MasterBuilt Audio Cables

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gammajo

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #20 on: 9 Feb 2016, 02:42 pm »
What I understand is that VSA sells all their products with a 45 day satisfaction guarantee - am I correct? That said, so far in the more than decade of dealings with VSA through two speaker purchases and one upgrade, and Masterbuilt and then Ultra IC, they have always understated the benefits of a given purchase compared to what I heard once I pulled the trigger. I can not say the same with many other companies where improvements were real but slight.

BigSwede

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #21 on: 9 Feb 2016, 03:24 pm »
That's precisely why as a distributor I don't talk. I lend. ;)
For sure. But I remain hopeful that someday we will KNOW what cables are best, and why "break in" occurs, and how "system synergy" works, based on measurable and verifiable SCIENCE.

Which, granted, would take the fun out of this hobby for some...but not me.

leif8660

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Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #22 on: 9 Feb 2016, 05:47 pm »
While I get that... in the end we are left with "trust us, these are really really good. Now give us thousands of dollars for our very special hunks of wire." Which is pretty much the sales pitch of all of the other cable companies out there too.
I understand your frustration.  But I want to be very clear on what I said in my post.

I never said trust us or take our word for it.  What I said was to hear for yourself at the upcoming Axpona Show.  Then these cables will be under review so you can read what the reviewers will have to say. I also said that we are setting up a dealer network so people will have a chance to have a listen there.

We will also run a full loom of Ultra at the next RMAF.

BigSwede

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #23 on: 9 Feb 2016, 07:04 pm »
To be sure, were I in the market for cables that cost nearly as much as my house, I would make the effort to travel to show or a dealer and audition them. 

But that wasn't really my point - it is the science of the cables I am interested in. I want to know why they are better. I am so sick of all the guesswork and voodoo of the audiophile cable industry.

htradtk

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #24 on: 9 Feb 2016, 11:53 pm »
All,

I've been reading the comments on this post and it's all about what you want and how much you want to spend! I like to listen to music very much!! When I listen, I love hearing the most detail that a cable can bring. When I got my VR-5 Anniversaries back in 2008, I got a 8' pair of Analysis Plus cables for them. Got to omit, they sounded pretty good! Then in 2012, I got a 8' pair of the Signature Masterbuilds to go with my recently upgraded MKII's. It was like night and day! The Masterbuilds produced so much more detail in everything that I listened too! From a strum of a guitar to a full orchestra, it is like they are right there with you!
As for VSA, they are the most customer oriented company that I ever have dealt with! They will work with you on a personal level and give you an outstanding product! They are my speaker company for life! Hopefully I can upgrade to the VR-55 someday!

Happy listening,
Henry

gammajo

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #25 on: 10 Feb 2016, 02:24 am »
Well said Henry!
Folks are correct that all that is needed to enjoy music is an old transistor radio and an openness to the lyrics and beat. Yet so much more is offered with our carefully assembled systems. For me VSA products took me to place (with careful selection of other components and well-recorded material) where my system just sounds right and is fully satisfying, even immediately after returning from a live classical concert. Part of the "right" is that the excitement, beauty, nuance, and aliveness are present which allows connection to the composers, players and most subtle intricate structure of the music. To be in the trance of great music in all its splendor is such a privilege!

Thank God that the road to the always improving pinnacle provides soul-healing blessings long before it gets expensive. That road now extends (according to the latest Editors Choice Awards in TAS) to what for most of us is crazy territory with 600K speakers, 180K amps and 32k speaker cables. I am happy for everyone (both designers and customers) who go further up the road than I will ever go because they advance the state of the art and if one is patient, sprinkle the used market with great bargains five years down the road . There are cynical people selling stuff built with cheap parts and hype, but there are also inspired and passionate designers such as Albert, backed by a team devoted to music and to their customer's ever deeper relationship with music. I think they deserve applause and a financial rewarding living.

So celebrate the Purple, Reference, and Master Built lines (all great values compared to the competition) and bring on the Ultra so we have something to buy that would really give us pleasure when we win the lottery!

