I finally felt that my system's sound settled down enough a few days ago to insert the Cardas Golden Reference speaker cables which Panzer passed to me. They replaced the Transparent Audio Musicwave Ultra in my system. The Transparent cables also form the basis of comparison in my listening sessions.

The Golden Reference was heavy, probably due to a high amount of metal in its construction. However it was flexible enough, so its routing & installation was not too difficult, but Iike Panzer's experience I had to tighten the amp/speaker terminals more, otherwise its weight would pull the cable loose over time.

I of course have heard/read about Cardas, it being one of the longer serving companies in the hifi cable arena, but I never had any of their cables in my system before, so this was my first experience with Cardas.

The most common comment I heard about Cardas was that their cables were warm sounding. This was borne out in my experience too. This sense of warmth made listening with the Golden Reference an easy experience.

In addition to this warmth, the Golden Reference also sounded natural, voices and instruments were delivered with good timbre. The Golden Reference brought to play a broad sweep of sound with great density and air, the sound simply filled up the front portion of my listening room. Within this soundscape, there was a sense of energy giving it a certain 'yang'/sunny quality. There were a lot of details to savour - these cables did let through a great deal of information.

The Golden Reference's treble coupled to my speakers' silk dome tweeters was smooth and civilized - matching, I believe, is important, incisiveness and explicitness are not what the Golden Reference is about, but if your system needs a slightly gentler hand in this area (say, taming a bright or rough treble), the Golden Reference will be your panacea.

Despite these qualities, there was one more that overrides them all - its musicality. Every time I switched on my system, I would continue listening on for long hours, the Golden Reference made listening a pleasurable experience, so much so that I found it difficult to pull myself away.

And I bet it is this quality that will capture many hearts.

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