I just got my first set of AQ cables over my MIT's (top of the line stuff) and the Lapis XLR are the best I've had in my system. I'll be upgrading to the Castle Rock speaker cables from my MIT MH 770 CVT pretty soon too. Still love the MIT and you may also. It does do all these things properly, however since Vandy uses AQ cables, I think it makes sense for me. Anyone want MIT shotgun or the 8' 770's,lol. just let me know.
Congrats on the SKY.
Seriously considering Sky as well. Any experiences comparing the to Nordost? I have all Frey 2 IC's and Speaker cables. Thanks
You just can't go wrong with any of the AQ cables. They have been the most neutral ones I've found all along the line. The higher up you go, the better you will get. The sound floor is just quiet. I have the XLR Niagara as that was the best price point for me and I'm so happy. I have a ton of the top of the line MIT cables that are still awesome, but the AQ's are unreal. I've heard the Nordost and it's hard to say which is better side by side as the systems are different and the rooms are different, but I've heard AQ vs Nordost at a dealer who sells both (not the Sky's though). I felt that AQ was much more neutral and just sounded more 'right' and musical. It was a very very revealing system that I heard them with and a more neutral cable just made more sense to me.
Yes Ctsoone, One thing about the batteries. I actually disabled them as I found it messes with the neutralness. it kind of changed the sound staging and burring the outlines of the top and bottom frequencies.
I doubled the Batteries (144V) for each Channel. I hear a huge improvement in soundstage and clarity in Details ...
I use AQ Oak for speakers, and currently Cardas Clear XLR from Dac to amp.. I'm planning on changing the Clear to AQ Wild XLR sometime in the coming months..
The Oak is very good it replaced Clear speaker and I don't feel as though I really gave up anything..
How do I add an extra battery to it? Do you just buy another 72 and add it? If you take it away the stage collapses. I'm surprise the one poster didn't like it.
Great choice on the Oak's an Wild XLR. I can only afford the Castle Rock speaker cables along with the Lapis XLR's from DAC to Ayre AX7e.
What is your system? Who's your dealer? I"m using Audio Connection as John is on this board and knows his stuff.
Luna....Sky is MY favorites.....interesting that the Signature cable is not nearly as good.
I have using Sky for many years have recently started upgrading to the Wild and WEL. The Wild sounds more natural with fuller sound and better imaging compared to Sky. The Sky is a very good cable but once you hear Wild, it 's a bit hard to go back to Sky.
The Wild is pretty close to WEL at almost half price but still very steep.
I meant to say Niagara in my last post not Lapis, lol. SF, it's interesting as Sky and Wild will sound different with different electronics. Sometimes Sky will actually be better depending on the system according to a dealer I was speaking with about this. He then did a demo. It will depend on what you want. The Wild will be much more open etc.., but the bass on the Sky can be better in some systems. Like everything else in audio, it will depend. That's why it's so important to hear things live when you can or get a dealer who knows your ear/budget etc... as they can steer you in the right direction as systems purchasing is so different from just getting the 'top rated'. Bottom line is that you can't go wrong with the DBS Audioquest cables.
The Niagra is better balanced and more musical in the mod freq. compared to the sky.. The new Wild Blue Yonder is superior to the Sky. I own bought.
Audioquest stopped the production of the Sky.
Was surprised to hear and confirm that the Sky has been discontinued. No wonder my dealer was trying to unload a pair on me :)
The Sky is a very well-rounded, balanced cable, fuller in sound than Nordost Valhallas but with a smaller soundstage and not as much detail. They are very musical and non-fatiguing. For the $$ they are a great value. I use a pair in my BR system and fine them very "livable."
The Niagra is better in the mid freq, more musical. But in the high freq the sky is better.
The new Wild Blue Yonder is a different league. Individual focus of instruments and voices is more intimate. Blacks are better so you get a more physical stage.
There was one thing what I also notices, we played Light my fire a number of Jacintha. Now you could hear the difference in height of the percussion. Going back to the Sky it was all gone.
Later this year I will go to the Well Signature. And I will write a review about it.
I sold Nordost for over 9 years of time and sold and owned the Valhalla. When I bought the Audioquest Redwood it blew away my Nordost Valhalla in every aspect ( I oned it for 12 years of time)
Black levels are superior to Nordost. The physical 3 dimensional image is so much more stable and touchable than what is possible with Nordost.
Stage is also wider and deeper compared to Nordost. I call Nordost incomplete since I started to sell it in 2000.
Because there are a few essential parts missing for the absolute sound. In real instruments and voices are extreme small and direct to point out. Nordost is not able to achieve this.
Nordost is like a big orchestra without a conductor. There is a lot of resolution, but it misses his place were it is on a recording.
In blind tests all clients choose for Nordost loudspeakercable with Kimber interconnects instead of full Nordost.
Because I made it more complete. It made the stage wider and deeper. And instruemnts and voices were more intimate and physical touchable. Also the mid freq. became more involving.
