As some of you may know I posted a thread asking which set-up would sound better; 1) using short interconnects and having the equipment rack between the speakers, or 2) moving the front-end equipment off to the side and having only the amplifier between the speakers. The second set-up required the use of a much longer run of interconnect.
I received several answers telling me to avoid long interconnect while other suggested the improvement would be profound. One of the people (Albert Porter) who will remain nameless offered to loan me a 3.5-meter pair of Purist Dominus.
Now I have to digress. Several years ago a friend loaned me a 1-meter pair of Purist Colossus which he was auditioning. He was unsure of the cable and asked me to listen for a few days. After a few days of break-in I sat down to listen. After only a few minutes I said to myself, I don’t care what this costs, I’m buying it. Greg told me it cost $1200. I was sad to see it go, but I could not justify the cost and even if I could I did not have the money. I have since added Colossus to my collection and enjoy it very much. When the nameless AudiogoNer offered to loan me a cable several levels higher than I had ever heard I jumped at it.
After a few days a package arrived via FedEx. I spent the next several hours moving, leveling, and replacing the equipment on my DIY rack. For the next 48 hours I ran a signal through the Dominus. Most of that time I used the Purist burn-in disc but also mixed in miscellaneous CDs. On the third day I sat down for some serious listening. Serious listening involves the playing of LPs as opposed to CDs, although I did use a Blood, Sweat, & Tears SACD for a while.
As good as the Colossus sounded when I first heard it, the Dominus was that much better. I give it the highest compliment, which can be given, it was musical! It did not cause me to listen to the pre-amp, or speakers, or cable, I just listened to music. It was easy because there was so much less in the way of the music. The timbre of instruments was much more natural. Bass was tighter, with much more thump to it. The all-important midrange was lush and pure. The treble roll-off I experienced when I bought the Pass Labs Aleph Ono was gone. Treble which tended to sound shrill on CDs before was tamed.
The soundstage was dramatically altered. There was depth behind the speakers I never had before. It sounded like the rear wall was pushed back another foot. Voices and instruments were tighter and smaller with more air around them. Detail, which had been difficult to discern in the past, was obvious.
Much of the listening I did was with my new Simply Vinyl LPs. Even the old Elvis LPs had incredible presence. I was not aware how well some of those older LPs were recorded. Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks Lp revealed music much more involved than I originally noticed listening to the cassette back in the 70’S.
When I played Simon and Garfunkel for some friends they were amazed to hear two voices on the recording than the blend normally presented. Hoyt Axton’s Gypsy Moth from the Fearless Lp was almost frightening. It sounded like he was there in the room with his acoustic guitar. Every recording I listened to revealed things I had missed in the past. In many cases it was like meeting an old friend who was actually more interesting than I realized.
This too shall pass, and pass it did. Much sooner than I was willing to part with the cables their rightful owner required their return. The feeling I had when I returned the Colossus ten years earlier was back. So close but stills out of reach. Seven thousand dollars is as impossible now as $1200 was ten years ago. “Were those cables worth $7000?” I can hear you demand.
I don’t know. How much would I have to spend on electronics to get the same level of improvement in my listening room?
I can tell you when I replaced the Dominus with my own cable the music seemed lifeless and dull. Everything the Purist added was back to normal for me. Last month it sounded just fine, but tonight as I write the review it sounds like someone replaced my HiFi with a boombox. I’ll get used to it and things will be fine in a few weeks but I am secretly socking away my pennies for some new Purist interconnect. If there was a weakness in this cable I will have to leave it to someone better than me to point out. I didn’t hear any.
So, which set-up sounds better? It’s hard to tell because the Dominus interconnects are so much better than the Colossus or the Cardas I own. Having the rack out from between the speakers sounded very good and I think you can affect similar improvement without spending the amount required for the Dominus, I will keep this set-up even without the ICs because there was an improvement. Over the next few weeks I hope to get a better understanding of what happened and why, but if you can get your hands in the longer ICs give this set-up a try.
Click to view my Virtual System
Kimber Cable KCTG
Cardas Golden C
Tara Labs Pandora S