Supra Swords out of Sweden. I auditioned and bought them after HiFi+ reviewed them, awarded them speaker cables of the year and said that they were right on the coat tails of the Nordost Vahalla in terms of speed and detail, but beat it by being musical. It's right around or under $1,000.00.
After I bought them I ended up upgrading everything else system wise to complement them. I can't imagine how these speaker cables impacted my system in a way that made me want to upgrade pieces to match what these speaker cables were doing. My system now has a list price of almost $40K, including my $850.00 Supra Sword speaker cables.
I'm been told that the Supra Sword interconnects just introduced are a better upgrade than the speaker cables. You have absolutely nothing to lose in auditioning them, and everything to gain.
I would have to pick the new Synergistic Research Tesla Series- forced to pick one model I'd go with Precision Reference (I did). Apex is also right there. It comes down to system components and acoustics.
BTW Krell_man "Supra Sword" sounds like something Austin Powers might have returned to him after his long hibernation. "Oh behave"
My pick would be the Cardas Hexlink Golden 5-C also. I have owned about every frickin' cable ever made and always go back to these. The Cardas Hexlink Golden 5 would be on my list too.
I suspect you are looking for some 'high end' recommendations - this won't be of any help. But, FWIW, after a couple of years and many high end cables I settled on some Cardas cable 10+ years ago (Quadlink) and used it thru several systems. It was OK I thought but it sure gave meaning to cable 'break in' for me. I was never convinced that it was optimum but had been told it was neutralish and bought in. (It sure was in comparison to some of the cable I had already tried!)
I reconfigured my room and needed some longer cables but since I didn't know if it was permanent I didn't want to spend a lot of money. I bought some Canare 4s11 and put it in. First thing I noticed is the lack of a need for serious break-in. The next thing I noticed was that it was 'synergistic'. Good cable. If anything it was a bit 'softer' than the Cardas.
The interesting thing is that for the past 2 years I've changed amps, speakers, etc, and guess what - the Canare is still in place, just much shorter lengths, the Cardas is still in the closet, and I have no interest in trying to 'improve' my system by making any more speaker cable changes. I have no sense of loss of fine detail from my components or speakers. Go figure. :-)
I agree, the name 'Supra Sword' is different indeed! The company 'Supra' is a well known and long time established cable company in Sweden, they're just becoming known in the U.S. You'd have to read the review and see the drawing, but the 'Swords' are made in such a way that they have virually no inductance or capacitance. That makes them lightning fast, along with having their other virtues.
What caught my attention when I read the review was the comparision with the Nordost Vahalla. I had talked to Walter at Underwood HiFi before that and he told me that he had taken a set of Nordost Vahalla speaker cables in on trade and had already sold them, but that he did have them long enough to give them a good listen.
He said that they were a whole lot better than he ever imaged that they would be, he's not a Nordost dealer. He told me that if I ever had a chance to to pick up a used set on Audiogon, it would be worth my while.
When the Supra Sword review came out in HiFi+ and the end of the year award, I decided to seek them out and give them a try. They are so good and natural that one one night I fell asleep while listening to a CD. For some reason it startled me when it ended and I got up to flip the record over. I had forgotten that it was a CD that I was listening to!
I think that that is about the highest recommendation for anything in our hobby.
My latest speaker cable, Synergistic Research's Tesla Precision Reference. Unless new technology is created this cable will stay in my system for a long time.
MIT Oracle speaker & interconnect.
I had a full Valhalla system (IC's and SC's) prior to going Tesla and I came to the same conclusion regarding Nordost performance. Perhaps that paper tiger is getting a little long in the tooth?
I settled on the Jade Audio cables after trying many...they just seemed to sound "right" with a variety of components. I referred several longtime audiophile friends to these and we each have shared a similar experience. I think the Vermeil is one of the best values around although you do get better performance with the Hybrid...but at a steep cost.
They say that Home Depot Orange extension cords are great. The only problem is that they don't have an exotic name, and the price is an embarasment.
Synergistic Research Tesla cables. (I happen to have the acelerator) State of the art.
They say that Home Depot Orange extension cords are great. The only problem is that they don't have an exotic name, and the price is an embarasment.
Yea that's it-while were at it does anyone know how I can terminate a couple of straightened coat hangers to RCA's? Think about it-solid core, rigid (less resonance), air dielectric, and CHEAP.
JPS FX series but they do have a downside:
not to expensive
name is not exotic
but performance is at least as good as terminated coat hanger.
