"I've been living in the Morrow Vortex for a couple of years now. I had upgraded my speaker cables from Radio Shack lamp cord to SP4s to SP7s to Elites and heard significant improvements at each step. During this period, interconnects went from cheapo to MA7s, and again things got better. At this point my system sounded so good I wondered how it could get any better. Would I be able to hear a difference between MA7s and Elites? After all, there's money involved here. I decided I had to find out, and I used Mike's Trade Up program to upgrade the MA7s to Elites.
When I received the Elite interconnects (XLR both ends), I immediately switched out my MA7s (also XLR). At this point in time my 2.0 system is an Oppo 105D to Elite XLR interconnects to a CIAudio E200S amp to GoldenEar Triton Ones. That's it, no signal processing along the way, although I have paid very careful attention to speaker and listener placement in the room.
The initial sound of the Elite interconnects was, well, a little disappointing. Bass was weaker than with the MA7s, and highs were so so. Mike had done the 10-day break in, so they had around 240 hours on them. I also knew that the cables might need to recover after shipping, so I held off on making a judgement.
I started listening, just to hear what might change. After about 3 hours, the sound went very shrill. This same thing had happened with the MA7s (they had gone shrill after 4 hours). So I shut off the amp and ran pink noise at moderate volume for 24 hours. Then another listen. Now the cables were bass heavy(!) and still somewhat weak in the highs. So back on pink noise, now at high volume, for another 24 hours.
Next listen, things were really different. The bass was much better, and the highs, while still seeming a little bright, were getting there. So more pink noise for 8 hours or so.
Now I could tell the cables were really settling in, and I started listening seriously. I listen mostly to orchestral classical where there is a lot going on. There was this incredible deeper sense of space combined with openness and better definition in the highs. I could hear the faintest things going on. It was like the noise floor had dropped, revealing things I had never heard before: faint bow scrapings, detailed finger plucking on harp and violins. Bass was good and tighter than with the MA7s. Brass was incredibly smooth. The lower noise floor and better high definition revealed details in reflected sound that added to the sense of space. (I really shouldn't call this an improvement in noise floor, because there never was any sense of "noise" before. It's more like a revealing of what was hidden ultra low level detail, especially at mid and higher frequencies.)
As time went on, it just kept getting better. At one point, I just couldn't believe what I was hearing, and it was wow, Wow, WOW! Now, at around 300 hours total, the cables seem to have reached full break in. I think. On well recorded music, I am startled at times by the immediacy of the sound. Percussion is incredible with sharp, detailed attacks that allow me to hear every detail of what is going on. I love just listening to music and being able to trace every musical line in the orchestra. It's like having X-ray audio vision.
So for those wondering if the Elites are really that much better than MA7s, I can say they ARE. Will you hear the difference? Well, my system is good, but it is not by any means top of the line, and it has revealed every change I've made with cables.
I'm now starting to think that cables are the most important part of the system! And Mike has opened up a whole new world.