Comparing Audioquest cable to Morrow


I think Audioquest is a good cable to use as a reference by which to compare other cable. Mike Morrow called me one day trying to drum up business, and--could be my imagination but-- he didn't seem very happy when I talked about Audioquest.

I realize cable performs differently with various components. BUT, if you had to choose dollar for dollar between Audioquest and Morrow, which would you choose? Are they close enough so that the issue is subjective and a matter of personal preference, or is there a clear difference?

Anybody have any experience?
arnettpartners
I'd probably try the Morrow. I haven't heard the Morrow yet, but I've read good things about them.
I've heard enough of the Audioquest cables to know that while they are decent enough cables, they are not what I'm looking for, and they are over-priced for what you get. Of course this is just my opinion in my system. YMMV.
I use Morrow Ic's in my system and I love them. But, my system needs Fast, quick, accurate, musical sounding cables for it to really shine. Morrow cables sound a lot like Nordost cables. Audio Quest makes great cables as well, I really think its a matter of listener taste, at this level I think the two (Morrow vs AQ) are going to sound a little different( AQ being on the warm side) in a side by side test. If I were going to pick a neutral cable to be a reference I would pick Kimber cable, They have the most natural and cable free sound IMO. I have heard Analysis plus oval, Cardas, Signal Cable, Audio Quest, Kimber cable, Monster cable, MIT Shotgun, Transparent Audio. FYI. My choice would be in the following order. Morrow,Nordost,Kimber,Signalcable,Audioquest, and I wont even use the others mentioned.

P.S. I put Morrow ahead of Nordost because of the great value Morrow has. I also put Signalcable ahead of AQ for the same reason!
I've replaced upwards of 80% of my AQ cables with Morrows. I find the 3's the sweet spot for now till I try the 5's (speaker and IC's) one day, I found them very natural sounding.
I have used Morrow for both speaker cable and interconnects. Good cables, and the more you spend (i.e., the more twisted pairs), the better they sound. I've tended to replace them with another high-value brand, Clear Day. Both brands are sold direct and carry moneyback protection.

I haven't used anything from AQ since the 90s so I don't know how the current ones sound.
Thanks for all the input. It is very helpful. Nordost Red Dawn doesn't work in my system so that comparison is specificly useful as well.

I googled Clear Day. In the distant past I never liked silver, but I've heard that the quality of silver cable has generally improved with newer methods of extruding. Actually I think I will try the Clear Day instead of either the Morrow or Audioquest. I have the cryoed Anticable speaker cable and like it but am ready to try an upgrade.

Thanks,

Lynne
Nordost Red Dawn doesn't work in my system so that comparison is specificly useful as well.
Was the Red Dawn an original or from the newer Leif series? When I demoed the original Nordost line the Blue Haven and Red Dawn were very bright sounding in my system. Baldur was better (not as bright but lifeless sounding). In the end I bought the Frey which for me was right in the sweet spot for the money.

That said the series 2 is very very different and much better sounding IMO. More liquid with a weightier sound. I still have the original Frey speaker cable but have upgraded my Frey Ic to the Tyr2.
My Red Dawn was the original, I'm sure. Yes, very, very bright--horrible. I'm glad to know it is improved and for the upgraded info. Thanks.
BTW, I took the opportunity to ask Mike Morrow if he had tried the copperharmony connectors that williewonka had discussed on this forum some time ago. I think an Eichman brother had started a new company and introduced these connectors. He said he had not tried them and said that his Eichman rep told him they were inferior.

I was not impressed by his response and thought that the caliber of a Steve Nugent of Empirical Audio would have procured a few for evaluation, although I don't know if Steve did that. I would like to know if the copperharmony is going anywhere before I buy my next pair of IC's.
I've got both Morrow and Audioquest cables. MA-3 for the interconnects, and Audioquest Type 4 for speaker cable. I really like both for what they bring to the final sound.

The biggest change for me was tossing my lamp cord speaker cables(12 gauge fine strand copper, ofc) for the Type 4. They brought focus and accuracy, which improved the imaging. They made me a believer in solid conductors rather than fine strand.

The MA3 give more detail and resolution, but I had them before I changed out the speaker cables, so the results may have been partly masked by the inferior lamp cord. Anyway, I found that it's all important, but you need speakers capable of good resolution to hear a difference.

