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Below, I inquired about the TEO audio gc (game changer) interconnects. Mick Wolfe gave his thumbs up as he had recently purchased them. Based in part on his recommendation, and on a final desire to maximize my system, I purchased a pair as well. They are backordered, so I had to wait about three weeks for them to arrive. I now know why they are backordered....
I have always been a bit skeptical about cables making a huge difference in a system, mainly because I doubted if my own ears could detect a difference. Needless to say, my skepticism in gone now. I will admit that I have not been able to do AB comparisons, or blind testing or the like, so I think my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt, and along with Mick, will note that YMMV depending on your system.
That being said, my impression in my system (which I consider quite revealing) is that these interconnects really are an improvement over what I was using before. The music seems more "real" in some ways, a bit more laid back and comfortable. The piano sounds like a piano; the violin is, well, exquisite. I have tried these with a variety of music and believe there is improvement across the spectrum. I do think TEO audio is on to something here with this cable technology. I will be interested in hearing from more inmates who try these out.
Well, I've never been one to jump into any audio fray, and all applicable disclaimers, provisos, and caveats apply, including YMMV.
My only recent reference point interconnects have been Wireworld Equinox 7 audio ICs. I have others in my system, but those are not the ones I replaced. I took out the Equinox 7s between my CDP and pre-amp and inserted the TEO Audio GC ICs. They appear to be highly directional, since there are arrows on both ends. I was not absolutely sure that I had paid attention to the directionality when placing them into the system, but when I checked, I had them both right.
I tend to agree with everything written/said by slapshot and - before him - Mike Wolfe. Piano sounds to me like a piano - in real time, with transients, ebb, and decay. (True, that last clause was mine.) Acoustic guitar sounds like (you guessed it) acoustic guitar. The same can be said of wind and brass instruments.
Listening to a handful of redbook CDs or HDCDs indicated some new sounds that were laying back in the mix. There really are no obvious sins of omission in these; whatever I play sounds more right than what I heard in these recordings before. I appreciate the "laid-back and comfortable" remark by slapshot and would ask to adopt it, here. This was true throughout the audio spectrum, including passages where multiple instruments, including electric guitars and keyboards, were played simultaneously, along with vocals. I think it's called rock music, but don't quote me on that. The ICs show no signs of congestion in this music, I heard each instrument in its space, and all of it sounded natural. (Well, for rock music, anyway.)
I promised myself before I started that I would not try very hard not to say anything (like superlatives or comparisons) which would tend to make me second-guess myself later on. Nobody likes hype. I write this with only about 15-20 hours of music listening on them, as I put them in my system only three nights ago. I know that I'm supposed to take them out to do proper aural/audio comparisons, but I just don't wanna right now.
Well said, axolotl. There have been a couple of times when listening to familiar music where I heard things I had not heard before (my first inclination is "Oh, no, something isn't working correctly!"--because I'm an audiophile, I guess). Turns out that it's something revealed by the TEO cables.
Thanks for that. I'm still on the fence. I guess the only way I'll know if they're better than my PAD Venustas is to try them. Every review and comment I've read about the GCs are all consistently positive and they all mention that they possess the attributes I'm looking for. Not that I'm unhappy with the Venustas, just wondering if there's something else out there in a reasonable price range that would push the speed, detail and transparency envelope of my Acoustat rig beyond what the PAD ICs do.
Thanks again for posting your impressions of the GCs.
Slapshot....that's a pretty good assessment of the GC's overall. There seems to be a small setback in performance in the 20-30 hour range, but they snap back into focus just fine beyond that point. The "setback" mentioned takes them to the level of a very good IC as opposed to an exceptional IC. Things return to exceptional status probably midway thru the stated 100 hour breakin period. Take this as my experience, but not necessarily what anyone else might find to be the case.
In regard to those who inquired as to what IC's they replaced, in my case Morrow MA5 with silver Eichmann's and Shindo. Both were used/auditioned between pre-amp and amp with the GC's winning the day in that slot.
As far as speaker cables are concerned, unless TEO introduces a GC version, their speaker cables are simply out of reach for me financially. With that said, I have two friends that claim excellent synergy when combining the TEO GC's with Cerious Tech Graphene Extreme speaker cables. They're not particularly cheap either, but far more reachable at around $650 for an 8' pair.
I am in the midst of the temporary setback right now, still waiting for the ICs to re-blossom. I'm catching glimmers of their peak performance, but it is indeed not much to crow about right now.
It was good to have a heads-up about this brief intermission in performance, Mick, or I might have wondered whether I made the right choice. I must be at about 35 - 40 hours.
I should be fully enjoying them shortly, I would anticipate... I would hope... Please, please come back to me soon, TEOs...
Yeah, I hear what you're saying. That lull had me scared as well. I think I even resorted to the dreaded "put the CDP on repeat" for a day to accelerate the process. BTW, TEO specifies no cable burn-in devices should be used. Then I just listened a bit louder than I normally do for a couple of days. That's when I noticed how well they sort thru complexities and stay composed. Hang in there and keep us posted.
It's back. The magic is back.
That's great to hear. Also confirms the minor dip in performance I heard as well. Much like you, everything is hitting on all cylinders now.
Yes, I would agree with your assessment. I find them to be very clear and natural, yet again.
I think they do what they are supposed to do extremely well, even with intentional distortion within the performance (i.e., distorted electric guitars and vocals). I've listened to some post-punk, and I infer that I can hear behind and beyond the production back to the performance.
Of course, this may be a purely subjective impression, and OMMV.
We're hearing the same things in this regard. I'll just say they have the ability to "sort" musical passages with less confusion while adding a nice sense of ease. Simply sounds like the signal is less impeded. Yes, and it's always safer to say "YMMV". One size rarely if ever fits all.
I knew somebody else would say it better than I could.
I am actively seeking out piano, violin, and guitar music these days.
By the way, "The Gloaming" is a great CD, with "Doveman" Thomas Bartlett on piano. [YMMV, in that not everybody likes the same music.]
Someone - I believe it was you, Mick - mentioned that anything phono-related might not be the place for the GC ICs, since they are not shielded.
Would anyone care to opine as to whether they might work from phono preamp to preamp? Is shielding essential in this application?
I think you'll be fine from phono stage to line preamp. I probably should have said...in my experience, shielded cables have always been necessary from the turntable to the phono stage or SUT. In the case of an SUT, yes, shielded again from SUT to phono stage. When leaving the phono stage, however, you should be good to go with an unshielded design.
Good to know, Mick. I had considered the Morrow MA5s to replace my old interconnects; glad I went with the TEO ones instead. And I can't afford the TEO speaker cables either; especially since I need about 15' for each speaker.
What did you use before? Ive been considering the Teo cables too and was curious what they replaced in your system. I'd be replacing Purist Audio Design Venustas ICs.
I had used Synergistic Research Alpha Sterlings and Tara Prime M3 interconnects at different times. The Synergistics were about the same price, but they were purchased 18 years ago. The Tara Primes were a bit cheaper.
I am delighted to hear/read this.
Mine have yet to arrive. I expect to receive them on Tuesday.
Could you give an idea where you have placed them in your system? I may try from CDP to preamp, or from preamp to power amps.
Thanks in advance.
I recently simplified my system, so I have only one pair of interconnects: Marantz SA-15s2 and Pass Labs INT-250. If I were rich, I'd get the TEO speaker cables, although I'm pretty happy with my Analysis Plus cables for my maggies.
Please post your impressions here after you have a chance to listen to them.
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