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Kimber 12TC, Part 2

In December 1997, the Bay Area did get some showers. The news kept saying that, on account of El NiƱo, even heavier rains would come.

I was working off of Halidie Plaza, which was a very short walk to Ultimate Sound, a Kimber dealer. I had the Thiel CS1.5 loudspeaker, used with Kimber 8TC. I wanted to upgrade from the 8TC. Ultimate Sound did not think that the 4AG would be a good match for the CS1.5. Instead, they had a dealer sheet, for the new Monocle-XL and KS-3033. But there wasn't any product information or literature.

February 1998 did bring abundant rainfall to the Bay Area. That meant snow in the Sierras. While we were there, Audrey convinced me to pay more, and get the KS-3033 over the Monocle-XL.

After the KS-3033 settled at my place, I no longer had use for my old 8TC. I gave the 8TC to my Uncle Gerry, who lived on Oahu. Uncle Gerry has three kids: Geraldine, Jerry, and Janelle. Geraldine eventually made it to UC Berkeley (above).

Anyway, after about 10 years with the 8TC, my Uncle Gerry wanted to upgrade. I sent him various speaker cables from AudioQuest, Cardas, Kimber, MIT, Q-Audio, Wireworld, and XLO. He stated a preference for Kimber. At the time, my audiophile web/circle only had Kimber's 4AG and Bi-Focal XL. Uncle Gerry just needed a single-wire speaker cable, but not the 4AG, which exchanged some glare for instrumental textures.

My audiophile web/circle suggested the Kimber 12TC, which had 50% more stands than the 8TC, and was now in the white-and-clear color scheme. In the early-2010s, even though it was only open sporadically, Stewart Ono's Audio Directions Ltd. still existed. Uncle Gerry did buy 12TC from ADL. It was at Uncle Gerry's house, where I first got to see and touch a 12TC.

The youngest of the three siblings, Janelle was still living at home. She liked both the sound and look of the 12TC. She claimed that the new 12TC sounded "more even and mature," than the old black-and-blue 8TC. Moreover, she appreciated the 12TC's lighter white-and-clear color scheme, which to her was "like a tanned person wearing white."

Life's not fair. Despite getting chewed up by Hawaii's red dirt, reefs, and rocks, Janelle's legs had smooth skin, and an even tan. In the mid-2010s, she came to San Francisco, to visit her relatives, including her sister at Cal. Also, Janelle brought Uncle Gerry's 12TC, so that I could put it on the audiodharma Cable Cooker. Janelle said that the 12TC looked "like a tanned person on white bedsheets."

So here is the genuine Kimber 12TC.

We are not going to cut open the actual 12TC, so here is Kimber's own diagram. Note that it consists of 12 white strands (for negative), and 12 clear strands (for positive). Each strand is made up of seven "Vari-Strand" copper conductors. Each has a different wire gauge.

Without an outer jacket or mesh, the 12TC is just 0.625" in diameter. While relatively bendable, the 12TC does hold its shape.

Including the SBAN banana plug, the leads of the 12TC are about 6" long.

The 12TC's base price (termination fee) is $150.

The cable itself is $147 per half-meter stereo pair.

The SBAN adds $30 per set of four. That is only enough, for one end.

Kimber PostMaster spades (2.5mm or 3.3mm opening) add $60 per set of four. Again, that is only enough, for one end.

Therefore, a conventional 2.5-meter (or 8') stereo pair with SBANs all around is $150 + ($147 x 5) + ($30 x 2) = $945.

For most non-audiophiles, $945 for speaker cable is a lot of money. Do they even have speakers costing that much?

But for audiophiles, less than $1000 for a speaker cable can seem reasonable. In terms of retail price, Kimber's Carbon 8 is next up. A 2.5-meter (or 8') Carbon 8 with SBANS all around is $1540 - which is 50% more than the 12TC.

-Lummy The Loch Monster

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Topic - Kimber 12TC, Part 2 - Luminator 23:25:12 02/18/24 (0)


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