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harmonic technology

Battery Pack Four for all Cyberlight interconnects

as reviewed by Robert H. Levi

 

 

ROBERT H. LEVI'S SYSTEM

LOUDSPEAKERS
Avalon Eidolon and REL Stadium III subwoofer.

ELECTRONICS
E.A.R. 324 phono preamplifier, E.A.R. 890 amplifiers (ran as monos), NuForce Reference 9 SE amplifiers, Pass X1 preamplifier, and an E.A.R. 834L Tube Line Stage.

SOURCES
VPI Scout/JMW 9 tonearm, VPI SDS Controller, ZYX R100H phono cartridge. E.A.R. Acute CD player, ModWright Sony 999 SACD/CD Player with Signature Truth, Mod/Bybee Filters and Revelation Cryo Silver Umbilical. Alesis Masterlink 24/96 Recorder/Playback Deck, Theta Pro Gen.5a DAC Modified for 24/96 Playback, and the Benchmark DAC 1 revised. Grado Statement Phono Cartridge. Pioneer DVL 919 LD/DVD Player. Magnum Dynalab MD-108 Reference Tuner, Marantz 10B FM Tuner, Day Sequerra Reference FM1 Tuner, AQ 7500 FM Antenna, Stax 7t Electrostatic headphones, Grado Reference 1 headphones, and a Grado headphone amplifier.

CABLES
Kubala-Sosna Emotion, Harmonic Technology CyberLight, Dual-Connect, interconnects, Dynamic Design THB Nebula, Soundstring, Kimber Select balanced, Kimber TAK phono AG, Kimber Hero balanced and single ended interconnects, and Acoustic Zen Silver Reference Two balanced interconnects. Kimber D-60 Digital Interconnects. Kimber Select 3038 Silver, Kubala-Sosna Emotion, and Harmonic Technology Magic Reference Silver speaker cables. Kimber Palladian, Tara RSC and Decade, Tice, Soundstring, and Kubala-Sosna Emotion AC power cords.

ACCESSORIES
Monster Reference 350 Mark Two v2 Power Conditioner, World Power Power Wing, Tice Clock, and Audio Prism Quiet Line IIs. Cable Cooker 2.5, Winds Stylus Pressure Gage, Bedini Ultra Clarifier, VPI Record Cleaning Machine 16.5. Audio Magic's Quantum Physics Noise Disrupters.

 

Cyberlight Interconnects are the only non-metal fiber optic solution to connectivity on the market today for audiophiles. Though unchanged since they were first produced, their battery supply has continuously been modified. Each battery was more robust than the one before and each brought more definition and dynamic oomph to the Cyberlights. The 4th generation is the first battery supply to be totally "set and forget" yielding continuous operation of the Cyberlights 24/7. Surprise! Battery Pack Four from Harmonic Technology is the best yet and takes the overall performance of the Cyberlights to new, near state of the art heights!

According to Jim Wang, CEO of Harmonic Technology, they had never heard the results of continuous powering of the Cyberlights either. They knew there was some improvement after the first hour but figured that was that. There is now a serious boost in definition and dynamics after 24 hours and another solid boost after 48 hours of operation. With tandem batteries in the new smaller, more powerful battery case, one battery powers a cable for about 12 hours while the other charges. The battery pack remains plugged into the wall and you never touch it again. Oh my, wait until you folks who have wrestled with turn on/off procedures on the other Cyber batteries get your hands on the new Bat 4's! Only problem is only one Cyberlight cable can be powered at a time.

The results are stunning. The Cyberlights are dramatically more open sounding and dynamic from top to bottom. There is an increase of textural definition and a heightened sense of master tape solidity. This is addictive I promise you and very un-metal cable sounding. The music appears freed from certain colorations that are consistently there with metal cables. Everything is faster and snappier while there is less etch at every frequency. Like I said, it's very master tape like and more live sounding on recordings recorded live. Frankly, the older battery packs suggest these benefits while the Pack Four brings them home. Once you start using the Battery Pack Four, it is very hard to go back.

Additionally, the sound stage is bigger in all dimensions. Depth is increased and imaging is rock solid. The sound is purer and more reach out and touch it like my very best wire references. The sound of no wire at all, however, has its own colorations. A lack of any definable coloration is a coloration of sorts. These are so very very neutral Hard to tell if this is good or bad. I detect a bit of coolness within the ultra high definition without any trace of hardness. I detect a slight lack of warmth in my warm sounding SET tube reference system with Cobalt speakers and a reduction of sweetness, but this may be due to the fact that this kind of euphonic coloration is not really there but a sort of distortion now eliminated. With capacitance and impedance pretty much eliminated as factors, all sorts of previous colorations may have vanished. The result is a new world view, if you will, of the recorded performance which is often jaw dropping and always powerfully musical.

