Best Cable Match for: Creek 4330SE + Rega Apollo + Vandersteen 2C


Looking for recommendations on interconnects and speaker cable that will mate, blend, compliment, chemically-bond, or just sound perfect, with the combination of the following gear: 

Creek 4330SE Integrated Amp + Rega Apollo CD Player + Vandersteen 2C speakers.

I also have a Micromega Stage 3 CD Player I use at times. 

Current interconnects and cables are custom-made Mogami through 10-Audio.com. I've had the Mogami's for a while now and they sound good on everything--including this current system. I'm just curious if there is anything I'm missing, and if there is anything better (or more ideal) with the pairing of this equipment? 


jsbach1685
I've had no experience with Mogami cables.  I can, through my own experience, heartily recommend dbs-enabled Audioquest cables.  It's a question of which models to consider.  My decisions were made based on purity of conductors and quality of dielectric within a budget that made sense to me in the context of my system.

One of the most challenging aspects of our hobby are the great variety of products based on diverse design philosophies.  What originally channeled me in the direction of Audioquest was Richard Vandersteen's demonstrating his own designs at the various audio shows using Audioquest cabling. I have owned various iterations of RV's design philosophy and have always found AQ cables to mate well with them.

Good luck with your quest.

Get 2 separate runs of Audioquest Type 6 speaker cable and Audioquest Jaguar Interconnects. You should be able to get both at really good prices used. If you can't do it all at once, get the speaker cables first. 
You might check out Audioquest clearance cables available at 50% off at MusicDirect.
https://www.musicdirect.com/Search?category=Equipment&specials=Closeout&sort=popularity%7CDESC&page=1&c1=tab-products&c2=grid
Hi All,

I did a speaker cable comparison and I would like to share my thoughts with you guys...

How does DH Labs favor vs. Audioquest? I just picked up a pair of DH Labs Q-10 speaker cable (older version) from a local audio friend of mine for $45. I had to re-terminate them, so I used my Cardas banana on the speaker side, and bare wire (for now) on the amp side.

Like I said, I’m currently using Mogami W3082 speaker cable and Mogami interconnects. I played a couple tracks to get a reference. I then swapped out the Mogami speaker cable and installed the Q-10. The first thing I noticed was that they were brighter than the Mogami’s. Not in a bad way, but in a more revealing way? Is that what PRESENCE is described as? Bass was tighter and perhaps deeper and more defined, but definitely tighter. Highs (i.e. cymbals) at first seems a little shrill, but the more and went back and forth between the mogami’s and Q-10’s, the more the shrillness went away. These Q-10’s are used cables and have been sitting for a while. Perhaps they just needed some "juice" to get them going again?

As I went back and forth between the two cables (Mogami W3082 vs Q-10’s), the Q-10’s seemed to sound better and better. Total listening time was about an hour or so. By the end of my testing, the best word to describe the difference between the two is that the Mogami’s now appear to sound "veiled" compared to the Q-10’s. Soundstage appeared to sound a little wider. Imaging was pretty much the same (didn’t really notice a difference). Another thing I noticed is how the music seemed closer to me and/or more "out of the speaker" if that makes any sense?

Time will tell if this is something that will last or not. I've been down that road before when you introduce a new piece into the stereo mix (and think it's great) then later your ears begin to tell you is not as great as you though. I’ve read that silver coated copper wires have a tendency to make the music sound brighter, so one will need darker equipment to compensate? The Vandersteen's are the more neutral speaker I have ever owned, so I wouldn't think they would be an issue. Same with the Creek integrated. Some have said (even Stereophile's article) that the Apollo cd player can have a slight brightness in the upper mids, but I haven't noticed anything. I will have to compare it to my Micromega Stage 3 to be sure.  

As for interconnects, I wonder how the matching DH Labs Air Matrix would sound with the rest of my gear?
I vote for Mogami Silver. They're lower cost vs. Mogami Gold, but sound much better.
Don't discredit Mogami -- they're the best you can get and the most neutral and true cables.
AQ cabling is very revealing especially the silver-infused models.
czarivey - I have used Mogami Gold for a decade . Never though to try the silver models . I assume you done a comparison of the two . Why do you feel the silver is better than the gold if i may ask .
My local dealer sent me home with a pair of Audioquest Rocket 88 last week. MSRP around $1300 . They were his personal wires he was selling so they are broken in . The highs to me are unlistenable . They will be going back . Another round to the Mogami . Taralabs , Nordost, Analysis plus ,have not been a improvement over Mogami in my system to date . 
Another recommendation (based on my gear) from Hawthorne Stereo in Seattle is Chord Company Cobra VEE 3 interconnects with Chord Clearway speaker cables. Anyone have any experience with these? I'm wondering how they compare with the Mogamis? 

