For your budget, I recommend you try a pair of MAC Cables CuQ's. I've been running them now for around three years and still enjoy how they sound. I'm running them into a pair of Totem Mani-2's.
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JW Audio are shockingly good. And I'm not talking only "at their price point", but in general. Absolutely stunning value.
There is a return policy as well, thus you don't stand to lose almost anything.
Give them a try and you may find yourself not looking any further as far as speaker wire is concerned.
I, for one, have replaced AQ type 8 ( @ $500 for 10' pair) with Speltz cables and then moved up to JW Audio. There's no turning back, they're so darn good...
I recently called Audioadvisor and bought a pair of the Audioquest Type 8 A 8 foot pair for $201.00 and at that price it was 40% off. I'm not sure but I think it's the same price if you ask for the pair to be bi-wired. They can be ordered with spades or banana's. I think they are great and I can't how you can do much better at the price for a 8 conductor speaker cable. Best of luck to you.
If the other member above ( Philjolet ) bought the type 4 and likes them and you have $200.00 to spend think how much better the type 8 could be for you.
Signal cable silver resolution is what I like. I've tried tara labs rsc prime, 10 guage blue jeans cable, audioquest rocket 44's and clear day double shotguns. Clear day was my favorite but too much money for me right now, followed by signal cable silver res, followed by blue jeans then tara the audioquest rocket 44's (audioquest rocket 44's were really rolled off in the highs and lows in my system, didn't like these cables at all) but then again, my brother is using audioquest cv4 (non dbs) and they sound good in his rig.
There are some options from Van den Jul that will fit your budget if you can find a dealer. The Clearwater is a great entry level and the CS - 122 Hybrid is an exceptional performer to step up to.
They are excellent quality and perform extremely well
I have tried the Canare, Signal Cable, Audioquest and a couple of other entry level speaker cables. All of them have thier own qualities and limitations. You are probably going to get further up the food chain by purchasing used. If you want new my favorites lately have been the Black Cat neo Morpheus, a real bargain.
@Mtrot, JW Audio applies cryogenic treatment to them and that seems to make the difference. I heard the difference (if you search for JW Audio in forum chats you'll find that I'm not alone in my findings) and went for the change.
To my ears, there's a hint of aggressiveness and highs up-tilt in anti-cables that JW Audio doesn't have. Not huge, but enough to be noticed and make the change worthwhile. And JW Audio are cheaper today than the anti-cables too.
I've used Type 4 also (and have MANY other AQ bits in my basement "cable museum", including a pair of old reddish cables packed with 16 individually wrapped stranded conductors and thick as a garden hose) and think they're great. I'm into the "solid core everywhere" sound these days and AQ has lots of that to go around so now my rig looks like it's under attack from a bungee cord factory.
I am using a set of Morrow SP2 for the high frequency run of my bi-wire setup. Make sure and order them "nude" and when you connect them, make sure to have as much of the cable in contact with the binding posts on the amp and speaker as possible.
I will say, these are pretty impressive in the areas of clarity, soundstage, imaging, and quality of vocals and instruments. Just very nice overall.
Mogami 3103 terminated with Vampire high copper content spades. Cryo it and burn it in post cryo and it gets even better.
I preferred it to my Kimber 8TC (also cryoed and burned in on the Nordost cooker) and ended up selling the Kimber.
The 8TC retails at $25 ft., the Mogami around $2.75.
The Mogami is mentioned a couple of times at the bottom the page on Salvatore's site linked below:
"Based on the $25 per foot calculation, I saved $340 (68%) on my used type 8 pair. Not too shabby."
Always good to buy used-makes sense. However, even at $8 foot for used 8TC it's almost 3X the price of the 3103. And the Kimber Postmaster spades are hideously overpriced IMO.
I bought the Mogami as a bit of a cheap experiment after having excellent results with some of their other cable.
My 8TC was probably 15-20 years old and I can't actually recall what I paid for it-it probably didn't owe me much. When I did sell it after the Mogami outperformed it the net result was I had about an extra $100 in my pocket. I thought that was not too shabby. ;)
I have the Type 4 and Neotech 3001 IC on my vintage tuner and I too like the solid core everywhere approach - very nice
I do not necessarily believe the Type 4 is inferior to 8TC or Satori. I have owned all 3, not at the same time, and the Type 4 has a direct quality that is appealing. I thought the 8TC was anemic and the Satori thick.
of course ymmv
My "per foot" comment was innacurate and should be ignored (8tc is not AQ Type 8), but the purchase still lacks shabbiness.
Note that after messing around with spades, bananas, Speakon's, guitar phone plugs (which actually do go back to old telephone switchboards...lame!), and otherwise burning fingers and things with soldering devices, I found that the AQ spades and bananas (non solder user friendly ones) are great...easy to find, not too pricey, and well made.
I think there's a point where you start assuming the cables you've assembled are working. You can then stop thinking about them (except wondering when to clean the contacts), and start worrying about needle age, running thick copper wires from your AC plugs directly to a nuclear plant, and having your speakers veneered with Bubinga. I trained some rare African cockroaches to take turns lying on their backs holding up my speaker wires on their tiny feet...took a while, but totally worth it.