For a while now, the dealer I have purchased most of my current system from has been singing the praises of
the XLO Signature 3 speaker cable. He`s a good guy with a lot of experience in the business and he`s not afraid to call a spade a spade. He also doesn`t impress easily and isn`t given to hyping the weak and / or lame. I was in his shop last week and he offered to let me take home a set ( actually two sets ) of these cables which he had brought in for someone who had backed out of the deal. This was so I could see what he was always going on about. So, what the hey, right ? Frankly, I was a little nervous - I could envision our cat chewing them up or some other cataclysm coming to pass which would force me to spend the weekend knocking over convenience stores to come up with the $$$ to pay for the bloody things and they are not
These cables come in a large and heavy wooden "display case " which is the kind of of thing which makes you wonder about the price / value balance but on the plus side, I figured the box was probably big and sturdy enough to be of use somehow for the end-user. It's almost big enough to hold all the cash these cables cost. Or you cound hide in there from your wife....
Sticker shock aside, I hooked 'em up in my system and the initial reaction was...huh? I was listening to the remaster of Steely Dan's The Royal Scam
and the high hat in " Kid Charlemagne" was just about enough to drive me out of the room. It occurred to me that they may not have seen a whole lot of break-in time so I gave 'em a chance to open up during a four-hour listening session and before long, the patience began paying dividends. There was a real sweetening of the high end and I noticed that the decay of cymbals was the most natural I could recall hearing. The high hat which originally made my eyes water tamed down to the point where it sound just...like high hats sound. Lots of "air" between instruments, vocals which seemed distant to me before became much clearer and better defined. Details which I hadn't heard before like kick drum parts on Porcupine Tree's Deadwing
became audible and passages where the music built up to a furious crescendo did so without loss of detail. On " Pastime Paradise" form Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life
, the synth and vocal lines just hung in the air like a holograph - awesome ! Soundstage is deep and everything is in its proper place. Really dynamic presentation with super tight bass - everything sounds right
Well, time to tear 'em down and get 'em ready to go back to my dealer. I must say that I'm really glad I got the chance to hear these impressive cables in my system. I also really wish I'd never had the chance to hear these impressive cables in my system...
System : Bryston BCD-1 CDP / Manley Jumbo Shrimp preamp / Bryston 7B SST Sq amps / Tice power conditioner / PMC FB1i speakers