Entry Level Cables


I'm currently in the process of upgrading my system a little bit at a time. Right now I'm using a Onkyo SR606 with some basic terrible speakers. I added the Onkyo for xmas and now I'm ready to upgrade my mains. I don't have much of a budget, so right now I've been looking at Paradigm's Titans or possibly a good deal on Paradigm's Reference Studio 20. Assuming I purchase the 20, what would be a good, entry level cable to run?

I've heard that I can't go wrong with Kimber's 8TCs, but they are just a bit beyond my currently target range of $100-$200 total to wire both speakers. Since I'm new, I most certainly don't want to make any terrible mistakes and skimp on the cabling and make my speakers essentially worthless. On the other hand, $400-$500 for cables is just too much for me right now.

Thanks for the input!
I've never used the Kimber, but am very impressed with Morrow SP2 with bare wire termination. Morrow is always having some kind of sale going on. Get on his email list.
Anti-Cables would fit the request nicely.

You are not yet in a place where you have to worry about ruining your speakers. Certainly not the cable.

Order what you need from Blue Jean Cables. You will be happy with what you get - top of the line mainstream cable from the big players like Canare and Belden properly terminated, and you will be happy with what you pay.
I second the Blue Jeans Cables - great value.
Why not go with some CAT5 DIY speaker cables? I made up a pair of 20' cables a couple of months ago and am very pleased with the results.


Gomer Cable
SR Alpha Quad x2 active (preowned) is a good choice right off for music and movies.

Audio Art does a real good job with their stuff.

The Canare 4S11 is not a bad choice either to begin with... I use it in my HT for center & rears. terminated or bare. Single or biwired, your choice as it has four separate conductors. For the $$$ these are pretty decent wires.
I second the Morrow speaker cables. Take a look at the SP1 and their 60 day money back.
KImber 8TC is a very good cable which I have used in the past. I strongly recommend trying the Anticables which I have used to replace my very expensive high end Cardas speaker cables. The Anticables may be entry level cost, but their performance is not. I have heard good things regarding the other recommendations from other posters but have never heard those cables.
I would second Blindjim's recommendation of Canare 4s11 or even 4s8 cable for your situation. You can buy either in bulk and either terminate them yourself or just use bare wire. The 4s11 is $1.17 a foot from markertek.com. It's flexible and easy to work with and comes in a nice, neutral gray color. The 4s8 is only $.55 a foot and should be fine unless you get a really powerful amp and some speakers that will pull a lot of juice. I've used both alongside the entry level Cardas and Dh Labs cables and couldn't hear anything that made the extra cost seem worthwhile.
Thanks for all of the recommendations. I'm going to take a look at these different cables and see what may work for my budget.

Other than budget concerns, what specifics do I need to look for in a cable to help make a determination of the quality?
Oh, and right now I'm debating the Anticables and the Canare 4s11. Is there any particular termination that is preferred or "better?" Or does it just come down to personal preference?

Thanks again!
Bare wire is best, IMO, but most people choose spades or bananas out of convenience, or to provide a little more contact surface area with binding posts.

Having owned both Anti Cables and Canare 4S11, I think the Canare is a little more conducive to bare wire installation because the wire itself is more flexible, and because it's multi stranded it will spread under pressure and give you more contact area on the binding posts.

Put a little CAIG ProGold on the bare wire and install them. You're good to go.

The Anti Cables may work better with spades for the reason of increased contact surface area.
It's down to personal preferences.

I might help to understand that for most people (especially the gearheads) this hobby is a journey - you start somewhere and go from there as your tastes, listening skills and budget evolve (not necessarily in that order but you get the idea)

Little known fact but a very few manufacturers make most of the wire used by the entire industry. It's an expensive undertaking. Some companies have custom runs done with their own "formulation" but there are minimum orders...

Companies buy from them, then add various combinations of insulation (teflon, cotton, PTFE) cosmetics (techflex and shrinkwrap in fancy colors) and nice connectors...For instance single pair of RCA males can cost from about $2 to $400.

There are a lot of people who think that a bare wire is the best possible amp to speaker connection - all you have to be able to do is strip insulation...

There is also a very strong DIY tradition in a portion of the community. Lots of info and what are called "recipes" around. Go to Audioasylum dot come and vhaudio dot com

In all fairness the anti-cables are a legitimate design alternative - I have never heard them but they have stood the test of a few years on this board which is generally flavor of the month oriented

And you can't get hurt with 30 or 60 day moneyback guarantees - worth it to learn to hear the differences - its kind of backwards but the less difference you hear, the less you have to worry about it. There are a ton of factors that determine your sound in your room - cable is nowhere near the top of the list.

