Better than AQ Midnight + Speaker Cables?

I recently purchased AQ Midnight + speaker wire on Agon after reading rave reviews or Audio Review. Specifically that they added tremendous bass, warmth, yet still retained upper end detail and bite.

Well after purchasing some on Agon for around $150 shipped, I can tell you that most of what was said above is true. It imparts incredibly powerful bass, more authority to the sound, more warmth overall, but fully extended high's with plenty of detail at the same time.

Yes, they added a bit of a veil, but to get more system warmth I'll accept some veiling. So what don't I like?

I love the improvement in bass output, timbral realism, and overall naturalness and authority. What I'm not as crazy about is a kind of forwardness or edginess. I'm looking for the basic attributes of the AQ Midnight plus's but with a smoother, less assertive overall presentation.

Has anyone that's heard these recommend something along the same lines with a bit more of a refined sound?
So you like the way they're colored but you'd like them to be colored a different way?

Sounds to me as if you need a tone control, not better/different speakercable.
They have an edginess to the treble that I'd like to eliminate which you'd only probably understand if you heard them. I'd like a similar sound, but smoother.
Larryb is right on the money...

It's a good cable but to me (and my system) there are better; I went with Cardas.

You can check my review of a comparison between Cardas Quadlink 5c and AQ MidnightII here (for what it's worth)...

Your mileage may vary, play on synergy, etc., etc.

Happy Listening!
Larryb, your experiences with AQ Midnight mirror mine. I was also more than disappointed with the bass response. From their literature, the copper, and the very heavy AWG, it should be powerful, but I found the opposite.

Other cables that I found to be better were Vampire STIII and Coincident CST0.5, if you are on a budget. And, a few Cardas, Coincident CST1 and TRS, AlphaCore Goertz, and JPS Superconductor. All had the bass impact/warmth, with the more liquid treble I was looking for.
Deecee - thanks for the review. I've also been looking at Cardas, but they're usually beyond my (wife approved) price range (whipping sound).

Trelja - tell me more about the other cables you mention. One other thing I'm not crazy about with the Midnights is a dryness in the uppers and mids. I'm surprised though that you didn't find an improvement in bass. From the Straight Wire I was using it was night and day.
Deecee - One question, I notice various reviews of the Cardas Quad (including yours) mentioned that detail was a strong suit of this cable. Every time I hear that it makes me think there will be a bright presentation. Since my Cary speakers get too bright without counterbalancing, I worried that the Quadlink might not calm the brightness the way the Midnights do (edginess aside). Is it a brighter presentation than the midnights?
Nope. Not brighter at all... What I mean by clarity is that there is more DETAIL: lingering decay on cymbol strikes, more character on drum strikes and human voice, etc; things of that nature.

The difference between looking through a dirtier or more opaque glass versus a clean or more clear one.

I hope this gets the picture across better (so to speak).

BTW... hold out for Quads: they occasionally pop up not only on the 'Gon but also in various shops as demos (I got a demo set, in fact).

You can get them DIRT cheap that way.

If you would like cheap but good, I found that Mapleshades cables aren't shabby at all - I use them on my HT rig.

The only caveat to them is that they are kinda delicate, but they do have a surpisingly balanced presentation.

Hope this helps!
Sorry to take so long to respond to you, Larryb. I lost track of this thread. My apologies.

I know precisely what you mean by the dryness of the midrange and treble of the Midnight. In the systems I have tried it in, including my friends, the cable always came across a lot different than its description would lead one to believe. It has an overall dry tone, sounding thin and lightweight. And, yes, I found the bass to be more than underwhelming. It was flat out disappointing.

What I am at somewhat of a loss to explain is that I have also used a double run of AQ Dragon SE, which uses the same cable construction as Midnight, but with FPS Silver instead. While being more than a bit relentless in my former system, the bass was astounding. Explosive, concussive, reaching down at least what felt like another octave compared to any other cable I have tried.

Coincident CST0.5 is great budget cable, and sounds like a mini version of their CST1. If you are trying to look for something in the $100 - $150 range, it might be something to consider. You may want to make sure it isn't veiled for you, as you mentioned that above. The same goes for the more budget oriented Alpha Core and the Cardas.

I think the Coincident CST1 is a great all around cable in most of the systems I have tried it in. When it errs, I would say that in some systems it sounds too lush and mellow to the point of being rolled off. I hear this mostly with solid state amplification. With tubes, it seems to do tremendously well. Its bass is of note, and much superior in my opinion to AQ Midnight. If you are looking to get away from that semi - harsh midrange and treble of AQ Midnight, and you are running tube amplification, I can more than recommend it.

If you are local to me (Philadelphia, PA area), you are more than welcome to come and give it a listen, and even borrow it to try out. If you find it your cup of tea, it can be had quite reasonably used here on Audiogon.

Coincident TRS seems to be very system specific, moreso than a lot of cables I have tried. It does stupendously well with OTL amplification, which is where I use it. In some other applications, it can sound all disconnected and weird. With my transformer coupled tube amps, it just kind of separates all of the musical spectrum in a very off putting way.

JPS Superconductor is the other cable I recommend. Depending on your budget, I can give you a very attractive option. I don't have any in my system, but it is another lush sounding cable, though I definitely do not want to give the impression that it is at all lacking in clarity or detail, because it is not. And, it seems to do well with both tubes and solid state. I am not sure if you would be interested, but it has a really punchy midbass that gives it a great sound to many people's ear.

And, depending on your budget, Cardas and Alpha Core might be a bit high for the ranges that start sounding better.

Good luck!
I guess I've talked myself up to about $500 on Agon for speaker wire. Does that change any of your recommendations?
Thanks again.
Telia, thanks for your very detailed response. I'm using an all solid state system (Cary Audio Home Theater gear). Maybe the JPS would be best for me then?
Yes, I think the JPS and AlphaCore Goertz are probably two you should look into.

If you are interested in the JPS, please contact me, as I can provide you with a VERY interesting way to get this cable at a most reasonable cost.
Has anyone tried the Analysis Plus? They're supposed to be non-fatiguing and excellent for the price. Again, this is for a solid state system with high sensitivity speakers.
Has anyone compared Cobalt Cable? I am having some issues with my system sounding way too bright and harsh. I don't know if it is my Outlaw Audio 950 or my cables?