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Thread: Reviews/Feedback

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,156
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Reviews/Feedback

    I am going to try and collate all of the feed back in this section.

    Have a read!

  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,156
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Firebottle's SPOTFIRE Review

    Let's set the scene, here we have a new interconnect so I set up a 3 way review with a couple of others I have.
    Anyone who has heard my system recently will know it is very revealing.

    The set-up. Signal provided by ZYX R-100 → Vivant phono stage → Interconnect on test → KIN line stage → Dual Mono hybrid power amp → ESL57.

    Call me a bit of an agnostic regarding cables, I have heard improvements but it's probably my tight-wad status that lets me down from hearing greater improvements. The more I learn/design/listen only goes to prove more and more that everything in this game matters for ultimate performance, components, cables, connectors, valves, cases, layout, isolation etc.

    First cable is a Mogami 2549 with Rean RCA plugs. This cable is very similar to the Klotz cable but in my view slightly inferior.

    Second is a bit left field, two runs of the AmazonBasics 3RCA Component Video Cable. This is no longer available but does present a very low capacitance interconnect. The plugs do give a very nice grip to the corresponding sockets.

    Third is the new SPOTFIRE interconnect from Bigman80 of this parish. This pair has a prototype sheath but does have some of the best RCA plugs available. To me they look like one of the best designed RCA bullet plug and have a great feel when mated.

    I started with the Mogami to set the stage, playing the Toy album from Yello, one I know very well and superbly engineered. Excellent sound stage, nothing missing or highlighted, a solid performer.

    Then onto the AmazonBasics, a very very similar sound with perhaps a slight more tinkle at the top end. This is a 1.8m interconnect but has lower capacitance than the other two 1m pairs. Certainly one to keep as a long spare, particularly considering they only cost me 3 from a charity outlet.

    Finally plumbed in the Spotfire and oh my giddy aunt!
    It was like someone had flicked a 3D switch, there was an immense depth and precision added to the sound. This was just swapping a cable, unbelievable .

    Played a few tracks and then put the AmazonBasics back in to check. Yep the image went back to 2D, well not completely flat but what a difference, quick get the Spotfires back in.

    Talk about an immersive experience, the soundstage is truly sensational. There is a phasing effect on the track 'Lost in motion' that with the AmazonBasics sort of mushes around the head but with the Spotfires goes right through your head. I was getting goosebumps on tracks I've heard many times before.

    I played a number of albums, particularly Queen Greatest Hits II. This recording can sound a bit 2D, certainly nowhere near the Yello production quality but with the Spotfires was giving depth previously unheard.
    This was definitely a 'must re-visit the vinyl collection' moment. Shirley really appreciated the sound too.

    The upgrade given by these cables is like doubling the price of the rest of the gear. If your kit is anything like capable you need to try these new interconnects. I don't know where Bigman80 has found the secret stash of pixie dust but it's premium quality. I think Spotfire must be a play on words, but they are spot on and the fire comes from the greater emotion you feel from the music.

    Fab-u-lous. These are keepers.

    As always with different kit and systems YMMV.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,156
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Jimbo's SPOTFIRE review

    I spent yesterday afternoon and late into the night listening to Oliver's SPOTFIRE RCA Phono IC cables in my system, positioned between the VPI turntable and the Croft preamplifier which is I feel the critical cable position in a system. It as this point the very delicate signal from the cartridge needs to be preserved as best possible without interference or loss. I have observed that other cable positions in my system are not as sensitive.

    As I mentioned previously the SPOTFIRE is very nicely manufactured and the RCA plugs fit nice and snugly and the outer braiding is not too thick, so it is quite flexible. I let my system warm up a little and took a first listen. From the outset I could hear the potential this cable had but did not want to judge it straight away as my amps sound a little flat and grainy until they are warm.

    I will skip over what I heard in the first hour and fast forward to the end of the evening ( 7 hours later). By this time everything was on song and I was able to evaluate what this cable was truly doing in my system. I know all these things are subjective as folk perceive different aspects of sound reproduction which is important to them. It is these aspects that tick the boxes as to wether something sounds good to them or not. The important aspects for me in sound reproduction are transparency, balance, realism, tonal quality and soundstage. The SPOTFIRE gave me everything I could wish for, ticking all these boxes.

    I have never heard a cable at whatever price or by which ever manufacture that sounded this good in my system! It is truly remarkable and I scratch my head as to how Oliver has come up with the magical combination of components and construction that makes this cable so good. Large well known companies spend a fortune developing cables as R&D is a big part of the reason some cables are so expensive. I know talking to Oliver he has spent a lot of time putting this cable together, evaluating each aspect. It his ability to hear what is important and convey this into constructing a cable that makes is so good.

