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mardi 19 janvier 2016

VDH the Mountain

Now it is the time for sharing my experience with this fairly new VDH cable. It belongs to its top line with the Cliff (both built with the 3T trchnology) and with the classical silver series. If the Silver ones are mostly no cables these two top 3T are much more strong in character. This character is a character of not tonal aberration, but of levigation. I feel the Mountain to be in its character like a very fine powder, beauty powder with a very light elegant smell.
After about 50 hours, it is not advisable to have a critical listening tio this cable before this lap of time since its sounds changes in better then in worse then finally stabilizes, we are ready to see what it can do. First thing to notice is a very well deployed soundstage, very good depth and localisation of instruments. With it we also notice a certain not brillance of the timbre of the instrument a la Dynaudio if you are familiar with this brand sound even though not so pronounced. The expression and the inflections of the music are well rendered too. So the nuances that make the music interesting are there. Of expecially interest is, after becoming familiar with its sound and if we have enough listening to hifi experience is its character of doing no harm. This is very important to the experienced listener. If you have heard a lot of hifi equipment and paid for a lot of equipmen that soon after you have sold you know about it. No matter how good an element is you can be after a certain time too aware of something that it does in a way that boders you. And even though you can appreciate many of its qualities after a while it is like you are there not just to have pleasure to what you are listening and to what is undeniably good but to detect what boders you.
I say this since this very worry seems to be beyond the conception of the Mountain character and globally to the 3T interconnect series. It seams these cables where done to perfectly match the equipment that do their hifi job too well at the price of global musicality.
In these cases (and are the majorities) the Mountain has an extremely benefic influence. It restores the musicality, the fluidity and the beauty of the music reproduction.
But what happens in extremely well balanced and thought and assembled systems? First of all don't think your system falls in this cathegory since in 35 years of listening to hifi I can absolutely say they are very rare. And this is not a question of money spent. Let's put in another way: which woman skin won't look more perfect with a beauty powder on? The only ones that have silky smooth skin. How many do you think out there have this kind of skin? You got the point. So what happens in a perfect system, on the perfect skin if we put the Mountain powder on?
The Mountains takes away something from these systems. The Mountain that in most systems takes away the little percent of nastiness resulting from overdoing hifi qualities, will take some energy out of the reproduction from these extremely well balanced systems giving to the final sound a quality of restrained beauty. But beauty nonetheless. It cover the body of the music up with an elegant long dress.
Now a little about why hifi has got to a point to overdo it? My point of view is because of the market. The listener is the potential buyer and he has to choose. The best he can do to choose is getting something at home and try it in its system. What he tries has to be perceived as an improvement. But most of the times what he perceive as improvement is something that is most present with ths component. For example it has better bass, or much better focus, or dynamic then the one it replaces. It is very hard to buy something that doesn't have clearly better dynamics or focus or timbric accuracy but that globally is much better.
Generally thing that have a magic balance becomes classic pieces and generally these don't have any wow factor. Think about the LS3/5a, the LP12, the Spendor SP1/2 and derivates. It is very difficult to buy something for its musicality but that in comparison is a little too coloured or lacking in bass or other thing. This happens for the average hi fi passionate it means for the 90% of the people that have this hobby. For the rest 10% they tend to know what they know they can live with and appreciate.
So if you have a business it is better you target the 90%!
With this VDH has a mature product. It is pointed to the 90% of listeners having expensive systems that lack the magic in favour of hifi.
Not too long ago I have tried, and at the end bought,  the Silver MKIII of this same maker.
This last is exactly the opposity of the Mountain. Where the mountain is good in 90% of the systems the Silver MKIII is a waste of money in most systems, and worse you will end up thinking it is not as good as its lesser companions as the Orchid or the Integration. But you are ending to a wrong conclusion just because your system didn't let you hear all the story.  Just because the story is a no story. The Silver MKIII cable is like a no cable. But of course you buy thing to improve your system! You are not buying something that you cannot hear, what a waste of money! If you put nothing it means what you have it is already excellent and you need just to add something just because you cannot do without it, but this something has not to break the balance you have got.
So let put this way. The Mountain will improve many systems, will give these system the beauty they miss, the Silver MKIII will let shine very,very few.

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