Reviews from real customers:
REVIEW: 13W3 i2S connector for Muse Transport & DAC
I bought the Muse Model 8 Transport and Muse 296 DAC over 5 years ago and have enjoyed its analogue-like performance afforded by the i2S cable. I always felt that the 'weak link' in this system was the stock Belden 13W3 cable provided by Muse- I thought the performance would be further improved with a higher quality i2S cable. After trying several times to locate a replacement, in July of '04 I was referred to Brad Vojtech of Revelation Audio Labs thru Audio Asylum ';@ }. Brad told me he could build me this cable, but as it would be his first of this type using 13W3 connectors, it could take a while to find suitable quality connectors that he would be happy with.
Brad told me the wait would be well worth my patience. He was right.
Revelation Audio Labs describes the cable as 'featuring state-of-the-art mil-spec CONEC connectors, cryogenically treated ultra-pure (5-N's) solid silver conductors, air dielectrics, Teflon insulators, multi-layer/multi-material EMI/RFI shielding and proprietary Ceramic Micro-Bead Conduit. Meticulously artisan-built, hand-crafted in the USA, designed to be the most robust, advanced, exotic, and musical i2S audio cable in the world. The materials and construction techniques are world-class, aerospace quality.'
They aren't kidding...
I received the completed cable in November of '04. I was very impressed by the quality of construction and materials used, clearly superior in solidity and appearance to the stock cable. But the proof is ultimately in the performance, so out went the stock cable, and in went the Prophecy...
Fresh out of the box this cable is truly a Revelation. While Brad recommends a 100 hour burn-in time, the sound was improved across the board. The bass was the most noticeable- bass seemed to gain at least a 1/2 octave deeper, with much improved "push"/extension, detail speed and more 'bounce' — there was more energy driving the music, equivalent to a major component upgrade. The soundstage was deeper and wider, with a clearer, more stable presentation and imaging of instruments, evolving in free space, and a better separation between individual instruments. Midrange and highs improved with a more individual 'ease' to the music. Voices were even more lifelike sounding like complete bodies with chests, not just mouths singing. Sounds I never heard before on very familiar albums were heard for the first time, which added to my overall involvement and enjoyment. Over time, the sound became even smoother, with a more natural ease and musical flow. Bass tightened up more. Where I previously thought I needed to improve the bass response, which was the weakest part of my system, I no longer feel the need to do so.
This cable has made a wholesale improvement to the enjoyment and overall musicality of my system. If you own a Muse transport/DAC combo with 13W3 i2S cable, this is a no-brainer — RUN, don't walk, call Brad Vojtech at Revelation Audio Labs, and order this cable today. Your ears will thank you.
Regards, Gary H.
(By the way, this 13W3 cable can also be used with Sonic Frontiers digital gear.)”
“I'm quite satisfied with your (Prophecy i2s and Parable power cord) cables. Burned them in for 106 hours, then put on discs to which I'd recently listened, and was amazed by the improvements. I first noticed improved bass: more defined, cleaner, and tighter. It's as if the cables shaped a diffuse beam into a tight signal. (Note: my speaker cables and interconnects are no slouches.) Next, I sensed a wider and deeper soundstage. One of the strengths of my system (and most satisfying to me), I believe, is its ability to portray a three-dimensional soundstage. With your cables, the soundstage expanded, especially in its depth. This expansion, by the way, is by no means overwrought — on the contrary, it's in the realm of bigger is better. Live recordings particularly benefited from the introduction of your cables into the system. I clearly detect a better portrayal of the stage, whether it's in a smoke-filled club or a huge stadium. In fact, REO's 'You Get What You Play For,' my ultimate system-testing CD and my favorite live album, never sounded better. 'Golden Country' filled the room wall-to-wall. I momentarily thought I was listening to a multi-channel system. This pleases to no end. Layering of instruments and vocals is much improved. I can now clearly make out background vocals, for example. This was startling on Alice Peacock's excellent self-titled CD. Before your cables arrived, background vocals were muddled a tad in the mix — I had to strain to make out the words. Now I can make out the words sans strain. Plus, on many live recordings, individual voices in the crowd, singers bumping microphones, guitarists unplugging from amps, drummers busting sticks, are all rendered more vivid, making the recordings more lifelike, and listening to them way more enjoyable. Finally, I like the fit and finish. And I was right: my eight-year-old son likes the color. I do, too. I wish to emphasize that I am pleased with the improvements your cables bring. I wish you continued success.” — M.B.
“After allowing sufficient time for burn-in, I have done a lot of serious listening to the Revelation Audio Labs i2s in both i2s direct and indirect mode and have concluded overall that the Revelation Audio Labs is indeed an excellent interconnect. To date the only head to head listening tests I've done is with the Audio Magic Mystic Reference i2s, and although I have not yet broken out the results, it is obvious that the Revelation i2s is the clear winner.” — P.W.
“The performance of your Prophecy i2s cable was HEAD, SHOULDERS and TORSO above the other two i2s cables that I auditioned (0.5-meter Audio Magic Mystic Reference, $149, and 1-meter LAT International, $99). It allows the highly detailed and refined digital signal, transmitted through the Siltec Golden Ridge digital cable and Perpetual Technologies P-1A 24-bit interpolation engine in my system, to come through completely unscathed. The musicality is unprecedented in my experience; I now no longer listen to the sound, but can get totally into the music. REMARKABLE!” — J.
“I like your Prophecy i2s and you will NOT be getting it back! It has a body and a clarity that my Mystic Reference cannot match, which surprised me because I had always considered the MR to be a solid performer. By comparison the Other Cable sounds uncultured. But there's worse! I also run an Mystic R i2s from my Audio Alchemy DDS Pro to the PT P-1A and when I put your Prophecy between the P-1A and P-3A, the transport to P-1A cable (Mystic) was exposed as being very harsh (you following me?!). Why this should be, I don't know, but I had to put a AES/EBU after the transport to eliminate the digital nasties. This is good news for you, because I now have to audition a 1-meter Prophecy! I would also like to hear your Power supply to P-1A and P-3A cables also... this is a place that I've always thought of as a potential source of electrical interference. Thanks for a great product.” — B.G.
“I finished burning in my Prophecy i2S digital link cable, and then sat down to do a serious A/B comparison with a cable I made myself from some VH audio cotton insulated silver wire. I thought sure my homemade cable would be just as good if not better, since it was utterly minimalist in design.
I have an associate's degree in electronic systems technology, and have been an electronics technician in the U.S. Air Force for almost 18 years — all my training and experience tells me a digital cable should have no effect on audio whatsoever. I should be able to stick almost any conductorÊin the circuitÊand itÊdo just as well as the most expensive digital cable, but that's not what I heard.
Realizing that human nature would not allow me to be objective, I asked my wife to listen with me. She didn't know which cable was which, yet our observations were identical.
My cable had a slightly grainy quality which I would have never noticed if I hadn't had yours to compare it against; yours simply sounded smoother, but paradoxically, there was more detail. And more presence. It sounded like I was a little closer to the musicians and singers.
So now I'm mad. I was all proud of myself for designing this cable that would be just as good as your expensive snake-oil cable, and then I could send your cable back for a refund and laugh at you all the way to the bank. Instead I'm keeping it and crawling off to lick my wounds. And try and figure out why mine didn't sound as good.” —C.M.