The Canare 4S11 is a great value from Blue Jeans Cable.
Thanks, Peter. I'd been wondering about the Canare 4S11 because its geometry provides some EMI/RFI filtering--and every time I've treated EMI/RFI (whether through interconnects or EMI chokes) it's helped my system a lot. Is that likely to make much difference in the speaker cables? The Canare's specs on resistance, capacitance, etc. aren't quite as good as the Belden, though its resistance is lower than that of my Anti Cables. I know measurements don't tell the whole story, but are those factors worth worrying about?
Thanks for any other input.
I own the BJC Belden 10-gauge 5T00UP (white).
Looks good, well constructed, I terminated it myself with GLS locking, belkin and GLS Regular bananas. Seems to be one of the few cables that actually appears to be the gauge advertised.
I have three amps that I play in a weekly rotation. One hooked up to the BJC, one to AQ 14 awg and one with a generic 12 gauge from amazon.
I am blessed in that they all have the same sound (none).
Thanks for the input, everyone. I'm leaning toward the Canare 4S11 right now, based on what people have said here and what I've read in the archives. I'll be single-wiring with it and so will get some EMI/RFI blocking, which I know might not be a big deal with 8' lengths.
If anyone has more assessments of sound quality with the Canare or the Belden, keep it coming. I won't likely order for another week or so, as a buddy and I are going to split a Blue Jeans order and he's still deciding if he wants to use the 4S11 for biwiring. Meanwhile, any and all thoughts are appreciated!
I also have the belden 10 guage, 25 foog lengths wigh the locking bananas. I like them very much! Compared to Monster Z line, and AQ rocket 44's, I like them the best. The locking banans are great! I am interested in the anti cables and also the signal silver resolution cables as I will be buying other signal cables based on Milpai's recommendation of these. Im also interested in the canare's. I wish there was a way to swap cables for listening impressions. On a side note, I contacted Blue Jeans about elevating speaker wire off the carpet and they said it madr no difference. They also said 8 foot runs weren'g going to sound any different than 25 foot runs with about 12 feet coiled up.
just did another back to back comparison with the rocket 44's. listened to the 44's for two hours lastnight, two more today. belden's definatly have more detail and more bass with possibly better seperation. I think the soundstage is deeper with the beldens, wider with the 44's. the highs have more air with the beldens too. overall, i like the beldens better. i'm curious if you'll like the anti cables more. the canare seem to be of similar design to the 44's, so i wonder if you'll notice the same as me.
Just ordered the Canare 4S11 this afternoon--8' lengths for me to single-wire and shorter lengths for my buddy to bi-wire, so I'll get to hear it in two configurations. I'm also getting another LC-1 IC to use as a jumper on my NAD C372. Hope they'll be here by the end of the week, and assuming I have power (with the storm and all) I'll post my impressions. Not sure if I'll get a new baseline with the jumpers in place before I swap speaker cables or if I'll try the speaker cables first. Good cheap fun, in any case!
First impressions. I got the Blue Jeans cables yesterday and have been listening to my system with the new LC-1 jumpers on my NAD (a mild improvement compared to when I bought the LC-1 for my CD player, but an improvement all the same: blacker background, primarily). Then I've been comparing speaker cables.
Yesterday morning I terminated and shrink-wrapped the Canare 4S11 (compression bananas on the amp end and bare wire on the speaker end), and I've been going back and forth between them and the Anti-Cables.
When I first hooked them up, my initial impressions of the Canare were of a little less weight in the bass up through the mid-bass (even acoustic guitars seem to lack a little body) and a slight softening up top. This impression has remained, though I've come to appreciate that the Canares do offer a rich and beautifully focused midrange with far better soundstage depth than the Anti-Cables. At the same time, they offer what seems like better midrange resolution--the sound of the room and of reverb decay is much clearer and comes with a greater sense of ease than with the Anti-Cables. High-frequency transients like cymbals and chimes fall back in the soundstage a bit with the Canares, and perhaps have a touch--but just a touch--of grain, where the Anti-Cables seem to throw those sounds outward and upward from the plane of the speakers with great smoothness and tonal purity.