    The SPOTFIRE is balanced perfectly from top to bottom. My top end is a bit much with the 2M black but this cable allowed it to give me all the detail and more but without the over emphasised hardness it sometimes has. The bottom end is articulate, fatter and more evident by someway compared to what I have heard before and the midrange is just to die for! The soundstage is way more 3D with fantastic depth and wider. Listening to some of my favourite albums was a complete joy. What was very pleasing was how difficult slightly hard recordings became much more listenable. Because the midrange is so good vocals are sublime and very real. The SPOTFIRE allowed my system to sound so transparent I was in awe how some instruments and vocals came across.

    I could go on and on but I would simply say you need to try this cable in your system!

    I was so amazed at what it did in my system I have ordered one immediately from Oliver.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,156
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Wee Tee Cees's SPOTFIRE review

    I have ordered a 0.5m pair from Oliver.

    My impressions are as follows.

    Ive been round the cable block a few times and have numerous bakeoffs with the Scottish troops.

    My go to cable has been Mark Grant 2000s with the wbt 0110 ag plugs.

    I have numerous others but already know the MG is the front runner in all my systems.

    OK the Spotfire...

    Beautiful build quality as good as anything I have purchased.

    The KLE plugs are a really good fit on my phono sockets.

    Tonally they are very neutral with no discernible lift anywhere in the spectrum.

    Fantastic detail retrieval.

    Rock solid soudstage with the best instrument placement ive experienced .

    I keep coming back to timing in my description-they just seem to capture drum rythms really well high hats and symbols sound terrific.

    I have a personal dislike of sibilance on voices-female vocalist that close mic rip my knitting-the spotfire is really good in this respect.

    The best ICs ive tried.

    I would encourage members to get a listen to them they are something special.

    Mine reside between pre and power as i have a lap top feeding the pre on board dac with usb-reckon they could be even more significant between a source and pre as Jim alluded to.

    Considering the cost of plugs/cable/shrink wrap/braiding they represent a bit of a bargain IMHO.

    I will continue to burn them in until my pair arrive and then will get them to Gary if thats OK with Oliver.

    Usual caveat ....my kit/room/tunes/ears YMMV.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,156
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Gazjam's SPOTFIRE review

    Ok, so had a few days with Oliver's SPOTFIRE interconnect...

    As the demo pair had been round the doors a few times I reckoned they should be close to run in, so plumbed them in and let them play away in the background.

    The critical listening bit can be informative, but for me what works best is letting the sound soak in over time...get used to it THEN plumb a comparison set in.
    Immediate impression and gut reaction is usually the right one for me, so this was my method of testing.

    Few days of Radio Paradise 320K, 16/44 and 24/96 Flac, DSD and MQA from Tidal, of lots of different music, so a fair range of sound.

    Know what, I liked these cables and think they sound particularly good for the money.

    Impressions are of an open sounding cable with good soundstage and (particularly) a deep bass with good control.
    Made most music sound good to listen to, which is what you want!
    Id pick these over the Klotz/MS Audio as a step up, having done the critical listening bit with these two, knowing this would be a comparison of interest here.

    Im pretty much sorted with interconnect cables nowadays, so not looking to change and prefer what I have, but if I was starting again or looking for that second step up on the interconnect ladder Id recommend trying these in your system.

    Well done Ollie, nice job mate.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,156
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Brian2957's SPOTFIRE review

    Gary was over at my place yesterday and I've now heard the Spotfire interconnects in three different systems , including my own.

    I must say that in all of these systems the Spotfire interconnects sounded excellent. What particularly struck me was the size and depth of the soundstage. Instruments hung in their own space, top end was very natural sounding, mids were smooth and textured and voices in particular were beautifully portrayed.

    The bass was clean and deep and drove the music along very well indeed. Although the presentation of the Spotfires differed slightly in each of the three systems the basic traits described above was present in them all.

    I'm convinced that Oliver's Spotfire interconnects will perform to a very high standard in a wide variety of systems and must say that they sounded particularly good in my own system. They certainly do a lot of things right and are well worth an audition if you're in the market for a very nice, well built set of interconnects.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,156
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Shadow Moses's SPOTFIRE review

    Had this cable in for a few hours now and WOW!!!
    I cannot believe the difference one cable has made to my system.
    I put it between my Phono and Pre, straight away more detail bigger sound stage and beautiful clean bass.
    I was using Atlas Intengra and these blow them off the planet.
    I seem to be feeling more emotion comin from the music, Placebo's Unplugged had me open mouthed at times.
    I can't add much more to what's already been said about these Spotfire cables but you need to have a demo!!!
    Massive change for me
    I'm ordering!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,156
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Rextons SPOTFIRE review

    Some thoughts...

