I copared the Hologram mono runs to the Audience in my system and found the Holograms moer to my liking. the AZ's had more details and sounded moer refined. Hope this is helpful.
Audio is a funny thing as I had almost the opposite experience of BigKidz. I bought my Au24's upon a friend's recommendation, and after subsequent research. In my initial research, among other things, I found that some to many (including Stereophile) preferred the Au24 speaker cables over the Valhallas. So I gave them a try.
I went from AZ Satori shotgun dual run bi-wires to Harmonic Tech Pro 9 internal bi-wires to Au24 mono wire. The Satori's and Pro 9's were near identical sonically.
In my experience, the Au24's were far superior to either of my previous cables. And my desire to bi-wire subsided.
I found easily discernable improvement in the bass regions as the Au24's minimized/eliminated the time-smear in those regions. (Supposedly, this time smear is quite common in cables.) And the Au24's showed how grainy the previous cables were at the top end by providing enhanced detail with quieter background.
One caveat is that the Au24's appear to be amp dependent. Both in my experience and now in the experience of a few others who've contacted me.
I say amp dependent because with one amp the above improvements still occurred (but depending on what cables you're upgrading from of course), but the bass can give the appearance to kinda' become much lighter as it became much tighter.
But with another amp, the bass became outta' this world, rich, full, tighter than I've ever heard, and beautifully pronounced.
If you do notice a lightening in the bass while also noticing a tightening in the bass, I'd have to guess that the Au24's are bringing deficiencies of the amplifier to light.
BTW, it's also nice that the Au24's cost about the same as these other two.
I will agree completely with the above post with what I have heard with my system. I have been using my AU-24's on my new VR4 IIIHSE's for around 6 months now, and have found them a wonderful match. In my case, I am using two separate runs, one to the mids/highs and one to the bass cabinets. With my tube amp, this gives me the ability to use the 2, 4, or 8 ohm taps to either the bass or mids/highs which give me different results sonically. The bass with the AU-24's is a bit less full sounding than other cables I have tried, but the quality of the bass is MUCH tighter, quicker, and more detailed. The mids and highs are equally detailed and well balanced. The soundstage is not quite as wide as others I have tried, but very 3-D. These cables will make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck with violin solos...very realistic on these wonderful speakers!
I recently acquired a pair of the AU24's based on what I read, it was the consistent description of their sonic characteristics by that caught my attention. All I can say is that they perform as advertised. I agree completely with Stehno and Bigshutterbug. I have had numerous cables in the system including Harmonic Tech Pro 9, Analysis Plus Oval 9, MIT 770 2 Tube Reference, Miller Sound and Stage III Concept. Most of these are very good to excellent cables with the exception of the AP which I didn't care for.
The AU24 as mentioned don't have as wide a stage as some of the above but what they do much better is convey the performance in a more natural way. Timbre is just right with these cables and the harmonic undertones of instruments is very clearly resolved lending a presence to the music that is uncannily real or as Jayctoy notes, in the room. Leading edge dynamics aren't as pronounced as others but the overall presentation is closer to the mark. I found that resolution of bass to be the best I have heard to date with maybe the Stage III having more impact. They are certainly worth auditioning to see if their virtues would meld with your system and taste.
I had a dual run of Satori, and then a single run of Satori which sounded better with my speakers. After using the Satori for over a year, I got the Au24 single run in my system for a couple of weeks and went back to the Satori for a side by side comparison. It was then obvious how much superior the Au24 are. I do think the Satori are very good speaker cables, cost less than the Au24, and are a lot easier to find used.
1markr, since you are inclined to audition the Au24, you should. That's the only way to know for sure.
Thanks for all your responses....great information! It looks like I'll try the AU24 cables against the Satori. I'll have to stick to a single run plus a 1m jumper to use with the VR-4s vs the shotgun config of the Satori.
Bigshutterbug - Which tube amp are you running with the VR-4s?
Jayctoy - do you remember which VTL monos they were?
Thanks again all!!!
1markr, how do you like the vr4 genIII se's? I hear great things about these speakers? Any truth to that?
Also, I don't think you need to feel that you are compromising in the least by not running full bi-wires. The single runs with jumpers should work just fine.
BTW, audience-av.com has a white paper of sorts describing their take on bi-wiring. Perhaps reading this would make you feel more comfortable with single runs.
Stehno, I love my Vr4 III SEs! I think they're great. However, I'm not going to tell you that they sound like $20k speakers, because 1) I don't know what $20k speakers sound like and 2) from what I've heard, not all the megabuck speakers sound that great. I also won't tell you that these are the best speakers ever made, but these are the best speakers that have graced my family room.
