The recent hooha on Tara (along with its inconclusive conclusion) begs a few questions about interconnecting cables. I can understand Michael's wanting to begin the cable auditioning process with the preamp-to-phono preamp connection -- the phono preamp, as my tiny brain understands the situation, is asked to perform a more delicate task than other links in the chain. Yet, during his review of the Tara "Zero" interconnect, Michael's only mention of the (second most important??) preamp-to-power amp hookup is to say it would cost him a couple grand more than the 15 large for other applications, due to the longer run of that connection in his particular set-up. No mention of degrees of improvement. Now, I can't reasonably ask any reviewer to cover all possible bases in a review of any piece of equipment, but the superlatives strewn about this particular component demand a more detailed description of how the Tara IC's affected the rest of the chain. Especially, since Michael's original experience was expanded to include a system-wide application.
So, all you technically-versed forum denizens out there, what about this preamp-amp connection? A couple of months ago, a state-of-the-art integrated amp (the ASR) was raved up by Michael, and, while its set-up requirements were demanding, there was no need to worry about the amp-preamp link, as it is hard wired inside the main box. Can the Tara improve on a hard-wired integrated link? Many manufacturers build preamps, power amps, and integrateds based on essentially the same designs. Michael, how does your memory see this issue? Why wouldn't ANY integrated amp that doesn't compromise power supplies, or other space-dependent variables, sound as good as it is possible to make amplification sound?
Also, Wes Phillips reviewed another designer's solution to linking source components and the power amp to a central control (the preamp). One has to wonder if CAST isn't a better solution than the Tara "Zero."
It is a shame these questions were not answered (or expanded) while the hideously expensive Tara pieces were "in house," so to speak. Comments, anyone?