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harmonic technology

Magic Link Two interconnects

as reviewed by Robert H. Levi

 

Harmonic Technology MAGIC Link Two

 

 

 

ROBERT H. LEVI'S SYSTEM

LOUDSPEAKERS
Avalon Eidolon and REL Stadium III subwoofer.

ELECTRONICS
E.A.R. 324 phono preamplifier, E.A.R. 890 amplifiers (ran as monos), NuForce Reference 9 SE amplifiers, Pass X1 preamplifier, and an E.A.R. 834L Tube Line Stage.

SOURCES
VPI Scout/JMW 9 tonearm, VPI SDS Controller, ZYX R100H phono cartridge. E.A.R. Acute CD player, ModWright Sony 999 SACD/CD Player with Signature Truth, Mod/Bybee Filters and Revelation Cryo Silver Umbilical. Alesis Masterlink 24/96 Recorder/Playback Deck, Theta Pro Gen.5a DAC Modified for 24/96 Playback, and the Benchmark DAC 1 revised. Grado Statement Phono Cartridge. Pioneer DVL 919 LD/DVD Player. Magnum Dynalab MD-108 Reference Tuner, Marantz 10B FM Tuner, Day Sequerra Reference FM1 Tuner, AQ 7500 FM Antenna, Stax 7t Electrostatic headphones, Grado Reference 1 headphones, and a Grado headphone amplifier.

CABLES
Kubala-Sosna Emotion, Harmonic Technology CyberLight, Dual-Connect, interconnects, Dynamic Design THB Nebula, Soundstring, Kimber Select balanced, Kimber TAK phono AG, Kimber Hero balanced and single ended interconnects, and Acoustic Zen Silver Reference Two balanced interconnects. Kimber D-60 Digital Interconnects. Kimber Select 3038 Silver, Kubala-Sosna Emotion, and Harmonic Technology Magic Reference Silver speaker cables. Kimber Palladian, Tara RSC and Decade, Tice, Soundstring, and Kubala-Sosna Emotion AC power cords.

ACCESSORIES
Monster Reference 350 Mark Two v2 Power Conditioner, World Power Power Wing, Tice Clock, and Audio Prism Quiet Line IIs. Cable Cooker 2.5, Winds Stylus Pressure Gage, Bedini Ultra Clarifier, VPI Record Cleaning Machine 16.5. Audio Magic's Quantum Physics Noise Disrupters.

 

I seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest at Harmonic Technology with my review of their Magic Two interconnects. I noted how much better the Magic Link Two single-ended cables sounded than their predecessors, but heard only a 10 percent improvement with the new balanced cables. When Jim Wang went back to listen, he found that the copper connectors were the problem. Changing to silver connectors changed things dramatically. The new connectors take the balanced Magic Two to a super-high-value plateau, and one that I find extremely compelling.

What do you get for twice the money? Does it really matter if you aren't going to spend at least $1500 per meter? The balanced Magic Two, at $890 per meter, compete with my ultra-expensive balanced reference cables in three key areas: (1) They are very quiet, (2) Imaging is rock solid and realistic, with superb definition, and (3) Frequency response, from the lowest lows to the highest highs is even and smooth.

At the price, no cables I know of can touch the performance of the Magic Two. They are the best interconnects under $1000 per meter on the market, single-ended or balanced. I'd stake my ears on this! Harmonic Technology has closed most of the gap between the Magic Two and the balanced Cyberlights, particularly in the midband. The bass of the Cyberlights has never been equaled by metal cable, but the Magic Two' high band is very close. The Magics have more sparkle, while the Cyberlights have more elegance and sophistication. This is a close call, folks. The Magic Two give major bang for the buck. You can listen to them for hours on end, and forget about any other cables, at any price.

The Magic Two seem to be much less sensitive to system changes than other reference cables. I don't know why, but the Magic Two can be used anywhere, in any system, with excellent results. They sound neutral, and totally without etch of any kind. My Eidolon speakers will bark quite clearly when anything is amiss, but when I put the Magic Two between my E.A.R. Acute CD player and my amps (bypassing my preamp), I heard pure beauty and musicality, plus extraordinary clarity. This is the acid test, and the Magic Two passed with an A! If they sold for $1500 per meter, I'd still be impressed. Maybe even at $2000 per meter. The Magic Two are cables that you can grow an audiophile system around.

Unless you are willing to spend a bunch more dough, the Harmonic Technology Magic Link Two interconnects are the high-value winners. Now in an improved balanced version that fully equals the performance of the astounding single-ended version, the neutral musical character of the Magic Two is elegant and totally non-fatiguing. While they sacrifice a bit of textural definition to $1500+-per-meter cables, their imaging nearly equals that of my ultra-expensive reference cables. Unless you make side-by-side comparisons with pricier cables, the Magic Two will satisfy big time, and not have you asking for more. Due to their marvelous smoothness and complete lack of etch, they are just as happy with solid-state and tube electronics. The balanced Two are also quiet as the tomb. Harmonic Technology has done it again, offering high value with great musical performance. Most highly recommended! Robert H. Levi

Interconnect rankings revised to include the Harmonic Technology Magic Link Two balanced and single-ended interconnects:

  • Over $4000 per meter:

Jorma Prime (balanced and single-ended)*

Acrolink 7N-DA6100 (single-ended)

  • $2000 - 4000 per meter:

Harmonic Technology Cyberlight with Battery Pack Three(balanced and single-ended)

Kubala-Sosna Emotion (balanced and single-ended)

Nordost Valhalla (balanced and single-ended)

Dynamic Design THB Nebula (balanced and single-ended)

Acrolink 7N-A2500 Mexcel (single-ended)

Silversmith Palladium (balanced and single-ended)

Kimber Select WITH Bybee Golden Goddess "Super Effect" RCA IC Tails (single-ended)

  • $1000 - 2000 per meter:

Stereovox 600-SEIii [balanced and single-ended]

Dual-Connect Gold

Kimber Select Silver

Acoustic Zen Silver Reference Two

  • $450 - 1000 per meter:

Harmonic Technology Magic Two (balanced and single-ended)

Harmonic Technology Pro Sil-way Three (now in + version)

Xindak Gold

Kimber Select Copper

  • $250 - 450 per meter:

Soundstring Pro

Eichmann Express 6 Series 2

  • Under $250:

Kimber Hero

Magic Link Two
Retail: $890

Harmonic Technology
web address: www.harmonictech.com

 

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