Right now I would have to say the Mosaic Chimera by Intuitive Audio. Although I still have a fondness for the CRL/FIM Silver.
I have had the Supra Swords in my system and really liked them. I think Krell_man has described them accurately. If I didn't already have the CRL/FIM Silver, which has a very similar sonic signature, I would have kept them.
Used Analysis Plus Oval 9 (single or biwire) are bargains in speaker cabling.
I have had many cables and my current MIT Oracle speaker cables and interconnects are by far the best I ever have had. My cds sound analog and the music sounds so real that from the next room it sounds like live musicians are playing. Of course my other equipment, Accuphase and Avantgaurds help account for this realism, but I have tried them with other highly regarded and reviewed cables and have lost that realism. You simply must audition these cables to appreciate what they can do.
I love my Harmonic Technology Pro-9s.
Although they didn't work with my low-powered SET, they are magnificent with high powered tubes or SS.
NBS Black Label for now with FMS Nexus not too far behind it.
Intuitive Design Chimera Reference carbon nanotube speaker cables. I did a review on them here on Audiogon. Another league up from conventional cables.
Both the Wireworld Eclipse III and the Gold Eclipse III were highlights of anything I've ever owned...and I've had much of what Cardas, Nordost, Kimber and others make/made.
Audioquest cables probably won't get much mention as they've become too mainstream but the first cable I tried and had an "ah hah" reaction was the original Audioquest Slate. They seemed to add a sense of depth to my system that only solid core cables have had. Not sure why but the newer version doesn't impress me quite as well.
These threads always become unraveling scrolls...
Cardas Hexlink Golden 5C separate bi-wires have been in my system since 94.
They sound consistantly musical across the board and sell fast when they go up for sale.
PAD Dominus Rev B - so blew away everything else that it was never a competition.
Y'all got that right - Cardas Hex golden 5c I've got a pair and they are it. I use all Golden Cross now but the Hex is great. I had, a long time ago, Quadlink, but the Hex was way better.
Surprised that there are no mention of the Kimber Select KS3035 and KS3038. Wonder how they compared to the Synergistic Teslas...
I sold away the Supra Sword after auditioning Van den Hul SCS-4 cables.
so far, 16 companies have been mentioned as sources of favorite speaker cables.
if the purpose of the thread is to obtain ideas for purchasing a speaker cable, how does one make use of 16 suggestions (opinions) ?
if the purpose is to exchange opinions, and this is certainly a forum for that purpose, what else is gained ?
it seems that there are so many threads where opinions are elicited regarding what is the "best" product, at or below a price point or what is one's favorite component, that such a subject would be trite by this time, having been asked and answered over and over again.
i have tried quite a few and have always like the audience speaker cable with the audience power cords - great combo.
i have tried nordost and they are good but a bit overpriced imho..
Definitely the Jorma cabling, particularly the Prime which incorporate Jack Bybee's latest thinking on terminations and noise filtering. Please see my virtual system thread for a longer discourse on what these cables do well.
Mrtennis...You are right that all these diverse oponions are worthless to someone trying to choose what to buy. But, is that really the purpose of a thread such as this? It seems to me that this kind of thread exists so that insecure audiophiles can convince themselves that their own cables are excellent. Their own opinion is the only opinion they believe, and, by the way, that's OK because it's the only opinion based on their own ears.
Hey, I thought Auditorium 23 made the best speaker cables... (not that I've ever heard them). At least that's what many here have posted.
Eldartford & Mrtennis:
I thought the purpose of these threads was to have fun.
You DO remember fun don't you?
If you find the thread trite, ignore it and move on...
Dweller...Check my 2/6 posting, and see if you don't think I am having fun. I am sure that your Harmonic Technology Pro-9s are the best (for you).
I, for one, love this thread because I like to learn what other people have tried. It's only a competition for people with very, very small penises. Anyhoo, I've learned from Krellman that I've *got* to find a set of Supra's to audition. My own current favorite is Harmonic Tech's Magic Reference Woofers. Since hooking them up, ear fatigue is a thing of the past. For those in the flat earth society, I'm happy to be this deluded about what these cables have done for my system. I listen twice as much now.
