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.




This thread has had some good comedy, thank you all.

I think I would be a bit wary of buying used cable brands like Cardas and Audio Note that use rather plain looking outer sheaths, they just look too easy to forge.  Not that cables need to have a lot of bling but I'm guessing the counterfeiters won't bother trying to reproduce a unique cable jacket.

I believe Cardas will at least look at photos and identify an obvious counterfeit for you, which seems generous of them, even though that is not an outright authentication. 

@marshinski15 , well, if you think that they are not transparent listen to this. I had a 3 m Nordost Odin xlr, bought at their official dealer. It was used in a system with active speakers. Changed the system, so I needed the shorter runs. Nordost at that time, stated on their site that they are doing retermination of their cables. Wrote to them and they simply refused to do it (for Odin) and just pointed me to sell it and than to buy new shorter runs. Suffice to say, sold the cable via Highend Broker for roughly 1/3rd of its original price and bought another, shorter one (not Nordost, of course) Never, never will buy a new Nordost product. There are plenty of others. I guess, the same applies for Transparent as well. 

More snake oil, I think we have gotten too sophisticated to buy into this nonsense, well at least most of us!

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