Ultimate Digital Dream
[now replaced by The N'th Degree Digital]
...So here is my view 50 hours later using the cable to connect a dCS Paganini transport to a Paganini DAC connected directly to active ATC 50s via 5M Harmonic Technology Magic II balanced cables :
It is odd writing about the sound of a digital cable. After all it carries no music per se and produces no sound directly. So I can talk only of the consequences of what the cable delivers in the analogue domain of my particular audio system .
The first impression, almost before the music starts, is of a huge, deep and transparent soundstage. Within this are virtually solid images of the performers/instruments, all in correctly scaled proportion to each other.
The cable delivers the widest frequency response without emphasis of any range from the lowest bass to the highest treble. Dynamics are, frankly, astonishing both in respect of range and subtlety. The cable's neutral frequency response coupled to its dynamic mastery produces a lot of excitement, either where large dynamic swings occur ( listen to those fff bass drum thwacks!) or where the artist uses small dynamic changes for emotional effect (previously unnoticed with other cables). Rhythm is just spot on.
String tone, so important to me as a classical music fan, is fabulous, smooth and sweet where needed or gutty and resinous elsewhere. By comparison many other cables result in an almost distorted rendition especially where large forces are involved.
Detail is extraordinary. Never pushed forward, the tiniest sounds become clear but in a completely natural manner.
Putting all of these ingredients together, the whole results in the most musical digital cable heard to date (and that's a lot of cables!). Not musical in a falsely euphonious manner but in a way that produces new insights into just about every recording heard; even those that are most familiar. Furthermore the experience is not just intellectual but very emotional with a real feeling of being in the presence of the musicians and of hearing what they must have intended.
I liked it so much I didn't buy one. I bought two. The second is for my upsampler. However the result of this cable playing straightforward redbook CD is so stellar that the need to upsample at all becomes open to question...