You get a lot of performance for the money with AP. I have used Oval 9's and Blue Oval in a couple of different systems. They provide nice clarity and bottom end and are just slightly forward, putting you in the first 10 rows versus mid-hall. The copper oval in IC and oval 10 PC are also great for the money.
Have not heard AQ rocket 88.
Lots of good choices in your price range:
I will somewhat disagree with pops (sorry Jerry). I do agree that AP presents nice clarity and bottom end. I like their tonality, I would say neutral. Not too warm, but not bright either.
However, in my opinion, the stage is more than just slightly forward, it is VERY forward. AP and the now discontinued Virtual Dynamics stood out in my system as the most forward cables I've ever heard. I would say front row perspective versus 10th row.
I bought a used pair of Solo Crystal Oval 8, and sold them about two weeks later. I do realize that some folks like that immediate presentation, while I prefer a more relaxed, mid-hall presentation.
If you want the excitement of being in the front row, then maybe the AP is the cable for you. Of your two choices, I would recommend Audioquest. I would not say the AQ is laid back, but not forward either.
Tonally AQ is similar to AP. The AP perhaps has a tad more bottom, while the AQ a bit more extension in the highs.
The Amadi Maddie Signature silver cables give very deep bass with much clarity. I believe Phil still charges $600 for an 8 ft. pair. He will make a 14" set of matching jumpers for about $125. These replaced MG Audio Planus III cables in my system. They were slightly better in the bass and had no other deficiencies in comparison. The MGs are almost $2000 cables. I have ribbon speakers that are very revealing and the sound is just beautiful and dynamic with them.
There is a pair of 10' Straigtwire Serenad 2 biwire on Audiogon. New price is over a grand. He's asking $425.00. Bidding closes in 8 minutes.
Jmc I know we have always differed on AP. I am guessing the solo crystal you had is more forward than the Oval 9 - I have not heard that level in my rig.
I have only heard the lower models that I mentioned and I believe it is a little different - but I could be wrong. You are like my wife - usually correct. :/)
Nutty is on to something - SW Serenade is a nice under 1K SC.
I suspect he will renew the listing. Great cable at that price. I've listened to the Serenade II between my Levinson no.334/Paradigm Reference studio 100's.
The Audiogon community may be able to offer more guidance if we knew the amp/speak system we are working with.
thanks for the question, Nutty. VPI Classic 1, soundsmith zephyr, ARC PH8 phonostage, ARC ref 5SE pre, modwright kwa 100 see poweramp, Dali Helicon 400 Mk IIs. Using AP oval copper interconnects presently. Cheapo old sony CD player (it is a future upgrade....)
pops, we aren't so different. I did agree with your take on the AP tonality, which I did like.
As well as telling us about the equipment (nice gear by the way), how about telling us about your personal tastes? What are you trying to accomplish? As you probably know, no cable has it all. Some are warmer sounding, some will like the musicality, some will complain of the sluggishness and lack of detail. Some cables are more revealing, some will enjoy more definition, some will complain that these cables are bright and thin sounding.
So, are you looking for musicality or resolution? Understand that as you get more of one, you lose more of the other.
I like dorkwad's recommendation too. Amadi cables are very good bang for the buck, and sometimes the best route is a better quality cable with a nice jumper as opposed to biwiring.
I acquired a set of Wireworld Oasis 7 speaker cables a couple of months ago and was seriously impressed. A very rich presentation with an immersive soundstage. Not bright or harsh at higher volumes and has great detail. Blew away the Audioquest Type 4 I'd been using.
For the thread starter, I'd suggest Wireworld Equinox or Eclipse 7.
Nice rack! What speaker cables are you currently using?
Music Direct has New/old stock closeout for Audioquest Gibralter, 10' for $825.00. They dont have anymore biwire though. You'll need jumpers. 12 awg, double star quad, DBS.
I'm embarrassed to say that I am using old radio shack 14AWG speaker wire ... The speaker cables are the last piece of the puzzle (for now), but the amount of choices and wide range of prices has been daunting, so I am wading in carefully.... I listen to lots of jazz (all eras), all kinds of rock, pop, old school R&B, blues, some classical (mostly chamber), acoustic, bit of folk and blue/new grass. Yeah... Kind of a bit of everything. Harsh vocal sibilants drive me crazy; the modwright and the ARC gear seem to complement each other nicely.
I am seeing lots of folks wax poetic over the Amadi Maddie Signature cables, but can't find them on the web or see any ads on Agon ... Can anyone point me in the right direction to check these out?
For Amadi cables, contact Audiogon member: ama7gr (Phillip).
He places ads from time to time, but he currently doesn't have any ads up on Audiogon. He doesn't have a website.
Search the forums or contact Phillip for more information.
Lots of good suggestions here already. I'll throw in the Acoustic Zen Satori shotgun biwires as another option. Balanced all-around cable with very good detail yet not too hot and great tonality and soundstaging properties. It doesn't have the tightest or quickest bass you'll find when matched up with some speakers (although yours seem pretty good in this area), but there's lots of rich tonality and heft down there. Overall a nice mix of detail and musicality and certainly a huge upgrade over what you have now. Best of luck.
To get in touch with Phillip for Amadi cables is:
Move in to MIT and experience music....everything else is just wire!
I had a pair of AQ Type 4's a long time ago and bought some AP Oval 9's to replace them. If I recall correctly, the Type 4's sounded rolled off and a little 'fuzzy' next to the Oval 9's. I never looked back.
Dave_b, always been a fan, it was my first high end cable (music link pre-network) and have had many models since. Also run them in 2 separate HT systems.
The issue is the cost of entry for 2 channel, can easily cost more than the components if you are not careful.