November 20, 2010

Excellent Silver – Kimber Kable KCAG interconnects

This is second step of my ongoing investigation of Kimber Kable. After the earlier listening of Kimber’s power cords, I went on to its KCAG silver interconnects.

The 2 pairs of KCAG interconnects replaced my own Audioquest Sky and JPS Superconductor 2. One pair went from my Ayre C-5xeMP universal player to Pass Labs X2.5 pre-amp and the other pair from the pre-amp to Pass Labs XA60 monoblocks.

The KCAG is a slim cable, I could make out 3 shoestring-like silver cables weaved together to form one interconnect. Its slimness makes it very flexible, thus installing them and routing them in the system was not a problem at all.

As a silver cable, the KCAG has many of the virtues typical of silver cables. They sound very clear and open. The image was highly focused and nicely delineated, that means that soundstaging in terms of image specificity was very very good.

The KCAG’s best performance area was the highs, it was very extended and also sparkly, yet sounding smooth and never jangly. It sounded more extended than the copper cables I have heard and even slightly more extended than my Audioquest Sky, which incidentally is also silver.

The 2 pairs of KCAG, when compared to my Audioquest+JPS combination, were leaner in the mids. I suppose it is a matter of listener taste, see whether you tend towards a focused and slimmer sound or a more, for the lack of a better word, voluptuous one.

The KCAG’s bass was good too, though not offering as much impact as copper cables. It sounded well defined and tuneful. It was a more organic bass sound. Listening to jazz, for example, each double bass notes sounded natural and different, rather than an incessant drone.

For its list price of RM3,470 per balanced meter pair, the KCAG offers excellent value for one to go into the silver cable world.

Now, I am also building up to a Kimber Kable ‘cable loom’, i.e., same-brand cable in the entire system. The KCAG is the second step. Pairing the KCAG with Kimber’s own power cords, the PK14 and PK10 Gold (refer to my post here for the write-up on the power cords), I have to say that the cable loom proponents do have a point.

It is all a matter of matching.

The solid bass from the Kimber power cords, especially the PK10 Gold, made the system's bass into a articulate and yet an impactful one. While the quietness of the power cords allowed the clarity and extension of the KCAG to shine through. It was like having the best of both worlds.

I preferred the performance of the KCAG with the Kimber PK14/PK10 Gold power cords, rather than my own set of Shunyata (which are more a midrange beast). The all Kimber pairing complement each other better.

While I am not saying not to mix and match cable brands, I do think now that sticking with a cable brand throughout lessens or eliminates the probability of making a mistake, i.e., a cable mismatch. If you have an aim to achieve a certain sound with your cables, by all means go ahead and find the best cable combination for the job; otherwise, the success and return may be higher if you stick to just one.

I shall now go on to the third and last Kimber Kable cable pair, the KS-3033 loudspeaker cables. They are next.

Kimber Kable is available from Hi-Way Laser. Contact Kenny 03-7873.8325; 019-281.3399 .

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