MIT MI-330 Proline Shotgun interconnects & MH-750 Shotgun speaker cables Page 2

MIT cables are designed as networks; the perameters of the network include impedances of the surrounding components. MIT designs interconnects to match load impedance ranges, for example. I used the medium-impedance (47k–100k ohm) interconnects to feed the Levinson No.20.6s, and high-impedance (100k–200k ohm) models upstream of the Adcom preamp. For speaker cables, it's the source impedance (tube or solid-state) that's matched by the cable, and I did the bulk of my listening with the Levinsons, hence I used the "solid-state" speaker cables.

But can good sound be "engineered in" with respect to cables? First off, the MIT wires were a key, constant component of the Thiel/Wadia/Levinson system, and all of the superlatives I've lavished on the system and other components apply equally to the cables. The system's spectacular strengths—tonal purity, precision, a huge soundstage, holographic detail and ambience recovery, and dense, dimensional images—were all shared and enhanced by the MITs.

Whenever I would swap in another cable, I would immediately notice a loss in the system's temporal and spatial precision. The edges of images would be slightly blurred, as would the detail and textures within the image itself. Microdynamic transients would fade away into a slightly grainy background, and larger transients—a sharp rim shot or explosive acoustic guitar chop, for example—sounded slightly ragged. Reinstalling the MITs instantly cleaned up the transients, erased the grainy background texture, and sharpened the detail.

The MIT cables also excelled at image and soundstage reproduction. They filled in images beautifully, making them more solid and tangible, and both dimensionality and edge definition were excellent. The sides of images seemed more real, and to stretch farther back than with other cables. Other cables had dimensionality and depth, but with the MITs, it really seemed as if I could have reached out and grabbed a singer's head, or got up and walked around between the orchestra's sections.

The MITs also seemed to open up the spaces between images more than other cables, and to move the boundaries of the soundstage a bit farther outward. I didn't specifically notice a lowering of the noise floor with the MITs, but low-level details—subtle ambient information and minute spatial cues that located and described the hall boundaries—were more apparent. Although the background noise didn't noticeably rise with other cables, the subtleties were gone, as was a bit of depth, width, and air.

Engineering or synchronicity?
As Bruce Brisson pointed out on several occasions, it's entirely possible to find a synergistic cable setup by trial and error—but proper engineering of the cable/system pairing is a much better approach. He's equally quick to point out that it's the match that's important, not the cable brand. A mismatched MIT cable will be no better—perhaps even worse—than a randomly selected one.

As a test, I auditioned a "mismatched MIT" cable in my system, using a medium- rather than a high-impedance version of the MI-330 Proline Shotgun between the Wadia CD player and Adcom line stage. Sure enough, the system's detail, precision, and purity were all degraded. Image edges were blurred slightly, and there was a distinct reduction in transparency. When I returned the proper cable to the system, the magic returned. Focus and detail were distinctly better, transients were noticeably cleaner, and the overall presentation was simultaneously sharper and more relaxed—in other words, more natural.

Summing Up
The MIT MI-330 Proline Shotgun interconnects and MI-750 Shotgun speaker cables are excellent if somewhat expensive products, and their performance in my Wadia/Levinson/Thiel system was superb. Without a doubt, they were a key piece of the best system I've had in my 20 years of listening. Substituting another cable, even a "mismatched" version of the same cable, degraded the system's performance enough to diminish the goosebump factor and make the listening experience a bit less engaging.

As significant as the cables' outstanding performance in my system was their validation of Bruce Brisson's design concepts and philosophy. Although I was convinced that he understood cable design and the sonic implications thereof, I didn't expect the effects of matching or mismatching to be as large as they were.

Yes, it's certainly possible to achieve an excellent cable/system match by trial and error. I've done it on numerous occasions, and I'm certain that I'll do it on many more. But my experience with the MI-330 and MI-750 Shotgun cables has convinced me that there are sound, established engineering principles at work here, and that proper design can take you a long way toward a good match. I unhesitatingly recommend the specific MIT cables I used, and I even more highly recommend that you audition the proper MIT cable package for your system.

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Rocklin, CA 95677
(916) 625-0129
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