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dcstep
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Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Starting in August of '07 I began a major upgrade of my system, adding the Vienna Acoustic Baby Grand speakers and a Pro-ject RM10 turntable in quick order with dramatic results. Next came a Conrad Johnson CA200 control amplifier (see review) and, most importantly a Sumiko Master Set placement of my speakers (see review).

I was using about 15ft of Kimber 8PR. When he finished my speaker set, Rod Thomson of Soundings, my Colorado based dealer, said something like, "Your system's sounding really good, now you'll need to try some Analysis Plus cable to get the most out of it." Well, that might sound self-serving, but I've grown to trust Rod and promised to try them in a few weeks, after I got used to my amazing new speaker set.

I picked up 15-feet of A-P Solo Crystal Oval 8 from Soundings and started listening tonight. First I spent 15 minutes listening with the Kimber. I thought it sounded pretty darn good and couldn't really imagine what I'd accomplish by putting in the Analysis Plus. Would it be worth a $1700 price difference? I really doubted that I'd want to spend 2-grand for the teeny, tiny improvement I expected.

I was stunned. I was pulling out my wallet and calling Soundings to order me an 8-foot pair after only 30-minutes of listening. I started with Hugh Masekela's "Stimela (The Coal Train)" from his incredible, live album "Hope". Many audiophiles have heard this cut and I've now got it on a pristine new, 45 rpm pressing from Analogue Productions (highly recommended, it's almost totally quiet except for the 40+ dB of dynamic range). As a trumpeter, I really appreciate the accurate recording of his horns. This is an amazing live recording.

It didn't take a ton of back and forth to hear a tiny little difference. I heard it on the first cymbal crash/splash. I heard the fundamental and separately I heard a detailed series of harmonics. Next, the bass did the same thing. I could hear the fundamental absolutely rock solid and harmonics stood out separately. It was like hearing 8 or so separate tones, stacked together, yet separated and detailed.

Dynamics were pretty much the same as was overall timbre. Almost all the difference was in this detail. The bass seemed more "solid" but it was NOT louder. With the Kimber, the fundamental wasn't as focused and clear, but instead it smeared slightly with its harmonics. That off center sound made bass tones seem less powerful, focused and solid.

Next I pulled out Nora Jones on a 180 gram LP. I love several tracks on Nora's "feels like home" album. "Above
Ground" has incredible depth and texture, not only in Nora's sweet voice, but the snare sound and a clear placement of each instrument. Once again, the improvement was in the details. Any voice is composed of various parts of the vocal system (vocal cords, chest, lips, and head) and now that was all clear distinct and clear. I clearly heard the components of Nora's voice.

Rob Wasserman's "Duets" CD is full of incredible bass. The bass seemed more solid than with the Kimber and once again it was due to separation of the fundamental from the harmonics. The air actually sizzles around the strings as they vibrate and you hear that more clearly. Vocalists' sibilants are also broken into their components with a fundamental and harmonics, making it less, well... sibilant, taking the edge off and making it seems like harmonics stacked on a high pitched sound.

Once I heard it, the price was cheap. This is on the order of a serious upgrade of a pre-amp or a better cartridge.

Ok, I needed to go back to the Kimber to confirm my findings. (My system is in an armoire, so it takes a few minutes to go back and forth). I instantly and EASYILY heard the difference. Of course, now I couldn't live with the Kimbers, after hearing the difference. My description above IS accurate. The fundamental and harmonics get smeared together slightly with the Kimber. You hear a "tone" but not the components of the tone. I'm amazed. The difference was larger than when I went from my Bryston 1B/2B amp/pre-amp combination to the Conrad Johnson. Maybe a lot of the difference was masked by the Kimber.

Sorry about my wallet. ;-)

Dave

Elk
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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Neat!

I really want to like Analysis Plus interconnects and cables and powered various pairs of about a month some time ago. They didn't work for me, even when I was biased in their favor.

But they are obviously working wonderfully well for you. Your dealer knows his stuff.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

I did not think I would actually find someone who did what I did i.e move from Kimber (4TC in my case) to these cables.
Other than the hit on the wallet I too have no regrets whatsoever.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:
Neat!

I really want to like Analysis Plus interconnects and cables and powered various pairs of about a month some time ago. They didn't work for me, even when I was biased in their favor.

But they are obviously working wonderfully well for you. Your dealer knows his stuff.

Thanks Elk, understood. Which A-P speaker cables did you try and what did you end up with, if you don't mind me asking? What was the biggest difference between the A-Ps and what you ended up with?

I'm toying with trying various interconnects down the road. I plan to put them between my Pro-ject Tube Box phono pre, direct into my Korg MR1000 recording in DSD at 5.6MHz. That Korg is SO revealing that I think this'll prove very educational. If that works, then I'll downconvert to DVD-A so that I can share with you guys.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:
I did not think I would actually find someone who did what I did i.e move from Kimber (4TC in my case) to these cables.
Other than the hit on the wallet I too have no regrets whatsoever.


Wow, double-wow!

