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Customer Reviews for the Link Cryo Reference Loudspeaker cable

 

John Smith.

Mark asked me to mention my system and I have listed it at the end for those who are interested. I am sure that you have read lots of gushing reviews about mediocre products, so please bear the following reservations in mind when reading my opinions:

 1)      The construction of the cable may help to dampen my ‘speakers and, therefore, work particularly well in my system.

 2)      I use Mark’s Cryo-Reference interconnects which may complement the speaker cable better than other products.

 3)      There is no substitute for auditioning a product in your own system.

 This cable is very neutral; it has no character and it is like the midfield player who never seems to make a mistake and is never noticed until he leaves.

 As I listened to the first few CDs I noticed the sound stage seemed fuller and more focussed, crescendos had more impact and the bass was tuneful and dry. When I turned to the (hitherto) problem CDs, I realized that the high frequencies were also accurate sweet and clean. This is not a cable that demands attention; it has a balanced organic sound that, although very detailed, is not fatiguing. It excels at reproducing acoustics, decay and timbre (particularly piano).

 If you have to choose between the interconnect and the speaker cables, I suggest buying the interconnect first as it offers the biggest improvement and any loss of information at this stage cannot be recovered downstream.

System.

 Sony SCD 777ES – Battleship SACD/CD player

Audion Golden Nights - 300B SET mono blocks

Quad ESL 57s - venerable electrostatics

Missing Link Cryo-Reference interconnect

Missing Link Opus power cable on the SACD player

 

 

Douglas McCabe

Evaluation of The Missing Link Cryo. Ref. Speaker Cable

Date: 1st - 7th April, 2004

Evaluated by:  Douglas McCabe

 Equipment Used

 - Jadis Orchestra Reference amplifier

- Marantz SA-1 sacd player

- Yamaha NS-1000 speakers

- Missing Link Cryo. Ref. Silver Interconnect

- Aural Symphony isolation platforms

- Advance Constant Voltage Transformer

- I set of 3 Aurios MIBs

- 6 pairs Vibropads

 

Music Used

  1. Mendelsohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1

Helen Huang piano, with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra,

conductor Kurt Masur, Teldec

 

  1. High Life

Arnie Domnerus et al, Track 10 on FIM Audiophile Reference SACD 29

 

  1. Pachabel’s Canon

All Star Percussion Ensemble, Track 16 on FIM Audiophile

Reference SACD 29

 

  1. Autum in New York/My Funny Valentine

Carol Kidd vocals, Track 13 on Carol Kidd Gold, Linn Records

  1. Eldorado

Evelyn Glennie persussion, Track 1 on Light in Darkness, BMG Classics

 

  1. Pictures At An Exhibition

Rodney Kettlewell piano, Pictures At An Exhibition, NBS Listen

 

  1. Fanfare For The Common Man

Artists not named, Ultimate Reference CD, Wilson Audio

 

This evaluation was to compare a pair of the pre release Prototype Missing Link Cryo Silver speaker cables

with my existing Voodoo silver speaker cables purchased about three years ago from

Dope Sounds in Germany, and which were cryogenically treated three months ago. 

These are 3 metres bi-wires (with two-in-one banana connectors for single wire use)

that cost about 450 US$ for the pair, including the cryogenic treatment.

 

I realised that comparing two brands of cryogenically treated silver cables would not be

straightforward and would depend on the music programme selected. 

Silver cable, because of its inherent qualities as a conductor transmits more information

than would be expected from similarly priced copper cable. However, this increase in detail

comes at a price and silver conductors have a reputation for inducing a degree of hardness

to the sound. This must be caused by some loss of information that determines the timbre of the

sounds being reproduced. 

With my existing Voodoo cables I was only able to cure this when I recently replaced my

Diapason Adamantes II LE speakers with a pair of vintage Yamaha NS-1000s purchased on

E-Bay. 

This raises a very important question of speaker-cable interaction, a matter that is hardly

discussed in the hifi press. The sound quality of the Yamahas combined with silver speaker

cables is extremely smooth and neutral and they have an ability to resolve very fine detail and

also produce all the base I want or need together with outstanding stereo imaging and an

impressive sound stage.I doubt I’ll ever need to consider buying another pair of speakers.

