MIT CVT Terminator 2 interconnect & speaker cable Page 2

It's common for audio reviewers to hear new things in familiar recordings, but with the MIT speaker cable, I was noticing new things on my own recording! Near the beginning of "Mansour's Gift," drummer Mark Flynn does some delicate, rapid-fire, upper-register background fills that I had been unaware of before using the MITs. For the life of me, I couldn't tell what percussion instrument he was playing, even though its sound was so arresting. I finally had to call Mark to ask what he'd been playing. (His answer: "Cup chimes hit with the back end of a set of brushes.") The CVT 2s reproduced the high-level dynamic bass blasts at the end of that track with the requisite SLAM!!! but with no hint of compression. The cable's bass reproduction, overall, was quite natural, though I noticed a touch of warmth in the bottom of Ray Brown's double bass during his solo in "I'm an Old Cowhand," on Sonny Rollins' Way Out West (CD, JVC VICJ-60088).

The clear, crisp, clean highs of the CVT 2 struck me as the speaker cable's greatest strength. The arrangements for the Frank De Vol Orchestra on Doris Day's Cuttin' Capers (LP, Columbia 1232) include quite a bit of upper-register percussion. On all tracks, these instruments sparkled and shimmered on a bed of air with pristine verisimilitude, serving as a backdrop to Day's rich, holographically recorded voice. Classical lovers will also appreciate the MIT's reproduction of massed strings. On Collegeum Aurem's reading of one of Vivaldi's violin concertos in E-flat major (LP, BASF Harmonia Mundi HB 29364), the original instruments shimmered with resonant silky air but with no trace of coloration or stridency.

CVT Terminator 2 interconnect
Overall, the CVT 2 interconnect seemed cut from the same sonic cloth as the speaker cable. The rich, detailed, uncolored midrange made it very easy to follow the individual vocalists of the Turtle Creek Chorale in Timothy Seelig's reading of John Rutter's Requiem (CD, Reference RR-57CD), and the sound of the recording venue's acoustic was quite evident. The extension, clarity, and tightness of the bass were extraordinary through the CVT 2. The ending of Attention Screen's "Mansour's Gift" was startling in its ability to shake the room. I'd never heard such forceful dynamic slam from an interconnect in this price range. I turned up the juice on Kraftwerk's Minimum/Maximum (CD, EMI ASW 60611) and grooved as the bass-synth blasts shook the room. The woofers of the Monitor Audio Silver RS6 speakers looked as if they were trying to jump out of their baskets-I actually felt a bit of a breeze on my ankles.

Well-recorded jazz was a pleasure to experience with the MITs. Marty Ehrlich's alto sax solo on "The Mooche," from the Jerome Harris Quintet's Rendezvous (CD, Stereophile STPH013-2), bloomed with superb articulation of low-level dynamics. Steve Nelson's vibes solo on this track had a natural, effervescent quality with transient clarity. I did notice, however, that recordings with a considerable amount of highly modulated transient activity had a certain mechanical quality. For example, in Shelly Manne's drum solo on "I'm an Old Cowhand," the cymbals and snare rim shots sounded natural, but the music didn't breathe with the linear, organic quality I've heard before. A minor nit, but worth picking.

Compared with Acarian Systems' Black Orpheus speaker cable, the MIT CVT 2 cable presented a similarly uncolored sound with just as much detail, though I felt the MIT had a slightly richer midrange. Although the Black Orpheus seemed to have more extended highs, I much preferred the sweeter, more delicate highs of the MIT-to me, it sounded far more realistic. At the opposite end of the frequency spectrum, although I was impressed with the MIT's reproduction of the lower and midbass, the Black Orpheus seemed to go deeper still, with even more high-level dynamic slam.

The most exciting part of my listening was comparing the MIT interconnect with its costlier elder brother (perhaps "uncle" is more accurate), the MI-350 CVTwin Terminator. Although in its day the MI-350 CVTwin cost more than three times as much as the CVT 2 interconnect-and that's not even taking inflation into account-and while I found the older wire a touch richer in the lower midrange, the resolution of detail and the low-level dynamic envelopes of the two wires were virtually identical. However, high frequencies were a touch silkier through the MI-350, with more purity and air. At the opposite end of the audioband, the CVT 2 exceeded the already excellent older interconnect in the areas of bass extension, clarity, and high-level dynamic slam. I found the overall performance of the CVT Terminator 2 interconnect to be in the same league as that of the MI-350 CVTwin Terminator-quite an achievement, given the huge difference in price.

Summing up
I'm not surprised that Bruce Brisson has come up with winners for his series of CVT Terminator 2 cables and interconnects. MIT now has a history of a quarter-century of bettering its older designs, and trickling down to its less expensive products the improvements and technologies discovered in the design of the pricier ones. But to my knowledge, this is the first time MIT has produced cables for only three figures that share so many of the attributes of its more expensive models. Anyone considering buying cables in the $3000-or-under range should give these remarkable designs a listen.

MIT Cables
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