This cable is profoundly different and better, than any other cable I have ever heard. Every perceivable sound characteristic was improved by an order of magnitude over my Transparent reference. I believed my previous soundstaging and imaging to be outstanding. After inserting the Opus, my current soundstage seemed , two dimensional and muddy. I know it is a clicheÃ´Ubut the Opus removes not just one but multiple veils between you and the music. The music appeared brighter (which I like). I don?t know whether the Opus was brighter or my Transparent references were filtering the highs. Speakers truly disappeared and at times I lost track of reality and in a darkened room actually perceived that I was listening to real instruments. Details emerged that I have never heard before. The soundstage increased 50% both side to side and front to back. But the size of the instruments did not increase ? no 10-foot trumpets. The individual instruments were more detailed and focused in the holographic soundstage. Voices floated in space as if the singer was in the room. The only possible negative, courtesy of my wife, was that during a few recordings, which we were intimately familiar, notable MOFI Touch, the sound was too detailed, transparent, and startling. If you enjoy or prefer a flowing homogenized sound, these might not be your cup of tea for certain records.
While I have not heard all of the contenders for sate of the art i.e. Valhalla, NBS etc, I have owned and auditioned many types of cables including MIT, FIM, Purist, Harmonic, Walker Omega, and others. It was always fascinating to listen to the differences and tradeoffs between cables. For me now there are two groups, Opus and everything else.
Transparent Opus is a magnificent cable so much so that Dave Wilson uses it as his reference to demo his speakers. All of his crossovers connect with Transparent cable. I auditioned it very seriously but for my ears I found the Valhalla to perform slightly better and went that route BUT once my X-2's are in I intend to compare the Valhalla to the Opus in my room and will make a final decision then.
The Purist Audio Dominus. I've been checking out many cables in my all Wilson system with hi powered tubes and would say you may be pleasantly surprised. Both myself and a local audiobuddy with Watt Pup7's as well concluded that the Valhalla/Dominus comparison is an eye opener to say the least. By the way we also tried Tranparent Ref and Ref mm and I have to admit the Dominus is worth putting on the list. It may not have the initial "wow" factor of some cables, but it just grows and grows and grows on you. It is not hifi: it is music-if that is what you want. Upshot is my friend sold all the Valhallas in his system...and in fact could not take them out of his system quickly enough!
This merely proves to me that there is always a synergy between a system, a room and the listeners ears. Approximately 10 years ago when I was delving into high end cables I became acquainted with Jim Auld and his Purist Audio Design. I talked to Jim many times by phone and bought (at that time his TOL cables) Colossus which was a liquid filled cable. Very expensive and very good. Today, Jim makes far better cables which I have heard but again, IMO, for my ears, my system, and my room, there is at present nothing so transparent as the Valhalla. I have heard the Opus many times and will give them another chance when I have my X-2's (as this is what Dave Wilson used when I was at his house). The Dominus is good but at that deity price I feel the Transparent Opus would be the one to have.
BTW, Jim Auld makes probably the best "burn-in-disk" on the market today. I would recommend it for any system for both burn in and a monthly clean up. Definitely worth the $150 price tag.
Synergy is everything within your system and fortunately in this hobby, YOU are the person who gets to decide which synergies turn YOU on . For me personally, I'll never be the same after hearing Avantgarde Trios , BIAMPED Lamm ML-2's with all Purist Dominus cabling. This system transcended everything I've heard, including X1's with Opus, Martin Logan Statements, etc etc. It simply was the antithesis of what passes for sound reproduction at even the most outrageous expenditure levels. Not for everyone, I agree, but a landmark achievement. When an audio system can go beyond "good sound" and reach the spiritual level, my words here can just not describe the experience.
You are correct in that ( unfortunately for me). Mine were ordered Nov 11/2003 with an anticipated ship date of 3/6/2004. I am now told that ship date is pushed back to the first week of April. Apparently Wilson Audio has either shipped or have 140 pair of X-2's in production.
i have listened to lot's of cables......over the last 5 years i have probably demoed maybe 25 sets of mostly premium priced cables in my system. i currently own 6 sets of Valhalla interconnects and a set of Opus MM speaker cables.
my system is fairly high resolution, my signal paths are minimalist, and my system is as neutral as i can get it. as a result, my requirements for a cable is to be as open and neutral as possible. i don't want cables as tone controls.
