I have a very difficult time understanding why all of these other reviews are totally positive about the LATs. I will not try to go into an extensive review of the cables right now, but I will give a brief ovreview of a comparison I made.
I compared the LATs to CArdas Golden Reference. My system used four different setups.
1. LAT IC 300 signature ICs from transport to preamp to monoblocks
2. LAT IC 300 signature ICs from transport directly to monoblocks bypassing preamp.
3. Cardas Golden Reference ICs from transport to preamp to monoblocks.
4. Dimarzio ICs bypassing preamp
My system is a pretty tweaked out system. i would mention price, but, really, price does not say much about how a system will sound. But, both my speakers and my amps have undergone some very sophisticated tweaking and were actually built and matched to each other. They both have a measured output of 35hz-20hz +/- .5 db. My CD transport has a VSE level 4 module. In addition, my speakers are fairly sensitive (96 dB) and I can hear changes in hardware upstream very distinctly.
Two of my friends and I made this comparison. Both of my freinds build and design amps and speakers. One has won two CES showstopper awards for his products. I am the least seasoned of us. But we all agreed that, basically, the LAT speaker cables, compared to the Cardas Golden Reference, are simply less resolute, have a more compressed soundstage, lack high frequency extension, are warm colored, and most obviously, seem sluggish in transients and have a bit of a bloom in the bass. However, this is not to say they are not good cables. They are simply not as good as the Cardas, and that by a noticeable degree.
Obviously, this comparison is clearly negating cost. And cost aside, I will say that although the LATs are good, they are not excellent performers.
Cost considered, they are probably worth their cost. However, i do have a gride with them. THey use some VERY ChEAP connectors. I ordered mine with non-locking bananas on both ends and was surprised when I first saw them. THey actually look cheaper than some $50 monster cables I have seen at electronics stores. I went into RadioShack one day and couldn't beleive it when I saw the same exact bananas for $2.39- that is truy cheap. Connectors don't seem to make a huge difference in speaker cables, but in these, they are so cheap that they may indeed be affected the sound significantly.
You may wonder if I am simply biased towards the cardas. Although I love the cardas cables, you will notice in my profile that I no longer use them. I have switched to Monter Sigma Retro Gold. I am not biaased, and was actually hoping that the LATs would live up to their claim or super-cable status, and once and for all dispell the nonsense of some hyper-expensive cables. But, alas, the verdict is that they do not live up to their claim. Take that into consideration when reading other reviews.
As a musician and recording engineer I listen to music all day long so I think I am a pretty good judge or what live music sounds like. Studio work though is still work so; I do recreational listening at home on quite a good home system. I bought this cable new direct from LAT three months ago but have not had the time to set it up until now. If realism, the “you are there” experience, is what turns you on then I strongly recommend you audition the SS-1000 D. It has now replaced my Cardas Golden Reference. While this Cardas is an excellent cable, the LA T SS-1000 D however excels it in several areas.
Neutrality and transparency across the full frequency range.
Sound stage width and depth
Voice tonal accuracy
It is a real pleasure to sit back and listen to my system for hours straight with no fatigue. I agree with most all of the other reviews on this cable with one exception: Aqqielaw’s below where he (I am only assuming Aqqielaw is a man) says in effective that he was disappointed in this cable
Something is amiss here, I don’t mean to sound like a recording “techi” but he bought it used so it is possible it had been sitting around for four or five weeks plus. This amount of idle will make any cable lose its burn in and will have to be burned in all over again. Or, as LAT describes so well at there site, latininternatial.com , used cable could have hidden internal damage not known to him or the previous owner. I would suggest to Aqqielaw that he send it to LAT to have it electrically checked out. Sorry again, if I sound like I am preaching, but it’s a shame that such a great cable should possibly be mis-judged.
Believe me if you are considering purchase of a speaker cable, I believe you would be hard pressed to find a better one. Another plus is its price; far below any other highly touted cable I have tried. (My Cardas was $2400.00)
I like this cable. When I purchased my nOrh mini 9.0's Michael Barnes (owner or nOrh) recommended a 10-guage speaker cable to get the best sound from the speakers. I did about 20 hours of research, looking most closely at the Analysis Plus Oval 9, Kimber Kable 8TC, and LAT International SS-1000D. I had never heard of the company "LAT International" but after reading reviews on various websites and comparing the cost of the cables, I went with the SS-1000D. Fortunately, I found a used 10-foot pair at usedcable.com for under $200. I was curious about having several cables that matched, so I found a couple of used LAT International AC-2 power cables (which I'll review momentarily.)
