Publisher Profile

Morrow Audio MA7 and SP7 Grand Reference Speaker and Interconnect Cables and DIG4 Digital Cable Review

By: |

Morrow Audio SP7 Grand Reference Speaker Cables

Perking Up Laid Back Speakers

The Daedalus Audio Ulysses has been the most challenging of my speakers to produce vibrancy or jump factor. Like Vandersteen products it is an eminently comfortable speaker, utterly non-fatiguing and tonally rich, but no one would mistake it for a Vivid Giya in sound and appearance. Just for fun I thought I would see how close I could come, at least sonically.

Recently I have been hearing Don Henley’s Inside Job, especially “Taking You Home,” which showcases his boyish tenor voice. For as much as I like his music I find his voice to have a sandpaper-like roughness, prickliness which I find hard to relax to when listening. That made it a perfect song to see if the combination of speaker and wire resulted in “shrills or thrills.”

The Clarity Cables with the Daedalus tends to darken the speaker and cause it to be strongly low end-oriented, burying the Treble too much. To compensate I had to use the Ulysses’ tweeter +2dB boost switch on the back of the speaker. However, this tend to obscure the Midrange a bit, so I didn’t care to use it. The Morrow Grand Reference Speaker cables improved the latency in the treble without pushing it into an irritating brightness. Consistently across several systems the upshot of the use of Morrow Cabling was lighter, brighter sounding no matter the technology of the speaker.

I turned to Leigh Nash as heard on Delirium’s Voices, and “Orbit of Me,” and changed the speakers to the King Sound King Tower Omnis. These are aggressively designed speakers with hypersensitive radial tweeters. The Morrow Grand Reference made the tweeters stand apart from the rest of the dynamic drivers and the coherence of the omnidirectional suffered. It reminded me of 40 year old cotton dielectric single strand copper wiring I obtained from a dealer several years ago when he insisted that this older wire was better than newer cables. The degree of detail was laudable, buck it lacked in depth and body. On a speaker with extreme HF capability the extent of the Morrow Audio Cables was showing itself. Here were two extremely different speakers, one having characteristics of a recessed treble, shall we say, and the other of a very forward treble. The Morrow Grand Reference was far more suited to the former than the latter.

The sonic characteristics of the Morrow Cables reminded me of the WireWorld Cables which I used extensively for about three years. I still have some and call upon them when I encounter such a need for a lighter bass treatment and emphasis on upper Midrange and Treble. In fact, the Morrow Grand Reference seems like it would make for an affordable silver OFC replacement. While it may not have the extreme smoothness of a higher total gauge silver cable, neither does it carry the hefty price tag.

I had little to bicker about regarding the Midrange performance of the Grand Reference series. In this respect one can expect full, ripe vocals and rich instrumentation. Even with the two bookshelf speakers on review, the Sony SSNA5-ES and the Lenehan ML1 the cables behaved themselves, not letting either speaker wander into unrefined listening territory.

A somewhat similar circumstance played itself out with these two speakers as with the Daedalus and King Sound omni; the speaker with the densest cabinet and gentlest tweeter was the best match for the Morrow Cabling. The SSNA5-ES has a more lively presentation due to the cabinet being involved somewhat like a Tannoy speaker (see my review of the Glenair) and with a trio of tweeters. Consequently it has a larger and more atmospheric soundstage. The ML1, conversely, has a tremendously inert cabinet with a soft dome tweeter as with the Daedalus. The more extreme the tweeter system the more the Morrow cables stretched toward an abundance of high end energy. But that high end vibrancy was welcome on a lower sensitivity, reserved sounding transducer.

Against a heavy Hitter

On hand concurrently with the Morrow review I also had the Silent Source “The Music Reference” series. This is in a literal sense a highly polished product, whether speaking of the glistening plugs on the power cords or the tightly weaved, supple, midnight black jacket on all of the Music Reference products. Did the megabuck cable outperform the far more modest Morrow designs? In a word, yes, and I wonder if the highly polished conductor inside the Silent Source Cables was the cause.

I had never encountered a polished conductor for use in audio applications, that is, a wire which it seems is polished its entire length! Was this the cause of the superior balance top to bottom, marvelous 3-D imaging and breathtaking microdynamics? Perhaps, but I do know the Silent Source was able to be played at higher levels without fatigue than as the Morrow. Shouldn’t that be expected of a cable costing a dozen times more? It would be atrocious if the premier line of Silent Source couldn’t best it.

