The Morrow Audio MA-2 cables are a rather impressive piece of engineering. We will go over the basics of why they are so well designed, but if you are really curious you can spend all day learning in the following sections labeled Morrow Audio 101 and 102.
What is all this cable nonsense? A cable is a cable, right?
Facts You Should Know: 1. Did you know that the weakest link in your audio system are your cables? Most equipment is able to produce high resolution sound. Your cables however are a whole different story. If you have a plugged fuel line in a car, how good will the engine run? A hose is a hose, right? Wrong! The same with your audio system. If your cables are not properly designed, the sound suffers greatly! Read our cable design theory here. It will be an "ear" opener!
2. The cables you bought at your local box store or "shack" store are not capable of letting you hear all your music: As you read our design theory, you will understand that all of the box store cables are made from stranded wire. This chokes the sound, removing the inner detail of your music and home theater experience, bloating the bass and robbing you from the musicality and realism that you could be enjoying.
3. I don't have an ear for music. Will I really hear a difference with better cables? Let me ask you... Do you enjoy going to a concert? Did you enjoy the music? Did you experience the excitement and enjoy the "sounds" and tones of the concert? Then you do have an "ear" for music and will likewise enjoy the improvements that properly designed cables can bring.
What is "high-end audio"? High-end audio is a class of consumer home audio equipment marketed to audio enthusiasts on the basis of high price or quality, and esoteric or novel sound reproduction technologies. High-end audio can refer simply to the price, to the build quality of the components, or to the subjective or objective quality of sound reproduction. The high-end audio movement started in 1962 with the launch of J. Gordon Holt's Stereophile magazine.
What is an "audiophile"? An audiophile is a person enthusiastic about faithful and accurate audio reproduction. A key goal of audiophiles is to capture the experience of a live musical performance in a room with good acoustics, and reproduce it in the home. It is widely agreed that this is very difficult, which lights the flame to the hobby. Audiophiles typically never keep their equipment for very long. They continually try different equipment, even trading equipment many times, trying to achieve "live sound" in their listening room or home. This is what makes it fun... reading about, trying equipment, improving the equipment if one is capable, trying different room treatments, etc, all the while enjoying the music!
What is an "interconnect"? An interconnect is a cable used to connect different pieces of equipment together, like a CD player and amplifier. Interconnects typically come in a "pair", meaning one right channel cable and one left channel cable.
What is a "digital cable"? A digital cable is a single cable used to connect a DAC and a CD transport. The cable carries the digital signal necessary for the equipment to operate. A transport is the piece of equipment that "spins" the CD and reads the information off it. The DAC is the piece of equipment that "decodes" that information, converting it into an analog signal which is then passed through interconnect cables to an amplifier.
What does the term "soundstage" mean? Soundstage is the term to describe an acoustic "stage" panorama. It is the acoustic image presented to the listener. In a good quality system, the listener should close their eyes and envision a simulated acoustic stage in front of them, with instruments perceived front to back and left to right.
The Morrow Audio cables differ in 3 major areas from most other popular and often expensive cable designs. As you read about this, you may realize that your cables have problems in these areas. Do not despair, you now qualify for a dramatic improvement in all areas of sound with the Morrow Audio line of cables. After hearing our properly designed cables, many of our customers replaced the ones they had with our complete cable product line.
Cables replaced by our customers include: Nordost Red Dawns, Audience Maestros, Tara Labs ($2500.00), Kimber Select, Kimber Silver Streaks, Virtual Dynamic Master ($2873.00), Transparent Reference $9000.00, Anti-Cables, Audio Art IC-3, Reality Cables, DH Labs Silver Sonic, Monster Cables, Cardas Golden, Straightwire, Analysis Plus Oval One, Audioquest Diamondbacks, King Cobra, Transparent Plus, Audioquest Black mamba II, Purist Audio Maximus, Cardas Golden Reference, Stereovox balanced 600...
The 3 major design flaws in popular cables...
1. Cables That Use Stranded Wire: In stranded wire designs, the strands touch each other hundreds of times at various points along the length of the wire, causing the signal to jump from strand to strand instead of flowing through a continuum. The result is a diode effect (like little mV Diodes) at each point where the strands come into contact, causing distortion of the signal; blurring imaging, soundstage cues, etc.
Another explanation of the diode effect is oxide forming between the strands which encourage a non-linear conduction. At the points where this occurs, actual RF detection can occur, turning your cable into a radio; receiving, detecting and injection RF signal and distortions into your music signal.
In my experience with stranded cable, where each single conductor is made from several strands, not insulated from each other, there imparts an unpleasant harshness or brightness to the sound as well as a bloated and non-defined bass.