 

Because I expected the two silver cables brands would sound very similar and that any

differences would be slight, it seemed that the music would have to be such as to allow minor

variations to be clearly heard. That suggested pieces where solo instruments and small groups

of instruments were the highlight, so items 2, 3, 5, in the list were selected. 

A solo piano piece, Rodney Kettlewell’s Pictures At An Exhibition was included because of the

combination of delicacy and richness of the playing.  Since I enjoy listening to the female voice

I included a number by one of the all-time jazz greats, Carol Kidd, item 4 above. Her voice has

a delicate misty quality that is unique and on this track the occasional sound of her lip

movements and breathing should be heard. Finally, two orchestral tracks were selected, items

1 and 7 above.  Item 1 is a live performance where slight noises from the audience can be

heard and these are very useful reference points for comparing the cables – the more of these

extraneous micro sounds that can be detected, the more information is being transmitted. Track

7 was selected to test for differences in the quality of the bass frequencies reproduced. 

With the exception of the Helen Huang recording, all the discs used were of audiophile quality

where great attention had been paid to the sound engineering.

 

I played the Missing Link Cryo Silver cables for long periods each day for about five days to

acclimatise myself to the sound, using a very wide range of music.  For the final part of the

evaluation, I played the selection listed above repeatedly during the penultimate day to fix the

details of both micro sounds and overall sonic qualities in memory.  The final period involved

changing back to my own silver cables and noting differences in the sounds heard between the

two cable models.

 

Results

 

Micro sounds

 The Voodoo cables produced slightly more information in that more of the micro sounds were

detected on these compared to the Missing Link cables.  This was most evident on the live

performances, and performances where extraneous sounds could be heard, for example, on

track 3, Pachabel’s Canon, where at several points the performer can just be heard changing

the position of his or her feet. Similarly, at the beginning of High Life, when the group

is getting ready to play, the sound of one of the players inhaling can just be heard if one

concentrates closely. It should be stressed that the difference between the cables on this

criterion were very slight.

 

Sound Quality

 The Missing Link cables produced a smoother and more rounded sound.  When they were

replaced with the Voodoo cables at the end, there was a slight but noticeable roughness to the

sound compared to The Missing Link cables.

The richness of Rodney Kettlewell’s performance of Pictures At An Exhibition was

mouth watering played through The Missing Link cables, and the fire in Helen Huang’s

performance of Mendelsohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 shone brightly

and in the second and third movements the sound of the whole orchestra showed a significant

improvement compared to the Voodoo cables, where the wall of ensemble orchestral sound

didn’t have quite the same polish or sharpness.

On Fanfare For The Common Man, the timpani has a shimmer such that the length and quality

of the sonic decay adds greatly to the impact of the deep base and here also The Missing Link

cables had the edge over the Voodoos

The first track of Evelyn Glennie’s disc of avant guard pieces Light in Darkness, where she

plays vibraphone, cymbal and cowbell, is a great test for the musicality of the sounds being

reproduced.  Here also the Missing Link cables were better.

 Cable Build

 On first sight The Missing Link cables looked insubstantial, and this impression is the result of

the two separate cables for each channel being wrapped within a single braided sheath.

The bayonet connectors though are very solidly built and colour coded for easy connection. 

The cables are directional and require the right pair of connectors to be connected to the

amplifier and speaker, and although there was a red label on the pair to be attached to

the speaker, the conventional use of arrows to indicate the correct cable direction would be

an improvement. The connection on all plugs was very solid and tight, and the tough plastic

body of the connectors looked and felt indestructible.

 Value for Money

 The Voodoo cables cost US$450 for a cryogenically treated 3 metre bi-wired pair. 

The Missing Link cables cost about US$1,000 for a cryogenically treated 2.5 metre single wire

pair, which I estimate would translate to roughly US$1,400 for the same length for bi-wired

cables. Although bi-wiring wasn’t needed for this evaluation, these figures allow me to

compare like with like on a value-for-money basis.

 If I was buying high quality, audiophile components to put a system together, and was looking

for a high quality set of speaker cables, and if I had speakers that married well with silver

speaker cables, there is no doubt that The Missing Link Cryo. Silver Speaker Cable would

produce a very satisfying sonic experience.  If for some reason I had cheaper copper cables in

a high end system and was looking to upgrade, then The Missing Link cables would be high on

my list of candidates for an audition. They are smooth and they transmit great detail, and

these cables have that rare quality among audiophile components of being so good that you

know you can relax, forget about other cables and just get on with enjoying the music.

