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Reviewer: Paul Candy
Financial Interests: click here
Digital Source: CEC TL51X transport, Audiomat Tempo 2.6 DAC, HP laptop, Win 7, J. River Media Center 17, JPlay [in for review], M2Tech hiFace USB-S/PDIF interface, John Kenny JKDAC32 & JKSPDIF Mk3 [in for review]
Analog Source: Well-Tempered Lab Amadeus with DPS power supply, Pro-Ject Tube Box SE phono stage, Ortofon Rondo Blue MC cartridge
Amp: Audiomat Opéra Référence integrated
Speakers: Green Mountain Audio Callisto (on sand filled Skylan stands), 2 x REL Q108 Mk II subwoofers
Cables: MIT Magnum M1.3 interconnects & speaker cables, MIT Magnum digital cable, Wireworld Equinox 6 interconnects & speaker cables, Sablon Audio Panatela interconnect  
AC cables: MIT Magnum AC1, Wireworld Aurora 5² & Silver Electra 5², Sablon Audio Robusto & Gran Corona
Stands: Grand Prix Audio Monaco four-tier rack on Apex footers with silicon nitride bearings
Powerline conditioning: BPT Pure Power Center with Wattgate, Bybee Quantum Purifier and ERS cloth options, Blue Circle BC86 MK5, Blue Circle 6X & 12X AC Filters [on loan]
Sundry accessories: Acoustic Revive RR-77, Auric Illuminator, Audio Magic/Quantum Physics Noise Disruptors, Caig Pro Gold, Echo Busters acoustic room treatments, Isoclean fuses, HiFi Tuning Disc Demagnetizer, Nitty Gritty record cleaning machine, Soundcare Superspikes (on speaker stands), dedicated AC line with CruzeFIRST Audio Maestro outlets
Room size: 11 x 18 x 8', long wall setup, suspended hardwood floors with large area sisal rug, walls are standard drywall over Fiberglas insulation
Review component retail: In Canada CND$1.668 for speaker cables (2.5m), CDN$1.194 for interconnects (1m).

The Madison Audio Lab brand may not be familiar to most but I’m sure you’re aware of TARA Labs and founder Matthew Bond. Remember the great ad "The Cable God Uses"? It might have been over the top but it sure caught attention.

Having left TARA, Bond collaborated with other industry colleagues on a research mission titled the Madison Audio Project, which eventually grew into a real company, Madison Audio Lab. As per their website, "...the mission for MAP was simple. To form an elite group of people and find ways to produce the best audio cables at lower prices to benefit a greater number of audiophiles." A laudable endeavor.

According to MAL’s Canadian distributor Bernard Li of Charisma Audio, Matthew Bond guarantees that all MAL cables will outperform Tara Labs cables at about 1/3rd the price. I am told the top-of-the-line E3 Extreme 1 under review today compares favorably to TARA Labs’ One and Two, which retail in the $3.500-$4.000 range.*

* When bosses leave companies to form new ones, it's good form to disassociate new from previous products to avoid conflict and honor non-compete agreements. It seems as unlikely that TARA Labs applaudes the above sales approach (particularly since MAL manufactures in China) as it is that Sonus Faber enjoys seeing Franco Serblin migrate the stringed grill motif to his new company. - Ed

Bond’s current cable line includes four interconnects and five speaker cables. Digital, HDMI, USB and AC cables are forthcoming. For review I was given a 2.5m set of Madison Audio Lab’s E3 Extreme 1 speaker cables and two sets of E3 Extreme 1 interconnects. As per my usual practice I reviewed and compared them as a complete set.