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Customer Reviews

     On this page you will find customer reviews of our  Link family of interconnects please click in the pictures for reviews of our matching Link Family of loudspeaker and power cables

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For press reveiws please see our news page

 

 

Review Of The Link  Interconnect

By

Mick Bradshaw 

Customer of Missing Link Products

A Review of products now in use in my system.

System

   Purpose built house extension/music room 11.5ft x 19.5ft x 9ft center section (ceiling pine clad & pitched) strengthened floor and acoustically treated, dedicated mains and direct earth via copper spike, buss bar type connection to system :-only one plug between system and mains consumer unit (fitted with 30 amp mcb) all mains home made heavy duty silver plated cable +gold plated IEC plugs + EPS 500 Silver plated mains plug.

 Vinyl  -  Rega P25 + Goldring 1042 cartridge

CD -  Musical Fidelity 24 x 96 up-sampling player

Amps  -   XTC Pre1 & Power1 set up in bi-amp mode.

Speakers  -  Kef Reference 4.2s

wpe1.jpg (36131 bytes)

 Music - CD - Alabama3--- Frank Zappa

  Vinyl    -    Wishbone Ash, The Christians, Moody Blues etc

Not to forget my friends ears

   Cables used prior to Missing Link purchases :-  VDH The First Ultimate cd-pre, The Second pre-power , Lat International SS 800 4x2mtr runs, also used VDH CS122, Campaign Audio Design and Nordost interconnects, so after a long process of elimination I thought I had found the perfect cables for my system. However after seeing an ad  on hififorsale (silver cable £2 per mtr) I thought I’ll have to have some to play with, to cut a long story short I e-mailed Mark at The Link products and after some chin wag decided to try some Sling shot speaker cable, while waiting for the Slingshot to arrive I made up some interconnects with the £2 cable doubling up the cores and carefully re-fitting the screen as Alaqeia, I earthed the braid at one end only. I promptly plugged this between the pre-power replacing the VDH Second I was quite amazed at the result the extra detail was amazing at £2 plus phono plugs I was impressed, I could not wait to hear the Slingshot, It duly came about a week later I replaced the Lat runs with the bi-amp run of Slingshot, my first impression was where did all the extra detail come from I kept looking round because I thought someone had come into the room! Diction had become as clear as a bell, I also thought there was a lot more space around the instruments, I would say the only thing it was lacking was the bass extension of the Lat, but as the cable was brand new I expected the sound to change as it burnt in, and indeed after the passing of several weeks it goes lower than a snakes belly in a wheel rut.

   Spurred on by the superior sound of the Slingshot I ordered an Alaqeia interconnect with Eichmann bullet plugs, by this time the speaker cable was performing superbly and I was using the home made version of the Alaqeia between pre-power, via vinyl the system sounded very detailed ,wide open soundstage, cd sounded smooth ,powerful bass in particular ( I suspect this was the VDH)  when I replaced it with the Alaqeia I must admit I was a little skeptical, my fears were completely unfounded the Alaqeia with the Eichmann’s proved superb from first switch on again a whole new level of detail was opened up Roger Waters was hitting my ears from the side of the room , dogs barking, animals leaping out of the Kef’s growling Amazing, the little things like percussive whacks on the edge of the drum, crickets in the background all became as clear as day .The upshot is the VDH interconnects and LAT speaker cable have gone. All of the changes I have made have been verified by all my friends in our hi-fi anoraks club they came they listened they were impressed I was knackered jumping up and down swapping cables over,( had to resort to drinking beer to keep cool).

   The final part of this story is the best Mark ( Missing Link Products) has very kindly made me up a brand new Interconnect The Link  hyper pure silver construction at present it is burning in between pre-power amps, my set up has never been short of bass grunt or sound staging , nothing prepared my ears for the result of plugging in this cable the earth shakes ,and you can reach out and get autographs from the depth of the soundstage the first Wishbone Ash album on vinyl has a bass solo on it I can honestly say I was transported back 30+ years to the Mayfair Ballroom at Newcastle the noise jumping out of the Kef’s was so lifelike , Ever last  Eat At Whiteys cd  which can be  harsh at high volume was immense the string arrangements were vivid and detailed but never harsh ,the bass like being hit by a fist in velvet glove it just makes you want to wind up the volume, I have to say it’s got this sad 50 something git up with the air guitar!!

