Help with advice for high end speaker cables for my system!


Hello I could use some advice with speaker cable choices.  I am using a Marantz AV-7704 preamp, 2 Krell  KAV250a amps, and a Krell KAV 250/A3 amp.   The 3 amps are running to a pair of Martin Logan Request floor standing speakers, a Martin Logan Cinema center channel, and a pair of Martin Logan in ceiling surround speakers.  2 of the amps are bridged, one each dedicated to a Martin Logan stereo speaker, and the Krell 3 channel amp is running the center and rear surrounds. I listen to about 50% stereo music and 50% home theater.   I could really use some help and advice with stereo speaker cables for the Martin Logan stereo speakers.  All the high end shops in my area seem to have closed, so the ability to demo different cables is apparently not an option.  I am considering Audioquest Oak cables, but really open to suggestions, especially if you have used similar components with good results.  Thank you!!
admiralrobert1
I have my KLH Nine's and Ohm Sound Cylinders connected with 14 ga zipcord from Home Depot. Excellent sound - I can't complain! I suggest that you stop listening to all the neurotic audiophiles and sales people who are touting the supposed benefits of "high-end" wire! Let the rock throwing begin!
What are you looking to improve upon with the new cables, and what interconnects and power cords are you using?
Roberjerman, that is hilarious.  I am glad it works for you!  

I have a very old very basic set of monster cable.  I know I can do much better with my components.  I am looking for better soundstage, tone, depth, and detail.   I am using Audioquest water balanced interconnects.  Power cables are factory.  Thanks for any advice!

If you don't want to spend a lot I can suggest  Oyaide 12awg Explorer V2 Speaker Wire. Its about $10 a foot & available through parts connexion. One that is also great for little money is Dueland. It's also available through parts connexion. If you want to spend more, check out the Oyaide Tunami speaker cable.  
do you have adequate room treatment? 
HA!!!  I think I had the same old Monster Cable wires I bought back in the early 80s.  I upgraded to a shotgun biwire pair of Acoustic Zen Satori, and they did for my system exactly what you're looking for.  Are you biwiring, and what length do you need?  There's a 6ft single wire pair of Hologram IIs (the next step up from my Satoris) on eBay for $599 that would be an excellent cable for what you're looking for.  Best of luck!
Thanks everyone.  I need 4-5 foot each. They are biwire at the speakers, so that is the desired configuration. I am not sure what adequate room treatment is, but I would say my room is a great size and a little “bright”. It has hardwood floors with an area rug that helps dampen reflection.  It is not a perfect room, and I am not looking for a perfect system, just a very substantial upgrade from what I have today.  Thanks for all the advice!

Just call the Cable Company and demo a few pairs at different price points. It’s almost free (5% of retail) which means for $100 towards any purchase you can demo $2000 of cables. $150 for $3000 worth. Try some. See what you like. I have Cardas, Kimber and AQ right now that I’m borrowing but what works for me may not be best for your system. Just try some and see what you like.  No need to listen to what anybody else has to say or listen to bs about lamp cord.
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My amplifiers came with speaker wire.... off topic... I know....
easy to test the zip cord downgrade theory as you already have the Monster
agree on Cable company - what a great and effective business model
i use a variety of wire: Mogami in the mobile recording rack, Blue Jean and Non-DBS Audioquest in my vintage system, a mix of Kimber and Shunyata at the Condo
100% DBS Audioquest in my Reference system

I would caution you to temper your expectations, expecting a "very substantial" upgrade from your speaker cables is a tall order in my experience. Like Elizabeth, I found money was much better spent by proportionally spending more on interconnects than speaker cables. Again, she and ron1319 offer excellent advice in suggesting the assistance of the Cable Company. 
This is very helpful, thanks.  When you all say get demos from the “cable company” do you mean retailer or manufacturers?  I don’t have a good high end shop in my area.  Do the manufacturers offer these demos directly, or do you have to do it through a retailer?   Also, if anyone has experience with cables between Martin Logan speakers and Krell Amps, that would give me a good starting place (brands) to try.   Thanks for all the advice!
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The very low impedance of your speakers in the treble region (descending to 1.2 ohms at 20 kHz) will likely cause them to react differently to a given speaker cable than the results most others may report for the same cable. And in particular that impedance characteristic will make the inductance of the cable more critical than in most other applications. Although the short length you require will work in the direction of reducing its criticality, since cable inductance is proportional to length (as are most other cable parameters).

So in addition to possibly pursuing the good suggestion of The Cable Company, I would focus on researching what cables others are using in the specific case of Martin-Logan electrostatic speakers, most of which have similar impedance characteristics.

A good way to find such information would be to enter the term "Logan" into the search box of the Virtual Systems section of Audiogon, and peruse the system descriptions that search turns up. (For some reason entering "Martin Logan" into that search box produces an error message).

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al

I came across a number of recommendations for Tara Labs speaker cables for use with my ML Montis and went with RSC Prime M2 (purchased from the Cable Co.) Very satisfied with them. Also, enjoy them with other speakers that I have. Everything seems to tighten up.

Interesting advice from elizabeth & photon46 ref. investing dollars in ic’s vs. speaker wire. Don’t think I’ve come across those opinions before on these forums. I guess I’ve leaned in the other direction. Thanks.


