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DIY mains cable TNT - TTS

The Twisted Snake

Second Part

As promised, we are back to speak about the DIY mains cable TNT - TTS, to complete our listening test with the use of two of these cables at the same time, one feeding the CD player and the other connected to the amplifier.
You may have read in the previous article that I couldn't correctly evaluate the effect of the TNT TTS as an AC cord for the CD player. Since I had just one cable to use, I could not set-up the amplifier at its optimum. Thus, I could not evaluate the benefits provided to the CD (for we audiofreaks even tiny nuances are important ;-)
Well, the completion of specimen number 2 took place after a decent time, so I am here to tell you how our big snake, used to feed the CD player, affects the sound quality.

Surprise, surprise!

The first surprise was in the shop where a few days before I bought the Pirelli double shielded two-1.5 sq.mm-wired cable.
I noticed that they were trying to give me a slightly different cable, not a Pirelli one, with a copper braid single shielding (copper braid acts against EMIs, the aluminium/polyestere team against electro-static interferences). Maybe in the end I would have achieved the same results, but I did'nt want to take the risk (after all, double shield cannot give worse results than a single one. Can it?).
After a meticulous inspection of the shop, I did find a 9 meter piece of cable. Perfect! I bought it at the usual, cheap price, about 0.5 pounds per meter, I started to braid the three lenghts of cable and I terminated them as usual.
I won't repeat that every AC domestic network, listening room, components form a single entity. I will only describe the result that I personally obtained.
So, I connected the TTS mains cable to the Marantz CD17, replacing the -always very good- Merlino, I could get undoubtable positive results, though not in the sense I would have expected.
The sound stages enlargement on the two flat dimensions, the strong improvement of the general sense of air, that were very clear when the TTS was connected to the amplifier, this time simply did not manifest. As I expected that they would. This may prove to those who say that the positive effects of cables on sound are produced by the fact that we expect them (and are of a certain kind) maybe should proceed to a revision of their credo ;-)

Compared to the reference configuration, I could, instead, hear the following new effects. First, a big deepening of sound stage from the closest positions to the farthest ones, and without gaps.
It was easy to identify the different levels of depth, without the need to concentrate. This produced the further consequence of a sharp and improved instruments placement and focus, that sometimes, obviously, were *smaller* than previously heard.
In addition, I was glad to notice that the hardest dynamic pieces - as those due to a strong pressure on the central keys of a piano, that, on somewhat bad recording tended to stay and resonate too close to the speaker - received a much better treatment, that allowed me to follow in the virtual space the percussion of the several strings of the instrument.

Conclusions...

A definitively excellent result! Maybe not as immediate and impressive as what was obtained using *The Twisted Snake* just with the amplifier, but just as significant as that.
You may know that I usually keep the speakers on the diy stands some 20 cm distant from the rear wall and, when I am in the mood for some serious listening, I move them in to the room by about 1.5 m. In this position I can appreciate what is a vital element of a good listening session - the correct reproduction of the acoustic soundstage!
But, since I put to work both specimens of the TNT - TTS mains cable, one connected to the CD player and the other to the amplifier, I admit I became a little lazy.
The big snakes' contribution to the bon-son party is almost unbelievable... Using both cables at the same time is so effective that makes you want to scream!!! Even with (almost) stuck-on-the-rear-wall speakers, I can enjoy a good virtual image, in all three dimensions! I think that's not a little thing (price, that is what's little here! :-)

P.S. - Last minute further confirmations!!!

It was one of those good occasions! I was about to go and visit my friend Giuliano Nicoletti, for an interesting (audiophile) development. If it is going to take place (as I think and hope), you'll read about it on these pages.
So, while going to Giuliano's, I thought that it would be an interesting experience to test the Snake's effectiveness in a completely different system from mine (room included), just to see if it could repeat the magic.
It was like going for an examination. I can honestly say that I crossed my fingers when, after TTS' installation on the cute tube integrated amplifier, the wonderful Pro-Ject turntable started his hypnotic dance and the excellent Demas begun singing (I don't really remember I heard them sounding so well during the last Roma Audio Show)...
Finally, I was the most surprised, since Giuliano naively admitted he had never doubted my enthusiastic words about our big snake (I must say that I didn't think I was so convincing...). Further tests, using other components showed that the use of the Snake was more effective with the preamplifiers, whose sound improvements were absolutely astonishing! But, in order to proceed to a better evaluation of the situation, a single TTS for each component is needed.
With just one cable, the best way to use it was on the preamplifiers. Suddenly, in the middle of the tests I was conducting with Giuliano, Luca Nicoletti appears in the room (pretty sleepy, indeed... but I didn't dare to ask him what happened last night ;-)
So, why don't we do more tests, but with Luca's system? It was soon clear that the Snake was best used with Luca's diy preamplifier (really good, compliments! I suspect that ability is a family heritage here...).
The analog turntable started its dance, the Galactron MK-2060 supplied its positive energy, and music started to spring from the always wonderful Sonus Faber Concertino, confirming, if it was still needed, our reptile's absolute value!
At the end, the hardest thing was to bring the TTS back home. I must say I felt a little unfair, after all the appreciating words said by both the big brothers, for not having left it. But my usual shop had run out of stock of Pirelli cable and, back home, my black bat (read Audioanalyse) was surely missing it.
Also, there were two pretenders, and only one could use the cable - should I be the cause of a family fight? ;-)
OK, I concede, it's not a good excuse. I promise that as soon as my dealer has more Pirelli Screenflex S2, I'll make one more cable just for them (considering its production costs..) and I give it to them!
A big ThanX to Giuliano and Luca for their cooperation!

© Copyright 1998 Stefano Monteferri
Translation: Carlo Iaccarino Translation supervisor: Geoff Binder (Australia)

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