I didn't reveal that when I added the Vienna Acoustics I went from 4PR to 8PR. I was too excited about the speakers to mess around with comparing my cables at the time.

I've heard the A-Ps with several Vienna Acoustics speakers and a couple of other amps besides my C-J (Rowland) and all seemed to work equally well. What speaker/amp combo are you using RabPaul?

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:
Which A-P speaker cables did you try and what did you end up with, if you don't mind me asking? What was the biggest difference between the A-Ps and what you ended up with?


They were the Solo Crystal, $2k+ for the pair. They had a bright sibilant sort of sound in my system. Later on (after trying numerous others) I tried a set of PS Audio xStream bi-wire. These are the ones that I kept. They have a nice clear transparent sound.

I don't like that cables can sound different. To me, they should simply transmit the signal, unchanged, to the speakers. My head insists that once a basic level of electrical competency is met cables would render no further improvement. My ears insist otherwise. ARGH!

The Korg unit is astounding for the money. I love that it even has battery operated phantom powered XLR inputs for a pair of mics.

How long does it take to convert a DSD file to 24/96 using AudioGate? (I downloaded the program from Korg, not knowing that you need to connect a MR1000 to your computer to unlock the program. Oh well . . .) I have DiskWelder Bronze - it takes a very long time to convert DSD files to PCM. Hours for a 30 minute stereo file. I had hoped that AudiGate was open and performed the task much quicker.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:

They were the Solo Crystal, $2k+ for the pair. They had a bright sibilant sort of sound in my system. Later on (after trying numerous others) I tried a set of PS Audio xStream bi-wire. These are the ones that I kept. They have a nice clear transparent sound.

Yeah, "in my system" is the key. Generally we're all going to have different amps, turntables, cartridges, etc. Unfortunately hardly any component comes into the system without adding its own signature, EVEN COPPER WIRE. So, there's no way to avoid trying a prospective component without putting it into your own system.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:

How long does it take to convert a DSD file to 24/96 using AudioGate? (I downloaded the program from Korg, not knowing that you need to connect a MR1000 to your computer to unlock the program. Oh well . . .) I have DiskWelder Bronze - it takes a very long time to convert DSD files to PCM. Hours for a 30 minute stereo file. I had hoped that AudiGate was open and performed the task much quicker.

It's just as slow. I have to change the computer power settings and do it at night.

Once your converted, I've got a Windows Media Player plug-in that writes a DVD-A reasonably quickly. It's pretty slick. Problem is, my Oppo universal player doesn't always recognize it. I haven't figured out how to get 100% reliability. The disc plays on my computers every time, so it's something to do with my operation of the Oppo.

Since any sharing that I'd do with the Korg will need to be at DVD-A resolution, I'm thinking of recording at that level to begin with and avoid the conversion step. I'm up in the air about archiving, since I want to use the highest resolution possible I get into a box, because play back, other than back thru the Korg, requires a tedious downconvert, I'm in Pause Mode right now.

If a consumer DAC would come along to read my raw files saved to a separate HD (you need a terabite with these huge file sizes), then I'd be totally there. I think that something like that is on the not too distant horizon, but I'm waiting for now.

I downloaded the hi rez version of Linn's "Messiah". It was 2.5GB at SACD levels, taking hours on a T1 line. At 5.6MHz it'd be a 5GB file...

Hi rez digital is truly amazing and gives nothing up to analog. All we need is a couple of interfaces to make it truly useable.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

As a point of interest - and paralleling the "you are from where?" thread - Analysis Plus are headquartered on Main St. in my hometown of Flushing, MI.
Pretty cool.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Dave,
I have a Bryston 4BSST and Thiel 2.4s.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:
Dave,
I have a Bryston 4BSST and Thiel 2.4s.

Interesting. I used Bryston for 25-years and came extremely close to buying the Thiels back in the 1990s.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

NUTS! I really hoped that Audiogate was quicker.

Recording in DSD and high resolution PCM is indeed amazing.

I use a Tascam DVD RA1000 for location recording. Sometimes I record in DSD or 24/176 just because it sounds so good on playback. Of course it needs to be downconverted for anyone else to listen to it.

DiscWelder Bronze works for me and the DVD-As I burn work on all players on which I and others have tried them. It is well worth $100.

Have you tried recording a brass quintet yet? I find this devilishly hard. The dynamic range is not a problem (amazing!) with 24 bit resolution. However, getting the timbre and balance right is quite a challenge, despite having good mics and a good mic pre. I am certain part of this is that I know what brass should sound like.

Also fascinating is recording piano. I would never have imagined all the different ways to record piano and the resulting differences in sound. I have a nice grand piano, recently tuned and serviced, and yet recording the piano reveals every little fault in piano preparation. Now I really understand why high-end studios put so much time and money into their pianos.

I am really pleased that the Analysis Plus cables are working for you. They have worked very hard on them (and are great to talk to by the way). As you point out, even cables are system dependent. I continue to maintain that electricity is weird.

dcstep
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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Update:

The review above was based on 15' loaner cables from my dealer. They've got several hundred hours on them, so they're totally burned-in. Analysis Plus recommends 300-hours of burn-in.

