Cardas Cables


After having an amazing experience with a Cardas headphone cable for my Focal Utopia headphones, I am really getting an itch to replace my existing speaker cables (XLO UltraPlus) with Cardas cable.

Anyone familiar with Cardas speaker cables?

Based on current lineup, I really like the "Clear" version, but I cannot afford it, so looking for used.

I see several used cables for sale from Cardas, but they all appear to be previous models. And I have no clue which ones are the equivalent with current "Clear".

I see Neutral Reference, Cross, Golden Cross, etc.

Any help is appreciated!
85feeb8b c8a5 4a21 be45 1dcd439bc581thyname
Check out the Legacy Cables List...
http://www.cardas.com/cables.php

Simply put, any cable in the Cross or Golden line are the older versions which have less transparency with more warmth and highs which are not very extended.
The Clear line offers more realistic and organic sonics with more detail and extension. "Legacy" lists the Clear Light which is a lower cost version of the Clear. But it also offers Golden cables which have the earlier Cardas sonic signature.


If you look at Neutral Reference
http://www.cardas.com/neutral_ref_sp.php
you will see that it has been replaced by Clear Light which is an upgraded cable.

Google reviews of the various new models to see which is right for you.


Thank you @lowrider57 

I also reached out to a guy I know at Ayre, and he recommended the Golden Reference line, and pretty much said the same thing as you.

Time to put some search bots on!
A couple of Cardas speaker cables (not all of them) have high capacitance values.

This does not have any affect when used with tube amps

However, some High Current design solid state amps will self destruct due to oscilation
- Ayre and Gryphon are two that a friend "fried" with his Cardas cables
- he had no idea of this issue when he fried his Ayre
- he then fried the Gryphon, which was on loan
- even the tech that repaired the Gryphon was not aware of the issue

NAIM warns of this issue on their web site - not many brands do that

I only know about it because I have a NAIM amp - so I looked at their web site before choosing speaker cables.

So, do your homework first - or it can get expensive :-(

Regards - steve
Very interesting @williewonka  and surprising, considering Ayre has had major partnerships with Cardas, and even an Ayre branded Cardas made speaker cable series. In fact, Cardas is the brand that Ayre mentions when you talk to them directly.
@Thyname - It would appear that only the top of the line Cardas cables suffer from high capacitance due to their advanced geometry.

Clear Bewyond is 446 pF/ft
Clear Speaker is 278 pF/ft

The other models seem to be in the range 30-55 pF/ft


Kimber Kable speaker cables are higher than most, but their best cables (12TC adn 8TC) are around half the capacitance of the TOTL Cardas

But it is interesting that Ayre "recommends" them

Regards - Steve
Thanks Steve @williewonka  I appreciate you sharing the specs.

To be clear, "my" Ayre guy did not recommend Cardas, he said he personally likes them, and many Ayre users have them
I just purchased a set of Cardas Clear Cygnus cables, I have had them less than a week, but so far so good. 
George Cardas used Magnepan speakers as his personal reference for many years, and his "legacy" cables mate very well with his speaker choice IMO.

Cables have synergy with certain speakers and amplifiers.

Subjective tastes and listening experience rule intelligent choice.   
@thyname, what speakers are you using? There needs to be synergy between the cables and the speakers.
I have ARC tube gear, a Ref 6 and Ref 150SE and Clear Beyond XLR is magical between the two and Clear Rev 2 is likewise the best of several speaker cables I auditioned to power my DeVore O/93's. It is without a doubt system dependent. It is one of those maddening things about finessing the very best out of your gear. 
@lowrider57  My Speakers are Revel f208, soon to be replaced by Revel f228Be on order.

Gear: Ayre QX-5, V-5xe, and K-1xe
That’s some fine gear. I know Focals have good high end extension and clarity.
The Neutral Reference are very neutral, a different signature than the Cardas house sound, and the Cross are very coloured and warm, lacking detail.

The question now is which line of Cardas will play well between an Ayre amp and Focal speakers. You can audition cables thru The Cable Company, but since you are buying used, hopefully you’ll get some recommendations now that you have listed your components.
If you are looking for transparency and dynamics, the newer Cardas would be the way to go.

Thanks @lowrider57 

To be clear, it’s Revel Speakers. Not Focal
Right. Sorry, I meant Revel. And i updated my post to suggest the Clear line for transparency and dynamics.
Post removed 
Thanks @elizabeth  for chiming in.

Duly noted. I have been warned the same on the fake legacy Cardas cables.

From what I read, from current line, Cardas Clear Reflection should be similar with Golden Reference Line.

So, I have so far narrowed it down to:

1 - Golden Reference (used with certificate)
2 - Clear Reflection (brand new)
3 - Golden Presence (cheaper version of Golden Reference, right below it)
An an update for those following (OP here):

I ordered a pair of Clear Reflection speaker cables. Should arrive next week.

thanks all for the help
Since a double run of Clear for biwiring would be too expensive for me, I am considering to move from Golden Reference to Clear Reflection.

When I made the same upgrade of the Interconnects, I had better imaging, more refined and extended frequency extremes.

Later the Reflection have been replaced by Beyond Interconnects, but I can't afford a biwired pair of Beyond or a double run of Clear speaker cables (it's the same), so the double run of Reflection is the best "real world" option for me.

Waiting for your inpressions, I ask to all if anyone did compare Golden Reference and Clear Reflection speaker cables.