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As I listen to more and more high-end cables, I find their effect on music playback becoming more similar than radically different as is usually the case with other components - especially loudspeakers. Hence the E3’s effect on playback was not wildly different from that of my current reference cables, the MIT Magnums. Nor was it easily describable when they were first leashed up in my system. It was more a case of a few notable traits observed over a period of time but nothing that adversely affected music playback or my enjoyment of it.
The characteristic that stood out the most was their seamless and natural presentation as a sense of a single coherent totality rather than laundry list of separate sonic attributes. This didn't mean that images and musical lines became homogenous. It was more a matter of maintaining overall musical flow and coherence without shining a spotlight on any particular aspect. This is no mean feat. Many so-called high-end products including cables stretch and pull apart the sinew that binds music together or hype up a portion of the spectrum in the name of pseudo accuracy or detail but lose the meaning and overall flow of the music in the process. Others might come across as bolder, more detailed or with more bass, treble etc. but I bet most of those won’t satisfy over the long term. I suspect the natural even-keeled E3 will.
Another notable observation was the lack of scrim which obscures detail as low-level noise in lesser audio cables. While backgrounds were quieter with an attendant increase in perceived recorded musical detail, it was not a completely dead lifeless void of silence. Have you noticed how in really good systems the silences between the notes really aren’t silent? Instead there is a sense of charged excitement or quiet vibrancy. It is not so much a specific audible quality as it is more of a feel. The cables or components that create a completely dead black silence are unnatural to me. This includes certain power line conditioners.
I jokingly refer to those as singularity generators in that they create sonic black holes that not only suck AC grunge and glare out of a system but all the light and life too. Some cables do that too but not the E3s. Yes I did note a pleasant grain-free smoothness and clearly lower noise floor with excellent retrieval of recorded detail and ambient cues yet music’s inherent light and life remained intact. Dull or shut in these cables are not.
I also did experiment with disconnecting the shielding ground leads. Each time I did so vocal and instrumental images became fuzzier and slightly diffuse. I noted a slightly more metallic edge and brightness especially on instruments with considerable upper band energy such as cymbals and violins. Dimensionality also suffered somewhat as everything got a little smaller. Mostly though the degree to which I could hear into a recording took a step back. This wasn’t a particularly massive difference but once I knew what to listen for, it was easy to spot and frankly I couldn’t reconnect those grounding leads fast enough.