Best speaker cable in the $2,500 range

I have been reading many reviews about the following speaker cables in the around $2,500 price range (for an 8 or 10 ft pair) but can't seem to come to a consensus as to which one would be the best choice. I am looking for a pair to upgrade from my Transparent Musicwave Supers. Any feedback on your experiences with these cables is much appreciated! Thanks!

MIT M3 Magnum
Monster Cable Sigma Retro Gold
Straightwire Crescendo
Synergistic Resolution Reference
Tara Labs Air 1
Transparent Musicwave Ultra
Virtual Dynamics Master (or Nite bi-wired)
Some to many (including a reviewer in Stereophile Aug, 03) claim the Audience Au24 speaker cables are superior to the Nordost Valhallas.

It's amazing what the Au24's have done to remove time-smear in the bass regions and to remove grain and hash at the higher frequencies.

I recently purchased the Au24 ic's and find them to provide similar benefits and far exceeded my previous ic's which some others also rated as being superior to the Valhallas.

And the Au24 are priced well below your $2500 range.

You might want to add HMS Gran Finale cables to your list. The speaker and balanced IC's are particularly fine, and fall well within your price range.
What's the rest of the system?
I would put the Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 up against any on your list above. And these are subtantially less than your $2500 limit!
There may not be a best cable in the $2500 range. It's possible that you'll go far beyond the line of diminishing returns. Sbank's question about the rest of your system is very important. Besides asking self-appointed audio experts on an internet site to help you spend $2500 on cables is questionable. Call The Cable Company and ask to borrow various cables from their lending library and listen for yourself. You may find cables that sound great for a quarter of your budget. Spend wisely and buy more music.

I'd also look into the Ridge Street cables.
You should consider speaker, speaker cable, and power amp together as one unit. Some speaker and amp combinations are more sensitive to cable changes than the others. I have experienced some very cheap cables out-performed some very expensive ones in my system. I would advise against setting a price point and only consider the ones at that price. I would try cables in all price ranges up to your budget including the very cheap ones like the Home Depot extension cord that I am using to connect BAT VK-75SE to Vandy 5. You might be surprised to find that the best matched are not necessary the most costly.
i have complete nite setup,speaker cables are biwired.vandy 2ce .cary 306/200,ar 16l pre,and 2 evo200.2.these cables sing and rick schultz is very honest and will not go wrong
I tried out two of the cables on your list from The Cable Company's lending service (and 6 more besides). Ended up prefering an Acoustic Zen Hologram II to anything I had heard (as a bonus it was under $1000).
What I liked on my system is meaningless, but what might be of use is for me to reccomend that you get hooked up with a local dealer who will let you do in home try outs or else give the cable company a shot. Else, you can find a used cable cheaper but it is a shot in the dark and a good buy on a 2500 list cable might still cost more than finding out that a 500 list cable is what works in your system best.
Speaker cabling really, really, really is a system synergy thing. The Audience cabling might work best in one system, the Nordost Valhalla in another, and Purist in yet another. And so on.

What amps and speakers do you have, Bumbateam6?

What qualities are you trying to maximize in your system?
Audiokinesis is exactly right. But that's also a no-brainer and hopefully goes without saying because system synergy is involved in every other aspect of audio as well i.e. room acoustics, ics, pre-amps, amps, cdps, tts, speakers, line-conditioners, etc..

But there still needs to be a starting point in which to begin one's quest in the attempt to obtain a product of a certain quality. If for no other reason than to hopefully save much time and money while also aquiring the best possible sonics.

Here's part of a post Robert Schult wrote in Audiocirle. I find it very appropriate for this thread:

Based on my experience with a myriad of gear and systems and considering all that, I'm not convinced that cabling, or any other single component is "system dependant". I'm coming to the conclusion that that's realistically a "wrong" way to view putting a system together and only facilitates buying different gear every other day searching for the "Holy Grail" while blaming the equipment for not meeting our undefined system goals. With competent engineering and a keen ear to discern between "Hi-Fi" and the convincing allusion of "Real", a good amp is a good amp, a good cartridge is a good cartridge, a good loud speaker is a good loud speaker and a good cable is a...dare I say, a good cable. There's a whole line of valid thinking behind this but I'll save that for another post or, maybe you have some thoughts of your own along this line.

Right now my toast is burning...later!

I don't believe in "system synergy" either...
Kind Regards,
Without a doubt, a good component is a good component no matter what other equipment is surrounding it. Although inferior equipment surrounding it might easily mask the positive attributes of a good component, it still remains a good component.

Up to that point, I might agree with this Robert Schult in theory (but never with the Psychicanimal).

However, when such theoretical statements as this are made, one must also look at their potential as well as their actual.

I suppose in practice, according to the Psychic and Mr. Schult, it would be perfectly acceptable and welcomed to mate a 12 wpc SET amp with the rather large and power hungry Rockport Hyperion loudspeakers. Assuming, of course, both are designed with competent engineering and a keen ear.

