Author Topic: "Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews  (Read 8429 times)

Offline richidoo

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« on: April 16, 2007, 12:46:03 PM »
I had the cables for about 5 days. I was sad to remove them from the system.  :cry:  I hope the first GB order gets delivered fast!

The impression I got when first listening to them was comparable to the previous time with the last version that Carl brought over to my house last month. It was instantly noticeable improvement in detail, dynamics, tone and pace. I did not listen to the first set long enough to compare it to these new ones, called "Grover S." Carl said they sound smoother but no less detailed. A little less silver etch. Grover says the difference is in the silver plating on the connectors.

The build quality is good. The whiet techflex doesn;t blend in as well as a black or neutral color, but no biggie. The RCA connector ends are small and half covered in a couple layers of polyolefin heat shrink tubing. They stood up to constant swapping without any sign of wear, but they seem a little frail compared to other brands with big metal bullet RCA connectors. I did not try to bend them less than 6+ inch radius, they seem to get stiffer at that amount of bend.

Compared to my best ICs, anticable OCC copper, they are obviously better in every way I can think of. Cheaper (at least on this GB), sturdier, and sonically better in every way. The hype about anticables is well deserved, but they don;t compare to this. If Grover ever gets a website and a real business presence going he will fare well. The retail price matches that of the anticables. Anticable has a silver version coming which should cost more.

The intensity or solidity of the tone is about the same between anticable and Grover S, but details make the difference, and tonal quality and beauty are enhanced by the better detail in the Grovers. It is not a small difference either. It is night and day.

The most impressive thing to me about these cables was when I first started playing them, I could here so much more of the recording venue's room ambience, and air around the music. This also translates to much larger soundstage when more details of it are audible. The treble detail is obvious, but the midrange detail on solo violin sonatas, and bass detail on concert hall room ambience and jazz bass solos was excellent. This means to me that the detail improvement is not just in the treble and not just an EQ tweek or silvery brightness. Detail is improved massively throughout the freq band.

I thought the detail improvement was pretty amazing when I first heard them on the SB3. When I swapped in a Plinius CD-101 that I am borrowing detail and power improved even more. It did not seem to me that the Grover's were holding the Plinius back at all. Now the intense details made more sense, less hyped and more natural and beautiful than what the SB could do. The Plinius is a true high end player and the Grovers are up to it.

Dynamics are also great, but I think I have a slightly compromised crossover in one speaker which makes midrange dynamics a little hyped. I think the dynamic clarity is also improved over the anticables but I can't say for sure until I get the speaker fixed. Microdynamics are improved and audible in the increased details. I didn't feel any hint of compression or any kind of holding back whatsoever.

It's like a clear shot straight thru. Maybe there are better wires that sound even more transparent, I am not experienced enough in this hobby to know all about the far reaches of the ultra high-end. But these are up there with the best I have heard so far. When we were using Carl's preamp the other day comparing a few sources, we used Gregg Straley's Reality ICs between pre and power amps with Grovers on the sources. I didn't notice any loss of detail or power with the Realitys in there, so I think they are also a great wire in this price range. I look forward to listening to them some more too!

I am excited to be able to own wires this good for the same price of cables I own now. I will also try the digital IC also for my upcoming DAC hunt.  I hope you guys in the rest of the demo tour have as much fun with them as I did!
Rich

Offline Carlman

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2007, 06:25:02 PM »
Great write-up, Rich... Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts.  I wish I could write as much but I'm just too lazy. ;)  (tonight anyway)

I have found Grover's IC's to be extended and detailed while maintaining a fairly transparent 'personality'... They aren't colored and don't seem to 'do' anything to the sound... So, if you like detail and don't want any alteration between your components, I think you'll enjoy the Grover's.  They really do go higher and lower than most cables I've heard... To me there was a slight recession in the midrange in my system, in my room, but it may just because of the ear-trickery that occurs when more information is fed to the highs and lows... or my tiny weird room... or etc.

In my system, I prefer the Reality Cables, mainly because the midrange has a little more of a 'smooth bloom' in the mids that my system, ear, whatever... likes to hear.  

I'm doing a lot of changes at once so I want to let things settle down before doing a 'real' comparison again.  I've got some new special cables from Gregg Straley, a super-mega power cord from Black Sand, and I'm rolling tubes in my pre... so, there's too much going on to comment much more... but I will later.

Thanks,
Carl
I really enjoy listening to music.

shep

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2007, 01:00:51 AM »
Is it too soon to ask about length of break-in time?

Offline stereofool

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2007, 04:46:30 AM »
Rich,

Thanks for the review  :) !

