I have purchased numerous cables directly from Alpha-Core over the years, had numerous cables reterminated by the factory, and had many cables shorten and reterminated by them. I have never once had a problem. Who did you speak with at Alpha-Core who lost your order twice?
All the best,
That is surprising to hear. They have been around a very long time and can't imagine that they will ignore you as a repeat customer. Now I am not sure If I should go ahead and order their speaker cable (gold conductor) at this point.
Can anyone convince why I should try and get the cables?
First, I spoke with someone named Dawn Langston. Then someone else in their sales department. This whole thing has been a real hassle. I'm afraid that I"ll not be using their products again. There are too many companies that actually care about customer service to go with those that don't.
Yes, I heard that they sound very nice. However, I've been unable to terminate them and hook them up (because it is hard to use conventional terminators...they make their own proprietary terminations that fit on flat cables). It's just bad business to piss off customers like that.
It might be because their main business isn't audio ...it's making electrical parts for business. They may not care about a few dollars here and there when they deal with large contracts.
I've had good customer service from Alpha-Core in the past, not great Shari of Thiel, but good. I could imagine some improvement, but your reaction, based on my experience (not yours of course) is a bit surprising.
I've never had problems with them. I've tried a bunch of their stuff and still have a set of MI-2 Veracity cables. I took advantage of their trial period on products and they were always quick to credit me with a refund. I suppose there is always someone who falls through the cracks no matter who the vendor is. Sorry to hear it was you.
La45 - try their speaker cables. I think you will be extremely surprised. Make sure to get the zobel networks. I had them build the zobel into the cable design, but you can get them separately (they're free) and hook them across your binding posts. Also splurge on their jumpers ($20) if you aren't bi-wiring.
Sounds like I'm the exception rather than the rule!
I continue to be amazed at how easily people anonymously will bash a vendor or manufacturer in public - here, for thirty dollars. Just what is the point of this? To announce to the world that its not wise to irritate you?
No, the point is to ensure that there is motivation to provide good customer service to people who spend hard earned money on expensive products and to warn others if a company does not live up to standards. If a company cannot provide civil and efficient service than it should know that people will hold it to task and share that information with others. I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with that. It's a basic concept in free market capitalism.
And the cables didn't cost $30 dollars...
Sorry, I'm not buying the crusading consumer advocate spiel - certainly not with an anonymous posting presented the way you have.
Alpha-Core has been in business for 25 years and selling audio cables for 15 of them. That doesn't happen without a lot of hard work and consideration for their customer. The free market has obviously been speaking for a while now.
Perhaps you had a snafu with your self-described "$30 dollar order". Instead of first making a general inquiry about other people's experience in purchasing from the company (which probably would have told you what you learned here, namely that your situation is an exception) - your course of action is to piss on them anonymously - by indulging in negative speculation and innuendo.
Given a reputable company and no supporting evidence of poor customer service, isn't it a possibility that perhaps someone simply made a mistake? That does happen. Sure it can be frustrating, but I'm willing to bet that if the company understood the issue it would get set right.
I continue to be amazed at how easily people anonymously will bash a vendor or manufacturer in public.
Are there many reports out there of the the goertz speaker cables being fragile, getting damaged and shorting out amplifiers ? What special precautions should one take ?
I have Veracity speaker cables in copper and silver, neither are fragile, in fact their flat nature makes them ideal to run under a rug.
Please point out negative speculation Jtimothya. Not sure where your getting that. I said that I purchased a pair of Alpha cables. Needed different terminations and when I tried to order them, it took a month and still no terminatios. I cannot use the cables without them. When I asked they said that that they never remembered talking to me, despite having called TWICE. No apologies nothing. No speculation here...just bad customer service. When you spend several hundered dollars on cables you expect to be treated at minimum respectfully. Else there are other companies out there who will. They should AT Minimum apologize for dropping the order and do what they can to get the terminations to you ASAP. A good company would have sent the terminations ASAP free of charge or pay shipping. A descent company would have at least expedited the terminations ASAP with no further delay, perhaps apologizing for lack of service. A bad company tells the customer he's wrong and he didn't ever talk to them and that it wasn't their fault.
My "my threads" viewer says over 200 people have viewed this thread. If AC goertz ever checks Audiogon, then they'll see this and understand the importance of treating EVERY customer with dignity and not just most of them.
Apparently, my experience is not the norm for them. Nevertheless, I believe that any other customer would be frustrated having had my experience and after having spent several hundred bucks still not being able to use the cables nearly a month on.
Ctb - I don't find the cables fragile at at. AC offers a flat design and non-flat design (Serpent series). If you're not careful you can put bends or crinkles in the flat cables (which generally won't break them or even affect the sound), but overall they are pretty flexible and AC even recommends you can place them under carpet or behind baseboards.
