“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Kimber Kable 8TC Speaker Cable Sound Quality

By

front.jpgI connected the Kimber 8TC speaker to both my dedicated two-channel and multi channel systems. For two-channel, I ran unbalanced to my Marantz PM-11S2 integrated amp to the Pass Labs X350.5 amplifier with my Marantz TT-15S1 turntable and Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player as the source devices. For multi-channel, the Emotiva XPR-1 was connected up to my Denon AVP-A1HDCI processor for a fully balanced connection from source device to the speaker outputs! In both systems, my Status Acoustics 8T speaker system was used for evaluation.

I am not one who attempts to discern the subtle sonic differences cables convey in an audio system. I am a firm believer that only poorly designed cables can be sonically distinguishable, and then only under the right conditions. That being said, my listening tests focused on pure enjoyment of the sound quality of my reference system. At no point did I feel the Kimber cables were adding a level of realism I’ve never heard before with my standard 10AWG Blue Jeans zip cord. Never did I feel the midrange got more chocolatey or a magic veil was lifted. My wife never claimed she could hear the difference all the way from the kitchen while she was cooking up some chicken Marsala. I will tell you this however: The Kimber’s visually dressed up my reference system nicely, something my industrial-looking Bluejean cables could never do.

CD: Fourplay – The Best Of FourplayFourplay.jpg

It’s always a good idea to start off any critical listening session with a little Fourplay before really getting into the thick of things. Track #5 “The Chant” is a song I often use to separate the men from the boys in loudspeakers. The bass energy of the kick drums will either reward you with an adrenaline surge or have you covering your ears from the horrible sound of woofer bottoming right before it plays for the very last time. Of course this isn’t a problem for my reference speakers or amplifiers for that matter. So I suppose I was testing for compression in the loudspeaker cables. LOL, not really, but suffice it to say, no compression, bottoming or clipping was detected. Instead, thunderous and tight bass was delivered from the Status 8T speakers and the Emotiva XPR-1 just pumped out clean power. The transient response was lightening quick, extracting all of the decay of the kick drums making it feel more like a live performance right in my own theater room than listening to an actual recording. The wood percussion instruments were delicately reproduced with all of the subtle nuances preserved.

CD: Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms
One of my favorites for both musical content and sound quality, “Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits was one of the first fully digital recordings. I like to use this recording to hear how the product under test handles the more delicate nuances of a recording. Track #4 “You’re Latest Trick” is calming to the nerves. The saxophone sounded liquidy smooth and the depth of the soundstage seemed to extend well beyond the back wall of my listening room. Stereo separation was superb; gotta give props to the Emotiva mono-block isolation here. Cymbals were free of grain and I felt like my system was just playing effortlessly and the Kimber 8TC cables were acting as a nearly ideal transmission of the signals between the amp and speakers. By the time track #5 “Why Worry” began, I was in such a lucid state that I must confess I fell in and out of consciousness. The electric guitars were forward with great bite and realism that it just felt like a live performance. I was nursing a nice Belgium limbic to this track just thinking, it doesn’t get any better than this.

dire-straits-brothers-in-arms.jpg     Miles.jpg

Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms CD (Left Pic); Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Right Pic)

LP: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (180G)

An oldie but classic recording that has stood the test of time, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue never disappoints. How could you beat Miles playing with jazz legends Bill Evans on piano and John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, all playing improvised, making it truly a magical recording? Track #1 “So What” sets the mood for this album, which is just a feel-good laid back experience that is best accompanied by a good glass of red. Jimmy Cobb’s cymbal brushes were delicate and airy while the back and forth between Miles on trumpet and Coltrane on sax was exhilarating. It’s hard to believe such an old recording on vinyl could surpass many of today’s modern digital recordings with respect to dynamic range and tonal interest.

My reference system was producing power and dynamics of this recording to lifelike SPL’s with ease. Closing my eyes, I really felt like I was in a jazz cellar in NYC listening to this sextuplet grace me with their phenomenal performance. Track #2 “Freddie Freeloader” is my favorite song on the whole album. It just oozes coolness and if you’re foot isn’t tapping on this tune, someone needs to check your pulse. Bill Evan tickles the ivories with a surgeon’s precision. I got instant goose bumps when Miles’ trumpet kicked in. I just couldn’t get over how lifelike and vivacious it sounded, especially when Coltrane answered Miles in his solo. I was truly getting that “better than being there” experience found only from properly setting up and pairing the best electronics and loudspeakers in a great sounding room with exceptional source material.

 

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

Recent Forum Posts:

Pogre posts on April 18, 2017 22:28
Rats can be cuddly once you get to know them.
Strum und Drang posts on April 18, 2017 21:46
Good question. The rat is a multi-purpose tool. It not only can accurately judge the best speaker cables, it will also provide companionship in lieu of a dog or a cat. Plus, if you have leftovers that are about to go bad, the rat also functions as a self-powered, self-propelled portable garbage disposal. (or, you can just rent a 14 year old)

I actually did a growth curve on a white rat in high school science. Amazing how much they can eat and how fast they grow. And they do like baloney. Something that life is full of.

I'm very happy my Polk towers do not need $700 speaker wire to sound wonderful.
Bizarro_Stormy posts on April 18, 2017 19:23
Why not just wrap the speaker wire in baloney..?
Should be cheaper than the rat in the long run…
and you get nifty baloney scented wire…

It's a win win…
Strum und Drang posts on April 17, 2017 21:00
Maybe I can go to Pet smart, buy a baby white rat, start feeding it baloney, do a growth curve on it, and see if it can discern minor sounds produced by my new, $700 speaker wires. The fully fledged, full of baloney rat should be able to hear how great those speaker wires are, and accurately describe just how nuanced they are. I can then set up my own ABX test with my skilled operator, great listener, rat. I should get excellent test results. After all, that rat will be full of baloney.
Speedskater posts on April 17, 2017 17:58
Strum und Drang, post: 1182980, member: 82454
What is a “sensitive ABX test?” I don't measure any of this stuff except with my ears and use them to determine if speaker A sounds better or not than speaker B, etc. You can scientifically measure many differences that go beyond human hearing abilities. Many people that advocate for very expensive speaker wires claim they can hear a big difference for the better. This is subjective and it does enter into purchasing decisions.
A “sensitive ABX test?” is one that is setup by skilled operators with experienced listeners and using very demanding test signals. An ABX test is about hearing very, very small differences. The differences are too small to have a preference. It's not a preference test that might apply to most loudspeakers.
Post Reply