Harmonic Technology's New Interconnects
Clement Perry
11 May 1999

pro-silway.jpg (21187 bytes)Specifications

Price: $399/meter RCA $439/meter XLR
13100 Kirkham Way, Unit # 212
Poway, CA. 92064
Phone: 619/486-8386
Fax: 619/486-6633
Website: www.harmonictech.com

Once again a team of Stereo Times writers give a few comments on Harmonic Techs latest Pro Silway MK II, designed Interconnects. I, along with the Bill "The Brass Ear" Brassington offer mere observations while Noel T. Keen offers still further views.

Clement Perry

"We all agreed that the Truth Links were the best cables we’d heard, regardless of price. So how was Robert going to convince me that he’s made a better cable? It took only one session to hear the differences."

During the time it took us to establish The Stereo Times, a lot of electronics came in for review, including Harmonic Technologies’ Pro Silway MK II interconnects. I couldn’t wait to hear these latest cables from Robert Lee, chief designer at Harmonic Technologies. If you read my reviews in Planethifi, you know how much I admire the original Truth Link Interconnects. I commented on them at length, with follow-ups by Bill "The Brass Ear" Brassington, Lou "Left Channel" Lanese, and Albert Von Schweikert, former chief designer of Von Schweikert Research. Mike Silverton commented on the interconnects equally favorably in his webzine, LaFolia. (www.lafolia.com). We all agreed that the Truth Links were the best cables we’d heard, regardless of price. So how was Robert going to convince me that he’s made a better cable? It took only one session to hear the differences. Again, fewer crystalline barriers than any other cables allowed me to hear the improvements immediately. Significant among the changes I notice is less noise in the upper treble. Robert’s new cables are faster; transients come across with astonishing rapidity. The soundstage is clearer, smoother and intensely musical. Overall, my impressions lead me to say, "Yes, the Pro Silway MK II’s are the reference against which all cables should be measured."

Clement Perry
Publisher
StereoTimes
"The Complete Audiophile Magazine"

The Brass Ear   - "He’s (Robert Lee) the genius of the Nineties in the way he conveys the music to the listener through a mere piece of wire."

Harmonic Technologies Designer Robert Lee, has done it again! No wonder he uses the name Harmonic. Of course that’s what I hear above and beyond of any wire I’ve had in my home to date. He’s the genius of the Nineties in the way he conveys the music to the listener through a mere piece of wire. How he does it? I don’t know, and neither does his competitors, it seems. But I sure love the way he gets the job done and keeps the price reasonable. No more spending gobs of money for the best of the best because they’re modestly priced. The new Pro Silway Mk II, seems to have has just set a new standard in my short but extended time auditioning them. Warning Audiophiles…Don’t go into your listening rooms without them.

Bill "The Brass Ear" Brassington
The Stereo Times

Noel T. Keen listens to the Pro Silway MK II  - "To summarize, the Pro-Silway interconnects, both balanced and unbalanced, are a success at this early stage of break-in."

Initial Reactions

I have listened to the Harmonic Technology Pro-Silway MKII silver interconnects for only five days; thus observations are very preliminary (I have liberally run the Purist Audio break-in disc through them, however, to speed things along). The results so far are sufficiently promising to justify passing on the initial reactions. I generally bi-amp my Von Schweikert VR-8 speakers, necessitating two sets of interconnects from the Cd player—the Krell 600 prefers balanced interconnects, and the KR Enterprises amps require single ended. I previously used Audio Magic Sorcerer balanced for the Krell amp and HT Truth Link for the KR amps, so these were the references for comparison with the Pro-Silways.

Listening using the Krell amp full range (bi-wired to the speakers) quickly disclosed that the Pro-Silways, even with only 20 hours burn in, easily bested the Sorcerers. This is of some interest since the Sorcerers are also silver and have been quite highly rated by several reviewers. However, in my system, the Pro-Silways MK II’s simply revealed much greater detail, deeper and tighter bass and more extended but not tizzy high frequencies. No comparison---chalk up one for HT.

Comparing the HT Truth Link with the Pro-Silways on the KR amps run full range was a closer comparison. Again, let me emphasize that as this is written the Pro-Silways are still breaking in, with only about 60 hours on them, and seem to be improving as a function of time. However, at the 60-hour mark it is clear that the Pro-Silway better the Truth Link interconnects in detail and soundstaging, particularly depth, and in re-creating realistic focus/imaging. The silver interconnects also provide more resolution and realism, but bass performance seems virtually unchanged, at least at this stage of the Pro-Silway’s break-in.

I generally bi-amp the system, with the Krell 600 driving the VR-8 bass modules and the KR 8000es driving the mid/tweeter modules. This is turning out to be a great combination, sort of the best of both the solid state and tube worlds. My impressions of using all Pro-Silway interconnects in the bi-amp setup (relative to the Truth Links and the Audio Magic Sorcerers) is that system resolution and clarity are jacked up a notch or two without audible downsides. Among several tracks used, I tried the Pro-Silways on the excellent new recording ‘Vivaldi Concerti for Strings’ (Dorian XCD-90255). I observed greater realism of depth, and improved detail and timber from this recording, with harpsichord and baroque guitar periodically peeking out in all their glory from the lush violins and cello lines. Again, note that this was at about the 60-hour mark and, to my ears, the Pro-Silway MK II’s is still improving. I suspect they will further benefit from break-in up to the 200-hour mark or more (this is unlike the Truth Link’s, which seemed to fully break-in by 20 hours or so).

"These silver interconnects delivered the goods with more reality and moved the system yet another step toward the sound of real music."

Since the dragon that usually accompanies major gains in resolution is the tendency for brightness or tizziness, especially with silver cables, I played CDs that might expose these characters from the Pro-Silways. Fortunately, on track 1 of the Golden String ‘All Star Percussion Ensemble’ (GS CD005), the assorted bells, xylophones, and percussion were rendered with great clarity and detail through the Pro-Silway MK II’s, but without noticeable brightness or tinniness. Similarly, tracks from the excellent Bill Frisell ‘Gone, just like a train’ CD (Nonesuch 79479-2) were rendered with excellent detail on strings and depth of soundstaging that were not seen with the old reference interconnects. Jim Keltner’s drum work was more immediate and alive and bass lines were tighter and better integrated through the Pro-Silway interconnects. These silver interconnects delivered the goods with more reality and moved the system yet another step toward the sound of real music. Even on fairly mediocre recordings such as Wynonna’s title track on ‘Tell me why’ (MCAD 10822), voice and instrumentals were well presented and integrated through the Pro-Silway MK II’s, yielding excellent timber and realism and getting the best from the disc without accentuating the upper mid/treble tip-up seen in such recordings.

To summarize, the Pro-Silway interconnects, both balanced and unbalanced, are a success at this early stage of break-in. They increase the resolution and clarity of my system relative to the former interconnects without obvious penalties. They increase the inner detail of guitar strings and put more realistic flesh on the cymbals. Furthermore, they improve the bass line and are able to turn the annoying thu-ud-dud duh-dud-duh-dud of synthesizer bass (that kids in cars love) to a somewhat more palatable thud thud thud. Thus far, the Pro-Silway MK II’s are winners, but I suspect you will need a high resolution system to notice a large improvement over the excellent HT Truth Link copper interconnects.