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Thread: Sablon Audio Reserva experience. Affordable S.O.T.A.

  1. #51
    Blue58 and Spirit, Thanks for your posts. I'm curious to hear more about the difference between the Corona Reserva and Elite versions in terms of warmth. Here's why...

    I decided to take the plunge and received three Reserva's from Mark last Wednesday to try out. My system is listed below, but these three are positioned as follows: GTX-D(R) to PS Audio P5 regenerator; P5 to Oppo 203 and P5 to Directstream dac. While they are in the process of settling down, there are some things that are evident about the cables' effects in my system that I don't imagine will fundamentally change without some adjustments elsewhere. They are captured in good part by the following from a Stereophile reviewer's capsule of a another cable company's music show setup:

    "It sounded great. The tonalities of soprano Renée Fleming’s recording, “Touch the Hand of Love” were gorgeous, and the spacious acoustic around soprano Elly Ameling’s voice was extremely special. I continue to find a certain dryness to ... [transport's] sound that is not my favorite, but with it comes a depiction of voice and acoustic, including a natural-sounding die-off of acoustic reverberation, that are truly superb."

    Specifics aside, that's how I'm finding the new cords' effects in my system: superb and dry. I'd very much like to figure out a way to overcome the second with the Sablon's in my system; they really are superb cables. I don't know if there is an agreed upon audiophile definition of dry, but the practical result when I run into it is not being able to engage with the music emotionally, unless a recording itself has been engineered on the warmer side. And to be clear, Mark accurately represented the cables to me in advance as slightly on the warm side of neutral. That latter also describes the ATC speakers and MG Audio Design IC's in my system. So the new cords may merely be exposing problems, or further adding to rather than complementing, already existing characteristics of my system that need to be addressed.

    So the question is what to try. Possibilities that come to mind:
    - swapping in a warmer power cord, maybe something like the old Corona (from testing, I've found the P5 to Oppo position has the most effect overall)
    - changing ICs or S/PDIF cables or the speaker power cords to something warmer
    - changing the wall outlet and Oppo/PS Audio/ATC inlets to Furutech gold models (I am going to try swapping the rhodium wall outlet for the gold version this week)

    Any thoughts or other ideas? Thanks,

    Audio system (part of 2.0 HDTV set up):
    Furutech GTX-D(R) to PS Audio P5 power regenerator
    P5 to Oppo 203, PS Audio Directstream dac and ATC SCM19A (active) speakers

    Cables (in addition to Sablon's mentioned above):
    - P5 to speakers: Snake River Cottonmouth Gold power cords
    - Oppo to Directstream dac: Snake River Audio Boomslang digital (RCA)
    - Directstream dac to speakers: MG Audio Design Planus AG2 Series 2 (XLR)

    Fuses: SR Black in dac and speakers
    Last edited by highstream; 07-17-2017 at 12:10 AM.

  2. #52
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best!
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    Highstream, greetings
    I guess the hardest thing to do in audio descriptions is compare and contrast qualities since there is no "agreed" objective measure of evaluation
    One person's "dry" is another's "neutral" or "accurate", one person's "wet" is another's "lush" or "over warm"
    From my viewpoint Mark's cables have always straddled the line of accurate and involving, neutral and alive
    Maybe his most recent wire treads more into analytical or uber linear, and maybe not chameleon like in every system
    I could imagine a very harsh, shredding sound might not get the best out of them
    I have to say the vast majority of my cds are appallingly hard sounding, with little natural warmth and texture
    But the Reservas and now Elite demo really enhances/reveals what natural warmth and dimensionality is buried deep, making the vast vast majority more listenable than ever, and a good proportion truly stellar where they had no inkling of this w previous non Sablon cables
    I'm not sure if this helps
    My conclusion is that the Reservas and Elite esp manage to ramp up the revealing nature of things but conterbalanced with a ton of natural warmth and texture too
    But maybe in some systems like yours the analytical nature may dominate

  3. #53
    Yes, not being able to listen to each other's systems makes it impossible to compare what we are hearing and respective tastes. Speaking more generally, there are a couple of thoughts I edited out after posting that I think are relevant. First, what I mean by "dry" is that the pitch is slightly low, at least in the middle region where it counts the most for our hearing (pitch is absolute, and my sense of it has always seemed close enough). The second thought is one that seems obvious to me but obviously not to many others. That is, musical instruments, including the human voice, are (at least) by and large warm, not "neutral." My sense of it is that neutral is the preference of those that prefer, or get their enjoyment more from "audiophile sound" than from music itself.

    What I'm hearing since swapping in those three Reservas is superb audiophile sound, not music, except on warmer recordings (irrespective of each recording's quality otherwise). Definitely as dry as I've ever heard in a system, and I've had some higher priced cables in here, though nothing as superb sounding in the many things it does well as the Reserva. From the perspective of trying to make these work, I'm willing to work for now with the notion that this is in one way or another a synergy issue, that some modifications will solve it satisfactorily, such as starting with the wall outlet this week. At the same time, I have to recognize the possibility that the design philosophy, or the compromise ultimately chosen based on the developer's listening panel, may not be compatible with my tastes.
    Last edited by highstream; 07-17-2017 at 08:13 AM.

  4. #54
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best!
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    Sure Highstream
    Interestingly, I do believe we really all hear things differently and are looking for different things
    In the time I've been running first Sablon Panatellas and Coronas, then Reservas, and now this Elite demo, I've noticed no shortfall in tone, density, timbre etc
    The tilt twds the lower mids maybe, but I actually prefer this
    Indeed any cables that sptlight treble I tend to describe as analytical and dry, and keep well clear of, like Nordost, Kimber etc
    So, I suppose I'm saying I don't recognise the attribute you describe of "hifiness", but truly a more realistic tone
    However I will contend the Reservas are maybe more analytical than the previous Coronas and Panatellas, but in my current setup this is no bad thing

  5. #55
    Chris of VH Audio suggests that on a relative scale of warmest to most sterile/clinical, the Furutech gold is a one and rhodium a ten (NCF-R a 6-7), so I'll see what happens with the outlet change. Another more expensive option is switching from MG Audio Design's silver to copper XLR's, although that would entail a loss of about 10% in definition and a bit less present sound.

  6. #56
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best!
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    Highstream, I moved away from gold a long time ago

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