As for the amp issue, it is well known and mentioned on several threads here that the zobel networks are a safe bet to use with these cables. Especially with solid state amps. Something to do with the cables capacitance forces some amps into oscillation. The zobels are supplied free by AC and you can have them integrated into the cable design of you like. Look for posts on the subject by Audiogon member Sean.
In fact, your tone, Jtimothya, is EXACTLY the same one that I got from AC goertz. Are you an AC rep?
It might be because their main business isn't audio ...it's making electrical parts for business. They may not care about a few dollars here and there when they deal with large contracts.
There's the example you asked for - you're speculating the company does not care about customers who make small orders.
Ok, you acquired some cables and need different connectors on them. The fact that you bought them and now need different plugs does not sound like the fault of the vendor. You tried to place an order and had a problem. Sounds like you talked with two different people and each didn't know what you told the other and your order fell through the cracks. Now, because the second person didn't apologize to you and offer to send you free plugs, you *feel* insulted and got your undies in a bundle. Maybe thats how you feel. Sure maybe anyone might experience a little frustration. But I don't see where it warrants attempting to smear the company anonymously.
The world isn't perfect everyday. But this does not sound like you've been egregiously ripped off or received false promises. Does your thirty dollar order mix-up warrant an anonymous attack in a public place? I haven't read that someone actually said anything to you that might be considered an insult. And we only know one side of the story.
Imagine an equally anonymous response using your same logic: "well I've heard they have great customer service and you musta been rude to Dawn and affronted her dignity to get that kind of response". Just speculation, ya know - how would that anonymous message feel to you?
What do you want? Do you want the self-satisfaction of whacking at them with no liability to yourself? Maybe accrue a little sympathy while getting other anonymous posters to pile on? (As in Ctb's 'do you still beat your wife?' message.) Do you want to harm their business or teach them a lesson? Or do you want the banana plugs? There is no evidence of anyone acting in bad faith - this sounds like a simple mistake on someone's part.
I'll suggest it is far more effective to contact the manufacturer and calmly explain the situation - maybe send them an e-mail so you have something to reference. Or maybe it is simpler to just start over and pretend you are making a new order.
I suppose the purists who choose to use the speaker cables sans standard terminations such as spades or plugs might find the cables fragile. The recommendation to use the free zobels Alpha-Core offers with loan or purchase of their speaker cables is well documented. In the unlikely event one fries their amp because they choose to ignore these many warnings, they'll have no one to blame but themselves.
I never claimed that AC made any false promises or ripped me off in any way.
I only stated that they were rude to me, a paying and repeat customer, as I was also trying to purchase the correct terminations for them (which was my fault for getting cables before getting the amp).
Certainly, someone there made a mistake. That can be forgiven. What can't be forgiven is to blame the customer. It isn't hard to say "sorry I made a mistake and I'll help get that corrected." Everyone makes mistakes and that's a given. (and forgiven) However, if you tell me "I didn't make a mistake and you never called and talked to me and sorry I can't help you." Well that's a different story." That is adding insult to injury. Further, they didn't offer to correct the situation, but then referred me to one of their subcontractors.
And as previously stated...I did call and try to correct the situtation, not once but TWICE. Only after a month am I posting this....this didn't happen after a single misstep.
I don't believe that an Audiogon member is being any more "anonymous" hiding behind a user name, than a manufacturer's rep' is hiding behind a brand name. If one started discounting opinons on this basis, most of the content on this site would have to be discounted. I think it a positive thing when an Audiogon member shares their experience regarding customer service, whether it be positive or negative. Heck, manufactures go to great lengths and expense to project their opinion of themselves or the positive opinion of others regarding their products, but rarely (and quite understandably) do they do they opposite. This may be one of the few avenues that the audiophile community has to keep it "real". While I think this thread may have opened in a less inflamatory fashion, I still welcome the sharing of experience. As the thread progressed, I believe the consensus indicated that Abdou may have had something of a unique experience or reaction. Perhaps, a somewhat unexpected positive outcome may have or will come to be.
Hotsauce, Clio09, and Unsound thanks for your helpful advice concerning running them under a rug and using Zobel networks. I just bought one MI2 pair used but have not yet used them and I am about to buy another pair for use in the same system. I did not even know about the Zobel networks, are these also recommended for use with tube amps.
The reason for my previous question was that I was concerned about the thin insulation getting damaged or chewed by the puppy that my wife is babysitting and my amp trying to drive a short.
Jtimothya --- Your comment Maybe accrue a little sympathy while getting other anonymous posters to pile on? (As in Ctb's 'do you still beat your wife?' message.) is rather offensive and paranoid.
anonymous poster --- Do I need to give YOU my full name, address, occupation, income and social security number and then get your permission before I post a question here ? I dont know any one in this thread and have nothing to do with any company involved in audio in any way. I as of yet have no first hand experience with alpha core cables.