I think this range of cables are amongst the best sounding you will get anywhere at any price and are the best upgrades I have made in all my years mucking about with Hi-Fi.

Mick Bradshaw- geordie  Hi-Fi ,music,nut.

PS. If anyone thinks that these are the rantings of a loony, they are quite welcome to come and listen and judge for themselves I live in South East Northumberland and can be contacted at michael@bradshaw4004.fsnet.co.uk all I ask bring your own music and beer!!!.

 

 

Review Of The Link Cryo Interconnect

 By

John Kirby

System

Dedicated mains spur for listening room.

ShanlingCDT 100 CD Player modified by Parts Connextion of Canada

Michell/Origin Live/Koetsu record deck with VC power supply

Tom Evans modified Audiolab Q Preamp

Audiolab MX monobloc Power amps (x 4)

Graham Slee Modified Phono Stage with separate power supply

Proac 3.5 s

Nordost SPM and Red Dawn Interconnects.

Nordost Red Dawn bi-wired speaker cable.

 Also used 

Cyrus CD 7Q CD Player                        Arcam 7SE CD Player

Cyrus 6 Integrated Amp                         Arcam 7 Integrated amp

Mission 752 Speakers                             Tannoy MX 3 Speakers

Audioquest Ruby Interconnects              Cambridge Audio Interconnects

QED Profile Speaker Cable Bi-wired     Cable Talk 3 Speaker Cable Bi-wired

Music

 CD

Melissa Etheridge                   Robin Crow                      Eva Cassidy

Self Titled                               Electric Cinema                Songbird

 The Eagles                              Tracy Chapman                Natalie Merchant

+ Many more

 

 Vinyl

Norah Jones                           Bob Dylan                        Bob Marley

Come Away With Me           Blood on The Tracks        Birth of a Legend

 Bruce Springsteen                 Flaming Lips                    Gold frapp

The Rising                             Yoshimi Battles               Black Cherry

  + many more                                       

 

 Setting the Scene

   There I was really pleased with myself, that rarest of mythical beasts, a real honest to God bargain. Two metres of Nordost Red Dawn Interconnect bought second hand from a high end American website for less than one of my appendages.  Cut it in half and I have two one metre lengths of the most coveted cables in audiophile circles, what a genius ….not. Nobody And I do mean nobody would under take the job, too difficult, cant be done etc. Tried Nordost Uk, ah, yes you need a special tool, very difficult ,delicate operation, but we can do it. Cost… two arms and both my legs, completely negating the saving I was trying to make in the first place. I then saw an advert on Hi Fi For Sale offering all kinds of cable type things including reterminating interconnect cables, This is how I first met Mark Sears of The Missing Link. He not only did a very professional job using Eichmann Silver Bullet connectors ,he did it for a ridiculously fair price very quickly. I was now a very happy bunny indeed, the Red Dawn installed was everything I thought it would be, my system had taken another step towards HiFi heaven. More purchases were made for even more money Nordost SPM was quickly followed by Red Dawn Speaker cable, I could not afford to eat but as I said before HiFi heaven was beckoning me closer. Then I got a follow up e mail from Mark asking how the cable he had terminated was holding up. I proceeded to brag about my system and how the Nordost cables were wonderful, fabulous, a gift from the gods etc, etc, I must have bored the pants off him. As I was to discover Mark was kind, patient, extremely knowledgeable about all things hifi and generally very helpful. He mentioned almost in passing that he had a cable he thought was pretty good and would I like to try it? He had done such an excellent job on the Red Dawn for me that it would have been churlish for me to refuse. The Alaqeia duly arrived next day,( he is annoyingly efficient)  I reluctantly removed the Red Dawn and replaced the CD to Preamp connection with the Alaqeia……..HiFi Hell, not a happy bunny anymore. Here was a cable costing a fraction of the price of my bargain Red Dawn performing to about 98% of the Red Dawn capability. Definitely not quite, but almost, just about, Im trying to be objective here but failing miserably. Well think about it Ive gone to all the trouble of getting the stuff from the States, paying for the Eichmanns and retermination and when I E mail Mark to tell him that the Alaqeia is just about on a par with the Red Dawn he calmly replies “ Yes, I know”. I try to save a little face by saying that The Alaqeia although on a par with the Red Dawn does not quite match up to the SPM I am quietly informed he is developing Three cables that will be better than the Alaqeia, the Link, the Link Cryo, and the Link Cryo Reference, now Im really depressed, HiFI hell indeed,  Mark then suggests I try the Link Cryo, so I did….. and this is what happened.

