Chimera Laboratories Series II Interconnects Speaker Cables

Series II Interconnects

The Series II are ultra high-resolution, low distortion pure copper interconnects. Using specially treated Continuous Cast Copper wire, it''s hand litz braided for maximum Bandwidth, superior phase performance and optimum RF rejection. The copper process is continued using copper solder and hand machined solid copper connectors: either RCA or Balanced. These connectors are Oxygen Free High Purity Copper with Direct Flash Gold plated directly on the copper surfaces. Finally the connectors are sealed for ''''gas tight'''' protection against oxidation. The effect of not contaminating the copper with other metals results in astonishingly revealing interconnects.

User Reviews (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8  
cm7   AudioPhile [Sep 28, 2004]
Strength:

Clarity, detail, price

Weakness:

None.

After purchasing an amplifier and tubes from Chimera Labs, I was informed that they manufacture very high quality interconnect cables. Apparently Chimera Labs has refined their cable design over many years. They use a long crystal CCC wire with very high quality direct-gold over copper connectors. The price was very reasonable and with a money-back guarantee, there seemed to be little risk. After letting the cables break in, I listened carefully. These cables are clearly better than every other cable I have tried and owned!!! (Monster, Kimber, Harmonic Technologies, Tara Labs, Audioquest, Discovery). They have excellent resolution and detail without being harsh. The bass is tight and the midrange/treble detail is outstanding. I can hear more musical information being passed through these cables than any other. After installing these cables I find my system much more relaxing and enjoyable to listen to. These Chimera Labs cables are reference level and one of the few true audio bargains out there.

Similar Products Used: Monster, Kimber, Harmonic Technologies, Tara Labs, Audioquest, Discovery
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
abellg   Audio Enthusiast [May 30, 2004]
Strength:

Realistic timbre Highly detailed, smooth sound Excellent bass and treble extension and detail Incredible value

Weakness:

Need to be a bit careful with handling so as not to bend them too sharply.

I'm new at "high end" (relatively speaking) audio. In the last few months, I got bit by the bug pretty badly, however, and pulled together about $5000 to buy a system. After a lot of reading, I got a Creek 5350SE integrated amp, Music Hall MMF-CD25 (heavily modified by Sound Odyssey), some NHT ST4 speakers, and after considerable experimentation, a Shunyata Hydra-4 power conditioner with Shunyata and Audience power cords. Then I got stuck. After trying a couple of different interconnects, I realized to my amazement that they could profoundly change the way a system sounded. So I started looking for interconnects to create a sound I liked, at a price that would be proportionate to my budget. But after borrowing or buying (and reselling) several highly rated pairs costing as much as $600, I wasn't very close. After reading a review of the Chimera Labs Advantage II interconnects, and reassured by the money-back guarantee (although somewhat dubious about the claim that no one had ever returned them to get their money back), I tried them. Woof! Search over. The entire system was in a different gear. After a few days of burn-in, I heard smooth, extended sound, with more detail than I'd ever heard. And it wasn't a close call, either, even up against the Acoustic Zen Matrix I (instruments didn't sound realistic) and II (sounded realistic, but the bass was soft and the treble lost its extension). The "tish" of symbals sounded totally convincing, dying smoothly away into silence. Bass was rippin' and alive. Best of all, the timbre of instruments was the closest to real I've heard in my system (and in several others costing considerably more!). But the biggest difference was in me. After several days, I realized I was no longer comparing the sound to whatever had gone before and trying to improve it. I was comparing it to my memory of the real thing, and figuring out how to upgrade the rest of the system to get even closer. They're not going anywhere...!

Similar Products Used: Kimber Hero, Acoustic Zen Matrix (I and II), Signal Cable Analog 2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
adrian lucy   AudioPhile [Jan 02, 2004]
Strength:

The music became more forward and open whilst at the same time silky smooth. Resolution was clearly substantially inproved. Timing and seperation were miles better, infact to be honest i can't think of any area where it wasn't a big improvement.

Weakness:

Despite being sceptical before my audition i'm forced to agree with everyone else. There simply arn't any.