I have never posted here previously, so what? Attitudes like yours I am sure would keep other first time posters from posting again.
As for the do you still beat you wife? part, I am not exactly sure how to comment on that. Suffice it to say that with the displaced anger, paranoia and frustration you exhibit, I could fathom that some people may not enjoy your company.
Ctb - typically the zobels are required for solid state amps, but considering their price (evidently they are not free anymore - $20), why not play it safe and get them anyway. I think they are sold in pairs so you need 2. Get the jumpers while you're at it.
As for damage, you didn't mention the animal factor. Yes a puppy can chew through them if they work at it long enough. If you can run them under carpet that would certainly help.
I'm not sure about this, better check with Alpha-Core, but I believe the zobels are free with initial purchase or loan, and are otherwise sold at a cost of $20.00. In any event, prudent risk management would suggest they are well worth having.
In view of the termination issue that prompted this thread, buyers of Alpha Core Goertz jumpers should be aware that the jumpers, like the speaker cables themselves, are strips of flat, bare wire (no sheath) about 3/4" wide. The user has to cut the strip to approximately the length between speaker terminals, because the flat wire will not bend easily over a short distance to absorb extra length. Also, the ends are squared-off, and the user must notch them to fit around the speaker terminals. No big deal, unless you thought you were getting a product that is ready-to-use out of the box. On the plus side, you can order the jumpers in copper or silver.
I ordered the copper jumpers, cut and shaped them and am satisfied with the result.
Just an update. 671 views on this thread (per audiogon).
Also. AC Goertz never provided the terminations. I contacted some of their distributors. No response. Sold the cables as they were no longer of use to me.
Be aware. If you purchase AC Goertz...make sure they are terminated correctly. Otherwise, you may end up with a big hunk of useless copper.
If your talking about Alpha-Core Goertz speaker cables, many if not most users can use them sans "terminations". Hardly "a big hunk of useless copper.".
True, but lots of people say beware of shorting your amp out. Not sure it's worth burning the amp for that. In my case, my amp's speaker outs are very close together. In any case, I didn't decide to take the chance.
There should be no greater risk of shorting an amp with Alpha-Core Goertz solid speaker cables whether they are used with traditional termination or au natural.
be careful. I once tried Goertz M2 speaker cables with a Classe CA 200 & ML SL-3 speakers & almost fried my amp. I was told by Goertz to use a Zobel network at which point I returned the cables, thanks anyway.
Why not try the zobels? They work as intended without compromising anything.
Amazing how all those years of good service can be negated by one bad employee. I sure don't blame anyone for not doing business with a company that doesn't seem to value you as a customer. I'd probably have taken my business elsewhere under the described circumstances.
I've had AC speaker cables for several years. I don't use terminations, I just shape the end of the wide flat cable so that it fits on my binding posts. Neve had any shorting problems but I was carful connecting them non the less. A direct connection is superior to using added terminators such as spades.
As to Zobels and amps, I'd be more inclined to rid myself of amps that need a zobel to function with these cables than to get rid of the cables. Most techincally knowledgeable people agree that, for speaker cable, low inductance cable such as the ACs are best. Amps that can't handle low inductance speaker cable are suspect to me. My Krells don't have any problems with the AC stuff and I haven't added any zobels.
Willster, many fine wide bandwidth amps such as my Threshold and I would imagine Spectral need the zobels. It is not necessarily an indication of poor design that zobels may be needed. One might even argue that it might be be an indication of better quality. I would suggest using zobels in most applications, they can only help and do no harm.
FWIW...I run a biwire setup with the top end being AC MI-2's & the bottom braided Cat5...both are high capacitance/low inductance cables. Amp is a McCormack DNA-1. No zobels...no issues. I'll be switching out the Cat 5 cables in favor of a second set of AC MI-2's..don't plan on adding zobels. I don't think the capacitance will be much different between the Cat5's & the MI-2s...actually it'll probably be a bit less.
I have no issues with zobels & would use them if they were needed. When I asked Steve McCormack about the need for zobels in the DNA1 he said, "Hmmm...not sure if you'll need them. Try the cables & if you need zobels you'll know right away as the you'll hear a squeal." I installed the cables & very gently fired things up...no issues & that was a year ago.
I guess that I could have probably trimmed the wide cables down to a thinner gauge and attached them perhaps with no problem. But I'm using a vintage Mac 225 tube amp all the outputs are very closely set together.
Unsound, it is a normal design practice to put a network at the output of an amplifier. In effect, it accomplishes the same thing as adding a zobel, i.e. keeping the amp stable into reactive loads. There are designers who feel that this network effects the sound of the amp in ways they find undesirable. Some designers leave them out for this reason.
The question for the owner of one of these amps is, do I find speaker cables that the amp can drive or do I bandaid the design with a zobel, effectively putting back what the designer avoided in the first place.