So start with one or the other, or roll your own. markertek and partsexpress are both good resources, there are many others.
Don't sweat it.You could have system multiples better and while I think Kimber makes excellent product for buck go for cheapies (even home dept 16 gauge extension cords would do) and them get Kimber latter.Heard anti is good and have bought Blue Jean before and they work fine.Put more into the cake,then the frosting and make the cables the sprinkles.Go for short speaker cable lengths and first spring for source to reciver cables and then splurge on speaker wires.
For about $250 you can buy used Acoustic Zen Satori. This is one of the better cables - even better bang for the buck than Analysis Plus Oval 9
As for a good description of speaker cable quality/characteristics, go to the Blue Jeans Cable web site.

In addition to Anti Cable and Blue Jeans, you might take a look at Signal Cable and the Audio Quest T4 "No Frills" which Audio Advisor is selling for $100 per 8' pair.
The neat thing about any hobby is this.... When it comes to descerning quality.. you're the judge and jury.

or you should be.

If what you mean is which measuring stick should be used, that's another subject. many go with the attempt to emulate live music. Some shoot for imaging and ambient retreval. some like it wet, big andd fat... Many choose sheer neutraility across the board.

Reality, or the illusion of it with the addition of platable ease and flow are my preffs. If there's to be a compromise with regard to neautraility, I'll lean towards warmth... albeit not by a lot.

I don't think there truly is a Holy Grail in any facet of this hobby... as to cables, preamps,sources, etc.

Some good road signs that one is headed in the right direction IMO, are

A broad smile on your face when the music is playing

Knees bobing up and down

Toes tapping

turning it off is not a predominant thought

Goose bumps

Jaw on floor

Numerous bruises from repeated pinchings, stemming from
constant disbelief.

Anxious desire to hear more of the collection

Continued yawning throughout the day from lack of sleep due to extensive listening sessions.

Results will vary of course.

The real trick... the key to all this IMO, is being happy with what you have, rather than looking towards that next addition to your system as being the magic pill that will supply it to you.

Look at the virtual systems posted here, and the threads pertinent to the pieces within them. get out to dealers and audition some things. Attend live shows. Pay attention to properly matchintg components, with regard to one another.

you'll be fine i'm sure... mostly though... enjoy listening to the music.
You guys have given such great information and recommendation. Thanks for all the input. I think, since I'm just starting to get into everything, I'm going to start off with something cheaper and then upgrade as I am able to. I'm only 24 and with a medium-range income, so it's a work in progress. But thanks again for all the input, you'll probably be hearing from me again :)
Ah Seth, welcome to the obsession...Mark
Welcome Smwatson! All I can suggest is do your research and you wont be dissapointed. One of the most invaluable sources of information available is Robert Harley's complete guide to hi-end audio. Good luck!
What about Supra Cables?? I have no experience with them but the price certainly seems right!
I've seen a lot of 8TC, in 7 to 10ft pairs, sell for under $200. IE: (http://cgi.ebay.com/KIMBER-CABLE-8TC-Speaker-Cables-Terminated-7-6-ft-pair_W0QQitemZ300296392435QQihZ020QQcategoryZ14966QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) Many on AudiogoN also, but the stuff goes fast, because it's so popular.

You might take a look at the Kubala Sosna entry level cables. The nice thing is you can upgrade down the road and they will give you about 90% of the purchase price. Check for a dealer near you.
sounds really is a kubala dealer but once again fails to disclose a financial relationship with his recommendation.

It should be clear to everyone that Sounds_Real_Audio is a dealer. Is there anyone on this thread that doesn't know that?
Muncybob -

Supra is definitely good stuff. I cabled my HT with the 3.4Ply. I like that the copper is tinned which means no maintenance going forward. I did implement the shield system which seems to work - the background is inky black. I used the Audioquest bananas - gold over copper - and for a cost effective system I am very pleased. Warm, nice detail.

I also built a pair of power cables for my Flying Mole 100 amps which run the rears. I used the 2.5 - its a very well made, super flexible cable. I paired it with the Furu F-11 Cus, and covered it in techflex. Couldn't be happier. It handles well and sounds good.

Before I jumped I did as much research as I could - these products while unknown in the US are in fact highly regarded in the EU.

Lars, their US rep is very helpful - nice folks to do business with.

And I appreciate the fact that this is an honest to god manufacturing company that makes what they sell in their own factories and has a point of view about what works.

Visit the Supra home site: http://www.jenving.se/

Interesting stuff
It should not be clear to everybody soundsreally. You can't assume anything in these threads.

If that were the case some might think you actually have a clue.

Anytime there is a financial interest in a recommendation, it must be disclosed.

To not do it, is unethical and unprofessional.
To extend Audiofeil's point about explicit disclosure, it's in your best interest to be meticulous about pointing out your potential financial interest in a comment, whether as a dealer or a seller of something listed on the site. It's one of the best things you can do to increase your credibility in the long run and credibility is the thing that makes this site work.


That is exactly my point, and I totally agree. On every thread I have on this website my moniker clearly identifies me as a dealer. I don't go into stealth mode, ever.
not trying to start anything but how is it in soundsreal's financial interest if he doesn't disclose that he is a dealer for the cables? if smwatson buys from someone else what kickback does soundsreal get?
That's bogus soundsreally.

