Turning to Eclipse 7, its larger-gauge OCC copper conductors seemed to embolden its sonics. Several differences are obvious. Though very good in this regard, the Equinox 7’s micro-dynamic energy can’t match the vitality of Eclipse—the perceived rhythm and pace of pianist Jeffrey Siegel playing during Rhapsody is a good example. Keyboard feel is crucial to communicating Gershwin’s music and Eclipse simply has more jump and immediacy that makes notes seem to spring from the keys. Likewise, Donald Fagen’s “I.G.Y.” from his Nightfly LP is a great example of how small shifts in soundstage geography are differently handled by these two wires. With Eclipse, Fagen drops back a step or two, and the stage widens, allowing the guitar fills on the left and the percussion licks on the right more elbowroom. Backup voices are more defined and layered and Fagen’s lead vocal seems to float on a raft of air. As I listened to BS&T’s “And When I Die” [Direct-Disk Labs] it was easy to hear that hard percussive transients, light hi-hat figures, and brass section bursts were generating more texture and complexity, particularly in sustain and decay. These are fine distinctions, yes, but if you ever wondered whether you get what you pay for, here is proof that you do.
Key, however, is how Eclipse 7 adds a finer and richer complexity to performances, particularly in the way it reproduces ambient space. During the Gershwin the sensation of the orchestra pressurizing the venue and launching a wave of sound outward into the audience became more palpable. As I listened to a bevy of orchestral vinyl like The Wasps Overture [RCA Red Seal], certain common traits with Wireworld’s flagship cable, Platinum Eclipse (review forthcoming), presented themselves. Foremost was the sense of layered depth that brings symphonic works alive in the listening room. String sections and the positioning of individual players became more finely resolved, each instrument revealing its own voice blending among many rather than being homogenized into a single melodic line. In essence, Eclipse reproduced the performance in a fashion that came much closer to the reality of many players performing together.
The obvious conclusion would be to proclaim Equinox as the bargain choice of these two models. But as good as Equinox is, (a genuine go-to wire in its class) it’s the pricier Eclipse 7 that steals that honor. Admittedly it’s roughly twice the Equinox’s price but its vivid performance draws closer to “statement”-quality wire (which includes my first impressions of Platinum Eclipse 7) than I would ever have imagined. If your upgrade plans include major system-wide renovations, this particular Eclipse is one you don’t want to miss.
SPECS & PRICING
6545 Nova Drive, Suite #204
Davie, FL 33317
Price: Equinox 7, $200/1m interconnect; $870/3m speaker Eclipse 7, $450/1m interconnect; $1800/3m speaker