BigSwede

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #26 on: 10 Feb 2016, 02:55 am »
Maybe I am coming off as critical of VSA, but that wasn't my intent. I am frustrated with the whole cable industry, and have hopes that the scientists at Masterbuilt can clear away some of the fog that surrounds it.

gammajo

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #27 on: 10 Feb 2016, 03:13 am »
BigSwede - I think that you have been respectful and on point. In general within the cable industry there has been gouging and smoke from some of the biggest players. I have also talked to many dedicated small designers who say that they encounter many customers who feel that unless the price is high, they will not even listen to the small shop efforts to determine for themselves whether the cable is magical or muggle.

leif8660

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Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #28 on: 10 Feb 2016, 06:15 am »
Maybe I am coming off as critical of VSA, but that wasn't my intent. I am frustrated with the whole cable industry, and have hopes that the scientists at Masterbuilt can clear away some of the fog that surrounds it.
I will post a tech paper on the MasterBuilt cables and the science behind it tomorrow.  I'm going to leave the construction techniques out of this post.  As I said, we do not want to educate other manufacturers.  I hope you understand this.  I wouldn't exactly want to show another speaker manufacture our design approach or architecture of our circuit designs.


choffman

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #29 on: 10 Feb 2016, 10:56 pm »
This seems like an appropriate place for me to share an interesting, revealing and very positive experience I had with my system yesterday.  It started with a conversation I had with Leif  when I contacted him about my interest in trying some of the Master Built power cords.  I already have the Master Built Reference (formerly "Standard") interconnects and speaker cables.  I have felt for quite awhile that my power situation was not up to the rest of my system.  After Leif and I talked for awhile I mentioned that I was running my phono stage and preamp through a high end power conditioner and my amps through a passive power strip that while very well built, is 15 years old and not anything fancy.  I explained to Leif that my amps didn't like the power conditioner at all but that I thought the conditioner was good for my front end and preamp.  Leif let me know that he had regularly had bad experiences with active power filtration and by the end of the conversation we both concluded that before I bought anything new, I should try taking my fancy power conditioner out of the loop altogether to see what happened.

I started last night by listening to things as is for a good 20-30 minutes.  I then took my phono stage off the conditioner and plugged it into the power strip.  My impression was that it was not an improvement and to some extent the sound was a bit thin compared to when I ran it through the conditioner.  I went back and forth enough times to feel comfortable in my conclusion.  I then put the phono stage back in the conditioner and tried the same experiment with my preamp.  The power strip was an immediate and substantial improvement over the power conditioner for my preamp.  Much more extended top end (not bright or harsh though), more air, better dynamics.  I went through the process a few times and the outcome was undeniable - my high end conditioner got its ass kicked by an older $900 passive power strip.  What was also odd is that when I put both the phono stage and the preamp on the passive strip at the same time, I really didn't experience the drop off for the phono stage that I had heard at first.  I suspect that was in part due to the preamp being so much better that I didn't notice any small loss of performance in the phono stage through the strip.  Or alternatively, maybe having the preamp and phono stage on the same circuit worked better.  I have no idea.  My final move was to plug the amps straight into the wall and skip the strip.  This seemed to improve things more but I was tired by then and can't say that with any authority.

Long story short, this stuff is a damn conundrum.  My last preamp and phono stage liked the power conditioner as opposed to the power strip so I never bothered to try the new stuff without the power conditioner.  Why components react the way they do to different cords and other pieces in the power chain in the ways they do is beyond me and apparently a lot of other people as well.  It's a hard world to navigate when you get into tweaks and PCs etc.  Too many variables.  Experience may vary.  I would love some science to rely on but at the end of the day, in my ears I trust.

I'm embarrassed that I fell into the trap of assuming the power conditioner was good for my system without thorough A/B testing with all of my components.  That said, I am really appreciative of Leif throwing the idea out there before trying to sell me something.  I still plan on trying the Master Built PCs (no, it won't be the Ultras) and will report back on my experience.

