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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Well Kept Secrets Dept. - Actinote MN-83 coaxial/digital cable

I'm not a cable freak... I used to love cable swapping when - years ago - I was using Futterman's H3AAA and Stax F-81, Basis Debut turntable and Syrinx PU-3 arm with Koetsu Rosewood Signature and Audio Research SP-10 pre-amp... I well remember those days... high wages x buying ratio, avidly reading The Absolute Sound and L'Audiophile magazines and... always looking for more and more "cable emotions" after the last rave review: Van den Hul, Yamamura, Tara Labs., XLO, Cardas, Kimber, Isoda and other exotic brands I was purchasing through Walt Bender's Audiomart ads magazine.

After slowly, BUT straight as a (slow) arrow going for horns and triodes, I began quitting the above mentioned expensive strings and ropes and... it was like I had to re-learn from scratch, BUT using my own ears and NOT reviewer's taste, how to connect my system gears... old Siemens' German-made and Western Electric's cotton speakers cable, silver Mundorf's and Eichmann's silver bullets RCAs, Supra Lo-Rad and Actinote's mains cables... that's it... an apparently complex system linked together with simple, cheap almost banal cables.

In the last couple of years I swapped to an ALL silver signal cables combo - i.e. the a.m. solid-core Mundorf's in cotton sleeve and Eichmann's Silver Bullets and I reached a very nice musicality: balanced, unfatiguing, smooth... exactly the contrary of commonly read in magazines and among audiophiles which & who describes silver wire as icy, cold and dry sounding!

Few days ago, I swapped the Franz Hinterlehner loaned (expensive) Nordost's 75 ohm/digital cable I was using between disk-player and the TacT RCS XP 2.2-AAA pre-amp/room-corrector/DAC with an old, better, a new old stock, Actinote MN-83 digital cable, always generously loaned by a friend.

It seems my enamourement for hi-end, salon cables will be revamped, folks... 83 cm of cable with WBT male RCAs are able to GREATLY improve overall digital playback, period.

Yes, I know... I'm discovering hot water... BUT, as always, adding an ingredient to a recipe can be awfully bad or heavenly good... and this last was the case.

I've been VERY impressed by improved resolution, broader and far, FAR better focused soundstage... furthermore, all the halos and codas after instruments stand still, at the end of a piece, is MUCH more "here"... new layers of ambient informations are, easily, "here", also on better knew recordings.

The Nordost - worth several hundreds euros - simply disappears vs. Actinote MN-83... bleached vs. beefy, cold vs. lively, slightly unnatural vs. natural and surprising at every phrase.

Apparently still available - and extremely honestly priced - on the market, also if with a very shy distribution, worldwide, Actinote proved to be a true winner... sure it's a new benchmark in my system, between disk player and DAC... and something I'll do not leave to go so easily;-)

My friend is well advised... and Gotorama's overall sonic beauty further improved... for cheap!


Dave said...

Can you tell me where the Actinote cables can be purchased?

twogoodears said...

Hi Dave... here directly or through distributors...
Good chance.