This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

Paul Candy
Financial Interests: click here
Digital Source: CEC TL51X transport, SOtM SMS-1000 network server [in for review], Asus laptop, Win 8, J. River Media Center 18, JPlay 5.1, John Kenny JKSPDIF Mk3 USB-SPDIF interface, Audiomat Tempo 2.6 DAC
Analog Source: Well-Tempered Lab Amadeus with DPS power supply, Pro-Ject Tube Box SE phono stage, Ortofon Rondo Blue MC cartridge
Amps: Audiomat Opéra Référence integrated
Speakers: Jean-Marie Reynaud Evolution 3, REL Q108 Mk II subwoofers (2)
Cables: MIT Magnum M1.3 interconnects & speaker cables, MIT Magnum digital cable, Transparent Audio Performance USB cable, Light Harmonic Lightspeed USB cable [in for review]
AC Cables: MIT Magnum AC1, Wireworld Aurora 5² & Silver Electra 5², Sablon Audio Robusto, Gran Corona & Petite Corona [in for review]
Stands: Grand Prix Audio Monaco four-tier rack on APEX footers with silicon nitride bearings, IKEA, Skylan damping boards, Gingko Cloud 10
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
Sundry accessories: Acoustic Revive RR-77, 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 speakers), dedicated AC line with CruzeFIRST Audio Maestro outlets
Room size: 11x18x8, long wall setup, suspended hardwood floors with large area sisal rug, walls are standard drywall over Fiberglas insulation
Review component retail: Quantum Gran Corona $1.300; Panatela biwire speaker cable $1.250/8ft pair (after 10% loyalty discount as it is implicit that customers ordering them already have the full-range version)

Today we have a brief update on my ongoing analysis of Sablon Audio’s cabling. Mark Coles continues to forge ahead with new designs as well as tweak existing ones. A few months ago Mark sent me his current all-out assault on power cables, the Quantum Gran Corona. He also included a custom bi-wire run of his Panatela speaker cables. I have written about the standard Gran Corona and full-range Panatela here.

The custom tweeter/midrange run of the Panatela is similar in appearance and overall design as the full-range version with separate runs for + and -. It features "an array of disparate conductors - metals, gauge, topology, dielectric, and degree of cryogenic treatment". Other than the smaller diameter and white poly-style outer sleeving, the bi-wire version is a near twin of its bigger full-range brother. Terminations are CMC silver spades instead of Xhadow as the later are too thick to crimp onto the smaller wires of the custom tweeter/midrange version. As with all Sablon Audio cables every Panatela is constructed by hand. Connections are pressure terminated which Mark believes are superior to solder joints. Terminations are treated with anti-oxidants and assembled cables are subjected to pre-conditioning on an Audiodharma Anniversary cable cooker. The tweeter/midrange runs of the Panatela are customized for the end user’s speaker i.e. crossover points and whether tweeter and one or more midrange drivers are on the same crossover circuit. Essentially Mark can provide whatever configuration you desire or what would be optimum for your particular speaker. All he requires is the driver configuration and crossover points of your particular speaker.

While agreeing to this assignment I expressed to Mark my mixed experience with bi-wiring. My inner cynic declares that bi-wiring offers no real advantage other than filling cable manufacturers’ pockets. I suspect the biggest difference hobbyists hear when doubling up cable runs is more a result of replacing those awful brass shorting straps with decent cable. Further fuelling my cynicism is that more than one speaker manufacturer has confided that the only reason they provide bi-wired speakers is marketing. Customers believe they are getting a superior speaker if it sports two sets of binding posts.