The Mogamis I'm currently using are great cables and are very neutral. I once had a pair of Discovery Essential speaker cables and were very similar to the Mogamis, with the exception of the Essentials being a touch more defined in the bass. Otherwise, they were on par with the Mogamis. I sold the Essentials because there was no sense in keep them as they were that close in sound quality.

The Q-10's by comparison just open up the sound more and seem to peel away a layer of "cloudy glass" so to speak. I don't know how else to describe it. The Creek, Rega and Vandys are all on the... well, let's just say not bright sounding by any means, so perhaps the clarity factor of the Q-10's evens everything out? 
Agreed jsbach1685-

Creek, Rega and Vandy are not bright sounding at all. There are several Audio shpos in the greater Seattle area, lucky you, get out there and listen, listen, listen to those cables/cords!  Keep me posted on the brands that you audition.

Happy Listening!
" The Q-10's by comparison just open up the sound more and seem to peel away a layer of "cloudy glass" so to speak. I don't know how else to describe it. The Creek, Rega and Vandys are all on the... well, let's just say not bright sounding by any means, so perhaps the clarity factor of the Q-10's evens everything out?"

The laidback sound you're talking about is most likely due to the passive line stage in your Creek. Another cause can be setup. If you don't set your speakers up using the formula in your owners manual, the drivers won't be properly aligned to your seating position, and it almost always sounds rolled off in the highs when this occurs. That, and they're not supposed to be too far apart. 6.5 to 7 feet apart from inside edge to inside edge. Properly setup, the images will go beyond the outside edges of the speakers. Also, set the contour adjustments to 0 and only use them as a last resort.

As far as speaker cables go, Vandersteen is special. They need to be double biwired. You need to run 2 separate pairs of speaker cables. If price is a concern, go to Best Buy and pick up a spool of AQ zip cord. Just as an example, on my 2's, two runs of AQ Type 6 outperformed a pair of $3800 Tara speaker cables. The Tara's were just sitting in my closet unused and I still went out and bought new cables. 
My 30 years of Vandys verifies what you said about biwiring.  Vandersteen's MUST be biwired if you want the best from them.  Richard Vandersteen has been insistent about it for as long as I've owned his speakers (30 years).  I see no sense in arguing about it.  The man knows of what he speaks and after all you can just buy a pair and find out for yourself.  

I stand by my recommendation of Audioquest cables for Richard's speakers.  I am not however saying that there are not other brands that would work equally well!

I recently auditioned Rega's Apollo R with Cardas Parsec interconnects and speaker cable. In addition, for your guidance, the Vandersteen website has a section on the FAQ’s on Biwiring. Worth a glance.

N
" I stand by my recommendation of Audioquest cables for Richard's speakers.  I am not however saying that there are not other brands that would work equally well! "

All true. But its interesting to note that RV has a very close relationship with AQ. It was Vandersteen that invented the DBS system that AQ uses on most of they're cables.
All these brands are less important than the metal that's in them. Do you want more of the sound style you have?? Or do you want a change?? For same, stay with good copper.   For change, get Silver cables.
@rsv4

Good point and factually correct.  Bill Low of AQ has stated in print that the "idea" for DBS biasing was inspired to RV's battery bias used in the Vandersteen M5-HP crossover.

I don't think their relationship invalidates the synergy between AQ and Vandys.

Hi folks, 

Thanks for all the info, comments and recommendations...

I have the Vandys positioned according to the mathematics in the owner's manual. Mine are 5ft apart (measured from inside edge to inside edge).

A local audio buddy has a pair of AQ Rocket 33's in bi-wire. I might ask if I can arrange an audition vs. the Q-10's and Mogami's.

As for bi-wire, I have read all the info in the manual. However, when I listened to both single and bi-wire configs, I preferred the single. To my ears, it felt like something was missing, but I couldn't quite figure out what it was. Again, to my ears, the single method seems more coherent or complete sounding. Perhaps it was gear at time or the cabling I had (MIT Terminator 3). I had single wire since... were talking at least 7-10 years.

mechans, you make an interesting point. The Q-10's is my first cable that has any kind of silver in it--coated copper or full wire. I think if I was using brighter gear, I would've been shrieked right out of the room. Comparing the AQ (solid copper) and the Mogami (stranded copper) will be interesting.

Just for grins & giggles, some other speaker cables I have owned over the years...

Discovery Essential w/ Mogami interconnects: Sounded like Mogami with slightly better bass and slighly cleaner. Overall, not enough of a difference to keep them vs. cheap cost of mogamis. 

Morrow Audio SP6 w/ MA6 interconnects: Very open, full and smooth sounding. I think they would've been too soft on my current gear, but I think my previous Mirage M3si's would've benefited from these cables. 

