Review of Kimber PBJ Interconnect:
Reviewing cables is always tough. You never know if the cable has a deficiency, or if itís extremely neutral and simply showing deficiencies upstream. Iíve always been skeptical of people saying ďthis cable has more bassĒ ďthis cable is overly sibilantĒ because of the very reason outlined above, plus the fact the most any commonly available copper has a frequency spectrum of DC to 300kHz, +/-.5dB. So I ask myself, how can a cable increase bass or treble? Well, you get my point. On to the review:
Parasound HCA-1500A Power amp
Musical Fidelity A3CR Preamp
C.E.C. CD-3300 Transport (Digital XLR out used)
Benchmark DAC1 Converter
Kimber PBJís used on ALL equipment (1 mtr from DAC to Pre; .5mtr from Pre to Amp)
Audioquest Granite speaker cable (single run)
Athena AS-F2 speakers (not biwireable)
Transport--->Signal Cable XLR--->DAC--->1mtr PBJ--->Preamp--->.5mtr PBJ--->Amp--->AQ Granite--->Speakers
Disclaimer: As with any new cable, the PBJ can sound a little flat and zippy for about the first 30 minutes, give it a little time to run in.
The Kimber PBJ, in a word, is Neutral. Neutral in the sense that no particular area shows any prominence over the others. Bass, midrange, and treble blend seamlessly together, with a total lack of leaness/emphasis in any area. Bass is deep yet very controlled, midrange clear, concise, and treble extended, airy with a wonderful sense of natural decay on struck cymbals. Snare drums let you hear the wood of the stick. Rock guitars have an addictively smooth midrange, as do vocals, whose textures are clear and extremely realistic. And the acid test, pumping up the volume to insane levels, really showed just how composed these cables are---they sounded wonderful at high volume. Never edgy, etched, or tiring. Extremely sorted and controlled.
Comparison time. The Kimber PBJ is everything I thought the Audioquest Diamondback would be. Note, I said ďI thought.Ē I canít think of any PC way to say this, so Iím just gonna say it. To my ears, the PBJ is a better IC than the Diamondback. The PBJ has the same great bass accuracy and midrange qualities of the Diamondback, but gives soundstaging depth and incredible air in the treble area that the DB is missing. To me the DB sounded veiled and dry in the treble, very 2-dimensional. The PBJ breathes life back into the treble, giving leading edge cymbal strikes and high-hat decay the most realistic Iíve heard, sans a live performance.
The Kimber PBJ, at itís price is a no-brainer. Falling somewhere between the AQ Copperhead and AQ Diamondback in cost. Itís my new reference cable. It gives me everything Iíve been looking for, great neutral sound, fair price, and durability. I canít think of any cable near its price that can convey its neutrality and tonal accuracy. If your looking to upgrade ICís, and want to stay below a $100 bucks a set, donít fail to audition the Kimber PBJ. Ray Kimber has a new fan.