I just want all y'all to know I am making slow but sure progress in formulating a review of these in - I hope - less than geologic time!
Well stated, Mark.OK, today I reinstalled the EH-500-2 horns on the 2441s and reconstituted the "real hifi". I am listening to the Wailin' Jennys second full-length album, Firecracker, with the Unity Audio cables and they are something fine indeed.
As one of the local gurus would put it, they permit one to listen as deep into music as one wishes. Excellent vocal presence -- this on a system that (ahem) excels at vocal presence anyway. Fine resolving power. I like them.
Great review, Herr Doktor.OK, the cables are in the mail to the next recipient/reviewer.
First and foremost, thanks to the forum, our Peerless Leader (maybe that's Tymphany Leader now due to corporate changes?), and - of course - @cableguy for making this possible.
I have tried to review these blind -- I read (well, at any rate I remember reading) nothing about them, have no idea of their cost, nor have I read any other reviews of them. They came in a USPS Priority Mail box from their last reviewer (@S0und Dragon) and arrived in good condition. Well, mostly good: I noted that, at some point in their transit, one of the soft plastic color-coded insulators on one banana plug had come off. I discovered that the threaded plastic thereof is stripped.
Which leads me to my first, and most negative, comments about these cables. They are attractive, but they are not physically impressive. The quality of the fittings (banana plugs at both ends) is mediocre of best, reminiscent of PartsExpress hardware like https://www.parts-express.com/parts-express-gold-plated-screw-type-banana-plugs-14-8-awg-16-pcs--091-354. The cables are covered with an attractive Techflex-style expanded mesh, obscuring the nature of the underlying cable. Generic looking (EDIT) heat shrink tubing and paper stickers complete the unassuming cosmetic "package". On the "plus" side, the quality of the soldering exposed by the stripped insulator looked good.
DSC_2881 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
I initially installed these between a ridiculous amplifier (the Monoprice-branded morph of an infamous generic Chinese-made "hybrid" vacuum tube/integrated circuit output stage "integrated" amplifier, https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=109&cp_id=10919&cs_id=1091903&p_id=13194&seq=1&format=2) and my normal "FrankenAltec" loudspeakers (q.v.). I've been listening to this pairing rather regularly lately (not for any logical reason, other than perhaps a bit less heat output than my usual amplifier!), and I am, as oft mentioned, phenomenally lazy.
Auditioning of my usual cadre of "demo" tracks on CD (using a low-end Denon DVD player as a transport via a Bryston BDA-1 DAC) showed little if any difference in sound quality between the Cancer Fighters and my usual cables (DIYs based on Canare Star Quad 4S8 "speaker wire"). Actually, if anything, the sound may have been a little harsher; certainly not an improvement, either way.
Fortunately, I didn't stop there I reinserted my normal amplifier (a variant of the venerable JELabs' "Simple 2A3" design built some time back by our own @Redboy) and listened again. As mentioned earlier in this thread, this combination was propitious! Compared to the Canare cables, the Cancer Fighters yielded a noticeably better sense of differentiation between instruments, including the "Sacred Harp" My earlier comments held throughout several days of listening -- a nice, rich, juicy presentation of everything I listened to (including FM radio).
DSC_2876 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
Before packing things up, I finally swapped in a
soiledsolid state amplifier -- a rather unique realization of Nelson Pass's redoubtable "Amp Camp Amplifier" built by a fellow on the Polk Audio forums. This is a single-ended amp delivering about 6 wpc. My general sense of the amp is that it is very good sounding, but it gives up a bit in terms of that glorious, liquid thereness compared to a SE 2A3 amplifier. At any rate, the Cancer Fighters also acquitted themselves well on this amplifier, although (and this is strictly an impression) the difference between them and the Canare cables seemed less obvious on this amp than on the Simple 2A3.
DSC_2871 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
I had originally intended to also try them with more powerful (and more traditional) Class AB solid state amplifiers and lower sensitivity loudspeakers, but I didn't manage to find/make the time to do so. Such amps and speakers are of pretty limited interest to me anyway, so I'll leave that to others!
A final comment related to my impressions of the physical quality of the cables. When I took the cables "down" after the auditions, I noticed with disappointment (but not much surprise), that one of the banana plugs had bent under the weight of the cable when installed on either the 2A3 or the ACA amp. The cables aren't especially weighty, underscoring the unfortunate perception I had of flimsiness of the hardware.
DSC_2883 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
Overall, I like these cables and would consider them very seriously for the SE 2A3 amplifier, depending on their price.
Again, the primary concern is the mediocre physical quality of the fittings used and the overall "fit and finish" relative to modern expectations for better quality audio cables.
Thanks again to all who made this test possible!
When life frees up, add yourself to the list for another try. I'd still love to know your impressions.I owe a huge apology to @cableguy and the Hi Fi Haven community at large. The "missing" Cancer Fighter Speaker Cables have been with me all this time. Not long after receiving the cables last fall, my wife ended up in the hospital, undergoing 3 surgical procedures over a 5 week period. In combination with other unrelated events, I found myself in a situation where my audio time was severely limited. The end result was that I hadn’t turned on my stereo on since last October. I am ashamed to say that the Cancer Fighter Cables lay unseen on the floor behind my speakers and were honestly forgotten until I received a message from @mhardy6647 (thanks, sir) that jarred my memory. The cables are now on their way to @cableguy, after which they can resume their tour of the Hi Fi Haven membership.