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Kimber 12TC, Part 6

In Fall 1987, I was a high school junior, and not yet a subscriber to Stereophile magazine. I actually went out, and bought the October 1987 issue.

I may have heard or read about Kimber Kable before that, but this ad in the October 1987 Stereophile cemented my awareness of that brand. Then it was a matter of trying to find out if San Francisco had any Kimber dealers.

Also at this time, we underwent, unbeknownst to us at the time, the life-altering change. Because there were now more females than males in school, you now had more female than male friends. That imbalance, again unbeknownst to us at the time, would become permanent, and would grow even more skewed, as time went on.

As academic demands grew, my male friends, never plentiful to begin with, stopped coming out to play sports. Those who remained grew desperate for more bodies. The first step meant asking our relatives to come out. For my friend Keith, that meant asking his sister Tammy, who was now a freshman at our school.

You would not know that Keith and Tammy were siblings. Keith was calm, measured, pale, and slow. He was at his best, when players were strategically in place, and executed the game plan. He understood that he didn't have strength, speed, and skill, so he had to use positioning, smarts, discipline, vision, anticipation, and stamina.

Tammy was petite, bouncy, more tanned, vocal and sociable. When we played baseball/softball, Tammy used Keith's equipment. However, Keith's batting gloves were too long for Tammy, so the tips were kind of loose and flabby. Keith wore a mitt, so that it went down to his palm. Tammy stuck her whole hand into the mitt. Being no taller than 5'2" (with shoes!), Tammy struggled, with trying to control, whip around, and follow through with a standard 34" bat.

I played shortstop quite a bit, and loved having Keith at second base. His positioning and fundamentals meant that he was reliable. You could count on him to be where he needed to be, at the right time.

When Tammy assumed the shortstop position, I could then move to third base. From there, I had a close-up view, of the tension between Keith and Tammy. In order to stay warm and pumped-up, Tammy would bounce around, and even sing. Meanwhile, stoic Keith bit his lip. Tammy booted a few grounders, and then, a soft liner ticked off the tip of her mitt. Frustrated, Tammy spiked the mitt on the infield dirt, jumped a few times on it, and complained, "Man, this mitt doesn't make me catch!"

Keith uncrossed his arms, and yelled, "Damn, bitch, that's my mitt!"

Those of us who had been friends with Keith were stunned. We previously had never seen him get riled up, swear, and yell.

When it was our turn to bat, Tammy was good at getting on base. A right-handed batter, Keith hit behind her. Keith didn't have a whole lot of power, so Tammy wanted Keith to go the other way, and stroke grounders or liners between 1st and 2nd. But he'd always pull the ball, and the defense would force Tammy out at 2nd. Tammy would walk back to our dugout/bench in disgust, and mutter to Keith, "rally killer!"

Bad timing. During that Fall 1987 semester, The Alarm came out with "Rain In The Summertime," after the North American summer was over. Nevertheless, we liked that song. It certainly put the rest of us in a good mood.

However, we were at a gym, playing full-court basketball. We actually had the ball, and I'm not sure what exactly transpired. But it had to do with Keith not setting the right screens, at the right times. Little Tammy was acting as a point guard, when she and Keith got into a tussle (and we were all on the same team!). The rest of us went dead silent, when we overheard Tammy threaten Keith, "Don't make me reach down, and rip out your fallopian tubes!"

But here's another thing. When in school, Keith was always his normal, calm and quiet self. Tammy was more popular than any of us, and she'd go around with her freshmen friends. At school, we never saw Tammy get flustered, or bark at anyone. In fact, she and Keith were very cordial and supportive of each other, at school.

Which brings us to Kimber's Carbon 8 (left) and 12TC speaker cables (right). Many of you have asked how these different "siblings" compare to each other. With SBAN bananas at both ends, an 8-foot Carbon 8 is $1540. I know it's 2024, and not 1987, but for most people, $1540 is a lot of money, for speaker cable. With SBAN bananas at both ends, an 8-foot 12TC is $945, still a lot, but more in range for a wider slice of the population.

Deep sigh. The Carbon 8 is faster, with smaller and tighter images. It better preserves the contrast, between background silence and the music itself. It subjectively places "less obstruction," between you and the music. However, there are significant losses of instrumental body, solidity, and weight. By robbing drums of their physical nature, there are major losses of PRAT.

The 12TC is slower, but smoother. Yet, there are octave-to-octave discontinuities, especially in the upper midrange. This also leads to a reduction in contrast and see-through transparency. The images are rounder, not as small. It's as if your hand fills out the fingers of the batting glove.

In team sports, Tammy and Keith were different. If audio were baseball/softball, the Carbon 8 would be Tammy, while the 12TC would be Keith. And if you think of audio as a team sport, the Carbon 8 and 12TC may not sound alike, but can still be team players.

Raise your hand, if you have a loudspeaker which can be bi-wired. In this situation, you can utilize how the Carbon 8 and 12TC sonically differ. In most situations, the Carbon 8 being fast, transparent, and more contrasty will do well, going to the tweeter post. And the 12TC being smoother, with less loss of body and size, will do well, going into the woofer post.

But what if you have a more stereotypically "audiophile" speaker: warm and plump? Try running the 12TC to the tweeter post, which will preserve that "audiophile" quality up top. Then run the lean and fast Carbon 8 to the woofer post. Instead of "compromised mediocrity," this wiring configuration can lead to "best of both worlds."

When you use 12TC, you easily pick out its shortcomings. That said, its consistency (we've used it in a variety of systems, of multiple price ranges) reminds you of the steady Keith.

-Lummy The Loch Monster

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Topic - Kimber 12TC, Part 6 - Luminator 17:14:07 03/31/24 (0)


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