MIT EXP 2 vs. MIT AVT 3 speaker cable comparison

audio_alanaudio_alan Posts: 738
edited January 2013 in 2 Channel Audio
Yesterday I received the set of MIT AVT 3 speaker cables I bought from leroyjr1. My current MIT EXP 2's have hundreds of hours on them, and Leroy indicated the AVT 3's had about 300 hours on them, so there shouldn't be a burned in/not burned in unfairness with the comparison. According to MIT, the EXP 2's have 4 patented Articulation Poles, and the AVT 3's double that having 8 poles, so there should be a difference, right? To test that theory, I called up a friend to come over and lend me his ears for a second opinion...

I let my tube pre-amp warm up for about an hour, and then we started listening to a few different songs with my current EXP 2's, focusing on certain parts over and over.

Then I turned off my amp (but left the pre on so the tubes wouldn't go cold), and quickly swapped to the AVT 3 cables.

Right away, upon hearing the first few notes of one of our test songs, my friend said "Wow! Did you turn up the volume? The bass sounds louder!" (I hadn't even touched the tube-pre because changing volume would ruin the test.) I noticed the same things also. There was just more weight to the bass. More articulate, tactile, and punchy.

After a few songs I switched back to the EXP 2's and the weight of the bass diminished. The speakers sounded more laid back and less punchy again. This time I paid extra attention to the high end before switching again.

Once again, back to the AVT 3's and the bass weight/punch was back. Having concentrated more on the highs of the EXP 2's before the switch, I' then noticed the AVT 3's have a slight edge there too. A bit of extra clarity in the high end, but not near as drastic or noticeable as the lower frequency improvements.

After going back and forth a few times, there was no doubt in either of our minds that the AVT 3's were an upgrade over the EXP 2's (which you'd hope, since they originally sold for twice the price of EXP 2's from MIT).

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my cable test we performed last night. Well worth the purchase! Thanks again, Leroy!
Post edited by audio_alan on

Comments

  • leroyjr1leroyjr1 Posts: 8,799
    edited January 2013
    Glad you're enjoying them.
  • audio_alanaudio_alan Posts: 738
    edited January 2013
    I'm definitely enjoying them! I must have listened to music for about 4 hours last night. The only reason why I stopped was because my girlfriend want to go to bed. I was really surprised at how noticeable the difference was...
  • Erik TracyErik Tracy Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2013
    audio_alan wrote: »
    The only reason why I stopped was because my girlfriend want to go to bed.

    Smart man! :cheesygrin:

    Everything matters in this hobby!

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,752
    edited January 2013
    Erik Tracy wrote: »
    Smart man! :cheesygrin:

    Everything matters in this hobby!

    Including the wife's bedtime!
  • pearsall001pearsall001 Posts: 4,335
    edited January 2013
    Glad you're enjoying them & that you heard an "immediate" difference between the two pairs. That's how it should be. I never bought into the notion that sometimes it might take a few weeks to decipher if there's a change for the better/worse. Either you hear it or you don't.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    Crown XLS 1002 DriveCore 2 Series - center channel
    NAD Dac
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS Music System
    KEF Q300 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Extensive room treatments
  • polkfarmboypolkfarmboy Posts: 5,724
    edited January 2013
    So it seems like the exp were actually degrading the signal?
  • gfonggfong Posts: 1,071
    edited January 2013
    Right on, nice read, glad your happy with your upgrade.
  • NJPOLKERNJPOLKER Posts: 3,477
    edited January 2013
    Would you share with us/me the components that make up your system?
  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,790
    edited January 2013
    So it seems like the exp were actually degrading the signal?
    looks like one or the other is lol
  • Polkie2009Polkie2009 Posts: 3,836
    edited January 2013
    Reading this thread, once again it reconfirms to me to that my SDA/SRS2's deserve better speaker wires(basically 8 gauge copper wire) than what they have had for years. 2013 is the year I buy some nice upgraded speaker cables.
  • audio_alanaudio_alan Posts: 738
    edited January 2013
    polkfarmboy - Whether the EXP2's were degrading the signal or the AVT 3's were improving (or retaining more of the signal) is up for interpretation/debate. If you read MIT's literature on their "patented poles", it's about preserving more of the signal. So one way to view it would be the EXP 2's don't preserve as much of the signal...