 However, if I already had silver speaker cables it might not be so easy to justify paying the

relatively high price of The Missing Link cables for the increment in improvement that was

undoubtedly experienced in this comparison.  But, the same could be said when considering

the replacement of any component in a high end system.

 

Final Thoughts

 These cables were a real pleasure to audition, I wish I could afford to buy a

pair and I’ll be very sorry to have to return them.

  

Douglas McCabe

Arbroath

7th April, 2004

 

 

David Lau

My system

Musical Fidelity A308cr CD player

Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista DAC 21

Musical Fidelity A308 Dual Mono Amplifier

Audio Physics Tempo 3 loud speakers

Stand unique sound tower rack

Clearlight Audio RDC 2 cones ( amp) and RDC 3 cones (cd)

The Missing Link Dark Art digital coaxial between CD and DAC

The Missing Link Cryo Reference interconnect between DAC and Amplifier

The Missing Link Orbit power cable for amplifier

The Missing Link Opus F power cable for CD and DAC

 

Other equipment used

Proceed transport and Dac

Bill Beard Valve Integrated amplifier

Final panel loud speakers

 

Music used for review

 Eva Cassidy – Songbird

Norah Jones – Come Away With Me

Alicia Keys – Song In A Minor

Einaudi – The Einaudi Collection

Daniel Bedingfield – Gotta Get Thru This

XLO Reference Recording – Test & Burn-In CD

Dido – Life For Rent

Soul II Soul – Vol 4 The Classic Singles 88-93

 

 The Listening

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark and his team at The Missing Link for giving me this pleasure to review The Link Cryo Reference speaker cables.

 

People who know what’s what in hi fi, knows that silver is the best conductor of electricity.  Here is the interesting part. The Link Cryo reference is made of 5n 99.999% purity solid silver cores, so this will be a very interesting listening test.

 

The audition of these speaker cables will be conducted over the period of four days.  Mark has advised me that these cables have had only about eight hours of burn in, so I guess with more hours under its belt it would be more accurate to judge.

 

Nothing prepared me for what I experienced after inserting Eva Cassidy (song bird) into my cd player.  Fields of gold (Track 1) sounded so engaging; Eva’s voice is so pronounced to a point where if you close your eyes, she is singing in your living room.  The sound stage is very wide without sacrificing image. The music just flowed with ease as if I were using electro static panel speakers with each note starting and stopping as they were recorded.  The ambient noise floor is very low to a degree where I can hear the room’s acoustic echo within the studio where Eva recorded her material. One thing I did notice very easily is that, these speaker cables at the higher part of the frequency spectrum, produced notes that I’ve never come across before.  In other words, it was reproducing much more of the music.

 

On the Einaudi (track 9, two sunsets), the piano and the violin sounded so detailed and precise.  I could hear the echo of each note disappearing within the body of the piano and the push and drag used on the violins bow.  During the rest of the track,

I just look over to my other half with eyes wide open and asked her, “Did you hear those water drops in the music????” She replied “NO, what water drops???” As they do. With delight, there it was again, faintly way back in the music. By now, I had a big grin on my face and the water drops were assured by my gal.  This indicates the capability of the cable to reveal very fine details within the music.

 

And finally, I put the cables through the pace of some room shaking stuff to see if the lower end performance matches up to the mids and highs I witnessed.  Soul II Souls (Keep on movin’) is my all time best test track for good old solid bass.  Wow with a capital W.  Not only did the bass have more body and volume, but because we have more clearer mids and higher highs, the whole music piece sounded so natural.  With bass to kill for without it being too overwhelming.  Solidness of the bass could be felt with a big thud without too much of bass extension.  All of these findings were acknowledged by my other half who doesn’t agree with my hi fi expenditure and has promised to buy me a set of these cables, now that’s something, hah???? JJJ

 

I could go on and on with different pieces of music, but to conclude this write up, I would say that these cables are very revealing with dynamics and rhythm to kill for. Timing and pace are just spot on with all kinds of music you throw at it. In my mind The Link Cryo Reference speaker cables has matched any branded cables at any price.  And yes, I have put my name down for a set.

 

I’m happy to answer any questions regarding this write up and can be contacted via E-mail at davidlau@fonesolution.com.

 Many thanks,

 David Lau J

 

 If you are interested in reviewing any of our products please feel free to contact Janet