Quick links to some reviews:
Hi-fi News Review 2012 here
Apologies for the not contacting you sooner, I’ve been through a rough spell.
The great news is that the Ultimate Digital Dream cable is working beautifully! I have it hooked up between the digital output of one of my synthesisers and the iFI micro iDSD Black Label and have been enjoying a good noodle around on the keyboard with great sound quality!
I’m also making good progress on a review of the N’th Degree interconnects, comparing them with my other high end interconnect; Purist Audio Design’s Venustas Luminist Revision -at €2,200 for a 1m pair! Your cable may be a third of the price but are definitely on par. I’ve had them both connected to my CD player and turntable for long periods of time and am just getting ready to compare them back to back to define the differences.
One thing I can confirm is that they do indeed become directional with use: A few weeks ago while swapping the cables over I accidentally put one cable in the “wrong” way... The sound was so wrong that it was immediately apparent before I’d even got up off my knees where my ears were midway between the speakers, in line with the inside edges of the electrostatic panels! My first thought was “oh no, I must have just damaged the moving coil cartridge” (a Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III which is a “naked” design - nothing protecting the ultra fine wires from coils to the back plate and terminals)! Then logic led me to check the only thing I knew I had changed and after changing the direction of the one N’the Degree cable I had put in differently to the way it always had been, suddenly the sound was “right” again! The difference was so great it genuinely shocked me.
But when they’re both in the correct orientation they sound amazing - really fast and dynamic, with great bass depth and punch, emotive vocals, clarity extending throughout the frequency spectrum and loads of air in the highs for all the glitter and sparkle any piece of music can contain but never too much; oodles of macro and micro detail, cymbal decay shimmer goes all the way out while imaging is rock solid on pitch black background in a soundstage so wide, deep and tall I have to close my eyes to ‘see’ its full extent - otherwise vision constricts it to within the bounds of the walls, floor and ceiling.
The Ultimate Silver Stream USB cable has clearly completed its burn-in now because I connected my iPhone to the DAC section of the Simaudio Moon Neo 260D playing from the Onkyo HF Player app (phone in Airplane mode; all wireless connectivity switched off) via an Apple CCK and there was very little difference between the iPhone playing red book material and actual CD’s! That was a bit of a shock too because the last time I had compared them (using the same latest generation Ultimate Silver Stream USB cable, the same iPhone XS Max sounded substantially inferior... Burn-in is so important; I notice all your analogue cables sound thin and harsh when brand new but 5-10 hours brings them nearly half way to their full potential, 50 hours to about 75%, 100 hours to about 90% with the last 10% taking a further 100-400 hours.
There’s more to come along these lines but I wanted to give you some feedback now as I’ve been promising it for a long time! I also wanted to give you an idea of how good your cables sound in my system and why I keep coming back for more, even when it’s something you don’t normally make! Many different cables have had their chance in my steadily evolving system but none have had the same level of success, assuring me that any Artisan Silver cable will result in dramatic improvements and no shortcomings compared with cables of a similar price to double or more. This is why I appreciate your products so much as well as your willingness to make one-off cables as long as you can source the components.
Knowing that any type of silver cable I buy from you will sound amazing is something priceless which I’ve never found from any other company in 20+ years of serious cable experimentation. Being unable to go to hi-fi shops to have a good listen to anything audiophile due to disability makes the knowledge that I can always rely on your products so much more precious. Now that I have had to test the repair / replacement aspect of your customer service I couldn’t be happier with everything a customer could want or need from Artisan Silver Cables. You probably still don’t realise just how much you’ve improved my quality of life and peace of mind. That’s partly why it’s taking me so long to give you feedback on all the products I’ve bought from you - I want to get them just right whilst explaining their importance to me. Not only does it take time (something I have plenty of) and energy (something I have a serious lack of) but also because I find it intimidating trying to find words capable of expressing just how valuable your products and customer service are to me. I think I’m starting to repeat myself so I’ll end here with a big, heartfelt Thank You.
I hope business is going well and you’re in good health.
Very best regards,
[Ultimate Silver Dream analogue interconnects]
I promised to give you some feedback on my recent purchase.
I burned the cables in for around 50 hours on my tuner without serious listening and then connected to my Chord Qutest DAC. The Ultimate Silver Dreams replaced Van Den Hul The First Ultimate cables, which have seen off a number of more expensive ICs over the years.
I must admit that for a few hours after putting the USDs in I was not blown away.
The sound was detailed and smooth but I'd expected more magic. Then, listening to Massive Attack's Blue Lines, I suddenly realised that I'd never heard what is one of my favourite albums sound so good. Everything was better but what stood out was the gorgeous flow of the music.
