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POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE - ISSUE 4
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jps labs

Superconductor FX interconnects

as reviewed by Francisco Duran

 

Superconductor FX RCA interconnect

 

 

 

FRANCISCO DURAN'S SYSTEM:

LOUDSPEAKERS
ProAc Response 2 with Osiris 24" stands.

ELECTRONICS
Monarchy SM-70 (ran as monoblocks), Antique Sound Labs MG-SPM25DT monoblocks, Canary CA-301Mk-II amplifier, and Reference Line Preeminence lA passive and Canary CA-601Mk-II preamplifiers.

SOURCE
NAD T531 and Antique Electronic Supply CD-1 (temporary) CD players, and a Taddeo Digital Antidote Two.

CABLES
Superconductor+ and FX interconnects, a double run of JPS Ultraconductor speaker cables, and Monarchy and various DIY AC cords.

ACCESSORIES
Balanced Power Technologies BPT 4SE, Brick Wall Series Mode Surge Suppressor, Audio Prisim Quiet Lines and Noise Sniffer, Vibrapods, Black Diamond Racing Boards and cones, Final Labs Daruma-3II Isolation Bearings, various ferrite rings, Target rack, Yamaha KX-380 cassette deck, custom made wooden cable lifters by Mr. Clark senior, and all the NOS tubes I can afford!

 

one.jpg (6551 bytes)Joe Skubinski is committed to producing the best wire possible, regardless of price. The JPS Superconductor FX interconnects replace the Superconductor + that I have been using for quite a while. The most notable difference is that they bend easily. Different shielding, you know. Their shield isn’t made from solid tubing, like the Superconductior + or the upscale Superconductor 2. The wire in the FX is a tightly twisted concentric lay made of JPS' patent-pending Alumiloy wire that consists of ultra-pure copper and aluminum alloys. This configuration is said to eliminate "strand interaction dioding and turbo electric noise." I believe it!

To review this cable, I thought I would do something a little different. Since the addition of the Antique Sound Labs MGSPM25DT monoblock tube amps to my system, I am able to listen to any source plugged directly into the amps, because the amps have volume controls. I put the Norh CD-1 CD player between the amps, so I could easily switch between interconnects. Let’s see how they fared compared with my Pluses. The two pairs of cables went in and out more than a few times. At first I thought that they sounded too close to call, but the more I listened, the easier it became to hear the differences. The Superconductor FX is more open than the Plus. One CD that I have been wearing out lately isThe Next Hundred Years by the late Ted Hawkins, on Mobile Fidelity. On songs such as "Biloxi" and "There Stands the Glass," the added spaciousness and dimension made me sink into these story-songs even faster than usual. The FX cable also bested the Plus in the area of dynamics.

Another CD that I've been playing more than a few times is The Flying Neutrinos’ The Hotel Child. Talk about wide-open dynamics! From the opening horn blasts on the first track, "Mr. Zoot Suit," to the Dixieland style of "Some of These Days," the Superconductor FXs let all of the dynamics on these tracks come out with wild abandon. Here again the FXs edged out their older brethren. If the Superconductor FX cables are anything, they are smooth. This is not to say that details are sacrificed—they are not, but they don't hit you in the face. Instead they blend appropriately into the rest of the musical spectrum. In fact, compared to several cables that I have heard that are in the same ballpark price wise, the FXs had more inner detail and displayed more delicacy and nuance. I was casually listening to Randy Crawford’s Naked and True CD one evening while doing some chores, and was pulled into the music. On one track, an organ slowly builds from soft to loud in the background. With the FXs in the system, I felt more like I was listening to a live band. Throughout this disc, small details I had barely heard before bloomed before me. I really got into how the musicians were playing, checking out the rhythm and timing and getting into the groove of the music better.

I then compared the FXs to the DH Labs Air Matrix, and found the Superconductors more open, spacious, and dimensional. The music floated out into the air more freely; it also sounded less stiff and more liquid. The DH Labs Air Matrix cables did surpass the FXs in bass heft, but the JPSs had the edge in the areas that I find important. They are also more expensive. The DH Labs cables are a favorite around here. Like the JPSs, they have the ability to make me forget about wire and be absorbed in the music, but the JPS FX gave them some stiff competition. Keep in mind that what works in my system may not work as well in yours. The same could be said for the Nordost Blue Heavens. This cable has some great strengths—it has very good dynamics, great detail, and a very clean sound. However, along with this comes an upper midrange that sounds somewhat splashy and bright. This is a no-no with my Proacs!

So, is there better cable than the Superconductor FX out there? I wish I could tell you that there isn't, but there’s the Superconductor 2! Before finishing this review, I put a one-meter pair of the 2s between my CD player and preamp. WOW! I immediately heard better dynamics, clarity, and detail. You want more, you gotta pay for it! Cables are the most system dependent components, but in my system at least, JPS wire has proven to be consistently very good. Mr. Skubinski's passion for his craft has paid off in the Superconductor FX. I know that a pair is going to become a permanent fixture between my amps and preamp. Very much recommended! Francisco Duran

 

 

 

Superconductor FX
Retail: $299 meter

JPS Labs
web address: www.jpslabs.com
email address: joe@jpslabs.com
TEL: 716. 656. 0810

 

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