Customer Testimonials

LOCAL CUSTOMERS

(click on images for detailed product specifications)

Certainly those of us who read The Absolute Sound, Stereophile, Hi-Fi News, etc, have to face the fact that to some extent we are influenced by the audio reviews we read. We are also influenced by ‘audio fashion,’ and without question there are many inferior, ‘pseudo products’ out there vying for our wallets, products which whilst superficially well presented, nevertheless offer no real dividends. Furthermore, there is a great deal of ‘snake oil’ or ‘pseudo-science’ in the area of audio cables, with some designs asking for impossibly large amounts of money.

 

However, having said this, my own experience has vindicated the fact that indeed cables need to be treated as components in their own right and if one is intending to build up a really top end system, they are without question - worth investing in. Actually, my initial introduction to Jeandré and AV Cables took the form of a loan set of Ecosse SMS 4.7 Copper, Super Monocrystal, biwire speaker cables. These were so good that I immediately purchased them. Up to that point I had been employing a pair of MIT MH770 speaker cables, which at the time were obscenely expensive, being situated in their reference range (I think they were retailing at around 8000 US Dollars at that time!) but the Ecosse cable, whilst nondescript in appearance were superior in every way. After living with the Ecosse SMS 4.7 for around a year or so, I then experienced what probably amounted to being the most striking ‘A – B,’ comparative demonstration of two audio components, ever. Jeandré sat me down and played some music for me in his system, firstly allowing me to reacquaint myself with the SMS 4.7 speaker cables in his own rig (this was not a problem as I had been listening to these cables for some time in my own system). He then swapped them out, replacing them with two runs of Ecosse’s top flight cables, the Ecosse US2 Ultima Silver speaker cables, and he played the same music tracks. Often the task of auditioning and comparing audio cables is difficult, calling for extended listening in order most of the time to hear what ultimately amounts to subtle (even if worthwhile) differences. However this was a jaw-dropping demonstration; I couldn’t believe that merely exchanging speaker cables from the same manufacturer could make such an incredible difference: the US2 Silver were simply amazing, far superior in the tops, more detail overall and far better focus. I needed them for myself and I later landed up purchasing the self-same pair (having to twist Jeandré’s arm in the process as these were his personal set!). By the way, I see at the time of writing this, that a pair of demo Ecosse SMS 4.7 speaker cables are available for an incredibly low price on the AV Cables website – my recommendation is that you buy them without hesitation (I am still using my own pair on the bottom end of my biwire set up and have had them for ten years).

  

Over a period of time as finances allowed, and on the basis of Jeandrés’ advice, I also upgraded to Ecosse’s reference analogue interconnects as well (The Legend SE MKII Monocrystal Silver). It has actually taken me almost a decade to source enough finances to complete this upgrade (replacing all my interconnects with Ecosse Silver) and whilst the financial outlay has been considerable, it has been worth it; and contrary to certain critics of silver cable, Ecosse’s Monocrystal Silver design is hardly cool and clinical, but beautifully transparent, dead quiet, detailed and neutral but also supremely musical – a real step up from the Transparent Audio Ultra interconnects which preceded them (the sound of the Ecosse Legend interconnects is very much the same as that of the speaker cables).

 

 Mark Norman - August 2015


 Hi Jeandre

The Ecosse Soundman digital cable delivers beautifully from my music server to my DAC.

After recently upgrading my DAC, replacing my CD player with the music server, and modifying both amp and DAC even further, I was expecting more in the way of listening enjoyment. The brutally revealing character was obvious but the enjoyment factor was gone. I was on edge... there was too much texture... exaggerated brightness and bass.

 Friends thought I was crazy to be unsatisfied. The missing link was a digital cable that could deliver and the Ecosse Soundman made an instant fundamental difference  creating a syrupy but punchy, smooth and perfectly balanced sound, and a big smile on my face!

 Ian Munro - November 2012


 Hi Jeandré,

The speaker cables (Ecosse ES4.45) are awesome! From the very first note I heard there was a marked improvement and so without any running-in yet.

The slight harshness that was present at mid/high frequencies have been smoothed out and I am very pleased indeed with my system now. The latter has all Ecosse cables for speakers and analogue interconnects; only the coaxial digital from CD to DAC and from DVD to DAC are Atlas made. I wonder whether the Executives would bring further improvement.

The cable ends have fitted very nicely and firmly into the back centres of the amplifier terminals and I have done the same at the speaker ends.

Thanks a lot for everything.

Kind regards,

Denis. de Speville - October 2012


Dear Jeandré.

I recently acquired some Ecosse Big Red power cables (very svelte looking) and a Furutech E-TP80E power distributor and filter. Firstly I would like to commend you on your first rate service and advice. I think this is one of the things lacking in the South African market (and not just the AV business), but that is a story for another forum.

My system consists of some well known American high end amplification with Naim being in charge of the source duties.

I always enjoyed my system but always felt that something was missing. Until recently I could not put my finger on the problem, and then I visited some high-end demo room. I remember that day clearly as my wife was with me stating while we were auditioning that that particular system makes you want to join in with the music with a tap of the foot and nodding of the head (price comparable to my system). The music selection was not even my cup of tea.

