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

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,232
11
38
E. England
#61
Can't get enough of Mark's cooking (Sablon MasterChef).
Elites pwr cords are just releasing the energy in the low end w'out compromising detail retrieval, mids transparency and high end sparkle and air.
Just awaiting current pr of Elites to monos and then final pr to my Zu subs.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,232
11
38
E. England
#63
Really can't say.
I'm not one of these audiophiles who needs to a/b things to death, or make side by side comparisons all the time.
I'd progressed from Roksan cable in my first system to Argento to Audience to Zu Event, with a smattering of Hovland phono cables too.
I was very close to investing in Entreq Challenger, and has auditioned Nordost and Acoustic Zen. I'm sure I heard a Transparent once as well.
Despite many of these cables being impressive in many ways (odd one out Nordost which had no redeeming features in my set up), the original Sablon Panatellas and Quantum Gran Coronas just got this balance of fleshed out tone, saturated but nimble, top to bottom cohesive, and naturally warm, as right as one could want.
Moving onto the current line of Reservas and Elites (of which I was a beta tester), now we have added linearity and neutrality, and a dead even balance of color and detail.
Other cables will have their good points of course, but for me it's the balance of attributes of Sablon cbls that make them so irreplaceable in my system.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,232
11
38
E. England
#65
Next two Reservas to Elites upgrades winging their way to me, for my monos, to add to the Elite modded pwr cords already on my cdp and pre.
Additionally an Elite for my Straingauge energiser bespoke psu.
Next year I compete Elite-ing out my Zu sub amps, and my tt speed controller bespoke psus, and a final change, to my Reserva spkr cbls spades, going to Platinum I believe.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,232
11
38
E. England
#66
Mark is insatiable. At his strong suggestion I’ve upgraded Reservas ICs to have additional Roswell shielding, and Reservas spkr cbls to have upgraded platinum Oyaides spades.
Another couple of home runs, not much burn in needed w these.
A real upswing in sweetness and air.
My recent Stacore isolation upgrades had taken things on a long way in reducing noise, and these Reservas and Elites are a real complement, since they’re doing a lot to reduce noise floor as well.
These recent Sablon changes, just 2 hours into listening, sweetness and air to spare.
There is no compromise on possible lack of dynamics, all the bite is there, but no edge.
All the air is there, but no lack of solidity.
 

sujay

Member Sponsor
May 5, 2012
255
2
18
Singapore
#67
Hi,

A few months back I replaced my Nordost Blue Heaven USB cable with he the sablon USB cable, a move which took the whole system up a couple of notches.

This week, I replaced my original Burmester Blu speaker cables with the Sablon speaker cables. However, Mark had customized the cables with double the gauge (7awg) and Oyaide palladium spades to better match my system requirement. I have now had about 15 hours on them so these are initial impressions.
1) the level of clarity and detail retrieval has gone up considerably. The flow of music was congested before by comparison. It feels like the system has relaxed now with more headroom to spare.
2) the sound is more forceful now with incredible amount of energy transfer - especially brass sounds more visceral and physical, exactly how they should sound in my view
3) significant gains in soundstage depth and height.
4) biggest gains in air and dynamics have gone up a few notches.

Overall, I am loving what these cables have brought in terms of gains and they haven't even broken in yet. Will keep updating.

Cheers

Sujay
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,232
11
38
E. England
#68
Hey Sujay, some other Sablon users on What’s Best need to chime in. Sablon is seriously under appreciated out there. These cables deserve a wider audience. You can probably tell I’m a fan.
For all those bemoaning the quite crazy price inflation in high end cables, Sablon is a proper alternative. I’ve owned or auditioned Zu Event, Audience Au24, Acoustic Zen, Argento, Hovland, Entreq Challenger, Nordost, and a few others, and Sablon just gets so many things right to pull well ahead of these, the primary one being the balance between detail and warmth, and now with these recent changes, an amazing balance of air/depth and solidity/tangibility. I can’t think of one box the Sablon loom doesn’t tick. “Naturalness” is the bye word.
 
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RichardA

New Member
Mar 21, 2017
2
0
0
Calabasas CA
#69
I have had a Sablon reserva elite USB cable for awhile now and it's wonderful. I am looking forward to 2 of the corona reserva elite power cords and a pair of the speaker cables to try out in the coming week.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,232
11
38
E. England
#70
Richard, you’re in for quite a treat. I’m not a streaming guy, so can’t comment on the Reserva USB in my system, but I’ve had ongoing exposure to it in a top digital front end ie SGM server/T&A Dac8, and this front end gets so much analog goodness which I know the USB contributes a lot twds.
I’ve got much more personal experience of the Elites and Reserva spkr cbls, and what they’re currently doing to maximise a total sense of flow and ease is quite something.
There’s a ready tendency in high end audio to increase detail with a change, but harden the sound at the same time. Not evident w the Sablons. Detail and warmth together, and I really put this down to the Sablons dropping my noise floor substantially to increase audibility of micro detail and cues while maximising the fuller tone of my SETs/tone dense full range spkrs.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,232
11
38
E. England
#72
Gemini, they may be by special order. I can check with Mark.
 

sujay

Member Sponsor
May 5, 2012
255
2
18
Singapore
#73
Hi,

Happy to report that the Reserva elite with the Furutech NCF plug blew my existing power cable away........a long, long way. The existing stock Acrolink cable was connected from the Oyaide wall receptacle to the BIT 16 power conditioner feeding the entire system. While these had the then flagship Oyaide M1/F1 connectors, I must confess, there is no comparison ( probably a wee bit unfair too).

