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Coming out. With the C-MARC, LessLoss have; come out that is. It didn't take long to conclude that, in my book at least, this was their best yet: most universally applicable, most easily demonstrated. To describe the effect, let's consider how the stereo illusion works. In the amplitude domain, signal equally loud in both channels shows up in the middle. Signal exclusive to one channel appears hard left or right. Signal shared at different loudness assumes its corresponding place between the centre and one of the far sides. It's how our ear/brain perceives a very detailed virtual soundstage between and often seemingly far behind the speakers. The more correct the time domain—the less phase shift—the more articulate variances in depth perspective become. Not only is the mapping specific left to right but also front to back. In rare cases, this even includes height variance. The more speakers move away from the front wall, the more pure setup generates virtual depth even if it lacks differentiation. Most in-wall speakers suffer on that score. All of that is Hifi 101. The only ones surprised by it are newcomers who never heard a proper hifi before. After all, there's life beyond table radios, iPhone docks and mono Bluetooth actives.

With LessLoss Laminar Streamer, Echo's End, Goldmund Telos 590NextGen or Linnenberg Allegro amps and Audio Physic Avanti speakers.

However, if soundstaging were the extent of hifi's promise, any system which seemingly staged through the front wall in a reasonable facsimile of 3D would already have done it all. Now riddle me this. Would real musicians in your room only project well behind themselves? Clearly not. Rather, their presence would occupy the whole room unless the room were disproportionately outsized for the ensemble. If things and distances were properly matched, their sound would come out to flood the room like sun light does on a summer's day. It doesn't stick to instruments or throats. It doesn't stage exclusively backward. In my case, I don't just play for the ponies and donkeys in those green Irish meadows between us and the bay.


How about loudspeakers? They are our pseudo musichi. They transform electrical musical impulses into physical motion which creates the air-pressure variations we hear as sound. From box construction and its inertness to radiation pattern, energy storage and phase shift, sundry speaker factors influence how well the sounds disassociate from their actual box sources to instead float the illusion of virtual sources; the recorded musicians with their various instruments and voices. After 17+ years on the beat, I'm simply still not crystal on why different cables influence by how much the sound comes out of the boxes into the room and doesn't stay 'back there' as is the norm. Experience has shown that most cable looms I've tried aren't too good at flooding the room. They may do all the fancy rest of stereophony like the acest of gymnasts but still refuse to fully come out. By now you appreciate that my wording was no dubious double entendre. It really was about a literal action which has nothing to do with all the other things proper cables are supposed not to do - alter the frequency response or obscure the most minute signal; in short, leave a footprint or signature. Like a disciple writing down anecdotes of his master, no signature is best. You're not the creator or focus of these stories. You're just the conduit through which they remain accessible for posterity.

 

My previous favourite come-out cables were Samuel Furon's Ocellia OCC Silver, a solid-core pure silver loom encased in two grades of crushed crystal powder sleeved in natural kautschuk. Now the Lithuanian C-MARC nearly matched it on in-room presence, eclipsed it for micro detail, then presented the same scenery in a less wiry/caffeinated more relaxed fluidic fashion. Very demonstrably, this was additive. Going only three-quarter hog over full hog was less potent. When I scaled up—from already running all the signal cable but the matching power cords just on the amps to rewiring the three front-end components and their power conditioner with C-MARC cords as well—the effect clearly deepened. To avoid misunderstanding, this stronger projection power did not alter my subjective perspective. The musicians still focused behind the speakers. Simultaneously, their sound simply reached forward more as though some reluctance or restraint had vanished. I don't believe this was solely a function of excellent micro resolution. That said, I have no notion about what physical cable parameters affect this. I can only report when it happens; which isn't that often. Given how Ocellia and LessLoss alike shun synthetics, perhaps Pierre Johannet's MDI concept played a shared role?