Transparent Cable in TAS?

Kenneth_P -- Sun, 08/17/2008 - 15:50

Dear editors at TAS,

I just subscribed to TAS, and I am - so far - really pleased with it, and will continue as long as the magazine is alive.

I'm standing in front of a new cable purchase, and I am fallen in love with the Transparent MusicWave (I already have the MusicLink). So I went in to your - otherwise good website - to find some reviews of Transparent cables in TAS. But it appears, that it does not exist. Can it be true? :shock:

Have you never reviewed a Transparent cable? And if not, why? :?:

Robert Harley -- Sun, 08/17/2008 - 22:01

We've been remiss in not reviewing Transparent cable. I heard at the most recent CES a comparison of several levels of their cables with the replacements using MM2 technology, and was quite surprised at how much better the MM2 sounded. Transparent seems to have taken a big leap forward from what was already a highly regarded cable line.

We'll take a listen to some Transparent in an upcoming issue.

Solomon (not verified) -- Tue, 02/23/2010 - 22:01

Robert, I was curioius if you had auditioned the older transparent version of the transparent music link mm technology, I beleive it was around until late 2007 early 2008.

I was considering purchasing since the cost now would save me 50% off of retail, but also was considering audioquest columbia. I listen mostly to home theater. 7 channel. thanks in advance.

Wim (not verified) -- Wed, 05/12/2010 - 15:24

Seems to me that reviewing cables is a bit scary for reviewers. This might change if we look at cables for what they really are: components! Hope to see reviews of the new range of Elrod Statement Golds or Nordost Odin in the future. Keep up the good work.

Kenneth_P -- Mon, 08/18/2008 - 03:29

I am looking forward to that review. :D

Best Regards,

oz (not verified) -- Sat, 12/20/2008 - 04:21

 I have the Opus MM series through out my system...Ref8 cd ,Ref3,ref610,ph7 and proac response 4 speakers...I was a happy bunny with the cables but in all honesty my world has changed when i upgraded the Opus MMs to MM2 technology...the back ground  became pitch black...proac response 4s( towering heights) became monitors challenging short MM2 technology is great..I had the chance to compare it to nordost odin and no competition from odin at all...the greatest cable in my view.

Cemil Gandur -- Mon, 12/22/2008 - 10:34

Martin Colloms has reviewed the Transparent Ref XL with MM2 in the latest edition of The Audio Critic - he loved it.
I'm using one (5 meters long!) between my ARC Ref3 and 610Ts to very good effect too.
EDIT: Ooops! It's the Hifi Critic, not the Audio Critic

mcbrion (not verified) -- Wed, 04/15/2009 - 02:21

I second the MM2 "Ayes!" resoundingly.
The grain in the MM1 lower line is gone. I had super MM1, now have Ultra MM2. OY! Pretty large leap forward, Quieter background, which means the "empty" space in the soundfield has more room for harmonics to develop and breathe. Also means the low-level details develop in a   fluid, not stiled, way as they develop. More wafting through space instead of seeming to take a step, then another, then another. In other words, continuous motion, not herky-jerky connect-the-dots type movement.
It's funny how expecting nothing can allow you to hear improvements better.

suheil atallah -- Sat, 04/10/2010 - 11:24

I wonder have you ever tried the transparent Premium DVI video cable, this cable make a marantz vp11s3 to measure a ansi contrast of 920, if anyone consider to buy a projector, try first with your projector this cable.

JoelC (not verified) -- Wed, 05/12/2010 - 00:19

 Do you dickheads really waste that much of your trust fund money on snakeoil cables? And Robert Harley shame on you for encouraging this lunacy. Transparent has one of egregious product lines designed to steal your money. Their Link Interconnect was positively reviewed in Absolute Sound and is probably a fair price and value product at $85 per pair, but from their they move quickly to ridiculously overpriced wires from the $360 Musiclink Plus up to the four figure Reference line. Buy a better pair of speakers for Christ effin sakes and don't waste your dough on wires that don't make a damn bit of difference. Upgrading your speakers by a few thousand or more will deliver you a real performance improvement (or make a charitable contribution), but don't jerk off with frickin' wires.
Listen to the music not the sound Morons.

crispy98007 -- Tue, 07/16/2013 - 06:44

Joel just because you think a moped or a Lada is just fine for transportation, there actually ARE people who would rather drive a Porsche, Cadillac or Mercedes.  If you think Bose or an iPod is good enough, that's fine.  For people who love music AND actually care if it sounds good, that's what this blog is about.  There's no more "wasting" money in good cables than "wasting" money on a nice car.  That's why they make mopeds, for people like you.  Open your ears and close your mouth.  You're the frickin moron.  Have another drink.  

JA FANT -- Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:15

The MusicWave made a wonderful difference in my previous system. I placed the cable between my CD Player and Pre-amp. Very musical indeed!