Then the light went on, timing and drive was what was lacking in my system. Back at home my suspicions were confirmed.

Remembering a chat I had with you some months ago when I wanted to purchase some speaker cables, you hinted that the source of my problems might be on the AC supply side. As an avid DIY man I went on doing some experiments, building power cables in various shapes and sizes. A good improvement I must say, so I wondered how a well made power cable would sound like.

Then an opportunity presented itself to acquire some Ecosse Big Red UC power chords and with your help I subsequently purchased the Furutech E-TP80E power distributor and filter as well.

Making some poor purchase choices in the past I hoped that at the very least things will sound the same. I thought about your advertised money back guarantee and decided I do not have much to lose.

Boy was I in for a surprise. The Big Reds brought that toe tapping experience into my system, drive and pace aplenty, and it is definitely not a subtle change. The system now differentiates between tempos in music pieces as well, truly a strange experience when the music in some cases sounds slower yet more upbeat. It is very difficult to convey that feeling into words. The detail presentation went from a soft sound at the back of the sound stage to “Oh so that was what I thought I heard in the past”, truly amazing. Even the wife had something to say about the newly enquired drive and vigour of the sound system.

Now to the Furutech E-TP80E power distributor and filter. This very well built device did an important job other than protecting my investment against power surges (reason alone to purchase this device), and that was that it got rid of that upper frequency glare I was experiencing on my system. A gritty harshness disappeared, rendering long listen passages a pleasure. It might be too much of a good thing on systems that are soft on the leading and trailing edges to start with, but with solid state gear partnered with speakers using metal dome tweeters it certainly soothes things. However, one should not misinterpret this soothing of the upper frequencies with a lack of detail.

I always say the proof is in the pudding when you disconnect newly acquired equipment and put back the old ones. In this case the answer (or rather the question) is simple: How could I have lived without this for so long.

 Thank you from a very pleased customer.

F Jooste - August 2010


 Hi Jeandre

Was aanvanklik bekommerd dat die gebruik van (Ecosse) Big Red op DSTV dekodeerder ’n “overkill” is.

Dit is nog besig om in te loop, maar die verskil is alreeds ongelooflik. Die detail, “dynamic punch” en “volronde” klank is fantasties.

Tel daarby die verbetering in skerpte van beeld en die Big Reds is definitief die moeite werd op ’n dekodeerder in ’n “high-end” sisteem!

Nic Rossouw—July 2010


 Hi Jeandre,

Sorry for the delay, but I did want to have a good listen. Here it goes.

My system:

NAD C352 Amp

Vincent CD-S2

Kef iQ3 speakers

NAD C533 turntable

VDH The Bay C5 interconnects

VDH CS-122 speaker cables

Grado SR-60 headphones

The system is a couple of years old, except for the turntable.

I really enjoy this budget-midrange system and the sound I get from this fairly modest system is quite good.

I've been to a couple of Sound and Vision expo's and have a couple of friends with Valve Predator/Sonus Faber setups, so I have listened to a good couple of setups, but are far from a expert.

I let the cables (Ecosse Best Boy) run-in for at least 20 hours or so, just to make sure I give a fair reflection.

I compared to the normal "freebie" cables, the Interconnects I received with my Vincent, and then to the Van den Hul's. 

The first thing I liked is the good quality RCA plugs, it definitely grips the connectors tight and securely.

My first impression of the sound, was that it sounds perhaps a little "thin" and bright. But this was during the run-in time, and it quickly disappeared.

I then sat down and listened to Cohen, Krall, Clapton, Meat Loaf and a few others as well.

Compared to the freebie cables, the sound were miles better!!

The biggest improvement for me, were perhaps the bass, that were better defined and had a more tangible effect. It also improved the separation of the instruments a great deal. The sound stage had more of a 3D effect to it and overall the listening experience was much more pleasant. On the live cd's of Cohen, one could clearly hear how Cohen moves from one side of the stage to the other and nothing were taken away from his deep boomy voice in "Everybody Knows".

Compared to more than twice the price of the VDH's I was quite surprised. I thought that the Best Boys would be blown out of the water. But the difference was not all that discernible. (And that is perhaps the biggest compliment I can give these cables) Of course the clarity of the treble were slightly better and sound stage a tad wider with the more expensive cables. These differences were only noticeable when I switched from the BB's to the VDH's, and not the other way around.

 At the price point I would, in my humble opinion, say that you can't fault these cables.

These cables are the very least that any budget to midrange system deserves, and the could not be better priced. Have I listened to these before my other cables, the extra premium would have perhaps not been worth the while....

They found a home connecting my phonostage to my amplifier.

Thanks again for the cables, Jeandre.

Regards

Kobus van Aswegen - April 2009


Hi Jeandré,

I would like to provide you with written feedback on the power cables (Ecosse Big Red powerchord, fitted with Furutech FI-25R/FI-E35R plugs) that I purchased recently.  I’ve always resisted going down this avenue as my thoughts (as much as I acknowledged I was uneducated in this area) were that power cables are unlikely to provide tangible improvements in sound.  I wouldn’t necessarily have denied that some sound nut may pick up subtle differences, but I was skeptical whether they would make a difference in my life.

