TEL WIRE INTERCONNECT

Price: 3′ length with Xhadow RCA connectors $599, each additional foot add $50

Review by

Michael Peshkin

I'm a single minded person. I mean, single action within my mind type person. The type who can't chew gum and breathe at the same time, let alone walk. Yet, I can juggle thoughts about equipment like the finest juggling act since vaudeville days. Give me an amp and a turntable and I love the challenge of writing about both without doubling my words within the articles.

I was sent right in the middle of a review of the Bybee Bullets, via a friend of a friend of a friend, a pair of Tel Wire interconnects. This wire is extra-special in not being special at all. It is most definitely not a tone control wire.

I don't think anyone really buys a wire in order to change things. They find a wire that makes their system sing and that's what they buy...if they experiment much at all.

Sure, they've read about an IC or hear it at someone's home on equipment that's totally different from their own and love what they've heard. Reading a review that this or that wire “makes the highs brighter so if your system sounds a little dull...” so they take the leap and spend the cash.

But then there are wires that do nothing except step out of the way. Your system's brightness will remain bright, your system's problems will remain problems. If your equipment does an adequate job of recreating the event without coloration or smearing details or any of a few dozen different anomalies, then those wires put the spotlight on the LP itself and its creators. The strengths, the beauty of a recording is shown sans embellishment. You hear the recording as the sound and mastering engineers heard it when first created.

Isn't that what all wires are supposed to do? If so, why do we notice those steely highs are now controlled when we buy XYQ Velocoraptor 3005 cables? (Ooh, I like that...that's what I'll call my DIY speaker cables). I'm no electronics engineer, just an avid music lover exactly like you. Maybe that's what wires are supposed to do, but I thought the equipment itself was responsible along with the recording.

These wires aren't even all that pretty. They are in the sense that you can tell they're extremely well made. They are because you can tell the terminations are really good connectors, that the coat that keeps those little wires warm is beautifully fixed to the RCA's; not a shred of fiber, no wrinkles, not hint of a mistake anywhere.

But beautiful? Heck, these are functional wires, not audio jewelry. You can buy some very pretty cables from Radio Shack if you think pretty equals performance in a wire!

Yet you look at the workmanship, read how there is no solder used at the connection other than the return leg of the shield wire and you realize these are not just beautiful, but gorgeous wires. Craftsmanship nonpareil meets wire engineering beyond what most multi-buck wire companies offer.

Of course, most people who see the need to buy the very best won't even look at Tel Wire, it's far too cheap to be taken seriously, but the joke, the laugh of the century, is that these wires are made with materials that are more expensive than most of the megabuck wires and designed by a man with ears, not a graph paper and a price agenda. The front page of his site tells all you need to know...other than trying the darned things, of course!

I was reviewing a pair of Bybee Bullet II's which totally thrilled my audio senses and those audiophiles who listened with me. If a wire was to have a ho-hum showing, this was the situation that screamed for a product to fall on its face.

Well, there was no falling, only more of the revelation and awe we'd heard with the Bybees and the other wires we'd used. Every LP, every CD we listened to was an impressive musical and audio experience. Every recording was offered up with a wider, more three dimensional soundstage. No limitations to the dynamic punch of any recording, no tonal changes ever heard, just the recording as it was originally meant to be heard.

That statement is hyperbole at best, BS perhaps? We don't know what was heard in the concert hall, nor do we know what's heard in a studio. We search, we work for the truth, but we don't really know what that truth is. If we have spent time listening to live music, spent lots of time listening to different recordings on our own systems, we have only an approximation. But we sure know when the target is missed entirely! These wires are finely ground optics in the telescope we call high fidelity. As we trust that telescope to tell us that crater is, in fact, the way we see it on the moon, this wire tells us without hesitation that we can trust what it presents.

Berlioz' Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, RCA 2222 always has impressed me with its wealth of information...beautifully recorded strings; the conducting and musicianship top rate...orchestral acrobatics. This is massed string sound at its very finest, anyone loving the sound of massed strings would revel at this recording.

I'd never heard it reproduced like this before! I recognized the LP, of course, I'd played it numerous times showing off the width and depth of the soundstage as portrayed within my listening room. This was transportation in time and venue...everything correctly displayed, nothing overly large, just that “I am there” feeling. The bite of the strings, the attack and decay beyond what I ever remember hearing.

It just does what wire is supposed to do, transmit a signal without adding or subtracting anything.

