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Bravo. That was a welcome alternative to the usual boring and vague statements about accuracy or neutrality. What’s wrong with a little flavor? I’ll take a nice spicy Thai stir fry over bland roast beef and mashed potatoes any day. While my jaw didn’t drop to the floor, the effect of the Robusto on my system-as with any decent power cable-wasn’t exactly subtle either. It’s aptly named as music playback was certainly more robust and full bodied. Deep Purple’s “Hush” from the Children of Men soundtrack [Universal B0007882-02] exploded from my speakers with considerable wallop and bottom-end growl. Jack Bruce’s bass on Things We Like [Polydor 065 604-2] was similarly fuller/richer and had greater presence and pitch definition.
The Robusto also brought considerably quieter backgrounds and a more relaxed and organized presentation to the party. Vocal sibilants were less pinched and scratchy, cymbals and massed strings less splashy and wiry yet more fully developed. Leading edges and subsequent decays were spot on.
I have been slowly working my way through Adam Fischer’s excellent 33 disc set of Haydn’s symphonies re-released at a terrific price courtesy of that friend of the budget-minded classical music fan, Brilliant Classics [Brilliant 99925]. With the Robustos supplying the juice I noted larger scale and dimensionality. Instruments were punchier and more dramatic with greater weight and projection. The flow of music and subtle dynamic shifts were more obvious along with a surer sense of purpose.
There was also a beguiling smoothness on the upper band that took the edge off my nastier recordings. However this was not at the expense of resolution or dynamics. Nor were there signs of bloat or any impediment to momentum. The discontinued GutWire Power Clef SE which retailed for nearly $1.000 also possessed a calming effect on peaky recordings but sometimes subjectively slowed down the forward momentum of music while the bass occasionally became ill-defined and a touch bloated. Dimensionality would also suffer occasionally which I attributed to the GutWire’s multiple shields. Popping in the stock cables for a few days I noted an immediate loss in natural timbre while complex musical lines became fuzzier and harder to follow.
The overall presentation became more vague and mechanical. It was all still listenable and as the hours and days passed I eventually forget what I had heard. As a reviewer of limited means I’m relieved—as is my wife!—that my aural memory quickly fades. That makes it a helluva lot easier to return awesome sounding yet ruinously expensive equipment!
Replacing the Robusto with the similarly price Wireworld Silver Electra brought a subjectively lighter balance while transients and dynamic graduations became a tad more explicit. However playback was not quite as textured and open as with the Robusto. The perspective was also set back slightly further. While the Silver Electra impressed me with its reduction of low-level hash, the Robusto was subjectively superior in this regard. This surprised me due to Wireworld’s unique noise-canceling design.