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July 2010
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Mark Grant G1000HD Interconnect Cable
A neutral, natural sounding cable that will not break the bank.
Review By Clive Meakins

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Mark Grant G1000HD Interconnect Cables  It is not that I don't believe cables make a difference, for sure they do. But all I want is to be able to do is connect up the various parts of my system with a transparent sounding piece of wire; it's not a lot to ask. I don't believe you have to spend big bucks to get decent cables, nor you should have to. Maybe you don't agree and you believe have to invest in expensive cables to get the most out of your system. What If I told you there was a way to get high quality cables at prices you won't have dreamed of?

To make a competent interconnect cable requires careful choice of wire and connectors. Professional assembly is also required; crimping, a.k.a. cold welding, is generally accepted by electrical experts as the best connection method. Soldered connections will usually be fine but are likely to be more variable in quality and there's the problem of over-heating insulation during soldering.

Most of the cable market is made up of big brands with big overheads, products with chic packaging, sold via expensive advertising with pricing including distributor and dealer margins. Given that the cost of the parts to make up a decent cable can be quite low, the additional costs due the traditional selling model can cause the price the customer pays to skyrocket. A more modern business model is for cables to be sold direct by the manufacturer with minimalist packaging and using modern viral marketing. The savings to the customer are huge. This doesn't sit well with traditional print magazines, distributors and dealers as they are all out of the loop. Even the packaging companies loose out. The old business model is simply old. Enough about business models, it is time to move on.

A cable is something we need to stitch our systems together but it's not to be used as a band aid. If you have a bright system you can use a dull cable to give you a better balance but this is not the best approach. Far better is to start out with a well balanced system and use cables that do not add their own sonic signature. I should add that expect interconnect cables to be well shielded, if not you may find your cables introduce RFI which often will exhibit itself as a fatiguing brightness, this can initially seem as appealing extra detail and bite.

 

About Mark Grant
There are lots of views as to the merits of silver, silver plated copper and copper wires. What is often overlooked is the gauge of the wire being compared, this can have a greater effect than the material used. I really don't care much about the materials used; I just want the cable to be affordable and well behaved. You've probably guessed by now that the cable under test from Mark Grant Cables conforms to the "selling direct to the customer" business model. Mark Grant Cables have been in business for six years, they have a web presence and they publish their physical address in the UK along with their tax and company registration details. Whilst you may not have heard of Mark Grant Cables you can be confident they are a pukka company. They also sell mains and AV cables.

I am very familiar with various expensive cables in my system as well as saner priced ones such as Chord Chorus, Nordost Red Dawn, Van den Hul First Ultimate, even these are over 3 times the price of the Mark Grant G1000HD. I also have a bunch of cables I've made myself from various well known internet recipes. The cable I'm reviewing here is a one meter interconnect priced at 65 (approx US$100). The cable can be purchased in any length you are likely to require. It is of copper construction with Canare RCA phono plugs. The wire-to-RCA connection is a gas-tight crimp. The copper wire has a transparent sheath; there are two layers of copper screen to shield your music from the harsh sound effects of RFI.

I find that cables often have good aspects but these are married with less good aspects. How many times have you felt that you want the best of two or three cables all put into one? Certainly this is the case with the cables I had on hand to make comparisons with. The Chord has strong bass weight but the bass is not as tight as I'd like. The Nordost has loads of detail with sparkle and what bass there is comes across as tight, it does not have any shielding. The Van den Hul carbon cable is full and smooth sounding but rather laid back for my taste.

When I plug something new into my system my first impression is one of:

1) I can't hear much difference.

2) Ugh, that's a step backwards, get rid of it.

3) Wow that's different; I need to work out if it's a change for the better.

4) That's a step up it immediately sounds "right".

 

Mark Grant G1000HD
A direct hit and first impressions.
Listening to the G1000HD between DAC to preamplifier and phonostage: I noticed the same characteristics. The balance of bass, mid and treble is spot on, no frequency is favored over others, and presentation is even handed. Treble has accurate, not over-blown, presence. Mid range is smooth and powerful. Bass has very good power, quality and control, indeed bass is very pleasingly tight. This cable does what I want; it's transparent, it doesn't add a personal distorted view of the music. Other than transparency the other characteristic the cable transmits is substance. Music is portrayed with a substance that other cables I've heard have rarely achieved. Certainly none the cables I had on hand to compare could offer anything like the substantial sound of the G1000HD. Good levels of detail help provide excellent imaging and soundstage.

This cable will not voice your system to be anything other what it is already; the cable is neutral, natural and substantial sounding whilst letting more music through than most other cables I know. If you want a cable that artificially juices up some aspect of your system that's fine but for me this is rather like silicone enhanced beauty; there can be some initial appeal but the appeal doesn't last.

There's really is not lot more to say other than it's a no brainer, the G1000HD is staying in my system. Don't be put off or fooled by the low price, this is a product that could easily retail in hi-fi stores for 5 to 10 times the price being asked by Mark Grant Cables. If it were more like $700 to $1,000 it would be competitive or better than similarly priced brick n mortar bought cables. You would be paying for printed adverts, slick packaging (which you chuck), distributor and dealer margins. Pay this by all means; I'd rather go direct.

 

Conclusion
I'll keep it simple. Buy this cable.

 

Scoring
I have slimmed down the usual categories to those that make sense when reviewing an interconnect cable. Note that the scores below are a very good result indeed and that's before "Value for the Money" is taken into account. The pricier cables I compared to the G1000HD would have significantly lower and more uneven scoring.

 

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 Room

Imaging

Fit And Finish

Self Noise N/A

Value For The Money

 

Specifications
Type: Stereo audio interconnect cable
Mark Grant G1000HD 1m interconnect 65 (approx $100)

 

Company Information
Mark Grant Cables
Grant Multimedia Limited
9 Birch Lea
Walkington
East Yorkshire
HU17 8TH
UK

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