Yesterday I was able to visit my customer's installation and hear what three Sukhavati interconnect cables will do in a system. All previous discussion aimed at quantifying the improvement is out the window. Here's why: First, everything in the system matters, from the footers to the amps to the DAC and so on. We should not loose sight of that. Everything that went before laid the groundwork for the cables to do their magic. However, "magic" is too weak a term to apply to what I experienced. If we have to quantify this upgrade, I would have to say that it is the equal of the sum total of all the upgrades that preceded it. Is that fair? Is that accurate? I don't know and I don't care. What I heard still leaves me astonished, flummoxed, unseated and unhinged. I can and will go through a list of attributes to some extent, but that will not convey the impact of hearing this. What this is is obvious, but at the same time something that has never been heard before. Imagining this sound prior to its existence would be like imagining Pasteur in the age of the great plague. It is obvious, because it brings the listener home. It is not like being propelled into outer space, rather it is like, as my customer said, "Oh, I think he bought a new trumpet. That must be a new flute." Everything is so much itself. The complete envelope of the original sound is there with zero glaze, artifact or compression. Z-e-r-o.
The Papanno recording of the triumphal march from Aida is a challenge to any audio system. I would wager that many exalted high end systems may not be up to the task. In addition to capturing the overall three dimensionality of the stage and the location of all the performers thereon, this setup did something I don't think I have ever heard before from a recording as complex as this: Imagine, if you will, (thank you, Rod Serling), standing on a balcony above a cocktail party. Of course you will hear the aggregate of all the conversations as the sound rises from below. Imagine hearing that aggregate as a three dimensional cloud that hovers above the crowd, full of all the individual reverb elements crashing around in space. Now imagine as you are hearing that, being able to triangulate each voice and its reverberant content from mouth level up (and down) with pinpoint accuracy as it bounces off of its neighbors. That is a hint of the level of specificity this system is producing. The depth and growl of bass tones is uncanny. The slightest dynamic increment is noted. Tonality is like nothing that has gone before. Everything is simply itself without any artifice, etc. I could go on, but I'm not sure it will do any good.
We have just delivered the second and third pairs of Sukhavati interconnects to our customer. He has already had one pair in his system for a couple of weeks. This morning he called me and said, " I don't know if I can believe you any more." And I said, Why's that?" He said, "Because you say there is always room for improvement, and right now I don't see how that is possible." I asked him if he could compare the improvement to other upgrades we have provided. He said that it was hard to quantify. "An early basic upgrade may have had an apparent higher percentage of improvement, but this is difficult to describe. It is about the emotional connection with the music. I now have a direct conduit to Ruth Ann Swenson's voice. It's more like hiking up a mountain: Even just before the top your view is limited, but when you finally crest the summit you can see everywhere."
I haven't had the time to visit yet. I've only heard one Sukhavati IC in the system here and at the customer's house. In terms of absolute quality, even one in a system appears to remove the last vestiges of compression, but according to the customer not so. There was and is room for improvement: We have yet to deliver the speaker cable. Stay tuned.