STEALTH audio cables


"Nothing But The Best from Serguei Timachev"

Jim Merod

I love Stealth cables. There are good reasons for that. Immediately upon placing Stealth Silver-Gold cables in the signal path of my mastering work, the first time I used a one meter balanced pair, WHAM ! Instant openness, transparency, delicacy and musicality. No break in. No waiting. No cable blues and engineer's stoic patience based on faith. BAM ! Right away : musical beauty. I love Stealth cables.

Understand this. I love several top flight cables and truly admire a small group of master cable designers whose work over decades separates their genius from the run of the mill, fine-and-dandy (completely ordinary) cables that compete with them on retail shelves. These designers, among whom is maestro Serguei Timachev, are 'boutique' cable artists -- by which I mean, craftsmen who offer the finest materials, shaped into astonishing structural configurations, delivering sonic signals with joyful accuracy and musicality. None of these masters owns the cable field complete and entire. Each of them has accomplished something in the universe of cable design that sets him apart from all others.

In sum, there are several (a limited number) of majestic cables that vary, one from the others, all of which carry a unique way of allowing music to BE "musical" and signals to FLOW with ease, transparency and accurate portrayal of tonality, pace, dynamics and sonic holography. Serguei Timachev is one of those few and his cable work is defined most fully by the extraordinary delicacy of signal transfer that his wire structures achieve. I do not know how Serguei makes his artistry sing with such gentle daring, but I do know that "sing" is what his cables do -- or allow to occur. Delicacy and gentleness are the hallmarks of Stealth cables.

I first encountered Stealth's remarkable signal transfer capacities several years ago when I auditioned a set of Serguei's cross-wrapped silver interconnects. They sat me straight up in my listening chair, an action other Stealth designs have repeated for similar but nonetheless distinct reasons in subsequent years. Every so often you come across, say, a remarkable set of speakers that grab your attention for their essential "rightness" in recreating crucial sonic elements. At CES, in the Alexis Park, this past January, Stealth cables were teamed in a suite with Lawrence Blair's AIRFOILE speakers. The pairing was awe-inspiring. Each component excels in musical delicacy. To sit before one's own recordings, reproduced through such a detailed delivery system, is to be enchanted by one's good luck.

Luck having further room, I'll report on the AirFoile speakers down the road. For the time being, note (please) that Serguei Timachev's cable work has not only charmed me, over and over, but earned my highest respect. There are, to be blunt, crucial recording and mastering applications in my work in which only Stealth cables are the correct choice. At any point where sonic evanescence -- capturing the maximum of uncolored tonal and/or notational precision -- is at stake, Stealth cables are the choice.

To say this is not to derogate any of the awesome cables that, each in its way, own powerful and precise sonic qualities. It is to say, instead, that the strength of Stealth cables to stay out of the way, just about utterly and completely, when a microphone feed or a stereo signal transfer with unusually low level detail must be maintained with maximum shimmer, fragility, and whisper sweet integrity. Trust me, that is one of the "tests" of cable accuracy.

In my auditioning (and use) of Stealth cable designs, one has emerged that is somewhat separate from the others and quite unique. Stealth GOLD cables are workhorses that challenge your moxie. Here's what I mean. The Gold cables are just that, constructed of extremely fine strands of gold wire that lend the signals they carry a sort of burnished lustre. Consider the delicacy of Stealth's silver cables, in either their "ribbon" configuration or their "cross wrapped" mode. Those state of the art cables seem to demand a listener's (or recordist's) deep belief in the accuracy of the reproduction or recording system that receives Stealth's capacity for delicacy and detail. Do not use such cables if you feel there is grunge, glare, harshness or unaccountable spikes and aberrations in your system. Stealth silver cables will expose that.

Consider how lovely, however, a well-tuned audio system sounds when the full bloom and fragile complexity of well made recordings appear. Nothing is more engaging, sonically, than small details of breath and human touch upon microphones and instruments. Music is not only "about" notes and tones and savvy arrangements; "about" microphone placement and reverberant sonic envelopes . . . music is defined, at its most beguiling and seductive, by the feeling of human activity, of musicians interacting with one another, of the touch of bow and resin upon violin strings and a masterful singing voice calm in its emotional and artistic authority.

These elements, so fleeting, so subject to loss in the long trajectory from utterance to final playback, are at the heart of the appeal that music has in our lives. When any component -- speakers, preamps, microphones, cables, whatever -- captures these nuances, we're all enhanced by the experience of hearing (and feeling and knowing) the humanity of the art so rendered.

Consider, then, how thoroughly Serguei Timachev's delicate silver cables deliver such nuanced precision. Then consider that same resolving power brought to gold wire . . . adding, perhaps somewhat euphonically (but gloriously), a touch of warmth, a splash of late afternoon sunlight, the arresting sense of aural cognac bathing each sound and each note. Imagine that.

The result, sonically, might be called the "Rembrandt Effect," since the sound you hear when you listen carefully to these gold cables is the sound of music washed in burnished orange sunlight . . . the light that photographers seek, and wait for, to capture their most dramatic shots. This is what Serguei Timachev has created with his gold cables.

I'll wait to say more about Stealth's Silver-Gold cables. I'll wait, in part, because I have more to say at length and this space is not adequate for such discursive length. I'll defer those comments, too, because at present I have but one pair of the Silver-Gold (balanced). At the point I can listen to the special qualities of these wonderful cables in both longer runs and in multiple groupings (unbalanced as well as balanced), I'll be able to know better what I suspect now about their unique breeding.

Suffice it to believe that I recommend anyone with superior sonic discrimination -- whose attraction to music approaches (matches or exceeds) my own in the ways that I've suggested -- to follow good instincts and audition Stealth cables. They are not normal. They are not obvious or bombastic or hyperventilating instruments. They breathe with the textures of the music they caress. Such rare tact, such gentle accuracy and musical sweetness, may not be for everyone. But for those who love classical music well rendered, jazz in its deepest, most essential territories, Stealth cables provide partnership as rare as the exquisite materials and designs that construct them.

Jim Merod

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