in my experience there is Opus and then everything else. the Valahalla interconnects do match the neutrality and speed of Opus but are not as open and 'not there' in the league of Opus.
i have demoed the Opus interconnects and they are a good deal better than my Valhalla.....but it would cost me $70k to upgrade......and that is not going to happen.
the Opus (speaker cable and interconnect) simply allow the sparkle and glow of the music to come thru. they must be heard to be appreciated. in 10 seconds i can easily choose the Opus from any other cable. if your source and signal path is up to it, the musical event will be much closer......less veiled.....more alive. i know these are all cliche's but what can i say.
the noise-floor is lowered.......the textures and nuances of the music become more significant.......things previously only hinted at become important......each note has more meaning. all these things have value to me.
what makes the Opus different? my opinion is that they have found a way to control mechanical resonance to a degree that is unique. also, they no longer limit bandwidth with their network boxes. whatever they are doing it works.
if your system is at a point where your cables are the limitation.....Opus might be a consideration.
a word of caution; a friend with a Levinson/Wilson system was using all Siltech......to my ears a very colored but beautiful cable. the Opus was a little too honest for his ears in his system......i still preferred it in his system......but he missed the carmel glaze over everything. so even the Opus needs to be complimentary to your system and tastes. my friend did prefer Opus to Siltech (Compass Lake and Emperor) in my system.
your ARC REF 600's and ARC Ref 2 pre keep things natural but neutral in your system. they are not really 'tubey' in a sense of excessive bloom or color so they don't require an excessively dry/clinical cable to bring balance. the Wilsons can be edgy if fed edgy sources (although the MAXX, and the newer Wilsons (Sophia, WP7, X-2) are certainly less this way). my friends system (X-1 Mk III, Levinson 33H, 32, 30.6 and 31.5) is very nice but in total cold sounding. in his system the Siltech's brought a sweetness that he liked.....but at a considerable cost of clarity and immediacy.
once a system has a basic coloration (whether too warm or too cold) it is very unlikely to get things back into balance. your ARC gear keeps your system in balance and allows the very neutral Valhalla to work. your Meitner also has an excellent natural balance and lack of any kind of dry or clinical sound that needs tempering.
there are some very reasonably priced cables that are neutral and natural......you don't have to spend big bucks for good cables. but if you want all the resolution, transparency, openness, and refinement that is possible it will cost you some considerable dollars.
this is just my particular slant on things after listening to many different cables. as my system became more neutral and transparent, cable colorations were much more evidant. when i hear people describe their cable perceptions they usually make perfect sense in the context of their systems.
of course it is possible that my system is colored and Opus (or Valhalla) happens to have the correct coloration for balance......but that is not how i see it.
I'm glad I don't hear coloration to the extent Mr Lavigne does... wow, I don't think I could enjoy music if I was constantly distracted by perceived shifts in sound quality. I don't discount that Mike hears it, and it's possible that if I were to A/B Opus and my existing cables (Transparent Audio Reference XL I think), I could also hear the difference.
I can say one thing... I went from feeding DCS DAC to Krells with Transparent Audio interconnect, medium quality on their scale, and then with the addition of the subwoofer, I went to studio quality balanced mic cable from Mogami that I had laying around. Honestly, I can not tell any difference, and I also added the Wilson GSB crossover in between as well... I guess my ear is not as golden as it could be.
My two cents is that decent cabling is required, but using what recording studios use for line level is probably OK, and spending more money for audiophile speaker cable is maybe justified... but then again, maybe studio quality speaker wire is just as good. For example, for my XS sub, I made my own speaker cable from some very nicely made 4 conductor (2 pairs, each pair twisted) 10 gauge jacketed cable, did my own connectors (solder job is ugly), and from the sound the XS puts out, it appears I did OK.
Maybe for speaker mains, more exotic cable design is justified.
In addition to other good advice you gave me, the XS was one of my best recommendations you gave me. It still amazes me how much difference that monster makes to the overall sound field. Thank goodness Dave Wilson was crazy enough to build that fridge.
BTW, OB, get the Ziggy Marley's 2nd CD whose songs provide one incredible demo after another for the X-1/XS low freq capability. The bass guitar and kick drum just sock you in the chest... I swear I almost feel a bit nauseous after listening to the whole CD... the internal organs move that much.
I also recommended for sub-bass that you get Mondo Head by Kodo (which BTW is now also available in SACD) and specifically play the 7th track. You heard it at my house It leaves a dent in your sternum.
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