Robert Harley -- Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:33

I'm about to take delivery of a full Transparent Opus system. I'll have a full report in an upcoming issue.

danielaparker -- Sun, 10/10/2010 - 12:26

Robert, what is a cable review, though? How the cable sounds in your system, with your reference gear?

What I read in the audio forums, and hear from my dealer, is that cable matching is a relationship between the amp and the speakers. So audio forum participants suggest using Transparent with Wilsons, or Yter with SF Homage, or silver Alpha Core with Thiels, because that's what those speakers have inside. Yet, when you reply to forum posts asking about cable choices for a reader's system, say Thiel, you always seem to recommend (for now) MIT, without qualification and without reference to the gear. I understand that MIT is (for now) what sounds best in your system. But all systems?

For cable reviews, woud it make sense to pass the cable around to a number of tas reviewers, so we can learn about how it sounds with different gear?


JA FANT -- Sun, 10/10/2010 - 07:43

Outstanding Robert. I can hardly wait for that review.

JA FANT -- Wed, 10/20/2010 - 05:25

Robert- have you received the Opus cables yet?

JA FANT -- Tue, 11/16/2010 - 11:01

when will we read about your Opus Cable review?

JIMV -- Wed, 12/01/2010 - 20:36

I also have modest transparent cables and find them to be first rate. In addition, I really like their periodic trade in programs...Strongly recommended.

jussi lyly -- Sat, 01/22/2011 - 16:19

Hi Robert!
When can we read about the Opus cable review?
I cant find anywhere transparent opus review?

JA FANT -- Mon, 02/07/2011 - 06:10

when can we expect that Opus review?

gb -- Thu, 02/24/2011 - 22:19

 Daniel, I just saw your post -- 3 months later.
TAS used to have two reviewers (or 3) comment on a component, so a reader really got an idea of how similar the component sounded to each reviewer in their respective systems, and also enlightened us as to what reviewer A found acceptable that reviewer B would say, "...yes, I hear what he's saying, BUT..." and then go on to elucidate something that didn't bother the main reviewer so much, but really bothered the second reviewer. In most cases, the writing was so good that one could, without reading between the lines, or deciphering the vocabulary (which used to be more comprehensible than it is in the magazine at present time) of a particular reviewer, understand how a component truly sounded.
Those days have disappeared. The last review like that was, of course, the controversial Ortofon A90 review, which HP disliked, but JV liked. However one sided with HP or JV, one got a definite sense of the "sound" of the cartridge, and it wasa terrific read. It made you actually think about whether or not  you might want the cartridge, not just accept one person's view on it. And given that it was HP - whose writing most of us trust - who disliked it and JV who did like it, you really did scratch your head a bit and wonder which interpretation of the sound fitted your perspective. It sounded the same to both, but they had different reactions to it. No highs!, says HP. Well, yes it does, but less distortion says JV. Although JV was uncomfortable commenting on HP's review, he was truthful to what he experienced and we're all more aware of what that cartridge could sound like.  
Too bad this practice was discontinued. Maybe it was too expensive for the manufacturer, paying for shipping all over the country, but in this case, JV actually helped give a perspective, that, had one only read HP's comments, could have doomed the cartridge to the dust bin. I'm glad Jonathan commented. I likely wouldn't buy it (more expensive than I'd want unless I had a state-of-the-art system), but I'm glad to have read both perspectives. And it goes to show, not everything HP dislikes is disliked by others equally. And, conversely, neither is everything HP likes necessarily "it." So, it really helps to have other voices, but sadly, in TAS, it's quiet these days. The voices are all like sellers at a farmer's market: "...the BEST tomatoes you ever tasted..." "...his are good, but MINE are actually the best tomatoes you could hope to buy...." And, keep in mind, some manufacturers only WANT one reviewer to say it's good: they don't want someone else to dampen the enthusiasm if it's a good review, particularly if it's HP who praises it. No matter what anyone says, HP's raves make manufacturers so delirious, they don't even want anyone else to go "whoa, just a minute..." That would hurt sales. So, it's usually just one voice per review you hear saying, "This is IT!!!"
It's like the Tower of Babel.

JA FANT -- Mon, 04/11/2011 - 04:44

it has been some time since your last post. When can we expect that Opus review?

JA FANT -- Thu, 05/12/2011 - 22:53

when can we expect that Opus cable system review?

