ALBEDO Metamorphosis Interconnects and Gravity III AC cords by Moreno Mitchell
Getting my thoughts together took a while before I transferred pen to paper for this review. As I thought before I took on this project, “not another cable review.” My objective is not to try to convince my audience that Albedo Cables are the best in the business but to portray what improvements Albedo Cables have made to my present system.
Before embarking on this task, I conducted extensive research on audio cable manufacturers. I wanted to know how many cable manufacturers exist and how many models are available. This task proved to be more difficult than initially expected. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to research and obtain accurate data on the exact number of audio cables available on the market. Yes, there are meta-search engines and audio websites such as Audiogon, eBay, etc. As I started my research, I discovered that the more manufacturers I could identify, the more new ones existed. Trying to create an absolute number was a losing effort, so I stopped at two hundred manufacturers/models and focused on what was in my system.
I was focusing on what I already had available proved more realistic and practical. To make a long story short, how this review came to fruition? Approximately ten months ago, I changed my electronics from solid state to tubes, and I was forced to purchase a plethora of new audio interconnects. I went from a 5-meter run of 50-ohm cables to 5-meter interconnects; I also had to buy a few 1–2-meter interconnects.
Caveat 1: What I am about to write in this review, in part, is somewhat subjective; however, I am writing this because what I discovered about the Albedo products proved very accurate in my system. Before coming up with an idea of how I wanted to write this review about the Albedo Cables, my initial idea was to conduct a comparison or shoot-out involving other cable lines. However, after thinking about it, I decided against the idea because everything would not have been absolute. My system consisted of Hemingway Audio, Nordost Cables, and Morrow Audio cables. Once the Albedo Cables were integrated into my system, some audio cables, such as Morrow and Nordost, were eventually replaced.
Given my present complement and assortment of cables, I did not have a full complement of the same manufacturer or model. At any given time, I mostly had a mixture of interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords causing me to swap out cables occasionally.
To give an idea of how these cables were distributed throughout my system (pre-Albedo)
1 meter Hemingway Beta Interconnects
3-meter Hemingway Sigma Speaker Cables
2-meter Hemingway Alpha, Beta, and Sigma Power Cords
2-meter Morrow Audio Anniversary Edition interconnects
5-meter Nordost Valhalla 2 interconnects (replaced 5-meter Morrow interconnects)
Before I start with the main body of this review, let me make myself clear; I adamantly disagree with the assumption that to have continuity and pure sound, you must use the same model/brand of the cable manufacturer. I discovered this to be bogus, farfetched, and more of a marketing ploy than truth. IMHO.
Albedo Cable discovery; After six months of enjoying my new Thrax Audio system consisting of; the Thrax Spartacus 300b monoblock amps, Thrax Libra 300b tube preamplifier, and the Thrax Maximinus Mk2S DAC, my system came alive. However, being a reviewer, new products are always thrown my way. I received a call from the Albedo U.S. distributor ranting and raving about a cable that he felt out-distanced anything on the market in terms of build quality, sonics, and price. Naturally, my spider senses were alerted, and the challenge was on. At present, I have been a Hemingway Audio Cable fan for years. My dedication to the brand was solid, and I was convinced that short of a technological breakthrough, this brand was way beyond its time. However, things have a way of changing.
The beginning of 2023 was the first time I had heard about the Albedo Cables. I researched their website to familiarize myself with what the distributor told me. The following is directly from Albedo’s website: “Since 1996, we have been sticking to a rule saying that if it is possible to try something, it should be tried. Hence we are constantly changing, but we keep proven methods in mind. The very essence of beauty is changeable. Like liquid silver.” An investment in superior sound quality, thanks to silver conductors that minimize transmission losses and ensure excellent sound quality. The ideal solution for demanding users who value excellent sound quality and reliability.
Fast forward to March 2023, I finally received my first audition of the Albedo Pure Silver Connections. The U.S. distributor paid a visit to my home to personally introduce me to the Albedo brand. He initially brought a pair of Gravity III Monocrystal Power Cables and one 2-meter Metamorphosis Signature Monocrystal interconnect XLR. I was very apprehensive due to my familiarization with the Hemingway Audio sound. Not that I was married to Hemingway Audio, but I felt that the Hemingway brand was as good as it gets regarding its speaker, interconnect, and power cables. My first encounter with the Albedo cables was positive; build quality is second to none, and I mean that literally and figuratively. From the box the cables are shipped to the feel of the luxury cable directly out of the box, I was impressed. The concept of quality is very apparent when associated with the Albedo Cable brand. I examined each cable closely for defects or anomalies, and everything was perfect. The company’s impressive attention to detail revealed highly polished finished connectors with a pure silver texture, astonishing flexibility, and superb condition, thus possibly setting a new industry standard. These attributes speak volumes for the company.