Other monikers such as Hifisoundguy, Krellman, Tubelover, etc. would suggest they are in the trade.

When in fact that is not the case.

To not disclose your financial interest in any recommendation involving a product you sell is both unprofessional and unethical.
I can say honestly I have never had anyone contact me based on a thread that I left on Audiogon, let alone purchase anything from me based on a thread. Meaning I have never benefited financially from these threads. I have no financial interest.

Besides if someone were to look for a dealer near them and say that I was a dealer then they could clearly see the connection. They would put two and two together and just say "hey this is the guy on Audiogon who recommended this product".

I think "goners" deserve more credit then you are giving them.
I think they deserve more disclosure than you provide.

I think people deserve to know every time I post a response to a thread that I am a dealer and not just threads where I make mention of a product that I carry. I could very well have a used piece of gear advertised here and then go on threads and in stealth mode to promote that piece. Not sure how many members may be doing just that.

So my advice would be for you to announce that you are a dealer every time you are on a thread. I am sure that would help your business.
I disclose my status as a retailer whenever a product in my line is part and parcel to the discussion which in fact is very seldom. Check it out soundsreally.

I don't need or use these threads to promote my business.

Unlike you.
I agree with Audiofeil- Any thing other than complete disclosure is dishonest.

"I could very well have a used piece of gear advertised here and then go on threads and in stealth mode to promote that piece."

Yes - and that would be bad as well. I hope you're not trying to say that other do it so it's OK.

I'm not a dealer but I would feel bad posting about something I sell - even if it's only one piece on Audiogon.

Solution is simple - post about any other brand without disclosure and avoid posting about piece you sell at Audiogon for the time of sale. Simple.
...and with that exchange is it any wonder why audiophiles are dying faster than the DJIA -lol and TGIF, only kidding take it easy...
The evolution of this thread brings back the question raised on a thread which for some unknown reason the moderators appear to have deleted. The thread offered many suggestions and I still remember mine. Add a small notifier on the signature line next to the moniker showing the status, with at least the categories of Manufacturer, Dealer/Distributor, Reviewer, Individual, and perhaps other.

Sounds_real_audio would become Sounds_real_audio (D) .

I would be T_bone (I).
The moniker or appended letter would link to the Profile page where another field would require Commercial Users (already defined by Audiogon) to have a small area to identify themselves and the products the manufacture, represent, or sell.
For the purposes of the Audiogon, you are a Commercial user if you fit any of the following criteria:
-You are a reseller or retailer of audio video equipment or related products.
-You represent, or are employed by a manufacturer in the audio video industry.
-You will be listing products on behalf of either of the above entities.
-You will be buying and selling products for profit on a regular basis.

Basically, if you will be using our website to make money, then we ask that you register as such and pay our commercial rates. In return, we offer Commercial users prominent placement of your listings, and top priority for support.

It would be easy to execute, be clear to all, and would end much of this silly back-and-forthing between Audiofeil and others, and would make disclosure a matter of course.

If not for Audiofeil there would be no, as you stated "silly exchange" and you wouldn't be able to present yourself here.
To be fair to Audiofeil, this was an obvious case. I do not know SRA from a hole in the wall, I remember the moniker from a previous similar situation so I know he is a dealer. I have never seen a declaration of what he sells, and it is not publicly posted. In addition, there have been other instances where dealers have used monikers which were less obvious than sounds_real_audio and been caught out advising people to try out what they sell, without disclosing their interest. Distributors as well. I would think this is such an easy thing to change for Audiogon that they should do it and be done with it.

Dealers who disclose clearly, to my mind, are more easily trusted, in all respects. It would be nice to have that disclosure built in. That way, Dealers who play the police would have structural support, and might be able to do away with gratuitous rudeness (unless they just like being gratuitously rude).
Mmm . . . audio asylum has a nice system for identifying dealers, manufacturers, reviewers, etc. Not hard to implement here either. Would eliminate the need for exchanges such as these.
Thank you Zargoz. I was wondering of my invocation of that other place last time was the reason it got the thread pulled last time.
T-bone- Great idea!!!
T Bone's idea is excellent. Not sure why it hasn't already been instituted.

Seems like a no-brainer.
why not go with the 4tc's? That's what I use, and they work fine for me for the time being.

Does anyone have experience with the SP2 and SP3 (recent version) and can describe the differences between the audio experience?

I know this is subjective. That's what I'm interested in.

:) listening,


Belkin PureAV Silver series on shameless blowout from Parts Express.

This is monocrystal hyper-pure copper with individually insulated multiple gauge conductors. At their original retail price the closest you could get was Harmonic Technologies at twice the price. I bought two pairs to do an external bi-wire for $40 on this closeout!

The bargain would be meaningless if they didn't sound good, but they sound REAL good--very clear, transparent, fast, wide bandwidth at both ends, excellent clarity, but always with a natural, organic-sounding presentation. They replaced some silver-plated AudioMagic internal bi-wires to great improvement. I like them a lot!