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Thread: Master Built-What are Owners Hearing That They Didn't Hear With Other Cables

  1. #1
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Master Built-What are Owners Hearing That They Didn't Hear With Other Cables

    In my zeal to discuss MB cables and how they sounded in my system I seem to have opened a hornet's nest as I posted my findings in my system blog. The problem was that many MB owners who were lurking in the wings all expressed great comments in my blog however the "Hyperbole Police" lead by my partner Ron Resnick along with some doubters have raised questions about these cables. Rather than discussing them in my system blog I thought I would start a thread here asking for comments from existing MB owners as to what differences they heard in their systems after installing MB cables

    My experience with the cable has caused me to interject some hyperbole but honestly one has to hear the cables in their system to appreciate the changes and of course as they say YMMV and all that other stuff


    For my ears the change in my bass response was an immediate and noticeable change. My amps are 32 wpc class A SET and although the bass previously was very good it wasn't in the big leagues. When this cable went in both Leif and I looked at one another as we both had the same WTF moment. There is also top end detail on these cables as well that I just have never heard before as well. The change however is full spectrum as the micro detail fills in all the empty space.

    For my ears the dynamic range, the decay, the resonance, ambient sound and timber were better than I have ever heard in my system as when I compare it to what I have used before

    Finally these cables IMO are about as neutral as any cable I have ever heard. They add nothing and when listening there is nothing jumping out at you saying "listen to what I can do here"

    The fact that I had to lower the gain on my preamp from levels that I was previously accustomed to listening suggested to me that this is a better cable but also what I removed was restricted and rolled off at the top and bottom end. These cables are also more extended than any I have previously used.

    As JackD201 said so wisely it is difficult to enter a cable thread thumping one's chest without a "show me it's so" comment

    For this reason I thought it would be better to start this thread and have members comment accordingly. BTW, I have no desires to get into a measurements debate or DBT or whatever. There is another audio forum locally that seems hell bent on doing those things so I am going to suggest ABX and DBT all be dealt with there if there are those so inclined to do such

    So what are other users hearing or am I going to face the hyperbole police alone
    Steve Williams
    aka oneobgyn
    There's ALWAYS another Steve Williams BUT there's only "oneobgyn"
    International Distributor of Center Stage Feet and owner of PitchPerfect Sound (www.pitchperfectsound.com)
    Dealer Lamm Electronics
    My System

  2. #2
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! still-one's Avatar
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    I believe that certain cables have the ability to get us closer to the sound we are looking for. With cables (as with most other components) I always want to A/B them in my set-up. It is unfortunate that there is no local dealer (or The Cable Co) that I can do this with in these cables.
    Jim
    Speakers:Alexandria X2- Series 2, AMP''s-D'Agostino Momentum mono blocks, Pre-Amp:D'Agostino Momentum Phono Stage Esoteric E-03 Sources :dCS Rossini & clock , SME 20/3, Cabling/Interconnects:Transparent Opus SC and Interconnects, Power Delivery Shunyata Denali

  3. #3
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    I believe that certain cables have the ability to get us closer to the sound we are looking for. With cables (as with most other components) I always want to A/B them in my set-up. It is unfortunate that there is no local dealer (or The Cable Co) that I can do this with in these cables.
    Call Leif and have him send you a pair of IC's from your CD player to your preamp
    Steve Williams
    aka oneobgyn
    There's ALWAYS another Steve Williams BUT there's only "oneobgyn"
    International Distributor of Center Stage Feet and owner of PitchPerfect Sound (www.pitchperfectsound.com)
    Dealer Lamm Electronics
    My System

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    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Williams View Post
    Call Leif and have him send you a pair of IC's from your CD player to your preamp
    What is MB cable swap priority when changing just one cable? Source - preamplifier - speaker?
    Under construction around the DCS Vivaldi 2.0 stack and a pair of Wilson XLF's : Forsell Air Force One, ARC Phono 2SE, cj GAT + Lamm M1.2 ref, TA OPUS MM2 +TA XL digital, TA XL gen V power cables and CenterStage footers ...

