MasterBuilt Audio Reference II cable line Distributed by Von Schweikert Audio

Damon Von Schweikert

WBF Technical Expert
Sep 15, 2016
94
189
140
California
www.vonschweikert.com
MasterBuilt Audio is pleased to announce the release of the Reference II Line of audio cables including power cords, digital cables, interconnects, and speaker cables.

The Reference Line has always offered the greatest value of the MasterBuilt Audio products and with the evolved Reference II, this is even more true. So true in fact, it exceeds the performance of our Signature line making it obsolete which we have since discontinued.

Reference II by MasterBuilt Audio.jpg

The Reference II Line is an entirely new formulation that utilizes U.S. laboratory-grade Single-Crystal copper, refined to the highest purity achievable. Combined with proprietary counter-helix winding geometry to avoid the inductance and capacitance interactions found in competing cables, the Reference II Line benefits from the world’s finest quality connectors that reduce distortion and transmit the signal accurately. Surpassed only by our cost-no-object Ultra Line, the Reference II offers the greatest performance for the lowest price and will scale with the world’s finest components available.

While MasterBuilt Audio has received an unprecedented number of Best in Show awards (68 since 2015) as part the Von Schweikert Audio, Valve Amplification Company and The Audio Store team up, you won’t know how well these cables will improve your system until you try them. Please contact us and we’ll assist your dealer in getting some demo cables for a private audition in your home. We look forward to demonstrating to you in person what has been so successful at shows.

Specifications
Outer Jacket: High Density Thermoplastic Elastomer with Polyester braided sleeve
Construction: Low EMF Hexagonal
Conductor Insulation: Fluoropolymer
Conductor Material: U.S. laboratory grade 6N (99.9999%) high conductivity pure copper, concentric stranding
Conductors: 13 (6 Hot, 6 Neutral, 1 Ground), with proprietary vibration dampening
Gauge: 10 AWG per leg (Hot & Neutral), 12 AWG Ground
Cable Power Rating: 100 Amp max
Voltage Rating: 600V max
AC Power Connector: α (Alpha) Pure Copper Rhodium plated conductor with Earth (ground) jumper system
IEC Connector: α (Alpha) Pure Copper Rhodium plated conductor with Earth (ground) jumper system
Finishes: Black (Standard), Grey (upon request)
 
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microstrip

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The inevitable question - how do they compare with the Ultra's?
 

Damon Von Schweikert

WBF Technical Expert
Sep 15, 2016
94
189
140
California
www.vonschweikert.com
The inevitable question - how do they compare with the Ultra's?
In a direct shootout; and depending on the resolution of the overall system, the Ultra cables will beat-out the Reference II in resolution and blackness hands down. In addition, I think there is a significant improvement in the overall tonality achieved by the lower distortion of the Ultra cables. IMO, this performance through low distortion is consistent throughout the MasterBuilt line of cables and improves as you move up in the line. But I will also say that before I heard the Ultra cables, I was unaware there was any improvement possible.

That said, the improved Ultra performance is achieved by an increase cost over Ref II at a factor of three. This is the very definition of diminishing returns. The Ultra have always been for us the bleeding edge of performance with an associated cost that we think many if not most would not want to invest.

This is why I will suggest to anyone interested that the original Reference and even more so the new Reference II are an incredible value. They deliver the lions share of the Ultra performance at a third or less the cost. And in my opinion, will scale amazingly with even the most high-end systems out there. Basically, I think the Reference II is all most people would ever want for their system regardless of price.

I've shown our flagship ULTRA 9 with the original Reference and people said it was the best system they've heard period, unaware of what the Ultra cables could have offered. You certainly don't think you're missing anything when listening to the Reference cables.

But as I always say, please consider listening to them for yourself in your system. Don't take my word for it, clearly I'm biased even though we were the first critical listeners and ultimately, converts to MasterBuilt Audio cables.
 