Here's my system for context purposes:
Undedicated electrical circuits (on my list to fix when I redo the room)
Oyaide R1 outlets w/ WPZ wall plates (yes the plates seem like total BS but they do work in my experience)
Ensemble MegaPower Point power strip
Ensemble MegaPowerFlux power cords
Lyra Atlas Cart
Durand Talea Tonearm
Galibier Stelvio Turntable
Allnic H-3000 phono stage
SMC VRE-1C preamp
Berning Quadrature Z monoblocks
Master Built Reference interconnects and biwire speaker cable
VSA VR-5 Anniversary Speakers (MK 1.5 - I have the AAC Midrange drivers but not the upgraded wiring and cabinet damping)

Chris Hoffman

undertow

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Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #30 on: 10 Feb 2016, 11:18 pm »
choffman,

Very interesting because these days the normal thinking in the audio world - straight to wall is best period, and power conditioning will limit, and even compress sound with most components.

This has been in fact my results overall with most power products period claiming parallel, or passive, or active filtering regardless.

Most of the time straight to wall proved best.

ACCEPT - when I accidentally found, and acquired a fairly expensive power strip which was retailed at 1000.00 a couple years ago for a pretty cheap price that was intended for a basic power setup in my NON-high end system.

Well I decided to try it in my High end setup, and it beat the pants off a Walker Audio, and even direct to wall! First time I heard conditioning, and surge protection at its best.

Its an IsoTek EVO 3 Sirius power strip which claims to simply have a quality filter with upper echelon teflon copper star wiring basically. Well it works. I have had many power bars, but this one will put huge regenerators, power conditioners etc... to shame. I don't even think they make them anymore.

For that price originally its very arguable that they went a little to skimpy on the outlets themselves in quality, no super grip furutechs, or even decent hubbles in here, but they work well. Interestingly I also noted they designed these 6 outlets right compared to other Richard Gray and higher products I have had in the past because the spacing is much better for larger wall warts etc... that we sometimes can't avoid. They all fit on it very easily if necessary to use unlike all the duplex based units on the market.

Only slight downfall to a quality device like this is even though it carries 6 outlets, its only rated at 10 amps, which it does have a FUSE in it, and I upgraded that to a Synergistic RED fuse, and I actually paid nearly as much for the damn fuse as what I stole this whole unit at originally! But it was worth it.

I don't run big amps or anything thru most power distribution devices, so in the case of something like the IsoTek bar 10 amps was actually over double what the rest of my system pulls in total anyway.

I still don't advocate power conditioning in general, but this is one of the very few cases a device like this actually shows all the advantages to not only conditioning, but getting the protection on the circuit.

http://www.tonepublications.com/review/isotek-evo-3-sirius/

Only other one I can recommend is simply the "Bybee AC bullet" which is a decent upgrade for many systems. Its not conditioning per say, but from most of the uses I have experienced it has some positive merit on most systems AC lines.

http://www.partsconnexion.com/bybee_bullet.html

I have owned several units from PS audio, Balanced audio, Blue Circle Audio, Walker Audio, Furutech, Furman, ATI, Richard Gray, Shunyata, and IsoTek. Never run amps thru anything in my opinion unless it's a single dedicated filter possibly.

 

Early B.

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #31 on: 10 Feb 2016, 11:51 pm »
Undertow --

I've had the exact opposite experience with power conditioners. In fact, I have three different devices cleaning and protecting the power before my components are plugged in. I don't know why, but it works. But the main issue with plugging components directly into the wall is no surge protection. There's no way I'm gonna jeopardize $10K worth of equipment without a high degree of surge protection. 

htradtk

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #32 on: 11 Feb 2016, 12:27 am »
Thanks Joe for the compliment.

You to Joe, very well said. Again, I'm one that's about quality, heck, I've got a great system right now. But there always something that comes out that we all drool over! This is life I guess! This is a fun hobby! One thing, there's no way I could afford a 600k speaker!! If you can, you must be able to afford to build a room to house them!! They are not built for the average listening room. Lief, well said, all products should be confidential to the manufacture on how they are built!

Will I upgrade? Probably so. My power cord is my weakest link right now. Just have a $150 Analysis Plus cord from my wall. My other PC's are from my components that I brought.

