Using conventional round cable is like pouring fine wine through a lead pipe. What comes out is definitely not what went in. Continuous Cast Copper (solo crystal copper) braids with our patented hollow oval design put nothing in the way of the musical signal.
I am somewhat surprised that someone has not already written a review on these interconnects! But since I am the first, I will try to be informative as well as helpful.
First of all, I have to admit that I am not fond of cables. I do not mind spending my money on a piece of equipment, but cables, to me, have always been an afterthought, and expense that I would rather not entertain. I have, for years, tried many types and brands of cables, always trying to find that one "giant killer" that would spare me from having to spend what I perceived to be more money than was necessary for cables. Then I purchased an excellent preamp in a Conrad Johnson 17LS, and the preamp was so good with my cheap cables, I wondered what some really good cables would do. It just seemed to be a sin to hook up cheap cables to a preamp of such renown.
Now, I have tried some name brand cables that touted the single crystal philosophy, namely Harmonic Tech and Acoustic Zen. I used both interconnects and speaker cable from both companies. Truth be told, they left me underwhelmed. With both brands, I found the music to be muddy and muddled, and not at all involving. So, when I started to look for some cables to use with the CJ preamp and the rest of my system, I was leery of the Analysis Plus Solo Crystal stuff, fearing I would get the same that I did with the the HT and Acoustic Zen products. I read all I could on the Analysis Plus products, plus I heard some at the RMAF, and liked what I heard. So, with the acquired knowledge, and a 30 day money back guarantee, I took the plunge, and bought a 1meter length section of AP Solo Crystal interconnects.
The day the AP IC's arrived, I tore open the box, took them out and gazed at them for a spell. These were very well built interconnects, with locking RCA's. I installed them from my Naim CD player to the preamp. I hit "play" on the CD player, and gave everything time to warm up. About an hour later I sat my tush into the listening chair, and got ready to be disappointed. Ah, not so! About five minutes into the CD my jaw was hanging way off of my face, and I was grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Cat! Where was that awful, muddy sound I had come to expect from the solo crystal cable of yore? Not here! And not with the Analysis Plus stuff. Man, I had dulcet tones, that "rumbling in your stomach" bass, clear and pleasant highs, well extended, but no hard, etched sound with it. Music was natural, flowing, as if I were in the recording studio, or sitting in the middle of the orchestra. So enchanted am I with these cables that nightly my wife has to remind me that I should get to bed before dawn as I must go to work sometime...
Am I impressed? You bet? I have bought more AP items since the first pair of interconnects, and I admit I was stupid where cables are concerned. I realized that my gear needed to feed or be fed with cables that are commensurate with their build quality and performance capabilities. All the time I spent with buying this cheap cable, or that one there, just left me wanting. I am not wanting anymore.
All in all, I believe there is something to this "hollow oval" design. My system performs like never before, and truth be told, the Analysis Plus cable is not all that pricey. I now treat cables as I would another piece of equipment ( I know, I know, people much smarter than me have said that for years). I have to confess as well that the AP cables have worked perfectly fine with both my solid state amp (Odyssey Stratos Stereo Extreme) as well as my Raymond Lumley tubed monoblocks. I have recently bought the Silver Oval for the monoblocks, and I have not heard my amps sound so good ever. I just need to work more now so I can get another set for the other amp!
My thanks for your patience with me and my "review". There is one caveat however, and it is this: the Solo Crystals won't mask anything, or add anything. They will not tame a harsh sounding system, nor are they tone controls. They will reproduce, and reproduce very well, whatever the front end feeds them. Great recordings sound, well, great! Poopy recordings will sound just like they are; poop.
Go forth and buy! I believe you will be pleasantly surprised. Give them about 100 hours of break-in time though, and after that, enjoy the music!
I am rather surprised to be the first to post a review of these fine cables. I will do my best to make sure that this review has some merit to it.
I will start by stating that I am one who has always treated cables as the stepchild that no one wanted in the house. I have a rather nice collection of equipment, but I always skimped on cables, looking everywhere for that "giant killer", and spending probably more on more cables rather than going for quality in the first place. If this sounds somewhat like you, read on...
I also tried the solo crystal route, buying cables from both Acoustic Zen, and Harmonic Technology, in both the interconnect arena as well as speaker cable. Both left me wondering what all the hype was with the crystal-less cable tales. The Acoustic Zen and Harmonic Tech cables sounded murky and muddled to my ears, and I was disappointed, and leery of anymore rave reviews on solo crystal type cables.
Recently I bought a Conrad Johnson Premier 17LS preamp, and I should have bought one of these a long time ago! Now that I had a preamp of great renown, it was a sin to connect cables of a lesser stature to it. So, I looked at Analysis Plus. Based on reviews, as well as some friends telling me that I wouldn't be sorry, I bought a one meter pair of Solo Crystals to run from my CD player to my preamp.
The day the Solo Crystal interconnects arrived I installed them and let the CDP play on "repeat" for about one hour before settling in for a listen. I parked my tush in the listening chair, hit "Play", and proceeded to scoop my jaw up off the floor before the first track was over. These Solo Crystals ARE NOT even close to sounding like the Acoustic Zen or HT stuff. I could hear the music, and heard it like never before. Though it is a cliche, I know, the music was clear, with depth and a soundstage that left me grinning from ear to ear. I had stomach rumbling bass, and highs that were clear, precise, but not hard or etched. Music just seem to flow in a natural way, as if I were in the recording studio. These are not fatiguing, and I often listen now for hours, having to have the wife remind me that I have to go to bed sometime before dawn...
I enjoy these so much that I have bought another pair, as well as several other Analysis Plus cables. I have learned several lessons here, and the largest one is that is not wise to go on the cheap for cables. I now own cables that are worthy of my stereo gear, and I am truly enjoying my system like never before. So, yes, I admit I was dumb, but I have seen the light! If you are looking for some interconnects that will open up your system (and your eyes and ears), please, give the Analysis Plus Solo Crystals an audition. I believe that you will not be disappointed.
One final thing: I look at Audiogon and see what is for sale in large amounts. Though unscientific, I feel that if there are 50 of item "X" for sale, item "X" must have been one of those items hyped in the audio press and everyone bought one, only to find out that item "X" was somewhat of a stinker. Analysis Plus Solo Crystal stuff rarely lasts for more than a few days before it is sold, and too, there are very few ads for the interconnects in the first place. This tells me the same thing that my ears do: this is excellent stuff that delivers on the promise of great music!
BTW, I run both a solid state amp and also a pair of tubed monoblock amps in my system, and I have found that the Analysis Plus cables are excellent with either. I have not always had great luck with some cables working well with both glass and sand electronics.
Odyssey Stereo Extreme amp
Raymond Lumley Signature monoblocks
Conrad Johnson Premier 17LS
Naim CD5 CDP
Audio Experience phonostage
Devore 8 speakers
Analysis Plus Silver Oval speaker cable, Oval 9 speaker cable, Solo Crystal interconnects, Copper Oval interconnects