Vocals possessed an energetic, full-bodied, fleshy, and fully realized sense of focus—attributable to EVO One’s stirring and propulsive midrange. The sensitive vocal interplay of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush during “Don’t Give Up” [So] was never more intimate and immediate. Dynamics were powerful, transients uninhibited, resulting in a liveliness factor that took older recordings and seemingly dropped them into the Fountain of Youth, to be heard again as if for the first time. EVO One is a cable of remarkable tonal color and sensitivity to dynamic contrast—factors that registered in my ears with every drumbeat, tap of a hi-hat, touch of a pianist, and pluck of a flat-pick. Music bounced along on its toes, and was never caught flat-footed.
Transparency was the key observation that kept popping up throughout my listening sessions. Images were spotless and reproduced free of the grainy haze that sometimes envelopes them and causes transients to smear and resonant decays to lack sustain. With each recording I’d cue up, the impression was one of astonishing resolution that extended from the furthest depths of the soundstage clear out to the footlights. This resolving power provided unwavering focus even during the quietest interludes. As I listened to Ivo Pogorelich performing the Mozart Piano Sonatas, his keyboard chord clusters were reproduced with remarkable inner clarity. Hearing the individuation of the component parts of the notes became hypnotizing.
EVO One also sent me back to familiar recordings to have another listen. A favorite is Appalachian Journey with YoYo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Mark O’Connor. Their virtuoso playing is a handy way to assess system detail recovery, truth to timbre, and resolution of harmonic interplay as these acoustic string instruments maneuver, stab, dip, reel, and soar in and out of each other’s octave ranges. I noted for the first time Edgar Meyer switching from bowing to plucking style. Similarly, while Linda Ronstadt’s performance of “Lose Again” [Hasten Down the Wind] is just a pedestrian pop recording, it was possible even here to glean details that I had otherwise assumed were smudged or covered up in the engineering and mixing. For example, a piano playing in the background during the final verse pops off some aggressively punctuated chords that often sound cloudy and occluded, literally “buried in the mix.” However, with the MIT in the system those heavily punched chords became clearer and more present, specific, and melodic.
Earlier I alluded to the EVO One sense of coolness and forwardness. This comment stems from the fact that EVO doesn’t artificially tint or rosy up the sonic picture with warmth where that warmth doesn’t exist in the recording. It produces such an explicitly clean and colorless sound. However, our ears may hear this freedom from distortion as akin to coolness or dryness.
As for “forwardness,” I use the word advisedly. EVO One’s forwardness is certainly not the aggressive “in-your-face” kind that flattens soundstage depth. Neither does it exaggerate spatiality through recessive frequency colorations, suckouts, or phase anomalies. Its sense of dimensionality is actually very good when it comes to the layered, front-to-back seating of a symphony orchestra. Sections are arrayed with clarity. While EVO One may not be at the very top of the class in the three-dimensional imaging of the individual instruments in those orchestral arrays, it’s near the top in every other category.
Today’s cables, at the entry level and beyond, have a long shelf life and are already good to very, very good. Don’t let anyone fool you that they’re not. (Read, if you haven’t already, Jonathan Valin’s recent review of the Synergistic Research Foundation Series, or the Audience Ohno article I wrote a few years back—just to name a couple.) However, upgrading is a fact of audiophile life, and as your rig evolves, cables should follow suit.
While many cable companies, MIT included, can rise into a virtual unobtanium category—that rarefied strata of big big money—and leave most audiophiles on the outside looking in, EVO One speaker and interconnect, though by no means inexpensive, provide an ear-opening experience for those who may have thought the door to such excellence would always remain firmly closed. One of the most musically significant and satisfying, okay, interfaces that I have heard at any price.
Specs & Pricing
Price: Interconnect, $2399–$3519; speaker, $3799–$5999
MUSIC INTERFACE TECHNOLOGIES
4130 Citrus Avenue, Suite 9
Rocklin, CA 95677