Depending on your price range, you can go with Kimber 4PR. Is somewhat "zingy" sounding on top and quick and light on bass. Can take a dull or drab sounding system and give it some "pep" on a budget. Next up might be Nordost Flatline. Not really so much bright as it is lean in the mid-bass and detailed throughout the mids and top end. After that, and i know that this one varies BIG TIME from system to system, is Analysis Plus Oval Nine. I tried it in two different systems and it was VERY bright and splashy sounding to me with a very noticeable lack of output in the warmth region. Obviously, your results might vary, especially with the last suggestion ( AP ). Sean
I agree with the Nordost. The Oval 9 may just need breaking in, then they won't fit your criteria?
Kimber 4TC, Nordost "Solar wind." Bi-wire spks. if possible,
will add greater detail and tighten bass. Audition as many
loaner cables as possible. Bill
I ran the Oval 9's for at least 500 hours and was not shy on the throttle. They did fill out and smooth a little bit, but never enough to make me change my mind about them. Just my personal opinion based on my experience within my systems though, so please don't get upset if you or anyone else that you know has had good luck with them. Sean
Conventional wisdom suggests silver conductor speaker cables should sound brighter. My Audioquest Dragon sounds noticeably brighter than my Cardas Golden Cross. As Sean pointed out, cable sound is very system dependent. The Cable Company at www.fatwyre.com will let you try out cables at home.
Any JPS Labs products are a bit bright for me. I was told the rhodium spades on the Superconductor+ contributed to the brightness but I found the IC's to exhibit the same qualities.
Wow, Sean. I think you're the first person I've heard that found the Oval 9s to be bright sounding. Last year I was using DH Labs Silversonic T14 which I thought were too zippy, and after changing to Oval 9s much of that was alleviated. I guess there's much more to system synergy than I thought. In my setup, the APs were much fuller and smoother than the T14s. So Alb24, if you're looking for a bright cable check out the DH Labs, they're cheap too.
Ditto what Gunbei said. I tried both Oval 12s and T14s in my system and the 12s were definately the softer of the two. I also found the bass to be tighter and quicker with the DH Labs vs. fuller and rounder with the AP. From my experience in my system I'd say try the T14, and I'll re-emphasize that these things are notoriously system dependent so try before you buy. A while ago eaudionet.com would let you try DH Labs cables risk free for 30 days, so if they're still around you might want to try them. Best of luck.
The problem here is that YMMV with speaker cables.
Why you ask?
It depends upon two things: the load and the *amp*.
IF your amp has NFB, the effect of a cap on the output is entirely *different* than if your amp does not (especially with tubes). The term "cap" here refers to the shunt capacitance of the speaker cable... and of course this relates back to how much NFB and what exactly that NFB is trying to do (or how would it sound/work without the NFB)!
Anyhow, that's a major factor, there are all sorts of other factors, but that's one that serves to illustrate why all people in all systems usually get different results...
But, having said that, if you can use thinish solid core silver wire, you'll acheive some extra "tinkle" on the top in most cases regardless of the amp... (just two separate
and insulated runs of solid core will do it)
Just my 2 cents worth...
those are two qualities that I have read about Nordost Blue Heaven cables a few times, and my own hearing has proved it as I own the speaker wire and IC. They have a wonderful sense of low level detail as well.
Gunbei, i know of others that have had very similar results ( very "tizzy" highs and a complete lack of "warmth" ) with the AP Oval 9's. Many of them were running single full range drivers per cabinet as i was in one of my systems. These tend to be very revealing since they have no crossovers to get in the way between the amp and the actual speaker driver. While some of those folks were running tubes, i was running an SS amp.
For the record, i also tried the AP 9's on some large 4 way / 5 driver towers with pretty sophisticated / parts heavy crossovers in them. This system also makes use of completely different amplifiers. I had the same or at least very similar results with both systems.
After hearing them in both systems with 500+ hours of break-in on the cables, i asked my brother if he would like to put them in his system and see how they sounded there. He told me that i should put them in the garbage, as that is where they belonged. Even my girlfriend noticed when they came out of the system that i had them playing in, as she commented "what did you do to that system ? It sounds SO much better." She had gone to the store and i had changed the cables without her knowing about it. She wasn't even in the door 2 minutes when she made that comment. The change between cables was phenomenally obvious.
Obviously, the AP's just weren't a good match for anything that i owned. Needless to say, i didn't keep them. Then again, i'm sure that others have similar stories with cables that i tend to like in my systems. As such, one has to take ANY cable recommendation or comments with a grain of salt. Mine are no different and as such, are subject to personal interpretation within the confines of my systems. Sean
Very interesting Sean. I think it's important that people hear testimonials both positive and negative in order to make a more educated decision. It just proves how so much of what we use is system dependent. What are you currently using for speaker cables?
Regarding your girlfriend's comments. Isn't it always that way? Whether our women are audiophiles or have no interest at all, they always seem to notice when we make a change to our systems. Amazing.
Alb, all my comparisons with the T14s and Ap9s were done using Sonus Faber and ProAc mini monitors. That's possibly something to consider when evaluating cables for your own system.
In the specific system that i was trying the AP's in, i currently have some Nordost's. I'm not saying that these are "best" by any means, just that this is what is currently thrown in there. Like anything else, they have some good and bad points.
I've also used Goertz MI-2's and MI-3's, YBA Diamond's, various Audioquest's, Axon, various Kimber's, various XLO's, Fulton Gold, CVH's CAT 5 cables, etc... along with a slew of homebrew designs in that system. I've also changed amps, transports, dac's, tuners, interconnects, etc... in that system, so it would be hard saying what was responsible for what. At the time that i had the AP's handy, i did do a direct head to head shoot-out with several other cables. I posted the results of that over on the Cable Asylum quite a long time ago. I know that it's still in their archives, as someone emailed me about it within the last few weeks. Sean