The reality is that cables do sound different and that for a given amp/speaker interface, one design will often sound markedly superior to another. In another set up, preferences may be very different. Many will argue that this is solely attributable to the different tonal balances of different cables and that certainly can be a factor; however, even within the family of cables produced by one manufacturer, all of which share a similar tonal balance, the cable chosen will exhibit other very audible characteristics that have nothing to do with tonal balance. In this instance, I am thinking of the differences between Jorma #1 and Prime speaker cable which have very similar tonal balances but differ in a number of other ways that are clearly audible on a number of different systems that I have heard them in.
I think that my point is that the speaker cable serves as an elctrical interface between the widely complex load that the speaker presents and the output stage of the amplifier and that certain combinations seem to work much better than others. I do agree that some amps are much more sensitive to this than others (think low power, directy heated, single ended triodes) and some relatively immune to most of these effects (think the older Krell KMA series).
Kubala-Sosna Emotion, double run
Kimber Kable 4PR - which was my first real speaker cable several decades ago
While the bright orange cords may have merit with some speaker-amplifier connections,in my system,the sound is too citrus like.
I use 16 gauge heater cord;they are brown.
Yes,I know brown is technically orange,but the heater cord imparts a darker sound to my system
I just received a 8' biwire set of Gregg Straley's Reality Cables and even though they are not fully broken in yet, they are really something else. Tonally, they are very neutral sounding...no zippy highs, no bloated bass. Where they seem to have an edge over everything else I've used (AG biwire Mont Blanc, Zu Wax/6 awg combo and Anti-Cables) is in dimensionality. A plapability or "thereness" of everything. The soundfield in more inverted "U" shaped than "V" shaped. Textures and body is more evident. I don't know what he's doing or what's inside those stiff orange cables, but it is something special, IMHO. And for the $, they have got to be the steal of the century in the high-end audio world.
I am using Auditorium 23 and I am very pleased.
I am also using the Auditorium 23 speaker cables and am very pleased with them! They are very natural sounding. Timbral accuracy is excellent. Allows for fatigue-free listening!
Just installed Gregg Straley's Reality Cables. My search is finally over. After using Alphacore Goertz MI 1 cables for several years, switched to Signal cable Ultra's for fronts. IMO the Signals produced a fuller sound ... and just a bit on the warm side. I heard a system with some Transparent cables in place ... simply amazing, but I refuse to pay $2,000 for speaker cables! Then I got the upgrade bug ... auditioned Morrow Audio SP2, Speltz Anti-cables, and Audio Art SC-5. While all of these cables are excellent - especially at their price points - each was lacking in a certain area ... the Morrows (bass), Speltz (warmth/emotion), SC-5 (clarity/details). To me, of these three, the SC-5's are the best. Of course, YMMV. I eventually tried a shotgun bi-wire configuration with the Speltz combined with the SC-5's, which was actually quite good.
These Reality Cables do everything well ... top to bottom. There's an ease and refinement in my system now. It now approaches the "high end" sound realm I've been seeking. I believe the Reality Cables are the final piece of the puzzle. I was most impressed by the timbre and tonality they produce. This is the closest I've been to hearing real instruments. It sounds like a sax, piano, guitar playing ... as opposed to a recording of the music. The best part is, at $250/8ft pair these are still in the "budget" price range ... just slightly more than the others I tried, but at higher performance level.
Finally, Gregg Straley is pleasure to do business with. He's got great service and he stands behind his product.
I have Shunyata Andromeda and love them. The shunyata cables stood out among every every cable I auditioned all being in or near the same price.
I have auditioned a number of cables including Nordost, Cardas, Coincident, JPS, Audience, Tara Labs, Acoustic Zen, Audioquest, Transparent, Siltech and a number of others. Many of these cables do certain things well and have strengths that match certain types of systems, but I have yet to find a cable that I prefer over the Jena Labs cables.
I just went thru a whole speaker cable experience that included 10 guage Romex, Canare Quad,Clear Day solid silver,Harmonic Pro 9,Blue Circle,Cardas Golden Cross and Golden Hex 5c.
All wires had their high and low points,no real stinkers however in the end the Cardas Golden 5c were the ones I settled for.
They seemed to have the least flaws of any of the cheapest cables and were as good or better than the more expensive cables.
One thing that I noticed was how much thicker they are than the newer more costly Gold Cross.
Internally they don't seem to be anything special , just 4 runs of 3 wires for a total of 12 separate wires.
So far in my journey its the Kubala Sosna Elation followed closely by the emotion. Both these cables just produce natural magic and tone definition and detail with very quite back-ground.
The best I have heard (by a wide margin) is the Argento Flow. I haven't tried the Flow Master Reference yet but I suspect that is going to be a big improvement