NBS Cables



"All the power to drugs"   
NBS Article by Stefan Ruter

Cable discussions heat the minds and they do that even more , the more passionate the discussion is being held.

I felt such a passion growing since I was engaging intensively in the American NBS-products. Yes, I even became a resolute advocate of the correct choice of cables, this in advance to clear up right from the beginning, where the textual journey will go.

When I am looking back now on my intensive engagement both in music in general and high fidelity in particular, I belong obviously to those, who are disparaged "crank with golden ears" in pertinent internet forums. But this is OK for me, because I have a lot of fun hearing the grass grow and to do that the louder the better the used cables are. I want to still a step further and I say the sound of a good stereo system very much depends on the correct choice of cables, which by all means counts likewise for interconnect cables, speaker cables and A/C power cables.

But how does a cable have to be constituted? Which attributes or abilities should it ideally have? May the cable co-operate in tonal optimization, perhaps even influence? Or is it finally just an instrument or tool, which has to bring the sound just neutral and as complete as possible from A to B, because the electronics lead anyway?

When I engage in cables, I think more of a kind of a controlling instance, which takes over a guiding function and brings the sound in the correct direction. I consider therefore a cable as an axis between the souls of my individual components. Besides I think, it is indisputable that using all necessary cables from the same brand does have advantages. Because I know and appreciate for some time now the A/C power cables from NBS and their effects on my equipment, I have ordered from the German distributor, Active Audio, matching interconnect and speaker cables from the new Monitor line to verify my thesis empirically. The product line carries the numbers I to IV, whereby descending the model IV is indeed the one with the lowest price, but considered absolutely it is still expensive enough (even after the sudden fall of prices caused by the change of the distributor).

Interconnect cables: the connection between the CD-player and the preamplifier takes over a well manufactured, symmetrical Monitor IV with massive plugs. Between phono-preamplifier and preamplifier I plugged analogously in the asymmetrical version. Already after the first notes, when Radka Toneffs voice starts (Burmester CD!), I wonder, how an interconnect cable is able to change the sound image in such a way? Due to the fact that the compilation on this CD considers many different kinds of music, listening never gets boring. Song after song reveals the astonishing qualities of the NBS cables. The resolution is much better than before, concerning the precision I book saturate profits, which make envious every stock-jobber, but the actual trump in the hard high fidelity surviving fight is this charming naturalness - very slightly breezed, as if this was the most self-evident character a cable has to have. Voices and instruments have a totally different expressiveness as before. They became more intensive, sensible and with that more noticeable. Add to this the attribute, which I like to call accurateness. It is no exaggeration, when, while at the end of the CD Pink Floyd fades away, I come to the conclusion: This is a new dimension. This is a totally new listening event.

The check-test in the analog area is the acoustic mirror: fine dynamic, sparkling and nevertheless weighed out combined with a clear increase in dynamic.

Installation completely with NBS cables. This is the moment, which I was waiting for so long and which is full of inner tension like in a circus, where the drums go still faster and harder to announce the decisive moment. And look: the stage is abruptly larger and more open to the back. The ability of resolution increases again dramatically, while the bass is more disciplined, more controlled, tighter and more uncompromising. The reproduction was definitely more correct and more homogeneous. I even have the impression, the cables optimize jitter.

There are pieces, which I heard very rarely because I found them limp, pale, colourless. Now they have drive, are thrilling and exciting (f.e. Oregon 811711-2 of ECM/Sidsel Endressen "so I write" ECM LP 841776-1).

He music seems to be able to breathe again. It now has a rhythm to be compared best with an exact pulsation. Do have instruments souls, then NBS cables meet them and let their original energy work, the listener will notice that. These quality items are an advantage for gentle music instruments. They stand authentic and graphically in the room without having to lower their sights. Every ramification, every shading is exactly characterized and is very clearly represented with high precision. Here I noticed that the understanding of language became much better, even the smallest nuances don't get lost.

I was fascinated by this cleanness which nevertheless was not received with coolness. Other components rather develop a natural sensitiveness concerning musical sensuality. The cables seem to take over the part of the conductor, who at the right time and at the right passage decides the striking in. Is there now too much influence to the sound by the NBS cables? I believe not. They rather provide optimal conditions for the current to run fast and to a high degree. They don't reduce and compress like I know it from other cables I used in the past.

Character of the interconnect NBS Monitor IV: very natural and balanced, with a lot of emotion, with an exemplary resolution and lots of dynamic. Speaker cables: The image of sound receives with this speaker cable the biggest and together with all the other NBS cables the final polish. The heights are silk and very clean, yet sensitive and nevertheless alive with virtuoso, in the midrange particularly graphic with nice warm colours, the bass tight and fitteed with first class sharpness of contours.

To sum up: I had reservations against expensive cables, I definitely have thrown them over board now. Scepticism at the beginning changed to respect and after that to unreserved enthusiasm. In short, everything I was missing so far with other cables, the NBS cables have it. Of course with the product-line I to III one can receive still higher quality ranges. But with the Monitor IV you have the best basis for a perfect reproduction. It is not just a revalorization, it actually is a totally new sound image. Each cable variant is in a way responsible for that. This homogeneous and transparent image - I am thoroughly convinced - is in my experience hardly attainable with any other cable. There arise musical landscapes with an unique naturalness. The reproduction is so impressive, the increase so clear that I - evening after evening - forget the time and switch the light only when all the neighbors are already asleep. NBS cables are just immoral offers for perfectionists, because after listening they can't say "no" anymore. Even more, NBS cables actually should be added to the drug index, because you get addicted.

Listening equipment:

Preamplifier Accuphase C275
Poweramplifier Accuphase P700
CD-player Accuphase DP 65
Speakers Wilson Puppy 5.1E
Cables NBS, Flatline, Straight Wire, MIT, Accuphase, Synergetic Research
Phono preamp Tessendorf TE Phono
Turntable Transrotor
Tonearm SME V
Cartridge Ortofon Rohmann 25FL
Accessories CD-Mat from ATR, Acapella Tonbases, Rack self made

I remember a visit in Dusseldorf. There was an elder man speaking to me in an listening room of a known Hi-Fi dealer. At that time we were discussing mainly the correct choice of cables without preferring specific kinds and price ranges. But after that I was curious about that. I wanted to know what kind of electronics and cables my interlocutor used at home. When I heard that he was using Accuphase C290, Cabasse Albatros, Wadia 271/270, and all cables were NBS Statement, only this person belonged my attention. Because I knew the prices of the NBS Statement range, I was provoking whether the Statements really were worth the price. He was answering with a convincing "yes." After that he added with pride, "They are the best." Today I know, he is right. Yet I think, it does not have to be the Statement. The closed Monitor line IV is as well a dream combination. And that is why I am convinced that the Monitor line will once more write cable history.

NBS Audio Cables
155 Fifth Avenue South Suite 455, Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Phone: (800) 627-0204, fax: (612) 339-8750
web: http://www.nbscables.com
e-mail: nbscable@nbscables.com
Source of review sample: Manufacturer Loan





For technical questions, e-mail: nbscable@nbscables.com
NBS Audio Cables   5583 West 78th Street Edina, MN 55439 U.S.A.   (952) 848-1100
© 1998-2015, NBS Audio Cables. All rights reserved.