 The Link Cryo

The cable arrived as promised on Tuesday morning and was first connected between the CD player and the Preamp.I put on a disc and left it to burn in for the next three days. After more than eighty hours of burning in ( I was having to undergo the same process with the upgraded valves I had put into the Shanling ) I began my listening tests. First up was a track I know really well , Similar Features from Melissa Etheridges first album. This song has a particularly deep growling bassline that underpins the percussion and guitars, it went deeper than I had ever heard it before, you could hear the strings being plucked and the notes starting and stopping with real speed. Fine I thought lets throw something a little more difficult at you, Robin Crow, a guitarist supreme has a cd called Electric Cinema and on this a track Seven Leagues where the guitar races across the soundstage from left to right and back again and again. The Cryo dealt with this easily , the sound stage was projected above and behind the speakers, the imaging immense and the speed was phenomenal……. three dimensional? You bet it was. I got so involved listening to the music the whole cd was finished before I realised that I was only going to listen to the one test track. Disc after disc followed, In quick succession I had Eva Cassidy literally sitting in my room between the speakers breathing all over me, Elvis Costello gently caressing the keys of a piano then hitting them so hard that I sat bolt upright, hearing a tambourine that I didn’t know existed on a Janis Ian track I have played over and over. On the  Eagles Hell Freezes Over cd I have a favourite test track Hotel California, it is a live recording that I always use to audition new equipment, not because I think it’s a great piece of music but because it is a very busy dense recording with lots going on. Just after the guitar solo intro a girl shouts “Whooh” from the back of the hall, or rather she did, with the Cryo she has moved all the way to the front, and is now yelling in my ear. I have chosen only a few examples from my listening notes, I could go on and on but I wont bore you with repetition. What about the Nordost, well it has put its hands in its pocket and quietly tip toed away. I can honestly say that the big improvement that the Nordost brought to my system has been bettered by an even bigger margin by the Cryo . Nowhere was this more apparent than Jascha Heifetz, perhaps the worlds greatest ever virtuoso violinist playing Johan Sebastian Bachs

Sonatas and Partitas, the sound of gut on strings, his raspy breathing, the scrape of a music stand, all of this on a RCA recording more than fifty years old.

So much for cd, I played all kinds of music for several days, the results were pretty uniform. The Cryo brings a huge three dimensional soundstage, above, behind and a first for me outside the speakers. There is more air around individual instruments, notes start and stop rapidly or when needed to decay ,the piano for instance, do so forever. Bass is deep, cavernous and is not just one heavy thud but is made up of individual notes that can be identified. Imaging is fantastic and you can easily tell different kinds of drums, hi hats, drumsticks and wooden blocks, in fact any percussive instrument seems to take on its own identity. Female vocals are projected as if they are in the room, treble is light and airy, never harsh, tinny or sibilant. I know this sounds as if this cable is the answer, and it is, however there is a downside….. at least with cd. 

This cable is extremely detailed and musical, it is as neutral a cable as I have ever heard and I have heard most of the top end cables costing thousands of pounds. Neutral means it adds nothing and takes away nothing, you get exactly what is on the disc, warts and all, it is very unforgiving of poor recordings .I have a very wide and eclectic taste in music, ( see list of test recordings) I occasionally dabble in Techno and House and have a cd by Rob Dougan, Furious Angels, that I can no longer listen to. This digital recording is faithfully reproduced by the Cryo in all its glory and is so harsh and tinny as to be unlistenable, on some older recordings the hissing of the master tape can be heard in the background, this cable withholds nothing, I for one can certainly live with that.

The Cryo was then connected between my Michell record deck and the stand alone phono stage, lets see what it can do with vinyl!

