These were my thoughts before Matthew dispatched my set. When May passed, I began to wonder. Four months on, samples remained MIA. So did status updates. Was Matthew's a tiny show? I was confused too by his web shop's ongoing "contact us for pricing and availability" on all catalogue items. The PFO review dated back to January 2022, a full 18 months before my writeup began. What had stalled formal production? Or hadn't the website been updated? We all know about first impressions. By mid June, "we've been working on your cables for just over a week.
[That meant zero action for the first promise's six weeks; none for the following's three.]
"Please be patient. The delay is the 6m interconnect. We manually thread conductors into small Teflon tubes and had difficulty doing this for such a long run. But just now we think we found a way. I promise that the listening experience will be worth the wait." By July 7th, "we're still behind on your cables. I believe that I can ship them by July 15th. We're still having difficulty with the 6m interconnect." Matthew's initial can-do response to my length requirement had caused trouble. Were six meters beyond the design's build limits? As Monday July 17th came, would I see an update? The web shop still took no orders.
On July 20th, "I decided to send your cables without the 6m interconnect for the time being. Then in about 6-8 weeks I'll send the long interconnect. Sorry for the delay." Matthew still seemed hopeful that the 6m monster could be tamed. Then he offered a 3m speaker cable just returned from review. It already had the required 300 hours on it. At 5 hours/day of constant play, 300 hours would take up a full two months. When you work where you live, playing music "in the background" to break something in equals noise pollution. No thank you. So I happily asked for the cooked leashes. According to Matthew, the interconnects would come on song in 20 hours. I had no problem with that. The gig was finally on.
While the shipment did its thing in the skies then on the ground, I asked for Matthew's vision on his company. The Mark Gurvey tie suggested a US/Canadian dealer network. The web shop indicated direct sales. Those were likely to serve non-domestic clients; or be a stop gap until foreign distribution establishes. Tara Labs had grown large with a catalogue to match. Were there equal ambitions now? Then there was the matter of actual production capabilities which impact the potential size of any operation. I asked Matthew to paint us a picture.
"Great questions! MB Audio currently is a small company with 4 part-time employees. Mark Gurvey leads the effort to get his Lumin dealers aboard. We've sent out samples of the same cables you're getting and reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. We're doing well and are busy making cables for the current US-based dealers. Additionally we have two entry-level series, Intrigue and Insight. We do not intend to use the website to solicit the public. We'll shortly delete its 'shop' and 'kart' features. Mark will handle US dealers, I look for international distribution. I founded Tara Labs in 1984 and was responsible for all their cable designs. The company did very well in the 1990s but has shrunk to one third its former size. I left without an NDA and MB Audio cables are technically and audibly superior."
Did this imply that shortly I'd be listening to the cables God uses now? MB Audio had launched with their best effort. A heaveny visitation really seemed upon our modest digs. Time to get out the hoover and glass sparkling. As to our resident leashdom, the main system most recently upgraded to this Kinki Earth loom. It looks like Crystal Cable but comes in far lower. To justify its bespoke tarrif, the MBA had its work cut out. Also, with colossal 4-gauge aggregate conductor mass, the GSC 36 appears aimed at current-sucking boorish loads and Pilium-type über amps. I had neither. Would that narrow any potential before/after delta? It seems a fair point. If you hoped to learn how Matthew's multi-parallel ribbon compares to a solid ribbon à la Silversmith Fidelium, not today. And where €30K amps like LinnenberG's stunning class A monos create somewhat more favorable percentile context against €12K speaker cables, our $3.7K/pr monos and €5.5K/pr speakers had Matthew's best wires at a disproportionate gap. They virtually demanded gear-level improvements as though being superior amps or speakers. Fans of active WiFi speakers grin with glee. What cables? All they need are two power cords. So there's that. I'm of a generation which runs passive speakers and headfi with separates to need all the other cables, even HDMI for I²S, fiber optics for the network, 50Ω coax for clock signal and other outliers.
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