Unfortunately, all common box store cables that one can buy use stranded wire in their design. Likewise, the cables you found in the box with your equipment are stranded. If you have such cables in your system, you will hear a profound and dramatic improvement with properly designed cables.
The Morrow Audio Design: Morrow Audio signal cables use ONLY solid core wire, NEVER stranded. We eliminate all diode effects by using only solid core wire. You will hear much more information in your music that was lost from the smearing effect that stranded wire produces.
Some of our models contain multiple runs of wire. They are mono strands, individually insulated from each other. In the case of our MA2 Reference interconnect, these multiple runs yield a more detailed sound. The speaker cables, out of power handling necessity, also contain these multiple runs of wire.
"I hear a beautiful, natural, extended frequency range top to bottom, with a spacious, airy soundstage. I'm enjoying gorgeous, dynamic music, with a natural sense of performers, instruments, musicianship and recording venue."
2. Cables That Use Large Gauge Wire: Different frequencies tend to ride at various depths in the wire structure; the highs, mids and lows tend to separate which cause time and phase errors in the signal. This is commonly known as the "skin effect". When a large gauge wire is used, this problem is even greater, resulting in phase and timing errors. The soundstage is reduced, instrument timbre is distorted.
The Morrow Audio Design: Morrow Audio signal cables ONLY use a small gauge wire. The different frequencies ride at the same plane in the wire, resulting in less phase and timing errors. A more accurate sound is the result. The soundstage is huge, instrument timber is accurate, it seems like the performers are in your room.
3. Cables That Use Heavy Insulators: Some cable designs use large cable jackets or even heavy insulators to insulate their cable.
Inside common cable designs are internal conductors with an extruded insulation of some sort. The insulation material is in close and immediate contact with the conductor along its entire length. One of these conductors might be in the form of a wire mesh that surrounds the center conductor, acting as a shield from RFI.
Wrapped around all this is the outer casing of the cable, made out of rubber, PVC, Teflon or some other material.
These insulation elements all form the dielectric of the wire, which has a tendency to absorb and release energy to and from the conductors. This occurrence produces a negative sonic affect; smearing of the signal and other distortions. The greater the number of insulating layers there are, the greater this distortion will be. The thickness of these layers is also a factor of concern, with thicker layers being the worst.
Have you ever heard of speaker cable lifts? They are little stands that lift the cables off the floor, improving the sound. The improvement comes by keeping the electrical field from reflecting back into the cable off the floor. Why then do cable manufacturers apply decorative mesh, thick insulations and other signal distorting elements in their design?
The Morrow Audio Design: Morrow Audio cables DO NOT use heavy insulators. Each strand of wire incorporates a very thin insulation and are held together within a thin nylon mesh. This allows the least amount of reflection back into the cable, retaining the quality of the music you love.
With the Morrow Audio cables, your music will flow unhindered, resulting in greater realism as well as a longer and more enjoyable listening session. Those who have have heard our cables describe it as a "Listening Experience".
Most cables are strands of bundled wire that are clipped at the end. This is one way to make a cable, and it has the unfortunate effect that interference is introduced between the strands of cable. Morrow's solution is to simply use solid wire in all their cables. In addition to using entirely solid cables, Morrow Audio also uses a small gauge (thickness) of wire which reduces signal degradation in the wire. They also use extremely thin insulation around their cables, which dramatically reduces the likelihood that insulation will cause electrical reflective interference.
"I received the MA2 interconnects yesterday evening and since then I must have been listening and enjoying music for about 5 hrs continuous! The improvement from the MA1's to the present cables is awesome, to say the least. The soundstage and the frequency extension through all frequency band is unbelievable. Amazing! My friends are impressed and you may hear from them soon. Thanks"
With the MA2, magic happened for me. I am hearing a wide, deep soundstage, with really good but not over-etched detail, with instruments and voices sounding so much more real than ever. Bass was very clear, mids were delightful, and highs were clean.I was particularly impressed with how a piano sounded like the real instrument with the lid open in my room (I also play a little piano and djembe). Hand drums had a visceral, dynamic punch with a natural sounding decay. I wish I could quantify it better, but musical and natural was my main response, and my rational brain can't quite explain it."
"Sound stage and details have reached new levels. The music is richer, revealing unheard vocal styling's and instrumental tones on long standing favorite recordings that I thought I “knew”. I don’t think I could be more impressed and pleased."
All orders will be shipped by Massdrop.
Estimated ship date is Dec 11, 2013 PT.
After the drop ends, payment will be collected. To deliver the best value to the group the request will then be submitted to the vendor up front, making all sales final. Be sure to check the discussion page for updates.