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REVIEW: VH Audio SYMMETRY Cable

Model: SYMMETRY
Category: Cable
Suggested Retail Price: $1199
Description: XLR Balanced Cable - silver
Manufacturer URL: VH Audio
Model Picture: View

Review by George Hoenninger (A) on September 05, 2005 at 18:19:14
IP Address: 128.221.197.129
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for the SYMMETRY


Chris,

As you know all too well, I have had the Symmetry in my system for quite some time and they have been part of a system that I enjoy more than any previous system configuration. I think one of the reasons I am so late on writing things up (besides a horrific work schedule) was that each time I fully intended to do the final comparison between the Pulsar and Symmetry I would just wind up listening to the Symmetry. I will get into the details of the differences I can hear between the Pulsar and Symmetry below, but I just thought you should know that beforehand.

Also, my system has pretty much been rock solid for quite some time now, so not only am I super happy with it, but I also know it very well. Here are the components:

•Salk Sound Veracity HT3 speakers
• TacT RCS 2.2x preamp/dac/room correction w/ Aberdeen PS upgrade and SupraSowrd LoRad power cord
• McCormack DNA-500 amp w/ VH Audio AirSine power cord
• Empirical Audio modified Sony S-7700 dvd player as a transport
• Running Springs Audio Haley on its own dedicated 20 amp line (TacT and Sony are plugged into it)
• Running Springs Audio Duke on its own dedicated 20 amp line (DNA-500 is plugged into it)
• Sistrum SP-101 platform under DNA-500
• Sistrum SP-1 platform under TacT and Sony
• Sistrum SP-004 platform under RSA Duke and Haley
• VH Audio cryo’d Pulsar with Silver NextGen connectors for digital ic
• VH Audio Balanced Pulsars with Furutech Rhodium connectors for analog ic’s
• TG Audio HSR speaker cable
• Argent Audio Pursang jumpers

General Comments:

• When the Pulsar is compared directly to the Symmetry there is just a hint of grit and grain (which I never noticed before). The Symmetry is very smooth while being more detailed.
• The Symmetry is more dynamic and bold in its presentation. Low bass sounds deeper and has more authority.
• Overall presentation is faster and more detailed. It was easier to hear and place everything within the soundstage.
• Soundstage was deeper and wider with the Symmetry in the system.
• Everything (especially female vocals) had more air and produced a more 3-D like presence. Notes seemed to hang in the air and not go away quickly – yet things definitely didn’t blend or mush together.
• Midrange on the Pulsar is slightly muddy and congested compared to Symmetry. Just doesn’t open up like the Symmetry does.
• Overall the music sounds more relaxed and effortless with the Symmetry.

Music used with my notes:

Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama – There Will Be A Light

• Track 9 – Mother Pray (This track is simply Ben and the Blind Boys singing with no instruments)

With the Symmetry ic’s in the system, the soundstage is larger front to back and images have more separation. There is less blending of the various voices. All the voices have a deeper and fuller presence that sounds a little less colored and artificial when doing an A/B with the Pulsar.

• Track 1 – Take My Hand (a funky gospel tune that showcases a Fender Rhodes and Harper's wah-wah pedal underscored by the call and response of the Blind Boys)

With the Symmetry in the system I want to get up and dance! The extra detail that the Symmetry passes really adds to my enjoyment. Drums have more snap and are a little crisper and faster sounding. The tambourine has a more noticeable presence and isn’t in the background as much with the Symmetry.

Roland Kirk – Domino

• Track 1 – Domino (flute, sax, piano, drums, bass)

With the Symmetry, the flute has a breathier or a more airy quality to it. The sax has a more relaxed and less grainy sound (I never thought I would think the Pulsars would sound grainy, but in a direct comparison there is just a hint of grain and glare – especially on brass). Drums and piano continue to be a little more impactful and larger in its presentation.

• Track 8 – Rolando (piano, sax, drums, bass, percussion)

Lightning fast presentation. Cymbals and high-hat continue to have better definition, shimmer, and air. Bass line is tighter, faster, and more there.

Ryan Adams – Gold

• Track 7 – When The Stars Go Blue (male and female vocals, acoustic guitar, drums)

The acoustic guitar is more organic and full of texture – I can easily visualize Ryan plucking the strings and his finger movements. His voice is dripping with emotion and has stronger presence with the Symmetry. The female backing vocal is more soothing and melodic – again its just flows a little bit better.

Burmester CD III – Test/Compilation CD

• Track 9 – Hugh Masekela performs “Stimela” live (vocals, percussion, world beat, sax, drums, bass)

Sax is more clearly defined and lacks any grit or grain. Vocals show off various inflections and “noises”. Soundstage is wider. Captures the venue more clearly and precisely.

Well, the Symmetry is a keeper and will replace the set of balanced Pulsars that were my reference interconnect.

Great job Chris.

George


Product Weakness: not exactly cheap
Product Strengths: Very smooth and musical while being very detailed and dynamic. Great overall presentation and does especially well on voices and tough instruments like piano and sax.


Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: McCormack DNA-500
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): TacT RCS 2.2x w/Aberdeen PS upgrade
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Empirical Audio modified Sony S-7700 as transport
Speakers: Salk Sound Veracity HT3's
Cables/Interconnects: VH Audio Pulsars (balanced and rca)
Music Used (Genre/Selections): a little bit of everything
Room Size (LxWxH): 25 x 18 x 7
Room Comments/Treatments: Dedicated room with generous use of MiniTraps by RealTraps as well as products from EightNerve
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): Running Springs Audio Duke and Haley
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner




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Topic - REVIEW: VH Audio SYMMETRY Cable - George Hoenninger 18:19:14 09/05/05 (4)


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