David Matz -- Mon, 05/16/2011 - 18:36

Don't hold your breath, JA Fant. He probably didn't like it. But he should publish his review anyways - for the buzz of it,

JCF -- Sat, 05/14/2011 - 17:59

 JA FANT, please go find a dealer and listen to these cables.  Or get a model close and get a good idea.  If you're asking about Opus, you must have a great set up already.  I listened to Reference and ended up springing for the Reference MM2 (one down from Opus) speaker cable and a set of interconnect.  I had already purchased Reference XL MM2 on my front end (tonearm cable, phono to pre, and digital to pre)
I am using Wilson Maxx 3 loudspeakers and the synergy is wonderful.  I had pricey cables before but the Transparent's add resolution but keeping the warmth, better demsenionality, lower noise floor (like a lot) and better deeper more resolute bottom end.  
My wife hates cables...she noticed these.  I just find myself listening longer and more intently with these cables....(which my wife didn't like :)

vhiner -- Sat, 05/14/2011 - 19:56

The Reference XL MM2 must be very well-made because you describe exactly what a real top-of-the-line set of cables can do. Increased resolution without the sacrifice of musicality is hard trick to pull off.  It's great when everything starts working well together.

JA FANT -- Mon, 05/30/2011 - 22:19

Thanks John and David. I had mid-level MM1 cable and cords in a previous system, so I know the betterment of moving up the scale towards Opus.
I would like to read about a complete review in either TAS, HIFI + or Stereophile....

JA FANT -- Mon, 10/17/2011 - 04:04

It is a shame that neither TAS nor Stereophile will cover more Transparent cable reviews.....

Zach -- Fri, 11/04/2011 - 11:31

 I would love to see more Transparent Cable reviews in The Absolute Sound. Every system that I have ever heard that employs Transparent cables has had a lasting impression on me. 

JA FANT -- Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:25


the MM2 series of cable/cords does not disappoint. Equally impressive are Transparent 's power conditioners.

JA FANT -- Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:23

I would like to read articles about Transparent, as well.

Michael James -- Sat, 12/15/2012 - 11:10

Mr. Robert Harley -, I love Transparent Audio's cables.
But for you to only review their top of the line cables and nothing else, is just completely snobbish.
How many people that read these forums can afford $34k for a pair of 8' Opus MM speaker cables?
Or over $11K for a 1 meter pair of SOMM1 RCA interconnects or over $19k for a one meter length of BOMM1 balanced interconnects?
Yes, we all want to know what the top of the line sounds like, but we'd also like to know about what we can afford.....

Do you want to better or do you want to be good?

crispy98007 -- Tue, 07/16/2013 - 06:42

Michael,The new MM2 is a HUGE improvement over the older line.  As Mcbrion above said, yes the newer cables have a much blacker background and a much lower level of grain than previously, and it's not subtle.  The newer Supers are better than the old Ultras, IMO.  And the differences as you go up the line, don't diminish, they get even bigger!  The apparent frequency response goes from the sub to ultrasonic, the imaging gets SPOOKY good, I mean like holographic.  I've had several situations with 2 speakers and it sounds like instruments are BEHIND you.  Who needs surround sound when your 2 channel system does that?  Anyway once you hear Opus or MM, everything else sounds almost broken in comparison.  It sounds crazy, but the tolerances when you get to the MM level are exponentially tight, each cable is built for the individual components that you are connecting, in terms of output and input impedance, capacitance, and other parameters.  The guys at Transparent are pretty tight lipped about exactly what goes on inside, as the thing they are most scared of are Chinese knockoffs.  As a salesman who works for a Transparent dealer, I can assure you the guys at Transparent are fanatic about perfection, and really really good just isn't good enough.   Apparently MM is (almost) electrically identical to the Opus, but there is far more acoustic isolation in the networks, carbon fiber replaces high-grade plastic, and the components are in some kind of viscous fluid to further dampen resonances.  I use a bunch of HRS damping blocks at home, and I can assure you that attempting to isolate vibration of EVERY component in your system has a MASSIVE effect. CD players, preamps, amps, even cables...EVERYTHING.  I demonstrated this for my wife recently, for example...I took an inexpensive Sony Bluray player and put Black Diamond cones under it and an HRS brick on top of it.  She nearly crapped herself.  Didn't sound ANYTHING like it did before, it was like an entirely new component.  She doesn't even care about sound, but it literally was night and day and she noticed it immediately.  Another big problem with most systems I see is people put tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear on a $500 shelf, and the resonances are obvious and very audible.  Try the Grand Prix Audio racks for example, they're amazing, but that's another discussion. Sorry to get off topic.A good rule of thumb is to budget about 15 to 20% of the value of the components you are connecting to cables.  If you have a $1000 CD player going to a $1000 amp, somewhere in the $300-400 range for cables between them is suitable.  Some people go higher, some lower.  You just don't want an ultra-high-end component connected with cheap cables, just as much as you don't need exotic cables with cheap gear.  It's basically the level of resolution that grows, as you go up the line. If you take the time to try it, and you work with a dealer that will loan you stuff overnight or for a few days, it can be a real eye-opener.The point being, electrical improvements as well as mechanical movement in any component, including cables, makes a difference.  If your system is up to resolving it, the differences aren't small.  I hope this helps.  Comments are welcome, just not from guys like JoelC.  Cheers.  Chris P.S.  I tried to make paragraphs, but they don't show like they should.  Really, they're not just run-on sentences lol...  

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