Monocle-XL is a fully optimized cable engineered to offer the most intimate interface of amplifier and single input loudspeaker. Compared to the Monocle-X, Monocle-XL offers increased dynamic range with greater speed and acceleration. Timbre, space, detail, intimacy..., the Monocle-XL delivers musical nuances and color with emotion, truth, and realism. Monocle-XL features twenty-four individual VariStrand conductors, symmetrically inter-woven around the proprietary X38R core compound. All ends are terminated with WBT connectors.
I purchased these after a dealer recommendation and a home demo, comparing them (in my own home on the same equipment) against jps labs and dunlavy's own audio cables. The Kimber's were clearly superior to the others. Better bass and highend extension, all the subtle details can be heard.....the reviews below are very accurate. I never demo'd the ks3033... I've changed amps and speakers recently, and I got the itch just to try something new, since my new speakers were biwireable and my old one's were not. so I had a dealer send me the highly regarded AP bi-oval 9's. THESE WERE ALREADY WELL BURNED IN, they were not new cables, plus they were biwire versus the kimber straightwire. Using the AP cables veiled the music substantially. I gave them quite a while to settle in before critical listening. I kept listening thinking, "somethings wrong".......I put the Kimbers back on and bam, all those subtle microdynamic cues were back, the sound was rich and alive again. I'm not one of those guys that claims Kimber's the best, because there is no "Best" (plus, I found their interconnects to be totally shoddy), but I must say, their Monocle/bifocal/trifocal line should definitely be looked at if you have a highend system worthy of $800+ speaker cables. I'm just adding jumpers to replace the copper plates connecting my binding posts and keeping my Kimbers.....These are definitely a cable that can grow with an audio system as you improve your upstream components. Read my review and other's reviews under analysis plus, then look at their system components and make your own decision. I noticed many of the AP reviewers have solid state components, for example, like a krell 300i (the epitome of hash and grain, sorry krell lovers). AP cables would be a great match for a system that's bright and grainy, since it'll conceal that. My tube electronics with Cardas golden refs let EVERYTHING through, and I want to hear it ALL.
My system consists of: Bel Canto SEP 1 Art Audio Jota w/KR300bxls Muse 9 cd/dvd Cardas Golden Reference I.C.'s Reference 3A MM de Capo Speakers Kimber Monocle XL API Power Wedge 116 Various TG audio/powersnake Mamba and sidewinders
Like Mr. Chris Harr, who posted the very first message about this beautiful cable, I bought it to replace my trusty 8TC which has been with me for years.
I had the cable custome made with banana connectors on both ends. After receiving it yesterday, and while hooking it to my MMG's and tube amp, I just love the way Kimber terminate their cables: they are just perfect with secured lock, nice look and feel. No more worry about banana connectors getting loose, or stress developing on cables.
How do they sound? Even when they are not broken in yet, they sound exactly as Chriss Harr described in his message posted 1/22/99. Even though they cost more than the speakers, I think they are well worth it.
Are they perfect? Never, as there always are cables that are better (and more expensive). But for now the Monocle XL is no way the weak link in my system, and I am quite happy with it. When the Decware ZEN amps arrive, I believe the XL will shine even more.
I am very critical when it comes to personal auditions of audio equipment, as I believe that a good deal of the industry is hype. I will only purchase items that I am absolutely convinced will make an improvement in my system. I recently replaced my speaker cables, which I thought might be the weak link in my system. I was using "TARA" Reference II, and replaced it with MonocleXL. A pretty radical price/quality jump, but the sound improvement was astounding. Low level detail, imaging, soundstage, smoothness, bass articulation all jumped out at me immediately. The improvement was absolute, and I would recommend them highly. I must add, though, that I did not compare them to other high priced cables (Transparent, Cardas, etc.), because I bought them at a good price. I have tested MIT Biwire 2 at the behest of a specialist in cabling, and it degraded the sound in my system compared to the AQ Indigo.
My no-nonsense dealer warned me about the fact that the SELECT 3033series gives you very little improvement for the price. Don't waste your money on the Select3033 series. Its just not worth it. If you must, then go with 3035.
Amps: Classe' CA-100, Muse Model 100, McCormack MID, cheapo NAD receiver (512, I think)Speakers: Thiel CS1.5, NHT SuperOne, NHT SuperZero Other speaker cables: Kimber KS-3033, shotgun 8TC, 4TC; Wireworld Solstice III; AQ Indigo, Type 4, and F-14.
Sigh, another solid cable. Cables nowadays are getting better and better, it's hard to find one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. I am extremely grateful that the last review mentioned that you can get these in colors other than that awful black.
The problem (if you can call it that) I have with the Monocle XL, is that, for a few hundred bucks more, the KS-3033 is a far superior cable. Overall, the KS-3033 gets more out of the way, and lets in more of what your amp can put out. Think of the Monocle XL as a fine pencil sketch. If that's the case, then the KS-3033 is a watercolor. They're still not reality, but the KS-3033 gets you much closer.
The KS-3033 sets up a stage that mirrors more closely what is on your disc. You can pick out added reverb added to voices. Instruments maintain their proper size and weight.
Take Motley Crue's "Girls, Girls, Girls." Tommy Lee's cymbals are still down in the mix, but they retain their shimmer and dynamics. His snare drum is tight, focused, and punchy, if a little lightweight. But that's the recording. And that's what you get with the the KS-3033 replacing the monocle XL.
If you can't afford the KS-3033, then do audition the Monocle XL. It is a significant step up from the shotgun 8TC (too warm and muddy, IMO). And, if you buy the Monocle XL, and not hear the KS-3033, you may not think you're missing anything. Indeed, the Monocle XL fills an important niche in Kimber's speaker cable lineup. But just don't kill me, when you hear how refined and neutral the KS-3033 is. And if you get greedy and hear the absolutely magnificent KS-3035, your significant other may kill YOU!