But you don’t just hear the Absolute Dream’s low noise floor in the timbral, dynamic, and spatial details these cables retrieve from every kind of music; you hear it in the dead silences between cuts. The Dream’s immunity to RFI, EMI, and hum—of which there is a superabundance in my 160-year-old house and RFI-rich neighborhood—is at least as good as that of my reference Synergistic Galileo (and you may recall that Galileo’s freedom from hum and noise was one of its most impressive virtues). Even with the volume control left way up after one of my—what is it Paul Seydor says?—“head-banging” sessions with Lou Reed or David Byrne, background silences remain very nearly dead-quiet with Absolute Dream in the system. (And this is with a phono source.)
If you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, you’re going to be disappointed. I don’t really hear a downside to Absolute Dream. Ergonomically, it is superior to Galileo; sonically, it is fully competitive, although (save for the incredible amount of detail the two retrieve) they do not sound the same.
In timbre, the Absolute Dream is a bit less “bottom-up-sounding,” (to quote Raidho’s Michael Borresen yet again) than Galileo. Now, the difference I’m talking about is every slight, but it is there to be heard. Maybe it is because the Galileo is a little more generous, bloomy, and deep-reaching in the bottom bass, and the Absolute Dream a little tighter and more controlled—kind of like the difference between tubes and solid-state. I could argue that the Dream is the more neutral and transparent of the pair, but that would be misleading because Galileo is not “colored” sounding and is anything but opaque. I could argue that the Galileo is denser in tone color, but that wouldn’t be right, either, as the Dream is capable of swooningly gorgeous string, wind, piano, and vocal timbre (if they’re on the recording). Even as a transparency-to- sources kind of listener I don’t know which I’d pick.
Happily I don’t have to pick. Crystal Cable Absolute Dream cable, interconnect, and power cords (all three of which have exactly the same virtues) now joins Synergistic Research Galileo cable, interconnect, and power cords (ditto) as my references. That’s how good I think they (all) are.
SPECS & PRICING
Price: Absolute Dream speaker cable, $28,100/2m pair; interconnect, $13,100/1m pair; power cords, $7200 apiece
IAH WTC , Arnhem
(+312) 6 3539045
Audio Plus Services (US Distributor)
156 Lawrence Paquette
Champlain, NY 12919
(800) 663- 9352