MIT Terminator 3 w/ Term 3 interconnects: These sounded cold and hard on my Mirage M3Si speakers at the time. They were a little dark too (as were the mirage's) so probably not the greatest match at the time. I've had other MIT models but never really got into them. 
Thanks! for the update -jsbach1685

rsv4 and hifiman5 make excellent points.  Keep us posted on the cables/cords shoot-out!  Happy Listening!
What sound are you looking for? More analytical or more romantic?
I am using Anticables level 2 ICs and level 3 bi-wire speaker cables in my Oppo/Krell/Vandersteen 2c system and am very happy with the sound.
On the yin/yang spectrum it leans towards the analytical.
Depends on how you like your sound...

Tom
I am with tomcarr on this one, he's right on the money.  I can see that combination to bring some dynamics and clarity in the vandees.
if you want analytical on a smaller budget, i would pick canare 4s8 biwire or belden 10 gauge w/jumper, and canare lv-61 based interconnect.
If you want on the more mellow, romantic spectrum, i would pick canare 4s11, with canare lv-77 for interconnects or belden lc-1.
Try the Chord "Cameleon" IC.  I used  one several years ago (before I upgraded  my system) between the Creek Classic 5350SE and Rega Apollo.  Better synergy, and improved sound.  Should be able find a used pair on AG for $150-$175.....don't pay more this item. It retailed for I believe for  $325.  
I folks...

I like my sound on the romantic side but I think it was a little too romantic with the mogami's, considering the Creek, Rega and Vandy's are on the same side of that musical spectrum. The single biggest thing I noticed from changing the speaker cables to the DH Labs Q-10's was presence. That, along with a much wider soundstage, much better imaging, or airy and separation. On the smoothness scale, I would say they are pretty much equal. Shortly after my last post on 1-12-17, I picked up a pair of DH Labs Air Matrix interconnects to match the Q-10's. They have been on my HRT iStreamer for 2 weeks now and have done wonders for the sound of Apple Music via my iPhone. I haven't put them on the Apollo yet. I'm gonna check out all suggestions, so keep them coming and thank you!   More to come...  
jsbach1685-

I have always wanted to know that term "romantic".
Please interpret and/or describe its meaning?
I used "romantic" from chrisr's post above. To me, it's a pure marketing term to describe a sound that is soft & fuzzy, warm with slight bloat in the bass. Not as detailed, but still has a neutral treble response.   
TY- jsbach1685-

how is your cabling search working out?
Hey jafant, 

Still have the DH Labs Q-10's and Air Matrix. Sold the Apollo a little while ago, and have a Naim cdp on the way. It comes with a DIN to RCA made by Chord Company, so I'm interested to see how it sounds. It will be hard to get a reference as I have no other DIN to RCA cables to compare. Probably won't do much more with cables until I settle on a cpd. 
@jsbach1685 One thing you may have to consider as well (as much as it is a highly debated topic) is cable burn in, especially with silver and silver-coated copper cables. I have DH Labs cables and am a strong proponent of them, using Q-10s for my speakers and Air Matrix IC's for everything except for a Revelation in one spot. They've definitely knocked out every AudioQuest IC I've had in my system. I've since then tested Kimbers and Nordosts and am completely satisfied with the DH Labs.

Back to burn-in, I found both the speaker cables and interconnects to sound less brittle after about 100hrs of cooking or break in. Things will get more robust, you'll get more frequency extension, and it shouldn't fatigue at all.
 Let me emphasize the silver vs copper point.  If you have a very warm sounding system the you might want the clarity that silver can bring to your sound.  If you think your system sounds analytical  and strident or you just want to keep it warm then copper is a good choice.
@mechans If you take two cables with the identical design including the same dielectric, and listen to one cable with high purity copper and another with high purity silver, then your assertion is very often valid.  Silver cable with a poor quality dielectric can sound very dull with an unrealistically diffuse soundstage. I ran across just such a cable about 25 years ago.  It was returned for a refund. Whew...

Looking forward to your listening thoughts/impressions- jsbach1685


The Naim CD3.5 has arrived. I've been listening for a couple days now and my initial impressions can be summed up in three words: MUSICAL and RHYTHMIC. The third word, DETAILED, I noticed later as I was listening to more complex material. I have a test disc that contains everything from Smashing Pumpkins to Mozart's Requiem, and the 3.5 played both very well. Even my harsher sounding CD's sound great on this machine.  

As for cables, the 3.5 came with a Chord Company Cobra (Original Series) DIN to RCA. Since there is DIN on the Naim side, I have no way to test cables to see what my DH Labs Air Matrix interconnects would sound like with the Naim. When I first started listening, I thought I started to notice the slightly "veiled" sound I remember when I had the Mogami interconnects & speaker cable (prior to DH Labs). As mentioned, my current speaker cables are the DH Labs Q-10's and I like them a lot. They really opened up the Vandersteens. I seem to sense too the Naim has made the midrange fuller on the vandys as well. Now for I did contract DH Labs to inquire about sending my Air Matrix back to them and having the output side re-termed to Naim-style DIN. The cost would be $77 shipped.

However, I have be certain of two things:
1) Make certain I'm totally happy with the Naim.  
2) The Air Matrix are going to mate well with the Naim.