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MG Audio Design Planus III Speaker and Planus AG1 Interconnet Cables Review

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The Planus AG silver interconnect cables are MG Audio Design’s mid-pack cable, above the CU2, which are copper, and below the Planus AG2 which are also silver. The top end AG2 interconnect cable is said to offer more detail and none of the ‘sheen’ that the Planus AG cables. I only experienced a slight bit of sheen when the Planus AG interconnects were used in conjunction with another company’s speaker cable.

The Planus III speaker cables are also the mid-pack cable and are made with a flat foil copper conductor. MG Audio Design’s latest cable, the Planus III AG, uses the same design concept as the Planus III in this review, but they are made with a silver flat foil conductor.

During most of the review period the cables wired up either a Pass Labs X350.5 or X250.5 amplifier, and as previously noted, the Eficion F-250 speakers, to a Marantz S1-7sa SACD player. A digital but simple system. After two months or so with just one set of speaker cables, another set was sent, along with jumpers, and I was able to bi-amp the F-250 speakers using the SuperPhon pre-amp which has two RCA outs. This meant I could have the X350.5 on the mid/woofer and the X250.5 on the Air Motion Tweeter. Definitely more power than I needed, but the separation of load did improve the sound quality. And while this sounded very good, it was obvious with a cleaner pre-amplifier, like the Pass XA-10 pre-amp, and with just a single set of speaker cables and jumpers, that bi-amping was only for kicks. One amp, one set of speaker cables, the jumpers, and the interconnect cables between the source and the pre. MG Audio cables throughout, except for the power cables. Which I have heard, might be a real thing at some point. I did put the standard solid copper jumpers back into the system just to see if the MG jumpers really made a difference, and all I can say is that I highly suggest that if your speakers need jumpers, and you are using the Planus III speaker cables, you should use the MG Audio Design jumper as well. Otherwise, at least in my experience, it seemed I was only getting about 70%-80% of the performance level. Not to use the jumpers would be similar to cheap Costco tires on a sports car. Sure you can go fast, but aren’t going to get the absolute best level of performance out of the car.

Enough of this: How do they Sound?

Before we get to that, a few physical realities should be explained about the cables.

First off, the Planus interconnect cables are not shielded. And while I did not hear any RF interference while in the big system, I could hear interference while they were used in my headphone system. Not because this equipment was cheap, but because this headphone rig sits right next to an Ikea LED desk lamp. With shielded interconnects in the same system next to the desk lamp, no interfering noise was heard. So be aware of your systems surroundings.

Second, the speaker cables, while not the worst offenders of flexibility, are not the easiest to manipulate and connect to the back of the Pass amplifiers. Whose fault that is I don’t know. The connectors on the back X350.5 and X250.5 are offset by about an inch, and the single axis flex of the speaker cables meant I could bend them in only one direction. MG Audio Design does offer versions of the cables with longer tails, or Y-splits, to help in these cases. But beware; if you bend too much or force the cable, it can tear. This didn’t happen to me or else this would be a whole other type of review, but it must have happened to someone, since I was warned.

And just like I’m not tossing out the Pass amplifiers due to their idiosyncrasies, and the fact I couldn’t throw one of those if I tried, I’m also not tossing the MG Audio Design cables because of their own idiosyncrasies. Hardly at all, considering the full impact they had on my system’s performance- it’s the best I’ve heard to date.

And a final note of warning, or two, actually. The Planus AG interconnect cables, which are very extended in the top end, can enhance an already bright or lively system, making it too over bearing and fatiguing, though I didn’t have this issue at all. And the speaker cables, because of their very low capacitance and inductance, can sometimes not ‘load’ a tube amplifier properly, and the result, at least in my experience, was a lack luster sound. Though I didn’t have this lack-of-load issue on my own Mystere ia11 EL34 tube amplifier, as I assume neither has Hugh Nguyen, the Melody tube amplifier importer who first introduced me to Greg and MG Audio Design, and who has used the MG cables in his show exhibits. I did however hear it when the Planus III speaker cables were hooked up to a friend’s system. The sound was unflattering and boring.

Greg and Lee are up front about these issues and clearly state that there is no cable that is perfect for every system, and if their cable doesn’t mate well with your system, you have 30-days to return the cable. This seems fair to me.

2 Responses to MG Audio Design Planus III Speaker and Planus AG1 Interconnet Cables Review

  1. charlie mathews says:

    You know I have to say that I too have been enamored with their cables. There is no doubt that they are on to something. I agree with Adam these cables are very, very, good! I have used them with Pass amps, SAS tube preamp (a great preamp!) and a wonderful monarchy DAC. The cables spe aker (3’s) and there interconnects (ag2’s) are just very cool! Hey take the effort to call these guys! What a great product at a sane PRICEW

  2. Randy Wilson says:

    Great review, and exactly what I had experienced with them regarding break in on the cables. I had written Greg about the amount of time necessary to break them in. Well into the 250 range or so. Very uninvolving at the suggested 100-150 hours. After that, they really come into their own. And like you, I was not looking for another pair of speaker cables but at the suggestion of another audiophile I gave them a listen. You can see my impression of the cables on the MG website. These are a keeper. Just remember to let them develope well beyond 200 hours.

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