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Wireworld Cables A World Of Difference

 
 
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Old 10-03-2018, 11:13 PM
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jimtranr jimtranr is online now
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Corvallis, OR
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Default Eclipse 8 Speaker Cable replaces Blue Jeans/Belden 10 gauge

Cue up Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”, and you have a succinct summary of my reaction to the replacement of my bedroom system’s Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP 10-gauge speaker cable by Wireworld’s 9-gauge Eclipse 8.

To be fair, a Grand Canyon-wide price gap separates the Blue Jeans from the Wireworld. But as I’ve learned in playing with audio since acquiring a Fisher 500C receiver at the Subic Bay Navy Exchange 54 long years ago, the higher-priced spread may indeed produce “different” without achieving “better”--or, in a few instances, “even as good”. That, however, is not the case here. The Eclipse 8 wins out in every aural, spatial, and gut-response respect, and the comparison is not even close.

What led me to consider replacing the Blue Jeans was my experience with the Eclipse 8 interconnects that replaced Eclipse 7s in the bedroom system. If I could achieve the improvements in greater tonal accuracy and a more transparent, closer-to-the-performance spatial presentation with one-generation-newer Wireworld interconnects, how much more might I be able to realize with their speaker-cable equivalent installed in place of the overachieving budget cable that has stood me in what I consider good stead over the last several years?

After consultation with a wizard named Ivan the Magician, I ordered a 3-meter-long set of banana-terminated Eclipse 8 speaker cables. By the time they arrived, I’d already put more than 130 playing hours on the new interconnects, so I deemed those burned in enough to mentally “bake in” their sonic signature—or more aptly, the absence of same, given their uncolored transparency--before I began evaluating the speaker cable.



As suggested by the photo above, the Eclipse 8’s diameter is just a few centimeters shy of that of a garden hose. The cable’s also not quite as flexible as what I water my rhododendrons through, though I had no problem snaking it into the bottom bay of the system’s equipment cabinet for connection to the c-j Sonographe SA250 amp’s aftermarket-installed Cardas speaker terminals.

The cables are “directional”, and raised black letters stamped onto the black cable-separator housing at each end identify “AMP END” and “SPEAKER END”, respectively, to guide the user in connecting them for optimal performance.

There are banana plugs, and there are banana plugs. Those installed on the Eclipse 8 provide the tightest, most secure fit I’ve ever encountered with that termination type. Each plug required more than a little “push” to seat it totally inside its corresponding banana jack. The photo below shows how the cable connects to the system’s right Paradigm Studio 20. Note that the nearest plug still has a way to go, though even in that state it didn’t wiggle when touched. After shooting the photo, I gave that plug one more grunt-assisted push to fully seat it. I’m convinced that there’s no way in you-know-where that the plugs will break signal contact short of a major catastrophe.



The 13’x11’ bedroom is my primary “critical” listening venue, and my ever-tolerant spouse has allowed me to transform it into a virtual Stonehenge populated with GIK megaliths to tame its ruder acoustic impulses. The equipment complement is modest, consisting largely of winning-eBay-bid used and “customer-return” components (DAC, amp, and speakers) forming a music reproduction chain fed by a laptop that outputs 16/44 CD rips and high-resolution (24/48 through DSD128 and 24/352.4) music files via JRiver Media Center 24.

While I didn’t finalize my assessment of the Eclipse 8 speaker cables until I’d burned them in for at least 100 hours with 13-hour-per-day continuous playback of a variety of orchestral and massed choral scores, I sneaked in some listening sessions along the way. And I wasn’t the only one.

At about Hour Eight, my wife auditioned the Turtle Creek Chorale’s performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Make Our Garden Grow” from “Candide” (16/44 rip, Reference Recordings), the same track she had used to determine that the Eclipse 8 interconnects offered “clearer” output than what she’d heard with the Eclipse 7 ICs in place. Now, with the new speaker cable installed, she listened through the entire track without comment before pronouncing her pithy judgment: “There’s no stress.”

That succinct assessment articulates what’s even far more evident now with the Eclipse 8 speaker cables after more than 120 playback hours: a sense of effortless reproduction of whatever program is thrown at the system. And with “no stress” comes--particularly with recordings engineered to convey the boundaries and “feel” of the recording venue itself--(1) a soundstage that’s not only broader and deeper, but also more palpably three-dimensional, layered, and ambience-rich “airy”, (2) vocal and instrumental tonality that breathes “purer” and more timbrally nuanced across the frequency spectrum, and (3) a sensation of compression-free dynamics, whatever the range of the dynamic swing in, say, Manfred Honeck’s recent Grammy-award reading of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony (24/192 download) or Bernstein’s reading of his symphonic suite from his “On the Waterfront” film score (24/192 remastered download of the excellent Howard Scott-produced 1960 Columbia release).

If you’ve followed my accounts of the bedroom system’s piece-by-piece upgrade journey over the last year-and-a-half, you may have noted a recurring theme: how each upgrade has improved the illusion of being able to reach in and touch the performers. That’s not just an imaging or soundstage thing. It also reflects just how realistically voices and instruments “breathe” their individual tonalities and sonorities—bottom to top, bass drum to brushed cymbals--into the space around them to create a sense of what I call “within-the-room musical presence”.

Given the placement and acoustic limitations of my listening space, I thought I had wrung out all of that “being-there” sensation I could possibly hope for with the Eclipse 8 interconnect/Blue Jeans speaker-cable combination in place. Wrong—by a wide margin. With anything approaching decently-recorded program, the Eclipse 8 speaker cable has “disappeared” the Studio 20s well beyond what I’d achieved with the earlier configuration.

Happiness is.

Thanks, Ivan. You were right. As usual.
__________________
Jim

Bedroom:Win 10 laptop/JRiver Media Center 25, TEAC UD-501, Audio Research LS16, Sonographe SA250, Paradigm Studio 20 v.5, Shunyata Hydra Delta D6, Wireworld Eclipse 8 ICs and Eclipse 8 SC, Shunyata Delta XC v2, Delta NR v1, Venom 10NR, and Venom 14 Digital PCs, Shunyata Alpha USB cable, Shunyata Venom Defender v2, PS Audio Power Port, Stillpoints Ultra Minis, Stillpoints Aperture II and GIK Alpha 4A acoustic panels.

Home Office: Win 10 HP PC/JRiver Media Center 25, Uptone Audio REGEN/LPS-1, TEAC UD-501 DAC, Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk II passive line stage, conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250, Paradigm SE-1, Wireworld Silver Starlight 7 USB, WW Eclipse 7 & Equinox 6 ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP speaker cable, Shunyata Hydra, Shunyata Venom 10NR and Wireworld Electra PCs, Sony BDP-S590 (used as SACD ripper)

Living Room: Win 10 laptop/JRiver Media Center 25, Uptone Audio ISO REGEN/LPS 1.2, TEAC UD-501 DAC, SOTA Sapphire III, Origin Live Encounter Mk3c/Ortofon 2M Black, Graham Slee Era Gold V, McIntosh MR77, Oppo BDP-83, conrad johnson Premier 17LS & MF2500, Paradigm SE-3. Wireworld Starlight 7 USB, WW Eclipse 7 and Equinox 6 ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP SC. Shunyata Hydra 8 v2, Shunyata Delta NR PC, Wireworld Electra 7, and 5/2 PCs, Hubbell HBL5362 duplex outlet, GIK standard 244, scatter-plate 244, and Monster traps.
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