Everyone’s heard the old saw that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Some weeks ago during my evaluation of the TAD CR-1 loudspeaker I snapped one of the banana terminations of the Wireworld Platinum Eclipse speaker cable. Dang. I’d grown acclimated to Wireworld’s pure silver flagship wire and for a variety of reasons I thought it was doing an especially good job bringing out the best from the demanding TADs, the finest stand-mounted speaker I’d ever experienced. (TAS' Cover story Issue 205)
In any case, I was not lacking for cables and was prepared to substitute the Wireworld with other wires that I had on hand–TARA Labs, Kimber Kable and Synergistic Research, excellent wires all–fairly expensive yet by today’s standards, not outlandishly so.
With the Wireworld soon to depart back to the factory for repair I didn’t spend a huge amount of time making sonic comparisons between cables. Just enough to say the Wireworld sounded a bit more lively, a little less veiled and a bit weightier in the bass. The cables returned a couple weeks later as I was finishing my allotted time with the TAD–now being driven by the TAD M600 monoblock amps. Prior to putting the Platinum Eclipse back in the system, I took a last listen to a few tracks, and shut down the amps after pausing the Audio Research CD5 on the track of Linda Ronstadt’s “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me” (the title seemed somehow fitting). A minute or so later I powered back on the M600s and hit Play on the ARC. Whump. What the…? I reached for the volume control to lower the level. Yes I was playing this track loud when I left off but I had no idea it was loud and where did all the bass drum weight and skin resonance come from, the percussive attack and the slap of dynamics and the gradations of micro-detail? The wire changed the profile, and the size of the system footprint. Honestly I haven’t heard enough cable in this stratospheric range to conclude that the Wireworld stands alone. But it was a remarkable display of resolution and transparency. One thing I do know is that wire like this only makes sense in the context of system capable of the highest levels of resolving power and frequency extension because this effect wasn’t nearly as pronounced with smaller, dynamically limited speakers or modest electronics. This is all to say the reviewing process is never complete. That system synergies are not always predictable and that issues sometimes arise in a most serendipitous way. Fact is, I failed to make this observation until both product reviews were already published and for that I apologize. The good news is that it only makes the Wireworld and the TAD emerge all the more impressive. Sheesh, what a system. Wireworld Platinum Eclipse. Price: $16,400 8ft/pr.