My solution is to use an amp that doesn't need help in this area. Were I to choose an amp like the one you describe, I'd also choose cables that the amp was compatible with.
The zobels needed for some amps with Alpha-Core Goertz (or other designs with similar characteristics for that matter) is due to feedback from the speakers. Placing the zobels at the speaker terminals easily and unobstrusively resolves this dilemna. I'm not alone in finding the Alpha-Core Goertz speaker cables to be particularly compatible with the wide-bandwidth Threshold amps. In no way am I arguing that it's not the amps that neccesitate the use of zobels, only that there is a very easy solution that accomplishes the desired end result, and it does so with out any compromise. If needed, there is no sound reason not use zobels.
If needed, there is no sound reason not use zobels.
Indeed, a very good reason to do so is to avoid oscillation fm the amp.
Nice pun, btw (intended or not):)
If anyone is familiar with "no sound reason", it's me.
unsound, by "feedback from the speakers" would you be referring to back emf?
Do you have any technical background, by the way? I'm wondering if you actually know what a zobel does.
Let me restate that the reason amp designers put networks at the output of their amps is to prevent the amp going into oscillation with reactive loads. Many designers feel that the sound of the amp is more open without the network but, of course, this makes them more suscepible to oscilation from very reactive speakers or, perhaps, low inductance cables.
I fear I am belaboring the point but I keep getting the impression that I'm not getting that point across. Perhaps you are thinking of a zobel as a "tweak" rather than a bandaid. When speaker designers build the passive crossover networks for their speakers they can incorporate elements into the design that would effectively be a built in zobel. I would have to assume that if the speaker designer did not use this technique it would be because it was felt that it changed the voicing of the speaker in undesirable ways.
So if your amp doesn't have it and your speakers don't have it, it's likely because the designers didn't want it. So, wouldn't it be better to contact Threshold, in your case, tell them what speakers you are trying to drive and ask them to recommend a cable that would work most effectively in that configuration? And/or, you could talk to the speaker manufacturer. System synergy and component compatibility might be improved, i.e. it could sound better.
Then again, maybe you're satisfied with what you currently have. I am just trying to clarify my reasoning.
Does anyone know why Merlin speakers use a zobel?
Just wanted to put in my two cents...
I read this thread months ago, and coincidently decided to purchase some AG1 speaker cable from them. Alpha-Cores online shop did not have the length I needed, so I called them directly. The person I spoke to on the phone told me they only take orders online, and they suggested I email. So, I emailed and was told of course I could get them in any lenth I desire, and to consult the pricing chart (I had already told them the exact length and terminations in my email- I only needed an invoice). Since then, I have emailed once a week for almost a month, and never received a reply back again. No ordering instructions- nothing.
I have never had a company ignore my business as well as that one did.
Not recommended based on my (non)customer experience.
I wanted to order MI-2 cables from Alpha Core, sent them an email to ask a few questions before ordering. It's been at least two weeks and no reply. I decided to order from the cable company instead. I emailed them, got prompt replies with useful suggestions. Now I am waiting for my MI-2 to arrive.
Thank you for mentioning the Cable Company.. I asked them questions re: pricing, and they were very fast to respond with a full price quote and ordering information within a day.
Based on our experiences, I would not suggest contacting Alpha-Core directly... they seem to just not care about direct sales. Props to Cable Company for wanting business, and being helpful.
I have long forgotten this thread. To go back and respond to Willster's questions. I was referrring to (and rather poorly in retrospect) the "reactive oscillations" that you more properly described. I don't consider the zobels as either a tweak or as a band aid, but more as minor and easily reversible if need be, modification. Nelson Pass the designer of the amp in question suggests such a modification on his web site, Thiel's tech support suggested the use of these cables with the zobels if needed and of course so did Alpha-Core. FWIW, I discovered all of this prior to implementation and your question. While it may appear less than elegant to you, I can assure you that the unobstrusive use of the zobels and Goertz cables have provided me with the most satisfactory sound to date and I am not tempted to change.
when i saw this thread a while back, i was going to pile on, but then i decided to just let it go. last summer, i sent a query to alphacore about the use and necessity of their zobel network in my system. in reply, i was told the zobel was to be put on my amp. i responded with i'm pretty sure the zobels go on the speakers and then asked to get a total cost on the zobels being shipped to me. i waited and waited and never received a response. eventually i sent them a personal check and received the zobels.
i have bi-wireable speakers and decided to get away from the stock brass jumper plates. i emailed alphacore with a question about how many jumpers were included in their $20 set. i never received a response and then proceded to buy 2 sets...i only needed 1.
alphacore's audio sales dept. seems to be made up of people who don't have much of an understading of audio playback. and they seem to be overly sensitive when u question them about it. that said, i do like their speaker wire.