Home  |  Audio Reviews  Audiophile Shows Partner Mags  News     

 

August 2022

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

Best Of 2022 Blue Note Equipment Awards By Enjoy the Music.com

JPS Labs Superconductor V Interconnects, Speaker Cables And USB Cables Review
Connecting to the Soul of Music.
Review By Paul Schumann

 

JPS Labs Superconductor V Interconnects, Speaker Cables And USB Cables Review

 

  There has been quite a bit of discussion, lately, in this publication and other forums, about the current direction of the music industry. One of the hot topics is how popular music is recorded and produced. Many argue that the use of software, like ProTools, to snap everything to a grid and correct any "flaws" is robbing the music of its soul. Many times the result is music that, while initially appealing, quickly loses the interest of the listener. It is soulless music.

 

 

The question is, what is this soul and how do we recognize it? I think most of the time, this occurs at a subconscious level. Why do we want to go see an artist in concert when we've already heard all of their songs multiple times in studio perfection? Because we want to connect to the soul of the music, warts and all. Now, I'm not saying some audio processing tricks aren't going on at these concerts, but there is only so much that can be done live. In the end, it's about the artists connecting with the audience.

Of course that's what being an audiophile is also about. We are trying to connect better to the soul of the music. Every time we put a new component in our system and pull out a record we bought before we could drive, we are trying to experience the soul of the music. Some components accomplish this task and end up a cherished part of our system, others don't. Those are returned or later replaced. This is part of the yin and yang of audiophile life. From the first listen, I knew the JPS Labs Superconductor V Interconnects and Speaker Cables were allowing me to experience more of the soul of the music. My job as a reviewer was to understand why.

JPS Labs is a company that is very familiar to Enjoy the Music.com readers. Not only have we done several reviews of their cabling over the years, but we also reviewed their Abyss headphones, which incorporate their proprietary cabling. The Superconductor V is the mid-level cabling produced by JPS Labs. Like all of their cabling, it utilizes their proprietary Alumiloy conductor. To quote Joe Skubinski, "Superconductor V uses stranded Alumiloy conductors and minimized dielectrics, hence its flexibility/ease of use, nice clarity and spatial cues."

 

 

 

Great Flexability
I was especially grateful for their flexibility, which makes them very easy to work with and definitely less stressful. Nothing can produce beads of sweat on your forehead faster than hooking up a pricey cable that might kink if you look at it sideways. They are without a doubt minimalist cables, with their white jackets. The speaker cables I used had banana plugs. The interconnects had interestingly geometric rhodium plated RCA plugs.

As I said, I noticed the improvement in the sound of my system as soon as I installed the Superconductor V cables. This is unusual, since it usually takes some time for cables to break in and show their character. The pathway I used for the interconnects for this review was a CD player to preamp to the amplifier. So after hooking everything up, I put in the readily available CD of Stravinsky Symphonies by the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle just to make sure I didn't screw anything up. The first track is the opening of Stravinsky's "Symphony in 3 Movements".

As soon as the orchestra made its dramatic entrance, I heard it with more intensity than ever before. I wasn't prepared to sit down and purposefully listen then. (I just put the cables in!) As I did some other jobs in the living room, I would stop and listen when I walked in front of the speakers. That sense of added drama remained. After my anointed tasks, I sat down and sent Joe an email asking if they had broken in the cables before they had sent them to me. He said that they hadn't, and would take about two weeks. Already blown away, I was curious as to how much they would continue to improve, and counted the days.

 

 

As More Time Passed...
After two weeks, I decided to revisit the Stravinsky disc and dig deeper into my initial impressions. As before, I was struck by the increased drama of the opening movement. But what was causing this impression? As I listened, I realized that the instrumental tone was closer to the real thing than I had ever heard in my system. The strings were softer and warmer. The oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and contrabassoon all sounded more full bodied. The piano was more resonant. The horns and flutes sounded less shrill. By conveying the authentic tone created by these talented musicians and their instruments, the Superconductor V cables allowed me to better connect with the musical performance. When we listen to music in the comfort of home, we sometimes forget the superb musicians who created it.

