Transparent Reference XL or Nordost Valhalla

I have a Jeff Rowland Model 112 amplifier, which of the two interconnects will work best with the amplifier, the Transparent Reference XL or the Nordost Valhalla? The lengths of both cables are 1.5 meter (unbalanced RCA terminated).

Thank you in advance for any advice.

hi Danny, i owned an all-Transparent Ref.XL system for 3 years and enjoyed it. at that time it bettered all comers in the total package of speed, dynamics, detail, transparency, etc. then 2 years ago i started hearing better cables.....the best of which were the Transparent Opus mm and the Valhalla, both of which i now own. the Ref. XL is still a very good cable.....but there are now more than a few better ones, including the Valhalla; which is way more open, fast, detailed, dynamic, and transparent than the Ref.XL.

i also owned the 112 for a short time and it matched well with the Valhalla. the Valhalla can be too detailed and open for some speakers.....the result might be too lean or whitish sounding. so if you want to let us know what speakers you are using we could venture an educated guess on that issue.

i believe at this level of cables system synergy is very important and you need to listen and compare if possible before you buy.
Mikelavigne offers wise advice. I would take his last statement one step further and say that synergy is important at any level. There is absolutely no way to predict which cable will sound better to you in your system. You will have to try them.
Herman, i couldn't agree more......after i reread my post i wished i had eliminated "at this level" in that sentence.

thanks for making that point.
Great advice guys, I really appreciate the input. I own a pair of B&W Nautilus 802.
Danny, the N802 would be on the lean side of neutral.....i would recommend auditioning the Valhalla before purchase. there might be other cable that would have a better balance in your system. if your source gear is "lean" "digital" sounding the balance might be strident or comes down to taste. in a vinyl system with a "rich" sounding cartridge it could be perfect.

be patient with the cable matching process for best results.
FWIW, I've tried the Valhalla with the Rowland 10 using WP6 speakers, and I did find the sound too lean, bordering on bright. Source was the Audiomeca Enkianthus DAC.

However, I love the Valhalla with Levinson (same source and speakers), which is darker sounding than the Rowland. So indeed, synergy (as well as personal taste) is very important.
I agree with Jacpii(along with what everyone else said), it really depends what you like in your sound, one man's lean is another's rich. Room interaction should be taken into consideration, if you have a bright room, room treatment is what I would do before I commit to a cable with a certain "voice", get the room sounding as good as you can and start feathering in the cables you want to try. I have seen pictures of Mike's system and he has some tube traps and I am sure a lot more stuff that I haven't seen, and more then a few people have told me that he has the best sounding system they have ever heard(people whom I trust in this hobby).

Mike- You know my buddy Don(the fellow who is on a quest to find new speakers-replacing his Verity's, I think you know him. He also runs the Tenor Mono's) well he and I may be planning a trip out to your neck of the woods, Jonathan has a lot of stuff he wants us to see. Which leads me to my cable question to you, he(Don) went and listened to some Kharma's- Grande Cermique's and he took his system with him, and didn't care for the sound with his Jena Valkyre cables, but when the Kharma cables were installed he felt it was much less lean, do you think that the Kharma cables are a "band-aid" so to speak for their speakers? Or is it possible that the Jena cables are lean sounding, thus mating poorly with the kharma's?

Thanks for any insight,
Tim, i talked to Jonathan and Don this week and we talked about a possible trip out here and his speaker quest. his recent travels and listening perceptions just go to prove how system-dependant everything is. i have not heard Kharma cables yet in my room (i am suppose to be recieving the Kharma Enigma cables for audition soon) so i can't comment on those. the Kharma cables are said to have a similar toneality to the Siltech, somewhat on the slightly "dark" side of ultimate neutrality. the Jena Labs are probably closer to "neutral" and in some systems might not be as ideal as the Kharma cable.....of course, the reverse would be sometimes true. at CES i did listen to the Grand Ceramiques and Exquisites both on Lamm amps and Kharma cables and while they sounded very nice i vastly prefer the sound in my room with the Tenor,Opus and Valhalla......faster, more open, better bass integration, more natural tonal balance.....but there were so many other differences between systems it is very difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions. no CES room can have the TLC a long-term room can have. there is no question that the Valhalla/Opus in my room is faster, more neutral, and more open than even the Jena Labs but in my room the balance is just right to my what seemed too lean with the Jena Labs in the systems Don listened just fine with the Exquisites in my room. when i tried the Jena Labs in my room on the Exquisites the tonal balance was very good. i think Don needs to choose speakers first and then experiment with cables if he needs to (but i doubt he will need to).

until i listen to the Kharma cables in my room and compare them directly with my Valhalla/Opus i won't know if there indeed is a special synergy than will outperform my cables on the Kharma Exquisites. i am always interested in performance improvements so i will keep my mind open. whenever i have felt like i had it all figured out, along comes some revelation that shows me i was fooling myself.

generally i think that cables should only be involved in the final step of system/room balance and should not be expected to do the "heavy lifting" of solving big acoustical imbalances. bass balance, bass integration, and reflection control should first be optimized before the cable issue is dealt with. otherwise, changing one acoustical perameter could invalidate your cable choice. i try for neutrality and energy balance (as i'm sure everyone else does too)in the room so i can have my components as close to neutral as possible. this allows me to use a very open, honest cable like the Valhalla that may be too much truth for some less neutral systems.

so yes, you are correct about cables being right for the room, as the finishing touch, not as a band-aid.

Tim, i hope you and Don can come out for Jonathan's audio tour and that you can come up to my room for some listening....the Rockport and Exquisites are sounding fine this morning.....i have 4 guys coming over later (one of them is filming an interview with Pat Metheny today before he comes over) for a listen.

i have had quite a few "musical epiphanys" in my room over the last months......i look forward to sharing one with you.
They are apparently relatively new here in the US, but from what I've been reading, they've piqued my interest:

There have been more of that praise too from a couple of people who have tried Valhalla's in their system. I'm guessing a trial is in order...that's what the 30-day audition periods are for, right? :)