Now, I'm really ready to get mine in, and experience the difference.
Steve
Have you ever noticed.... Anyone going slower than you is an idiot...and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

Offline richidoo

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2007, 05:13:10 AM »
I didn't notice any break in, but I can't say for sure that there wasn't any effect. They sounded good to me right from the go. Might have been slightly mellower toward the end, but it was only a few days, maybe 20 hours at most.

lonewolfny42

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2007, 12:27:28 AM »
What Grover told me by email...

"Chris, the breakin takes around 20 hrs. to get 90% of the way. Best Regards, Grover"

shep

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2007, 12:23:38 PM »
I'll take that time-line with a grain of salt. Man told me my op amps needed only 50hrs. They needed closer to 200! Getting really sick of burning in stuff I can tell you :shock:

lonewolfny42

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 08:01:09 PM »
Quote from: "shep"
I'll take that time-line with a grain of salt. Man told me my op amps needed only 50hrs. They needed closer to 200! Getting really sick of burning in stuff I can tell you :shock:
Try this for a quicker burn in.... :lol:


shep

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2007, 06:15:22 AM »
Kind of a waste of a good cable...AHHH! got it..."the bonfire of Vanities"!
smart man...

Offline mdconnelly

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2007, 11:24:22 AM »
I borrowed a pair of 1m Grover ICs from Carl this week and spent a few hours last night comparing them with my VH Audio Pulsars.   Before I elaborate, let me just say that I've been into this AN hobby for 30 years and I still cringe when it comes to comparing wire.  While the differences are there, they are subtle (IMHO) and once identified, not always obvious which is "better" -- at least, not without very extended listening (weeks, not hours).

Be that as it may, to keep last night's comparison simple, I compared a 1m pair of VH Audio Pulsars (w/bullet plugs) with the 1m pair of Grover ICs placed between my Wadia 830 CDP and my McCormack DNA-500 amp.  While I am now the proud and happy owner of Carl's Tact 2.0s, I took that out of the equation for this evaluation because I'm still learning just how much it can influence what I hear.

What I did hear is similar to previous comments here... While both ICs offered excellent bass, I felt the Grovers were a bit faster and better defined -- more snap and slam in the response.  A plus to the Grovers.

I also felt the top end was more extended and most noticable in the harmonics and decay of cymbals or stringed instruments.  I felt this added to the sense of venue, particularly in live recordings.  The Pulsars have occasionally been accused of being a bit soft on top and the Grovers certainly are not, so I'd give the edge to the Grovers here as well.

There is also a difference in the midrange, most noticable to me on vocals.  I'd have to say the Pulsars are a bit more relaxed and full-bodied in this area, while the Grovers seem more detailed and transparent, but also perhaps missing some of the full tonal depth in vocals.  Which is more accurate?  Dunno and it will take a lot more listening to get a better handle on this.  I guess a concern might be that the Grovers could become a bit fatiquing in some systems.  Or, it may be that further breakin might help them relax a bit.  I know the Pulsars needed hundreds of hours to get the top end to settle in.

While I'm not quite ready to replace all my Pulsars after just one night of Grover listening, I will say that the Grover ICs are exceptional - particularly at the price in this group buy.  I am definitely in for one pair of Grover XLR ICs to run balanced between the Tact and amp in this initial GB round.  By the time of the second round, I just may pop for more.

shep

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"Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2007, 11:18:25 PM »
This is all good stuff! Now I'm really looking forward.  :D  I think my system is being held back by my ic's.

shep

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Re: "Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2007, 11:11:02 PM »
Past the 25 hour mark and slowly changing. The upper mids are still "green". There is a noticable improvement though in an already excellent spacial presentation; "air", spaciousness, convincing definition of acoustic space. The treble really flies, engaging that ephemeral right/left out-to-the side illusion.
I'm glad I have experience with this frustrating burn-in stuff. I'm sure the edgy bite to the upper mids will
work off with time. (really hope so...)

Offline richidoo

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Re: "Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2007, 06:41:38 AM »
Yup, it does get better, shep. I like the edge of newness, and sad to see it go, but everything is much smoother now, sounds more balanced overall.  I hear that the new anticable silver ICs take 400 hours - ouch. 

Anyone ever try a break-in machine like fry baby, or maybe a stronger signal voltage white noise signal at 10V - would that speed up the burn in?
Thanks
Rich

shep

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Re: "Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2007, 02:08:00 PM »
I had a good listen tonight. The cables have "suddenly" gotten more holographic and most of the edge is gone. Super! Hey what if we have a kind of finalized review from everyone who has had them long enough to consider them burned in, in their respective systems?? This would be a good way to round up the group buy and cap it. Otherwise things just get dispersed and no one really knows what happened in the end. Good idea?

Offline richidoo

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Re: "Grover S" IC Demo Tour Reviews
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2007, 05:09:37 AM »
You could create a single post in the cable section called Grover S Review Summary or something and link to all the different reviews?