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STEALTH Sound Technology Enabling Audibly Lucid Transcomponent Harmony

 

Jim Hines

Well, Iíve finally found time to offer my impressions of the Indra and Sextet.  I apologize for taking so long, but Iíve made several significant changes to my system since your cables arrived and, aside from audio, my life has been much busier.  Fact is, Iíve had the review written for some time in my mind,  but am only now able to put it in writing.

Before I begin, a caveat.  My going in position in writing these reviews was and is that the reviews are for you.  I know youíve received reviews from many others, so I didnít write this for someone unfamiliar with my equipment or for publication.  In short, I tried to get right to the heart of the matter vs. using a bunch of ďaudiophoolĒ language and hyperbole to describe what I did or did not hear.  What youíll read below is my honest opinion of the cables, the good and the bad.  There is no embellishment, nor are any punches pulled.

Having said that, I thought your cables were wonderful, and represent the best of their specific types Iíve ever heard in my system or anyone elseís.  That being the case, I suspect some of what I say will sound somewhat exaggerated.  I wonít defend what Iíve written except to say this: what follows is what I and my wife heard, and it represents our best effort to describe our reactions to the cables being added to our system.

The Stealth Audio Cables Indra Interconnect

Differences noted:

-       First and foremost, the sound is liquid.  Itís obvious Iím not missing anything, but something is added.  I wish I knew what it was, because Iíd seek it out and ďaddĒ it to everything in my system.  Music flows Ė no, it gushes Ė from the speakers in a very smooth but powerful way.  It may seem Iím contradicting myself, but I donít know any other way to say it.  Itís soothing and involving, yet so enveloping.  Before the Indra my system was good; now itís wonderful, musical, involving, clear, etc.  The ICs did all that.  Honestly.  My wife will tell you the same thing.

-       Secondly, layers of music once hidden are clearly evident now, so much so that Iíve spent a great deal of time re-listening to CDs I thought I knew better than the musicians.  Weíve all been so bombarded with the ďlifting of veilsĒ and ďrediscovering collectionsĒ reviewer comments that they mean little now, but for the first time Iíve discovered something that did it for me.  I believe there are many ďveil producingĒ products, but I canít believe there are many Ė or any Ė that remove them so completely as the Indra.  Rest assured, the Indra most definitely produces as much depth and clarity in the recording as the source and speakers will allow.  Period.

-       Lastly, for the first time I believe Iím hearing my components, both the good and the bad.  Much to the chagrin of my wife, your cables have resulted in my spending copious amounts of time and money trying to find accompanying cables and equipment that measure up to the quality and performance of the Indra.  To date Iíve found nothing comparable, but that wonít stop me from looking.  I donít believe thereís a direct correlation between the cost of a component or cable and itís performance, but so far the ďvalueĒ products and ďnameĒ products (read expensive) have all fallen short of the Indra.  Iíll probably never be able to afford $20k amplifiers or $5k speaker cables, but I donít think it would make any difference.  I donít care what you charge for the Indra, theyíre worth every penny.  In my humble opinion, theyíre one of a kind, the best of the best.

The Stealth Audio Cables Varidig Sextet

This review will be shorter for a couple of reasons, the biggest being that the cable didnít have as significant an impact on my system.  However, as previously stated, to date the Sextet is the best digital cable Iíve ever used.

First, I listened to the Varidig to get a feel for the type digital cable you manufacture and to have ďsiblingĒ to which to compare the Sextet.  I felt the Varidig was a fairly neutral cable and didnít do a lot wrong, but didnít add a lot either.  That can be good or bad, depending on what youíre trying to hide or cover-up on your system.  As I have little to cover-up, I found the cable pleasant and could have lived happily with it were it not for the Sextet.

In my opinion, in my system, the pairing of the Sextet and Indra is a match made in heaven.  I donít know what caused the synergy between the two or how twisting 6 strands of the same cable together can make such a difference, but it did.  Perhaps the NextGen connector had something to do with it.  Iíve heard good things about them, and have read of definite improvements noted by non-industry people whoíve tried them.

Combined with the Sextet, the positives of the Indra were magnified.  The midrange became fuller and sweeter, and the highs took on a ďtwinkleĒ that is hard to describe and hard to live without.  Everything sounded better

Best regards,

Jim

Stealth Audio Cables Indra Review

 

Introduction

At first glance, I would probably be the last guy anyone would ask to be a part of their high-end audio beta program. I donít have years of experience in high-end audio, have never been a part of the business and only began putting together my first high-end system less than a year ago. What I bring to the table is this:

- Years of traveling around the world, in the process catching live performances in countless theaters, auditoriums, bars, dives, honky-tonks, blues bars and jazz joints. I know what music is supposed to sound like, and consequently have a pretty good idea of what people (including me) want their systems to produce. I only began putting a system together because Iím nearing retirement and no longer wish to travel as often to enjoy music. The obvious answer was to bring the music to me.