  5. #5
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    What is MB cable swap priority when changing just one cable? Source - preamplifier - speaker?
    I have no idea
    Steve Williams
    aka oneobgyn
    There's ALWAYS another Steve Williams BUT there's only "oneobgyn"
    International Distributor of Center Stage Feet and owner of PitchPerfect Sound (www.pitchperfectsound.com)
    Dealer Lamm Electronics
    My System

  6. #6
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! still-one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Williams View Post
    Call Leif and have him send you a pair of IC's from your CD player to your preamp
    Steve, thanks. I wil contact him tomorrow. Do you think that the connection from the 808 to the pre will be that noticeable?
    Last edited by still-one; 09-19-2016 at 01:52 PM.
    Jim
    Speakers:Alexandria X2- Series 2, AMP''s-D'Agostino Momentum mono blocks, Pre-Amp:D'Agostino Momentum Phono Stage Esoteric E-03 Sources :dCS Rossini & clock , SME 20/3, Cabling/Interconnects:Transparent Opus SC and Interconnects, Power Delivery Shunyata Denali

  7. #7
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    I wish I knew Jim. In my case I think the pop that I heard was due not only to the MB cables I inserted but so also to the cables I removed. I guess it is a try it and see. Leif was terrific in taking the time to explain things to me. They are very cordial and can explain better than I
    Steve Williams
    aka oneobgyn
    There's ALWAYS another Steve Williams BUT there's only "oneobgyn"
    International Distributor of Center Stage Feet and owner of PitchPerfect Sound (www.pitchperfectsound.com)
    Dealer Lamm Electronics
    My System

  8. #8
    Microstrip - I found that starting with the IC between preamp and amp(s) gave me great bang for the buck. This was advised by VSA because it is a lower signal than for SC. That said I already have great power (own transformer on pole serving only my home + dedicated lines. If my power was dirty I might start with PC to the preamp.

  9. #9
    Steve, So that you are not hanging out in hypebole land all by yourself I am repeating what I said on your system blog here.

    Commenting context: I have had a full loom of Masterbuilt with all Signature PC and Ultra IC and Ultra SC since March 2016. Equipment is Von Schweikert VR 55 Aktive speakers wired internally with Masterbuilt Signature, Ayon CD5s with NOS tubes, and Nuforce Reference 20 mono amps. I am a classically trained amateur pianist and used a 7 foot Grand Piano in the same room for reference as to what live music sounds like as well as auditory memory from many concerts. Also, I am a psychologist wary of placebo effects. I have no financial relationship with with VSA or Masterbuilt. Since installing the Masterbuilt loom I have changed nothing in my system for what is for me a long while, having reached a level, particularly with solo piano and large orchestral music (which having been the most challenging)that is finally extremely satisfying.

    This is part of my initial and later impressions as I upgraded from Signature to Ultra speaker cables which I hope will give a taste of my experience with these excellent cables:
    In the first hour of play, the Ultras seemed less relaxed, liquid, open, and warm which I attributed to break in. Yet I immediately noticed the bass (particularly deep bass) sounded and physically felt more dynamic. It was fuller with better differentiation of tone and timing cues. For example soft background drum strikes could now be heard as hitting slightly different parts of the drum head and what I thought before was a uniform beat could now be heard as perhaps a half tone alternation of frequency and slight variations in loudness to maintain the beat. Thus rhythm and timing were better conveyed. Double bass string and wood were better conveyed and all bass had more punch and finesse.

    Other enhancements were much more subtle - they did not jump out but unfolded as I relaxed and enjoyed the music. These included cleaner definition, a substantial increase in air, and clearer positioning of instruments within the sound stage. I newly noticed very faint sounds such as the shift of musicians position right before playing as they approached their instrument, I could more easily hear shifts in my equipment's warm up cycle, soft massed strings deep in the background sounded more differentiated, lively, and life-like, massed strings that before tended to sound a bit smeared sounded clearer. where the recording allowed there was a dramatic increase in depth.

