Best interconnects 2m for less than 200/pr used


hi-
lex dc-1 pre
krell kav250a
ead pm500
b&w nautilus spkrs

looking for 5 interconnects to run at 2m length each from pre amp (2 to krell, 3 to ead pm). would like to spend <$200/pr for them and am willing to buy used of course. any advice?
bazmataz
Audioquest Lapis, best bang for the buck. Made for many years. Newer is not always better. Also when you move up they sell easily on the used market. Easy to get hung with the latest cable.
I've been using the DH Labs BL-1 series 2 interconnects in my little home theater system and for my tuners and I have been very pleased. These are available either new or in auctions or used on this site for within your price range. I've also used Kimber PBJ and liked it too. New or used it should be within your budget too.
Oh yeah, I also forgot that if you buy used, you can get Nordost Blue Heavens for that price, and possibly even Red Dawns. They go for about $200 used for a 1 meter pair, not sure how much more a 2m pair would be. These are also excellent interconnects.
If your components have balanced XLR connections, you'll get better sound for your money going with "regular company" balanced cables than with "exotic brand" single ended cables. Try a music store like Sam Ash or Guitar Center, they both carry Monster brand & even less expensive brands.
Stealth Silver (about $150 on auction). TMC Yellows sound great but are a pain in the ass (too stiff and connectors that don't tighten down). Both these cables do duty on my DVD-A and SACD systems where I need a lot of relatively inexpensice cables. They are both much better than your typical Kimber Hereo or other name brand $200 cable. I also like Red Dawn as another poster suggested and Nordosts are easy to resell if you don't like them or uprgrade-- Lorne
I think you should add HomeGrownAudio's Silver Lace IC's to your list -- you can buy them factory assembled for about $180/pair, or $50 less in kit form (requires assembly and some fairly easy soldering). The Silver Lace is a 100% silver, braided, 8-strand IC, and based on my own experience with them I think they are a outstanding IC at a great price.
You may have a hard time finding 2 Mtr Nordost Red Dawn for under $200. They list for $560 new. The Blue Heaven are also very nice for less (2Mtr new is $280). There is also Kimber Silver Streak that may be about $200 used for 2 Mtr (new is $400); and the Cardas Quadlink........I have a spare 2 Mtr pair of Nordost SPM Reference, but obviously not for $200.
Last months Stereophile referred to the Goertz Micro-Purl Cu's as being quite good. I think that they would have liked them even better if they would have burned them in using a Mobie instead of the Duo-Tech. My opinion of the Duo-Tech is not very high after using the Mobie on interconnects.

To quote the text:

"Bottom line? The Micro Purl Cu is a very good cable, a great budget cable and, at $78/m, a spectacular value."

At the end of the article, they state:

"Alpha-Core has packed a tremendous amount of value into these cables - their performance, ease of use, and build quality are well above the industry norm."

I've been using these in my HT system for a while now and see no need to change them. I needed 5 runs at 5' each (25 ft total) and started looking for cables. Luckily, I found an 8 meter pair (almost 27 ft) of the MP Cu's for $175 !!! I simply cut them to length and reterminated myself with gold plated, teflon insulated locking RCA's. While this was kind of a pain to deal with even with having the right tools to do the job, there is NO WAY that i could have ever gotten anything remotely close to the quality of these cables for anywhere near that price.

I suggest checking them out or at least reading the Stereophile review to see if you think that they might interest you. You could start of by buying a stereo pair of cables to run your mains and seeing if they are worth pursuing. Goertz offers a pretty lengthy trial period if you buy direct. Keep in mind that you will be paying list price if you do that though. Otherwise, try finding a local dealer and see if they'll work with you. They might also be a little more willing to "negotiate" on the price.

Keep in mind that system synergy and personal taste is what matters, so take all of these recommendations with a grain of salt until you can find out for yourself what works best. This includes my comments also. Sean
>
I second the recommendation of AQ Lapis, but don't think you can find them for under $200 a pair. You should be able to get Emeralds (one step down) pretty easily for that price. Email me if you are interested in Emeralds, I may be able to help you out.

