27 May, 2018

Gotham GAC-2111 (10550) and DGS-1, Part II

Talk Cable: Gotham GAC-2111 (10550) and DGS-1, Part II
Parlez-vous Francais?

Background info can be found in Part I, from which I copied and mildly edited the following passages:

Gotham 10550 GAC-2111 (specs) This unusual cable is Gotham's replica of a classic EMT cable. The conductors are very small in gauge and the insulations rather stiff, making it difficult to handle. Sonically it is a winner. Superbly transparent and with an abundance of top end air, somewhat less exuberant than GAC-2 and GAC-4, this cable shoots straight to the top echelon of Gotahm cables. A great bargain.

Gotham 60001 DGS-1 (specs) This is a thin coaxial cable, the cheapest in the Gotham range. It is somewhat rolled off on top, not as detailed as GAC-2, GAC-4 or GAC-2111, but there is something very attractive (even definitive) about its midrange presence and ability to invoke the live atmosphere. Another Gotham winner, likely more suitable in brighter systems.

Lento GAC-2111 vs DGS-1
Yesterday morning, after cups of coffee I started to make some cables, two pairs of Gotham DGS-1 and one of GAC-2111. And I have been evaluating them since last night in my Kondo system. Note that previously I had not compared them rigorously, which is the reason for this article.

GAC-2111 First up was the GAC-2111 late last night, which sounded simply divine. Nah Youn Sun's Lento was the perfectly intimate album for the wee hours. And then I played The Best of Sinne Eeg (mine is the CD version). It is highly unusual for me to listen to "eurojazz", if these were "jazz" at all, but it was a fitting conclusion for the day. Both sounded magnificent.

Bach - Variations on variations | Rinaldo Alessandrini, Concerto ItalianoOn to today...This morning I continued to audition the GAC-2111. I loved the fastidiously dissected strands of Bach in Concerto Italiano's Variations on Variations (Naive), each clear as daylight. Sunshine in music, indeed.

Time Out for Food (Shenzhen) or, cover your ears...

The Freshest Beer Then I skipped out to Shenzhen for lunch. This time it was braised fish 紅燒魚塊 and pork sautéed with fine vegetable slivers and vinaigrette sauce 魚香肉絲. This joint always has the freshest beer. The so-called "Tsing Tao" (the version in Shenzhen is a Sino-Asahi venture which, though still a good light beer, bears no resemblance to its HK, Northern China and Export cousins, though they too are different from each other) has May 5th, 2018 as production date, how about that! The fresher the better, when it comes to beer! The food is, as usual, well prepared.

Would Confucius be Appalled? One caveat. Eating in China, you have to put up with certain things, and here are my pet peeves...In such eateries, some customers smoke, which is annoying. But what, to me, is equally irritating is witnessing the general public's Table Manner. Modern day (PRC) Chinese seem oblivious to their surroundings by letting out the sound of mastication without any inhibition. One hears "jap...jap...jap..." and, believe me, it is not for the faint of heart, as the sound can emanate as much from a well dressed and pretty lady as from a sweaty laborer. The lack of civic concerns/pride permeate every aspect of life. Just the other day, a few mainland visitors were nearly blocking the sidewalk in Yuen Long. I overheard a HK passerby remark to his wife: "Mandarin speakers..."; his wife asked what he meant, and he replied, "...don't you think Mandarin speakers (meaning those from PRC) think the public spaces are their private properties?" Food for thought.

I guess, you pay for what you get...but then, maybe not, as the same phenomenon can be observed even in high end restaurants, though the tables there are not usually as proximal to each other nor shared, thereby lessening the torture.

DGS-1 After I returned from lunch, I switched to the DGS-1. The richer midrange and darker hue of the DGS-1 was immediately apparent. The same Bach album I had listened to before lunch sounded surprisingly different. The DGS-1 has less details than the GAC-2111, but its presentation is fleshier and images are larger. The harpsichord's midrange is often too thin with many cables, but the DGS-1 gets it just right. This album is so good that I have listened to it several times. The arrangement for Goldberg Variations is just sublime.

Ne Me Quitte PasAlbum.jpgNe Me Quitte Pas I then listened to that most emotive of singers, Jacques Brel (Barclay/Universal). The difference between the two cables were startling.

With GAC-2111, this somewhat lean remastering is undeniably exciting, though sometimes unravelling at the edges. INe me quitte pas, Brel's iconic song,  the vehement declamations and word bending are sometimes discomforting. With the DGS-1, the delivery is more fluid. All that makes me wonder, which is the real Jacques Brel? At the bottom of the article is a youtube of this song (not the same performance).

Sonic Impressions
  • My impressions this time are in keeping with what I have observed before, but there are some additional findings.
  • The GAC-2111 is tremendously detailed, yet balanced. What surprises the most is its outstanding rhythm and pace, which loses nothing compared to the DGS-1. This cable will likely please those with an audiophile bent, but those whose systems tend to be on the bright side should use with care.
  • The DGS-1 paints with broader strokes, its presentation fleshy and dramatic. On its own, one is very satisfied, but in comparison with GAC-2111, one could clamor for just a little more resolution. Its excellent rhythm and pace is of a more subtle kind than the GAC-2111, but equally valid.
  • Since my Kondo system has quite high resolution, on the whole, and by a small margin, perhaps DGS-1 is preferred, yet I am sure I shall be rotating it with the GAC-2111. Both are wonderful!

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