Best speaker cable for Martin Logan Monolith II's??

Please give any thoughts on which cable would work
best for these speakers, priced under $1k used, 10'

Used with Carver Lightstar Ref amp
Krell KRC-2 Pre amp
Cary CD-300 CD

Any thoughts much appreciated.


I sell Sound Lab speakers, which include full range as well as hybrid electrostats. I like the Martin Monoliths quite a bit - too bad they discontinued that model, as I think it does some things better than its successors.

I've devoted quite a bit of effort to finding amps & cables that work well with electrostats.

My favorite cable in your price ballpark is the Magnan Signature. This cable has a wide, flat, very thin copper conductor, and uses totally separate cables for the positive and negative runs. This geometry has a several advantages:

First, it has extremely low inductance. A twisted wire will have some inductance, and since the impedance of an electrostat is very low at high frequencies, series inductance can roll off the very top end and rob the speaker of air and a sense of ease. Even if the rolloff is theoretically above the range of your hearing, we learned from CD's that you can indeed hear the effect of a rolloff above 20 kHz.

Second, the wide, thin geometry minimizes the "skin effect". The skin effect is the phenomenon whereby high frequencies travel in a field along the surface of a conductor, and low frequencies travel down deeper inside the conductor. The result is a time smear. The conductors are too thin to slow down the low frequencies. Since electrostatic panels are so coherent, might as well minimize this time smear. I'm not sure this would make a sginificant audible difference with all speakers, but with minimum phase speakers like Vandersteens, Meadowlarks and Dunlavys, and with electrostatics, it does.

Finally, being able to physically separate the two runs keeps their fields from interacting.

Customers tell me the Magnan Signature cables give them better dynamic contrast and richer harmonic overtones. One customer tells me his amp (Audio Research D-150) actually plays louder with the Magnan cable than with the more expensive cable it replaced (I attribute this to the lack of time smear - the transient peaks are not spread out and thereby softened). I have sold Magnan Signatures to customers who already were satisfied with their three-times-the-price cables, but who tried and preferred the Magnans. The Magnans definitely need break-in, though, in your system, before they start to sound warm and lush.

I might mention that David Magnan's reference system consists of stacked Original Quads. So it is no surprise that his speaker cables work especially well with electrostats.

Retail for the Magnans is $1,160 for a ten foot pair, so you shouldn't have much trouble finding a used pair well within your price range.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.
at your budget I would try finding some XLO type 5 Speaker cables these were very good when first released almost as good as XLO signature 5.1
InnerSound makes reasonably-priced speaker cables specifically for ESLs. I use them and they are the best cables I have tried regardless of price. They are very open and have ultra-smooth airy and detailed high frequency reproduction. Also, they are flexible and easy to manipulate. I think they list for $400/pr. Plug them in and listen, and you'll be wearing a smile.
I own ML Monolith II's. Although my system is bi-amped at one time it was not. My cable runs have always been very short--4 feet using monoblocks. I have tried quite a few cables, (many audioquest, cardas, purist audio design, straight wire, MIT) although I have not tried the Magnan's. The ones I found to be the best were AudioQuest Clear. If you can find a used set in 10 feet (8 feet is pretty easy to find, but 10 might be tougher) this is a great cable and should be inside your budget or close. These are really incredible speakers and I agree that they do better much of the newer line. I have made some modifications to mine, if you are ever interested in bi-amping or making some changes to the speaker and want to know another A-goner's experience--send me an e-mail.

Thanks to all for the information so far, I am searching for
every pair mentioned, (non on A-gon at this time :o(.

Audiokenisis...Alway's very informative, thanks!

Abstract...I may e-mail you later if you don't mind, for
some tweaks.

Thanks again...keep em coming!