Audioquest Water XLR Interconnects

Hi all -
Just installed a pair of Audioquest Water XLR Interconnects between my preamp and my monoblocks.

They are replacing a pair of Cardas Quadlink 5-c XLR Interconnects.

I'd like to hear what difference I should be experiencing, then I will tell you what I am finding.

Please let's keep this focused on the Audioquest Water XLR Interconnects

Thanks in advance....

Speackers: B&W 802 D (First of the Diamonds)
Amps: Classe Cam-200
Preamp: Bryston BP-26
CD Player: Mark Levinson 5100
Similar in character to Cardas but with more air, resolution, and tighter. But i am only guessing what your experience should be. 
You have so much money in your equipment. You are leaving so much meat on the bone with cheap cables. In my experience $2k amp with 3k cable will sound superior to 6k amp with $500 cable. The difference is striking.
Buy the most expensive cable you can afford. That's the key to getting better sound.
I'm finding that the Audioquest Water XLR interconnects sound different then the Cards 5-C XLR interconnects.

Maybe everyone can help with the below statements?

1. They sound clearer or brighter then the Cardas cables

2. Seems like the bass is lacking and system doesn't have a warm sound anymore

3. Musicals and live recordings sound more open, while many average recordings are sounding shrill/harsh

4. Almost reminiscent of my Thiel speakers 3.7 I used to have

5. Almost like a double edge sword.... clearer sounding on good recordings, and harsh/edgy sounding on average recordings

Can anyone help explain what I'm hearing, or what is going on?

HI Pony - it's true that Quadlink had a LOT of warm fuzzy bass, however, it was NOT pitch accurate and was out of proportion to the rest of the frequency range as the upper end was also a bit rolled off.  Now the AQ dos system is a good thing, BUT - it does NOT break in the cables.  All it does is to burnish the dialectic to keep it from absorbing and releasing sound randomly.  Your cables will need to run for around 40 hours for a 1M pair to sound their best.  Give 'em a little time - it will be worth it!
You sound surprised that different cables would sound different. They do, and that's what you're hearing.  You do need to let the cables break in for a while before making any final judgments.  I usually mark my calendar for a month with new cables and try to reserve judgment until then.  But it's also possible that you just prefer the Cardas to the AQ.  The older Cardas was known for a warmer sound and often used to tame a bright system.  Unfortunately, many audiophiles claim they want a Ferrari, but really want a Bentley.  They think they want to feel every bump and hear an engine roaring behind their heads, but they really want a relaxed quiet ride.  Both cars are magnificent, but don't buy one if you want the other. 
But do give the AQ's a chance and they may surprise you down the road.  Or not.  That's the way this hobby goes sometimes.  In old days, we went to the audio stores and listened before we bought.  Now we buy on the internet based on reviews by people who don't even play music on their You Tube channels, not that that would help.  So best of luck and I hope you will be happy with your new purchase down the road.  And if not, you will have at least learned something.  Hopefully. 
Does anyone know if the B&W 802d (first generation) were considered a bright speaker?
@onehorsepony, I sold B&W for over 10 years, and yes the 802D's were bright and some what aggressive. I've never been a fan of B&W, highly overrated speaker.
Would anyone suggest unbalanced from cdplayer to preamp, then balanced from preamp to power amps?

Or, stay balanced throughout?
my cd player, mark levinson 5100, has 7 PCM filters:

fast minimum phase
slow minimum phase
apodiz fast
hybrid fast minimum phase
fast linear
slow linear

I'm unfamilair with the concept of PCM filters. Would any of these settings take the edge off of my issue of brightness?
Your speakers are bright. If you do not like that you should get something more neutral. Trying to solve the problem with the setting on a CD player is not a solution. You can certainly experiment and see but it's not a solution. If you like the brightness and not the edge. Get better cables. Talk to a dealer. The Audioquest Water cables are good but your system will benefit more from better cables.
in my experience balanced cables using differentially balanced circuits make cable differences very small.   On the other hand I have never had good results with Cardas
I've heard that my 802d's are a bright speaker. I auditioned a pair of Focal Sopra 3's and thought they were equally as bright.

Any suggestions for a neutral speaker that are as full range as these other two and capable of filling a room with sound?
Paradigm Persona sounded close to neutral to me. KEF Reference series is more on the warm side. You need to go to a dealership and hear what you like. There are so many options. Some dealerships will let you bring your own gear to match the speakers and try it for yourself before you make the decision.
So you’re going to change  the speakers to fit your cable? If you liked the speakers with your other cables, it sounds like a not so great idea. Of course if you want new speakers, that’s another thing. But it’s your money and your ears so have at it.
Thanks onehorsepony, I am investigating Audioquest Water XLR, and Earth as well as others.

UPDATE… so this is what I’ve found thus far. I’ve gone back and forth on now 3 filters and can reproduce the same conclusions.

I’ve found this filter to be very resolving especially on vocals. Allows any sibilance to be more prominent. However, after about an hour of listening, I start interpreting the filter as harsh/bright sounding, almost grating. Reducing the volume helps but removes the bass of the music I’m listening to

This filters seems to calm the upper end down some, but at the same time feel like i’m losing some of the resolution in the vocals.

I thought this filter calmed the ‘sizzle’ down from the HYBRID FAST MINIMUM PHASE filter. Seemed to allow the system to be played at moderate and louder volumes eliminating any listener fatique. Thought this is a filter to consider. Had my wife listen to this filter on several recordings, A/B comparing it to the HFMP filter. She felt it made the sound more 2 dimensional, ‘deep’ sounding, un involving.

Does any of this make any sense?

Which one would you suggest to try next?

thanks in advance…

Buy a Macintosh preamp. It has these adjustments called tone controls and they allow you to make adjustments on the fly for poor recordings and little things like cables. Cables are not tone controls. I thought I was going crazy reading this thread, so much for the scientific method .