    Compared to Yannis Tome 420.

    +ve points

    Genre neutral seemed to perform well across a wide spectrum of choices.
    Great cable for complex torture tracks
    Fantastic wide open soundstage
    Very capable of producing intimate female vocals, literally sitting in front of you.

    -ve points

    Lacks bass authority.
    Vocals sound a little recessed and to the back of the soundstage.
    Not as detailed as the Tome cable just looses out in the microdetail stakes.
    Produces a shade more sibilance than the 420 IC's.

    The cables perform extremely well and I can heartily recommend them at the price point. I could quite happily
    live with these cables if it wasn't for the fact that I'm spoiled with two system's completely wired with Tome's
    work. The Spotfire only just misses out on the performance of the Tome cable. It has no problems handling heavy
    progressive metal, or producing an intimate soundstage of a vocalist sitting six feet in front of you. It's a very
    detailed cable but not as detailed as the Tome cables. Bass performance could be a little more visceral and offer
    a little more authority but these are only minor quibbles in the context of the reviewer being pedantic!

    Bigman80's Reply:

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for your thoughts on the cables and taking the time to listen.
    Can I ask the price of the Yannis 420 cables? I can't find them online.

    If I remember correctly they are higher than the price of the SPOTFIRE?

    UPDATE - I've been told the Yannis cable (420+) that Andrew uses is 400ish

    Anyway, comparing copper to silver will always be tricky as they inherently differ in presentation BUT I am happy that they have fared so well against a pair of Yannis TOTL cables.

    Rexton's reply:

    They fair EXTREMELY well, in fact, I'd advise anyone not wanting to spend the money of some 420's to try these beauts! NO I'M NOT PAID BY THE BIGMAN TO SAY THESE WORDS!

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,156
    I'm Oliver.

    Default jandl100's SPOTFIRE review

    Had a bit of a listen last night.
    Hmm - well.
    Expectations exceeded.

    It initiated a bout of frantic cable swapping amongst my collection to see if I could close the gap.

    It's a bit strange how cables you have moved on from sometimes still have the magic that initially entranced you when you go back to them after a while.
    --- Wireworld Oasis, now why did I move on from those? Very nice!
    But I have to admit that the focussed transparency of the Spotfire is a hard act to equal.
    It's the image focus that immediately got my attention, most cables are rather fuzzy and vague in comparison. That was a bit of a shock.

    I think the sound may be a bit stark for me, maybe a bit of tonal thinness that might or might not prove too much in the longer term. Or maybe that is just superior transparency? There is a lot more listening to do, over a much wider range of material, but to wrap up my listening thoughts ...

    They aren't harsh, just transparent. Not thin or stark sounding, either.
    The tonality sounds right. The bass is well defined and I don't hear any loss of bass power reported by some.

    It took me a while to get my head round what they actually do, compared to my excellent IXOS Ixotica cables (something like 300-400 a pair when new, I think).

    What they do is move you forward a few rows in the concert hall.
    The IXOS place me about 12-15 rows back from the front of the front stalls.
    The SPOTFIRE move me to about 3 or 4 rows from the front.

    So they are more immediate sounding, slightly increased detail, immediacy and transparency. Less of a cushion of air between me and the performers.
    Imaging-wise, the SPOTFIRE are a bit more focused and with more clearly defined soundstage placement. Just what you'd expect from moving nearer the concert platform.

    The IXOS place me quite close to the music, the SPOTFIRE put me even closer.

    Where do I want to be?

    Well, tbh, I still really like the IXOS and I suspect the SPOTFIRE place me a little too close for comfort some of the time.
    On the other hand it would be nice to have the option of choosing!

    Either way, the SPOTFIRE are a really excellent, genuinely high end cable imo. Whether or not they tick your own specific boxes only you can decide!ese are simply way ahead of what I was expecting!

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Gerrards Cross

    Posts: 2,610
    I'm Tony.


    Time for a proper website Oli with a dedicated page for customer feedback you will reach more potential customers imho

    Do bear in mind you have to have documented proof of all your reviews separately from on line presence, more red tape (deep joy) they keep placing on us!
    Coherent Systems
    Real high end sound with musicality not hifi

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