CAS 2014: MIT Cables with Magico, Constellation, and Berkeley







Since MIT (Music Interface Technologies) Cables put this room together, it only seems fair to talk about the cables first, for once. MIT was demoing their new SL-Matrix 50 interconnects ($4,999) and SL-Matrix 90 speaker cables ($9,999). These are available in both balanced and single-ended versions. Reputedly, these have been designed to optimize the mid-range of a system, and they feature adjustable impedance switching. They represent a smaller and sleeker adaptation of MIT’s classic technology, at a lower price. The SL-Matrix USB cable ($499) was also in use.

All this cable strung together a pretty fine system: Magico S5 Speakers ($32,500 in brilliant M-Coat orange) took pride of place, with Constellation Audio‘s Inspiration Preamp 1.0 ($9,000) and stereo amp ($10,000) providing the oomph. The new Berkeley Audio Designs Alpha DAC Reference Series ($14,000) was in use, in conjunction with the Alpha USB ($1,895). The Aurender W20 music server ($17,200) provided the tuneage.

I was able to spend an enjoyable few minutes listening to an orchestral piece (note to self: get a little bit better at identifying classical pieces) with piano, woodwinds, and strings. The strings sounded a bit off to me — recessed and weirdly artificial, almost more like synthesized strings than an actual orchestra. Since the piece was not something I was familiar with, I could not determine the source of the string weirdness, particularly since the woodwinds sounded strikingly realistic, and the piano was beautiful in its tone, decay, and impact.