Great looking cables, outstanding build quality, and very flexible; however, how does it sound? Since the distributor only brought two power cords and an interconnect, I felt little would be accomplished. I swapped out the Hemingway 2-meter Beta XLR connected from the DAC to Preamp. I then listened to a Diana Krall selection that I am very familiar with. The initial impact of the song was eye-opening. I knew her music well and was pleasantly impressed with how things improved by exchanging one interconnect brand for another. First impressions can be lasting; however, I aimed to hold onto and listen to the Albedo Metamorphosis Signature Monocrystal (MSM) for a few more weeks before making a game-changing decision/recommendation. After listening to a few more tunes, we exchanged the two Hemingway Beta power cords connected to Thrax Spartacus tube monoblocks with the Albedo Gravity III Monocrystal-Furutech NCF power cords. At once, everything perked up, and the listening session officially began at this point. Music selection after music selection, we jammed for over two straight hours before he had to leave and drive another 3 hours to his hotel. At that point and time, I knew there was something special about the Albedo Cables. I requested that he leave the cables with me; however, he had to take the power cords with him but promised to send me a full complement later. Life goes on; in the meantime, I was offered the chance to audition for two sets of Ansuz Audio mid to high-end interconnects. As a reviewer, I decided to take this opportunity because I had heard about this brand but had yet to experience it in my system due to its extremely high price range. Now that the chance presented itself and I had the time, I jumped on it.
Note: This review will continue to focus solely on the Albedo brand, but I will occasionally offer comparisons to other cable brands.
Now that I had accumulated a variety of Ansuz over the next few weeks, I could give them time to settle into my system and receive familiarization with their sonic signature. The cable models that I listened to are as follows:
Ansuz 5-meter Signalz C2 interconnect XLR (replaced the 5-meter Nordost Vahalla 2)
Ansuz 2 meter Signalz DTC interconnet XLR
Ansuz 2 meter Signalz Diamond interconnet XLR
Ansuz 2 meter Digitalz DTC Supreme interconnet Digital XLR
Ansuz Signalz DTC Power Box
Caveat-2; As previously stated, this review is not intended to be written as a cable comparison or shoot-out; however, I will point out some differences I observed between specific models mentioned within this writing. The Albedo Cables arrived a few weeks after receiving the Ansuz; (perfect timing). I received two Albedo Gravity III Power Cords, another MSM 2-meter interconnect XLR, and a 5-meter Metamorphosis MKII Monocrystal interconnect XLR (this model is one level below the Signature model). I rejected the opportunity to listen to the Albedo Metamorphosis MKII Monocrystal Speaker Cables. I was not ready to audition or compare against the Hemingway Sigma Speaker Cables; another review could be possible.
Those reading this review may think it unfair for me not to reveal the difference between each brand fully. If I were reading this, I would feel the same way. Without a full complement of each brand, it will not be fair or a precise comparison for me to attempt such a difficult task. However, on paper, I will capture some of my subtle observations during the past few months.
The Ansuz 5-meter Signalz C2 interconnect connecting my Thrax preamp to each Thrax monoblock was replaced with the Albedo 5-meter Metamorphosis MKII Monocrystal interconnect. I experienced more musicality and openness with the Albedo; the sonics were slightly more natural and emotionally captured more musical notes (micro and macro), thus removing tiny barriers that the previous cables could not. I wanted a cable that revealed every nuance of what passed through my source components, ending with my speaker’s output.
The Hemingway Sigma Power Cords versus the Albedo Gravity III Power Cords were tough. In comparison, and connected to both Thrax amps, both cable models exhibited perfection in every way. With the Albedo Gravity III, the amps exhibited power and a stable characteristic; however, with the Hemingway Sigma power cords, the Sigmas exhibited the same characteristics but with more musicality and sonic delicacy. I must point out that the amps were connected to a pair of Hemingway Sigma Speaker Cables; thus, the synergy from the amps to the speakers was solid. I found a different place for the Albedo Gravity III; they ended up on the Thrax preamp and DAC.
