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REVIEW: Kimber Kable PBJ Cable

Model: PBJ
Category: Cable
Suggested Retail Price: $75 (?)
Description: braided copper IC cable
Manufacturer URL: Kimber Kable
Model Picture: View

Review by badman on September 23, 2001 at 21:16:04
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for the PBJ

Where to begin. This is probably Kimbers best known product, and has in the past been well received and reviewed. It consists of three braided conductors, with "Hyper pure" copper, teflon insulation, and varistrand, which means that each conductor has multiple guage wires in it. The models in question are with Ultraplate RCAs, which resides in infamy, being nickel plated. I believe this to be electroless nickl, much better for audio use than regular stuff, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I've had this stuff around for a couple of weeks now, having received it as a bonus from a customer who was really thrilled with my power cords. I also had some of the raw wire around from the KKSV, given to me by Curtis, a tech guru at KK, but that is a different story. Anyway, I had been using some monsters I had around as a temporary solution for the need of a 1M cord-most of mine are 3/4M, just too short for my current set-up. Anyway, let's get down to sound.
First comparison is between PBJ and Monster Interlink 400 Mk 2. This is used with KS 1030 (lucky me) between cd and pre, and the PBJ/monster betw. pre and power amps. The PBJ is plain better, and let me explain why. My system is not on the pansy end of the spectrum, rather being a ballsy SS beast. The Monster was listened to first, as it had been in there a while. I was happy with the sound, it did everything a hi-fi system should. Substituting the PBJ was quite a shock. The whole thing got more open and bright, a little too bright at times, but that is the nature of my sytem. The imaging became solid, the guitars had some huevos, and everthing just got more involving. I have never been a fan of monster cables, but they were only temporary until I got a replacement that was long enough. I have it. Tonal balance was nice, a bid of emphasis on sibilants, but well within reason. And furthermore, it had a much more rich sound to it, probably due to the lack of compressive shielding. So, hands down, PBJ baby!
Next, I substituted a second pair between the laserdisc player (pioneer CLD 1090) and the pre, hoping to achieve what I had heard with the other replacement. Well, the player is not at all bright sounding, and the cables I had on there were (I had loaned most of my nicer cables to friends/customers)from Synergistic Research, silver plated coaxes. They're OK, for what they are (very cheap) but do not approach the PBJs at all. They are bright and harsh sounding on occasion, and just sloppy compared to the PBJs. There was again no contest, imaging, tonality, rhythm, it all sounded better. So, we have quite a champ, who really likes to lisp like tyson (the sibilant emphasis was not so severe as to be irritating, but more than desirable), but this is quite a cable, trouncing the competition. Oh and BTW, the KS-1030 is a ridiculously nice rich smooth, detailed, clean cable.

Product Weakness: sibilants are a bit emphasized, and I don't think I like the nickel on the ultraplates (though the overall cable rocks)
Product Strengths: imaging, tonality in mid to low ranges, huevos out the wazoo, rhythmic integrity

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: acurus a100 (100x2 @ 8ohms)
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Acurus RL-11
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Marantz CC-67, Pioneer Cld-1090
Speakers: B&W DM605 s2
Cables/Interconnects: PBJ, KKSV-1 (speaker cable), KS-1030, Poth Audio power cords
Music Used (Genre/Selections): broad range
Time Period/Length of Audition: 2 weeks
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): all sort of lunacy
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: Kimber Kable PBJ Cable - badman 21:16:04 09/23/01 (16)

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