Cable on test: Advantage 2 XLR interconnect. Equipment in my system - Transport: theta data2, Dac:Theta pro basic 3a, (i also use a Theta TLC with the upgraded powersupply between transport and dac) Amp: Krell kav300i, Speakers: Definitive technology BP2002. Cables consist of nordost/townsend, kimber on the mains with a dedicated spur. I use townsend seismic sinks to support both equipment and speakers, with nordost titanium pulsar points under everything. I'll start by saying i began my experiance with the adantage 2 XLR by being highly sceptical indeed. Could they really be as good as claimed on the web site? Were they really equal to cable of ten to twenty times the price? The money back guarantee convinced me to take a chance.. On their arrival in the U.K. i was hit with the charges for inport and taxes so the cost went up some, but i said to myself that if what Dennis says is even half true it'll be worth it. Now i've spent some years going to the shows and boworing high end cables at my favourite hifi shop from the likes of transparent,nordost,audioquest etc. So i'd like to think i know what you can generally get for you money. So down i sit infront of my system, i've got my sceptic's hat firmly on and off i go... Without even being burnt in it is instantly apparent that i'm dealing with something quite exceptional for my money's worth. Granted i was doing a side by side comparison with the single ended townsend cable i had previously been useing so it wasn't quite a level playing field. I would have expected even a moderately decent XLR cable to be an improvement. However i did check out other cables in my price range, the best of which was probably transparent's new balanced "super" cable at just under £1000 (sorry, don't know what that is in dollars). To be blunt, it blew the transparent right out of the water. Is it as good as other cables on the market for 10 times the price you ask? Well it cost me a little extra on the import duty as i said but yes, i think it quite possibly is. If anyone's in the the market for a sub $3000 interconect this is definately the bench mark by which to judge and that's praise indeed for a cable in the $300 area. But there's more to this story... I wanted to know how the cable would fare as a digital connection so i borrowed an audiolab 8000cdm with an XLR digital ouput (my Theta only has single end out). To my utter amazement, as a direct connection between transport and dac it made my TLC hooked up with tranparent pdl cables sound like garbage, and that's about $1500 of high level kit!! Neddless to say i now have an order pending for more cable to use in the digital domain. These get my unreserved recomendation, they really are superb. Adrian Lucy, London, U.K.

Similar Products Used: Transparent's latest version "super" XLR. Transparent's latest "ultra single end" Nordost - spm/quatrofil/valhalla
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JBK3   AudioPhile [Jun 18, 2003]
Strength:

Very neutral, add no coloration to the music, the background is black when there is no music. Instruments are easily differentiated and hang in the soundstage. Voices have no sibilance. Engaging bringing you closer to the performance.

Weakness:

No weaknesses.

I call myself an audiophile because I've been an avid listener from my college days until I could afford the best equipment I could afford to reproduce music as realistically as possible. My current system consists of the following: Krell CD-DSP CD player Blue Circle BC 23 phono preamp VTL 5.5 preamp Krell KST100 amp Audioreflex turntable Stanton 666e cartridge Talon Peregrin X speakers Cardas Crosslink speaker cables I have replaced the interconnect between the CD player and preamp, phono preamp and the Preamp, and the preamp and the amp. The types of music I listen to is Blues, Jazz, Rock and some sound tracks. Some of the test records and cd's were Pink Floyd Darkside of the Moon, Miles Davis Kind of Blue and the Gladiator sound track. The first thing you notice when you open the box is the cables are very skinny and appear undersized when compared to their contemporaries. The Siltech's are thick and heavy but were to dark and laid back for my taste nor are they neutral ie. just conveying the signal. The Kimbers were not as dark and laid back but not as natural as I would have liked. The Audioquests were just flat. The Homemade silver cables were a little bright and thin. The Krell XLR was hooked up between the pre amp and amp. Supposedly, you should have an approximate 6db gain when using fully differentiated equipment but when replacing the XLR there was a noticable improvement in my system overall. When listening to the opening of Darkside of the Moon (original album)the bass is deep and articulate. You can hear the drums being struck. This isn't something that is distracting but adds to the reality of the recording. Later at the beginning of Money with the triangles and metal strips(?) that are being played. you can hear the being struct and suspended in the air. Miles Davis Kind of Blue reissue cd the sax solos by Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane were great, you can really apprecaite the qualities of the different instruments. The Gladiator sound track according to experts is a challenge for our equipment because of the complexity and range of the music. The music was more engaging and realistic. The Advantage II cable are just the ticket for audiophiles lookging for cables that reproduce the music the way it was recorded. They are very neutral and natural. If you are looking to tune your system using cables because some parts are more forward or laid back and you want to add something to the mix. These cables aren't for you. If you are looking for natural and neutral cables without fatique that will bring you closer to the music then buy these cables!

Similar Products Used: Siltech MXT New York, Kimber Hero, Audioquest Quartz, Krell XLR, Homemade Silver(Not Handmade)and XLO. Auditioned Trtansparent Ultra's (they're not transparent)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ehien   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 01, 2003]
Strength:

resolution, treble extension, transient speed, smoothness, bass tightness

Weakness:

None that I am able to detect so far.

These cables are constructed from litz-braided CCC (Continuous Cast Copper, or OCC/Ohno Continous Cast) wires from Japan and Vampire OFC RCA connectors. At first enconter they don't stir emotion as the physical sizes are smaller and thinner than most high-end cables. However, the materials are all top grades and sizes can be deceiving. After tens of hours of break in, I started to hear their merits of better clairty, treble extension, and resolution. But at first I thought the bass was lacking. After more listening and back-and-forth comparisons I started to realize that the bass with previous more expensive cables was a bit boomy while the one with AdvantageII was tight and linear. Compare to other more expensive cables I have, these are relative bargains as they are cheaper, sound better, and are easier to use (much more flexible than the stiff JPS). Give them a try.

