Transparent Audio is anything but Transparent

I bought a new tube amp. With its placement the right channels speaker cable is too short.  Out of impatience to reach the tube amp I bought a single 15 foot super old Music Wave Ultra MM at a reasonable price. It’s 25 years old and sounds great, so I decided to look for a newer 10/12 foot pair, and move that single to the center speaker.

I went to Transprent Audio’s website and it became apparent that I can’t afford new. I started a search for used. This is where the frustration with Transparent Audio began.

My mindset or expectations from Transparent stem from a 2022 letter that Transparent Audios’ president and CEO, Karen Sumner wrote on the “What’s Best Forum” titled “Preowned Transparent Opportunities.

The article opens with Karen writing, “With the introduction of Transparent Generation 6, there are a few more than usual Gen 5, MM2, and older Transparent Cables available through the pre-owned market that offer a lot of performance and value. I hope many of you will want to take advantage of this opportunity.

She makes it clear that with third party sales, “the warranty is not transferable. There will be a fee for recalibration and for any repairs or termination changes that might be necessary. Call 207-284-1100 or write to for recalibration help and service. She never discourages third party sales. Quite the opposite. Karen closes the article with, quote, “Please feel free to ask me questions if you are considering purchasing some preowned Transparent.

So, in a nutshell she writes, “I hope many of you will want to take advantage of this opportunity, and “Please feel free to ask me questions if you are considering purchasing some preowned Transparent.”

But it’s all a lie. They don’t answer any questions, and they screw over Audiogon sales by steering you away from third party sales, and pushing you to their dealers.

I called and asked “how do MM2 Ultras stack up against the G5 Supers. I was literally told that they don’t give out that information. It’s for us to know and for you to find out. While searching I stumbled upon the Aliexpress counterfeits.  They are shipped in a poly bag. Then you go to eBay and buy the box for $50.00 a pop. Transparent Audio Reference PowerLink Factory Cartons eBay item number:224172498955.

I found a pair of G5’s that would work, but being worried about counterfeits, I emailed Transparent customer service with three photos for only for their opinion. Like I said, they don't answer question, and steer you to their dealers, scewing over the Audiogon sellers.

Their reply was “We can never guarantee the authenticity or functionality of products being sold by anyone other than our authorized dealers. If you choose to purchase from third parties, those purchases are made caveat emptor. If you’d like to be absolutely certain you are purchasing authentic Transparent products, I recommend you shop our network of authorized dealers.

So it’s clear to me, that this article wanting you to take advantage of buying used and answering your concerns was just a bunch of propaganda. Thanks for nothing.




Echo Audio is a great place to buy Transparent, including a wide selection of used trade in. While i am not a fan, the longevity of the business and brand certainly says something. I am also certainly no cable denier.

As an aside, I am an Economist… certainly able to do all kinds of fun math… there are significant difference between a BA or BS… and higher…..

My writing skills, another matter…..

Post removed 


I feel your pain on both points!  I don't start posts much anymore as so many people pick up on one aspect and start off on a tangent and the actual question is ignored.  This lead to others responding to their topic and the OP is left scratching their head lol

Now to your post.  I had the exact same experience when I started my Transparent journey last year.  I emailed their support email asking for comparisons across both generation and level.  They have 10 levels that almost exactly doubles in price at each jump.  I think it is fair that anyone considering or currently using would wonder how Reference MM2 compares to Ultra Gen 5, for example.  Ian politely told me they simply do not ever attempt this.  All he would say is that each level up is an improvement and separately each generation is an improvement.  

I spoke with a dealer and his advice to me was that Gen 5 was a significant upgrade across the board for Transparent.  He suggested I not consider any level below that if I was starting with Transparent.  He also said that Gen 6 was not impressive and worth the extra expense unless you were in the top 3 or 4 levels.

I believe Transparent could be more open with their clients and offer similar advice.  I am also an Audio Research fan and have similar conversations with them where they were very open about cross-generation and level comparisons.

I suppose at the end of the day you/we never know until we pull the trigger and just try something.  FWIW, I ended up going with a mix of Gen 5 Super and Ultra simply based on how used opportunities presented themselves when I was buying.

Good luck.

@marshinski15  I called and asked “how do MM2 Ultras stack up against the G5 Supers. I was literally told that they don’t give out that information.

It seems like they could have shared their impressions on the improvements or difference in sound quality of the G5 Supers vs. MM2 Ultras?  However, their opinion probably wouldn’t mean much to you until you hear it for yourself.

I purchased used Cardas Clear Light speaker cables and interconnects a few years ago.  I shipped the speaker cables to Cardas to have them shorten the length and re-terminate them.  They confirmed the authenticity and gave them a new authentication number after they serviced them.  I later upgraded to the Cardas Clear cable loom as I like their sound and customer service.

I don’t see how Transparent Audio would be able to authenticate cables by looking at photos that you sent to them?  Would you be comfortable with them authenticating by photos?  I imagine they would confirm authenticity if you physically shipped them to Transparent.  

Dude, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The whole thing is a lie, the whole industry is one big lie. One day it will all become apparent! And even then people will not believe that it’s all a big lie. Shame shame shame as Gomer Paul used to say!