I've talked to Mike Morrow too, and was impressed with his knowledge and manner. His cables are the real deal, and he regularly has sales, so I'd buy then.
ok. I'd still like to know if the CopperHarmony connectors are significant. If they were, probably would be hearing more about them by now, though.
Lynne, if you didn't care for Nordost, chances are that Morrow will not work for you either. Since both manufacturers use silver plated copper conductors. I am not a fan of silver plated copper. I find pure silver to be as resolving, but more natural sounding.

If forced to pick between these two, I guess I would choose AQ, since they do not use any plating on their conductors. Obviously, YMMV.
Thanks, John. Very good to know.

BTW, I did contact Steve Nugent. He says he does not make cable anymore, although FYI, he says he has a new killer digital coax that buries the older one for $250. I don't know which one I have, but the one I have is extremely good and I paid $250 for it.
Lynne,

I have Morrow MA6 IC's and I prefer them to the various audioquest IC's I've had. I have no experience with Morrow speaker cable but I do have a Clearday Double Shotgun cables used very little. They're too much for my speakers that are on the bright side. I could sell Them, message me if you like.

Lance
OK Lance. Thanks. I would message you--careful on the language here since buying on the forums is not cool--but any hint of brightness is a red light for me. My ears are oversensitive; I like things dull. So thanks to you I won't be trying Clear Day and don't want to waste your time.

Concerning the IC's, the issue of silver-plated copper connectors probably isn't an issue, especially if the connectors were Eichmans. I have the MA1, and the RCA jacks are rather clubby but I'm not sure of the materials used.

So it looks like Audioquest unless something else comes along.

This is all valuable info for me here. Thanks.
02-10-15: Arnettpartners
any hint of brightness is a red light for me. My ears are oversensitive; I like things dull.

Maybe you are better off sticking with copper, or gold conductors, though gold can be expensive, it can also be addictive.

Cable companies that are known for musical ( we don't say dull) cables are Cardas, Kubala, Jena Labs, MIT, Transparent, Purist Audio, just to name a few. Happy hunting.
Just curious, which manufacturers produce cables with gold conductors? Now, I'm confident that sure some conductors contain traces of gold, which is actually rather curious in itself. If you wanted to select a metal with the best conductivity gold would not be it.
I believe Jade Audio Reference Gold uses pure gold, expensive at $2700 for a 1 meter pair of RCA interconnects ($3800 for XLR). KCI may too, but I'm not sure.
ok. I like things musical--maybe not as musical as gold though. Interesting but way out of my league.

Audioquest used a quality copper spade back in the day. So does Paul Speltz (anticables).
I've always thought of Cardas as being sludgey and colored--I mean too musical. But the cable company would give me the answer. Maybe I'd love it and then I could drop the Cardas name all over and impress my friends.
02-11-15: Arnettpartners
I've always thought of Cardas as being sludgey and colored--I mean too musical.

Now you are grasping the lingo! LOL!

What is your budget? Maybe try a pair of Jade Audio Moontails. They come with a 30 day money back guarantee.
While pure gold and pure platinum conductors ARE quite interesting, and speaking only for myself, I'm not contemplating the purchase of ANY cables, not matter how exotic, even if they are pure gold or pure platinum. And I'll tell you why. Because having moved to a portable system with NO cables, save the earphone wires, I no longer covet exotic cables, not interconnects, digital cable, speaker cables OR power cords. No cables are just better than exotic high end cables.
I'd be uncomfortable going over $500. I'm talking speaker cable now.
Is $500 unrealistic?
No, $500 is not unrealistic, we all have budgets. Of course used will help your money go further.
I would look for some Acoustic Zen Satori, it should be in your price range and won't hurt your ears.
Thanks a lot.
The Morrow MA3 is my choice between source and preamp. They give the most 3D image of any of the cables I've tried. The tonal balance is very even and dynamics are not suppressed.
From preamp to amp I prefer the Audio Magic Illusion. Other cables I own are from Nordost, DH Labs, Music Metre, Tara and Audio Magic.
The Morrow cables require at least 60 hrs of burn in.
But headphones aren't better than big 100lb audiophile grade speakers. More convenient and practical perhaps, but not better.
Well, One big advantage of earphones and headphones over big 100 lb audiophile grade speakers is the total lack of room interference with the sound. This elimination of room anomalies results in better tonality and more resolution. You can't just wish it away with speakers.
Touche' (Is that how you sspeel it?)
Yes, that's how you sspeel it.
Well why don't you start another thread on headphones then? This is a thread on cable suggestions.

On the Morrow vs Audioquest, keep in mind that Morrow has a list of Morrow cables that they've taken in a trade up program. Used, but cheaper. Audioquest cables used would be found on audiogon, but you'd be dealing with strangers.