Henry

undertow

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Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #33 on: 11 Feb 2016, 01:15 am »
Undertow --

I've had the exact opposite experience with power conditioners. In fact, I have three different devices cleaning and protecting the power before my components are plugged in. I don't know why, but it works. But the main issue with plugging components directly into the wall is no surge protection. There's no way I'm gonna jeopardize $10K worth of equipment without a high degree of surge protection.

Can't disagree on any level. Which is why I went thru many years attempting every formula on the planet hoping to find something worthy of pure sound with AC protection... But I was saying in general it is not necessarily a guarantee with the "AC power component of the week" to experience the desired results is all.

Triode Pete

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Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #34 on: 11 Feb 2016, 01:31 am »
Can't disagree on any level. Which is why I went thru many years attempting every formula on the planet hoping to find something worthy of pure sound with AC protection... But I was saying in general it is not necessarily a guarantee with the "AC power component of the week" to experience the desired results is all.

Noticed that you didn't mention ever trying a P.I. Audio UberBUSS Power Conditioner... I had the exact same experience as you regarding power conditioners until I tried an UberBUSS... It is not power limiting & does not limit dynamics... It actually improves dynamics on all levels, both micro & macro by getting the noise out and by the use of it's power factor correction circuitry. I actually noticed an increase in "gain" on my transformer-based tube components. Just saying...

My $0.02,
Pete

undertow

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Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #35 on: 11 Feb 2016, 01:40 am »
Noticed that you didn't mention ever trying a P.I. Audio UberBUSS Power Conditioner... I had the exact same experience as you regarding power conditioners until I tried an UberBUSS... It is not power limiting & does not limit dynamics... It actually improves dynamics on all levels, both micro & macro by getting the noise out and by the use of it's power factor correction circuitry. I actually noticed an increase in "gain" on my transformer-based tube components. Just saying...

My $0.02,
Pete

Yes you are absolutely correct. And I have read the merits on the device right here on audiocircle. I also own your speaker cables if that gives any credibility:-)

SundayNiagara

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Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #36 on: 12 Feb 2016, 02:15 pm »
And still no price list?

JackD201

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #37 on: 13 Feb 2016, 04:51 am »
And still no price list?

I've got my copy of the draft but it is not finalized yet.

gammajo

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #38 on: 13 Feb 2016, 02:06 pm »
Heads up - Leif started a new thread on the technical aspects of the Masterbuilt line, entitled The Science Behind Masterbuilt cables

gammajo

Re: MasterBuilt Audio Cables
« Reply #39 on: 13 Feb 2016, 03:42 pm »
As we all wait with baited breath for the price list, I want to comment some on affordability.

For me, affordability is not just about price. I very much enjoy having my system in my family's great room. Just yesterday music played with my 1 year old granddaughter in the room, as snow was gently falling outside. She immediately beamed and started dancing to the music. My wife joined us and we all had a good time, dancing hugging and smiling. We proceeded through Peter Paul and Mary's children's songs, through the Beach Boys, and then into gentle jazz as we fed her a before-bed bottle.  Though the music was at low volume, each note's beauty shown through and the music added greatly to my enjoyment of the evening. The point - I do not have or want a dedicated sound cave. And within the esthetics of a family space and family peace, bigger super amps, super sized speakers etc are out of the question or unaffordable in terms of the goals of the room, yet I want the best sound possible.

After hearing how impressed Lief was with the Ultra, I wanted a second opinion and talked to Albert. I framed the question the way I did because I knew Albert really loved what pressure equalization by adding two subs to the back of the room does for not only the bass, but the sense of being in the venue and increased clarity in the mids and highs. "Albert, should I upgrade my Signature loom to Ultra, or get two 15in ShockWave XS subs for my large 22X38 foot room - which strategy will give me the most satisfaction?

We have a very interesting discussion about the benefits of each with Albert feeling some of the benefits were overlapping and some different for each strategy.  Once I identified that I was extremely happy with current sound and loved the bass delivered by the 55s already, and that what I loved most was being able to hear the most subtle detail, naturally presented, it was clear that at least for me Ultra was the way to go.  In my situation, Ultra is very affordable, where adding two large subs is not.

Side note: we may at some point look at hiding those subs within the walls etc. :wink: