I use two sets of 12 gauge solid silver (one for each stereo amp) of Tempo Electric Big Twist speaker cable with Teflon tube insulation. My interconnects are, for the most part, Synergistic Research, most of which were bought used.
I no longer worry about things like cables, I feel I have outstanding sound quality (as do any visitors, which are few and far between).
I hope you find the best match for and your situation, and you get to the point of just enjoying the music.
While the Cable Company loaner program is good it does cost, and their prices are expensive if you ever buy from them. An alternative is to be active in the used market -- there is little to no risk in buying used cables and those you do not like you can resell -- just spend time working out what cables are worth and don’t overpay. My rule of thumb is that for anything other than brand spanking new (i.e. launched within the year) you shouldn’t pay more than 30-40% of retail -- there are of course exceptions (e.g Transparent Ref XL digital) but frankly those are the cables you rarely see used anyway
Of course any reputable dealer will also loan as many cables as you want for you to try at home -- you may have to leave a CC number for the full price but as long as you get them back you will be fine
The Cable Company charges 5% of selling price, for auditioning their wires. That's also applied to the purchase price, if you keep them. I've been using their, "library" and buying from them for the last decade. Great guys with which to do business. (https://www.thecableco.com/lending-library)
@rodman99999 while the audition fee is fair and the application of it to purchases is also reasonable the issue with the Cable Company is that their discounts off new cable purchases are far from reasonable -- while they have a "frequent flyer" program all I can say is that the amount they're willing to offer off the list price of a cable (up to 11.5%) is a bit lower than what you can get from other B&M dealers. Of course different cable lines will allow for different discounts but in many cases discounts (or free product in lieu) of 10-20% or more is not uncommon
By far the vast majority of my cables and subsequent upgrade of said cable has all been used from either right here or eBay.
As already stated it is hard to lose more than a few dollars, you dont like the cables then you just put them back up for sale.
Another BIG advantage of buying used is that they are usually very well burned in and what you hear right away is just about what you are going to get, nothing worse than trying to put 150 to 200 hours on new cables!
Browse a few threads here, check out the Cable Company by all means, gives you an idea of new price then you know what to expect at used street level price
@folkfreak - My last purchase from the cable Company, was a NEW pair of Analysis Plus Big Silver Ovals, for which they knocked off 20%, plus what I spent on auditioning a used pair. Prior to that, a pair of perfect(as in immaculate), used Synergistic Tesla Apex(w/MPC), at HALF the retail price. Those were auditioned, along with a pair of Wireworld Platinum Eclipse. The audition/comparison(and, certainly, the results) between those interconnects, was WELL worth the cost of admission. Of course, their Frequent Flyer discount helps considerably, but- I was very happy with our interactions, prior to it's inception. If your experience dealing with them(assuming you have any) differs, I can only speculate, as to why.
In all cable R&D and testing that I have done, solid core conductors have beat stranded every single time. I second the recommendation to look at Audioquest because of it's use of solid-core conductors. They are not expensive cables if you look at the Rocket 44 or Rocket 88 line (though you can definitely get really expensive if you want). The Rocket 44/88 line uses solid-core conductors with different gauges (17/18/20/21awg) which allows both low frequency and high frequency signals to be transferred very well. You can bi-wire if you want, or do a double-run to increase the overall gauge. One option is to look at the "no frills" option at Audio Advisor (the "premium" option uses Pangea terminations). It is significantly less than the normal retail. They have several lower end lines of Audioquest in bulk and just cut/terminate based on your preferences. Or you can order "bare wire" end and terminate with your preferences (i.e. Furutech rhodium spades from Sonic Craft).
In all cable R&D and testing that I have done, solid core conductors have beat stranded every single timeCan you please tell us in what way you determined solid core betters stranded conductors?
@cleeds - listening tests. I have used both solid-core as well as stranded conductors in both power cords and interconnects. The stranded conductors have a brighter sound that is more "solid state". The solid-core conductors just have a more "solid" sound (no pun intended). The sound is fuller and just more natural. I have even used extremely high end Furutech OCC copper for stranded wire. It doesn't make a difference.
For additional data, I have an Emotiva XPR-1 amp that powers two subwoofers. I have been using the Beldon 10awg stranded speaker wire (available from Blue Jean Cable). I just recently converted to using some very old Audioquest Midnight 10awg cable. The increase in bass strength, power and quality was absolutely outstanding!
The Audioquest Midnight is all solid-core conductor design that 17awg, 19awg and 21awg conductors (3 x 17awg for bass).
I would agree based on my own results that solid core copper usually increases bass depth and strength.
I once tried anticables solid copper speaker cables and had to remove as the increase in bass was actually overpowering the rest of the dynamics.
Just shows what cables can do as a "tuning"component in your system
Thank you to all who posted. I ended up buying 4 runs 2.5 meters each of K-harma Grand Reference cable. I will bi amp my YGs to my Chord amps.
I got them on EBay for $250 a pair plus shipping. I was able to come across some stellar reviews and they were about $7000 a pair retail 10-12 years ago. My lord. I wonder if cable technology has advanced that much. Sales pitches have for sure.
I will let you know how they compare to my $100 a pair Nordhost knock offs.
I really want them to be better.
Are you sure those are genuine? That price is unrealistic -- and there are a slew of fake Kharma cables listed on eBay. The listings I was able to pull up of the sold grand reference speaker look nothing like legitimate shots of the original from reviews
As a rule buying this sort of stuff from China means you are getting a fake ... hopefully this is not the case for you
The seller had good feedback and they come with a money back guarantee if they’re fake they get sent back and I get my money back. Otherwise to me it clearly appears the best way to experiment is with used product which is far less expensive. I don’t expect specific recommendations on cables because one person thinks their tables are wonderful and the next guy says they’re human feces strung together
I would not try a take-home program from a retail store because retail prices on cables or a loony.
If I hook them up and they are an improvement regardless of their origin I have not spent so much money that I really need to worry but again if they are not they are easily returned and I’ll move onto another used set. Thanks again
One last thing I used to sell audio including cables such as transparent. Salesman accommodation on cables was 25 percent of retail so it’s ridiculous to think that it’s impossible to find old speaker wire and interconnects out there for 10 percent or so of retail. The mark up on cables is insane. That does not mean this could not be fake it just means it is not beyond the realm of possibility to find such old overpriced speaker wire at bottom of the barrel pricing because that’s what it cost to produce.
Nothing at all wrong with buying used cables, but the point is that these are likely fakes. Advice to be skeptical of China cable "resellers" is very valid as there many manufacturers (PS Audio and Oyaide for two) who actually post such warnings on their websites and reports of occurrences are common in the various audio threads.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Your plan to try these cables and be happy if they "are an improvement" is fine. Just don’t come back and post that the whole cable thing is a big fraud if they do not, it being likely that they are fakes.
I will say there are some impressive fakes on eBay. Check this seller out. Close inspection of his AQ WEL power cord is needed before you see that the font for “SIGNATURE SERIES” is wrong, and the WEL signature is too even. Unless you had an original on hand to compare (as I do) you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference from the pics. I assume others familiar with the other brands he’s selling can spot similar issues