So now I'm hooked. I'm running a pre and power amp set up and would imagine putting a USD in there would provide a further dose of magic? I assume the USDs work as well in balanced configuration? I will definitely therefore make another purchase from you in the near future...
[The Nth Degree flagship pure silver analogue interconnects
Thanks, the cables arrived safely last Tuesday. So much for me saying I wouldn't be able to devote enough time in a month to listen for 50 hours. I've already clocked up 25+ in less than a week! The cables are that good.
It only took the time it takes for my amplifier tubes to warm up to know that you wouldn't be getting these cables back. Sorry, Alister!
I wouldn't describe myself as the most critical/discerning listener but the differences I've been hearing through my headphones have been huge. The cables I was previously using were very well reviewed copper interconnects, so this has been even more of a surprise.
Some observations on the sound:
With the Nth Degree in place, it means I now have an all silver signal path for my headphones based system. An initial impression was the Nth Degrees removed a further layer of brightness/harshness from the sound that I hadn't even realised was still present.
There have been improvements to the entire sound. Bass is now tauter, more powerful and extended, but without overpowering the rest of the sound. Midrange is superbly detailed and transparent. Treble is sweet and natural. There is now plenty of reverb and note decay bouncing around in my headphones. The cables also seem to inject a sense of pace and attack into the sound. It's as if every strand of the music has been grabbed by the scruff of it's neck and presented in perfect order at the right speed. In short, everything sounds extremely detailed and natural...real.
With the Nth Degrees added, the soundstage through my headphones has again expanded. It now seems to sit directly in front of me and wraps round to the sides. It puts me right in the centre of everything going on and gives a very immersive listening experience.
Adding these cables really has been the icing on the cake.
Thanks for another fine product Alister.
Please feel free to use as much of the above as you wish for your webpage.
All the best
[Ultimate Silver Dream interconnects, from Steven A.]
I have used the Ultimate Silver Dream interconnect for a little while now. I use it on my new Cambridge Audio 851 streamer connecting it to a Naim 282 preamp.
I can say as it burns in you can hear the improvement in all aspects of the sound.
For some years I have been using a Kimber KCAG on my Naim CDX2 CD player. That half metre interconnect cost me £240 in 2003. I needed a meter length this time and that would now cost £1200!
As an experiment I switch the Ultimate Silver Dream for the KCAG on my CD player. I can safely say that the Artisan cable gives a clearer sound than the Kimber cable. Notes sound sweeter and airier.
What a great buy this cable has been. It's not that the Kimber is bad, it's the Artisan is better."
[Ultimate Silver Stream 2 USB cable]
Thought I'd give you some feedback now the cable has had sufficient burn in.
The amount of detail, both large and small, retrieved by the cable is very impressive. On virtually everything played I'm picking out details unheard before. Even in music listened to for many years.
Music is presented in a rich, smooth and fluid manner. Any harsh digital edge has been removed and replaced by a much smoother analogue sound. This has made a particular difference to the 1960s - 80s CD music ripped to my laptop. It's now much more listenable!
I previously purchased your headphone upgrade cable which lead to the soundstage expanding. Adding the USB cable has improved this even further. Vocals and instruments are reproduced on a wide and deep soundstage, all clearly defined in their own space.
Thanks for another great product Alister.
Looks like I'll have to start saving for a USD or Nth Degree interconnect to complete the picture.
[Silver Hybrid 3 mains power cable]
It’s been a bit since I plugged the Silver Hybrid 3 Power cable into the Rogue Stereo 90 Super Magnum, and thought I’d share my findings.
-Right off, I noticed more information and bloom to the instruments; then how tighter and fuller the bass was, so I decided to turn the subs up……. just a notch, I now have a “GROWL!” and I’m addicted! As time went by, I noticed, when listening to my choice music, there is better perceived timing and pace….it is hard to get up and do anything……but when I do, I want to “boogie.” I’m getting more exercise now….heheheh…a power cord giving me so much pleasure. Also, I love how pliable it is, very much more than a “box” power cord for an amplifier!
Wishing you the Best,
[More from Steve - Ultimate WBT interconnects]
"...WOW; I never thought silver cables could sound SO GOOD with solid state equipment;
I thought it would be too glaring; bright, over detailed......None of that!
It's smooth, articulate, macro and micro details are all there, with all their three dimensional glory; and bass has its full "impact"! My WBT USD's are not even broken in yet.
Thank you and your Artisan mission,