Cardas GOlden Reference vs GOlden Cross

I've been upgrading interconnect cables and was curious about the Cardas Golden Reference versus Golden Cross. I have tried Silver Audio Hyacinth and Harmonic Technology ProSIlway II and both were very revealing but not warm enough in the midrange and a little bleached on the top end which put my system out of balance in a tonal sense. I have a Cal Icon MK II, Audio Research LS2 MKII Preamp and Audio Research D-200 solid state amp. They are rather revealing yet solid state and am looking for a neutral cable with the warmth and harmonics of music.

WOuld GOlden Cross pre to power amp and GOlden Reference cd to pre sound like a winning combination? Any other suggestions.


Yes- nice combo. I use a mix of Golden Cross IC with Golden Hex 5C speaker cables- warm and rich... I have tried GR on front end, and with good results- a bit more res than GC.
Hi Audiotomb. I own both the Harmonic Technology Pro Silway II and the Cardas Golden Cross. I compared them running from my DAC to my integrated amp and the differences were very subtle. At half the cost the Pro Silway II acquitted itself quite well. But in the end I went with the Golden Cross because it had more warmth and slightly better detail. It was very close though.

I've never heard the Golden Reference. But from the many threads and posts here people seem to think it does a better job of resolving nuances and detail than the Golden Cross. Many feel it's a worthwhile upgrade. However, some have remarked that it is a more neutral cable than the Golden Cross, and therefore might not be what you're looking for. If you could audition it first, that would be the best thing.

I hope that helps some. Good luck!
I have owned the Golden well as other brands of the highest end interconnects..that said, the ones from InnerSound are worth your time to look into. Just plug their name into a search engine, and go to their "white paper" on cables/interconnects. Might be worth your time,...just keep an open is worth more than an open wallet.
thanks for all the responses

I currently have HT Pro Sillway II between cd and preamp and will be getting balanced Golden Cross (from an Audiogon auction) from pre to power amp to replace some AR litzlink. The Sillway is revealing and quite neutral, but I guess I miss subtleties of bloom/warmth in the mid range which I hope to get with the Cardas GC. I was thinking of replacing the Silway with GOlden Reference as the next step but will evaluate the Golden Cross / Sillway combo.

I have heard that pairing two runs of Golden Cross can be too warm so I thought the GOlden Reference would be a good pairing.
Hi Audiotomb,

I think your comment, "am looking for neutral cable with warmth and harmonics of music", says it all. You first need to find electronics with these qualities before you think about the cables. The cables are not the porblem....the LS2 is THE problem.

Based on all the rave reviews, years ago I was absolutely sure the LS2 would be "my" preamp to replace the incredibly harmonically and ambient rich ARC SP-10. The LS2 was the disappointment of the century! How such a preamp ever got Stereophile Class A rating was beyond my understanding! Oh sure, there was more resolution, and much greater extension at the frequency extremes. But the musicality was gone...I wanted my SP-10, tube noise, truncated bass and top end, etc., back. Only when I heard the ARC LS5 did all them magic of the SP-10 return and also bring on a wealth of improvments in the areas the LS2 had indicated. The amp did not matter....even an Adcom 555, running from a single phase from the LS5, showed the LS5's strengths. But there was no way any component could bring out the life of an LS2 as it just didn't have it. All the 3D and bloom in the music is just not there with the's that simple. If you're looking to bring this out with cable swapping, it will never happen. At least not to the level that you know exists in the music once you hear what an LS5 or BAT preamp can do for you.

I have a lot of experience with Cardas Golden Cross interconnects....and Silver Audio Appasionata and SilverBullet 6. I found the Cardas to be the best match between line stage and amp. For my system, this is the most critical link in the system. The SilverAudio has great resolution, but is a little analytical in this link, i.e., the ambience and bloom are reduced here. But too much Cardas in the system causes an excessive warmth and midrange forwardness/fatigue that is way too much of a good thing. So for a long time I used Cardas between DAC & Line and Line and Amp. I used SilverAudio from Phon- to-Line and Tonearm cable and Speaker cable. This is a great great synergy to balance the two cable companies. Recently I changed the Line-to-Amp from Cardas GC to NBS Statement and never looked back.

Cables are very important to fine tune a system, but I think you have to get the fundamentals down first with the electronics and/or sources before you try to correct for subtractions (or additions) elsewhere in the system. One other thing, just because a cable does not work well in one link, make sure you try it in other just might turn out to be a great match there. And some links, as is with me, the phono-to-line, are nowhere near as cable sensitive as others (line-to-amp link).

Hope this gives you some additional insight as to what to consider.