You Always need to look further in audio instead of following what brands say ( what is often based on nothing)
Bo, thanks for sharing. I love my Niagara. I can't afford the Wild, but in time maybe. I have been an MIT guy for ages and I still love my wire, especially my MH770. It's not biwired and I just got the Vandy's so I can't use it on them, hence I'm selling them. That said, the higher end AQ cables just sound right with low noise floors. That reminds me that I need to get some ads out there sell a ton of gear, lol.
Can't wait for your Wel review. I've heard it and it is the best system I've ever encountered (Vandy 7's and AR ref gear with Musical Surroundings Vinyl).
In the last year I won all battles against MIT cables at different clients. ( I sold MIT for over 6 years)
MIT is inferior compared to Audioquest in sharpness in individual focus of instruments and voices and intimate stage. Also the blacklevel is a lot lower. Physical presence same story. The timing and drive is also a lot better with Audioquest.
The more expensive interconnects like the the silver Audioquest cables go a lot further than the MIT in the same price league.
There is a lot more decay. The 3 dimensional image is a lot more physical and instruments are a lot more apparent. You also hear more control and authority. In the lowest freq. you hear more layers. MIT is not able to give a small and intimate physical image. When you compare them you will understand how much better the Audioquest can give a realistic proportion of instruments and voices. This part has a very big influence on our emotion.
Every single part I want to create in a system has to do with a realistic view how it is in real. These parts all create more emotion in the overwhole sound.
MIT is at this moment far behind and they need to do something to catch up.
I was surprised hoe easy it is to beat them!
Many of my clients still thought MIT are still very good cables. After a comparison with Audioquest many sold their MIT cables.
Now te fun part comes; you still can sell these cables for good prices. I can sell new Audiquest cables for the same prices which are a lot better than the used MIT cables.
Many people have not enough knowledge to understand and they are not aware of it.
Very interesting. I assume you have used the MH770 CVT cables. I felt they were, at the time, the best I had heard with my Quicksilver mono's. I've been very happy with them, but I will have my new Vandy Treo's with AQ Castle Rock's in my system hopefully next week. I really can't wait and have heard everything you said last week on the Vandy 3Asigs with top Ayre gear and some upperline AQ cabling. Not totally sure what John was using in the systems we heard.
What I said many times; you need to know the properties
of every single part in your system.
With cables it is the same thing. Because different brands build up differently a stage. They also sound differently. There are even differences in dynamics and in resolution.
That is why I use the properties cables own. My focus and interests are in these properties. Because I am aware of what they are and what they do.
So I can adapt them more precise in every single system.
I hope people will look further than only the brands they own.
When another brand can give me a better endresult, this will be the new reference. Audio is not about brands, but about the best quality in sound ( for me).
This can make a big difference compared to other brands who does not have these level of quality.
I compare all the time. That is why I send clients to other shops as well. I want them to understand the differences.
When your goal is always focused on the best, it is so much easier to compete to other people in this business.
Often their knowlegde is a lot lower, many things they don't see ( hear) or even don't understand.
Bo, I agree about looking for the best system within a budget. I've always gone that route. I never buy the top rated products etc...I listen to systems and go from there. I think most end up just getting top rated components because someone else says they sound great, but together they may suck. Where is your store?
I worked for over 8 years in 2 sound&Vision speciality shops. These days I only do consulting. it is so much more fun. The freedom is priceless. I had done consulting also from 2005 till 2007.
I live in the Netherlands, But I also have clients in other countries. Shops are not of this time we life in anymore.
Audio has changed a lot. The way I work I have a lot more time for every single client. I can deliver a much higher endresult than when I worked in a shop
I purchased a pair of Sky's about two months ago.
I have tried using them for CD transport. Pre to Amp. etc.
They simply sound brittle compared to my Niagras.
On some cuts--they do shine. They have better clarity.
But overall, I always go back to the Niagras.
Will try the Sky with my Video and see if I can salvage them for something.
It's interesting to hear the various interactions of cables on systems. Price isn't always the best monitor, however I have yet to hear another line of cable that is even close to AQ right now. You have to have good equipment as whatever your price point, but isn't that the whole idea? I never understood using cables to 'tune' a system. That doesn't make sense to me. Just get the best system put together than you can and hook it up with neutral cables that let each piece do it's thing. I don't want to hear the system, I want to hear music. By changing wires and cables it's easy to hear the differences if you have revealing equipment. Sometimes I think folks systems aren't put together properly in the first place and they will never get the cable to help it out because they can deliver what's NOT there in the first place.
Cool journey you are on Bo. I love the story. I always used to be the go to guy that everyone would ask about their purchases. I'm sure many who are on this board have similar stories too. Being a consultant for anything is always fun. I have MS and haven't been able to work in 9 years. I missed helping folks and started to consult for wellness and health and supplement since, like audio, there are so many companies who make claims and can't back them up. I get upset when folks push their products and tell you that they are better than everyone, when in fact they aren't even close. PM me if you have time. thanks.