Similar Products Used: JPS Superconductor Audioquest Opla x3 Audioquest Quartz x3
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David Thatcher   AudioPhile [Jan 12, 2003]
Strength:

Price, absolute quality, no coloration of signal and dead quiet.

Weakness:

None

I had auditioned the first edition of Dennis Boyle's interconnects and though it took a while to get my own I did. These are basically the same with a few differences in the build technic as the ones I first heard. I took these home the day that they were built installed them between my Sony SACD and my 300B SET (6SL6 SRPP,Alps BB pot)and over the first hours of listening I repeatedly got to lower the volume. Not because things got louder but that they got clearer. The difference is a kin to having my Heil AMTs sitting on the speaker cabinet or isolated. The detail goes from being very good to crystal clear but this difference was not just on the highs, it was the full spectrum. There was no brightening, they did not create better dynamics, they are just neutral and get the signal from one place to the next without changing it. The very best way I can describe the way that these interconnects work is that they change everything by changing nothing.

Similar Products Used: Kimber,Monster, DIY silver, copper, solid, stranded and assorted low end
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
phrarod   AudioPhile [Jan 03, 2003]
Strength:

Quiet. Unbelievably black. I mean shocking. Smooth. Excellent separation of instruments especially in complex and challenging passages. Heard things I haven't heard before in the music. EVER. No smearing. Lots of separation and soundstaging. Phenomenal depth. Bass? At first I complained that they had NO BASS. Then the manufacturer says to let them break in longer. Know what? They had great bass all along. I was used to smeared, tubby bass. The engineer especially commented how the bass is amazingly accurate. “That’s what a kick drum really sounds like!” I had to re-align my ears to realize what bass is. So accurate I may not upgrade my CDP because it sounds so good. CD after CD I couldn't believe it. Normally when everything opens up with a good interconnect there is an edge of brightness. Not with these wires. I kept waiting for it to happen and it never did. The other cables had my ears ringing after a short time.

Weakness:

Everytime I think I find one, I don't. Now I just enjoy the music

So I decide to once again try and finally answer the questions of what is the best cable – for my system at least. I’ve spent 20 years trying different cables spending thousands of dollars only to find flaws and move on. Must be the equipment. Buy new equipment. Still not satisfied. I decide to barrow the finest cables from the two high-end shops here in L.A. These cables ranged from $600 a pair to $2500. I also had some people send me the best of the home brew that have been blowing away very expensive cables. Then I hear about some guy in Texas who hand braids his cables using a wire that’s supposed to blow away silver. I call him up and order a pair knowing they come with a MBG. I invite a number of people over from the music industry that include producers and engineers. This was a blind test. Each time I put a cable in (all were broken in) immediately people would start shouting comments and criticism. Then I put in the Chimera Advantage Series II. No one speaks. One by one they all announced these were the best. I then went through it again and sometimes said I switched when I didn’t. Always the same results. These $200+ cables destroyed all they other including the ones in my system. I immediately sold all my cables and bought these. Unbelievable. Even the engineer who’s recorded many live albums by Rock n’ Roll hall of fame acts bought them. As well as all my audiophile friends. I've since rewired my CDP RCA jacks to board with this wire which Chimera also sells as chassis wire and the result was incredible. I've now done four friend's CDPs and all said it was better than thousands of dollars in tweaks. Everyone was stunned. Like opening a pipeline to the music.

Similar Products Used: Harmonic Tech, AQ, Transparent, MIT, Monster, XLO, Kimber, Tara Labs, Straight Wire, Maple Shade (most were all top of the line)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
myron   AudioPhile [Dec 27, 2002]
Strength:

Dynamics, accuracy, stunningly quiet.

Weakness:

None, at any price.

Chimera Labs Advantage Series II interconnect is, well, the most accurate interconnects I've never heard !! Incredible dynamics and musicality. Effortless. Stunningly quiet. I never realized how noisy my other interconnects were until I had these. Ideal for tube gear. Very revealing. Nothing is hyped. No false air or imaging. Just dead on accuracy. Reveals everything for what it is. Bad recordings/equipment cannot hide. Good recordings/equipment are true experiences. I can't imagine anything better at any price. At less than $300 for a meter pair, they're simply unapproachable performance wise. I believe that you have to order factory direct at chimeralabs.com because they don't have any retail outlets.

Similar Products Used: Purist, Tara, Audioquest, Vampire, Nordost, MIT, Accrotec.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-8 of 8  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com