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Audioquest Mythical Creatures – Dragon

05.02.2021 // Dirk Sommer

First, I had to exchange the Dragon bi-wiring cables, which had been allowed to accumulate operating hours in my set up for over two weeks, for the FireBirds. Even if this one-time change is not enough for the final assessment, I heard two test tracks with the Dragon and only then connected the FireBirds: The top models spoil with a slightly more extended spatial representation and seem a bit smoother and more relaxed in the high-frequency range – despite or because of the higher silver content? But more about that later.

The FireBird ZERO and BASS, which have come back to life with a few songs, leave nothing to be desired without a direct comparison. In terms of price, they differ by just over two percent from a Dragon ZERO, including a set of Jupiter jumpers. As recommended by Audioquest in the price book, I connect the plus conductor to the plus terminal of the woofers and the minus conductor to the corresponding terminal for the mid-tweeter – or in this case, the bending wave transducer – and use the just mentioned jumpers for the remaining connections. The Dragon plays a touch larger and seems a bit brighter in timbre. In this first comparison, I like the FireBird-ZERO-BASS combination a tiny bit better because of its slightly more solid low-frequency foundation and slightly blacker background.

We continued with Arild Anderson's "If You Look" from the album If You Look Far Enough: The FireBird combination resolves the dense metallic percussion mesh a touch better than the single Dragon. The FireBirds also have a slight advantage when it comes to impulses, as an ounce of extra low-frequency energy doesn't slow down its reproduction but only makes it punchier. The use of Ground-Noise Dissipation technology also makes itself felt very positively here. Those who attach great importance to a rather bright, lively – or, depending on the subjective view on the matter, slightly more nervous – characteristic may disagree: In combination with my loudspeakers and my power amplifier, I would not want to do without the advantages of the technology used in the BASS. To be fair, I should also note that the Dragon ZERO pair and the Jupiter jumpers have enjoyed considerably less break-in time than the FireBird and Dragon bi-wiring combinations. However, as mentioned in one of the previous articles about the Mythical Creatures, since the cables were already burned in for 37 hours after completion in Roosendaal, I can't judge how much more break-in time they need.

Mythical Creatures peacefully united: ThunderBird and FireBird in the biwiring version, Dragon in the ZERO version
Mythical Creatures peacefully united: ThunderBird and FireBird in the biwiring version, Dragon in the ZERO version

I'm going to listen to one or two more indicative songs now and then switch back from the Firebird to the Dragon. I've enjoyed the Dragon a lot during the last two weeks, especially with Eberhard Weber's latest ECM albums Resume and Encore,"based on bass solos from various live concerts that served as source material for new songs. Eberhard Weber's unique electric double bass and deep synthesizer sounds sing and bubble ingratiatingly around each other – now and then supplemented by a little percussion and saxophone sounds: a treat for friends of deeply resounding strings!

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