Swapping the Anti-Cables back in, I'm impressed by the bass weight and definition, and high-frequency sounds come forward in the soundstage with clarity--though this also comes with a flattening of the soundstage overall. The midrange is clear and lifelike, though everything seems just a little bit crisper and perhaps a touch less naturally warm. The sound of the room and of decay can be picked out, but it sounds a little more mechanical and less wholly integrated with the instrument(s) or voice. I really enjoy what the Anti-Cables let me hear, but each time I turned the music off I realized I also felt a sense of relief--that the increased sharpness and definition of high frequencies had been a touch fatiguing. With the Canare I found myself leaning into the soundstage to hear things I was used to hearing with the Anti-Cables' definition; with the Anti-Cables I found myself leaning back from the musical presentation as it came toward me.
These are very, very, veeerrrry initial impressions based on just a few hours of listening. The discs I've mostly used are favorites: Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood; My Morning Jacket, Z; Lucinda Williams, World Without Tears; Kenny Burrell, Midnight Blue and Handcrafted; Bill Evans, The Complete Village Vanguard; and Mozart's early string quartets on Brilliant Classics. So far I find myself drawn to the buttery midrange of the Canare even though it doesn't seem to excel at the frequency extremes. I'm going to keep using them for a few weeks before checking against the Anti-Cables again to see if there's any change as the Canare's dielectric breaks in. Good, cheap fun all around.
I've continued listening to the Canare cables, and my initial impressions have been confirmed as I've gone along. It seems to me like the bottom end has filled out a little bit since I hooked them up, but I'm willing to admit that this might be placebo effect! In any case, as I've been enjoying the music I haven't felt like I'm missing anything on the bottom end.
The one place where I do still notice a difference is in the highs. With the Anti-Cables, high-frequency sounds and the soundstaging cues that go with them are holographic and immediate-feeling, completely smooth and effortless and clean. The Canares do have a touch of grain in the highs and at times sound a touch "slow" in comparison (I always listen for percussion instruments like shakers and tambourines for this), and cymbals and the like seem to sit a bit further back in the soundstage.
That said, the Canares have a buttery midrange (which isn't a real deficiency of the Anti-Cables) that I've been increasingly drawn to. In my system at least, the Canares have provided a more flesh-and-blood sense of singers and instruments. I feel like I'm hearing a whole human being singing in space rather than a human mouth singing in front of a microphone. A drum kit in a room rather than an assortment of drums with microphones perched over them. Subtle and expressive aspects of instrumental technique--from Kenny Burrell's touch on the fretboard to Andrew Bird's breath control as he whistles--are easier to pick up on and follow and are presented in a natural, organic way. I am, in short, enjoying the music.
Both sets of cables are absurdly good values, to my mind anyway, and do lots of things well. Though I'll probably try something else in the future (audiophilia, ahoy!), I've put the Anti-Cables up for sale (not without second thoughts!) and am sticking with the Canares for now. Vive la difference!
Two revisions to what I wrote above--one that I simply didn't mention, and one as a result of further reflection. The first is that I do think the lower midrange/upper bass has filled out as the Canares have broken in. Guitars and drums in particular feel fully fleshed-out with appropriate weight behind them.
The second is that I'm not sure it was quite fair or accurate of me to characterize the Canares as a little slow. I just listened to Spoon's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, which is a great and certainly eccentric, spacious-sounding studio album. On a number of tracks, as the band plays a little loosely and slightly behind the beat, very rapidly shaken maracas sit on the front edge of the beat, driving the songs forward. There's no blurring of the maracas' attack or speed, and the rhythm is insistent and clear. I do think I'd become used to the slightly more forward presentation provided by the Anti-Cables, which emphasizes the leading edges of such sounds a little more. The Canares aren't slow, per se, just a little more laid-back in presentation.
I recently purchased LC1 cable for my subwoofer and 12 gauge BJC speaker cable (5) with locking banana plugs. I am greatly surprised at the level of detail from my HD Music since I changed my overhyped ouster cable.
Denon AVR 590 receiver
Speakercraft AIM8 Two 5.1 in ceiling speakers
Audioquest Dragonfly 1.2 DAC