Coherent Systems - Reviews

Roger Flory - Coherent Connoisseur Cables

Over the years Iíve built up set of pretty revealing components, comprising as source a Krell SACD, Acoustic Research LS25mkII pre, Bryston 700BSST monoblox and B&W N802 speakers. The challenge has always been though how to make good individual components hang together as a whole. I appreciate good detail but am more concerned about consistent musicality Ė the test of a good system for me is that I can still enjoy great music which has been indifferently recorded.

On cabling Iíd been impressed by some loan Transparent balanced cables over my single ended Van den Hul First Ultimates, and first approached Coherent to hear another XLR cable as reference to check whether what I was hearing was not just the difference between balanced and single ended. I ended up listening through a progressive demo of Coherent Connoisseur range mains and signal cabling, changing one cable at a time to evaluate the change. Replacing the Nordost Shiva power lead on the Krell with Connoisseur brought a far tidier presentation, with less spotlighted leading edges and more body. Similar incremental effects came with replacing the Nordost Vishnu leads on the power amps, and it became possible to listen at higher volume levels without harshness and distortion effects. The Connoisseur balanced interconnect again retained the excellent detail of the Transparent Music Link but brought better bottom end impact.

Replacing the Kimber Power block with Coherentís power conditioner brought benefits to the top end, reducing sibilance and also giving better separation between male and female voices on a duet. I had borrowed some horrendously expensive, albeit second-hand, Transparent Reference speaker cables Ė here the Connoisseurs matched, not exceeded, the performance, but at a fraction of the price. Since the demonstration, whose cumulative effect was very significant, I have been progressively making the replacements. The most significant of all so far has been replacing my very long single ended Trichord interconnects from pre to powers with Connoisseur XLR. This was simply amazing, as it had been throttling the effect of previous changes Ė another octave of bass extension and a huge dose of extra body and real presence to the music. The usual reference CDs sound awesome but Iím now listening to CDs that had been gathering dust before for sounding too thin or bright. Iíve also added a good vinyl source, as Iím now getting so much more out of the system.

I highly recommend exploring Coherentís offerings before making a significant component upgrade, as with the same components my system now sounds completely different and a whole lot better.

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