Sunday, 15 November 2015

Kirlin Cables - Bold and Big


My curiosity in microphone cable as an element in our hifi system grew bigger each day since my exposure to Kadas last month. Most of the articles on the net concludes towards mic and audio cable have no difference between them apart from thickness. However, there are people who advice never to use mic cable as a speaker cable. OK for line level interconnects but not for speaker cable.

KOGA Audio again loaned me a mic cable, built as an IC with RCA connectors under the brand Kirlin. The model is MBC 20AWG. More information can be read here

As oppose to Kadas, Kirlin seems to be more visible on the net with a properly established website with association with a list renown musicians and artists.

BUILT

KOGA maintains to keep the two left and right channel separate from each other. The cable itself is flexible similar to Kadas. The RCA plug however is of a different version which feels sturdier and also easier to connect to the RCA connections on my source and amp. Again, KOGA Audio did a good job in its workmanship.

THE SPECIFICATIONS



Being a microphone cable, it is fully shielded.

FIRST IMPRESSION

It was of different character compared to Kadas. It presented a bigger soundstage and leans more towards a emphasizing the low end spectrum of things.

THE SET UP

Given that I am now quite familiar with my mini set up downstairs, this review was only done by using the IC in 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 24/192)
2. Rock and Radical - Butterfingers (CD)
3. Pink Panther Theme (WAV)

THE SESSION

The trumpet sounded mellower with the higher frequency was filtered down a notch, creating a less high pitch presentation. Louis's deep and 'rough' vocal blended better into the rest of the songs with minimal focus on the strength alone. It made me feel more at ease as it lets my emotion run free rather than being focussed on his vocal. It was balanced throughout that you dont feel that there was any element of the song that was more revealing than another.

Now, Butterfingers rawness and prowess was felt through and through. Again, no real focus on vocal nor other part of the music. It was well balanced between vocal, guitar, drums and even the bass line was easily recognised. Detail yet balance when it comes to delivering the grunge factor. Emmet's vocal also was more energized as if it was gelled up Loque's shredding guitar. The crash cymbals also sounded more detailed with a distinctive dispersing sound.

To see whether I can get the emotion going without the presence of a singer, I playe the Pink Panther theme. Now, this entertaining yet complex piece, sounded really big that I could not believe my small mini monitors can sound that big. I was concern that given the warm and lower end frequency character in the previous track, it will start distort my speakers. But no! The Kirlin just delivers this track beautifully. In fact, the last strike of at the end of the track which I usually feels that it can sound too high pitched, sounded full and bold that it really gave me a shock.



THE CONCLUSION

Firstly, I do feel the merit of using microphone cable as an interconnect in a hifi system. In fact, maybe it has not been given enough credit in this industry. I am sure there are still the dodgy ones just like the hifi interconnects we see in the market but, it is quite a provoking thought if I change all my interconnects to microphone based cables.

Specific to Kirlin, it does deliver a warmer sound compared to Kadas and also more tonally balanced. Given a good source, this Kirlin will allow the source intended sound to be delivered in details, bold and bigger soundstage to your amp and ultimately your speakers.

Give microphone cables a go. Its relatively an affordable option and if you dont like it, convert it to karaoke microphone :)

Kirlin and Kadas can be ordered to the length you require by contacting KOGA Audio at koga.audio@gmail.com




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