Model: 3' Silver Interconnect Category: Cable Suggested Retail Price: $295.00 Description: 3' IC with RCA terminations Manufacturer URL: Darwin Cables Model Picture: View
Review by amioutaline? on June 15, 2012 at 14:19:11
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for the 3' Silver InterconnectI'll save you all a lot of time by stating in front that adding 3 feet of this wire to my system made the most positive impact I've ever heard. From wire.
I build my amps, my speakers and my cables, either from kits or with some help, from scratch. Over the years I've tried a lot of different wire from DH Labs, Homegrown, Mapleshade, Vampire, XLO, Blue Jeans and Radio Shack that I've terminated with just about everything out there. I've owned ready-mades from the Spelz anti-Cables thru Renaissance Audio Graphite-filled to MIT Terminators. Almost forgot MAC.
I finally settled on the DIY White Lightning, ICs and speaker cables because they gave me overall better highs, better dynamics and deeper bass than any of the above, although with some sacrifice in imaging and soundstage. The only reason I auditioned these cables was because I won them!
That's right, it's late afternoon at the most recent Ribfest and JimK comes to me and says, "write your contact information here, we're having a drawing". You know, door prizes. 10 minutes later I hear I won the grand prize, these very ICs which are handed me by Bill Magerman, the maker. Some of you may know him from Tribute Audio which has long been a source for speaker crossover repair and upgrades. We traded e-mail addresses and talked a bit and I told him that if they sounded good, I'd do an AA Review.
What I took away with me from MuzikMikes was the knowledge that these Darwin cables retailed for $299, that they were narrow, but unspecified gauge, and the wire itself was inside a larger gauge PTFE tube so that air was the main dialectric. Oh, and the RCA terminations were of light gauge metal.
When I returned to the mountains, I connected them from CDP to passive pre-amp and listened to the Bonnie Raitt cut on The Chieftains CD that happened to be in the drawer. I firmly believe that break-in is mostly in the mind of the beholder and what one hears in the first 3 seconds is the true basic character of whichever component and that will not change significantly no matter how many times the Earth circles the Sun. In that 3 seconds I heard, and wrote down a note, that 'the image is waaay recessed between the speakers, the bass is extremely articulate and the imaging far more focused than previously'.
I shut off the amp and let the cables cook on repeat, changing the CD periodically, for a little more than 50 hours.
During this time I corresponded with Bill, mainly to find out whether these wires, as it states on the website, were Copper or Silver. You can believe me or not but I waited to open his reply until after I had heard several selections at the conclusion of the break-in period. The reason why was that I've never liked the treble emphasis I've always heard in Silver wire ( I once tore very high quality silver out of an amp I built and replaced it with fine gauge XLO copper) and I didn't want that to color my opinion.
Now I've had a chance to audition these cables with both CD and Vinyl and find that they present a recessed soundstage on some recordings and a fuller, more upfront image on others. In other words, they present what's on the recording. In all cases, the soundstage is more "real" and the imaging far clearer, "pinpoint" if you will, than with the White Lightning. Instruments and voices, from Count Basie to Verdi, are much less captive to the speakers. One of my notes reads that '88 Basie Street, the band reminds me of the scene with the Count Bsie Band in the desert in "Blazing Saddles"; outfits, fancy music stands, and all.
The Bass deserves it's own paragraph: I recently added a pair of subwoofers to the 4Pis and once dialed in for phase and gain, the bass was still muddy and indistinct. The addition of the Darwins immediately made the deep bass amazingly articulate in tone and texture, by far the best I've ever heard from the JBL 2226s in the 4Pis. The subs will stay!
I felt that the treble was about the same as with the White Lightnings, perhaps a bit more forward, a bit more detailed. Then I found that the wires are indeed Silver, but the treble had nothing shrill or strident as I had found in the past.
Now I have to wonder about two important points: what would my rig sound like with Darwin Cables from source to pre-amp to main amp and, how can replacing just one of three interconnects effect such a major change in the sound? Is the blend fortuitous? Does one cable cancel 2 others? Naaah!
It's indisputable that cables have a proprietary sound because they emphasize some frequencies, de-emphasize others and leave the remainder alone. It's why cables are often called "tone controls". Frequency response and how the room and our ears process it is what this hobby is all about. It's what concert halls are all about. It's why I use this brand of capacitor or plate choke and not that one.
I can only wonder how this one length of wire influences it's mates. I also wonder why the effect on the systems output is exactly the same even though CDs were heard with the Darwin from the source, the CD Player while Vinyl went first from cartridge to phono pre with Cardas 4x24 and then with the Darwin from phono pre to pre-amp That makes me lean toward believing that one wire trumps another...but how?
There's an introductory price on the Darwin website so someone might think it's worthwhile to plunge and find out if my experience transfers to others. If that's the case the Darwin Cables are quite a bargain.
Product Weakness: Some emphasis of recessed soundstage on recordings with recessed soundstage. Or perhaps it's just faithfully reproducing the master. Product Strengths: Imaging, low bass tone and textureAssociated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Single-ended, direct-coupled, parafeed UX-45 Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Just a good switch and a better volume control; Caravaggio phono pre-amp Sources (CDP/Turntable): Marantz SA-8001 CDP; VPI hW-19 MK IV with SAMA and some mods, AT-1005 tonearm and Aurum Beta Speakers: 4Pi Horn/Bass Reflex Cables/Interconnects: White Lightning Music Used (Genre/Selections): Count Basie, Bonnie raitt, Union Station, Christopher Hogwood Room Size (LxWxH): 12 x 15 x 8 Room Comments/Treatments: Owens-Corning 2 Time Period/Length of Audition: 1 week after 50 hour break-in Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner
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Topic - REVIEW: Darwin Cables 3' Silver Interconnect Cable - amioutaline? 14:19:11 06/15/12 (6)
- RE: REVIEW: Darwin Cables 3' Silver Interconnect Cable - rick_m 08:40:12 06/19/12 (4)
- RE: REVIEW: Darwin Cables 3' Silver Interconnect Cable - Duster 12:26:11 06/19/12 (3)
- RE: REVIEW: Darwin Cables 3' Silver Interconnect Cable - rick_m 08:23:45 06/20/12 (2)
- RE: REVIEW: Darwin Cables 3' Silver Interconnect Cable - Duster 15:25:46 06/20/12 (1)
- RE: low L and C cable. - rick_m 19:36:59 06/20/12 (0)
- Thanks for the review - 1973shovel 06:15:50 06/19/12 (0)