So, how do brand new cables sound? My 8' set came in yesterday and I hooked them up to the Vienna Acoustics today, so here's the cold hard facts:

I used Analogue Productions' newly released 180 gram, 45 rpm version Hugh Masekela's "Hope" to give the cables a real dynamic test and avoid any possible remnants of digital hash or awkward compression. BTW, this is a wonderful LP, with almost no surface noise, rich timbres, huge dynamics and great talent.

Thankfully the sonic signature is the same overall as the broken-in cables. The timbres are dead on. Remember me talking about all the details and layering of harmonics on top of the fundemental, well that's greatly reduced. The cowbell now has one fundemental sound with little richness and complexity. The high hat has much less "splash". The flugel didn't make the dog howl.

Volume actually seemed down slightly, which really surprised me given the significantly shorter length. (I should have tested with my SPL meter, but I didn't even think of that until I'd already made the switch and didn't relish moving the amp around in the armoire to go back to the old cables). (My systme is set up for listening, not reviewing).

There's no harshness, it's just like the micro-details are held in somehow. There's nothing "bad" about the new cables, just not anything "special" enough for the considerable cost.

Would I have spent $1700 if this was what I was expecting? The answer is "no." It's an improvement over the Kimber, but not $1500 worth.

My dealer, Rod Thomson of Soundings, warned me and asked for a report. Analysis Plus mentions 300 hours of burn-in with the literature they package with the cables.

Sooo, if you ordered some of these sight unseen based on my review or other reviews, then don't be disappointed at the first blush. They'll get WAY BETTER and turn into something "special." I've experienced burn-in/break-in improvement with cartridges, speakers, amps and preamps, but I'm actually a little amazed that the impact on a piece of wire could be so dramatic.

Live and learn.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:
Of course, now I couldn't live with the Kimbers, after hearing the difference.


Can you really put a value on this? I could not.
If you have the means you should not either, unless that money is better spent elsewhere on your system or the house, the wife, the kids etc.

dcstep
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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:

Quote:
Of course, now I couldn't live with the Kimbers, after hearing the difference.


Can you really put a value on this? I could not.
If you have the means you should not either, unless that money is better spent elsewhere on your system or the house, the wife, the kids etc.

Eactly. There's now one more price to be paid, waiting on the new cables to burn-in, but I know it's worth it.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Thanks for the update. Interesting stuff.

You sure are having fun!

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

my theory for what it's worth is that some cable may sound better than others because it more closely matches the wiring the speaker maker used. i have seen some reviews where the maker wanted the reviewer to use a specific cable or even provided that cable. of course it will also have to do with how the cable interacts with the amp as well. in my experience, the difference between cable i was using for my old speakers that i had to use on the new ones for a bit and the nordost the dealer recommended for my new speakers was astounding. i would have returned the speakers if i had to have kept using that cable. it was like the post in analog where the poster said it was like has speakers were vieled. a good experienced dealer should have a good idea of what works better from their own trial and error and they should also be getting this info from the speaker maker who should have tried different cables during testing and would be in a position to recommend better matches. also, a very experienced audiophile with the same system might also have good info.

tom

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

True enough. Once you get to that area in crossover design in the more rarefied speakers where one is trading off 0.25db differences in signal matching levels between drivers, you can get into subtle transient/phase agreeance issues between drivers which can really change the subjective understanding of the 'balance' of the speaker as a whole system.

This translates to a situation where one speaker cable can easily be preferred over another, due to the subtleties involved-and their sensitivity to external influence, ie, cables and equipment. The crossover set up/execution 'delicacy' at such level and the discernment of the given buyer/listener is the core of the issue, with respects to achieving a balance the buyer/listener prefers.

There is no reason that such cannot happen with a given inexpensive speaker, but it tends to happen more often at the top of the market.

dcstep
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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

150-hours into burn-in and they're sounding a lot better. After 300-hours I'll give a final update.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Ok, I passed 300-hours and they're totally opened up now, really just like the dealer loaners that I based the initial review on.

They started sounding good at 100-hours but there was another large step going from 150 to 300-hours.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Great news!

And weird. It still bugs me that wire can and does sound different.

But it also bugs me that Adam Andretti was able to consistently achieve greater sustained g-forces in my car than I under identical conditions on the same day. One would think that the car itself would alone dictate the result of this objective measurement: g-force is g-force, right? Nope.

BTW, Dave, got a great Easter gig lined up? I am at a wonderful old church with a great organ and an excellent organist and music director. I have no idea yet what I am playing but will find out this Saturday when we get together and rehearse. It will be fun!

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

If there is a hell and I'm destined to spend all eternity there,
I will be condemned to breaking-in audio cables forever.

Kidding aside, the most interesting aspect of cable break-in to me
is having the cable improve for a bit, only to retreat back to where
it was many hours before and then repeat the process a few times until
it finally stabilizes. You have no stage, no bass, no highs and then
you have great bass, then no bass again and then it shows up again even
better.

