MIT Experiment- Swapping MA-X, MA-X2, MA-XSHD and Oracle Z Cord Reference

May 25, 2010
510
13
18
Jersey Shore- waterside
#1
Since many of you have been so kind with your comments in my direction, I thought I would share with you the results of an experiment I have been conducting for the past 6 months. I have a DMC30SV and DMA 30RS, which allegedly sounds identical to the 400's, connected to Vivid G3's with HD 90rev2 bi-wired and a pair of JL 113's connected to the 30SV via Analysis Plus Super Sub balanced cables, which replaced and far surpassed MIT Magnum MA balanced.

What I want to share is the impact of changing my interconnects. When I first got the preamp and amp they were both connected to a Meitner MA-1 DAC by MA-X. The Meitner was feed by an OPPO 103 connected with a MIT MAX S/PDIF. The results were quite impressive, and a definite step up from my BAT VK32SE preamp feeding a DMA 260.

First the BAT went and was replaced by the 30SV, still connected with MA-X. It was better than the BAT, but not as much as I had hoped, but then it was feeding a 260. Then the 300RS replaced the 260 and voila, now I was a very happy camper, probably because the 300RS allowed the SV to shine and is clearly superior to a 260. The sound was dramatically better top to bottom with MUCH more articulation, lower noise floor and better sound stage.

Although I ordered a Spectral SDR4000SV, which is still the best CD player I have ever heard, I had to cancel the order due to some severe hearing problems, that fortunately seem to be improving after months and because while the SDR4000SV is incredible, it was bit too analytic for my taste when connected to the other Spectral equipment, and had no digital inputs, which meant an outlay of at least 45K, including having to keep my Meitner and buy another set of IC's and an additional PC.

Now for the experiment---Although my hearing was still somewhat compromised, I replaced the two MA-X interconnects with MAX-2 and the sound definitely got better, but not as much as I hoped, but still worth the change although a bit pricey, especially since I could not properly hear the L speaker. The soundstage was better and deeper with more articulation, and the bass on the G3's was tighter and slightly deeper. The after some aggressive steroid and antibiotic treatment my hearing started to improve so I tried an Ayon Stratos tube DAC to reduce the Spectral sound a tad, which was wonderful, but not as articulate as the Meitner, by a significant margin. Then I swapped a used ARC CD-9 for the Meitner/OPPO combo and some of the Spectral analytic quality went away with more articulation than the Ayon and slightly less than the Meitner.

Then I purchased three MIT Oracle Z-Cord Reference PC's and connected them to the Spectral SV and 30 RS, plus the ARC CD-9. I was not ready for the change that that produced compared to some excellent and expensive cords from another manufacturer. In fact the improvement was at least as big as the MA-X to MA-X2 switch and much cheaper. The improvement from this change was something that I could not go without after hearing the improvement, even with my hearing problems.

When I heard the SDR4000SV, it was in a system using MA-XSHD IC's and the same power cords I had. So of course now that my hearing was improving to the point that I could somewhat hear the left speaker again, I had to try one SHD in my system because they are simply too much money at $20K for me to buy two, or so I thought. So after finding a great price on a pair of SE SHD's, I put my great price SHD between the CD-9 and preamp, hoping to get some of the SDR 4000SV magic I had heard at Overture.

At 48 hours I got some of the magic, but certainly not what I heard previously with the Spectral SDR4000SV and two SHD's, but still enough for me to try a second SHD, from the preamp to the amp. Fortunately, I was able to try/buy another demo pair, which I put in yesterday. Typically at 20 hours, MIT products sound so bad that listening is not advised. But maybe because this was a demo pair, it was already somewhat broken in and my ears were about 80% of their best, which is a true gift once you have lost your hearing, I was not at all ready for what I got out of the box and again today.

Although not the same as the SDR4000SV system because it is so articulate that probably nothing can come close, the sound was incredible. I cannot pinpoint what I mean by "incredible" because it was markedly better in every dimension, with a much better sound stage, superb bass, but most important an overall cohesiveness that greatly exceeds anything I have heard out of any of my systems during the past 50 years. Enough that I sit and listen to entire CD's without skipping a track, something I almost never do.

What truly surprised me was the difference in the improvement between making the signal path entirely SHD versus SHD and MA-X2. Had I merely gotten the same improvement I got with the first SHD, I would have returned both. But if the first SHD gave me an improvement of X, the combination of the two SHD's gave me 5x.

While these cables cost more than any of my components, the sound benefit from the combination is the single biggest gain I have ever had. Even with my residual hearing deficit, I am quite happy, although I still pine for the SDR4000SV.
 
May 25, 2010
510
13
18
Jersey Shore- waterside
#3
Christian,

From what I understand, the HD90 Rev2 biggest difference from the HD90 is that the Rev 2 incorporates most or all of the new circuit designs found in the SHD speaker cables, but has fewer poles of articulation with the 90 Rev 2 having 94/119 and the SHD 124/149 and the Rev 2 is $13k less. So while the HD 90 Rev2 is totally compatible with the MA-XSHD, the HD 90 limits some of the SHD benefits.
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
7,067
280
83
Northern NY
#4
Christian,

From what I understand, the HD90 Rev2 biggest difference from the HD90 is that the Rev 2 incorporates most or all of the new circuit designs found in the SHD speaker cables, but has fewer poles of articulation with the 90 Rev 2 having 94/119 and the SHD 124/149 and the Rev 2 is $13k less. So while the HD 90 Rev2 is totally compatible with the MA-XSHD, the HD 90 limits some of the SHD benefits.
Cool. Wasn't sure. I'm planning to put my MA-X SHD speaker cable pair up on the block soon. I use Odin everywhere in my system, so the MIT no longer really fits in by itself.
 
Jul 22, 2010
384
15
18
SF Bay
#5
I'm very happy to read that your hearing is returning. A great aspect of this hobby is the small changes that improve our experience. What and how much is not the point, the fact you had an improvement in your system and listening is great news.
 
Jun 22, 2016
30
0
6
Greater Boston
#7
Looking for an opinion in comparing HD50 r1 Interconnects with 50 poles vs. Oracle MA with 68 poles. Spoke to MIT and they tell me the MA is circa 2001. The rest of my cabling is HD90.1 sc and MA-X R.2 ic with DMS30SV and 300RS. Will the MA be a step forward,
sideways or backwards.
 

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