@tvad meaning buy and try some used models? What model name of AQ cables would you recommend that I search for?
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You know John Rutan is the font of information when it comes to AQ cables.😁 I don't know why you haven't contacted him?
But, if you don't want to call him, I can tell you the newest cables from AQ are really something special.
Listening to the new William Tell series gave me goosebumps.-And this is from someone who never thought cables could make a significant difference.
Worth it? Well, if you have the funds available, yes, too.
For some reason, not specifically planned, I have owned nearly all the older range of AQ speaker cables including redwood to wild to wel. The difference (improvement) is pretty well obvious as you move up, so subject to money restrictions you should upgrade. It is a good point however to wonder if newly release AQ cables at each price point are improvements. Like you - I would be interested in hearing any PRACTICAL comments, rather than from naysayers. I do not know what the current replacements are for what older ones. Anyone can advise?
After having Rocket 44 for about a year I made the change to Rocket 88. There was an improvement in that it did provide a blacker background to music. I tend to believe this is primarily due to the 88 including the Black DBS devices more than anything else. Then, after a year with the 88 I made the plunge to William Tell ZERO. Oh my, that was a revelation of improvement. I am now hearing musical information in a more distinct manner than ever before, particularly in nuances of detail that seems to trail off forever. Instrumentation and vocals have never sounded so distinct and precise in my system. I believe these differences are largely due to having the Carbon DBS devices, the geometry which provides zero characteristic impedance, and the multi-layer carbon-based noise dissipation system. The terminations also use a higher grade copper than the Rocket series. Both series use the same hanging silver plating, though. In other words, the step-up technologies in this series of cable definitely delivers on it's promise. It's equal to the other best audio investment I have made in my present system. That other investment was having my BAT VK-33 preamp upgraded to the VK-33SE. The difference in imaging was quite stunning. Then I added the William Tell ZERO and fell off of my chair but only after my jaw hit the floor. These are exaggerations, of course. My jaw is not that long and I really didn't fall out of my chair. But sonically, these speaker cables are also quite stunning, no two ways about it. I'll make an analogy for you. Imagine looking through a window of exceptionally clear glass at a beautiful mountain scenery of Fall colors. The glass is so clear that you would think it wasn't even there. And then you open the window and realize, oh my, this is even better.
You asked why pass on the Robin Hood ZERO and go to William Tell ZERO. My answer is that I felt better about having more wire. The Robin Hood Zero consists of 4 solid PSC+ copper wire at 15 gauge. The William Tell Zero consists of 6 solid PSC+ copper wire at 13 gauge. Technologies, otherwise, are the same between these two cables. Sure, it's more money for one over the other. But I didn't look at it that way. I saw it as that is the gauge of wire I want for my speakers and that is the technology I want for my speaker cable. I couldn't be more happy.
Best to you. I hope this explanation helped and that you end up with a satisfactory decision.
Note; I also use Tornado power cables and the Niagara 3000. For signal cables I use Audioquest Earth. The synergy of cabling from Audioquest is a wonderful way of connecting your entire system.
I'm sorry, but I failed to answer another part of your question. That is, regarding new Audioquest speaker cables compared to previous generations now selling as used for much less cost. I can't make that kind of comparison, only to more recent cable models, such as those from the Rocket series. My only other Audioquest speaker cable was from 30 years ago, when the company was very young and speaker cable technologies were nowhere near what they have been for the past 10 + years. I am confident, however, that any of the upper-end Audioquest speaker cable from the past 6 to 10 years will certainly deliver an excellent value. I still stand on my evaluation of the William Tell ZERO, though. It has the latest technologies from Audioquest and it really shines above the models below it.
One more note; if you must go with a bi-wire configuration and choose William Tell ZERO that requires a separate Bass cable, terminated as bi-wire by Audioquest. It gets rather expensive. I had Rocket 88 bi-wire and chose the William Tell ZERO full-range. It is vastly superior to the bi-wire Rocket 88 I replaced. I simply added Audioquest jumpers to my speaker binding posts, bringing them back to a full-range connectivity.
What models of the older top of the line cables are the model names? I don't really know them.
Two more questions:
Between the Robin Hood and the WT models. I understand the wire thickness but how much better are they in reality?
Last with my Vandersteen Model 5A speakers will the bi-wire be necessary (I see that one run is for the bass specifically designed for bi-wire) but how much would I lose using a single run with jumpers?
Cables are specific to systems. Too many listeners vote with their wallet.
Depending on the connected equipment any cable change may be better, worse or no different.
FYI, I once auditioned [stupid names forgotten] $6k & $12k AQ cables in an B&W / Mac / REL $300k system. The high priced spread was just awful.
All advice on specific cables and most other recommendations are not worth the bits to transmit.
@ieales - I understand your posted position. Changes may be system dependent. My equipment is custom manufacturer by my company so I know that no body here hears what I hear. My question was asking based upon ones own experience what did they hear. Already mentioned above is for me to try them as buying at the used prices would allow me if I decided that they did not improve my sound could be sold for little to no loss.
Thanks for your input.
Bigkidz the rocket 88 for its price, will it measure up with dragon and sterling I don’t think so, the clear and argent would probably as good as the rocket 88 maybe better, the indigo is good too, Athough I heard a rocket 88 is superb, more quiet, my own preference is old Audioquest, I am not into battery stuff..,
I ran bi-wired Rocket 88s between my ARC REF110 and Vandersteen 3A Signatures for about 18 months. My dealer sent a set of Robin Hood Bass and Zeros home for me to demo for a long weekend. An order was placed the following Tuesday. However, the Bass had a 30 day production delay so I ran the RH Zero as a full range cable with jumpers at the speakers until the Bass cables came in. Even the single RH Zero full range cable was a marked improvement in all facets of sound reproduction compared to the R88s (for which I was once well pleased). When the RH Bass cables arrived, there was another quantum leap forward. The cable architecture philosophies Garth Powell applied to power and now speaker cables delivers truly impressive results. I excitedly wait until his interconnect designs come to market.