Home  |  Audio Reviews  Show Reports   Partner Mags News 


 

 

July 2006
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Stereovox XV2 Digital & Video Interconnect
Meet the new Boss - Same as the old Boss
Review By Rick Becker
Click here to e-mail reviewer

 

Stereovox XV2 Digital & Video Interconnect  Perhaps not exactly a new boss, though the new XV2 looks so similar to the HDXV it replaces that I had to call up Chris Sommovigo and ask him if he had sent me a placebo. "Are you sure you sent me the new one?" I asked. At first glance it looked like the same thin cable with braided shield and the same BNC connectors with RCA adapters. But it was labeled "Stereovox XV2 75 Ohms" and it had white shrink-wrap on both ends, unlike the HDXV. On closer inspection, the XV2 seemed to have a tighter woven metal foil shield. I took his word for it and swapped it into the system. After reviewing the Aural Acoustics Model B speakers for a couple of months I turned my attention back to the XV2. To establish a base line for this review I started listening with my original Illuminations D-60. This was Chris' earlier digital cable that had been a standard for many Stereophile writers back in the 1990's. If you haven't relegated your D-60 to the Audiophile Hall of Fame, do so immediately. To try and sell it on eBay would be immoral. Time has marched on. And so has Stereovox with the new XV2. Your HDXV, however, is still good enough to be utilized in a second system, possibly for carrying a video signal, or donated to the budding audiophile you are mentoring.

 

Summary

There is little point in writing a lengthy formal review of the XV2. It is blatantly superior to the HDXV it replaces. There is no need to punish you with a tales of recordings with which you are probably not familiar. At a cost of $150, the XV2 is such a gift to High End audio that Chris Sommovigo should immediately be forgiven for selling outrageously expensive turntables and loudspeakers I listened to most of the eighteen segments on my compilation CD, first with the HDXV and then with the XV2, swapping cables with each segment of music. Tedious, but telling. This CD contains a wide variety of mostly non-audiophile music that I know by heart. In every instance the XV2 outperformed the HDXV by a significant and unquestionable margin. Better focus, more transparent, slightly wider and slightly deeper soundscape, better illumination at the back of the stage, slightly more recessed soundscape, tighter bass improving pace and rhythm, as well as revealing more timbre in the bass, better inner details revealing more room tone and timbre, lower noise floor (because there was less noise all over), smoother, more grain-free, more open at the top end revealing better shimmer on the cymbals, better upper harmonics of string instruments, better control of sibilance, etc. All in all, the XV2 is a significant step closer to the master tape.

Listening became easier because I didn't have to concentrate to hear the details; they magically appeared. Time and again, my reviewers' hat fell off; it was so easy to lapse into enjoying the music. I'm not a big fan of classical music, but I was amazed by the clarity of massed instruments and the retrieval of ambient hall reverberation and detail. Who cares any more if it's digital? Possibly, in the exalted $600 to $2000 range there is a cable that will surpass this one, but it is hard to imagine an expensive cable surpassing the XV2 in value. So, what's not to like? Well, it didn't do much for my LP collection. But if Chris ever gets around to designing a tonearm cable that does as much for LPs as the XV2 does for CDs, analog will surely never die. In street-speak, I guess you would call this a "no-brainer." If it doesn't get you where you want to go, check the oil, check the air filter and check the tire pressure. The problem is not with the cable.

 

Video Footnote

While I lust after a primo video system, I really don't have the time to watch much TV. Consequently, my video system is modest. But I figured somebody would ask the question so I ran a comparison of the XV2 carrying a composite video signal with an Acoustic Research Performance Series High Definition S-video cable costing in the neighborhood of about $30. In theory, an S-video cable should produce a better picture than a composite video cable, but the XV2 produced a slightly cleaner picture with better skin detail on close-ups and a little less contrast. The DVD player was an inexpensive Sony and the TV was a 24-inch Sony Wega flat screen CRT. Like I said, modest. In the real world, though, video is gravitating toward HDMI and a component video set of XV2 cables, while available, would be a costly commitment to an outmoded solution. As a single digital cable running from a DVD player to a surround sound processor or receiver, the XV2 would make a lot of sense in a premium home theater.

 

Tonality

Sub-bass (10Hz - 60Hz)

Mid-bass (80Hz - 200Hz)

Midrange (200Hz - 3,000Hz)

High-frequencies (3,000Hz on up)

Attack

Decay

Inner Resolution

Soundscape width front

Soundscape width rear  
Soundscape depth behind speakers

Soundscape extension into the room

NA

Imaging

Fit and Finish

Self Noise

NA

Value for the Money

 

Specifications

Type: 75 Ohm digital audio and video cable

Price: $150 for one meter length

 

Company Information

Signals-SuperFi, LLC
Atlanta, GA 30318

Voice: (678) 528 8077
Fax: (678) 884 1167
E-mail: info@signals-superfi.com
Website: www.signals-superfi.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
Quick Links


Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc

Superior Audio Archives
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews

Videos
Enjoy the Music.TV

Columns
Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles


Show Reports
Capital Audiofest 2018 Report
Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show 2018
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest RMAF 2018
CanJam 2018 Denver RMAF
KL International AV 2018 Show Report
High End Munich 2018 Show Report
AXPONA 2018 Show Report
CanJam SoCal 2018 Show Report
CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report
Click here for previous shows.

Other
Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

Resources And Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions
High-End Audio Manufacture Links

 


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

Partner Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
NOVO (CANADA HiFi)
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

Contests & Join Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!

Our Social Media & Video Channel
      

 

 

       

Home  |  Sitemap  |  Industry News  |  Equipment / Music Reviews  |  Press Releases  |  About Us  |  Contact Us

 

All contents copyright  1995 - 2018  Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.