The Berlin Philharmonic is a top-notch symphony orchestra and their playing on this disc is beautiful. The last piece on this album is Stravinsky's "Symphony in C". The finale opens with a bassoon chanting quietly against an augmented fourth from the brass playing a combination of the C and G chords. The artistry of this passage is sublime with it's contrasting rich tonal textures. Then, at the very end of this movement, the piece fades to there same two clashing chords, generating resultant tones of airy radiance. I've experienced this phenomenon several times before live, but only a couple of times with home-audio systems. This was the first time I was able to hear it at home.

 

 

Intrigued, I moved on to Pat Metheny's What's It All About. This solo album consists of acoustic solo covers, recorded with a simple two-mic setup. Being Pat Metheny, he mostly eschewed regular acoustic guitars for more exotic instruments. The first track, "The Sound of Silence'', was played using a custom-made 42-string Pikasso Guitar. As you can imagine, the tonality of such an instrument is quite different from a regular guitar. Depending on which group of strings he played, it sounded like a combination dulcimer, auto-harp, guzheng, Celtic harp, and a piquant-sounding six-string.

Listening to this piece through the Superconductor V interconnects and speaker cables, was a delicious blend of varied timbres, as Metheny weaved his way through a complex, totally-original version of a well-known song. Most of the other covers on this album were performed on another custom instrument, a baritone acoustic guitar. This unique instrument is extremely difficult to play, but the reward is a big, powerful sound. Listening to "Cherish", I was blown away by the weight and majesty of Metheny's playing. On Metheny's leisurely rendition of "Garota de Ipanema", I was struck by how he allowed certain notes to completely decay while highlighting other strings to bring richness to this classic. Finally, on "Betcha by Golly, Wow", he changed chords at a dizzying pace, while floating the melody above the fray. With all of the rapid chord changes, Metheny's sliding fingers were never screechy or distracting.

 

The Many Aspects Of Reviewing
I know I spent a lot of words in this review focusing on one way the Superconductor V interconnects and speaker cables reproduce the musical performance, but what about other aspects? Sonic reproduction was amazing across the frequency spectrum. The highs were clean, the midrange luscious, and the bass was powerful. The dynamics were incredible and the soundstage was deep and wide. I could go on and on, but no matter what artist I started playing, the result was the same – a deeper connection to the artist's performance.

So, what are the Superconductor V interconnects and speaker cables doing that initially grabbed my attention and continued to draw me into the music? They do many things well, but where they do an amazing job is reproducing the tone of musical instruments or the human voice. To accomplish this, the Superconductor V cabling does an excellent job of passing along all of the micro-details of the music without blurring or obscuring them. With the Superconductor V interconnects and speaker cables in my system, everything I played sounded richer and more relaxed. This focused my attention on the artistry of the musician. The soul of the music. Isn't that our goal?

 

 

 

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

Soundscape Extension Into Room

Imaging

Fit And Finish

Self Noise
Emotionally Engaging

Value For The Money

 

 

 

Specifications
Type: High-quality luxury cabling system
JPS Labs Superconductor V Interconnect RCA pair
One-Meter Pair $1349

JPS Labs Superconductor V Speaker Cable
Twelve-Foot Pair $5499

JPS Labs Superconductor V Ultra High Performance USB Cable
One-Meter $999

 

 

 

Company Information
JPS Labs LLC
16 Lancaster Pkwy
Lancaster, NY 14086

Voice: (716) 288-9112
E-mail: info@jpslabs.com  
Website: JPSlabs.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
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
Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Report
T.H.E. Show 2022 Report
HIGH END Munich 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report
CanJam Singapore 2022 Report
Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2022
Florida Audio Expo 2022
AudioCon Los Angeles 2022
Capital Audiofest 2021 Show
The HiFi Summit Q2 2021
T.H.E. Show 2021 Report
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020
The HiFi Summit Q2 2020
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2020
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 & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions

 


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

 

Partner Print Magazines
audioXpress
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
The Absolute Sound
VALVE Magazine

 

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

 

Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!

 

 

    

Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us

 

All contents copyright©  1995 - 2022  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.