Some cables seem to have a centre of excellence; the other cables follow on from that one great wire. It’s here where Absolute Dream stands out, because it’s all centres of excellence. Start with an interconnect, you’ll feel the urge to add more Absolute Dreams to the power and speaker ends. Start with the speaker cable, and the same happens. Ditto power lead. Even the USB – USB being the one region where cable family ties begin to go a bit dysfunctional – has that ability to make listeners think Crystal Cable Absolute Dream is the all-system choice.
Absolute Dream also has a telephoto effect on the differences in almost all other cables. If you are standing 1m from one person and 6m from another, the latter will look smaller than the former in a photograph taken with a standard lens. If you strap on a long lens and walk back 200m, the two will appear to be standing shoulder to shoulder, despite still standing 5m apart. In the cable world, this means the difference between two ‘merely’ superb cables become trivial, next to the difference between them and Absolute Dream. This applies universally, too; climbing down from the place where everything in the system costs as much as a Mercedes and to a place where high-end begins, the difference between Absolute Dream and the others is just as large. In fairness, all described above happens when you start experimenting with the big ‘O’ – Nordost’s Odin – but with a different overall presentation. Odin is hyper-detailed and hyper-focused, where Absolute Dream is all about power and image separation. These are two thoroughbreds nose-to-nose at the finish line, and both deserve equal attention if you are looking for the best.
I find the Crystal Cable Absolute Dream a potentially impossible act to follow, and that’s not a good place for a reviewer. Having a benchmark set so high that the differences between most (even reasonably ‘spendy’) cables seem insignificant probably invalidates me from making accurate value judgements about cables at a less breathless price and performance level. For me, the name is entirely apposite; it’s an Absolute high-water-mark in a cable reviewer’s career and at a price so lofty I can’t even afford to Dream about it. As such, the net result of living with Absolute Dream for a while is I probably need to find a new cable guy. Rewiring your whole system with Absolute Dream is so far ahead of the pack, I’m not sure you can find a way back to the ‘ordinary’ world.
Each conductor: Monocrystal silver core, Kapton and PEEK dielectric, gold-plated silver and silver plated copper monocrystal braid.
Crystal/Speak Absolute Dream loudspeaker cable: £23,220/2m pair
Crystal/Connect Absolute Dream interconnect cable: £10,690/1m phono/XLR pair
Crystal/Power Absolute Dream power cord: £9,830/1.5m
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