According to Audioquest customer support and dealers, these new speaker cables from Garth Powell are a game changer just like the Storm series and new Z series power cables, which share the same noise rejection grounding tech. The results you heard seem consistent with that claim. The lower Folk Heros series are much more affordable, and they are built with the same technology, just thinner with fewer conductors. It'd be interesting if you were to get the Robin Hood Zero or William Tell Zero for home audition as well to see how they compare.
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Yeah, 14K is ludicrous, hell even the 4.5K for Thunderbird is ridiculous for a cable. I think the game changer comment was made relative to the previous Audioquest product offerings, rather than overall objective price/performance value, which would be hard to establish.
If you run efficient speakers with relatively low power requirements, the smaller gauge Folk Hero cables should be close in performance as the higher priced ones, which might boost the value.
I agree with with you that it's a game changer relative to the Oak and Redwood. I listened to both in my system and was underwhelmed. In that respect the Firebird Zero is definitely a step-up to my ears. I listen last night for a couple of hours and decided to keep my Clarus Crimson cables. There just isn't enough difference between the Firebird Zero and Clarus Crimso to justify the expenditure.