    njpolker - My equipment I used for the test is as follows:

    Pioneer 100 disc CD changer (arguably the worst component in my system, thinking about buying an OPPO 103)
    Choseal interconnects
    Dared Tube-pre (with vintage Valvo signal tubes and a old Brimar rectifier tube)
    Emotiva XPA-2 amplifier
    SDA-SRS (original model, not the 1.2 or 1.2tls - unmodded, except for spikes.... I need to get my mod on!)
    MIT EXP 2's and AVT 3's (of course)

    P.S. And yes, I agree that obeying the girlfriend/wife's bedtime is extremely important. There are a few things still better than listening to music. :cheesygrin:
  • falconcry72falconcry72 Posts: 3,579
    edited January 2013
    audio_alan wrote: »
    ...Pioneer 100 disc CD changer (arguably the worst component in my system, thinking about buying an OPPO 103)...

    Does that Pioneer have digital output? If so, adding a good external DAC will yield more improvement than adding a better player at the same price point. That is unless you need other features from the 103 lke BRD playback, SACD etc.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo
    DAC: McIntosh D-100
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-26
    Power Amp: Pass Labs X-250.5
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz AV-8801
    Power Amp: Bryston 9B-ST
    Fronts: Sonus Faber Liuto Towers
    Center: Sonus Faber Liuto Smart Center
    Surrounds: Sonus Faber Liuto Bookshelves
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-Pluses
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,060
    edited January 2013
    So it seems like the exp were actually degrading the signal?

    No, they just weren't allowing the full signal to shine through.

    If he moved up to the Shotgun series he'd probably triple the improvement at triple the cost. Everyone has a budget and when you hit the ceiling you need to be satisfied, but know there is better out there.

    So if I have the Shotgun series but don't want to spend the $$$ for the Oracle series, does that mean the Shotguns are "degrading" the signal? Of course not.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • audio_alanaudio_alan Posts: 738
    edited January 2013
    Does that Pioneer have digital output? If so, adding a good external DAC will yield more improvement than adding a better player at the same price point. That is unless you need other features from the 103 lke BRD playback, SACD etc.

    No, just analog outputs on the Pioneer. It's around 20+ years old at this point.

    I was thinking the Oppo 103 because it should be a good player/dac in one, and I'm wanting to get more into SACD. (I have one of the original model PS3s that also has SACD capabilities, but I think I like the idea of a high quality dedicated player that I can play CDs and SACDs on without needing to also turn on the TV to start it.)
  • audio_alanaudio_alan Posts: 738
    edited January 2013
    heiney9 wrote: »
    No, they just weren't allowing the full signal to shine through.

    If he moved up to the Shotgun series he'd probably triple the improvement at triple the cost. Everyone has a budget and when you hit the ceiling you need to be satisfied, but know there is better out there.

    So if I have the Shotgun series but don't want to spend the $$$ for the Oracle series, does that mean the Shotguns are "degrading" the signal? Of course not.

    H9

    Well said, H9. As for now, I think I'll just be happy with the incremental upgrade. Shotguns might be on my "to buy" list eventually (probably never the Oracles), but I don't think they're in the cards until I finish building my home theater / recording studio. That's seriously eating into my toy budget right now...
  • leroyjr1leroyjr1 Posts: 8,799
    edited January 2013
    I own shotgun cables also and while they're good I'd make sure everything else is up to par first. IMO the cables should be one of the last upgrades.
  • falconcry72falconcry72 Posts: 3,579
    edited January 2013
    audio_alan wrote: »
    No, just analog outputs on the Pioneer. It's around 20+ years old at this point.

    I was thinking the Oppo 103 because it should be a good player/dac in one, and I'm wanting to get more into SACD. (I have one of the original model PS3s that also has SACD capabilities, but I think I like the idea of a high quality dedicated player that I can play CDs and SACDs on without needing to also turn on the TV to start it.)