Negatives? It is a wire that needs soft, sure hands. You do not want to put a kink in these wire and it is incredibly easy to do so. As I connected it, I had to stop two or three times to make sure the wire didn't kink. How anyone can handle them so they look as if they never were, in fact, handled is beyond me. Watching it every moment, I never even came close to kinking this wire yet it is not as pristine as it was when it arrived...if Chris wishes to beat me for that I would willingly accept the punishment. As it is, he won't see them until he comes for a visit, hopefully next year to an audio party I have every year.

Chris tells you everything to get you excited when you visit his website; "Tel Wire — an innovative company specializing in high performance, high value power cords, speaker cables and interconnects. All Tel Wire construction employs the finest materials currently available: UPOCC conductors ( Ultra Pure Ohno Continuous Cast copper ), Oyaide 004 series AC/IEC plugs and Xhadow RCA/XLR/Spade/Banana ends.  The Tel Wire Connect’s copper conductor is the finest, solid core Ultra Pure Ohno Continuous Cast copper with a Teflon dielectric. Terminated with either Xhadow RCAs or XLRs — chosen because they offer the highest quality of sound of any connector currently produced.
Directionality of the finished connect is determined by careful evaluation of the raw wire. Determination of the raw wire’s inherent directionality is done solely by ear, allowing for proper orientation in the interconnect.
A compliant build and internal damping reduce micro-vibrations to aid in image stability. Directionality of the finished connect is determined by careful evaluation of the raw wire. Determination of the raw wire’s inherent directionality is done solely by ear, allowing for proper orientation in the interconnect. A compliant build and internal damping reduce micro-vibrations to aid in image stability".

 


Every recording I played, CD or LP, had a wider soundstage than any time I'd used the Silver Dragons. One of my newest “reference”recordings is Neil Young's Live at Massey Hall. Neil Young is eerily 3 dimensional as he sits well forward within the soundstage. Lots of air, the string attack is surprisingly real...real enough to make me look up from the magazine I had been reading to exclaim “Wow!” to myself. The TG audio ICs were a smidgen brighter, the soundstage width pretty much equal. Depth and 3 dimensionality was again, equal to the TG...both exceptional wires the Tel Wires, if this was the Kentucky Derby, winning by a nose.

Would the sound be better with Tel Wires from the JMW to the Hagerman Piccolo instead of the wires made for me by Win Tinnon, the creator of the Saskia turntable? Would it be better with Tel Wire instead of the TG audio from the Piccolo to the Anthem preamp? If Tel Wire was in the entire chain from table to amps instead of simply from the Anthem pre to the Monarchy amps would it sing more beautifully?

I can tell you that although I tried the Tel Wire on the JMW and the various combinations available within that setting and also on the AudioAlchemy CD player, the best sound was from preamp to amp. You may find the wires react differently in your system; no two systems will sound the same no matter what wires are used.

I tried the wires I've used for a few years now...I've listened with other wires attaching my gear, but I've always liked how the music was portrayed with the Silver Dragons. I especially like them now that I've had them terminated with Eichmann Bullet RCA connectors. The change was, if not dramatic, definitely significant.

The connectors on the Tel Wires were chosen to match the topology of the wire. I can't stress how important good connectors are in allowing the music to flow evenly, to be more life-like. While not really beating the Silver Dragons into submission I must admit I would probably like to have Tel Wires throughout the entire chain. The combination as it stands now does a fabulous job of gluing me to my listening chair.

All wires in my system are burnt in using a burn-in device. For those who have never had the opportunity to use the few out there in the audio world I must say you are not hearing how good your cables can be. My unit is a Mobie, but the Cable Cooker and others do a superb job.

Again, no IC (especially) or any wire can produce music properly without adequate burn-in. Hopefully your dealer can burn your cables in for you; do not accept the belief that running your wires for a few days with a line level signal will burn them in...partial burn-in may sound good, a fully burned in cable delivers all of the goods. A great cable delivers those goods in spades.

 

 

If you are on a quest for a beautifully made, neutral sounding IC, then you would be doing yourself a favor if you try out the Tel Wire.

While the cost of these wires is not cheap, it is easily discerned they are definitely not cheaply made; you see the reason, feel the reason for the price...then of course, you hear the reason, telling you that you made a well-reasoned choice. I bought the pair...I was not allowing them to leave my house because the combination of wires I'm using now suits me fine...with those Tel Wires, that is.

3′ length with Xhadow RCA connectors $599, each additional foot add $50

 

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