My experience is much like yours. There seems to be a point around the
100 hour mark where the bass finally settles in, but the focus drifts
in and out until it finally settles down. Focus seems to be the final
stage when you know you've pretty well flushed out the cable's character.

I once became extremely frustrated breaking-in new cables because they
were taking forever. I knew what the final sound would be because I had
auditioned well used cables before buying new. After all but giving up
on the new ones, I decided to disconnect them from the amp and reconnect
them. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but the cables jumped ahead within
an hour or so and quickly progressed to stabilization. It's almost like
they had reached a plateau and needed to take a step back to push through.

I'm the first to admit this is strange stuff, but it is what it is.

Glad you like your new cables. Gear changes always leave me liking some
things better and some things not as much. Cables are no different.

dcstep
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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:
Great news!

And weird. It still bugs me that wire can and does sound different.

But it also bugs me that Adam Andretti was able to consistently achieve greater sustained g-forces in my car than I under identical conditions on the same day. One would think that the car itself would alone dictate the result of this objective measurement: g-force is g-force, right? Nope.

BTW, Dave, got a great Easter gig lined up? I am at a wonderful old church with a great organ and an excellent organist and music director. I have no idea yet what I am playing but will find out this Saturday when we get together and rehearse. It will be fun!

I was thinking about the expert driver vs. experienced audiophile last night. Lewis Hamilton has been racing since he was four, hours per day. Someone with equal innate talent couldn't possibly balance a car at the limit due to lack of comparable training and practice. Guys like us that understand weight transfer, smooth throttle application, left foot braking, etc. can smoke an average driver in their own car, BUT Hamilton would smoke us twice as bad. To presume that an untrained listener can hear and describe things as well as an experienced, practiced listener is just as ludicrous.

I lay low this Easter. I did gigs last Sunday and the Sunday before and a Saturday Haydn Requiem, but no Easter this year. So, I'll actually be with my family for a change. Nice because we'll have two granddaughters visiting on their spring breaks.

Yes, wire's are weird. Can't 'splain it.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Hamilton, driving a stock Civic on my local track, would soon lap me in my Z06. And I would love the experience.

The local Ferrari club flew in Derek Bell (five times le Mans winner, F1 driver) for a club event. I asked him to ride with me and to drive my Z06. What he can do with a car is astounding. I was particularly annoyed with his beautifully synced heel/toe downshifts from around 135 mph down to ~20 mph for a 110 degree corner. I brake and grab second, with one heel/toe for this corner. He tracks each gear while threshold braking, "in case someone tries to pass and I need to get on the throttle". Amazing.

The simile between an experienced listener and an experienced driver is excellent. In both cases the average person thinks they are competent; e.g., everyone believes they are a better driver than the average person. They have no idea how wrong they are. This is exactly the same with listening to audio - even just an enthusiast, let alone as a mastering engineer, hears more than the average person. Experience, practice and knowledge makes a tremendous difference.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:
Hamilton, driving a stock Civic on my local track, would soon lap me in my Z06. And I would love the experience.

The local Ferrari club flew in Derek Bell (five times le Mans winner, F1 driver) for a club event. I asked him to ride with me and to drive my Z06. What he can do with a car is astounding. I was particularly annoyed with his beautifully synced heel/toe downshifts from around 135 mph down to ~20 mph for a 110 degree corner. I brake and grab second, with one heel/toe for this corner. He tracks each gear while threshold braking, "in case someone tries to pass and I need to get on the throttle". Amazing.

The simile between an experienced listener and an experienced driver is excellent. In both cases the average person thinks they are competent; e.g., everyone believes they are a better driver than the average person. They have no idea how wrong they are. This is exactly the same with listening to audio - even just an enthusiast, let alone as a mastering engineer, hears more than the average person. Experience, practice and knowledge makes a tremendous difference.


Wow, that ride with Derek must have been incredible.

Many audiophiles have the equipment and no skill; it's the same with cars. I'm sure you've seen it also. I still remember a guy that showed up at an event with a beautiful De Tomaso with what looked to be a 600 hp Ford Cleveland stuck in the back and all kinds of suspension tweaks. It should have been a seriously fast car and I would have paid a lot of money to take it out for a lap or two. Well, this guys spins at least once per lap, then comes in and kicks the car and curses the tires. His WIFE gets in the car and smokes us all with fast lap of the day. She probably had him groveling in the bedroom too (she was as hot as the Ferrari-red car). The guy was driving with his penis, which NEVER works.

For entry level racing I always recommend the shallow end first. Audio is the same. Both hobbies can burn mega-bucks. In both hobbies it's easy for the budget to outrun the talent. When people keep both in balance and are patient and work at their skills, then both hobbies are very rewarding.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Exactly!

My best example is a student two years ago, a 25 year old woman in a Dodge Neon SRT-4, who on her second lap smoked a guy with many laps experience in a Ford GT, requiring him to let her pass. I attribute this to superior instruction, of course.