Brady
I think the Discovery Signature cables are fantastic.
Okay.. Looks like you have an integrated AV/2 channel system. I presume the Krell KAV 250a powers your front two channels and the EAD the center and rear channels. Since the two amps will sound differently, I think you "might" need different brands of cable for each but of course that depends upon your goals for the system.

If you want the amps to sound similar, use a run of Cardas Golden Reference between the Lexicon and the Krell. Use runs of Audioquest Lapis x3 for between the Lexicon and the EAD. If this doesn't float your boat and you want higher resolution, sell the Cardas, move the Lapis to your Lex/Krell and buy Audioquest Diamond x3 for the Lex/EAD.

Believe it or not, the Lapis and Diamond x3 will lend a character to the EAD giving it more of the "Krell" sound.
Cardas GR sounds very close to the Lapis on Krell KAV gear it has a bit more midrange than the Audioquest.

I've owned all the equipment you have now - I spent a great deal of time (and money) figuring out this recipe.

Both the Cardas and the Diamond are beyond the 200 price range and therefore if cost is really an issue and you cannot save or wait, go with the Lapis x3 all the way around and I think you'll be rather happy.
hi - a question about balancing...
my krell can handle balanced inputs, but my lexicon only has rca outputs. do 'balanced' or 'xlr' cables have rca on one side and balanced on the other? silly question, but thanks!
baz
Hi Baz,

Cables can be special ordered with XLR on one side and RCA on the other. I presume you would want to do this because the Lexicon has NO balanced outputs -- and the Krell HAS balanced inputs. While XLR is a bit better overall than RCA, I don't think you'll gain anything by having a special cable made.

Save the XLR inputs for when you get serious about 2 channel music and buy a separate 2 channel preamp & balanced CD player. Unfortunately as good as Lexicon products are for movies, they aren't too hot for 2 channel.
Phoenix Gold by Carver Pro. You'll have cash left in your pocket to buy software and take your Mami to dinner...

Call Steve at Quest for Sound and ask him to lend you a pair. You will NOT be disappointed.

If you want Voodoo, he'll also sell you Voodo at higher prices.

If you want something pricier goto www.decware.com and get their silver plated copper interconnects. I understand they are superb.

Happy listening.
bwhite -
thanks for the details...
its hard to find the aq lapis, diamond or cardas gr for the price range im looking in. anywhere to buy used cables for a decent price? usedcables.com doesnt have much of a selection.

also, what about the cardas golden cross? found a 2m pair rca for 250. thanks.
btw, i do run the krell to the mains and the ead to the center and rears. thanks
Cardas Golden Cross is a highly colored cable. If you are looking for less highs and loads of bass, it is the cable for you. Cardas Golden Reference is a much "faster" cable than Golden Cross - better detail, tonal balance and dynamic performance overall. The Golden Cross is a wee bit slow but makes for a nice midrange character. Not sure what kind of speakers you have but the Krell + Golden Cross could sound like someone is pounding on the wall with a sledge hammer POWER!

I have NEVER found a cable that made more bass in my system than the Golden Cross -- but then again, I have never had a cable that took so much of the highs/air away either.

The reason I recommended Lapis and Golden Reference is the two cables WILL synergize with your gear and make them sound more "alike" creating a seamless environment for movies and multi-channel music.

If you cannot afford the Golden Reference, try the Neutral Reference for the Krell. If you cannot afford Lapis x2 or x3 for the EAD, Go with first generation Lapis as a fallback - although it may be harder to find.

As I grew my system, I have at times gone for months using free/cheap RCA cables while I saved for the right cables.

Sometimes, if you can save a lot of money in cabling by moving your system around and using shorter I/C's.