Anyways, the VR4s have all the attributes that I look for in speakers (in order of personal preferences):
- Very natural sounding midrange, as well as both frequency extremes, in other words the speakers are well balanced and do the human voice justice. Instruments, whether, drums, trumpets, cymbals, etc. all have a naturalness to them that is quite surreal.
- The speaker is quick and dynamic, and the bass is tight and has a good "feel" (slam).
- Soundstage is very detailed and wide, and the "sweet spot" is wider than your usual speaker. I don't quite get that "holographic" imaging like some people describe, but that's mostly due to room issues.
On top of these positives, I do not like the way they look. The finish is subpar, as I was used to looking at Legacy Focus speakers which had one heck of a beautiful furniture finish. I don't care for the "sock" that wraps the speakers. And I don't know of an easy way to get to the drivers.
But hey, I paid for the sound, which far outweighs the negatives above. Hope this helps.
I am currently running a VAC 30/30 Mk. V Signature amp on the HSE's with great results in my small room. I have also tried the Spectron Musician II recently on them, and found it to be a great match for them if I had a larger room and a great tube pre-amp as well. The bass energy of the powerful Musician II was a bit too much for the room, but reveals what these speakers are truly capable of as far as overall detail and serious deep bass energy.
I agree fully with your comments on the speakers, and have compared them to speakers up to only $10k here at home, and will say that they bettered some recent top contenders in that range. They are not very attractive, but I would not call them "ugly" either. Just not beautiful to look at...
I asked Albert at V.R. about the looks, and he had to do that in order to cut production costs to keep them at that price point. After hearing what they are capable of, I would have to say I would have been happy to pay an extra grand or two to finish them in something more attractive, but sonically speaking, they ARE a thing of beauty for sure!
I just close my eyes or listen in the dark, and feel like I spent the $10k plus with the sound I am getting! :]
I know we're kind of digressing from the topic here....but hey, I started this thread, so who cares!
Bigshutter...would you really trade in your nice triode-based tube amp and move to a digital amp??? I haven't heard the Spectron, and I know that Albert has voiced the VR4s with this amp, and I've also read the glowing review of the VR4/Spectron combo on Stereotimes. I just can't fathom a digital amp posessing the same musical attributes of a good, powerful tube amp, whether running in tetrode or triode. Something has to be missing; perhaps some of the coloration that tubes add, which I really love and look for.
I considered trying the Spectron, and there are a few currently listed on A-gon at pretty decent prices, but I decided to hold out for tubes, preferably ones that come with the triode/tetrode switching capability. VTL 450 Sig. or Manley Neo-classic 250 are on my short list. I guess I'm just too tube biased, pardon the pun.....
So long as you're digressing, I would highly recommend your considering a McCormack DNA 0.5 or DNA-2 amp with a Revision A or Revision A Gold applied.
Because the VR4 GIII SE's are somewhat efficient, one or two DNA 0.5 Rev A's might be just right. But the DNA-2 Rev A could be a fantastic marriage.
If you know anything about these revised amps that are almost completely gutted and rebuilt by Steve McCormack at smcaudio.com with some of the finest aftermarket parts available, you may have heard it said that these amps combine the best attributes of tubes and solid state and sound like neither.
I own the DNA-2 Rev A. IMO, this amp has the characteristics of a 1000 wpc tube amp as it provides the warmth and bloom typically found in the better tube amps along with the speed, articulation, and fantastic bass control only offered by the finest solid state amps.
-IMO (of course)
I see we've veered off topic. Good.
I'd encourage you to check out the Spectron. I was using a set of monoblock tube amps to run my Snells and then a new pair of VR 5 HSEs. After I switched to the VR 5s, I bought a Musician II and used the monoblocks and the Spectron in a biamped configuration with a Syrah pre (initially with the Spectron feeding the bass and the monoblocks the mids and highs; the monoblocks have a volume control, so I was able to get the levels right). I messed around with the set up for a couple of months and discovered that the Spectron, alone, sounded much better than any other combination. In fact, to my ear the Spectron driving the high/mid sounded better than the tube monoblocks driving the high/mid (which I never would have expected).
Hello 1markr... To answer your question (off topic), I am currently running my Resolution Audio Opus 21 player directly into the VAC 30/30 Mk V Signature with wonderful results. I agree that the tube "magic" is not all there with some of the very nice solid state and digital amps I have tried, but the Spectron did better my previous Aloia, Pass Aleph 3, Bel Canto Evo (by a long shot!), and PS Audio HCA-2 in this configuration. By running a great tube pre-amp in between, some of the "life" can be restored, and in the case of the Musician II, you may find it to be a great combo in your system. The wonderful, full bodied (and addictively "lush" I might add) sound of the 300B's is just
a bit difficult to live without after a long, stressful day of work and twin 3-year olds every day! A great way to end out my day...