Even more amazing, he was so frustrated that when she came to see his car in the cold pits, near drooling and to ask for a ride, he wouldn't acknowledge her. Straight, single guy - refuses to talk to cute, young, single female because she can drive.

Back to the cables: you have been so pleased with these that I am tempted to seek out an exceedingly well broken-in set and to give them another try. Perhaps I was wrong the first time.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:
...
Back to the cables: you have been so pleased with these that I am tempted to seek out an exceedingly well broken-in set and to give them another try. Perhaps I was wrong the first time.

Yeah, I think used is the way to go. I almost stole the dealer's, but they were five-feet per side more than I needed and he wouldn't sell at half-price. That's understandable.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

i agree with used and especially demo if available. i bought a pair of nordost 4 metres that normally retailed for $800 for $200. they were already broken in, but like you, at the time, thought that seemed too long. it has actually turned out to be a good thing as i have used the entire run in a previous setup. i think it is pretty hard to abuse cables, so they should be in good shape used.

tom

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:
Hamilton, driving a stock Civic on my local track, would soon lap me in my Z06. And I would love the experience.

The local Ferrari club flew in Derek Bell (five times le Mans winner, F1 driver) for a club event. I asked him to ride with me and to drive my Z06. What he can do with a car is astounding. I was particularly annoyed with his beautifully synced heel/toe downshifts from around 135 mph down to ~20 mph for a 110 degree corner. I brake and grab second, with one heel/toe for this corner. He tracks each gear while threshold braking, "in case someone tries to pass and I need to get on the throttle". Amazing.

The simile between an experienced listener and an experienced driver is excellent. In both cases the average person thinks they are competent; e.g., everyone believes they are a better driver than the average person. They have no idea how wrong they are. This is exactly the same with listening to audio - even just an enthusiast, let alone as a mastering engineer, hears more than the average person. Experience, practice and knowledge makes a tremendous difference.

I redesigned my air intakes ('velocity stacks') on my car, and now I have about a 1/2-1/4 second jump on other cars when it comes to the development of torque and rpm, thus..acceleration.

I don't know exactly what to do with the innovation, as it's a bit more valuable than the standard audiophile 'innovation'.

I've been sitting on it now, for two years. I dunno what to do with the dang thing.

KBK
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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


Quote:
Exactly!

My best example is a student two years ago, a 25 year old woman in a Dodge Neon SRT-4, who on her second lap smoked a guy with many laps experience in a Ford GT, requiring him to let her pass. I attribute this to superior instruction, of course.

Even more amazing, he was so frustrated that when she came to see his car in the cold pits, near drooling and to ask for a ride, he wouldn't acknowledge her. Straight, single guy - refuses to talk to cute, young, single female because she can drive.

Oh man, I'd be so in love 'at first sight'. Baby, you drive stick? Awesome. Let's get married.

I bought the ultimate 'Q' ship:

http://www.k-bikes.com/pp/data/504/3368DSCN5182_web-med.jpg

Not my exact car, bu the colour is the same. Anthracite. Impossible to tell what colour the car is, at times. Especially at night. And people never see it.

You never saw me, I was never here. People can variously think the car is brown, grey, blue, green, black'ish', etc. Plus, I pulled the logos off. It's just a car. But it goes like stink, and in style. That flat torque and HP curve is mind bogglng, if you've never driven a car with that aspect. No real HP or Torque 'peak' to worry about. Just get on it at any RPM..and it goes. I tend to fix my own cars and that (variable-turning cams) mess is horribly complex, but at least it 'seems' (8 years into the model) to have a low failure rate.

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KBK, which model is that? I'm thinking of an M3 or M5, but that color could be critical in my decision process. I like having a back seat in emergency, but the ZO6 sure has it all (performance wise) in an affordable package.

Dave

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I've been sitting on it now, for two years. I dunno what to do with the dang thing.

I think Elk would agree with me, RACE IT!

Dave

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i agree with used and especially demo if available. i bought a pair of nordost 4 metres that normally retailed for $800 for $200. they were already broken in, but like you, at the time, thought that seemed too long. it has actually turned out to be a good thing as i have used the entire run in a previous setup. i think it is pretty hard to abuse cables, so they should be in good shape used.

It's rare, but in very humid climates you can get some corrosion near the terminations. I suppose that someone could shampoo the carpets, leave the cables down and do some damage.

I'd even be interest in cable with corrosion at the terminations, at a steep discount. I'd cut off a few inches and re-terminate.

Dave

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KBK, which model is that? I'm thinking of an M3 or M5, but that color could be critical in my decision process. I like having a back seat in emergency, but the ZO6 sure has it all (performance wise) in an affordable package.

Dave

E39 M5. Knowing the car from front to back, and how to assess one is critical in any attempt of an M5 purchase. Experts or expertise is required to make a decent purchase. Someone who knows cars, is not the way to go. Specific E39 M5 experts are required. It's the only way to know the difference between a trashed E39 M5... and a good one.

This is what I tell folks: "190 Mph, 1g in the corners, the biggest rotors available on any production car when introduced....and..3 baby seats across the back!