    Approaching the twenty hour mark I noticed that grand scale music such as full organ sounded grander and better grounded in the bass, and beautiful lyrical music sounded even more gorgeous and lilting. The pieces I was playing felt shorter than usual in the sense that I would be absorbed in them and then surprised to hear that they were ending - this has never happened to me before in auditioning any system change. There was also a sense of being drawn deeper into the musical field and the story being created by the players, and a better sense of the players and their personalities if you will, not just instruments.

    Again all these changes except the killer bass and the amazing expansion of the soundstage air and depth, were very subtle because the Signatures are already so excellent. Yet taken as gestalt the effect was a substantial increase in feeling that you were at a live performance and being invited to be swept away with the music rather than by the music - if that makes sense. Paradoxically given that the bass was much fuller yet better defined, the whole of the music felt much more nimble and airy in the way that live music sounds

    As the Ultras relax and open they are soaring in a straight line towards perfection. They do not seem cool, rather dead-on-neutral. I suspect that what you will hear is mostly what your other equipment is capable of and this may be a good bit more quality than you thought, given that with Ultra you are removing so much distortion from the system. If you want a touch of warmth or forgiveness of any harshness, the copper Signatures may be better, for example with a computer front end and mid solid state. And the Signature cable is indeed stellar in its own right. But with most turntables (I suspect), with very high quality digital, and with my tubed Ayon preamp, there is a natural warmth conveyed. In any case all this enhanced detail is never glassy, hard, harsh, peaked, or at the expense of the organic wholeness and balance of the music. It just sounds like a clearer window. At this point you would have to pry the Ultra out of my cold dead hands!

    Update - My wife has been in Hawaii for two weeks as a balance to my stereo purchases. Meanwhile I have played my system nearly non stop, putting many hours on my new Ultra speaker cables, so thought I would post a follow-up.
    The Ultras, great out of the box, continue to improve. They became more open, relaxed, and liquid. I have been working through many recordings that I have not played in a long time, and about a third of them surprise me with shockingly new levels of sound stage depth with the Ultras. Other recordings are revealing delights in new found micro detail particularly in the highs yet still with no etch, grain, or over-prominence. Bass also continues to improve in impact and definition, enough so that I turned down the bass adjustment of my 55's a touch compared to when using the Signature cables. I am happy enough with the Ultra to consider this a substantial system upgrade which I judge to beat any currently contemplated upgrade to pre-amp or amp, and so I boxed up my Signatures to ship back to VSA as part of the trade upwards.

    My past context with wire in my own system is not extensive. Have used Analysis Plus, John Praytor's top line Gold IC, Guerilla Audio, Morrow Audio SP6 among others.
    Hope this helps!
    Joe

  10. #10
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    Whatever this cable does, is not what its manufacturer thinks it does. This is what they say:

    "The new Ultra Extreme alloy was developed during a contract with CERN to provide a “super conductivity” cable with close-to-zero resistance and/or signal loss; this alloy was used in the Large Hadron Collider."

    LHC has a site dedicated to their superconductors: http://lhc-machine-outreach.web.cern...ents/cable.htm

    "Copper is an insulation material between the filaments in the superconductive state, when the temperature is below -263C. When leaving the superconductive state, copper acts as a conductor transferring the electric current and the heat. Niobium-titanium is an superconducting alloy."

    Translating into English, normal conductors increase their resistivity as you lower temperatures. Hence the reason copper becomes an insulator at -9 deg. Kelvin.

    Superconducting material such as Niobium-titanium however, suddenly enter a state where they lose all resistance and hence become superconductors. They are used to build powerful magnets to accelerate particles at LHC/CERN.

    Our interest is of course room temperature. At room temp, the reverse of all this happens. Niobium-titanium at room temp has 20 times higher resistance than copper! Let me repeat: Niobium-titanium has twenty times higher resistance than ordinary copper.

    So clearly they have their wires crossed at MB if they think making such statements actually hold water, pun intended. What they produce better not be a superconductor....

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