admission. I so badly needed something to move my system further along, something that hopefully would not burn as big a hole in my pocket.

Maggielurva has been dropping hints here and there about silver cables since I came to know him. And suddenly I started seeing silver everywhere – my first review assignment of Siltech; master ken’s system has silver in it; CK’s system has silver in it. Maggielurva even lured me with his Stage III Concept silver cables by loaning them to me to try out in my own system, not once but twice! (this guy is bad influence :-) ) What I heard with my ears (the music that is, not the endless raving about silver), convinced me that silver was definitely a road worth going down.

So when the opportunity came along to acquire a 2nd hand pair of Audioquest Sky interconnects at an attractive price, I jumped at it. When I started writing this, they have been in my system for less than 5 hours, their DBS was still charging up, I believe, as they came disconnected. But what I heard did not just put a smile on my face, it actually caused a few chuckles and laughs. No, I was not laughing at my old cables, I was just too excited with what the AQ Sky did to my system. If their effect holds after a few hundred hours, and a few quibbles resolved, then I am in for a real treat.

The lesser of my interconnects – JPS Labs’ Superconductor FX could not hold a candle to the Sky (they are at 1/5 the list price, mind you). The other, a pair of JPS Superconductor 2 (at 1/2 the price), fared better but still beaten in almost all areas, but that was with the FX at the back end while swapping the Sky and the Superconductor 2 in front. I can’t say for sure how big the gap is until I can find another pair of Sky so that I can have a fully Sky’ed chain.

What the Sky told me in this very short span of time was that it has:

Resolution –the proverbial window onto the sound was not just merely cleaned, it was wide open. My ears were in direct contact with the music with no filtering effect in between.

Energy – It was like having a kick up the backside of the music. The musicians and singers sounded more committed to their music making and have more energy and power (contrast that with leisurely or lethargic).

Dimensionality – each sound image became more 3- dimensional. Vocal was not just about the mouth but now came attached with more of a body

Soundstaging capability – the soundstage expanded both in width and depth. More impressive on the depth part – I could better discern soundstage depth and layering which was all along my system’s Achilles’ heel (but in absolute sense still got some way to go, since it is limited by space)

The Sky still have some residual brightness (heard on trumpets and female vocal), which I hope will go away with more play time on the cables and the DBS. The bass went deeper but was thinned out a bit, not that it was a totally bad thing for my system, since it can get slightly heavy at times previously, I’ll wait and see whether I need to work further on this aspect.

Let’s see what happen after a few hundred hours, I’ll post the updates here. Treat this as an initial impression.

I have to thank maggielurva for introducing me to this silver ‘poison’.

P.S., credit also goes to maggielurva for the title of this blog entry, this is what he said to me when we talked about the AQ Sky. :-)

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