For starters, the noise floor and resolution are in another league. Completely another league. I can clearly hear more separation in instruments and the whole performance is at a different level of energy and propulsion. Then again, the soundstage is substantially wider and taller with a hitherto unseen and unheard image density, consistent in the center and the periphery. The Soundstage is deeper but the gains in width and height are far more substantial.

The energy in the room is at a different level too......alive with unprecedented room fill. The bass is superior in every way - extension, tightness etc.

Next step is to swap my lampi power cord (currently the special edition Acrolink 5500) with time the elite and see the difference. This may be a slightly fairer comparison. And then of course putting the elite against the erstwhile flagship Acrolink 9500on my preamp. I have a feeling, the elite might just edge out even the 9500. So let’s wait and see.

What a nerve racking hobby!

Cheers

Sujay
 
Feb 13, 2017
38
0
0
Forest of Dean UK
#74
Hi,

Happy to report that the Reserva elite with the Furutech NCF plug blew my existing power cable away........a long, long way. The existing stock Acrolink cable was connected from the Oyaide wall receptacle to the BIT 16 power conditioner feeding the entire system. While these had the then flagship Oyaide M1/F1 connectors, I must confess, there is no comparison ( probably a wee bit unfair too).

For starters, the noise floor and resolution are in another league. Completely another league. I can clearly hear more separation in instruments and the whole performance is at a different level of energy and propulsion. Then again, the soundstage is substantially wider and taller with a hitherto unseen and unheard image density, consistent in the center and the periphery. The Soundstage is deeper but the gains in width and height are far more substantial.

The energy in the room is at a different level too......alive with unprecedented room fill. The bass is superior in every way - extension, tightness etc.

Next step is to swap my lampi power cord (currently the special edition Acrolink 5500) with time the elite and see the difference. This may be a slightly fairer comparison. And then of course putting the elite against the erstwhile flagship Acrolink 9500on my preamp. I have a feeling, the elite might just edge out even the 9500. So let’s wait and see.

What a nerve racking hobby!

Cheers

Sujay
Thanks for posting, very interesting comparison. I have read very good things about Acrolink PC’s and it’s good to hear you find the Sablon even better against such tough (and more expensive?) opposition. Please keep us posted.

I have one Sablon Elite PC on the Mola Mola pre/dac which has improved the sound hugely. Better dynamics, more detail and transparency, more open, more visceral.

I also have the Sablon USB Reserva Elite cable, powered version, between the fidata server and Mola Mola Makua. A friend/customer just brought around a USB cable from Curious and Lush to compare with the Sablon, both of which have had good reviews. I have also compared the Sablon USB to the Vovox Textura USB in the past. Sablon is just plain better in every respect compared to the other cables, we both agreed on that. He now wants one. Please PM me if you would like to try it at home for yourself.
 

mfin

New Member
Feb 26, 2018
1
0
0
#75
Hi all, I am that friend/customer that took round the Curious USB 0.8m and Phasure Lush 0.7m for a bit of comparing. I am completely familiar with these two cables in my own system. I have found the Curious to be the kind of cable you can put in to demonstrate to someone who does not believe they make a difference that they actually do make a difference. It provides a wide and expansive soundstage full of detail.

It is not until you compare it to something else that is of the same level of respect that you can really tell its negatives as well as its positives. Phasure Lush is a more rounded, natural sound. Listening back to the Curious, the Curious is found to be a bit edgy and abrasive, tonally natural instruments are less real, thinner (think classical guitar and piano, they sound less full and real), but it does separate everything well.

The Phasure Lush wins it sounds more natural, but maaaaaybe there's a slight lack of detail, and it's just a touch dull sounding (this has proven to be much less of an issue once it has really broken in though). If budget only stretches this far, I think it's a great cable. The Curious should really only be preferable in systems that are dull and need livening up at the top end, it injects this character, which only some people will want. I can see how older people with rolled off hearing might like it too.

Now, at toetapaudio, we tried these against the Sablon Reserva Elite USB. The best way to describe it is that it has the best of both, the tonal presentation is closer to the Phasure, but every last bit of detail is there. It's sort of a "goldilocks" thing where everything is simply "right" and there's nothing to criticise. Compared to those other ones (both of them also being half the price or less remember), it seemed to me like it could be all that's ever needed.

It may be overkill in my own system which is lesser (in which I am yet to try it), but certainly something I will be purchasing. The parity between hearing the Curious and Lush within toetap's system and the experience in my own system is enough for me to be convinced of the character and performance of the Sablon.
 

wisnon

Active Member
Dec 12, 2011
2,480
5
38
#76
Hi all, I am that friend/customer that took round the Curious USB 0.8m and Phasure Lush 0.7m for a bit of comparing. I am completely familiar with these two cables in my own system. I have found the Curious to be the kind of cable you can put in to demonstrate to someone who does not believe they make a difference that they actually do make a difference. It provides a wide and expansive soundstage full of detail.