Results on my primary reference system …Avalon Eidolons …are much the same. I hear a more dramatic sound stage, crystal clear images, black backgrounds, and master tape solidity from the continuous powering. The colorlessness and lack of any etch is very seductive.  Grain is subjectively 99% gone. The highs are sooo smooooth, as to sound a bit dull. There appears to be a slight reduction of sweetness and richness replaced by by a firmness and openness. This enhances the life like quality of these exciting cables. The reach out and touch it effect is really very wonderful. If you liked the Cyberlights before, you'll like them now even more!

Measurements aside, the Cyberlight cable sounds highly accurate. I have no way to directly measure them accept by ear. If the idea of listening as a primary tool of deciding which cables and components to purchase is insufficient as proof of value, this may just be the wrong hobby for you. This daring technology is some of the most exciting to come along in years and there's more on the horizon I guarantee it!

If I had to make comparisons, I'd place the Cyberlight/Pack Four somewhere between the Nordost Vahalla and the Jorma Prime …neutral, clean, ultra detailed, and intrinsically musical. I miss a bit of the organic charm and inner warmth of these metal alternatives, however. There is no right or wrong performance at this level. Any of these will allow you to create an enviable audio system.

As I said, you'll need one of these $500 Pack Four for each Cyberlight cable. If you really want to hear what these new age cables sound like at their best, you must have the Pack Four! If you toyed with these cables in months past, but grew tired of the on/off battery aggravation, this is the help you have been searching for. I think that you'll hear something new and bold with the Cyberlights and the Pack Four. In fact, I no longer recommend these cables with the other battery packs!

They have their own sense of performance values. They sound less like metal cables and more like nothing at all. I'm unsure I can even identify any grain structure at all. Even replacing only one link in the front end or the preamp to amp link, will startle you. I propose that each Cyberlight cable replaced lowers system coloration significantly. The results of adding Cyberlights to a system are a bit less predictable than manipulating known colorations in other high end metal cables. Nevertheless, here's one more goody to try that may help you see audio heaven. Experimenting with the Cyberlights is half the fun.

Last words. With the $500 Battery Pack Four, Harmonic Technology has now brought us cutting edge metal-less Cyberlight cables with ultra high definition and ultra low discernable distortion. Every dimension of the Cyberlight is improved and more improvements will be heard after a week of continuous use. The new Pack Four is a set and forget design and powers only one cable at a time, but the results are musically and organically exceptional. The secret is continuous powering as fiber circuits sound much better with non stop run in. Amazing but true! Cyberlights plus the Pack Four are the only fiber alternative to today's high-end exotic metal interconnects. Perfect for those audiophiles who need long cable lengths. If you love neutral, relaxed, mucho defined sound, you'll love the Cyberlights with the Battery Pack Four. I'm having way to much fun with these folks!

Revised Interconnect rankings to include highly recommended HT Cyberlight Interconnects with Battery Pack Four, Balanced  and Single Ended interconnects, with cables ranked within price categories as follows:

  • Over $4000 per meter:

Jorma Prime (balanced and single-ended)*

Acrolink 7N-DA6100 (single-ended)

  • $2000 - 4000 per meter:

Harmonic Technology Cyberlight with Battery Pack Four  (balanced and single-ended)

Kubala-Sosna Emotion (balanced and single-ended)

Nordost Valhalla (balanced and single-ended)

Dynamic Design THB Nebula (balanced and single-ended)

Acrolink 7N-A2500 Mexcel (single-ended)

Silversmith Palladium (balanced and single-ended)

Kimber Select WITH Bybee Golden Goddess "Super Effect" RCA IC Tails (single-ended)

  • $1000 - 2000 per meter:

Stereovox 600-SEIii [balanced and single-ended]

Dual-Connect Gold

Kimber Select Silver

Acoustic Zen Silver Reference Two

  • $450 - 1000 per meter:

Harmonic Technology Magic Two (balanced and single-ended)

Harmonic Technology Pro Sil-way Three (now in + version)

Xindak Gold

Kimber Select Copper

  • $250 - 450 per meter:

Soundstring Pro

Eichmann Express 6 Series 2

  • Under $250:

Kimber Hero

Battery Pack Four
Retail: $500

Harmonic Technology
web address: www.harmonictech.com

 

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