i deliberated in writing this post. because there are quite a few kubala-sosna supporters here and i am afraid i am going to get hate mails from them ;-)

to save you from reading the conclusion, i would just say that while k-s emotion has many virtues that impressed me, it doesn't win my heart the way stage III magnus did.

before i continue, i want you to know that this is a competition of a very high level so whatever shortfalls i mentioned are most likely system-dependent as well as user-dependent.

i suspect that k-s emotion does not like my shunyata hydra at all (apologies: it would be too troublesome for me to unplug my shunyata and validate this guess). as you well know (since i have documented it so many times here), the hydra is characterized by a very thick and "analogue" midrange, which coincidentally is also the case with the k-s emotion. hence the resultant midrange is overly thick and bulky, to the extent of being a tad sluggish, compared to the very fast, though thinner, and agile stage III magnus.

but k-s emotion most impressive traits are its midrange density and the bass weight. this are two areas that it wins substantially over stage III magnus. this alone leads me to suspect that it is made up of composite metals, which should include silver and maybe, gold. definitely this is NOT a pure copper cable. another winning trait is how natural, emotive and musical the whole presentation is. i could feel that the singer is singing for me, just for me. i truly love this aspect of k-s emotion.

the highs is an area where stage III betters k-s. for that matter, i will now proclaim that stage III cables have the best highs in the business. whereas k-s's highs are natural, stage III's highs are INTOXICATING. you really have to listen to stage III cables when matched with triode and ribbon tweeters to understand what i am talking about. also, stage III has richer colors in its tonal palette (i don't mean coloration!); the timbre from stage III is much more enticing.

to make sure that i am not biased, i actually dragged my audiophile buddy along to make the judgement collectively. he too preferred stage III magnus over k-s emotion on many counts, especially when it comes to revelation of details and fast-paced, uptempo music where PRaT is required.

i would also like to postulate that based on these observations k-s emotion suits solid-state systems more than tubes.

in the end, it is a case of NATURALNESS Vs INTOXICATION.

my review may not be definitive so i am passing the cables over to my dealer for their critical evaluation. after all they are the one who's gonna decide.

[conclusion]
listening to the k-s emotion makes me realize areas where my stage III falls short. i would love to have the midrange density and bass weight, and i think i could only get the COMPLETE package in stage III vacuum gold reference, which remains my ultimate upgrade within the next 6 months, and the subject of my next review.

[post-script]
i consulted my dealer in singapore, who once evaluated k-s emotion before. they concur with my observations.

28 comments:

will said...

Really Maggie?
Stage 3 better than K-S?

anyway I think your review is the first head to head comparison between the emotion and stage 3.

Thank you for your effort..

joe said...

Maggielurva,

Another good job well done!!!!

When I heard that you are going to try the Emotion ,I thought you would find great synergy with your system.

I think you really know your stuff though.Joe kubala will be stunned to discover that this guy in Malaysia has discovered his receipe..

anyway ,with my Kharma speakers,I could not find better match than K-S emotion.I guess like you always said,It is a matter of system synergy.

Another brilliant ,informative piece ..

ken said...

Maggielurva,

May I know the audiophile buddy that "you dragged" to confirm your findings about the KS cable?

Actually I have read in reviews that Shunyata power conditioners actually add some bottom end to any system that utilises it.
I think the KS just add some more of the same ingredient into it.

hafiz said...

The ting my Kubala Sosna emotion is that it is very neutral.

I suspect along the line ,there must be something in your chain that added colouration;Power Chords?Power conditioner?I don't know...

Yam said...

Yup maggie I think you are spot on..

KS emotion ,certainly is made of composite and has a fair amoount of gold,

You sure nobody told you about this?If not you sure have a golden pair of ears!!!!

Anonymous said...

Maggie,
In my humble opinion ,more than tube vs SS in term of amplifications, in the case of K-S emotion,the speaker has to be a full range ,able to extend comfortably below 30 Hz.If not you wIll get a very congested midrange.

It's main strenght is naturalness.Here's from an upgrade maniacs.The only thing in my systems that remain constant in my systems are the emotions.but i make sure the speakers are always full range (Currently I am using Hanson's prince}...

liones said...

agree with anonymous.

These cables won't sound good with QUAD either...

Anyway , a very good,thorough ,honest piece.:

jeb said...

Maggie,
Why don't you ask that dude in kampar with Marten Bird to have a listen .

You do need a full range sp. to hear the full frequencies ala top of the range MIT

william charles said...

I am an owner of the KS emotions series of chord,IC,pc and let me say cathagorically that I am proud of your reviews..

One thing that I conclude is that you are a true man of your words.The audiophiles community in general certainly need more people like you .