I am now somewhat humbled, what a realization!  Using the Furutech power filter (e-TP80E) and Ecosse cables has result in, what I would estimate as a 20% improvement in sound quality – which is huge.  I would go as far as to say that this has been the single biggest improvement in sound quality, more so than from upgrading my interconnects (possibly I would also say more so than upgrading my CD player which was not cheap but a superb upgrade nonetheless.)

The sound improvements are not subtle, and affect many aspects of sound quality, some of these being a substantial increase in detail, textures are now apparent that were not previously, considerable increase in realism and the soundstage has become truly three dimensional, airy, with sharp placement of instruments.

I know many people mention that cables (and filters) reduce the noise floor.  If you haven’t heard this for yourself it sounds like a boring concept, but these effects can be revolutionary.  I unplugged the new cables and plugged in the standard cables that came with my components – hard to believe that I once thought this sounded good.  Best way to describe it is that it sounded like someone threw a cloth over the sound, muddy and undetailed.

One other observation, I’ve not been totally enamored with SACD in the past.  I did hear an improvement compared to normal CD but not one that really evoked an emotional response.  With the new power configuration installed, what a difference.  I expect that much of the SACD detail was being lost.

I have now become quite passionate about this topic as I get frustrated by people who completely dismiss the ability for interconnects and power cables to play a major impact on sound quality.  Usually this dismissal is by people who have never tried these; their argument usually leverages off simplistic pseudo-science which is completely inaccurate.  My recommendation is always that someone purchase from a supplier that allows returns should the improvement in sound quality not meet the expectations of the purchaser.

Not to wax lyrical but appreciate the proficient service, unbiased guidance and flexibility you have provided during the above purchase.

Regards,

Edan Topolansky - October 2008

(follow-up message........)

Hi Jeandre,

Hope you are well.  Just wanted to let you know that I am really appreciating my cable purchases.  I was listening to music most of the day yesterday.  I found myself listening right thru CD’s not wanting to skip thru tracks (very unlike me).  The system is sounding truly outstanding, sometimes beyond belief!

Edan Topolansky - November 2008


Jeandre,

I have just compared the Ecosse CS4.45 to my MIT Terminator range I have (3,4 and 5) and must admit even if you consider the CS4.45 not adequate for my system I have (Mark Levinson throughout and B&W 802N) it still trounces the MIT's.  I am eagerly sharpening my pencil (to upgrade to the Ecosse MS4.7).

 Mervin Pierce - October 2008


 

I recently purchased the Ecosse ES4.45 Bi wire speaker cable and the Nu Diva interlinks.

There is only one word to describe both these cables; absolutely brilliant!

The Nu Diva and the ES 4.45 is a good combination to use in any system and good value for money.

The clarity that is achieved with the Nu Diva is very good and with the speaker cable a very subtle change can be heard.

Thank you Jeandré for excellent service and good advice.

Norman Chemaly - December 2007


Ecosse The Legend Se MK II

I recently had the “flagship” Ecosse Legend analog interconnects at my studio for a demo. At first I thought that this was just another < Reference label > attached to another audio cable.

In short, the Legend has fabulously crafted RCA connectors that fit like a glove over the female RCA on components. It is a shame that you have to hide the Legend behind components. The Legend is by far one of the most good-looking interconnects I have ever seen.

Now let’s get to the reason I am writing this review:

I set the Legend up in my listening room, connected between a Marantz CD SA 15 & a Lexicon MC 12 Pre amp which is connected to a Lexicon CX 5 Power amp & connected to a pair of B&W 703’s. I got out a couple of audio CDs that I know pretty well & the first album to go in was Alison Krauss & the Union Station Band So Long So Wrong. I pressed play & all hell broke loose... I also have the vinyl of this album which is one of the best recordings ever made & the CD version has never gotten close to the vinyl version until now… My second cry-out was “what the f...!” I have found the ultimate match! Never before had CD sound so good on my system. I had brilliant Dynamics, tight Bass response & a subtle high end. This listening session carried on into the next morning 3.30 am & I could have gone on longer, but hay, one needs to sleep as well…. Luckily I had the Legend cable for over a week to demo.

So just to recap:

I will say this. If you are looking to invest in something for your system to improve your audio experience, look no further. THIS IS IT, the Ecosse Legend Se mkII. You will be totally blown away. CD will make you smile again & your system will come to life in a way you can’t image.

You can contact AV Cables for more details.

PS: Jeandré thank you for the loan of this cable - it was unbelievable!

Deon van Vuuren, I U Studios, October 2007


I am the very glad recipient of a pair of Ecosse Best Boy audio interconnect cables from the AV Cables competition.

Although I have a high-end Meridian based system with excellent Spendor speakers, I also have a NAD, Arcam, Rogers Hi-Fi in the family room. This is for general use and I’ve never really taken much notice of it, as it usually emits background music.

However, I decided to replace the no-name interconnects with the Ecosse cables and suddenly I asked myself why I hadn’t bothered to do this minor upgrade before. I could not believe the amount of extra information the new cables can carry, or should I say, how much the old cables lose definition. The dynamic range is better and the top end well defined with the new cables, without being abrasive like the old ones.

