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  #101  
Old 10-21-2018, 06:37 AM
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Congratulations with you power cords , and happy listening. I look forward to hear more on how they progress.
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  #102  
Old 10-26-2018, 04:43 AM
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I am thinking about going from the Premiums to the Reference myself. I have premiums on my QX-5 and AX-5 Twenty Ayre units and they are great, but I suspect Reference would be a big step up. I swear by Transparent. Good choice.
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  #103  
Old 10-27-2018, 07:31 AM
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Work and other demands have kept me from getting more time in with the Premiums, but I had a 2:11 session last Sunday, though that was primarily background music as I did other things. Sunday was various CDs, including For God and Country: Forty Hymns of Joy (organ, percussion, and brass, another reference) and a CD of Bach cello suites. Monday, I squeezed in a 41-minute session and watched video clips from Yes Live at Montreaux and Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Live from Madison Square Garden; these are reference discs on the video side.

The two main tracks off For God and Country are "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" and "The Strife is O'er" (one of the few post-Reformation Catholic hymns to make it into the Protestant hymnbook). "Fortress" sounded even more powerful than I remember it, especially the climax. Glorious! And "Strife" has a low organ note in the second stanza that was more hit-or-miss with other power cords; here it's more consistently present than before, "steadier" comes to mind. Then with the Bach disc, the cello sounded like a cello to me, with just that little bit more of the bow-on-string resonance. Fairly subtle, but that's how it sounded.

With the Yes DVD, there was a greater sense of clarity to the sound than with the HPPC (which wasn't bad at all). That's not to say anything sounded obscure before; perhaps "cleaner," "sharper," or "open" are better words. And the lower end filled in a bit more, enough to be noticeable, especially in the low synth note underneath the organ run just before the final verses of "Awaken." It had an increased presence. I'll probably play this again with the volume up a bit more; my standard volume is 42 on my C2300, but I was playing this at 36. Comments on the other tracks I listened to would echo the improved presence of the low notes. On "Them Changes" from the Clapton/Winwood DVD, "solid" is the word I'd use. The kickdrum had more punch, and maybe a bit more of Steve Winwood's rhythm guitar came out under Clapton's lead. This one is recorded so well that my normal volume is almost too much, so I turned this one down to 36 as well. The word "cleaner" comes to mind again, though not as much as the Yes disc.

I think that all this is due to improvement in the bottom frequencies. Evan at Transparent said that when you get to the 10–12 AWG range, geometry has bigger impact than mere gauge. The Premiums have a filter network on them; the HPPCs don't. I wouldn't be surprised if that's not the main reason for much of what I hear so far. Then, I've always believed that heavier gauge meant better signal transfer and won't discount that as a factor, recalling the improvement I heard going from Kimber 8TC to 12TC speaker cable (9 AWG to 8 AWG). With the 12TC there was more atmosphere, more air around the music, as opposed to any noticeable changes in the music itself; the music breathed a bit more.

When I get to around 20 hours I'll consider the Premiums broken in and think about whether I want to play with tubes at all. I have Gold Lion, Mullard, JJ High-Performance, regular JJ, and NOS Amperex tubes I could try.
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VPI, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP, TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner; Day-Sequerra antenna; Oppo backup BDP; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh CD, preamp, power amps; Gold Lion preamp tubes; Kimber, Transparent IC/SC, IC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks

Last edited by prepress; 10-29-2018 at 10:39 AM.
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  #104  
Old 11-21-2018, 04:08 PM
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Having decided not to wait for the full 20 hours (with some "influence" from others on the forum), I swapped out the Black Diamond tubes in my C2300 for Gold Lions. In limited listening, I've not heard any difference with regard to my earlier comments about the sound characteristics of the Premiums. I hear the same bottom frequency qualities described previously, and any other differences are from the tubes. That, to me, is a positive for the Premiums. If anything, the sound going forward might indicate what effect (if any) the tubes have on the Premiums' performance.

It is time to pull out the same discs I used with the BDs in the 2300 and compare that sound to what I heard before. Perhaps I'll get to do that this weekend.
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VPI, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP, TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner; Day-Sequerra antenna; Oppo backup BDP; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh CD, preamp, power amps; Gold Lion preamp tubes; Kimber, Transparent IC/SC, IC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks
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  #105  
Old 12-01-2018, 12:10 PM
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Despite having the Premiums for about five and a half weeks, they have only 18 hours on them. What has been consistent, even when I jumped the gun and swapped tubes on 11/12, is their attributes as displayed in my setup.

What has emerged overall is a fuller, slightly more detailed bottom end. Maybe "refined" is a good word to use. There was perhaps a bit more punch with the Black Diamond tubes over the Gold Lions I use in my preamp currently, but the PC's characteristics stand, still present but affected by the tube change. I wonder if, when my wallet recovers from the holidays and the heavy spending over the last month and a half (which now includes replacing two crowns, though insurance covers most of it), I might not explore the idea of putting a Premium on my preamp. That might be overkill, putting a 10AWG cord on a preamp, but the difference changing from a WW Electra to the Transparent HPPC was so dramatic, I'd consider doing it. I think a custom length (1.5m) would still be $600, though.
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VPI, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP, TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner; Day-Sequerra antenna; Oppo backup BDP; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh CD, preamp, power amps; Gold Lion preamp tubes; Kimber, Transparent IC/SC, IC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks
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  #106  
Old 12-08-2018, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrubTheHedgehog View Post
I am thinking about going from the Premiums to the Reference myself. I have premiums on my QX-5 and AX-5 Twenty Ayre units and they are great, but I suspect Reference would be a big step up. I swear by Transparent. Good choice.
I have dealt with both Evan and (mostly) Demos at Transparent and found them to be helpful, and I never thought or felt I was being "sold" anything. Demos even suggested at one point that I would be in good shape with an all-HPPC setup for the foreseeable future, and I think he's right; curiosity took over on the Premiums, not a sense of missing anything with the HPPCs.

If you haven't done it, call or send an e-mail to Transparent to discuss your intentions. I'm confident you'll get some good insights to help in your decision.
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VPI, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP, TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner; Day-Sequerra antenna; Oppo backup BDP; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh CD, preamp, power amps; Gold Lion preamp tubes; Kimber, Transparent IC/SC, IC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks
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