I want to thank Steve from www.myaudiocables.com
(MAC) for loaning me these interconnects to try out and comment on. He brought them to the last NY Audio Rave, but we didn’t get into much of a swap-fest as usual, so I got a chance to test them in my system, the details of which can be found in the following thread (http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=50799.0
Here’s the list of cables I listened to, all listening between my modded Zhaolu 2.5C DAC and preamp, unless otherwise stated.
• Jon Risch DIY 89259/89248/silver twisted pair
• MAC Duet
• MAC Mystics
• MAC Ultra Silver
• MAC Palladium
• MAC Au
The Jon Risch 89259/89248
twisted pair has been around for a long time (details can be found on www.audioasylum.com
). I used these for quite a while, but in the course of my experimentation found that adding a thread of silver to each leg of the interconnect gave me some added sparkle and detail while leaving the harmonic richness of the copper conductors intact. It can be a little sharp on top with harsh material though. It has great presence, imaging and soundstaging, with dynamic slam and extension at both ends. All comparisons were done against this cable as my reference.MAC Duet
is an all silver cable with premium RCA jacks at each end. This is one pretty cable, but I don’t think it is offered yet on Steve’s site. It has all the characteristics of a silver interconnect: lots of detail and air. It was a bit bright on my system on the Zhaolu, but fared quite a bit better when used between the pre and amp. It may need quite a bit more burn in to settle down (I gave it 3 days) though, so my comments should be taken in that context. Overall, it is definitely a cable for silver cable lovers. MAC Ultra Silver
has a balanced presentation overall, with good bass. It is a bit brighter on top than its copper siblings, but not as open and airy as the Duet. The soundstage was OK, but bettered by others below.MAC Mystic
is only recently announced on Steve’s site. It had better and more defined bass than the Ultra Silver, though not as much dynamic pop. That could be attributed to the extra detail the Ultra Silver brings to the table. Overall a good balanced choice.MAC Palladium
was my favorite of the bunch. It is an ultra thin and very lightweight cable due to the air dielectric construction. Very deceiving since it had very full and broad presentation overall. It was natural sounding with very good dynamic pop. Analogue-like in many ways with a better soundstage and imaging presentation than the others above. A very good cable that put a nice smile on my face. I liked this one a lot.MAC Au
is called that because of the gold alloy content in the wires, and is also a costly cable because of the same. It presented a very good, rounded sound with a burnished and refined midrange and plenty of macro and micro dynamics. Very pleasant overall, if a little less top end extension than the Palladium. A very lovely sound that is extremely seductive.
In the end I would say that these MAC cables, compared to what I had on hand and have heard before (and I’ve played with quite a few), are very good. Steve has built a line with a wide variety of presentations. They do not have a “house sound” but rather seem to be crafted in several different ways to fit into almost any system. Pick the one that matches the sound you like. The cost/performance of the MAC cables truly should be considered before you plunk down big $$$ on some of the more popular retail brands out there.
Thanks again Steve. You are a truly a nice guy to do business with and have created a great product line that deserves far more attention on these forums.