As I am about start doing equipment reviews, and to make them more meaningful to you, our dear readers, I've decide to elaborate on cablings used to power and carry signals from one equipment to another in the system's delivery chain.

You can disagree with me, but I feel that cables do exert their very own sonic virtues in the final presentation of the reproduced sound, more so in very transparent high end systems.

As the equipment on review is inserted in to the chain of existing equipments by either additional or replacement method, reported based on subjective user experience, therefore any cabling before or after the equipment under review would somewhat influence the final verdict.

It would also give you a better sense of understanding on the basis of subjective comparison between my own familiar equipment and the equipment on review.

Let's start with the source. I have 2 sources, the Marantz CD7 CD player and Rega P25 Turntable, mounted with Benz Micro Gold MC cartridge.


PS Audio Power Punch & Audioquest Colorado with 72V DBS battery pack

The Marantz is powered with an Isotek shielded power cord and using Audioquest Colorado interconnect to feed signal to the pre-amp, which is a Pass Labs X2.5, powered using PS Audio Plus power cord.
Isotek power cord
The Rega P25 came with non-detachable stock power cord and a VDH sourced tone arm cable, terminated with Neutrik Profi RCA plugs, sending signal to my DIYed Pass Ono clone phono stage, powered using PS Audio Power Punch power cord. An Audioquest Columbia interconnect sends the 60db amplified signals to the pre-amp.


From pre-amp, the interconnect used is a 3M long Cardas Golden Presence to send signals to the Pass Labs Aleph 0 power amps. Other than the turntable to phono stage all other signal connections are of the balance XLR kind.

Cardas Golden Presence

All power cords mentioned above get their supplies from an Isotek Sigmas power conditioner/filter. Sources like the CD player and turntable get their power from the choke isolated outlets, pre-amp and phono stage gets power from passive filtered outlets.



The power amps are powered using the big red JPS Inwall 10AWG power cords, terminated with MK Duraplus on wall receptacle side and Oyaide IEC socket on amp side. The power amps get their juice direct from wall.
JPS Inwall powercord c/w MK Duraplug

Straight Wire Maestro 2 speaker cables(2M length) are used between mono power amps and the Audio Physic Spark speakers.

Straight Wire Maestro II


As my equipment changes further in the future(something which I am trying very hard to resist, but maybe proven futile in the long run), they'll be updated in to the blog.

The Telos stuff are ready to be reviewed.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

A cardas user at last...
Since you are slated to review the Telos RCA/XLR caps (or is it the cables), can you also review them against the original Cardas caps.
It's a competitive industry out there, but please give the original some due respect. To do a review of copycats without even a review of the originals is a grave injustice

Kurien said...

Anonymous,

The problem with Cardas is it is too neutral.Only if your system is good enought will you like Cardas.

a lot of the other Cables today are nothing more then expensive tone control .

Anonymous said...

Talking about the RCA/XLR caps, not the cables. ie the Original Cardas signature caps against the others.

http://www.cardas.com/content.php?area=products&content_id=7&pagestring=Accessories

Yves said...

Anonymous.

Not sure whether Cardas actually 'Invented' them..

iremember a time when all of the preamp comes in with cap-not the branded variety.So obviously Cardas was just responsible to make them a 'designer' item,rather than being the 'original' inventor so to speak

Anonymous said...

Just look at the detailing, the design of these Telos caps resemeble too closely those of Cardas, other than the logo change and different material, I can see no other differences. If Telos wants to be original enough, make the RCA/XLR caps totally different in look like what other manufacturers making such accessory have done, eg Isoclean and Acoustic Revive, both make the RCA/XLR caps but they are totally different in design structure and not a copy of the Cardas Signature caps design.
Isoclean caps
http://www.musicdirect.com/product/73722
Acoustic Revive caps
http://www.acoustic-revive.com/english/sip8/sip8_01.html

If these HK and JP manufacturers can take time to do a complete redesign of such accessories looking totally different from Cardas, why can't this Taiwanese company do so? Instead they had to copy the Cardas design, so much for originality

Anonymous said...

I forgot that there is another Taiwanese company that makes RCA caps and also treasures originality. This is Iego.
Check out their good looking transparent RCA caps

http://www.hiviseed.com/EN/product/iegorca01.php

While they ay not be as high-end as Isoclean/Cardas/Acoustic Revive, but at least they do stand out from the crowd, and are not a copy of someone's else design. Hope that George Cardas one day can clear the matter and have his say whether Telos are infringing his trademark RCA/XLR caps design

idris said...

Anonymous, I think you are giving too much credicts to Acoustic Revive for nothing..

NONE of their products are the results of genuine scientific breakthrough, certainly not the RCA caps.minor cosmetic changes do not constitute innovations IMHO..