And a friend of mine who was/is an emergency services worker on a major crash spot in a city of 500k with two busy and thriving BMW dealerships says: "Good choice. In over 17 years of pulling people out of cars with the jaws of death on that 8 lane wide stretch (4 per side) under the most horrific weather and conditions known to man... I've NEVER had to pull a single person out of a BMW with the Jaws, and no one has ever died in one. The doors almost always open."

The real tale on that one, is that in Germany, the cars are sometimes sold back to the original owner, after they've flipped it and blown to all to pieces on the autobahn.

They sell it at the German version of the autotrader, 'mobile.de' they show cars with a standard set of photos. The standard set includes a front shot, a side shot, a rear shot, a side/front angle shot..and a open drivers door interior shot.

Sometimes you are looking at a mangled mess so bad, you have no idea it is a BMW. Until they show you the interior shot.

With the open door!

Awesome.

I have no intention of dying in my car, so a car that may not be so high on standardized testing..but in the 'real world' has a HISTORY of keeping people alive..I'll go for that, for sure.

E39 M5 owners search around, and search around,and search around..trying like hell to get a better, more overall balanced and capable 'car'. They simply can't find one.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


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KBK, which model is that? I'm thinking of an M3 or M5, but that color could be critical in my decision process. I like having a back seat in emergency, but the ZO6 sure has it all (performance wise) in an affordable package.

Dave


But for having only two seats my brother would have purchased a Z06 after driving mine. Instead, he bought an M3 SMG. He brings it to the track for open lapping and it performs exceedingly well. Great car.

His is Carbon Black (think carbon paper, looks both black and a very dark blue depending on light). The Anthracite paint is fun also.

The only thing bad is that the M3 weighs ~3,700+ lbs and one is well aware of this when transitioning from corner to corner. All that weight detracts from its performance. This is my only criticism of the M5 as well. At two tons+ the M5 is hardly lithe. But on the up side they are quiet, smooth, exceedingly comfortable and very safe.

The BMW groups are full of great people and knowledgeable. Excellent club events - and not nearly as anal as the Audi guys (Do we really need to sweep the track before we go out? It's a lap timer already - and it's hard-mounted. Who cares if lunch is eight minutes late.) <sheesh>

KBK, if your intake mod actually works you would have zero difficulty licensing and selling it. Air box and intake mods are the most popular home-garage mods and they sell like mad. Go for it.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Yeah, weight is killer. I was considering a Mustang Cobra, but the damn thing came in at 2-tons. It needs ALL 500-hp to make it to 60 in 5 seconds. It's now the pony car that Licoln would make!!

I'll soul search and decide if I want to be truly competitive or just buy a fun car that can competently run in the front half of the pack, but not the front, like the M3. Of course, with the update/backdate rules of Solo II I could buy another old 5.0 Mustang LX and squeeze in the Cobra engine, suspension and brakes. It'll all hang on the chassis and would be a 3,000 lb rocket. Still, like KBK, I like the safety features of a modern car, totally lacking in the old LXs.

I NEED the kick in the butt of 500 hp; otherwise, I buy an S2000 or RX8 and be very competitive in AS or BS. I hear the siren song of the ZO6....

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Power is addictive, indeed. Unless you have decided to get one, don't look at what Z06's actually dyno. It isn't just 505 bhp as advertised.

But then there is the bother of dealing with 20 brake pads whenever doing the brakes.

Both the RX8 (I bought one of the first ones that came into the country) and the S2000 reward competent drivers. They are a great way to find out what bad habits you have.

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Power is addictive, indeed. Unless you have decided to get one, don't look at what Z06's actually dyno. It isn't just 505 bhp as advertised.

But then there is the bother of dealing with 20 brake pads whenever doing the brakes.

Both the RX8 (I bought one of the first ones that came into the country) and the S2000 reward competent drivers. They are a great way to find out what bad habits you have.

I'm 40+ years into it, so I've got all my bad habits cemented. The ole 5-liter Mustang was only fast when driven under control. The sorry brakes, limited traction, but relatively high speed made it a fun handful.

I've driven a regular C6 in a couple of Corvette Club AXs. The only thing lacking was another 100hp or so. When it's time, I'll go drive the ZO6, M3 and another contender or two on the same day and then make up my mind. Maybe a used GT3, should also be in the mix. It's a super AX car.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Hi KBK- I'm a little confused about the "variable turning cams.' I've heard of variable timing that changes the cam duration/overlap events for a flatter torque curve. Is it similar?

All this car talk has me jealous. The vehicles in this thread rate in the "dream" class for me. I do appreciate dc elevating the art in a "fitty." I've kept my '89 5.0 absolutely cherry for 160k. It's a crude beast, but a nice little torque pig.

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...

All this car talk has me jealous. The vehicles in this thread rate in the "dream" class for me. I do appreciate dc elevating the art in a "fitty." I've kept my '89 5.0 absolutely cherry for 160k. It's a crude beast, but a nice little torque pig.

Keep dreaming.