You see what I said: the Niagra is better balanced, a more musical mid freq. People Always prefer a more involving mid freq.
What I said many times as well; there is over 95% average or even poor quality in audio for sale. That is a big limitation for customers. There is comming more of this instead of stunning quality.
When I worked in a shop I got irritated by average quality. As a perfectionist I don't want it. So you also don't want to sell it to clients.
That is why I work with just a few brands. This makes it a lot easier and efficient. It is like a battle against the land of the blinds. ( or even better deafs) It is like
there is almost no resitance of other shops.
I see a lot of people in this business with just a little knowlegde. These people are for a big part responsible for the low level in quality to consumers.
There is more and more low quality or average quality comming on the market. Shops start to distribute these products themselves. They earn more money for it. They focus on selling this first.
Bo, I completely agree. I've found just a few in the business who care about quality and helping people. I spent the last year listening to everything I could so that I could sell off three of my systems and start from scratch. I didn't have a lot to spend, but I'll put my system up against any other near the price and I bet mine will be more musical, enjoyable and fun to listen to. I was fortunate to get an Ayre from a close friend for next to nothing and I bought a system rather than components. I paid extra to use a shop and I'm happy. The products I bought have a smaller mark up and less profit for the owner, but he stocks and sells a lot of them because the put them together and they sound right. What are some of the lines you use? I'm sure others are curious to see what you feel sound great together. thanks.
I sell only Monitor Audio. Because I can create a stunning 3 dimensional image with all their speakers. I never heard a brand what could beat competitors this easy. Compared to other brands in the same price league you Always loose sharpness in focus and a less wide and deep stage.
The brands in amps I use are: Onkyo, Primare and Pass labs. They give me all a 3 dimensional stage I need for Monitor Audio.
I use 2 brands for conditioners: Fisch ( Germany) and Kemp elektroniks. They both give me the best quality for the money compared to competitors.
I do a lot of Audioquest, still a little Kimber and for powercords I use Purist Audio.
In 7 months time I sold 26 Olive streamers. I still have to find a new brand what can give me the same quality as Olive can give. This is not easy to be honest.
When my website is ready I will have a few appointments with architects and shipyards. I have an option to sell Sonus Faber. There is good chance I will use this for its looks and build quality.
For plasma, beamers and screens I use: Samsung, Sony and Panasonic.
I am a very focussed person, So I don't use a lot of different brands. In the past I learned that this does not work efficient.
I can get many brands for good prices, but I seldom use them.
Makes sense. I haven't hear Monitor Audio in years. So many of the companies lines are opposite of what they used to be. I've enjoyed much of the Pass stuff I've recently heard. His First Watt stuff hasn't impressed me that much, but I've never been that low watt amp guy. It's just me I guess.
I am only interested in properties. Because they can give me the best sound overwhole. Together they give a stunning endresult.
When you know and understand the properties. You can use these parts very effective.
Many people buy expensive loudspeakers, bur forget to buy a good level in amps and cables. When I visit them I am often surprised about the low level of endresult.
I have proven over and over again how much better the same amp or source wil work with better cables. People need to listen to it to be convinced. But that is alright. I need to be concinced as well.
When I work for clients I Always want to create a stunning improvement or endresult. Every single part need to be extreme effective. That is why quality sells. Because it gives people the best feeling it is worth the money.
funny, but Richard Vandersteen said the same thing. He is an engineer and he sees what sounds best and then tweeks it. I so wish I had a better grasp on what you are talking about. You should offer a course. This is one reason I love working with John at Audio Connection (as so so many of you guys). He gets it and does the same thing as you. Some of your statements on the Sky vs Niagara or Wild are word for word what he was saying as we critically listened two weeks ago. Top end gear and you could hear the differences in cabling big time. A few times he told me to save my money and get what's in my range as it sounded better in the areas I care more about than the more expensive speaker, cable, amp, DAC etc...
It's all about the system approach. Wish you were in the states as it would be fun to sit down and talk audio for hours.
I do a lot of what I call quality control. This means I monitor every single set where I sell just one or two parts.
If there are parts which limits the endresults too much, I will inform them about this. For me selling a tool ( amp, source, conditioner, cable or speakers) is more than just selling it.
I want to know the rest of the set as well. The endresult needs to be good in the overwhole sound.
I sell a lot of Audioquest these days. This means I have contact with them many times a week.
They are very friendly and honest people. But....they do not have the knowledge about the differences of there products. For me it is just as simple and clear as one and one is two.
When I aks them what the properties are of Audioquest and what makes them different compared to other brands? They just don't know. For me this is difficult to understand. Because for me it is very very simple and clear.
How I think about brands ( I think and work only in properties) it is a lot different compared to how other people work and think.