The answer is everything, a warmth and softness on certain tracks at no expense of clarity, simultaneously opulent and highly detailed with effortless presentation. Its vice like control of the midrange brings female vocals into the room, high frequency notes are reproduced with lightning speed and clarity all with an increased level of information over the unfortunate Nordost. There is a more direct connection to the music, the blackness from which the notes emerge is darker, the music sounding more defined with much greater resolution, I felt as if I had been moved right to the front of the stage. I have a Nora Jones recording, Come Away With Me, this is recorded on Quiex SV-P 200gm vinyl on which the sound of her fingers moving up and down the neck of her guitar is so clear you cant believe what you are hearing so you play it again and again. Records that were not on my test list were dragged out and played all the way through, it seemed as if I had a new record collection. I did look for a downside listening to the Cryo reproduce the sound of vinyl but try as I might I could not find one, reproduction as accurate as ever ,neutral as I said before, simply wonderful.

Finally I tried the Cryo as a connection between the pre and power amp with much the same results. The system sounded as if it had been given a huge injection of adrenalin, tighter bass, more defined vocals and insruments, I wont labour the point. 

This is a wonderful cable, accurate, musical and neutral , it exceeds all price/performance expectations, what more can a seeker of Hi Fi Heaven ask for?

Actually I will answer my own rhetorical question…. the next cable up is The Cryo  Reference and this seeker of HiFi Heaven wants it!

I believe that Missing Link offer the cables they make for a home trial ( please check these facts with Mark ) try the cable that fits your budget/system Im sure you will be as impressed as I was.

Just for the record I have no connection with Mark or The Missing Link company, I am simply a very happy and satisfied customer who has received excellent service and advice.

John Kirby  

Customer of The Missing Link 

  Peter Hambry

Audio Enthusiast & Music Lover based in Hereford

Tested The Link Cryo-Reference  

System

R Developments Romulus Valve Integrated Amp

Linn Karik Transport (John Dory BNC solid silver link digital cable)

Linn Numerik DAC with smps power supply

Zingali Overture 3s Omniray Horn speakers

Nordost Red Dawn, Interconnects & Bi amp Speaker Cables,

Other kit used as reference: to help gauge performance....

John Shearne Phase 2 & 3 reference amps

John Shearne Phase 7 HDCD player

Roksan Attessa Transport/DAC/Power supply & a friends Nad/Marantz system.

Cd’s used

Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way

Turin Brakes – Ether song

1812 Overture (with digital cannons) Tel arc Reference recording

Classical Collections – Best Classic Album in the world ever

Neil Young – Silver & Gold HDCD

Neil Young – Harvest Moon

The Corrs – Unplugged (live)

Robbie Williams – Escapology

Nora Jones – Come away with me

Marillion – Clutching at Straws & Fugazi (24 bit re-masters)

Coldplay – Rush of blood to the head

Pink - Missunderztood

Gomez – In our Gun

And many more, just wanted to explain I tried a vast array of different music styles and disks, 24 bit/HDCD/reference recordings/live/standard pop & rock etc.

Summary findings and test

The testing started Friday 9th May and finished Wednesday 21st, I tried different times of the day, but that didn’t matter. I have my own special electric feed for the Music System, direct from the power supply, this is fitted up with the Kimber power cable, I was very serious and wanted to get the best sound possible, without the pops/clicks and rubbish the fridge/freezer/washing machine etc etc used to degrade the sound a bit now and again.

From the off I started with my system and Red Dawn to warm to that sound to gauge a difference if I could. Which I think is a very impressive system anyway to me. One I am very happy to live with over prolonged listening, detail without  fatigue.

Then it was time to try The Link Cryo Reference well blow me down, I just didn’t realize just how capable my system was. Vocals were projected in a greater 3 dimension (more depth than before), soundstage grew wider, detail was on a different planet, acoustic guitars so crisp and clean, violins, piano notes, drums and symbols. Harmonicas & vocals on the Neil Young disks were sharper and had greater focus. All round simply superb, clarity was crystal clear as bottled water, there was more of every single bit of the music, instruments on the classical piece were so separate you could pick out each instrument and touch them, Nora Jones’ vocals were simply sexy seductive and stunning as was Andrea Corrs’, You could pick out voices and detail that to me I didn’t know existed or if I did they were clearer and more detailed, (to think the Red Dawn Stuff cost me £1300). I will be changing to The Link Cryo Ref. I heard enough to convince me after just 3 days, 8 days on and I’d been through over ½ my c.d. collection twice. Heaven!!!!