Mine was an '89 LX. I put almost 150k on it before selling it in Dallas about 3-years ago. I had Flowmaster exhaust, JBA headers, hi-flow cats, Eibach springs, Auburn limited slip, special intake and mass air with 3.55 gears. Oh yeah, the very first thing I did was add the Tokiko Illumina 5-way adjustable shocks and a light weight, adjustable, hollow front sway bar. Replacement tower braces allowed about 2-degrees of negative camber.

With Hoosier or Yokos it'd pull about 1.2Gs at peaks and steady state around .99+, which is pretty darn good for a Mustang. It was very competitive in E Street Prepared. I never took it to the drags because I didn't want to bust the tranny or rear end (SCCA doesn't allow to beef up either in ESP). It was probably a 13-second car.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Great setup!

The 5.0 Mustangs are fun cars and there is lots of knowledge out there on how to properly sort them out. The solid rear axle is a challenge on a road course or in AX, but this is part of what demonstrates a skilled driver. Excellent bang/buck.

Dave, I also don't dragrace except on rare occasion as a fun event sort of thing. I can't get myself to power shift a perfectly good manual tranny.

Plus, I am terrible at a drag course.

Take my time, subtract a good second or second and a half, and you get an idea of what my car can do. The track workers and other participants always see coaching me as an important project after seeing the high trap speed but bad time. They have this mistaken belief that I can be redeemed.

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Great setup!

The 5.0 Mustangs are fun cars and there is lots of knowledge out there on how to properly sort them out. The solid rear axle is a challenge on a road course or in AX, but this is part of what demonstrates a skilled driver. Excellent bang/buck.

Dave, I also don't dragrace except on rare occasion as a fun event sort of thing. I can't get myself to power shift a perfectly good manual tranny.

Plus, I am terrible at a drag course.

Take my time, subtract a good second or second and a half, and you get an idea of what my car can do. The track workers and other participants always see coaching me as an important project after seeing the high trap speed but bad time. They have this mistaken belief that I can be redeemed.

It took me a long time to learn that the 5.0's natural propensity to let the rear go would be an advantage in AX. Now, the tighter the corners the more time I gain by letting it rotate under trail-braking, then catching it when I'm pointed the right direction. Actually, Brian Till taught me that at Skip Barber, about the time he was the Formula Atalantic champ, long ago...

As for the drags, I'll do it IF they don't have a ton of traction goop laid down. That stuff will snap perfectly fine rears and trannies. I just stay away to save the drive line. You either need to build your car with that in mind or stay away, IMHO.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

You two guys need to get a room.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

But then I couldn't explain trail-braking and why I never let a beginner on a roadcourse even think about trying it, especially in a front-wheel drive car. ("Let's see...I'll put the silver car in the corner inner pocket...")

I could also explain one of the reasons that an Audi A4 or an A6 (etc.) falls behind a BMW or an Infiniti G-35 at the first corner even if the Audi has more power.

But we did digress.

And I have no clue if changing out the cables in my in-car intercom would improve the sound.

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Hi KBK- I'm a little confused about the "variable turning cams.' I've heard of variable timing that changes the cam duration/overlap events for a flatter torque curve. Is it similar?

All this car talk has me jealous. The vehicles in this thread rate in the "dream" class for me. I do appreciate dc elevating the art in a "fitty." I've kept my '89 5.0 absolutely cherry for 160k. It's a crude beast, but a nice little torque pig.

The e39 M5 has the first running example of a 'dual Vanos' or dual variable cams.

This means that each intake and exhast cam actually are altered in their rotational position for timing issues, throughout the RPM range.

What this does, is it give the S62 5 liter v-8 motor a minimum of 85% of it's 400 ft-lb's of torque..from 1800 rpm to 7000 rpm. That's nearly stump pulling torque, but not quite...but it's all at an even pace throughout any throttle position. the HP curve is nearly a perfect ramp up to the 7000 rpm redline. The motor has 8 individual butterflies, and velocity stacks, etc. All in all a nice piece of work, both mechanically and visually. Peeing and dumping in your pants as your innards have gone liquefied happens if the motor somehow becomes damaged. The original BMW price (new-short block replacement) per motor comes in at a hefty $25k.

Elk: I redesigned the velocity stacks. They near instantaneous response now, about 1/4 to 1/2 second faster, and more 'snap' when you tap the throttle. The car is now almost too ridiculously sensitive to how you ride the accelerator.

I figured that this was a key point in normally aspirated racing, and may be useful elsewhere.

First I need to get someone else, someone serious (who knows the market and how to approach it), into the whole thing..as..as far as I can tell..this is the first serious change in this thinking (velocity stacks) in about 50 years.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Variable RPM cams are neat, there are a good number of car engines with them. Very clever.

KBK, your mod sounds great - anything that helps deliver power more quickly is great stuff!

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Variable cams? Do you guys mean variable timing? The cams themselves don't
actually do anything do they?

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Variable cams? Do you guys mean variable timing? The cams themselves don't
actually do anything do they?

