I have ARC gear, Martin-Logan and Transparent speaker cables and a pair of XLR interconnects between my DAC and preamp. Both are Ultra Gen 5. I was told by several individuals that the jump between Gen4 (whatever that was called) and Gen5 was about 1.5 levels. So I would assume a 1-1.5 level increase with each generation. Usually this means it is cost effective to buy the latest or next latest generation.
@docknow Thanks for that insight. In my example, purchasing 20 year old Ultra speaker cables for $1400 vs new Gen 6 Super cables for $2200....would be better to get the new Supers, correct? The Ultras I saw are 4 generations behind the Gen 6. It is wild when you look at their speaker cable options. There are 10 levels and the prices essentially double each time starting at $115 up to $77,000!! Yowza
Yes, there is no question that a Gen6 Super is much better than a 20yo Ultra. A closer comparison would be a pair of Gen5 Ultras for sale for $2099 right now. Based on what I wrote, the Gen6 Super should be better, and you get a warranty, the correct end fittings and as an original owner, you can participate in their upgrade program.
Looking at your system, Transparent is the brand you should be looking at. I have virtually all Transparent Ultra Gen 6 on my system. I have upgraded from various previous generations and models.
I believe that Gen 5 to Gen 6 was a very substantial upgrade. One that is compelling to choose. So, if I were to do it over again, I would choose Gen 6 and then go as high as possible on the product line. So, I was able to go for Ultra.
ARC and transparent are a fantastic combo… well, unless you can afford Nordost Odin 2… they are way better). I experimented with half a dozen other brands, Transparent is perfect. The higher level the better.
I went from the older Ultra too Reference mm2 some time ago and the upgrade was very nice much more bass smoother sounding. It is important from the reference line up that you get them calibrated by Transparent for the equipment they are going to be used with. Makes a noticeable difference for the better.
Thanks everyone for your ideas. Got the Super Gen 5 speaker cables connected last night and have been listening a lot since. I have not gone back to see how the difference compares but just from listening it does seem as if I am getting everything that has been described. I think what is standing out the most is a cleaner soundstage with greater isolation of voices and instruments. I am shopping for used Super balanced IC now. I spoke to one dealer and he said when you get the entire system converted over to Transparent that you will see the greatest results.
The cables are very stiff so was a bit challenging to get them into position. It will be no simple task to swap out and back in so not sure it is even worth the experience as I am definitely sold on the upgrade. I got these used so unsure how brand new cables are for the initial set up. I recall years ago getting a random upgraded power cord in the box when I bought a used amp as the guy lost the original. It was also extremely stiff and was hard to get to stay in a component socket. The end/plug eventually separated from the cord while the wires remained intact. It made me laugh because there were three 16 gauge wires inside this super stiff clear rubber hose that was reinforced within the plastic with some mesh material. There was nothing there to shape to ever stay, it was simply flexible but always wanted to remain as straight as possible. These seem to have more pliability and will take on some shape so hopefully I can keep working with them to become relaxed in their new configuration.
Does anyone have advice on that process?
I have some super gen 5 biwire speaker cables on the way to see how they sound vs. my current cardas golden reference biwire speaker cables. I recently added golden reference xlr interconnects and they sound wonderful with my setup. I didn’t quite get the same result when I added the golden reference speaker cables. They sounded better over time as they had been sitting awhile and needed a quick break-in. However, I’m not sure they are as good a match as the golden reference interconnects. I too was debating between super gen 5 and ultra mm2 speaker cables. My gear consists of a mark levinson 383 integrated, cambridge audio 851 cdp and revel f30 speaker cables. I also had emailed transparent at one point and asked which of these transparent cables would be a better match. Their reply was frustrating in that they couldn’t (more like wouldn’t) answer my question. But, added that their current generation would be best. I get it that they want to sell new cables; but with their upgrade program (and previous generations of cables being sent to dealers for resale) you would think they would be more accommodating. Where do you think I got these super gen 5’s?