There is for sure no abundance of high end audio cables on the market. That's a fact. Not each year, but each month we can attest the blooming rising and appearing of new high end audio companies. It's a trend rising fast and rapidly.
There were never a healthier competition in the cable segment of high end audio. It is a great time be around. Many complains about overcrowding the market, yet I see this as an actual advancement and broadening of our still niche audio movement. We do not only benefit from the high-end audio cable vast choices, but with new doors opening. Many of these newly cable companies decides later on to explore other products developing and introduce often very interesting products, that wouldn't be created if the initial cable business wast being started.
KBL Sound is the sum of years of experience with sound equipment and music, both, in studio and at concert or at home. Behind that experience was always hidden passion: the desire to see how close reproduction of recorded media can get to the sound of original event. The result of this search are units, cables and accessories we developed. Before they even became products, they proved to be, as a result of endless experiments and comparisons, ready to face the market and worldwide competition.
I had very nice corespondency with the KBL SOUND team and we set for the review of the Spectre line consisting of the RCA interconnects, speaker and power cables. KBL Sound top of the line products were not ready at the time and we agree, that Red Eye power cable and KBL SOUND Power Distributor will come later in september. I'm glad I've given the chance to the company entry level line as they turn out to be quite a performers.
Let us look into the manufacture comment of all three cables:
Dedicated for equipment with low power consumption, (cd players, cd and dvd transports, pickups, preamps). Devices connected to the AC using this cable sound more energetically, clearly, with the right tonal balance, well-controlled bass scene and rich spatial detail. This cable has musicality without losing neutrality. Available lengths: 1.5m, 2m, 2,5m
KBL SPECTRE SPEAKER CABLES
The Spectre Series speaker cables are build with 12 awg copper ribbons with 5N class purity and silver-plated BFA banana plugs termination. The insulator in each strand is pure cotton. With this construction and materials the sound is crystal clear, with a beautiful, saturated colours and detailed midrange frequencies. Bass lines are hard and fast. Available lengths: 2x2 m, 2x2,5 m and 2x3 m or more
KBL SPECTRE RCA INTERCONNECTS
These cables have natural tonal balance and very good sound stage. Perfectly suited for low and medium budget systems. Available lengths: 1, 1.5, 2 m or more.
DESIGN AND EXECUTION
From the very first encounter I've had a good feeling about these products. We can say don't judge the book by the cover, but I've learned over the years, that manufacturers whom taken everything about their products very seriously at the end made all the difference. KBL SOUND spectre cables might be the company entry line, but they're designed with care for quality on each step; from the packing down to the cables sleeves. I simply love when manufacturers are seeing their job and their products in mature and respected way. We'll get into the pricing later, yet many upmarket cables to often don't take their presentation equal to the level of their pricing. Its actually silly and wrong. Some of the cables match the stratosphere of Breguet watches, yet come presented in the wrapping of cheap China 15$ watch. Bad for company, bad for industry and bad for end user.
Its about time, that this industry stops being presumptuous and realise how people are getting very value, design and style conciseness by each year more and more. It's my joy that even on the level of 1000 EUR and below pricing manufacturers are pushing their limits in all the fairness.
My cable inventory might be seen as total clutter sometimes, but as stated often here I cannot resist to try the new cables if something unique and interesting captivate my mind. High-end movement created such a vast universe of cable offerings, that its mind blowing. Grasping through all the cables and finding something useful can be a long and painful process. This is the second reason, that I'm taking in the reviews of so many cables. At least its easier for people to have some insight into the cabling choices.
Music is eventually what we should be in this quest for perfection. Not design, ego tripping or showoff. The ultimate goal of high-end audio is clearly the utmost transparent and lifelike reproduction of music and for getting there high-end audio cables are the integral part.
All three cables showed the same consistency in the performance. I could objectively say, that they carry the similar attitude or better to say character across the line.
Of course I cannot talk about the ultimate transparency and dynamic extravagance. Yet, KBL SOUND Spectre line offers a wide step into the high-end audio cabling with a certain recognsing authoritative impact. Do note! This are the company entry level cable products and already as such level with the music on the quite impressive highs.
KBL SOUND Spectre power cable reminded me on the few of the much pricer power cables. The level on non-filtering was above its price race and fluctuations were in more stable pace then they should be at this price point. Clearly shown in the The Joe Holland Quartet - Klipsch Tape Project Vol.II drums were impregnated with the powerful attacks that portrayed enough details and anchor points in making them lively and believable. To often even at 2-3 k natural attacks are smitten by somehow non optimal design of the cables and materials being use. On the other hand those manufacturers, that took enough time and testing strive to work harder in achieving the goal of high performance as it gives them a a clearer advantage.
KBL Spectre interconnect cables worked in similar way, but not the same. For me power cables still makes the most impact sound wise. I'm not saying that other cables are not of importance. They are of the crucial importance, but even to the non audiophile listeners I can quickly attest the minute change in the sound. Of course it also depends on the quality and balanced nature of the given system and components. Signal audio cables are as important, but not always necessary with the same level of impact of the sound as power cables have. Yet, if the conductivity and basic structure of the signal cables are not on really researched, they will cover the intricacies of the music. Without sublime and refined details being let presented through the musical experience become stale and in absence of emotional impact.
KBL SOUND Spectre interconnects managed to work with the musical flow evoking enough intrigue, that clearly invites you to closely relate with the interactive potency of music.
KBL Spectre speakers cables prolonged in all written above. Now, if I put the power cables onto the pedestal of top importance, then the second row certainly goes to the ability of the speaker cables. We might to easily forget about the difference between the amount of mV passing through the typical signal cable and speaker cables. This is why many of present state of the art upper echelon high-end audio cables become literally anacondas with their share size. Yes, of these enormous cables are created to address and remedy the endless urge of some in having the biggest and most expensive. Still. Diameter do matter in two cases.
If you're not certain what you're doing elaborately or when you you certain kind of transducers. Being wit helps you getting there even with small proportional diameter of speaker cables. Then, the materials and their implementation becomes of highest importance. Here is where KBL Sound seems to did their homework in depth and KBL SOUND Spectre speakers cables matched the performance or other in the Spectre line.
My listening notes repetitively showed thumbs up and positive remarks with all three cables under the review. In sum you can say I was happy all along with the result of KBL Sound audio cables. They're a refreshingly well sounding and at the given price range, that is actually closer to many people budget. Few of those, that would think about getting into high-end audio cable might start thinking about them.
KBL Spectre audio cables brings a great entrance into the high-end audio with their performance at the fraction of the price. We should really remember what we had to pay few years back.
For what they represent I'm open heartedly giving the Mono & Stereo highly recommend award. KBL SOUND Spectre brings a heck a lot and at the value that is not to be second guessed.
Spectre IC RCA 2x1m 380 euro, 2x1,5m 470 euro, 2x2m 570 euro
Spectre Speaker Cable 2x2m 465 euro, 2x2,5m 590 euro, 2x3m 715 euro
Spectre Power Cable 1,5m 1045 euro, 2m 1169 euro
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