In terms of in room presence, texture, bottom-end extension and tonal complexity, nothing I've heard touches MIT's Magnum M1.3 except other more expensive MIT models. Perhaps their bass and midrange is a tad plump as some claim but it's no issue in my system. The Grand Illusions don't quite match the MIT in the above but then again, dynamics and observable detail were second to none along with a pleasant lightness up top, a tad more vibrancy and a pleasing lit-from-within quality.

Sablon Audio's Corona Reserva are dynamite in spaciousness, transparency, musical insight and have a beguiling silky flow about them. They don't quite compete with the Grand Illusion in weight and dynamics but then again, this was only apparent when I compared the two brands. It's another reason these sorts of comparisons are meaningless to me. The most wallet friendly, Wireworld's excellent Equinox 6 now in its series 7 iteration, performs remarkably closer to the more expensive cables, closer than the price differential would suggest. As that old audiophile chestnut goes, after a certain point any further gains in performance are incremental at best yet cost climbs dramatically, sometimes ridiculously so. To my ears the Wireworld set strikes me as possibly having the most neutral balance of the bunch, with a remarkably quiet background but it doesn't quite offer the degree of insight, textural fidelity or colour saturation as the other cables.

And there you have it: four fine cable families at different price points that all bring something a little different to the table. My favourite? Hard to say so I won't - although I must admit that after hearing the expensive stuff, the Equinox just doesn't quite do it for me. Yes, it gets the gist of the music right but doesn't deliver the texture and tonal complexity like the more expensive stuff. Suffice to say, I don't think most hobbyists would be disappointed with any of these in the right settings.

The Verastarr Grand Illusions offered an exciting, robust completely involving presentation that was just a tad on the warm side of neutral, well extended at both ends of the spectrum, blessedly free of the annoying highlighting I often hear in contemporary cables and with an articulate propulsive bass that has to be heard to be believed. Encased in their gorgeous soft black cloth and black leather end caps, the Grand Illusions exude sex appeal and quality. Not only do they sound like multi kilo-buck cables, they look like it. Prepare to be even more impressed once you hear how well they handle your music. You'll have a ton of fun with these. I sure as hell did. The Verastarr Grand Illusion cables are aptly named. They really do offer the grand illusion of real flesh and blood musicians playing in front of you. Way recommended.

Quality of packing
: Excellent. Best I've seen yet for cables.
Reusability of packing: Can be reused multiple times.
Condition of component received: Flawless.
Website comments: Excellent information.
Human interactions: Professional and friendly.
Warranty: 30-day in-home trial with full refund minus shipping. 10-year transferrable warranty.

Verrastar comment: Thank you Paul, for taking your time to listen to our Verastarr Grand Illusion cables and sharing your experience. We would like to let readers know that for those looking to get right smack dab in the middle of transparent without a slight lean into warm, we offer the Signature series which are pure silver. There is greater information retrieval on the very top without a hint of aggressiveness; and a slightly more defined image. Thanks again for your time Paul. We really appreciate it.

Verastarr website