January 25, 2012

Best Cables 2011.

Cables remain controversial within audiophile community, because many are in the opinion that moneyed monkeys spend silly money on cables, while there are many in the high end community who are convinced that cables are just as important as any other equipment in the hifi chain.

We are pretty satisfied with the cables we had in hand, except for my search to obtain the best digital cable that I could practically afford. Hence the list below reflects my personal "best" choice rather than the ultimate.
I am a big fan only the JPS Aluminata range, this co-axial digital interconnect didn't disappoint.

JPS Aluminata Digital.

This was the first cable I tested during my search for a suitable digital cable, and has since remained my benchmark for other cables to emulate. Stunning transparency and zero noise floor results in digital music coming alive and breathing in my man cave. Every little detail and harmonic texture of each musical instrument, voice and emotional content is transferred wholesale to the next equipment in the hifi chain. Staging and imaging is life like, as if "I am breathing the same air with the musicians"(borrowed this from a good, good friend) experience! Possibly one of the best sounding digital cable money can buy today.
Wireworld Starlight Platinum is a top contender in the digital cable stakes.
Wireworld Starlight Platinum Digital.

This Wireworld equals the performance of the JPS Aluminata in so many ways, that it's hard to favour one over the other. However the Starlight Platinum out does the JPS in the bass department. I found the meatier bass quality highly enjoyable, only because it was just as articulate with a propulsive nature. It's only in the highs where the JPS sounds more open and extended, compared to the darker top end of the Starlight Platinum. It's a though choice between this two alpha cables and I know more than a few people who made this digital cable their reference, but for me it's the JPS Aluminata, if only by just a hair. It's that close a call!

Entreq Discover offers well rounded sound quality without silly prices. 

Entreq Discover Power Cord.

Entreq is a new brand represented by Swedish Statement. I had the chance to try out their Absolute Reference power cord, but ended up liking this cheaper Discover model instead. The Discover offers honest build quality for the price and more importantly, balanced, if a slightly immediate sonic character to suit a vast variety of high performance systems. It's not exactly cheap, but still offers excellent value.
VooDoo Reference Digital, my current reference.
 VooDoo Digital Reference.

VooDoo cables offers excellent price to performance ratio across the range. They may not be the best, but they certainly come very close in terms of sound quality, for a fraction of the asking prices compared to those snooty alpha cables. The VooDoo Digital Reference is lightly built, but will certainly be lasting with gentle handling. It's my starter cable while aspiring to something better in the future. 

Here are a few other cables that impressed me in 2011.

1) Wireworld Platinum Eclipse 6 Interconect
2) ASI Liveline Digital Co-axial
3) Supra DAC XLR Gold Digital
4) AOR Reference For Torus Power
5) MIT Shotgun MA Speaker Cables

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