The TQ express to NVA town

edited April 2013 in Other hi-fi gear
I thought I should make a few concluding remarks about the past few days spent Tellurium Q Ultra Black speaker cable. "No need Ben. Not interested"? Well tough, I'm going to anyway.

Obviously when I plugged in the TQs between my NVA TSS power amplifier and NVA Cube 1 speakers I was aware that there was a drop or two of less-than-good-blood between some aspects of the 2 companies. Indeed, the cables and amplifier eyed each other suspiciously as I introduced them for the first time...


There is a serious point here too. NVA will not guarantee their products if used with TQ cable due to concerns about potential damage to the amp due to some possible electrical mismatch. Or something like that. So this loss of guaruntee is something to consider when bringing these 2 products together. As I have personally been removed from the guarantee list anyway, this did not effect me. More importantly, I was reassured by the reports of others who have tried out this combination of product type that no problems had been encountered, so I pressed on. Cautiously. So far no apparent problems of any kind...

The TQ Ultra Blacks were taking over from NVA LS6. I have been using NVA speaker cables for many years, progressing from LS3 to LS5 and recently to the LS6. Every one of these has represented the best I could find for my money. The 2.5m LS6 that I have cost £310. The same run of TQ Ultra Black would cost £1275 I think. More of the price thing later. The pair I actually have is more like 2m and are a set of used seconds. They are being offered to me for a suitably sized donation to charity by our noble leader here Dave (uglymusic).

My first impression when I pressed play with the Ultra Blacks in place was that the sound was different to that to which I am used. As we all know different does not necessarily equal better, so being on my Easter break, I set about a few days of careful listening. I did some quick A-B switching, and some day long sessions with each cable.

My final thoughts are that the TQ Ultra Black is very impressive. It has an eerily smooth and realistic presentation. Quite unlike anything I've heard. Vocals in the midrange are also impressive - detailed but full bodied. Bass is also worth a mention: Powerful and controlled in equal measure. The texture of double bass sounds is remarkable.

It's important to point out that it's not the TQ doing all this on its own of course. Everything else in the system is NVA. So really it's a synergy thang. I've always been after just one thing with my hifi: realistic sounds. If there is a snare drum in the mix I want it to sound like a snare drum. Simples. Over time, I have edged closer to this, most recently via a succession of NVA products. The TQ is merely the most recent useful addition to the pleasing mix. In fact in my system this week I think the NVA-TQ partnership is now coming along swimmingly...


So price...£1275 new. Is a 2.5m stereo run of UItra Black worth it? Well I have no idea what it's made of, how many hours went into its development or the market value of the expertise that made it possible. With these imponderables, value is in the eye of the beholder, determined by how much one wants something combined with how much disposable income one has. The Ultra Black is the speaker cable that I have most enjoyed in my system. But, I would not (could not) pay £1275 for the Ultra Black; I am being made redundant at the end of the month (thanks Mr. Gove). Given how much I like the Ultra Black, and my finances, I am very lucky to be able to access this product at a price that makes it irresistible. And for charity to boot! :-) For this, thanks to Dave and Colin!


  • You are both funny and naughty, Ben!

    I agree.
  • Just noticed that my 'happy ending' photo hadn't been posted for some reason. Now reinserted...!
  • Sorry Ben we do not give specs, we will not talk about the construction or the material used. Why? because original thought is always stolen and is always condemned as wrong and can't work until it is stolen by other companies. I am sorry that NVA will not back  there obligation on the support side of there products, but I am very glad they work well together, this does show NVA products and TQ cable as having a good musical synergy together.
    Nice report thanks shame about the pics.
  • edited April 2013
    Too right Colin. My point about materials was that the value of a given product may have little to do with the price of those materials. It's about the value of time and expertise too. I find it perplexing when people claim products are "overpriced" based on the (lower) price of the raw materials alone.
    I'm certainly not interested in the technical details of what's inside the rubber sleeve (tho' my money's on cat guts).
  • It's wires out of dismantled pianos !
  • OK right first time again.
  • Hope so. I'm an advisory teacher - my raw materials (a few sheets of A4 paper for the consultation report) aren't worth much...
    My time and expertise are all I've got really.
  • "Quite unlike anything I've heard"
    Yep, me too. The wife went mental when they were taken out of the system and so were soon back in place.
    Currently playing with a very interesting interconnect from TQ.

  • I'd trust your wife's judgement, she writes very good reviews... :D
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