Conclusion

I can only think of positive things to say, no flaws at all, every time I played a different disk I heard a better sound than I could remember from before, I don’t just mean a different sound, it was without doubt better. Even the wife heard a difference for the better and she’s a total sceptic to my Hifi spending world!

The only thing I would like to politely point out if I may is the Revealing Explicit, Musical Nature of this cable might be best used with £1000+ components, because I think it there is a possible ability to show up failings or short comings if your system isn’t up to it. Sorry I didn’t mean to offend anyone. But when I plugged in the John Shearne & the Nad pre-power/Marantz 6000 KI sig, it wasn’t too much different from the Red Dawn. But it was very noticeable when the Valve amp was used in between either the Linn combo or the Roksan combo. (please take into consideration on a sound per pound scale The Link would still take the honors in my book because it’s £100 cheaper than the Nordost). The Shearne amps are quite a bit cheaper than the Valve amp, but the cable matched better with the fluidity of the valve sound, more than the cheaper transistor class a/b, though the cable did not reveal failings, it only revealed a bit more but not much (that could be the amps/cd players didn’t have anymore to offer though), but please realize the earlier comment of sound per pound.

For those of you who like ratings, this is no joke:

*****           Value 30 out of 10           *****

*****           Sound 20 out of 10          *****

Top marks, This is a definite Best Buy Award and Highly Recommended to any serious audio lover, I have tried lots of cables, at lots of prices, Van Den Hul / Chord / QED / Cable Talk / Audioquest / Ixos/ Sonic Link / Nordost / Ecosse.

The Link Cyro Reference is the Best I’ve heard without doubt, plain and simple. If your system is good enough you’ll hear more than you ever have, I am positive it would make an already excellent system sound even better, as it did mine. At £200 which is the possible release price it’s a steal, I can’t see a better alternative You can’t lose either when can have it on trial. 

This is not an ad for the cable, it an honest home review/demo.

Kind Regards Pete Hambry.  
Customer of The Missing Link 

 

Simon Granger

 

NORDOST SPM v MISSING LINK CRYO REFERENCE  

Both Cables 1m Balanced

System

Wadia 830 directly into PS Audio HCA-2 Power Amp, Acoustic Precision Eikos single drive unit crossover less speakers,

BCM Engineering speaker stands, MAF supports with marble plinths, Aurios MIB bearings, Nordost Red Dawn Rev II Speaker Cables, Yamamura Churchill

Millennium mains cables, Kimber mains spur.

Music Used

Ritchie Hawtin - DE9 Closer to the edit

Moody Mann - Presents Mahogany Brown

Detroit Escalator Company - Black Buildings

Brian Eno / Harold Budd - The Pearl

Review

The Nordost SPM is a well respected high-end interconnect. It is superbly made and costs around £960 in balanced form and comes complete with a superfluous wooden box.

The Missing Link Cryo Reference is a virtually unknown high-end interconnect that is exactingly made, costs £260 in balanced form and comes with a certificate of authentication verifying the purity of the silver.

This tiny comparison alone should give you an idea of what to expect.

This is not just your typical David & Goliath type scenario, that was pretty much a one-off, one well aimed shot and it was all over. This is more a case of passion, knowledge and dedication versus reputation, marketing and aesthetics.

One of these interconnects is simply massively better than the other and no, its not the high-profile one.

The Nordost is good, it is fast, open, detailed, musical and transparent or rather it used to be.......it is now slow, veiled, mechanical and dull.

The Missing Link excels in all the areas that the Nordost thought it did best -

it is much faster, more, much more transparent, more spacious, more delicate, more precise and more everything really.

I could go into intricate detail about the huge increase in musical involvement

in any of the above recordings, but I don't really need to.

They were good before, but now they are almost religious.  

 

I see now why they supply the Nordost with a wooden box.

Simon Granger  

Customer of The Missing Link 

 

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