    Gotcha. Well, whether you go with a good player like the Oppo, or a cheap CD Transport/good external DAC solution, you are in for a big improvement! Congrats on finding good cables for your system. Cheers.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo
    DAC: McIntosh D-100
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-26
    Power Amp: Pass Labs X-250.5
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz AV-8801
    Power Amp: Bryston 9B-ST
    Fronts: Sonus Faber Liuto Towers
    Center: Sonus Faber Liuto Smart Center
    Surrounds: Sonus Faber Liuto Bookshelves
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-Pluses
  • Toolfan66Toolfan66 Posts: 14,131
    edited January 2013
    leroyjr1 wrote: »
    I own shotgun cables also and while they're good I'd make sure everything else is up to par first. IMO the cables should be one of the last upgrades.

    Having a good set of cables (power, speakers, and IC's) is a great way to bring out any pros and cons of gear.

    So yes I agree with you when one is just starting out putting together a system, but as one is moving up (or going deeper into the rabit hole as some would say) good quality cables are a must have along with room treatments IMO!! So in that regard I disagree..

    But we all have our reasons on how we look at things and how we do/or would do it.. I think isolation of gear should be high on the list before fully judging gear that comes and goes out of a system.

    There is no absolute in this hobby, but one should try all and judge for themself. Some of the smallest things and cheapest I have done have given some of the biggest improvments in this hobby..

    I have yet to understand why some question spikes, this is the first thing that woke me up that there is a lot more one can do to bring out the best of gear and speakers..

    Now I do beleive someone that is running just a basic system IE: a basic receiver and lower end speakers for a 5.1 surround. you know nothing to expensive but is happy with it and better then listening to sound from the TV? should just save their money till they want to move up the food chain. These are the people that I see that may have tried more expensive cables and dont hear any improvments. They don't have a system that brings out what they can do, and I can understand that..

    Again we all have our reasons why we do things and that is OK as well. All we can do is share our experiences and hope it helps someone out.. There was a time we all followed someone to get started..

    Larry.
  • 11tsteve11tsteve Posts: 1,173
    edited January 2013
    it seems for me, everything i have done on the way up has changed the sound to some degree... some more than others.

    moving from a worn out NAD 1020/2150 to my current Acurus/Parasound was a big difference, and recapping the crossovers in my 11Ts was a big change. the rings, spikes, re-wire and such all added, but in much more subtle ways... i tightening here, more focus there...
    moving from a Matrix mini to my Schiit was almost more linear. they both had positive attributes, but my ear likes the Schiit better. and even though my rig is still mid-fi, it is by far the best audio set up i have ever owned.
    when i started changing cables, i was surprised how obvious the change was, but how subtle at the same time. moving to Morrows over the cheapies i had opened things up.... evened out frequencies. i didn't have to concentrate to hear it, but the largest affect was the lack of ear fatigue. i might not be saying things right, but i could hear the difference, but really couldn't explain it.

    not the funny thing about this thread is everything audio_alan described about his step up in the MIT chain is how i feel about the MIT's i just put in this weekend. i bought some MIT EXP2 from grimmace19 this week, moving up from some plain Monster cables. and currently i have some Infinity RSbs i recapped the crossovers and refoamed the woofers (and refinished the veneer). the bass became more focused, and the sound-stage is a bit farther outside of the box...and there seems to be a better "blend" from the Emit to the mid range. voices and violins seem more mellow.... but none of this was slap in the face kinds of change... just little things here and there... and that is fun to me, listening to that kind of change.

    i can hardly wait to start all over and move to a Pass amp... and then need everything else....
    Polk Lsi9
    N.E.W. A-20 class A 20W
    NAD 1020 completely refurbished
    Keces DA-131 mk.II
    Analysis Plus Copper Oval, Douglass, Morrow SUB3, Huffman Digital
    Paradigm DSP-3100 v.2
  • Toolfan66Toolfan66 Posts: 14,131
    edited January 2013
    I want a Pass Amp!!!
  • 11tsteve11tsteve Posts: 1,173
    edited January 2013
    Toolfan66 wrote: »
    I want a Pass Amp!!!
    i keep watching Aleph 30 auctions....just can't quite pull the trigger.
    Polk Lsi9
    N.E.W. A-20 class A 20W
    NAD 1020 completely refurbished
    Keces DA-131 mk.II
    Analysis Plus Copper Oval, Douglass, Morrow SUB3, Huffman Digital
    Paradigm DSP-3100 v.2
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