MiT CvT Ter­mi­na­tor in­ter­con­nects

The quest for the per­fect con­nec­tions may well end here for some.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By SUJESH PAVITHRAN

THIS jour­ney started more than a year ago when I had put to­gether a sys­tem that em­bod­ied many el­e­ments I deem manda­tory for my mu­si­cal en­joy­ment.

Once the com­po­nents were in place, I be­gan fine-tun­ing var­i­ous pa­ram­e­ters; this in­cluded find­ing ca­bles and in­ter­con­nects that would stay out of the way son­i­cally.

Not be­ing a great be­liever in drop­ping a king’s ran­som on wires, I mixed and matched a va­ri­ety of mod­estly-priced ca­bles and in­ter­con­nects. Some did less sonic dam­age to my set-up than oth­ers and along the way, I also sam­pled some ex­otic bling that made lit­tle eco­nomic sense. Then, I got hold of some wires from Mu­sic In­ter­face Tech­nolo­gies, bet­ter known as MIT.

The vet­eran Amer­i­can com­pany makes no bones about this – metal wires have fun­da­men­tal flaws and won’t ef­fect the per­fect sig­nal trans­fer. The trick, in the world ac­cord­ing to MIT, is to pas­sively “fool” wires into be­com­ing bet­ter con­duc­tors, and this is done in par­al­lel mode with­out im­ping­ing on a cable’s elec­tri­cal prop­er­ties.

Thus, those “net­work” boxes you see dan­gling off the ends of most MIT ca­bles and in­ter­con­nects. What fi­nally went into this re­view were the CVT Ter­mi­na­tor 1 and CVT Ter­mi­na­tor 2.

Hy­brid sci­ence

These wires fea­ture trickle-down technology from MIT’s ref­er­ence range. The term “hy­brid technology” is used to de­scribe the sci­ence be­hind them. Ba­si­cally, there are dif­fer­ent el­e­ments at work here – one, the mod­ules at the out­put end of the ter­mi­nals; two, the net­work boxes de­signed to in­te­grate with the mod­ules to widen the ar­tic­u­la­tion band­width of the ear­lier Ter­mi­na­tor de­signs; and three, the CVT cou­pler mod­ules at the in­put end of the wires that con­trol en­ergy re­flect­ing back at the source.

MIT uses what it calls “ar­tic­u­la­tion poles/ points” to con­trol en­ergy re­flec­tion at the in­put stage while in­creas­ing the band­width of ar­tic­u­la­tion at the out­put – the costlier the model, the more ar­tic­u­la­tion de­vices in the net­work. Cyn­ics may want to re­fer to a past is­sue of

The Ab­so­lute Sound, when MIT’s flag­ship Or­a­cle wires were dis­sected to re­veal the com­plex in­nards of the net­work box.

One would as­sume that well-con­structed wire is used, dif­fer­ing only in gauge through the range. MIT doesn’t make any ef­fort to “sell” you the cable or in­ter­con­nect; the ad­don stuff is what the sales­man will pitch to any po­ten­tial cus­tomer.

The Ter­mi­na­tor 1 in­ter­con­nects, be­ing the costlier ones, have 12 ar­tic­u­la­tion poles, while the Ter­mi­na­tor 2 has eight and uses smaller gauge wire. I was able to pro­cure only a sin­gle-wire pair of the Ter­mi­na­tor 2 speaker ca­bles, which has 15 such points.

The loom ef­fect?

When I started on this quest, I was us­ing a McIn­tosh C220 preamp with an MC-402 power amp, Bluenote Stib­bert CD player (all three bal­anced), a mix of ca­bles and in­ter­con­nects, and Mag­nepan MG1.6 speak­ers.

The first step was a pair of Ter­mi­na­tor 2 XLR in­ter­con­nects be­tween the source and preamp, when I heard some in­ter­est­ing re­sults – the sound seemed a de­gree more spa­cious with­out los­ing ur­gency and with im­proved clar­ity.

Over days (MIT in­sists you will no­tice the most dra­matic im­prove­ments af­ter 48 hours, but set­tling in takes a cou­ple of hun­dred), these en­hance­ments be­came more ob­vi­ous, and then, I placed an­other pair of Ter­mi­na­tor 2 XLRs be­tween preamp and power amp. This time, there was again marked im­prove­ment in the ar­eas de­scribed above, and I felt I was fi­nally get­ting some­where.

The most sig­nif­i­cant step up came when I pro­cured the Ter­mi­na­tor 2 ca­bles to hook the power amp to the speak­ers – now, ev­ery­thing in the chain seemed to breathe more nat­u­rally and eas­ily, and ad­di­tion­ally, the bass had sig­nif­i­cantly greater im­pact and depth, with no trade­off in dy­nam­ics or speed.

This, per­haps, was the “cable loom” ef­fect show­ing up, when all con­nect­ing wires in a sys­tem are cut from the same cloth.

Then, ear­lier this year, some nec­es­sary sys­tem changes were ef­fected, and I moved from a bal­anced to sin­gle-ended sys­tem. The XLRs went back, and this time, I pro­cured the Ter­mi­na­tor 2 and Ter­mi­na­tor 1 in­ter­con­nects (the “2” ca­bles re­mained), to link the res­i­dent Ayon CD-07 CD player to Odyssey Tem­pest 2/ Khartago Ex­treme SE pre-power amps and the Mag­gies.

Again, af­ter mak­ing com­par­isons with other wires I had around, I found the MITs de­liv­er­ing sim­i­lar re­sults – the “1”, nat­u­rally, showed slightly bet­ter re­solv­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties and drive than the “2”.

Cur­rently, I’m us­ing the “2” speaker ca­bles, along with the “1” for pre-power and sour­cepre link­age, along with a “2” for my turntable. It ap­pears that, un­like some brands I’ve tried, a loom of MIT wires in your sys­tem can only be a good thing – in­stru­ments took on more nat­u­ral and neu­tral tex­tures, vo­cals had more pres­ence and def­i­ni­tion, and the at­tack of per­cus­sive in­stru­ments oozed with a sense of re­al­ism I’ve sel­dom heard even in costlier ca­bles. They may be smoother or richer in tex­ture, yes, but the MITs showed more bite and bold­ness, along with the abil­ity to ar­tic­u­late sub­tler nu­ances more re­al­is­ti­cally.

The bolder and more ar­tic­u­late sound over­all, along with the level of res­o­lu­tion and trans­parency when all these MIT wires were used to­gether, sealed the deal for me.

Un­lock­ing it

My rec­om­men­da­tion is to use a whole set of MIT wires if you in­tend go­ing this way; then, the full po­ten­tial of your sys­tem will be un­locked.

Start with the “2” ca­bles for the most dra­matic step up; af­ter these, the in­ter­con­nects can only heighten the sense of mu­si­cal­ity and re­al­ism.

I’m not say­ing there aren’t bet­ter wires in the mar­ket ... but I’ve found mine.

Hon­est hy­brid: MIT’s CVT Ter­mi­na­tor 1 and 2 in­ter­con­nects, sport­ing ‘hy­brid’ technology.

Bold sound: The MIT CVT Ter­mi­na­tor 2 speaker ca­bles let noth­ing stand in their way.

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