The difference in sound was so marked that I sat down and did some active listening. For the first time the sound stage was defined and the music became far more “listenable”, which was a very pleasant surprise.  My family and I have a wide range of musical tastes and all music from rock, classics, pop and rap, sounds more realistic. If you also have a mid-priced system with no-name interconnects, do yourself a favour and go for a cheap and effective upgrade by replacing them with the Ecosse cables.

Dr William Ferris (Cape Town) - October 2007


Ecosse ‘The Legend SE Mk II’ Interconnects, and the ‘Three problems with Audio Cables’

There are various problems that any audiophile or music-lover has with audio cables. The first problem is that they really make a difference. Despite the protestations of the gainsayers, any reasonably transparent audio-system can reveal noticeable improvements when quality cables are inserted into the music chain. This might be irritating, indeed, to some it is absurd: After all, wires are wires.

Having purchased the Ecosse SMS 4.7 bi-wire speaker cable for my system last year, I approached AV Cables for the opportunity to try out the top-of-the-range, single-ended analogue interconnect for an audition. The supplier kindly loaned me a 0.8M pair of Ecosse, ‘The Legend SE Mk II.’ interconnects to try out.

Appearance-wise these interconnects stand-out. They do not look as glitzy and flashy as those of the other manufacturers out there, but anyone with the capacity to appreciate fine build quality, will not fail to be enormously impressed. For example, the RCA plugs (Ecosse Mach 3 Ultima) are the most insanely, over-the-top-engineered plugs on the planet. However, looks as impressive as they might be, are not the real story, it’s the listening that counts.

This leads me to comment on the second problem that audiophiles often have with audio cables. This is the fact that, like it or not, cables have to run in. Once again, I can hear the dissenting cries of Plebeians screaming their protests from the galleries occupied almost solely by would-be ‘objectivist’ audio-electrical engineers. Nevertheless, in my own experience, cables do not sound their best from new, they need time to settle in. Such was the case with the Legend SE Mk II. Straight out of the box, they confirmed the negative experience that I have had with many silver-based cables: they sounded hyper-detailed, but harsh in the mid-range, razor-sharp and etched on the tops. The bass was merely average. My existing reference cables, from Transparent and Straightwire won the contest quite easily. However after consulting with Ecosse in the UK and the local Ecosse agent (AV Cables), I decided to attach them to my CD player (Meridian) and leave it on repeat for around 150 hours.  

This leads to my third problem with audio cables. Some cables are definitely a great deal better than others. Not all cables sound the same and with Ecosse it seems you get what you pay for. After 150 hours (Ecosse insists the Legend only starts to sound its best after 300 hours) I noticed that the harshness in the midrange and the tops had completely disappeared.

So how do they actually sound? Compared to my references, I noticed the following differences.

1. Firstly the listener gets an immediate impression of image solidity. Images in the musical event were presented far clearer and well-defined, than before. It’s incredible to think that a cable can serve as a focusing mechanism, highlighting more clearly the instruments and the voices before the listener. My reference cables sounded receded, less defined in comparison and the images were far less-three-dimensional.

2. Secondly, I noticed a vast improvement in the detail perceived. I listened to reference recordings (recordings that I have listened to hundreds of times) that I am intimately familiar with and simply heard more detail present, especially in the mid-range and the top-end but also with the bass. This was particularly the case with Rebecca Pidgeon’s song, ‘The Raven.’ The top-end resolving power of the cable is phenomenal, unlike anything I have heard, incredibly detailed but not in an artificial, intrusive manner. The leading and trailing edges of percussion notes and even voice were far more ‘fleshed-out.’ Of course, this was also largely due to the fact that the background noise-level was vastly reduced. Furthermore, the soundstage had become deeper and to a greater extent than before, illuminated to the sides, and the front and back.

3. While my system has always been reasonably transparent, the cable enormously improved the transparency of the system. Now the speakers completely disappeared and the music took on a life of its own. One of my reference recordings is Patricia Barber’s well-known ‘Modern Cool.’  One of my favourite tracks on the disc is ‘Postmodern Blues.’ Now for the first time, the tom-tom drum in the background became fully focused and no longer dwelt as before in front of the one speaker, it now appeared, well defined near the middle of the soundstage.

4. Finally and most importantly this cable provided a superlative presentation of music in a manner that no other cable in my experience has done. While it is important to be ready to describe what one hears in a good audio cable, (if you can’t hear any improvement, don’t waste your money) at the end of the day the most important capacity that a high-end cable needs to possess, is what some call ‘musicality.’ I have heard some hyper detailed cables fail dismally when it comes to allowing the natural ebb and flow of the musical event to present itself to the listener (in fact, the Legend itself was pretty horrible in this area, before it was partially run-in). I have some other famous, non-shielded silver cables from another hi-end manufacturer in my collection that are famous for detail, yet fail dismally when it comes to letting the music flow. In the case of the Legend, this remains its most exceptional quality, its ability to present music in a manner so natural that the performance seems almost ethereal in its solidity; and also delicacy at the same time.

These are my impressions after only 150 hours!

