As great wire has the habit of doing, the Kimber Select prompted me to revisit one of my favorite LPs, the Reference Mastercuts 1992 pressing of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue [RM-1003] with the St. Louis Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting.
Recorded in Powell Symphony Hall, Saint Louis, the soundstage is somewhat exaggerated in scope, but musically it’s a superb recording for timbre, detail, and its “throw-open-the-barn-door” dynamics. Complex piano passages played at fortissimo levels never drift or confuse or clutter. In the same way the KS defines and delineates orchestral images, it similarly will take a run of piano notes, played presto, and deliver them to the ear without a hint of smear or indecision and not a single nuance left unexpressed.
Of course the Kimber Select also finds itself in some fast and expensive company. Tonally there is not a whole lot separating the KS from my two reference wires, the Synergistic Research Element CTS and Wireworld Platinum Eclipse 7. They both know how to cut a rug with panache, albeit with slightly different moves. Wireworld’s flagship matches Kimber Select stride for stride through the mids, and is arguably a bit bolder dynamically in the lower mids and below. Its treble is buttery, but the KS draws an uncanny bead when it comes to feathery, low-level information—the brushed strings of a concert harp, for example, or the decaying flutter off the drum head of a tympani, for another. Element CTS also dances but with a warmer, more boldly resonant style. During Adele’s “Someone Like You” her vocal possessed a heavier chest character and conveyed a hint more density in the lower mids with a darker overall cast. During Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” CTS delivered loads of low-end dynamic punch, more bass, air, and bloom—just a shade more than Platinum Eclipse—but the KS provided greater transient thrills and nuanced detail with every tap off Mick’s high-hat, each snare crunch, or Buckingham’s raucous acoustic guitar. The KS bass response may be slightly compacted, but Stevie Nicks’ youthful voice has never been more shimmering or translucent.
By any benchmark that I’m aware of Kimber Select Series 6000 is as sonically breathtaking as is its price tag. For the life of me I can’t think of another a top-tier cable that has ever compelled me to listen quite as deeply as I was able to with these wires. On the one hand it’ll expose every weakness in a system. But on the other, it will also permit an otherwise excellent system to realize a whole new level of resolution and musicality. Gulp, wallets at the ready? My highest recommendation.
SPECS & PRICING
2752 South 1900 West
Ogden , UT , 84401
Price: KS 6068 speaker, $23,880 (2.5m/pr.); KS 1036 interconnect, $3300/1m, RCA; KS 1136 interconnect, $3335/1m, XLR
Sota Cosmos Series IV turntable; SME V tonearm; Sumiko Palo Santos, Ortofon 2M Black & Quintet Black; Parasound JC 3+ phono, Lehmann Audio Decade phono; MacBook Pro/Pure Music; Lumin A-1 Network Media Player; mbl C51 integrated, Rowland Continuum; ATC SCM20, Kharma Elegance S7 Signature loudspeakers; Synergistic Tesla CTS, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse 7 speaker cables and interconnects; Synergistic Tesla, Audience Au24SE & Kimber Palladian power cords. AudioQuest Coffee USB, Carbon FireWire