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MIT StyleLine Series SL-8, SLXLR-6, and SL-12 Interconnects and Speaker Cables Review

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Installation and Break-in – MIT StyleLine Interconnects and Speaker Cables

Quality of construction of the MIT StyleLine appears to be of the highest order. Each interconnect, both balanced and single ended RCA, comes with a new stylish version of their famous interface “box,” and terminations are proprietary gold plated RCA plugs or nicely finished XLR connectors. The speaker cables come  terminated with the iconn™ pin base, which are patented threaded studs that come in both spades and banana plugs, which can be screwed into place; a nice idea that affords the user a level of flexibility.

Once fully configured, I had a quick listening session to establish connectivity was all fine, and also to gauge the sound prior to a full break-in. Overall, the sound was quite neutral, with nicely extended highs and a somewhat heavy upper bass. Since these had undergone some level of burn-in, I decided to run them for one week prior to having a more formal listening session.

MIT StyleLine Series SL-8, SLXLR-6, and SL-12 Speaker Cables

The Sound

A week later on a Sunday afternoon as is customary, I first listened to the same few CD tracks as before break-in and confirmed that indeed things had improved substantially. I fired up the phono stage, warmed up the cartridge, and did some spinning. The MIT StyleLine cable system certainly made its presence known in my reference system. High frequency rendering and extension were notably clean, and had a tonal richness that you would not expect from what amounts to be an entry level cable system. In this respect, my all silver reference cables have an edge in terms of detail retrieval, however to be honest that would be a nitpick at best.

In terms of imaging, once again the MIT StyleLine cables did nothing but impress. Images were right-sized and rendered beautifully. Image stability in fact was exemplary, as I noted not only detailed layering of information behind the front plane of the speakers, but also impressive imaging that extended well beyond the outer edges of the speakers. This serves to confirm that indeed, the phase coherency of the MIT StyleLine is not only excellent but well beyond what anyone would typically expect from a cable system in this price class. I have several live recordings in which the vocalists have a tendency of turning their heads side to side as they sing. In my experience, it is rare that a cable can retain that almost eerie quick change in perspective and phase and present it in a believable fashion. I was delighted to find that the MIT StyleLine cables did this with ease.

The overall balance of the MIT StyleLine cables is very slightly on the warmer side of neutral.  This is a characteristic that is likely carried over from what I noted through the introduction of the MIT power cords to my reference system. Fortunately, another characteristic that carried over was the phenomenal bass. With all MIT cables in place, I must say that the system overall attained a greater sense of power and poise in the lowest registers, while not giving up one whit in high frequency clarity and extension.


Summing it all Up

Overall, the MIT StyleLine cables did nothing but delight and surprise. In the purest audiophile sense, at nearly three times the price, my reference silver cables do retrieve a greater level of high frequency detail and also provide a greater sense of space and a more brightly lit rear of the soundstage than the MIT StyleLine. That said, the MIT StyleLine out-performed my reference cables in the lowest registers and in image layering.  This is both a surprising and also a delightful outcome. Indeed, the trickling down and simplification of the MIT music interface design to an affordable high performance, high-end entry level line of cables is great news for audiophiles and an unqualified success for the folks at MIT. Kudos!


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