Postscript

How can any audio cable be worth R17.000? In a system with the appropriate resolving power, I have no doubt that the Legend Interconnect will be worth its weight in gold. Regrettably I had to return my pair as I cannot afford them. However in dropping them off at the local Ecosse supplier in Pretoria, I had the opportunity to hear a system wired with Ecosse pure silver speaker cable (Ecosse US2 Ultima) together with the Legend Interconnects themselves. The front end was the New EMM Labs (Ed Meitner) CD/SACD player which has become recently available in South Africa through AV Cables. The system was placed in a normal domestic setting, and thus only a limited amount of attention was given to precision in room placement. For example, a large coffee table stood between the listener and the speakers. The speakers (relatively ‘budget’ level Spendor S6’s) were small floor-standers, retailing at roughly the same price of the interconnects!

I have only had two opportunities to listen to mega-buck systems costing well over a million Rand. While I only listened to this system for a short time, it was unquestionably clear to my ears that it was more transparent than both high-end set-ups that I had heard, one of which featured R350000 Avantgarde Trio horn loudspeakers! This is clearly an incredible testimony to the Ecosse speaker cable, Spendor loudspeakers and the EMM Labs digital gear.

However the question for me, concerning the Legend SE Mk II remains, how do I raise enough cash to buy them?

Mark Norman (Pretoria, South Africa) - September 2007


I was quiet excited in winning the (Ecosse) Best Boy audio interconnect from AVCables as I have heard many good things about Ecosse cables and seen all the multiple awards they have won.

Upon inspecting the interconnect it was striking how plain it looked. The interconnect would prove to be anything but plain though. The cable was a grey colour and looked durable and quiet robust. Printed on the cable was the Ecosse name and other information, I found this quiet encouraging as it indicated that this cable wasn’t merely picked up at the local hardware store and marketed as premier cables. The RCA connecters also impressed me, they were heavy and extremely sturdy, being able to securely grip and thereby forming a tight connection. I unscrewed the RCA connector and inspected the solder work. It was done extremely neatly and the craftsmanship was of high quality. As mentioned, the interconnect looked quiet plain and didn’t make much of an impact on appearance. Interconnects like these, however, are not for looking at but for listening too.

I connected it to my system and started listening. It was immediately quiet apparent that this interconnects meant business. From the very start improvements in sound in all departments were apparent. I allowed the cable to ‘run’ in for a few days before listening to it critically. I started out listening to the new Norah Jones album. The most notable difference was how much more detail was coming through with the Best Boy. I suddenly heard instruments playing I never heard before and those that I did hear before were so much more pronounced. Suddenly the whole spectrum of the performance was evident.

Next I moved on to some David Gray. Once again the increased detail was astounding. The finest sounds and details from instruments were immediately audible, where with other interconnects they were just missing. The performance seemed so real and life like.

I finished off with some Snow Patrol. The performance seemed to be more coherent and once again there it was, more detail off this recording than I've ever heard with any other interconnect. It is as though this interconnect goes and finds every single last bit of detail in the recording and plays it back in absolute crystal clear sound with excellent placement and scale.

Many audio companies, be it speakers, players or cables, claim that through their research efforts they try and create the original performance, to make you believe that you are actually there, experiencing the performance live. Sadly few companies can actually live up to this claim; Ecosse however is one of those companies that can. With the Best Boy interconnect you can actually close your eyes and imagine being there.

Paul de Jager - April 2007


I have wired up the plugs and attached the (Ecosse) Big Red.

You would be surprised to hear the difference. Even with the top rate equipment that I have. Clearer, more dynamic (quite a bit, in fact) and more low level detail. 

I would never have thought this possible. Many thanks for bringing these products to my attention.

David White (April 2007)


Hello Jeandre’ 

Well, these cables (Ecosse ES4.45 BiWire) look great in terms of Biwire jobs, they packaged great and not as bulky as my Monster equivalents.

On initial power up I was very disappointed with the sound I immediately got from my Ecosse replacements. Then listening intensively I realized I was wrong. The Monster units were adding to or changing the sound, bottom end and top mids were pronounced, over dynamic and not neutral at all.

The Ecosse cables are just as revealing in terms of detail but warmly so, smooth, very neutral with a very balanced tonal sound stage.

I find it a very fast cable in terms of busy and complicated music, able to track and deliver all, loosing no detail and adding nothing in the process.

By the time I got to the 4th disc, all was nice and warm on my CD / Amp side, the resulting sound being delivered to my speakers was breathtakingly brilliant.

I really do believe I have now reached the full potential of my system, making my sound any better by up grading even my CD player will not justify the expense. I think my speakers are being given a run for there money anyway.

I am sneaking home early today again and will be having a great music afternoon in the process.

Yes, brilliant cable, excellent buy, will recommend to anyone.

Neville Best (March 2007)


Hello Jeandre’.

Yes, well, I have to eat my hat again.

 All I can really say is that these Ecosse (ES4.45 BiWire) speaker cables are really something.

The level of transparency and detail is astonishing. The neutral tonal balance is amazing regardless of volumes being pumped. They allow even the finest of detail to pass effortless and delicately to my speakers.

Yes bad recordings are ruthlessly punished for what they are but over bright discs sound smoother. Older recordings (analogue) that have been placed on CD sound much better, with tons more detail and ambience not to mention the improvement in dynamics.

