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The AQ Water cables are going to be much more laid back than either the Niagaras, and probably even more laid back than the Kimbers.
I've had the Kimber Silver Streak and the Niagaras here. I found them both aggressive, and forward compared to the AQ Colorado and AQ Sky cables. (which I still have and like)
The Waters are the warmest, most laid back AQ I have tried. What your hearing is the same thing I heard with them.
Water update. After 50 hours burn in things are better. The Waters have finally opened up, I am not sure how else to put it. To my astonishment, they are as fast, open and detailed as the KCAG but with a better midrange nuance. I would have never thought this. I have used Colorado in the past and the Water is superior in my system. I was ready to take these back for a refund (my dealer will take them back at anytime) but now I am very happy with them.
My opinion at first was that the new Water was a cosmetic upgrade but I now know that the performance is a pleasant jump from the Colorado and is in league with the Niagara (at least) and betters the Kinber KCAG.
AQ make amazing cables be it interconnect, power, loudspeaker cables.. be it copper or silver... I've owned a lot of cables over the years and I couldn't recommend them more!
My system: Triangle Magellan Cello II < AudioQuest Everest DBS 72V < BAT VK-600SE < AudioQuest NRG WEL DBS 72V < AudioQuest WBY XLR DBS 72V < exaSound e22 DAC w Paul Hynes SR3-12 Power Supply < Squeezelite w Logitech Media Server < UpTone Regen Amber < 2x AudioQuest Diamond USB DBS 216V < MacBook Pro i5 13' w Samsung 850EVO 512GB SSD < Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer & Gold SE/Classic < IsoTek Sigmas GII w IsoTek Optimum EVO3 < Furutech FT-SWS < HiFi Tuning Supreme 3
The Earth, at least to me, seems to have more natural sounding detail and a bit larger (deeper) sound stage. The Earth/Niagara comparison was much closer. The biggest difference to me was the Earth had a tad more powerful sound in the bass. It wasn't a huge difference but It is what ultimately swayed me toward the Earth interconnects. Remember this is in "my" system. YMMV.