That will not likely be the deciding factor in a purchase of Morrow Audio Cables. What will be is the assurance that one is receiving a very competent, well thought out and executed cable that will consistently deliver on the sound characteristics I have outlined. With proper system matching one might compare far more costly cables and feel justified with the Grand Reference series.

A good place to jump into the cable pool

Audiophiles who wish to take the step from casual system to serious listening setup can confidently move to the Grand Reference cables without fear of either breaking the bank or leaving a lot on the table in terms of performance. I find myself occasionally turning to a Morrow Audio Grand Reference interconnect or power cord to adjust a rig when I’m done assessing another brand’s set of wires. This speaks well of them, for if they had little virtue they likely wouldn’t be reinserted into a reference system following the review.

Some cables present more problems than they’re worth, but the Grand Reference series solves more problems than those presented – and trust me, almost all cables at an affordable price point present particularities. Aside from speakers which may be susceptible to too much presence in the Treble, the Grand Reference is a fine choice.

Associated Components:

  • Source: Simaudio Moon Evolution 750D DAC/Player; Musical Fidelity M1CDT Transport; Sonos Digital Music System; Oppo DV-970HD
  • NAS: Buffalo Linkstation 500G
  • DAC: Eastern Electric Minimax DAC Plus with Burson and Dexa NewClassD Discrete Opamp Upgrade; Musical Fidelity V90-DAC
  • Preamp: VAC Renaissance Signature Preamplifier MkII; Cambridge Audio 840E
  • Amps: VAC Phi 200; Pass Labs X600.5 Monos; Musical Fidelity M1PWR (two units bridged to Mono)
  • Integrated: Pathos Classic One MkIII stereo tube hybrid (two units bridged to mono); Peachtree Audio Nova
  • Speakers: Kings Audio Kingsound King III; Legacy Audio DSW Clarity Edition; Kings Audio King Tower omnidirectional; Daedalus Audio Ulysses used in Landscape orientation; Eminent Technology LFT-8B
  • Subwoofers: Legacy Audio XTREME HD (2)
  • IC’s: Clarity Cable Organic RCA/XLR; Tara Labs RSC Air1 series 2; Wireworld Equinox; Wireworld Silver Eclipse; Wireworld Platinum Eclipse; Snake River Audio Signature Series Interconnects; Silent Source “The Music Reference”
  • Speaker Cables: Clarity Cable Organic Speaker; Tara Labs RSC Air1; Wireworld Equinox 5; Wireworld Silver Eclipse; Snake River Audio Signature Series Speaker Cables; Silent Source “The Music Reference”
  • Digital Cables: Clarity Cable Organic Digital; Tara Labs RSC Air 75; Wire World Startlight 6; Wireworld Gold Starlight 5, Wireworld Gold Starlight 6; Snake River Audio Boomslang; Silent Source “The Music Reference”
  • Power Cables: Clarity Cable Vortex; MIT Oracle ZIII; Tara Labs RSC Air; Xindak PF-Gold; Wireworld Stratus 5, Electra 5 and Silver Electra; Snake River Audio Signature Series; Silent Source “The Music Reference”
  • Power Conditioning: Wireworld Matrix Power Cord Extender; Tara Labs ISM Power Screen; Tice Audio Solo

2 Responses to Morrow Audio MA7 and SP7 Grand Reference Speaker and Interconnect Cables and DIG4 Digital Cable Review

  1. Mike Morrow says:

    I want to thank Doug for his fine review of our Grand Reference line of cables. They have brought much enjoyment and increased musicality to our customers. Since we first met at RMAF, we have developed another level above the Grand Reference, our Elite Grand Reference series.

  2. DRB says:

    It would be nice to see some response curves on cables as they are being tested, it would certainly help us decide what cables sound best. In addition, impedance levels for interconnects since equipment varies and some cables simply don’t work as well with certain equipment, no fault of anyone’s, it’s just the nature of the industry. The tests I’m most interested in are what MIT Cables does. This is not a pitch for one to buy MIT Cables per se, but their website is a wealth of information as to the various types of test measurements that can be performed on a cable and I think it’s a good idea to use their test measurements as a model to test all audio cables. Everyone has their own preference of what they want their audio system to sound like, everyone has different audio system configurations so one cable might be better suited to the listener and system, but if we could compare test results to a perfect cable (which doesn’t exist) and then to known cables that we like, then we can better further our own knowledge of the subject and try to find quality cables that fit within our budget.

    Just a suggestion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popups Powered By :