Ambience and tonal balance just blows me away, I find myself listening without fatigue for hours and I mean hours at a time. The sound stage sounds so big and very much alive almost real.

As the power goes up so the dynamics escalate exponentially, this is the speakers I know but the cables are so revealing it was not really noticed before.

As you are aware I never had much faith at the outset regarding all these expensive wires and the mumbo jumbo that went parallel with them.

To day I sing a very different tune, there presence in my system can be felt and heard, make no mistake, they have made a massive difference and I will rave about them for some time to come.....

Neville Best (March 2007)


Hello Jeandre’

Said I would get back to you and let you know what I think in terms of my purchase of the above cable links (Ecosse Conductor and Ecosse Baton).

I run a: Marantz CD 5100, Rotel1070 pre-amp, Rotel1070 power amp, B&W 603s speakers (floor standers) bottom bass bungs fitted. Links; the Producer / Monster 350i. Speakers; Monster bi-wired. Room; Average sized living room furnished with a good mix of padded and hard furniture. Wharfdale12’ cube / 150 watt sub

The system sounded extremely detailed but lacked a smooth coherent sound; it was also a touch on the hard side especially female vocals. The very tops were a bit brittle / brash for my liking. Bass, when volume was up tended to boom, not all the system’s fault but rather the fact that I'm on the second floor making bass reverb / nodes a bigger problem.

I replaced all the Producer links as follows:

  • CD to Pre-amp – became the (Ecosse) Conductor

  • Pre-amp to Power amp – the (Ecosse) Baton

Nothing else was moved, tuned or changed.

The results were mind blowing.

The system sounds just as detailed, maybe a little better even but so smooth and so integrated, almost like all the components were designed to run together from the outset.

Female vocals and violin and sax action still have bite when required but smoothly so, man and the tops are astounding and symbols sound very real well integrated and warm.

Bass, makes the place tremble when required, the lowest of lows is low enough to feel not just hear. More defined more impact and better integrated with the rest of the sound spectrum. Oh, the entire system sounds much faster, timing has improved and the sound is open, powerful and detailed. Smoothly balanced and well integrated, I can listen for much longer periods before fatigue sets in and I mean literally hours. 

The Rotel 1070 pre / power set up is not the most supple of systems, I think I have found a combination to rectify the situation.

Yes both links look the part of expensive aftermarket interlinks. The sound quality, the looks and visual quality definitely justify the purchase price.

With out a doubt: ”the best single up grade I have ever made”.

Regards,

Neville Best (March 2007)


Hi Jeandré

Jammer ek het nooit 'respond' nadat ek my (Ecosse) ES2.3 ontvang het nie. 

Wat ‘n ongelooflike verskil het dit gemaak.  Ek is meer as beindruk en van jou bekende “Namibie” kliënte het ook kom luister en stem met my saam.  Ek het ook die voorreg gehad om na ‘n stel Spendors te luister, en ek moet sê, dis verseker deel van my volgende upgrade.  2 puik produkte wat jy bied!!

Groete,

Benita Mills, Windhoek, Januarie 2007


Listening Impressions: Ecosse SMS 4.7 Speaker Cable

I recently loaned a 1.5 M set of Ecosse SMS 4.7. Speaker Cables (Approx R12.000.00, per pair) from André Strydom, the owner of the most well-established Hi-Fi shop in Pretoria: ‘The Audiophile,’ for audition, as I was in the market to replace my existing cables. These were Audio Research Litzline, cables, originally retailing for about $700.00 in the mid 90’s in the US. I had kept these cables for around four years, because had I found them to be surprisingly good performers in my system. They had withstood comparative tests against far more expensive opposition.

My system consists of the following: For my front end, I use a Meridian 508.24 CD player... My amplification is all Gunter Steinhart, valve gear... I am using his DVP 2XR preamplifier, together with his 400 watt, dual chassis per side, valve Monoblocks (the TVP 400c). My interconnects are Transparent Ultra (around $1200.00) a metre pair, together with Straight Wire Virtuoso (around $500.00 a meter a pair). The Speakers are KEF R105/3 Reference loudspeakers which have been hard-wired with 14 metres of QED ‘Silver Anniversary’ wire, soldered onto the drive-units and crossovers.

I was in the market to spend around R10 000 rand on speaker cables and was already looking at products such as Shuntyata Research, Kimber (Select series), MIT, Synergistic Research, and so on. In fact, I had already contacted a couple of importers/high end retailers in Johannesburg, with the view to auditioning what they had available, but up to the point of encountering the Ecosse cables, I had heard no reply. 

The Ecosse cable company manufactures their own products ‘in house’ and on their web-site, carefully and meticulously explain precisely how their cables are made (all in-house) and why they are made the way they are. In fact, while these cables certainly do not look that flashy from a distance, closer examination reveals that they are arguably some of the very best made products out there. The best-made cables that I had ever seen up to that point and certainly the best I had ever heard in my own system, was a 3m pair of MIT MH770 Reference cables, dating from the late 90’s. At that time when I bought them second-hand, they sold for approx R50 000 a pair, new. However, upon close examination, I discovered that the Ecosse Cables were easily comparable to the MIT cables in build quality.  