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Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
In a direct shootout; and depending on the resolution of the overall system, the Ultra cables will beat-out the Reference II in resolution and blackness hands down. In addition, I think there is a significant improvement in the overall tonality achieved by the lower distortion of the Ultra cables. IMO, this performance through low distortion is consistent throughout the MasterBuilt line of cables and improves as you move up in the line. But I will also say that before I heard the Ultra cables, I was unaware there was any more improvement possible.

That said, the improved Ultra performance is achieved by an increase cost over Ref II at a factor of three. This is the very definition of diminishing returns. The Ultra have always been for us the bleeding edge of performance with an associated cost that we think many if not most would not want to invest.

This is why I will suggest to anyone interested that the original Reference and even more so the new Reference II are an incredible value. They deliver the lions share of the Ultra performance at a third or less the cost. And in my opinion, will scale amazingly with even the most high-end systems out there. Basically, I think the Reference II is all most people would ever want for their system regardless of price.

I've shown our flagship ULTRA 9 with the original Reference and people said it was the best system they've heard period, unaware of what the Ultra cables could have offered. You certainly don't think you're missing anything when listening to the Reference cables.

But as I always say, please consider listening to them for yourself in your system. Don't take my word for it, clearly I'm biased even though we were the first critical listeners and ultimately converts to MasterBuilt Audio cables.
You can't unring a bell. I first heard the MB Ultra 5 years ago while visiting Manila and several members there. I always thought Master Built made tools for home use. I had been out of the cable game for a few years. It was these Ultra cables which drew me back in as I had never heard anything so top to bottom coherent.. It took me over 3 years to slowly assemble a full loom of Ultra. For my ears I have never heard better. Having said that I do use a pair of MB Reference power cords which perform beautifully IOW I would agree with Damon re the new Reference cable. What I love about this company is that they did years of R and D before releasing the cable and since that day there have always been the 4 lines. I would have to ask Damon if there is still a Signature line or does the new Reference ll replace the Reference and the Signature line. Bottom line, MB is not one of those companies that always has a new best every year
 

bazelio

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
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Steve, the first post indicates Signatures are discontinued now.

I was under the impression that previously, Masterbuilt cable conductors were a proprietary alloy. Was I mistaken? I'm just curious because the Reference II is now stated to be copper.

And for the sake of getting everything just right, I'd point out that "Reference" is mispelled on the heatshink:

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 1.10.12 PM.png
 

GSOphile

Well-Known Member
Sep 4, 2017
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I would have to ask Damon if there is still a Signature line or does the new Reference ll replace the Reference and the Signature line. Bottom line, MB is not one of those companies that always has a new best every year
From Damon's post:
"....it exceeds the performance of our Signature line making it obsolete which we have since discontinued.

"Surpassed only by our cost-no-object Ultra Line, the Reference II offers the greatest performance for the lowest price and will scale with the world’s finest components available."
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Steve, the first post indicates Signatures are discontinued now.

I was under the impression that previously, Masterbuilt cable conductors were a proprietary alloy. Was I mistaken? I'm just curious because the Reference II is now stated to be copper.

And for the sake of getting everything just right, I'd point out that "Reference" is mispelled on the heatshink:

View attachment 95037
well at least they still know how to spell "Ultra" ;)
 

Damon Von Schweikert

WBF Technical Expert
Sep 15, 2016
94
189
140
California
www.vonschweikert.com
Steve, the first post indicates Signatures are discontinued now.

I was under the impression that previously, Masterbuilt cable conductors were a proprietary alloy. Was I mistaken? I'm just curious because the Reference II is now stated to be copper.

And for the sake of getting everything just right, I'd point out that "Reference" is mispelled on the heatshink:

View attachment 95037
Hello Bazelio. The Performance and Reference II lines are both made from high-quality copper by a U.S. manufacturer and the Reference II is single-crystal copper. It's the Ultra line that is constructed with U.S. laboratory grade precious metal alloys in a proprietary formulation.

And thanks for informing me about the misspelling. I'll assume full responsibility for that even though I didn't fabricate the label, I did oversee the photos and I should have caught that. I'll say as explanation; not excuse, that I was under a deadline to get this put together and screwed up by pushing too fast.

I genuinely appreciate you pointing that out and now I can get to work on new product shots.
 
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