C'mon, Shultz is trying to justify $$$ cables. The answer is BOTH are correct. Good components are good components, yet must be combined to form a "recipe" that works. Food is a good analogy. You want fine ingredients balanced and cooked well to provide a most pleasing dining experience. Same for audio. And performance doesn't necessarily correlate with price, as we all know...think of food again.
(This diet's killing me!).
There was another post from Robert Schult I read somewhere, where if I remember correctly he said it was impossible for components to be completely neutral , where as his cable design is completely neutral. So if components cannot be neutral , I would have to agree that system synergy is important. However that being said , a series of "properly" designed components in a chain from different manufactures taking in account power requirements should come close to a perfect synergy. Problem is in pratice IMO that is not necessairily the case.
On his cables, which I own, I do have the opposite opinion . Again its just my opinion, but I do believe his cables would work well with 99.9 percent of any high end system. To my ears I cant put any audiophile words to them like bright , dark, lean, forward etc. that I could with the 1/2 dozen similiarly priced cables I had tried previously. In my system and IMO they sound like no cables at all. Im sure it has something to do with that they are silver based {although Im sure there is more to it than that} but every other cable Ive tried has been copper or gold alloy based. With The Ridge Street's my cable search has ended, thats the highest praise I can give a cable.
Just my Opinion. Peace !
I have some AuidoQuest cables and pro-grade interconnect cables. I worth durability during freequent reconnections without loosing tight grip over the terminals. To say that its basic Topaz sounds better than Anaconda is very hard-to-impossible...
Oops! Apology to Mr Schult...I was referring to another individual with a similar name, and thought the first reference was simply a typo. Ern
Let me begin by thanking everyone so far who has offered their input/insights. I guess to answer some of your questions, my focus on the "sound" that I am trying to accomplish is definitely cater more towards the side of transparent, dynamic and detailed sound as opposed to the smoother, more laid back approach. I guess for lack of better word, a more "natural" sound that I can listen to all day without fatigue. I am a big fan of "air around the voices and instruments". The feel of dimensionality in the front to back soundstage is more important than side to side. I want to feel the singer's voice projected 1/2 way into my living room. Am I making any sense here?
You are making lots of sense. However, I believe that those attributes you seek are most frequently found in the amplifier. Not cabling.

I believe if cabling is doing it's job properly, it will for the most part only accentuates what is already there.

But the very common things I've noticed about most cabling is that there seems to be a time-smear and a grain, glare, or hash that many to seem to find acceptable.

Ohhh. I guess I am hoping to hear the "traits" or "sonic characteristics" of the cables I listed so I will have an idea of which ones to narrow down to. Of course I will go audition them and perhaps demo them in my system before buying.

Also, I would like to add a couple more cables to the lists: the Audioquest Volcano (might be an older model) and the Cardas Golden Reference.
I respectfully disagree with Robert Schult’s statement. His statement assumed that the “goodness” of a component is measurable and it is absolute, but in reality neither is true.

Lets consider this: what does it mean by a good speaker cable? Is it low DC resistance? Is it low capacitance? Is it low inductance? Or maybe it is all three. But how do we know these three parameters are the only ones that affect the “goodness”? What about the material used like pure sliver wire, sliver plated copper, single crystal copper, OFC, etc… How do we measure their goodness? Or maybe there are other parameters that we don't even know yet.

Eventually, we still have to put the cable in a system and listen for the result. What if the same cable sounds good in one system but sounds bad in another, is that cable still a good component? How about my situation, I initially connected a BAT VK-75SE to a pair of Vandy 5 using Harmonic Tech Pro-9+ biwired, but the result was unsatisfactory, rolled off high and soft bass. I than replaced the Pro-9 with a pair of dyi cables made from Home Depot extension cord and everything has improved, high opened up, bass was tighter and better defined, mid-range has more details.

Now back to the “goodness” question: the Pro-9 is supposed to be a good speaker cable but it didn’t sound very good in my system, does that mean the VK-75SE and the Vandy 5 are not “good” components? Or maybe the dyi cable is “good” but the Pro-9+ is not? How can we tell?

At the end of the day, the goodness of a component still has to be determined by how it performs in a particular system and that means system synergy.
try looking into audioquest they have some good cables for spealers in that range.
as for transparent the only really good speaker cably they have is the opus and it cost 35k.
Almost 2 years ago I searched for new speaker cables. I compared Tara Labs,Omega Micro,Silversmith,Nordost,Purist cables. I liked the Silversmith the best. It had the best combination of detail,transparency,soundstaging,without any sibilance or excessive warmth. Enjoy listening.
"The feel of dimensionality in the front to back soundstage is more important than side to side. I want to feel the singer's voice projected 1/2 way into my living room. Am I making any sense here?"

Yes. Cables do vary around the attributes you described. I am hardly a cable guru, but Purist cables do depth and natural. They don't launch sound in front of the speakers if that's what you meant by "1/2 way..."

I recently happened upon a thread detailing an unusual cable. I found it very interesting, so in my immature excitement I am going to lay it on you: OTA
I want to thank everyone for all your inputs, opinions, and advice. I am all set now. Good or bad, I ended up deciding on the Tara Labs Air speaker cables to match the other Tara Lab interconnects that I already have in my system. So far, I am quite happy with the Air-series from Tara Labs (however I do line their "The One" line more).

BTW, I was just trying to make a point with my "1/2 way into the room" comment. But I think you folks got what I trying to get at :o)

Thanks again!