Bryan

I second the recommendation for the Blue Heaven. If you can get away with 1m, I'll sell you my Red Dawn RCA for that, as I just went balanced. Ern
Hi Baz, you can also use Kimber Hero. I have changed mine out for silver and they are 2M long. I have 5 of them with the WBT locking RCA.
contact me and enjoy the music

Denny
bwhite - -thanks again... yeah the golden ref is more than i want to spend. someone told me the lapis x3 is discont. is that right? i dont' really care, just curious. having trouble finding them. also, even used they seem to be >$200/pr. i am driving b&w nautilus 804s, htm2 and 805s. i like the bass the krell puts out but agree any more might be a mistake, so i'll avoid the golden cross. if i could find 5 lapis x3 i'd get them on your advice.
question about the nordost stuff... as flat cables, i assume they are still shielded? also, it might be a problem as my cables go through holes, not spaces amenable to cables passing through. i assume that too would be a problem. so maybe i'll have to pass on the nordost stuff and try for the AQ and/or cardas golden or neutral ref if i can find a good deal on 1.5m or 2m rca-rca cables... again, your comments are welcome... baz
Hi Baz,

Believe me, I understand that cables can be expensive. In my system, I have more money in cables than I do components. Silly? Maybe!

Nordost cables aren't shielded, and neither are any of the Audioquest. Infact, I don't know of any interconnects that are shielded. That's why some people use balanced I/C's in areas with excessive interference or near unshielded power cords.

For your Krell and B&W setup, the nordost Blue Heaven would be too splashy in the highs. Blue Heaven is a fast cable and quite detailed but it isn't quite as refined as other cables out there.

Going with Subaruguru's Red Dawn would be a step in the right direction as far as Nordost goes. I'm not sure if the Nordost will fit in your system though.. It's about 1 inch to 1.25 inches in width (going from memory) and doesn't like to be rolled into a tube.

Nordost Quattro Fil is a fantastic cable... Pretty expensive 2m would set you back between 700 and 900 bucks used, depending upon who you purchased from.

I never tried Nordost Quattro Fil on my Krell system but in retrospect, I think it would be a good fit. But.. I'm way above the price target now.

Anyhow... My advice then would be to buy the BEST cables you can for your front L/R channels and get something less expensive for the center and rears.

Okay... Maybe you should try using Audioquest Viper. It's pretty cheap.... Smooth sounding, punchy like the Cardas.. not quite as detailed as Lapis but.. still a decent cable for under 200 bucks.

I hope this helps but I must tell you - in order to find the RIGHT cables for you, you must listen, listen and listen... to as many cables as you can.

Bryan
Hi Baz,

Believe me, I understand that cables can be expensive. In my system, I have more money in cables than I do components. Silly? Maybe!

Nordost cables aren't shielded, and neither are any of the Audioquest. Infact, I don't know of any interconnects that are shielded. That's why some people use balanced I/C's in areas with excessive interference or near unshielded power cords.

For your Krell and B&W setup, the nordost Blue Heaven would be too splashy in the highs. Blue Heaven is a fast cable and quite detailed but it isn't quite as refined as other cables out there.

Going with Subaruguru's Red Dawn would be a step in the right direction as far as Nordost goes. I'm not sure if the Nordost will fit in your system though.. It's about 1 inch to 1.25 inches in width (going from memory) and doesn't like to be rolled into a tube.

Nordost Quattro Fil is a fantastic cable... Pretty expensive 2m would set you back between 700 and 900 bucks used, depending upon who you purchased from.

I never tried Nordost Quattro Fil on my Krell system but in retrospect, I think it would be a good fit. But.. I'm way above the price target now.

Anyhow... My advice then would be to buy the BEST cables you can for your front L/R channels and get something less expensive for the center and rears.

Okay... Maybe you should try using Audioquest Viper. It's pretty cheap.... Smooth sounding, punchy like the Cardas.. not quite as detailed as Lapis but.. still a decent cable for under 200 bucks.

I hope this helps but I must tell you - in order to find the RIGHT cables for you, you must listen, listen and listen... to as many cables as you can.

