Back to speaker cables. After the best part of a week living with the Isoldas and enjoying the naturalness of the vocals and extension to the bass, I switched back to the 'vintage' Exposure cables. This immediately re-created the slightly more distant, and slightly better-defined sound-stage and the whole feel was more open and energetic. But, that slight shimmer was back that was missing with the Isoldas. One thing that I was keen to try was adding a Zobel network to the speaker ends of the cables (which I guess is what Max is sort of doing with his high capacitance, impedance matched design and this appears to eliminate high frequency refections) - I think you have one on your speakers don't you, Martin? Having failed to find a SPEC RSP-901EX (there is someone in London with a pair for sale, but he hasn't responded to my emails) I came across the Speaker Enacom from Enokido in Japan and bought a pair from David (I actually discovered he stocked them via an eBay search!). When installed they actually did most, if not all, of what I had hoped for. The soundstage and energy remained very 'Exposure', but the shimmer was gone and with a naturalness pretty much equal to the Isoldas; only occasionally do I think that they were bettering the Enacom plus Exposure combination, but that is tricky to be definite about.
Although I am now very happy with the solution I have (which can also retain the RHExposure cable that is installed in an under-floor duct and would be a challenge to replace), OCOS cables are interesting and have a Zobel network in their speaker-end adapters, and they can be built asymmetrically like the Isoldas, are at only 6mm in diameter would be relatively easy to route through the duct. I have managed to track down a 5 m pair of cables with amplifier-end adapters (the cables are coaxial) and found a company in Germany that still had a couple of new speaker-end adapters / filters. Once they turn up, I'll given them a go and report back.
Yes, the SPECs have been a part of my system for a while now. They definitely help integrate the speakers with the power amp by helping to reduce load reactance. I like what they do in my system - midrange smoothness, air and depth.
I've never come across Enacom, do report on them when you get a moment!
My impression is that the Speaker Enacom is basically the same device as the SPEC one but housed in a copper cylinder rather than the nice wooden enclosures that SPEC use. The website that appears to be associated with the manufacturer (although not Enokido as is listed on the packaging) is www.combak.net/enacom/EnacomSeries.html. There is a nice review etc of them, and the OCOS cables, here: www.6moons.com/audioreviews/ring/ring.html
As I mentioned above, I am very impressed with what they have added to the 'vintage' Exposure cables (or rather maybe what they have taken away).