The fact of the matter ,and you have highlighted these responsibly,that every chain in the systems are system dependent,and one part might sound good in one and might sound different in another

yoyo said...

Dear Maggie,

I must tell you that prior to reading your blog,i havent heard of Stage 3 cables.

Now,I can't wait to get my hands on the cables that slain KS emotion

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

joe, yam
seriously, when i called joe kubala personally to ask about the metal(s) use in his cables, he refused to reveal and brushed it off with a non-chalant "it doesn't matter as long as it sounds good"! but little did he know that i am too familiar with silver's and gold 's sound, having listened to the likes of stage III and stealth ;-)

ken,
it is ringo - his ears are trained by me so they are good ;-)

hafiz,
neutrality is a double-edged sword. not neutral enough, it is called coloration; too neutral it is called bland. it is exactly because of its neutrality, i don't like the new generation of ARC power amps.

anon, liones and jeb,
not many speakers below RM40K (USD10K) can go down below 30hz! my maggie is 34hz. if that's the case, k-s emotion's practicality of use is limited only to the very few.

anyway, i will report my dealer's findings in a couple of weeks' time. stay tuned!

cable junky said...

Dear Maggielurva,

Just like You ,I am an addict to the silversound.The hybrid cables always sound too draggish to my ear especially if you listen to Meatloaf and Bruce Springsteen{I do ,I know a lot of audiophiles don't]

There is one other cable for you ,and other silver-cables addict like us,to check.;ARGENTO cables..

I bought mine in HK [the dealer is one cocky b@#$@#d but .....Check it out before your next upgrade..

Gerhard said...

I must congratulate you,Maggielurva,for a very thorough and honest review.

Even though Stage 3 is not a familiar brand in Europe ,I understand exactly what cable junky means by AGENTO sound.

Certainly worth checking out.

Anonymous said...

Maggielurva,
It id true that KS emotion is not for everyone,

I agree with the above consensus that you do need a full range loudspeaker to get the best out of these cables.
I know of many people with tubes monoblocks that own the KS emotions

Silver junky said...

Dear maggielurva,

I know a lot of people do not understand why we love silver cables.

If you are considering an upgrade,you should try Bocchino's Miranda,To my ears It easily humbled Other Silver cables,with the exception of perharps Argento.

Try all 3 ,Stage 3{I don't really like them because they keep changing their design],Bocchino and Argento.
These are creme de la creame,The Maradonna,of silver IC

jacobi said...

Maggie,

I think I agree with Ken,that your Shunyata did add the coloration that Mr hafiz was talking about .

I use all emotion set up in mysytem and couldn't believe that your system was skewed in the mid-bottom .give it anythor try sans the shunyata you would be surprised,,,

aboon said...

Wah Maggielurva,

So many junkies reading your blog ah?

You better stop getting intoxicated/.|\ I think it is that colbie girl

Anonymous said...

i hope you have more shootout like this .this is a lot of fun!!!!

GCK said...

Hi Cable Junky, are you refering to Audio Exotics HK?

wong said...

Who is this Ringo Maggie,

Maybe you should have called Ken .

From what I hear he is the bass king

cable junky said...

GCK,

yup...seriusly unaccesible ...You know them?They carry superb stuff though

wanna said...

Maggie,
I think when It comes to cables ,You are better than Rh hands down!!!

long live the cable king/.\

Ken said...

Hi Wong,

Did I read it correctly that you said that I am the bass king?

Actually I am not a bass freak. I am more into good bass definition because not many system has that.

I am in the process of getting the second pair of AQ Amazon i/c which is also silver.

If you want to hear how good your system is, get Teddy Robin's cd that Maggielurva raved about. A good system can differentiate the bass from the acoustic bass and the drums very well. Just listen to track 1, 6 and 8.

YMMV

wong said...

Ken,
King and freak are completely different. I meant it as a compliment, in a positive way. `~>

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

cable junky,
you are whetting my appetite again. i may just bring in the ARGENTO next!

silver junky,
why do i feel like we are kindred spirits? yeah, you really know me well and understand my tastes. :-)

wong,
master ken is busy making money, not easy to invite him over! ;-) but i have to admit ken has good ea rs.

aboon,
what kind of junkie are you? c'mon on, own up, i am sure every man has his vices ;-)

wanna,
maybe i should start a nick by the name of "kablelurva"?

GCK said...

Hi Cable Junky, just got to know Mr Leung from AE. Pretty nice guy to communicate.Getting some good stuff from them. I guess Maggie would like to get his hands on some..that will be another topic, nothing related to cables.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. Local reviews like these will keep the dealers telephone busy.

Anonymous said...

And the price will shoot up sky rocket. Hope it will not happen.