The 'vanos' system on BMW motors (usually just the M series of vehicles) is a hydraulically activated system, at 1500+ psi, where the cams themselves are turned (via gears) by this pressured pump system, each and every time the engine rpm changes. Thus the near flat full bore 'torque curve', or in this case 'torque line'.

Unsurprisingly, the M series motors, when they fail, within those failure #'s..there is a notably high number of journal bearing failures. This is due to the low rpm 'slamming' (resonance) of the crank bearings (the journal bearings) at the low rpm range, due to this very high torque at the low rpm. Spec'ing a 5 liter engine with a 7k redline, is also a cause of failure, as the story goes that due to the crank surface area on a average 5 liter motor, the amount of metal passing by a given oiled crank bearing area..the oil cannot maintain a film above approximately 6k rpm. Thus, I try to never get close to the 7k rpm redline, as each time increases the wear to some degree. This is why small motors have such high rpm limits, its the smaller circumferential areas of the crank bearings. Like measuring your waist, you measure the crank size and area, and that dictates to a large degree, the limit in RPM for that engine. It's a lubricity issue.

I know of one guy who blew his M5 S62 motor within about week of owning the M5. He decided to engage in some engine braking while speeding on the highway, due to some debris he saw, he says. Or maybe the 6 gear gate was still fooling him a bit. All in all, the ECU (engine control unit) showed the sad tale. The motor had spent just over 30 seconds at 12,000+ rpm...lost all crankshaft lubricity.... seized solid after turning cherry red...and it blew the crank right out of the bottom of the block. Cost him about $15,000 at the time to fix it. Used BMW S62 motors are rare-and $dear$.

Elk: I just haven't remembered to do anything with this particular item-it's under the hood-I never see it. There is also another reason for my seeming procrastination (It's been under the hood for nearly 2 years).

It's patentable..and there are aspects of it's design that cut across multiple fields of endeavor, at the least. Ie, automotive areas are only one application. The idea 'goes places'.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

Whoa, I find it hard to believe that the BMW doesn't have a rev limiter. Yes, a missed shift can send an engine past rev limit, but to go to 12,000 and hold it would seem to require incredible stupidity AND a very large hill. Was the gentleman in question headed East on I-70 coming down out of the Rocky Mountains into Denver per chance?? That the only way I can imagine it possible to exceed the redline by so much for so long.

So you're telling me BMW is going to have the rebuild the M3 I'm planning to buy? It's readline is 8400 and I plan to see that pretty regularly. I can't imagine having an engine like that and not using it all.

BTW, you use the friggin' brakes to slow down, not the engine. This isn't the 1950s. Those 14+" rotors are there for a reason. Your friend sounds like a total car-idiot.

Dave

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable

It was braking via engine was the problem, the limiter does nothing at that point. It was cutting out all it could, except the foolish driver with the clutch still engaged.

Goodbye motor!

You'd have to look at the 8400 rpm, and then check it against the crank size. Ask the guys on the M3 forum(s). They'll know. Maybe. Usually there's a race mechanic or two on the boards who can fill in the blanks on that one.

The system (ECU) also has a full permanent record of every single second the engine spends above certain rpm points. This tells the BMW folks the level of abuse the given motor has gone through.

If the M3 is used, get that history report!!!!!

Between the E39 and the E46 M cars, meaning the M3 and the M5, the M5 is the faster car. Seriously. BMW fudged the numbers to keep the coupe ahead of the 4-door sedan.

The very vast majority of the E39 M5's will clock a 12.6-12.7 Quarter, and pull away from the M3 at above about 75-80 mph.

You will also quickly find hitting the redline to be useless, at best. This is in all cars, generally. It may be an expressed limit, but it is generally just a useless number. The power range in a BMW shift point-and range of acceleration in the given gear, is usually found by shifting at about 1000 rpm lower than the red line.

Guys have had their redline cut out points artificially lifted via ECU flashing, but that's risky at best. Due to what a wise race mechanic told me, I now have no desire to have my rev limit lifted.

I want the car to last, not blow up in a period of 5-10 track days. BMW is fairly conservative in their ratings, but the crank journal/speed vs area/lubricity issue is the hard physics part that no one can escape. So far.

I love the hardcore odd fact that there is no oil pressure gauge in an M5 or M3. The pressure is the pressure. What we get is a useful oil TEMP gauge.

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Re: Review: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cable


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It was braking via engine was the problem, the limiter does nothing at that point. It was cutting out all it could, except the foolish driver with the clutch still engaged.

For 30-seconds!!! The guy should have been banished.

I'm amazed at all the idiots that think engine braking is still needed to slow down fast. It only makes sense to do it going down a long hill (like the Rocky Mountains) but you watch the tach and you're only one or two gears lower than you'd normally cruise at.

So you don't think BMW knows how to design a crank? I think I'll trust their engineers over some internet forum. If they set the redline at 8400, then 8400 is what I'll consider the redline. If it blows up, they pay for it.

BTW, I'll seldom have occasion to stay on the redline for more than a few seconds at a time. Most course only require holding the redline for a second or two once or twice per lap; otherwise, I just touch it right at the shift points.

Dave

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