The SS-1000D arrived and I swapped the cable with my faithful Kimber 4PR cable. By this time, the LAT power cords were already in place. Much to my surprise, I heard almost no difference in sound. Maybe the soundstage focused ever-so-slightly, and maybe the highs were tamed a little more, but I could discern very little difference between the cables. I have since been told that some systems are less affected by cables than others, so maybe others will find dramatic improvement.
Ultimately, I didn't find this cable to be the upgrade I thought it would be, but it remains in my system and I'm happy with it. If you can find it used it's a good deal, but I wouldn't buy it at its new, retail price (hence the 4-star rating for value.)
For reference, my system:
McCormack DNA-0.5 Revision A
Silver Audio Jetstream IC's
Cables listed in review
I've been using this cable for the last six years on two systems in my Nevada house. Recently, I moved to Florida, and one pair of SS1000D was left behind as an integral part of the house (it was installed in the wall of my main listening room). So I purchased a new pair of SS1000D. While waiting for the new pair to arrive, I used the older pair that I brought with me from Nevada (that had seen use with my TV system) to power my main listening room. And I had just purchased a new pair of Thiel CS2.4 speakers upon arriving in Florida. The sound of the Thiels with the older SS1000D was great. The Thiel dealer let me try a pair of Transparent reference cables, but I could hear no difference between them and the old SS1000D's. Then..... the new SS1000D pair arrived from LAT. This new pair has the Silverfuse technology that LAT has been building into its cables for some time, but which my older cables lacked. I was blown away by the sound of the new SS1000D's. There was a 50% increase in bass, and there was absolute black quiet in between tracks. I heard nuances and detail that I had never heard on some tracks. That first night, I listened for about 6 hours and it was as though I had an entirely new CD collection (I have about 1500 discs). I not only am convinced that the Thiels are worth the money (about $4000), but that these new SS1000D's are responsible for bringing out the best in the speakers. Before, while using the older pair of cables, I thought I'd have to buy a subwoofer to get more bass response. Forget that now! I put on Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart" and I heard more bass than I could ever want. On Luther Vandross's "Dance with My Father", a track that I thought was defective when I played it on my previous speakers with the older SS1000D, the sound blossomed and I heard inflections in Luther's voice that I had never heard before. And so it went all night, and continues to do so...
I try to be careful in the way the signal is transported in my system. I use Essence power cords for my amp and CD player. I use Kimber's KCAG balanced interconnects, and the power to my listening room outlets comes directly to the plugs from the main box, into 20-amp hospital outlets which are isolated and grounded. I have spent scores of hours listening to competing cable, both in my listening room and in my dealer's showroom. After using the new pair of SS1000D, I called my dealer and told him that the Thiels sounded better in my house than in his store. I'm waiting for him to come by and confirm my opinion, but everyone who hears my system is simply blown away by it. And I feel that the SS1000D is responsible for making my Thiels perform to the absolute limit of their intended design. Kudos to Lou at LAT International for making a superlative speaker cable at a price which is, plain and simple, cheap. I'll be ordering new SS1000D for my TV system within the next few weeks (B&W speakers).
I am a classical musician and as such I do a lot of listening especially after a recording session. We are super critical in dissecting our performance so we want the most realistic playback we can get. I had been using the Acoustic Zen Hologram cable but was not satisfied with its reproduction of nuances that allow you to hear the “feeling and character” that a musician puts into his performance. It was as though every violin player sounded the same. To explain my point better it is almost like not being able to tell the difference between the similar voices of Pavarotti and Carrera. Although, this should be easy for any good system to do. The Straight Wire did not do any better and was much too bright, which is trait I believe of all Straight Wire cables. Where as, the LAT International brought the nuances of each individual player so clearly and so pristine. Loud orchestra crashes were astoundingly accurate and maintained instrument separation from both an identity and positioning standpoint. Incidentally, this cable performs equally well on Jazz, which is another of my favorite kinds of music, outperforming the Acoustic Zen and Straight Wire by a wide margin. Someone told me that Better Cables was a bargain and has gotten some good reviews. Well, it might be a bargain for some mid-fi and lower-fi systems but it does not belong in any good system. It is cheaply made and the performance was so bad I won’t even comment on it. So, summing it up, the LAT easily beats them all out, simply blows them away! We try various cables from time to time but we have never head any as good as the LAT, not to mention the fact that the Acoustic Zen and Straight Wire are in the $1,200.00 to $1,300.00 price bracket where as the LAT cost me $363,00. That’s what I call a real bargain!!