(posted on 2/4/09)
This is GCK's current fave, the Liveline interconnects from Acoustic System International. He was nice enough to let me take them for a spin for a couple of weeks.

(posted on 7/4/09)
Does you system sound unexciting? Does listening to music put you to sleep? If your answer is 'yes', this Liveline will be your lifeline.

The Acoustic System International Liveline is a pair of unassuming looking interconnects. Compared to some thick-as-a-hose-and-stiff-as-a-steel-rod interconnects (like my JPS Superconductor 2) or others that come with their own 'accessories' (like my Audioquest Sky's DBS battery packs), the Liveline is plain Jane. And therein lies its friendliness, the Liveline is easy to install and causes no anxiety in use, other than the caution that they should not be bent at a sharp angle as it is solid core in construction.

I put them between my cdp and preamp for my listening sessions, replacing the Audioquest Sky.

If you look to inject a bit more life and energy into your system, you must audition the Liveline, these were its most obvious qualities during my first listen. It imbued music with a youthful liveliness that easily grabbed the listener's attention, I found that I was usually rapt in attention when I was listening to it. This ability was also helped, in no small measure, by the Liveline's speed. In fact, I found the Liveline to be speedier than my AQ Sky even.

Further listening revealed a very open midrange and highs. With this openness also came excellent image delineation and very good portrayal of details. It is indeed quite transparent. The Liveline could unravel all manners of complexity in music, on Hugh Masekela's 'Hope' album, track 3 'Mandela', I could almost count the heads in the audience as they responded to the band. I could hear who was doing what, both in the band and in the audience, it was uncanny. Coupled with its speed, the entire performance just galloped along. A lively and exciting listen, cool!

While doing all these, the Liveline did not tip itself into the dark side - it was neither cold, nor hard, nor harsh, nor rough.

Compared to my AQ Sky, the Liveline was more incisive and emphasized on focus and clarity, whereas the Sky had a little more bloom and a slightly more fluid and organic sound. Listening to the AQ Sky was a little more relaxing, whereas the Liveline challenged your senses with interesting musical details. The Liveline sounded more neutral while the Sky had a touch of warmth. However, I do not want to make too much out of these, as which attributes you go for may depend on subjective preference. Most importantly, both were capable of conveying musical enjoyment to the listener, which is the most essential hifi quality in my books.

If there was anything at all, it was the Sky's fuller body which I personally preferred in my system. Of course, this is also a matter of system matching - I would root for the Liveline's slight leanness if I suffer too much of, say, the stereotypical 'fat tubey sound'.

If you want to grab your music by its collar, shake it out of its slumber, and shave some pounds off it in the process, the Acoustic System International Liveline interconnects is a must-listen.

It will help you raise your music from the dead.
(phew... getting a little dramatic, am I not?) :-)


km ng said...


A little audio bird told me the Lifeline has prematurely terminated the life of GCK's Stage III.

No, too harsh wordings.

Upstaged the Stage III - this is much better.

P.S. "...for a couple of weeks." You lucky fella! GCK has found new fast and furious signal connectors, I presume.

GCK said...

The correct spelling is Liveline. I think hifikaki knows, but just wanted to create a catching title :-)

hifikaki said...


My apologies, thanks for pointing out, I did not know, too careless. :-)
I have corrected it in the body, but will leave it in the title. It does jive with what I'm going to say.:-)

Ken said...


What is the difference that you perceive between LiveLine and Stage III?

Anonymous said...

Any news or updates on this cable yet? I thought you needed only the first 30 mins.

hifikaki said...

Anonymous of 9.55am,

Huh? I don't have that kind of 'golden ears' unfortunately. :-)

I am the slow one, I need to live with a component for quite a few days, if not weeks, for a conclusion. If I am not allowed the time, I'll state clearly in my writings.

I believe the final conclusion is more valid after I have lived with a component as if I am its owner, because that will be what the real owner will feel/hear at the end of the day.

Thanks for your interest. My write-up on the Liveline will come out soon.

GCK said...

Comparing Liveline to Stage III, the highs were much more extended. Dynamics were better with faster and cleaner transients and of course a tad faster.

Ken said...


I had a loaner of the Stage III HP power cord to try out. This power cord is from the older generation of Stage III pwr cords.
I find the highs of that cord to be well extended. If you find that the Liveline to be better extended, then I got to listen to this.
Any chance of listening to your setup?

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

a leaner cable would invariably give out more details and speed....

Anonymous said...


LL is like US1K while Sky is like US2.5K, don't know which Stage III or how much it costs.
I can't really tell if you are impressed or even recommending at the LL price range.

Anonymous said...

From personal experience i do agree that a leaner cable allows the high to shine. It's just how our brains work and how we perceive things.

Similarly a thick sounding cable have poor high and or fat bass.....as perceived.

For cables, it's all a matter of balance in the sound.

How a cable sound also depends on the system in use to produce the overall sound. If you try the same cable in various system then you will better understand the cable characteristics in sound.

I have heard the Stage 3 Vac Ref and it has good balance in the high, mid and lows.

You really have to try cables in your own system.

hifikaki said...

Anonymous of 2.13pm.,

My writing is a little too cryptic huh? :-)

Am I impressed by the Liveline? Yes (I said 'cool!'), I am impressed with its speed, energy and openness. .

Am I recommending the Liveline? Yes, I recommend you to audition (must-listen) it if the Liveline's characteristics as described are what you are look for.

Thanks for posting these questions, I appreciate this opportunity to tell our readers a bit about my personal approach to writing and reading about hifi:

You must have heard the sage advices that 'never buy anything based on a review alone' and 'listen for yourself, trust you own ears'. I subscribe to these, so any blanket (or absolute) recommendation in a review is useless to me. As such, I also do not make any blanket recommendation in my write-ups.

What is useful to me in a review is the description of the equipment's sound characterisitcs. It helps me decide whether I should seek the equipment out for audition.

So when I write, I write more descriptively too (the equipment sounds like this; it is better in this area; it has more of this), instead of prescriptively (this is the best; you must have it). Another way to put it is that I believe in 'shades of grey', instead of 'black and white'. :-)

So, read a review to find out more about a product, but at the end of the day listen for yourself (especially important for cables, tweaks, accessories, as they are so much more system dependent). Anything you buy should be your own decision, no others should impose their will on you.

GCK said...

Ken, this is not a good time to visit as I am in the midst of testing out the ceraballs under my speakers. A lot of time need to adjust the speaker position and the resonators. It is bringing my system to another level after the torquing, that is as much I can say. Thanks to the Magik2 which is under my CDP now which is on loaner, I can truly see the potential of what my system has to offer.
I will let you know when it is ready, through ML.

Ken said...


I think you don't have to tweak until everything is perfect to let me listen to your system. Then we will wait for a long time.Hifi is always a work-in-progress thing. It is never ending.

Anyway, my system is also not perfect. I haven't heard a perfect system in my more than 10 years of hifi and I can tell you I have listened to quite a few systems.

Walter said...

Sorry to jump in but do you know where I can get my hands on the Livelines in Malaysia?

hifikaki said...


I suggest you send an email to gck on the Liveline.

His email address: ckgnoh@gmail.com