Bryan
Bryan - what about the kimber hero (or any kimber cable for that matter) in the system? thanks again for taking the time to respond. this is helping a great deal. problem is, cant find ANY of these cables used, anywhere. ppl have offered the kimber hero or the red dawn (but 1m, can't use). again, thanks... baz
Hi, just wanted to throw my 2 cents in re. the suggestion about the Viper. I use Vipers in my small scale HT system and for audio it is quite bright and "splashy" as someone said about the Blue Heavens. You can get a good price on it used or demo from Music Direct (www.amusicdirect.com) or Audio Advisor, but again consider the brightness factor.
Sarah
Sc53 might be right about the Viper - more on that later. I haven't tried Kimber Hero but I own Kimber Select KS-3035 speaker cables. To me Kimber has always seemed to have excess energy in the attack transient which can make it harsh sounding in some systems. Overall it is a good cable though.

The viper is an inexpensive cable and as such lacks the harmonic coherance of more refined products. The splashy/brightness of this cable as described by Sc53 is mostly harshness as the cable breaks in. Being 100% copper
I hesitate to think the cable is or ever will be "bright" sounding plus given Audioquests "smooth" family sound, brightness should not be an issue.

Also... Do you have an aftermarket Power Cord on your Transport, DVD or CD player yet? If not, I recommend you get one before buying any I/C's. Reason being is that an aftermarket powercord WILL remove all the digital hash that people often refer to as brightness. Once you put the power cord on, your system will transform and allow you to make better judgements as to which interconnect cables best suit you. Try a Shunyata Black Mamba (at the very least) to hear a big difference in your system.

You might think about using some Kimber Hero or less expensive I/C's for the Rear Channels, and then use the extra money to buy better front channel cables.

Bryan
Thanks. The guy is offering 5 Kimber Hero 2m locking RCA interconnects for $450. I'd like some higher quality ICs for the Krell tho. I guess it's tough to find a set for <$200? That's the gist of what I'm reading. I'll keep my eyes open for Cardas Neutral Ref I guess. Can't find AQ Lapis x3 anywhere, but would love three of em. hehe.. thanks again. let me know if u think i should go wtih the kimber heros. thx again. baz
Hi Bazmataz, Check out the thread "Sakura systems OTA cable kit" This wire is very inexpensive and will compete or surpass many of the expensive big boys at a fraction of the price. IMO this stuff is on par or better than the top of the line Nordost, Purist, Kimber, Cardas, FIM, ETC. I didn't believe it myself until I tried it. Good luck and happy listening.
Brulee has a point there. That stuff is pretty darn good. The Kit costs 600 bucks but how much wire do you get in the kit?

bwhite -
hi - i can get 2 pair of audioquest lapis x3 - 2m and 1.5m for $500. sound good? some of the reviews i've been reading favor the cardas neutral reference, and i noticed the lapis x3 are 'discontinued' for what it's worth. should i take the two pair of lapis x3? what do you think guys?
bazmataz
Hi Baz...

Got your email. I'd go for the Lapis - if those lengths work for you, that seems like a good deal. Plus if you ever needed to sell them, I feel confident you could do so quickly and you'd get all or most of your money back. Yes.. The Lapis was discontinued by Audioquest, you are correct. This is not to say it is a bad cable. Rumor has it that Audioquest is repackaging their previous generation cables, using copper instead of silver and duplicating the same wire strand configuration. This reduces their costs significantly. The previous "Lapis era" generation of Audioquest cables is one of the companys finest. Todays equal to Lapis is Anaconda. Anaconda is a pure copper cable. The only silver I/C in the AQ line up today is Amazon.

If I remember correctly, the Lapis is a 1500 per meter cable - retail.

Cardas Neutral Reference is a good cable but it is nothing special or outstanding... heck.. it is not even neutral. I think the Neutral implies how it "sounds the same in any length"... or something like that. It's a punchy cable but clearly - if you go Cardas, get the Golden Reference for you Krell.

Bryan