Saturday, 31 October 2015

KADAS Interconnect: Mic-ing The Source


There is always the never ending debate on how interconnect and speaker cable colour our hifi system. But very seldom and maybe even never there is a discussion on microphone cable and how it effects the recording session. As the source is always deemed to be one of the most important element in a system, why don't we go to the extend of using the same microphone cable as the interconnect to reproduce the sound where it originates from? OK maybe not to the extend of the very same cable in the studio but what happens when you use a microphone cable as an interconnect.

In the past few months, there was a big buzz in the local DIY-ers scene on various different cables available for them to toy around with. I was then given this Kadas KE 80M interconnect by KOGA Audio to give it a shot.

BUILT

For physical built, I prefer flexible and separated cables between left and right channel. And thats what exactly I get from Kadas. The flexibility allows user to easily arrange the cables in tight spots. However, the RCA plugs itself is quite tight to connect them to the hifi unit. It is a gold plated RCA and the high quality workmanship of KOGA Audio can be seen.

The cables itself is directional. It is clearly marked on the sleeve, hence I followed it in my review. 

THE SPECIFICATIONS

Non... seriously... I could not find any literature on the net let alone a company website. But google it and you will find many event management or studio websites mentioned about KADAS mic cables.

FIRST IMPRESSION

I was told that the cables have already been run in. The first impression was leaning more towards a high level of clarity on vocals and refined low ends.  It gave me goosebumps as the track was presented in a such detail.
THE SET UP
The IC was used in two different set ups:

Session 1 - Between Musical Fidelity M6 DAC and M6i integrated amp in my usual set up
Session 2 - Between Musical Fidelity M1 PWR power amp and M1 CLiC streamer/DAC/pre amp

THE SET LIST

1. La Vie En Rose - Louis Armstrong (FLAC)
2. Rock and Radical - Butterfingers (CD)
3. Wake Up Boo - The Boo Radleys (MD)

THE SESSION 1
Louis's vocals gave me the goosebumps. I seldom like listening to digital tracks for songs that I have the LP but in this case, to my surprise, his vocals sounded smooth with no sign roughness. Quite a warm ambience and full of expression which usually, I only get when listening to it on LP. It does focus a lot on clarity of vocals. And somehow, with that level of vocal clarity, it lifted the whole soundstage to a different level.

Rock and Radical was presented in its rawness where Emmett's vocal was again the centre of attraction (as always when it comes to this Malaysian Kurt Cobain). But this time around, all other instrument shared the same lime light. Loque's guitar was surprisingly mellower than usual but in this case it was good because of the high pitch notes. The drums, hhhhmmmm... hard hitting snare and sharp crash. I like it. 

With the Boos.... it was indeed a beautiful morning to wake up to. The intro gave me a shock with the level of energy. The wind instrument sounded refreshing with high level of detail. The details of the percussion which I believe a tambourine, was lingering nicely as the background sound as if it was a layered recording. Nice. Again, for the third time, vocals seems a strong virtue of this IC. Can it be because it is a mic cable?

THE SESSION 2

Not to say I was not convinced with the findings, but hey, it is my first review of a hifi related product after I have moved my set up from downstairs to upstairs. So it might be due to different room acoustics. So, for the fun of it, I then connected this IC to 'newly' set up mini hifi downstairs. Hence, why this review took a bit longer to be published. The mini hifi consists of my existing MF M1s but I threw in an unused full range speakers to the equation.
Louis's vocals was again exceptionally the centre of this track. Excellent delivery of clarity and strength. Just listen to the clip above. I have yet to experience this track in this level of emotion as this is not my favourite Louis's song.

Rock and Radical, although the vocals was also the centre of attraction, the overall 'balance' sound of all the instrument was not at the same level I experience with Session 1. But I am quite sure this is due to the speakers I am using here.  The percussion while was still authoritative, was not hard hitting enough. The shredding guitars lost a little bit of rawness.

The Boos, also was presented in a similar manner like Rock and Radical. Vocals was upright and shining, while the wind instrument and percussion took a little of a backstage compared to Session 1. Nevertheless, I do believe it is the speakers limitation.

CONCLUSIONS

It makes me wonder.... why there is no notion to use the same mic-ing cable that the studio uses as part of our hifi. We always say that the recording quality is very important to ensure the playback on our system is the best. So, I am sure the studio too uses good quality cabling. So, why not use the same in our system? A question to ponder.

On this KADAS.... lies a vocal strength. Clarity and high level of details are some of its strong virtues. Suffer from muddled vocals in your system, give this IC a try. Contact KOGA Audio for advice on this.


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