Friday, April 29, 2016

The Bybee Gold Crystal Slipstream RCA Adapter: Crazy Musicality, Texture & Depth.

Springtime in Colorado. You have 300 days of sunshine here, and the other 65 pretty much occur between March and May. Right now it's snowing, and I am not stepping foot outdoors. It's a great day to evaluate the latest tweak from Jack Bybee, the Gold Crystal Slipstream RCA adapter

I evaluated the copper or Standard Crystal Slipstream adapter a few blogs ago, along with the High Fidelity Cables Magnetic RCA adapters. The end result of that blog was a discovery of a synergistic combination of the two adapters, and the Bybee bringing smoothness and musical flow to the somewhat analytical but wonderfully detailed & dynamic High Fidelity adapter.

I used the Gold adapter on my coaxial output of my Auralic Aries to the Aqua La Voce DAC. I kept the High Fidelity adapter on the source end of the cable, and had the Gold adapter on the destination end, just like I did with the Standard Crystal Slipstream adapter.

If you are short on time here it is. Buy the Gold adapter. Right out of the box, It gives you even more of the wonderful liquidity, musicality and detail of the copper adapter. It digs deeper into low level detail and presents it with clarity and appropriateness. Keeping everything in balance. There is a haze that is gone and not at the expense of musicality. In fact, the presentation is even more musical. But the biggest improvement is in subtle tones, overtones and texture.

Listening to Alexi Murdoch's "Breathe" from his album Time Without Consequence, there is so much low level information and texture hidden in this recording. Much of it is masked by noise. Not with the Gold RCA adapter in place. In the opening section, there is a solo acoustic guitar playing, and a drum and symbol crash in the distant background. Normally here you can tell its a drum and you hear a bit of the crashing symbol, but with the Bybee Gold in place you can hear the skin of the drum stretch when the drum stick hits it, and hear the air around the symbol crash. It helps to create the sense of space. You can also pick up more texture and tone from the acoustic guitar. Later when the cello starts in, there is much more texture there as well. More overtones, more bow on string. It makes you sit and just listen.

Taking it Further

Having the time to fart around with tweaks today, I decided to add the second Gold adapter right after the High Fidelity adapter, making it a crazy combination of adapters and extra connections. The real reason I did this was to break in both adapters. I was not expecting better sound. This should have suffered some loss of detail. But what I achieved was just a sick level of detail without turning into a musical scalpel. Glorious resolution, creating a wrap-around soundstage with layers, textures and flow that had me glued to my seat.

...And Even Further

So I ran out of adapters to string together, but I had a set of Shakti On-lines handy. I placed one one each adapter. This further fleshed out textures and very low level information, while still remaining musical.

The On-Lines and Shakti Stones have been around a long time, and us fickle audiophiles have forgotten about their effectiveness in our continuous search for something new. You know what? They still work, and work well. At $99 a pair they are definitely worth pairing with the Bybee RCA adapters. A very nice synergy indeed. As an aside, try putting one of the big Shakti Stones on your breaker box for a reduction of grit and grain on your AC lines...

Confirming My Sanity

I then removed all of the adapters to re-establish a baseline. The sound was...Uninvolving and hazy, simple as that. I could not un-hear what I just heard with everything in place. My ears strained to recognize hazy details that were crystal clear moments before. Some details were outright lost in the fog.

Adding one Gold RCA adapter returned a fraction of the detail, air and space, and added a nice sense of musicality.

Adding the High Fidelity RCA adapter at the source end brought a nice sparkle and clarity to the highs and dynamics (micro and macro) improved. The holography of the soundstage improved as well.

Adding the other Gold Bybee RCA adapter gave me more. More of everything in a very musical way. Surprisingly the low end improved as well.

Finally the finishing touch of the Shakti On-line. Added subtle texture and detail. Now we're talking!


Back to our original purpose: Evaluating the Gold Bybee Crystal Slipstream RCA adapter. In my situation and for my tastes the Gold wins out over the Standard version in terms of more detail, with more musicality. A fog was lifted, details were revealed, and music flowed.  If you are suffering from harshness, grainy sound or digititus that has you reaching for the remote to turn down the volume, the Bybee RCA adapters are definitely worth trying in your system. The Gold takes you deeper, but at a higher cost. I simply can't go back after hearing my music through the entire combination of Bybees, High Fidelitys, and Shaktis. They just add a sense of...Wait for it... Ease to the music along with a tremendous amount of resolution and enhanced dynamics. I highly recommend trying them out, and with our in-home audition program, you can do just that..

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