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Reviewers: Marja & Henk
Sources: CEC TL5100, Audio Note tube DAC; Philips DVP 5500S SACD/DVD player
Preamp/integrated: TacT RCS 2.0 room control system, modified Audio Note Meishu with WE 300B (or AVVT, JJ, KR Audio 300B output tubes); Moscode HR401; Trends Audio TA-10; Avantgarde Acoustic Model Three [in for review]
Speakers: Avantgarde Acoustic Duo Omega; Avantgarde Acoustic Solo in HT 2.0 setting; Audio Note AN/Jsp silver-wired; Podium Sound Podium 1 [in for review]
Cables: Audio Note AN/Vx interconnects; Siltech Paris interconnects; Gizmo silver interconnect; Qunex 75 reference interconnect; Crystal Cable CrystalConnect Reference interconnect, CrystalDigit S/PDIF RCA/RCA and RCA/BNC, Y-cable, Crystal Cable Piccolo iPod to XLR, CrystalPower Reference AC-Eur/IEC’ CrystalSpeak Reference; Audio Note AN-L; Gizmo silver LS cable; Virtual Dynamics Revelation power cords [in for review], Harmonic Technology Magic Woofer, Magic Tweeter & Pro AC11 [in for review]
Power line conditioning: Omtec PowerControllers; PS Audio Quintessence [in for review]
Equipment racks: Two double sets of Solid Tech Radius; Acoustic System amplifier shelf
Sundry accessories: IAR carbon CD damper; Boston Audio graphite CD damper, Denson demagnetizer CD; Furutech DeMag; Nanotech Nespa #1; TacT RCS calibrated microphone and software; Exact Audio Copy software; Compaq server w/Windows Server 2003 and XP; iPod; wood, brass and aluminum cones and pyramids; Xitel surround processor; Manley Skipjack; Boston Audio Design TuneBlocks
Room treatment: Acoustic System Resonators; Gizmo's Harley Davidson cap
Review component retail: Approximately $50/meter non-terminated

After we concluded our review of Nanotec Systems' Golden Strada #79 nano3 loudspeaker cable, Mr. Hayashi contacted us again. He now invited us to review the original #79 cable since both cables have a distinctive character. Where the #79 uses a colloidal liquid with only gold particles, the #79 nano3 uses three times more suspended gold particles plus a small dose of silver particles in a fixed 9/1 gold-silver ratio.

We accepted the invitation and as usual with shipments from Nanotec Systems, the package arrived very quickly. Golden Strada cables ship unterminated and since we had a good experience with terminating the nano3 with Crusade Audio banana plugs, we wanted to order additional pairs to complete the cables. Alas, Crusade Audio is no longer producing and selling these plugs*. Thus we had to revert to the Twisted Pair Designs locking banana plugs. Where the Crusade Audio plugs were made of silver, the TPDs are heavily gilded. For the Nanotech cable coated with only a gold colloidal, this was a good match after all.

As usual, the connectors were shipped promptly and the assembly of the cable could commence. With the simple geometry of the Nanotech cable, this job was over swiftly. The outer PVC mantle comes off very easy, just be careful not to cut too deep and damage the conductors which are intertwined with pure cotton strands and then wrapped in fine Japanese rice paper. This creates a lot of air around the leads. The leads themselves are basically the same as those in the nano3 version and built up from 50 OFC copper conductors of 0.18mm each. These conductors have been soaked in the colloidal solution and hence feel a little greasy to the touch when stripped naked. We again elected not to solder the conductors together before attaching them to the plug. The TPD plugs offer plenty of contact surface when simply screwed.

After the review of the Golden Strada nano3 cables, we had swapped them out for some others. We had listened to them for about 24 hours in total after the manufacturer's recommended 3-hour play-in time was clocked. Afterwards they were used in a background music system for a few months. Now they returned to the main system. Our initial thought was to just burn the two versions of the #79 cables in together by bi-wiring the 18-ohm, 107dB Avantgarde Duo Omega horns. The nano3 version would run to the mid horns from 170Hz - 2Khz and the original gold-only #79 connect to the 2KHz and up tweeter horns. Both cables were fed from the Audio Note Meishu 8-ohm binding posts. To connect the sub 170Hz woofer cabinets, a short jumper of nano3 was put between the mid horn and woofer terminals.