Likewise, Gorge cardas is certainly No engineer, and a lot of his products are not 'breakthrough' designs as far as Signal engineering is concerned

Anonymous said...

3 brands were mentioned, Isoclean, Iego and Acoustic Revive just to illustrate that there can be originality in the design of such accessories. I use Cardas caps myself and find them better than Telos. Just where in the world did someone endorsed Acoustic Revive, you mean talking about Isoclean, Iego and Telos is halal here, while Acoustic Revive is haram?
George Cardas is a pioneer in the cable world long before many audiophiles could even distinguish the difference between cables. While his cables may not be the hottest thing today, together with Ray Kimble they are respected icons in cable design, and probably sold more cable in the past 25 years than most other brands.

http://www.tnt-audio.com/intervis/cardase.html

Asides, Cardas speaker placement technique is very widely used and his Quad-Eutectic solder ranks among one of the best solder for DIYers.
Telos, I wonder even if that name was inspired by the Goldmund Telos amps ??

Panzer said...

Anonymous 2.12pm,

I was not supplied any Cardas RCA caps for comparison review, so quite unlikely to be done.

However, I've been using another variety of RCA caps so some form of comparison will be reported.

I used to think that Cardas sound was a little too warm for my liking based on first experience listining to the Quadlink 5C interconnects many, many moons ago.

But when I listened to the Golden Reference inteconnects, I changed my perception. I now use Cardas in my system.

That's the beef with hifi. As you journey along and mature in taste and musical preferences, so does your perception of equipment and sound.

It's never too late to revisit things that you may have banished or discarded, provided it's of appropriate quality, you might be suprised the 2nd time round, as I've learnt.

Aziz said...

anonymous,

First things first; I am an American-trained petroleum engineer,now based in the Middle East,just back for a short holiday in Malaysia,and i would appreciate it if you would not bring religion into this discussion....its neither funny nor witty

I do not use Cardas,Telos or any caps for that matter, but I take issue with you SELECTIVELY attacking this brand,TELOS,just because it look like Cardas..

For you info, Cardas was never trained as an engineer so for you to portray him as an engineering genious, just shows how easily fooled you have been by his marketing gimmick.

If you have honestly evaluated the Cardas and Telos cap,and found the Cardas to be superior; well good for you sir, other people might find it to be otherwise....

The reason why I picked on Acoustic Revive is because it started off as a CONSTRUCTION company, before reinventing themselves as a 'clever' Audiophile company.

My biased for well engineered products led me to use mainly German-engineered electronics, Lindermann SACD player/Lindermann pre and monoblocks with German Physiks speakers... Cables? You've guessed it, no Cardas there .....

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen such an arrogant engineer? So what if one is not an engineer, if one can be successful in the audio industry even without having studied engineering, I still salute them and respect them much more. Necessity is the mother of invention, not paper qualifications. Now let us analyse whether your scorn for Acoustic Revive for being just a mere CONSTRUCTION company is justified or not. I googled for the history of Acoustic Revive and found this illuminating paragraph from a 6moons review from

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/
acousticrevive/quartz.html

"Ken San's interest in audio accessories led him to start Acoustic Revive during a business downturn for the company he became president of - Sekiguchi Machine Sales: "Acoustic Revive is part of Sekiguchi Machine Sales, which used to design, manufacture and sell production machinery used to make concrete blocks for construction projects. However, in 1995 the Ministry of Constructions in Japan changed the construction laws and building projects using concrete blocks were outlawed. As you can imagine, our company was impacted severely by this change and we ended up having to dismiss all our employees. At the end, only the president and I were left. Unfortunately he passed away from cancer and I was left as the president of the company without a job to do or products to make. So I took a chance and decided to sell the RD-1 demagnetizer I was making as a hobby. The RD-1 was the first model of the RD-3 that I now offer...."

From this short extract, I hope that fellow readers can decide for themselves, whether Ken san is a saint or a villain. His president passed away, and he was left in charge of a company that was on the verge of collapse. But he managed to re-invent the company by making a new product to test out new markets and went on to re-invent his company portfolio and henceforth been winning Audio Excellence awards for accessory products in Japan for many years before finally finding overseas acceptance and acclaim currently. People with lesser fortitude and unfounded arrogance, but perhaps some engineering qualifications would have quit such a job under such gloomy circumstances and find work in Middle East earning a lucrative salary. Discounting such oddfellows who think that only pedigreed engineers are the rightful heirs to their hi-end kingdom, I think most would appreciate such a talented entrepreneur and survivor than despise him just because it used to be a construction company.

As for George Cardas' colorful history, I will dig it up another day to debate his contributions to our audio community.

Aziz said...

"Haven't seen such an arrogant engineer?"

.....and I haven't seen such an ignorant bigot