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The AudioArt SE family moves in
: I opened the shipping box. Inside, the Special Edition cables were individually packed in labeled Ziploc bags. The new cosmetics from the thick braided Techflex jacketing to the branded shrink wrap certainly have a more high-end appearance. The connectors look substantial and upscale. Awaiting me was the entire SE family of cables, the IC-3SE interconnect, the SC5-SE speaker cable and the Power 1-SE. Preparation began. I chose a few recordings to challenge the capabilities of the cables.

"J.S. Bach Suite for Violoncello N°.4" - Super Test SACD isoMike [isoMike AUD079]. This is an intimate cello recording with a wealth of microdynamic detail on the sound of the strings and how they relate to the sound of the instrument’s cavity, the finger work, the performer catching his breath, the illumination of the instrument in space when it plays.

"Fanfare for the Common Man" - FIM Super Sounds! III [FIM XR24 073]. There is an ease of placement and sense of proportion here. The drums push a huge mass of air but that mass of air is independent of the initial hit on the drum skin. Get it right and the instrument stays consistent and doesn’t bloat. Massive power and authority. Beautiful high-frequency shimmer.

"La Campanella" from the same CD. A solo piano against hall acoustics. There is great tickling of the ivories on this recording. You should hear both the artistry and precision. The mechanical workings of the instrument and the performer are revealed with astonishing detail and reproduction of scale.

"Christmas Carol" - Star of Wonder [Reference recording RR-21CD]. Large choir. Dynamic subtlety. Interplay across the stage between the various members. Hall acoustics.

"Shiny Stockings" - Big Band Basie [Reference recordings RR-63CD]. Just before the music begins, there is low-level electronic noise that remains noticeable as it continues beneath the piece. Musical detail? No, but it is an indication of the low-level musical detail that can be retrieved. The recording also has incredible dynamics and drive. Lively!

"Sixty years On" - Elton John Live in Australia [MCA Records MCAD-8022]. Live recording which, despite some compression on the vocals, gets a good live feel. The recording of the orchestra has a remarkable degree of delicacy and wider dynamic range than we are used to from modern commercial recordings. It captures the range from harp plucks to orchestral swells.

"Drawn to the Rhythm" - Sarah McLachlan Rarities, B-sides and Other Stuff [Netwerk 06700.30105-28]. Another live recording which features long decays and a decent ‘live’ sense on vocal material. The drum kit allows the system to demonstrate prowess at pitch definition.

"Shelter" from the same CD. There is a wealth of fine textures and dynamic details in the violin and viola work all captured in a large space.

"The Sweetest Illusion" - Basia The Sweetest Illusion [Sony Music Entertainment EK64255] The sultry vocals in this piece move with the complex bass line to create rapid shifts in dynamics and a rich set of pitch challenges for the system. Can take your breath away.

"And He Shall Purify" –Messiah: The Complete Choruses [CBC records SMCD 5193] This recording carves out the space of the venue. There is air around the vocalists and instruments and the character of Tafelmusik’s baroque instruments is well captured.

"Susato: La Morisque", "Enescu: Romanian Rhapsody #1" and "Gabriala Lena Frank: Mestizo Waltz" from the 30th Anniversary Sampler [Reference Recordings RR-908]. A treasure trove of wide dynamics, natural bass, delicacy, texture and well-recorded hall acoustic.

"It had Better be Tonight" from the Pink Panther on Mancini’s Greatest Hits [Telarc 51572W]. A complex raucous piece of music that offers fine detail, wide frequency range, precision placement, hall acoustic and bombastic dynamics.

The system was stripped down by removing subwoofer and crossover and scaling back the speaker wire configuration from biwire to single. For this portion of the review, the Signal Cable Silver Reference with Eichmann silver bullet plugs were used as benchmark interconnects. It was time to meet the new AudioArt family.