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Cable Asylum: REVIEW: MAC Sound Pipes MAC CuQ Cable by gme109

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REVIEW: MAC Sound Pipes MAC CuQ Cable

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Model: MAC CuQ
Category: Cable
Suggested Retail Price: $299
Description: Speaker cables
Manufacturer URL: MAC Sound Pipes
Model Picture: View

Review by gme109 on August 08, 2007 at 21:29:19
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for the MAC CuQ

This review is long over due, but I wanted to make sure of two things, one, the cables were fully broken in, and two, I had lived with them sufficiently, as to be well over the honeymoon.

A little background. My system is very simple, and has remained in its current configuration for about a year and a half. An Accuphase 65V cd player run directly into a pair of Channel Islands D200 mono blocks, powering the Selah Audio Excelarray's. Simple, but very resolving and capable of revealing minute differences in equipment and cabling. Before buying the MAC CuQ speaker cable, I was using a pair of Crystal Clear Audio (CCA) solid core Reference silver speaker cables. The CCA's were auditioned along side some big name-higher dollar cables, like Cardas Golden Reference and XLO Signature, and came out the clear winner. As good as, and as satisfied as I was with the CCA, I was hoping to get a touch more harmonic richness in the midrange, and therefore took a chance on ordering the MAC CuQ cables, but not before spending a stupid amount of time reading reviews, and getting a sense as to which speaker cable might fit the bill.

On day one of inserting the CuQ's into the system, I was pleasantly surprised as to how good they sounded, especially right out of the box. About two hours later, I was hooked, and ended up listening into the wee hours of the night. The first thing that struck me, was how extended and detailed they were on top, adding more air and sparkle to the performance. Although they continued to sound very good during the break in process, the bass had gone from slightly under developed, to overly rip, after a few days of break in. Steve assured me that this would improve with about 200 hours of break in. Sure enough, the bass had tightened up, along with gaining impressive extension and authority. Compared to my previous cables, they sounded more natural and fleshed out. The CuQ's had a richer, more harmonically complete sound, with an amazing presents in the midrange, as well as being much more nuanced. I was hearing very subtle inflections in Mark Knopfler's voice that just didn't seem to come through as clearly, or not at all, with the CCA cables. Also when listening to certain musical instruments, like guitar and horns, I noticed a slight edge to the sound with the silver cables, that just wasn't there with the copper MAC's, again, just more natural. The CuQ's soundstage was vast, and seemed to portray a more convincing picture of the venue than the silver CCA's. In conclusion, the MAC cables allowed more music to pass at the frequency extremes, provided a blacker background, where previously unheard of low level detail emerged, and imparted the music with a tauter and more textured bass. But most importantly, they allowed me to connect to the music on a more emotional level, letting the music flow, in what sounded closer in my experience, to that of a LP played on a good analog turntable. Highly recommend!

Product Weakness: For the money none, even for a lot more money none.
Product Strengths: Extended at frequency extremes, harmonically complete, amazing midrange presents.<br>

Associated Equipment for this Review:

Amplifier: Channel Islands D200's
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): none
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Accuphase DP65V
Speakers: Selah Audio Excelarray's
Cables/Interconnects: MAC CuQ speaker cable, CCA interconnect
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Jazz, rock, classical, blues, new age, well everything
Room Size (LxWxH): 20' x 14' x 9'
Room Comments/Treatments: 8th Nerve & DIY bass traps
Time Period/Length of Audition: 4 months
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: MAC Sound Pipes MAC CuQ Cable - gme109 21:29:19 08/8/07 ( 0)