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I'm happy with AQ Amazon interconnects and Dragon speaker wire. The sound is clear, fast, and detailed. I haven't spent any real time with the Transparent cables, although I am told they are also quite good. These are all sufficiently pricey that you may be able to request auditions in your system to help you decide.
A friend had identical gear, with the exception of 1HCDT to yr2 -- and identical reproduction tastes.
Meddling w/ cables (which, as we all know, are system and user dependent) we also discovered that the room (his: small) limited the choice. To state the obvious, ICs also played their role.
I like both your choices for different reasons, and would lean toward AQ for the Utopias -- but that's me. So, I generally agree with all the posters BUT I will subscribe to Jameswei's view to audition. Do this with female vocals (classical, lieder). With your revealing system, you should get the "she is here" impression -- or better. If not, that's not the cable for you. Cheers!
Dismalonyx, we ended up w/Bearlabs IC & speaker, with SPM reference (that came w/ a part exchange) as an alternative to the B speaker cable. This was combination gave good sound & value. Pls note, however, that the room is on the dry side & the tuning was done on classical music only -- so "liquid" voices & violins were top on the wanted list!
Hello there, I will try the Volcano for speaker cable and Amazon for IC, I run AQ Pythons balance and Caldera biwire
with Rowland Consumatte, Rowland Model 6 monos, Aerial 8B
and this cables are really good, If I could I will buy the
cables mention above, but if money is no issue go for the Everest and Amazon, you can find them used here in Audiogon. If you purchase one of the combinations that I suggested please let me know how it sounds, just by my experince with Caldera and Python I know you will not be disapointed!!!!!
I've tried both Audioquest and Transparent *top of the lines* When I was starting out I thought Audioquest cables were the best! Then I found Transparent (& their outrageous pricing on the Reference/Reference XL's). I didn't know this 'til later, but I was hooked for life!
Then again, it really depends on your system - auditioning is the best option for all. For high end (reference) systems I would definitely go with what the music/film industry predominately records with - Transparent Reference & Reference XL's - balanced. Cheers..
I second the notion of which speaker cable is better being dependent on the sonics of your system. I felt the Transparent MM2 Super speaker cables wonderful until I moved into a house with a brighter living room and with my already slightly bright system, I then found the warmer Audioquest Gibraltar better on balance. However, I feel it worth while to note differences between the two speaker cables.
The Audioquest Gibraltar speaker cables added some needed warmth and were slightly more dynamic than the Transparent cables in my new brighter listening room, yet the Transparent MM2 Super speaker cables, although warm and with a nice black background, were not as warm as the Audioquest Gibraltar speaker cables - although the Transparent MM2 Super surpassed the Gibraltars in capturing the beauty and tone of female voices and had more extension in the treble registers. Both cables presented good bass. I needed more warmth, so the Gibraltar on balance won out.
You always get something and loose something. The better cable is the one that blends into your system best for your preferences. I hope the above gives a meaningful reference though for some differences between the two cables.
Audioquest or transparent, that's a tough one. Both are very cheap to some, and very expensive to others.
Transparent cables: the name alone does not fit the products. Their cables are unarguably NOT transparent. That alone tells you by how much they do not tell the truth entirely.
Audioquest Cables on the other hand may not be the most believable, but at least they are very gentle, because their philosophy is all about "causing less harm". That counts for something.
just a thought.
I used to own the Transparent Super MM2 IC & SP in a B&W, Rotel, Sony ES set-up. On a serious tip- I have had the pure listening pleasure of auditioning the Transparent Reference XL and OPUS in an ARC/Bryston/
Wilson Sasha/Sophia system of recent.
On the flipside, as a Thiel Loudspeaker fan and owner, I have only heard Audioquest cabling/cords and thoroughly enjoyed the music. System dependent? Yes, I think so. Happy Listening!
My 2 cents so take it for what it's worth. I'm not a big fan of either but it's all system dependent. As a Magnepan owner with tubes it just wasn't a good match. I found Transparent to be too analytical and AQ to be kind of dull. Now the caveat is that I'm basing this on their high end cables and not their uber high end. I personally found the Tara Labs cables to be more natural and musical for my system and to be honest I have never looked back. Take all of this with a grain of salt, again it's system and room dependent and quite frankly what is appealing to your ears. Good luck, do your research, have fun and don't over complicate things. Only you have to like it. Easy listening.