KIMBER Kable Monocle X

TR19.11.2011

Speaker cables

The Monocle X provides excellent dynamics. John Williams’Star Wars fanfares and thundering drums jumped out from my speakers with an explosive attack and left me breathless for a while. Unlike the cables I was listening to for three months already the Kimber played deeper, higher and more effortlessly.

Function and form

95%
Ease of use
59%
Sound
98%
Appearance

The Kimber cables are not shielded and the resistance against EMI is the result of their braided geometry per se.

What do we know about the Monocle X? It is derived from the Select flagship and it is based on 16 pure copper conductors with the total cross-section area of 5,3mm2 that are braided over the Kimber’s proprietary X38R core that functions as a resonance absorbant. The Monocle X uses Teflon dielectric, the outer shell is polyethylene.

More than a cable the Kimber Monocle X looks like a hose of your vacuum cleaner and this is the wet dream of many hifi hobbyists. Thanks to its foam core and lot of air confined in the braided structure the cable is surprisingly flexible (bend radius of 50mm) and light. Let’s combine this with its soft outer sheath and we have almost tender piece of wire that is the least harmful to the components in your rack from the bunch in our test. Kimber traditionally uses WBT connectors: 0645 bananas and 0680 spades in this case.

Bass management

Weight
58
Slam
58
Articulation
60

This review is a part of The Low and Mid-tier Speaker Cables Megatest that includes 18 different speaker cables. The pilot article is available at SPECIAL EDITION REVIEWS section of Audiodrom.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
59
Air
58
Transparency
58

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
58
Dynamics
59
Temporal resolution
59

The timpanis of Star Wars suite thundered with punishing force and a kick drum of INXS pressurized my listening room with unbridled energy. It seemed like the Monocle X went even deeper than the Fractal. The bass of the Kimber was however a bit slower and stayed a bit longer in the speakers than absolutely necessary – the result was that feeling of an ultradeep presentation. The side effect of the slight bass inertia lies in a very open and expanding soudstage. The ambience is free of any strain and the walls of your listening room cease to exist when the lows reverberate in the room. This is not to say that the Kimber blurs the sonic picture – quite opposite: it is very well focused and pinpoints accurately instruments in a believable three-dimensional space while preserving high level of communication between them. For example, the harp glissando is both integrated in the orchestral sound and enjoyable on its own.

Spatial resolution

Holography
91
Soundstage width
90
Soundstage depth
90

The dynamics of the Monocle X, yet excellent, are a bit rougher than those of the Fractal that is finer and more refined. Also harmonies were more colorful and timbrally correct through the reference cable. Anyway, once the price comes into the game, all those quibbles are just... quibbles, as the Fractal is much more expensive.
The Monocle X is a superb speaker cable. Should you doubt just listen to the textures of brushed cymbals in In The Wee Small Hours of The Morning, or to the timing and drive of INXS’s Devil’s Party or myriad of other events that can be found in the recordings (the soft sound of keys touching the body of a flute are a good example). To keep it short: the Kimber Monocle X crosses the border from hifi to high end.

Price as reviewed:19 900,- Kč

Recommended resellers

HiFi Store, Praha, tel. +420 283 871 462

Associated components

  • Sources: Primare CD32, Luxman D-05 and Accuphase DP-510
  • Amplifiers: Primare I32, Luxman L-590AX a Accuphase E-560
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Krautwire Fractal, Cardas Clear, Homegrown Audio DNA
  • Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Virgo V, Dynaudio Confidence C1 and Xavian Giulia, Chario Constellation, Xavian Preludio, Revel Ultima Studio2, B&W 805 Diamond and Atohm G 1.0
  • Power conditioning: Nordost Thor (modified), Snakeblock, Nordost Valhalla

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