Morrow Audio SP6 Loudspeaker Cables and MA6 Interconnects

Patience Pays Off

Equipment report
Categories:
Loudspeaker cables,
Interconnects
Morrow Audio SP6 Loudspeaker Cables and MA6 Interconnects

The latter stages of my break-in involved traversing a brief period of “two steps forward, one step back” when it came to sonic improvements. However, after adequate time, the speaker cables and interconnects (the SP6 and MA6 in particular) settled into smooth sailing. Bass extended as it should have; slight traces of graininess or glare in the highs dissipated; backgrounds stayed very dark and quiet; soundstaging opened up; and details that had been obscured shone through with greater clarity, resulting in greater musical realism. On Andrew Bird’s Are You Serious album streamed via Tidal (Master MQA) on one laptop and Qobuz (Hi-Res) on another, the harmonics of strummed acoustic guitar strings sounded increasingly natural over time on tracks like “Puma,” where the leading edges of upright bass became more and more precise and easier to follow, and the transient attacks on Bird’s violin pizzicatos came through more and more cleanly and sharply, as if he were right there, plucking away. Ditto the presence of his expert whistling, pure and clear on “Saints Preservus.”

Percussion displayed an evenhandedness and sense of effortless continuity, from pristine tambourine attacks to the long, long decays on the chimes in “Left-Handed Kisses.” The title track’s rhythmic and melodic layers were so resolved and compelling that I was no longer content just nodding my head or tapping my hands to its catchy groove, but started feeling the urge to dance. Not to pick nits, but I detected some slight lingering harshness on the occasional electric guitar and amp/pedal, as if those deliberate distortions had grown exaggerated. (This arguably heightened the intended rough-around-the-edges effect.) But, wow, what these wires brought to the “detail reveal” game within my system rather exceeded my expectations. 

Among the most impressive aspects of having the Morrow SP6 and MA6 in these setups seemed to involve unearthing and extracting the essences of performances through the finer points of vocal and instrumental details. The more accurately the textural, timbral, and spatial information was expressed, the more convincing and compelling the musical experience became. Think neutral and detailed without veering into analytical territory. The eerie and lush layers on Sharon Van Etten’s “Jupiter 4” from Remind Me Tomorrow range from swirling synths and highly resolved brushstrokes/taps to rapid-fire guitar flourishes and vocals that are by turn plaintive and hypnotic. Each element was distinct yet balanced and blended seamlessly into the mix, enhancing the song’s slow-building tension.

As for CD playback, which also involved the RCA interconnects, the Morrows achieved a natural-sounding sense of balance among all the layered instruments and vocals that provided a bit more realism, albeit with an occasional touch of perceived dryness. Sources were rendered with an easygoing and non-fatiguing effortlessness. This is not to say that the cables were at all slow, but rather that they facilitated a listening experience that leaned more toward leisurely relaxation than toward rocking out. In other words, there was a laid-back vibe; yet the musical information still came to you as pretty true-to-life.

I enjoyed this sense of leisurely basking within a smooth soundscape. I was only going to play a few tracks on Calexico’s Feast of Wire disc [Quarterstick], but ended up staying up late to listen to the whole darn album. Tiny details kept emerging—the tinny upright piano’s lingering decays, the cello’s warm bowing and body, and the ambient cues of the recording space on “The Book and the Canal”—drawing me deeper into the music.

In comparing the cables from the 6 series and the 3 series, as you’d expect, the primary differences are in the degree of resolution conveyed, correlating with the greater and lesser numbers of wire runs inside. Some additional tradeoffs I perceived in the lower-cost 3 series involved a bit more of that laid-back feel with slightly less punch on attacks—such as the block strikes and mariachi horns on “Quattro” from the Calexico disc, for instance. On playback of some recordings the vocals/singers  seemingly shifted forward, such as on some tracks from Holly Cole’s Temptation CD from Analogue Productions. The aforementioned sense of giving equal weight to instruments and vocals—assuming the source material warranted this—seemed dialed back by this greater midrange prominence. 

These comments are minor points in the scheme of things and not meant as hard knocks against these wires. Lovely harmonics and low noise floors were still there. Instrumental textures and tones were still pretty credible and inviting. The amount of musical detail conveyed with these SP3 and MA3 wires in the system remained pleasing and non-fatiguing—and the fact that the 3 series wires don’t set you back a ton of dough makes them even more remarkable. That said, the 6 series cables seem worth the extra cash, IMHO. 

Overall, I came away with very positive impressions of the cost-to-performance ratio in both the 3 and 6 series wires. These cables may have taken their sweet time to unfurl their full potential, but the sonic results were worth the wait. Sure, more expensive cables in my systems have yielded even greater results, in dimensionality, for one, but price-wise and quality-wise, Morrow Audio offers a broad enough range of cables to suit any customer, be he audiophile, music lover, or musician. In sum, these easy-to-use wires are also easy to on the ears—and on the wallet—making them, well, an easy recommendation.

Specs & Pricing

SP6 Loudspeaker Cables: $999/0.5m, 1m, or 2m pr. 
SP3 Loudspeaker Cables: $269/0.5m, 1m, or 2m pr. (lengths up to 12m available for additional costs; terminations: banana, spade, small spade [2/16"], nude)
MA6 Interconnects: $999/1m pr. 
MA3 Interconnects: $199/1m pr. (terminations: XLR, standard RCA; upgrades: Copper Harmony, $50; Pure Harmony, $99)

MORROW AUDIO
6608 Dixie Highway
Florence, KY 41042
(859) 356-6994
morrowaudio.com