There's a pair of Satori shotgun biwire cables available here now that are the same as mine except they have banana connectors instead of spades.  To maybe somewhat address Al's comments, these cables are stated to have extremely low capacitance that can help reduce high frequency roll off, although I don't have numbers to back this up.  As I said, switching from old Monsters to these provided all the benefits you're looking for, but my speakers are a more conventional design and relatively high efficiency.  The really nice thing about buying used is that if they don't work out you can likely sell them at little or no loss of you negotiate a good price.  Again, best of luck in whatever you choose. 
Elizabeth! Kimber 8TC are very nice cables! Snell used them for the Type A Reference as a proprietary harness. It would be difficult to get more bang for the buck. Happy listening. Joe
I have a bunch of cables including KK 8TC, Dueland 16awg Cardis 5k speaker cables , Groneburg from Odyssey audio , monster ZZ and BJC and self terminated mogami cables but at the end of the day what I like for HT is  inexpensive cables from ZU Audio  picked up from Ebay both the mission IC and Libtec cables and  Event PC  , mind you this is for my HT system for my 2 channel system well that's  a different issue altogether , the quest is never ending talking to the Cableco is a good idea !
I use two lengths of audio snake cable for each speaker (I am bi-amped so each side gets 4 lengths.) This cable has 24 shielded pairs of silver coated copper. After stripping, the pairs and shields are twisted together and tinned with high silver solder resulting in a conductor of around 10 gauge. Testing up to 1MHz shows almost no increase in impedance probably due to the large number of conductors (no skin effect.) Flat Z means flat L and flat C as well.
These are time-consuming to make but are way cheaper than the commercial, high-buck solutions and have served me well for years.
:SEE Amphenol 166-2899-993 cable.
Best speaker cables?
  Home Depot has them .
I would never pay more than what Kimber Kables go for.    That's the limit of what I would pay.   Bought a pair of  Audioquest used on Ebay and still use them.      buy Kimber in bulk or buy on sale. Bought a pair a couple years back from Audio Adviser on sale for couple hundred.   
+1 BJC - more copper less plastic
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Another vote for the Duelund diy route -  

I tried this wire based on a lot of comments on this forum and others -  ended up selling a 1500.00 set of XLO signature speaker cables - and couldn’t be happier - have since built some IC’s and replaced Kimber cables between my phono stage and pre amp - again pleasantly impressed -  for speaker wires - just use bare wire - no connectors -  

This wire is the real deal and a no brained for speaker wire ( because it’s so simple - no ends - no soldering - sound fantastic after a few weeks  - found I had to turn my sub volume down as I was getting much better bass response from my mains 
I should have mentioned above that I’m using the Deulund diy speaker cables with ML CLX and ML stage - with a pair of Spectron Mono Blocks & I’ll likely never buy another pair of OEM cables -

With the IC’s I made - I used KLE Harmony rca ends and they compare favorably with Siltech / Cardas / XLO signature and Purist Audio IC’s that I use elsewhere in my set up - I replaced a Purist Audio Y splitter cable (2500.00) with a Deulund diy Y cable for the input to my mono blocks -  

i also recommend a good cleaning of all the cable connections when swapping out the cables - I got rid of a nuisance hum with a good cleaning - lesson well learned after a week of swapping cables and moving amps from one side to the other trying to nail down the hum - I now make sure I clean the connections at least once a year - a lot less expensive than thinking you need to buy new cables - or send a component in for servicing 

Bart 
I suggest Joe Abrams of Equus Audio, online dealer for MIT cables is very knowledgeable and helpful. Say Pete from Vancouver say hi! Good luck !
I have Martin Logan ESL11a , I am using Audioquest water XLR as interconnects and Audioquest rocket88 as speaker wires. Powered by an anthem mca325 and a Yamaha cxa5100. I chose the anthem because the amps in the speakers are anthem as well. I tried some cheaper wires and super expensive transparent wire, and the Audioquest seemed to sound the best to me. It may be snake oil but wires with the dbs pack really made a huge difference compared to ones without. I don’t think it’sas easy as just picking speaker wires but interconnects as well. I would have to think your amp and processor would play a part in what sounds best for you.
My whole system is fully balanced - CD,Phono, Preamp, Amp.   Of coarse I use balanced cables.  I've tried many, and using balanced interconnect, there is little difference between different cables.....Speaker cables, and power cords, very much so, but not balanced interconnect.
The Triode Wire Labs speaker cables. Very natural sounding cables with great PRAT.  Bested many more expensive known brands in my system. Plus their owner is a great to deal with.
Look at Furutech cables I'm selling a wonerful sounding cable at a great price.They would work great with your speakers!!
Blue Jeans or Luminous (better)...Cheers, Norm
Signal cable silver resolution, not flashy, not expensive but very, very , very good sounding speaker cable with huge amounts of depth and bass, the largest difference I have ever heard from a cable in my system.I really could not believe how much more solid bass I was getting with these cables, I had to adjust my sub woofer to compensate.Now they are almost new and from what I have read they take time to burn in? The mid-range is a little  laid back at the moment so if it opens up over time these cables are worth every penny.