It is not until you compare it to something else that is of the same level of respect that you can really tell its negatives as well as its positives. Phasure Lush is a more rounded, natural sound. Listening back to the Curious, the Curious is found to be a bit edgy and abrasive, tonally natural instruments are less real, thinner (think classical guitar and piano, they sound less full and real), but it does separate everything well.

The Phasure Lush wins it sounds more natural, but maaaaaybe there's a slight lack of detail, and it's just a touch dull sounding (this has proven to be much less of an issue once it has really broken in though). If budget only stretches this far, I think it's a great cable. The Curious should really only be preferable in systems that are dull and need livening up at the top end, it injects this character, which only some people will want. I can see how older people with rolled off hearing might like it too.

Now, at toetapaudio, we tried these against the Sablon Reserva Elite USB. The best way to describe it is that it has the best of both, the tonal presentation is closer to the Phasure, but every last bit of detail is there. It's sort of a "goldilocks" thing where everything is simply "right" and there's nothing to criticise. Compared to those other ones (both of them also being half the price or less remember), it seemed to me like it could be all that's ever needed.

It may be overkill in my own system which is lesser (in which I am yet to try it), but certainly something I will be purchasing. The parity between hearing the Curious and Lush within toetap's system and the experience in my own system is enough for me to be convinced of the character and performance of the Sablon.
In a Lampi where there is no need for 5v power, the Lush is transformed by the Power cutting adapter. It improves by several orders of magnitude and plays with the biggest names out there like the LH cable. I never heard the Sablon USB cable though I see many people rate it.
 
May 22, 2015
384
0
16
#77
In a Lampi where there is no need for 5v power, the Lush is transformed by the Power cutting adapter. It improves by several orders of magnitude and plays with the biggest names out there like the LH cable. I never heard the Sablon USB cable though I see many people rate it.
@Wisnon - this is equally true of many usb cables but no power line is better than putting an adaptor in the signal path, which is why I offer an unpowered version for dacs with Amenaro input cards, mainly Lampi / T&A / Nagra. I have only heard good things about the Lush usb cable and it seems like the go to choice at its price point. Although I’m sure it wasn’t your intention, you appear to be suggesting that its power line implementation is somewhat flawed, which would surprise me given the expertise of its designer.
 

wisnon

Active Member
Dec 12, 2011
2,480
5
38
#78
@Wisnon - this is equally true of many usb cables but no power line is better than putting an adaptor in the signal path, which is why I offer an unpowered version for dacs with Amenaro input cards, mainly Lampi / T&A / Nagra. I have only heard good things about the Lush usb cable and it seems like the go to choice at its price point. Although I’m sure it wasn’t your intention, you appear to be suggesting that its power line implementation is somewhat flawed, which would surprise me given the expertise of its designer.
No, its deliberately NOT made to USB 2.0 standard, but instead only followed the mantra of SQ. It does need to have power to work with every dac out there. Perhaps they need an upwered version. One can also make any cable unpowered by covering lines 1 and 4 with Cellotape! My powercutter is gold plated.
 
Jan 28, 2015
256
1
18
Wales, UK
#79
I borrowed a Corona Elite power cable from Sablon last week, it had Furutech ncf plugs and a synergistic research 13 amp (uk) blue fuse fitted .

My cables have Oyaide iec and Furutech 13amp (uk) plugs with Kimber 8TC cable. They have done me well for a good few years. I have a dedicated power supply to an isolation transformer plus an old Furman balanced power conditioner.

Anyway, thought it would be worth trying something more up to date.

I tried the Corona in my Lampi GG, phono stage and pre-amp.

It made a difference to all the equipment I tried it with, and most noticeably with the pre. It was not night and day but the sound quality was decidedly improved somehow. It took awhile to work out what the cable was doing, imo it was lowering the noise floor slightly and increasing the dynamic range particularly in the lower registers. I listen to a lot of piano music - one of the things I noticed with the Corona, it enhanced the sense of keys being struck firmly, the percussive element. In particular, on KJ's Koln concert - besides the dynamic contrast mentioned, his foot stomping became more tangible and spatial clues became more evident.

I only had it for a limited time but felt it was contributing to an increased involvement with the music being played, across the board. Other posters have talked about it blowing their existing cables away, I did not feel this was the case for me, maybe because I have a reasonably sorted power supply chain enabling the system to work pretty well. That said I shall be purchasing one soon, would also like to try out more than one as I guess the effect would be cumulative.
 
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spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,232
11
38
E. England
#80
Dave, wise decision. I’ve always had super results w Mark’s cables, but esp his power cords.
I think you’ve summed it up nicely, a dropping of the noise floor, increase in “natural” detail (not the etched illusion of detail I heard w one very well regarded make), and w the Elites especially, warmth and texture but w no repercussions on speed or agility.
Live w it for a few days, and see where it takes you.