The speaker cables I received from AV Cables, were new and not run in (they require approximately 300 hours to perform at their best). After cleaning the terminals with alcohol, I connected them up to my system and allowed things to warm up for about three hours before listening. I obviously could not run them properly, as I only had a few days of trial listening time available, before making my decision to purchase or not. 

The Ecosse cables however, within the first few minutes, showed their worth. They were without question, superior to my existing Audio Research. But the question was: How much better? Would they be better, to the point of me needing to spend the high asking price? Only more listening would be able to tell. I began to pull out my so-called reference discs, which I regularly use to compare components, as I know the recordings very well. These include the Jazz recordings of Patricia Barber: ‘Modern Cool,’ ‘Café Blue,’ ‘Companion,’ etc, the XRCD discs: Jimmy Roger’s ‘Blue Bird,’ and Henry Mancini’s musical from the movie: ‘Charade,’ some Sheffield recordings and many others.  I have also found the Rebecca Pidgeon recordings of David Chesky to be of outstanding quality.

I have now listened to the Ecosse Cables on and off for a week, and these are my impressions:

While these cables are clearly a superlative product, they do not ‘jump out at you,’ and impress you in the wrong way, straight-out. It is my belief that many cheaper cables have been ‘voiced’ or designed to ‘impress,’ up front but after a time, in a fairly good system, such cables tend to fatigue the listener and their faults soon become manifest.

The first impressions I received from the Ecosse, revealed the fact that they are a very smooth sounding product, compared to my references at the time. The tops and the upper-mids are nothing less than world-class: presenting far more detail even then the AR and the MIT Reference, yet not in a hyper etched ‘Hi Fi’ manner, common in many other ‘High End’ cables. The Ecosse treble frequencies provide you with all the detail possible, but without drawing undue attention to themselves. Again the terms, ‘smooth’ and incredibly delicate, come to mind. In fact, the Ecosse (on the basis of my audio memory) are not as reticent on top as I found the MIT’s to be, but also manage at the same time, to resist becoming ‘steely’ or over-lit.

Yet probably above all the other performance parameters, it is the midrange-that really shines with this cable and indeed it seems to me that the midrange is where all the other frequencies come together. In speaking of the Ecosse midrange, it is not only a matter of the extra detail of which I speak, (I was hearing more with the Ecosse, than my other references) but I speak of the utterly natural, smooth presentation that uncannily floated out of the sound-stage. This was particularly the case with female voice, piano and violin. One of the main reasons for the performance of the Ecosse cable in this area, is the quietness of the cable. Because of the fact that the Ecosse designers have clearly managed to effectively suppress extraneous noise, to my ears, a certain amount of ‘grunge’ or haze, in the mid range and tops, noise which I had unknowingly been listening to in the case of the AR cable, was now absent.

Valve gear also particularly shines in the ability it displays, in presenting a ‘layered sound-stage,’ where images are placed in clearly-defined spaces, not only from side to side, but also from back-to front in the soundstage. My previous reference speaker cables performed well in this regard, but the Ecosse took matters so much further forward, and I have reason to believe that these cables will show similar virtues, no matter what type of amplification is chosen.

The bass was nothing less than awesome (the Ecosse SMS 4.7 is a bi-wire cable, and incorporates a special run of wire, specifically designed for the lower frequencies). My KEF’s are capable of almost full-range performance, but their bass behaviour remains their weak area (which is one of the reasons why I think KEF have now abandoned the loaded, dual cavity, coupled design with their more recent reference models). The Reference 105 tends to be somewhat ‘flappy’ or ‘woolly’ in the bass, lacking the last ounce of speed, precision and control. The solution is careful room-placement and set-up, powerful amplifiers and careful choice of cable. With the Ecosse cables connected to the speakers, I was not actually hearing deeper bass than before, the difference lay in the additional definition I was hearing in the lower registers, as well as greater control. Most importantly however, compared to before, presumably because the Ecosse is a bi-wired product from the factory, I was hearing a far more integrated musical event, with the lower registers somehow mating up with the rest of the sound, more naturally and smoothly.

As I close:  

All of the above descriptions do not in a satisfactory manner, really explain why the Ecosse SMS cable in my opinion, is a truly reference product, which I believe it to be. This is because at the end of the day, while any reviewer can do his/her best to describe the performance of an audio product using the usual ‘Hi- Fi’ terminological lexicon, it is the way the whole sonic event comes together, which really matters and it is here where the most seasoned reviewer’s vocabulary runs dry. Superlative performance in different areas of a cable’s partial capabilities, does not in itself, allow the product to join the ranks of truly world-class performers. The most important aspect of any cable’s performance is ultimately its capacity to not draw attention to itself, and to ‘get out of the way,’ in order to cohesively present the authentic musical event to the hearer. This is the hardest goal that presents itself to any cable designer, and this is why the best audio cables in the world will always cost you a lot of money, whether you like it or not. It is success in this vital area that ‘separates the men from the boys,’ and it is in this area where cable design and manufacture becomes an art as well as a science. And it is the desire of attaining this elusive goal, that will make audio fanatics spend R50 000.00 on speaker cables and not R1 000.00 without hesitation, assuming the rest of their gear is up to the challenge. And it is ultimately in this department, where the Ecosse cable has surpassed anything I have ever heard in my system.