*Sidebar 1: The audio world consists of big and small players. Some companies cater to the mass market, others work the niches. The latter are driven by a passion for their designs and ideas and not merely profit per se. More often than not, their audio efforts are supported by a more or less regular job. The big players defend their market share with all the resources at their disposal. They can afford to and do use the services of lawyers and other legal facilities. In a world where piracy is daily practice, they of course need to defend their rights embedded in patents and trademarks. At times then it comes to a clash. That happened to Crusade Audio with their locking banana plugs. Designed in-house and machined especially for Crusade Audio, the appearance was too much like the WBT-0645. Though the CA plug lacked the safety pin and was made of silver instead of gold- plated copper, Crusade Audio received a letter from WBT's legal department. At that point, a small company like Crusade Audio can do two things - follow the brain or follow the heart. When choosing the passionate route, sleepless nights, piles of bills from legal advisors, hours and hours spent on the phone, belly aches and more bills on the doormat will be the result. Hence after a little consultancy here and, the decision was made to stop the manufacture and sale of Crusade Audio's locking banana plugs. Luckily for Crusade Audio, their wonderful audio and video connectors are of a unique design the 'others' can only envy.

Once the double runs of Nanotec Systems cables were put in place, we listened briefly before letting the system play for the rest

of the day on its own. What we heard was, in a word, surprising. The previously noted impression of the nano3 review had to be adjusted. Almost certainly due to the prolonged use of the gold/silver-infused nano3, its character had evolved. Now we perceived a very clear addition to the lower octave. We later confirmed this with the use of the Checkpoint Audio test CD. With only the subwoofers connected with nano3 , we gained very useful output in the 20 to 25Hz region. Where other cables would induce bass roll off, the nano3 now persevered. The Avantgarde woofer enclosures are self-powered and the input is transformer coupled.

Back to the bi-wired configuration after 24 hours of continuous action, nano3 was on the mid horns and woofers, a straight line of original #79 to the tweeter horns. The first CD was Romane et Richard Manetti Per et Fils wherein Romane invited his son Richard to join him on a recording for the very first time. Their guitars have so much texture that the wood and steel are almost palpable. Father and son are accompanied by bassist Marc-Michel Le Bévillon and his acoustic upright is depicted in true size between the loudspeakers. A warm resonating wooden body emanates a tonal structure that is unaltered and unrestrained by any artificial obstruction.

Something similar happened with another recent great jazz Manouche album, The Rosenberg Trio's Roots wherein Stochello Rosenberg puts fabulous new emotion on display compared to previous outings where sheer speed was king. On Roots, silence is a key player and with the bi-wired Nanotec cables in use, this silence was true silence. From a slightly different musical world came Neil Young's Chrome Dreams II, a sort of patchwork of quotes and impressions from his complete musical life. The long "Ordinary People" and the rocking "Spirit Road" are examples of just how well recording and mastering can and should be done. Young's guitar with its signature modified Fender Deluxe Tweed amp sound can cause many problems in systems plagued by even the slightest hint of glare. It now was projected into the room with a gusto completely free of any inhibition. The overall sound was balanced and most importantly,
liberated from restraints and noise. Another recording that gets made or not by a system is the emotion of Lisa Gerrard's The Silver Tree. Her ethereal voice on this Naïve production is carried on echoes and accompanied by a wealth of electronics, for many producers a heaven for predictable compression. Not with Lisa. An audiophile herself, she made sure the result is full of dynamics both micro and macro. With the #79 cables, she floated in the air between the speakers.

We also used the original Golden Strada #79 on the Podium Sound Model 1 panels. These speakers lack any crossover and
are thus really full-range. For many listeners at first, the panels may sound bright - too bright at times. In our correspondence with Mr. Takashi, he stated that some users prefer the original #79 in combination with "tweeters that are too bright". Not that we think the Podium Sounds are too bright. When we connected to the Model 1 with a single run of the original Golden Strada #79, we could not discern any subtle filtering effect on the very top of the frequency scale. Cymbals and trumpets reached the limits of recordable range without cutting any note short or damping it prematurely.

In closing, Nanotec Systems employs unorthodox principles in their audio products. The Nespa series of optical disk finalizers is one example. With their cables, a similarly unique approach has been followed. Rather than heavy shielding against the presumed evils of ultrasonic radiation coming at you with exotic materials and layers, why not use simple paper and cotton? Why spend lots of money on exotic metallurgy when 'simply' dipping good quality copper into a natural oxygen-binding oil with a dispersion of gold and/or silver particles can produce similar or superior results?

We were very impressed with the result of the bi-wired setup and kept it untouched throughout all our listening. The gold/silver nano3 is a killer cable for the mid and low-frequency range. Sporting merely gold particles, the original Golden Strada #79 is its match on tweeters, merely taking far more time to limber up than the recommended 3 hours...

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