The big problem you have is the long length combined with RCA connections (signal loss). 1m or less reduces the problems. So if at all possible, reconfigure your components to accomodate shorter cables.
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Synergistic Research Resolution Ref x2 active. I went to the RR x2 instead of the Venustas and several others for the body, imaging, midrange, and bottom end they possess.
You'll save some money in the process. other than the RR's I'd say try the SX Ltd. from Nirvana, above the SX's I'd say the Acoustic Ref active, also from SR. The SX's are the imaging champ of the lot however. Their ambient retreval is flat out scary.
Thanks guys so far.
Tweak1: Not sure how much signal loss is associated with a 3M run, but Vladamir at Lamm did not think that would be any problem with the LL2, and it certainly was not a problem with the CAT Ult MkII or my Lector Zoe. I am running from a cabinet to monoblocks positioned between the speakers, so 2.5M is my minimum, and I would not want to go over 3M. Unfortunately, virtually none of the tube preamps I have liked have single-ended outputs, since with my new Lector Digidrive/Digicode, I could run a fully balanced system if I found the right preamp.
Blindjim: I will look into those you mentioned, although I have no experience with either Synergistic Research or Nirvana.
Art Dudley wrote a pretty good (accurate) review of the SX Ltd. some time back in Stereophile, comparing and contrasting them to Nordost's Valhalla.
Bruce Richardson of Voodoo cables makes an Ultralinear cable comprised of both copper & silver and it was also on the top end of my short list prior to me settling on the Res Ref x2... back then. Since however, the SR Acoustic Ref active in their tesla series does edge out the Res ref near entirely save for the bass impact and more weighty feel the RR's provide. The SR AR do offer a tad more resolution and near the bass of the RES REFs... and come across very naturally. Some say more analog like, but on that point I'd have to pass as I've no analog gear.
The SX's lay somewhere in between the SR AR & SR RR but are more naturall than either of the SR wires. With a high res system, the SX + either AR or RR will indeed satisfy... duller systems might not respond as well... for ex. SET like sounding gear whose fingerprint is way lush, perhaps... and that's just speculation on my part given the way they handle sonics.
With the SX in there somewhere (it's usual place is on a source but I've found it works well as a main too), re-creation of the original venue is clearly evident, as well as is a more organic presentation.
One last note on the SX Ltd. is they reject EMI & RF well indeed for SE cables and act more like XLRs in that respect. they're quite clean sounding and without air flowing radiations or artifacts... and I'm using my SX as a main IC.
Thanks again Blindjim - you have given me several to look at.
Bill, I agree with you and have noticed no sonic difference between my 1M ic's from preamp to amp, and the 2.5 to 3M ic's I am currently using.
BTW, I meant to say above,
"virtually none of the tube preamps I have liked have BALANCED outputs."
Thanks again guys. For now, things seem to sound good with Purist Aqueous Anniversary (1M)from source to preamp, and Purist Venustas (3M) from pre to my Cary 500MB monos. I have been trying different speaker cables after selling my Venustas bi-wires. I was able to purchase a pair of Purist Aqueous Anniversary true bi-wires. The Aqueous Anniversary line uses copper and gold conductors, while the Venustas line uses silver, copper and gold conductors. The silver in the Venustas speaker cables sort of tipped things up in my system, so the Aqueous cables improved tonality in the direction I wanted to go. I also purchased some Harmonic Technology speaker cables, and I am using a pair of the Pro9 Plus from my amps to the LF posts on my Aerial 9's and a new pair of Pro 9 Reference from my amps to the MF/HF posts. I am fortunate the amps have dual speaker terminals for bi-wiring two separate runs of cables. Both the HT cables are 5 feet long, and for now the bass using the HT cables is outstanding, and the mids are full and rich. My initial impression is that both speaker cables are good, but the HT have better bass while the Purist Aqueous may be a bit "quieter." In a week or two I will put the Aqueous back in and see how I like them. I would still be interested in some copper IC's from preamp to amps, but I need 3M, so I will probably hang out until I see a good deal on something, or... I may stay with the Venustas since the silver in the IC's does not seem to bother me like it did with the speaker cables.