Connection of the Albedo Power Cords to the Thrax Preamp and DAC: The Albedo power cords are in a class of their own, as this was evident while connected to my front ends. No flaws or anomalies within the sonics; I not only heard but felt the symphony orchestra music in its raw entirety. I could also hear and feel the jazz ensemble’s tempo and rhythmic timing and the soloists’ soothing voices which completely relaxed me. No matter what type of music I played, the experience was taken to another level.
Connecting the Albedo Metamorphosis Signature XLR interconnects between my Esoteric K-01Xs CD/SACD player and Thrax preamp was a game changer. I had never heard a digital signal sound so authentic; each compact disc played had that analog feel. Sonic clarity and transparency were above reproach, with not a hint of digital harshness. Listening to Chris Botti’s Redbook CD “When I Fall In Love,” Chris’s presentation is more traditional jazz, void of the synthesizer approach; I could feel his horn notes and not just hear them. Chris presents a Miles Davis horn sound on this cut that’s utterly groundbreaking. The stellar backing of his band on this CD is worth every minute spent while listening to it. With the music signals transferred via the Albedo interconnects, no signal loss was evident from the CD player to the amps; the results were stunning.
Herbie Hancock’s Grammy Award Winning CD, “The Joni Letters, ” has always been my all-time favorite, and I have written my thoughts about the Joni Letters CD in many of my previous reviews. Listening to this familiar CD through the Esoteric Player/Albedo cable combination presented unchartered waters. I know this CD inside and out; however, I heard musical combinations within the CD that I was unfamiliar with this time. The presentation of each selection was more personal, inspirational, and extremely easy to listen to. Mr. Hancock’s large chromatic interplay in both hands was achingly beautiful. The late-great Tina Turner’s rendition of “Edith and the Kingpin” was effortlessly accomplished and utterly stunning. All vocalists throughout this CD presented sweet, tender ballads with the erotic seductive interplay between Mr. Hancock, the band, and all soloists. I was pleased to hear this in such a way that moved me to emotions as it felt like I was there as part of the recording.
Caveat 3; I am convinced that building an audio system is an art. Sometimes it takes years to get it right, some do, and some are still trying. Synergy is everything. How does one capture perfect synergy? Is there such a thing as audio nirvana? Honestly, and in my professional opinion, I think not; however, when your system and the music you’re listening to tend to move your inner soul, welcome to audio bliss. The addition of the Albedo cables in my system they have helped me take another step toward total audio bliss. I can’t say nirvana because I don’t believe such a thing exists.
Conclusion: As stated at the beginning of this review, there are many audio cables for the audio consumer. Specific attributes of the Albedo Cables blew me away, such as steady performance, meticulous build quality, and, most importantly, cost comparisons to industry peers. If I said that these Albedo Cables are the best on the market, that would not be an honest or accurate statement simply because I have not heard every audio cable in my present system. However, I am comfortable stating that the Albedo Cables are among the top tier on the market. The Albedo cables will give cables in the $15K-$30K range a run for their money. And this is a statement I can honestly make without pause.
Albedo Metamorphosis Signature Monocrystal 2 meter Interconnects XLR $14,500
Albedo Metamorphosis MK II Monocrystal 2 meter Interconnects XLR $8,750
Monocrystal Power Cables 2-meter Furutech NCF $11,750
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Moreno’s Associated Equipment
Thrax Spartacus 300B Tube Amplifiers
Thrax Libra 300B Tube Preamp
Zesto Audio Andros Deluxe II Phono Amp
Pro-Ject RPM 10 Carbon Turntable/ Van den Hul Stradivarius Cartridge
Otari MX5050BIII-2 Reel-Reel Tape Machine
Thrax Maximinus DAC
Esoteric K-01Xs CD/SACD Player
Auralic Aires G2.1 Network Transport
Waversa EXT Reference Plus
Sean Jacobs Power Supply
EtherRegen Network Switch
Y.G. Acoustics Sonja 2.2i
REL G1 MKII Subwoofers (2)
Hemingway Sigma Speaker Cables
Hemingway Sigma, Beta, Alpha Power Cords
Albedo Metamorphosis Signature and MKII Monocrystal Interconnects
Albedo Gravity III Power Cords
Ansuz Digital DTC Supreme
Ansuz Audio Interconnect DTC
Sound Application TT-77
Townshend Audio Seismic Platforms
StillPoints Stands S.S. Ultra 6’s
StillPoints Equipment Rack
Synergistic Research Black Box (2)
Room Tube Bass Traps
Ansuz DTC Power Box
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