STEALTH audio cables

STEALTH SCR versus Transparent Ultra and Audio Reference w/XL interconencts

Author: Greg Graff



... Thanks for the opportunity to try both STEALTH CWS and SCR interconnect. The following is my assessment of SCR (silver ribbon), its the one that sounded best in my system. As an introduction here is my current system:

  • Jeff Rowland Concentra (used as a preamp);
  • Jeff Rowland Model 7 mono blocks;
  • Wilson WATTs;
  • Goldmund Studio and VPI TNT Series 5 wJMW tone arm and Clearaudio Insider cartridge;
  • Audio Research AC2 CD;
  • Transparent Ultra between pre and power amps and CD player;
  • Transparent Audio Reference w/XL technology interconnect;
  • Transparent Reference Phono for the phono cable;
  • Proprietary flat wire speaker cable;
  • Black Mamba power cords;
  • Wattagate power outlets;

I have a long narrow room (13X33) with various sound panels and other damping for a semi Live end/dead end. When properly tuned, the system is capable of projecting a true three dimensional sound stage with each instrument having its own three dimensional space.

The easiest way to describe the differences between STEALTH SCR interconnect and the Transparent Ultra is to imagine the difference between great transistor and tube amps. Stealth wire is very detailed, with very solid/deep base and better transparency. The Transparent is more rounded with less detail and looser base. The Transparent has a more tube like midrange with slightly less high end extension. But it is able to project a three dimensional image significantly better than STEALTH. My system is unique because I have NEVER heard one capable of reproducing space in the sound stage as well as mine. My audiophile friends also have never heard one either. For the cost difference ($950 for the Transparent versus current $430 for the STEALTH SCR) the vast majority of systems would be better off using STEALTH cables. Of an interesting note, on Linda Ronstadt "Sentimental Mood" I could actually hear the skin of the snare drum on STEALTH wire. I had never heard that before...

I have since spent the last three nights auditioning the new STEALTH 99.999% Gold interconnect wire and here is what I have found. I placed the Stealth Gold interconnects between my pre amp and power amp. Music includes analogue and digital- specifically Burmiester II CD (Stevie Ray Vauhn's Tin Pan Alley), Engina Watercolors, Vollenwider White Winds (CD and analogue), Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, Harry James- Still Harry, Linda Ronstadt with Nelson Riddle and the Classic Recordings remix of Reiner's Scheherazade. The Interlink House gold interconnects do some thing better than I have ever heard from another interconnect. Its midrange is liquid and provides the best reproduction of harmonic structure in this range that I have ever heard. You can catch the subtle nuances of strings vibrating as they are being bowed or strummed. Its upper midrange provides bite without brittleness. The lower midrange is slightly lean, giving a more realistic presentation to woodwinds and cellos. The soundstage is first rate with very good depth and width only falling short of the Tranparent in the ability to project a true holographic image. Even then, its just short of the Transparent's ability in this area. The wire is extremely transparent with good focus and detail. I am in a quandry about the latter. Since it is so sweet in the upper midrange, I feel as though I am missing the leading edge transient. But then I hear some things in the harmonic structure I have never heard - even with the Transparent. Leaves me wondering if this isn't like comparing good tube and transistor equipment. Where the wire falls down compared to my reference (come on now I'm comparing the STEALTH wire versus $2,000/meter wire after all) is in the area of dynamics and base reproduction. The Interlink House wire is somewhat soft in the bottom octave, not going as deep and tight as the Transparent. The Interlink House wire also does not resolve microdynamics as well as the Transparent. Gradients between ppp or fff are not as distinct. Overall, this is a very good wire that should be auditioned by anyone put off by the high price tags of the "name" interconnects. On a price/performance measure, I believe that this is a real winner. Greg Graff