XLR cable shoot-out using AV8801, Gemstone Amp (same as Simaudio Aurora) and Von Schweikert VR-4Jr speakers:
When I first switch to Mogami 2549 XLR cables, I was delighted with high frequency extension and transparent sound. However, I have stopped listening to 2-channel music because it sounded too sterile for my taste lacking harmonically rich/full midrange and bottom end extension. At first I though that the lack of bass slam was due to switching from bi-amping to a single amp configuration.
Since I was so unhappy with the sterile/uninvolving sound, that I've asked my friend to drag his Rega DAC, Ayre K-5xe 2-channel preamp, and the Perreaux PMF-2350 amp in to my house and conduct the shoot out.
With my Magomi cables and the Ayre preamp, I have notices a very black background, a much more transparent sound and enormous soundstage as compared to AV8801. I hated the overall result, because the sound was so sterile that we have quickly stopped listening to music. It just sucked
I thought maybe just maybe it was my speakers. So, my friend and I've decided to try the Perreaux amp and Ayre preamp and completely bypassed AV8801. Since Perreaux only use RCA connectors, we have plugged in the Ayre via RCA connectors. We were not expecting much... OMG, both my friend's and my jaw have dropped to the floor. It was the best sound we heard...PERIOD. The blackest background we have ever heard... refined high frequency extension, excellent midrange bloom, enormous bottom-end and extremely engaging music. We couldn't stop tapping our toes for about 2 hours of music enjoyment. My friend was so impressed with my speakers that he just placed an order for a factory demo VR-4Jr's.
I was so pissed-off with my setup, that I started to call around to get my hands on a better amp to get more warmth in music. I have to thank my friend for cooling me down and suggesting to try different XLR cables before starting to blow lot's of cash on power amps. So, I ordered Blue Jeans 1800F XLR cables and spent 2 hours going back and forth comparing 2549 to 1800F cables with my AV8801 and Gemstone.
Here's my impression:
1) With1800F, the bass extension and slam was greatly improved probably as good as it was with my bi-amp configuration.
2) The midrange is now harmonically rich. The warmth is greatly improve downright musically engaging. With 2549, the midrange was completely bleached out, by severely suppressing the harmonics and making the music sound very cold and analytical/univolving.
3) the 1800F reduces the top-end extension which I now miss. It does have that pristine high frequency shimmer which I really like.
I'll try to experiment with different DAC's to see if I can keep my midrange bloom and increase a bit more of the top-end.