It is certainly true, there is an enormous amount of snake-oil out there, when it comes to selling and buying high end Hi Fi cables and a sucker is born every minute. The complexity and the potential pit-falls of even reviewing such cable, is such that many high-end magazine reviewers are often reluctant nowadays, to take the plunge. Having participated in this hobby for over 20 years, I have experienced many of these problems.

So, you don’t believe cables make such a difference! You believe that you can go to the local Hardware Shop, drop a couple of Rand on some wire, and achieve ‘High End’ performance? Try these Ecosse cables for size, and then go ahead and try. If you succeed, let me know. I’ll be your first customer.

Rev. Dr. Mark Norman (Equestria, Pretoria, South Africa), December 2006.

P.S. Yes, I bought them!


Hi Jeandre

Thank you again for your assistance with all my requests and queries and for the outstanding product you supplied.

Having made use of, initially, standard HDMI and Component cables that came with my devices, the differences upon having used the Ecosse cables (Ecosse Prisma Premier Component and Ecosse HDMI ULTRA) I purchased were very pronounced.

The pictures were sharper and clearer and the colours more vibrant. I really feel the cables have added great value to my entertainment setup, not to mention it has extended the longevity of the system (before the next inevitable upgrade). Personally, I think anyone who is serious about getting the optimum return from their visual entertainment investment, should explore high-quality cabling such as that supplied and manufactured by Ecosse.

regards

Jacques Polome, October 2006


Jeandre,

I thought that my QED Sliver spiral interconnects were good, transparent, open, detailed, fast. People have accused me of almost having a too revealing and almost bright system, saying that because I use valve amplification it worked very well. I never quite believed them as I know that silver does not mean “bright” ETC.

Well after listening to the (Ecosse) Nu Diva for one day, I have realized that the QED’s are muddy, closed, not so detailed nor as fast as I had thought. They have moved my system up a few notches to what I can achieve with my system. What a wonderful experience, quite dramatic the positive influence that these interconnects have had.

I will definitely some time in the future buy two 1m sets and a 0.5m set of interconnects, the question is what do I do with the QED’s  (2 x sets)?

Regards,

Kemp Jonker, September 2006


Thanks again for the cables (EcosseCS4.2 Bi-Wire / Ecosse The Conductor CA1) purchased. Their performance is out of the world. Got some SACD and DVD Audio disc from the USA. The sound is crystal clear......over 11meter of cable. I am extremely happy with this product.

Thank you

Pieter Wentzel, August 2006


I have recently replaced my MONSTER M1 cable (bi wired) between my Mark Levinson 331 power amp and accoustat 2 + 2 medallion electrostatic speakers, with Ecosse ES4.45 bi wire cables. I was really impressed with the improvement in the overall sound quality. The bass is tighter and more extended, mid range has better clarity and the treble is extended without any harshness. The sound stage has good width and depth. This is definitely a cable I would recommend.

I tried this cable (Ecosse Director SE) between my Sony XA333 Es CD player transport and my theta Gen VA DAC.

 

This cable has a consistent sound from top to bottom. Bass is well extended without being heavy. Mid range is smooth, detained without any glare. Treble is well extended and easy to listen to. The cable is very well made and the phono plugs are superb quality. A really good digital cable.

Alan Doyle, September 2005


I have previously owned the AE C3 Speaker cable. I have found that the midrange was laid back and the tops harsh and the baseline loose and boomy using this cable Bi Wired. I also had this AE cable installed inside my Chario Hiper 2000T's and the Van den Hul CS12 on the subs. After installing the Ecosse MS2.15 inside the speakers at only the tweeter and midrange drivers and with the CS12's on the subs, the speaker became more natural with unbelievable tops and mids, the cabinet sound disappeared. Please note that I didn't install the Ecosse MS4.45 on my system at that stage.

Installing the
Ecosse MS4.45 between my Plinius SA50 and the Charios was the best and the most balanced and natural sounding cable I ever had on all my systems.



Just for info: I have tested the
(Ecosse) MS4.45 against the Transparent ULTRA XL speaker cable that is a R35 000-00 speaker cable on a KRELL KAV300 with Wilson Audio Cubs: AND THERE WAS AN IMPROVED SOUND STAGE after installing the MS4.45 (at R7600). Imagine it was the Ecosse SMS 4.7 at R21 000-00!

Jaco Roets, April 2005


HET DIE KABELS (Ecosse MS4.45) GEKRY. THANKS.

EK HET SO VIER URE GISTERAAND GELUISTER EN KAN EENVOUDIG NIE GLO HOE DIT KLINK NIE. DIE EIENAAR VAN MUSIC WORLD HET OOK KOM LUISTER EN WAS ONGELOOFLIK BEINDRUK.

Johan Knoetze, April 2005


I had an increase in sound quality and clarity of about 40% with only a change of my speaker wires (to CS 2.3) and RCA CABLE (The Executive and The Sub). I would recommend your products any time. Thanks for an excellent product.

Riaan Eksteen, February 2005



INTERNATIONAL TESTIMONIALS FROM ECOSSE REFERENCE IN THE UK (click to view)