- A very critical nature, with an eye (and ear) for detail. I was a military fighter pilot, and have hundreds of instructor hours in various types of jet aircraft. By virtue of my chosen profession, I HAVE to be critical and non-accepting of anything less than perfection. Failing to strive for perfection is de-facto acceptance of mediocrity. If something isnít right, Iíll know it, and will not hesitate to point it out.

- A gift of a wife. My wife grew up with music and went to college on a music scholarship. She started playing piano when she was 6 years old and was going to gigs with her Father by the time she was in middle school. Sheís had the opportunity to play with Maynard Ferguson and Thelonious Monk, among others. She knows and loves her music. While I may - and I emphasize the word ďmayĒ - pick-up a slight nuance or change that might otherwise go unnoticed, her knowledge, experience and training has given her an insight into music Iíll never have. If the system doesnít present the tonal quality and unique timbre of the instruments correctly, she knows it, and together I believe we are a capable, competent analytical team.

The Indra

The first time I played a song for my wife after placing the Indra in the system, she looked at me with eyes as big as saucers. After a few moments, she managed only one word; ďWow.Ē It takes something pretty extraordinary to turn someone with her background and experience into little more than a mumbling vegetable. Hereís what the Indra did.

An Explosion of Music

the music flowed so freely, so uninhibited and the soundstage became so large, the music seems to take on a whole Ďnother dimension. Though it may seem Iím describing something ďunnaturalĒ and distracting, nothing could be further from the truth. It is, in fact, MORE natural than anything Iíve ever heard. The Indra took my modest system and turned it into a world-class performer in the time it took to install them. The music seems to fill my room in the same manner it would if the musicians were there. As ďliveĒ as ďliveĒ can get without paying for an in-home performance.

Removal of Barriers

Itís not about what the cable adds. It isnít even about what it DOESNíT add. Itís about what it REMOVES! Never before have I heard music flow so smoothly, so effortlessly from speakers of any type or manufacturing origin. With the exception of acoustic performances, Iíve never heard live music sound so natural and open. The Indra frees the music from the tangled web of electronic limits and mechanized barriers. Itís liberating, to the music and to the listener, and is so liquid you may want to keep a towel handy.

Itís obvious Iím not missing anything, but itís as though something is added. I wish I knew what it was, because Iíd seek it out and ďaddĒ it to everything in my system. .

Maybe this is explains the ďsparkleĒ I hear. Maybe itís the sound of nothing. I honestly believe the Indra is better than oft-mentioned goal of ďno wireĒ because the absence of wire doesnít remove the negative effect other components have on the music. From my experience, the Indra does just that. The music flows so smoothly - and yet so powerfully and unfettered - from the speakers

The Music

The music is the music. By that I mean a bass guitar sounds like a bass guitar, a violin sounds like a violin, and snare drum sounds like a snare drum. No additives, no omissions. Iíve never heard a piano sound more realistic on any system. Attack and decay are precisely portrayed. The tonal accuracy is unlike anything Iíve ever heard before. Bass is tight and defined, but not artificially so. Itís just accurate.

Not to belabor the point, but what the Indra does besides give you the sound of ďrealĒ instruments is give it to you without any semblance of electronic layering or digital additive. The difference this makes has to be heard to be believed. Layers of complex pieces become so much clearer, so much more obvious, and yet more musical at the same time.

Sounds impossible, doesnít it? Kind of like getting better gas mileage the faster you drive. But itís true.

Conclusion

The Indra allows me to experience the music in a way impossible outside of a live venue. Yes, the music flows as easily as it does from the instrument itself, but becomes more substantial, sucking you in and surrounding you in a blanket of wonderfully pure sound. Iíve heard good music reproduction and am a very exacting, meticulous person. The Indra doesnít make bad recordings sound good, but it will make good recordings sound great, and great recordings are surreal

I believe Iím hearing my components for the first time, both the good and the bad. Much to the chagrin of my wife, my exposure to the Indra has resulted in my spending copious amounts of time and money trying to find accompanying cables and equipment measuring up to the quality and performance of the Indra. Iím afraid itís a foolís errand.

RememberÖmy system was good to begin with. I knew there were minor flaws and was in the process of addressing them when I heard about the Indra. As much as anything else, the Indra allowed me to address the REAL flaws in my system, the first being the interconnects they replaced. Only then could I hear what was really going on with my system and take the necessary steps to address its shortcomings.

To my knowledge, for the first time a cable truly has the same affect on every system, whether youíve spent $5.000 or $500,000 (to varying degrees, of course). This is the only cable Iíve used that hasnít turned out to be a tuning device or tone control. The Indra is easily the best cable Iíve ever tried, and is in fact the best component of any kind Iíve ever heard. Though ďbass-ackwardsĒ (as my grandmother used to say), I can now envision someone being so affected by the Indra that they would actually try to build a system around an interconnect.

The Indra is that good, that superior to anything else on the market. It is a truly revolutionary product.

Jim