While I have not demo'd many different choices I rolled the dice & bought used Nordost "Norse"series Red Dawn at about a 60% discount from retail & it really was like cleaning a dirty window..
I will also say I would like to try some Upper end(retail about $2500.00)Cardas against say Nordost Heimdall 2's
I would avoid some of the bigger names like: Nordost, MIT, Synergistic, Transparent, Cardas, etc. Buying used was excellent advice however. I am very impressed with Inakustik cables and for lower dollars: Crimson and Analysis Plus. There is a newer company out there named Bionics Cables which uses some of the technology of Mosiac that is extremely good. I have always thought that the smaller lesser known manufacturers made a much better product than the big boys.
No affiliation with - just a very satisfied consumer.
I use and love an entire loom of Audio Art Cable. Dealer on here.
Strongly suggest an email or phone call to Rob Fritz @ Audio Art Cable as he is an outstanding guy to chat with and will never steer you wrong. His entry level products perform well above their price class and it just gets better as you move up. I have the classic series on up and it all has some serious sonic prowess and I say this having owned several AudioQuest cables as well.
If you're satisfied with the sound, don't drive yourself nutty and lighten your wallet on this merry go round
Lots of great cables out there and really none of us are going to be much help. If you don’t have a local dealer(s) with variety you can try at home then it makes it more difficult. Buying used is a safe bet playing Russian roulette because if you don’t like you can resale at little to no loss. I’ve had very good luck reaching out to cable manufactures that were not in my local area and they were great to work with and will send you some demos to make sure you like their cables and sometimes they have show demo wires they’ll sale at a discount.
Nothing wrong with the big names; they spend a lot on engineering but marketing as well. Obviously working with some of these companies directly is probably not going to happen, although many years ago we didn’t have Kimber locally and I called and spoke to Ray Kimber and bought from him which when my cables arrived they had in a box of Pepperidge Farm Cookies inside as well. Dealer shortly picked them up after I brought my cables in and shared my story.
All depends on what sounds right to you and what you’re looking for. Good luck.
Rob Fritz from Audio Art Cables is one of the good guys. I have bought many cables from him and they always sounded good and looked as good as the much more costlier big name brands.
If you like the Audioquest type sound, I would recommend moving up in the line. There are always used Audioquest cables here for sale.
Give the Cable Co. a call- You can demo several brands to see what you like.
I have AQ Type 4 and really like it but compared to another cable it is a bit heavy in the bass and slightly rolled off on the top
Did the Art Audio guy design and make speakers in the past? If so he is a really good guy.
Hello to all,
Thanks for the help and suggestions. I think my best bet is to shop around for used cables. I like the AQ sound, but the type 4 in my system sounds a little bright as well as a little bass shy, what bass this wire does have is tight and well defined but does not go deep.
@grm I understand that you have some improvements in sound you'd like for your system. How have you concluded that the speaker cable alone is responsible for the shortcomings and a different set is the solution? The purpose of a cable ideally wouldn't be tone control or equalizer, any flaws in the system are most likely due to components, transducers and room acoustics, not caused by the cable per se. Just wanted to caution going down an expensive and time consuming path with limited rewards.
2 suggestions ,
if you can shorten the cable run your choice of used cables go up ,
and the cost go down .
If you like the sound of the AudioQuest cables then stick with them and move up their hierarchy , larger gauge and shorter runs will increase your bass response .
I personally use Cardas cables , have gone from Quad Link up to
Neutral Reference , I am looking to move up to Golden Reference .
what you just described of the Type 4 is a common theme. What you are looking for is exactly where Audio Art Cable excels and in my system the soundstage really opened up as well. At least read some of the testimonials on his site and see that it sure seems to run in the same vane as what you're looking to accomplish.
I'd move up in AQ to their best copper and gauge that I could afford. You'll definitely find it used. Castle rock is a good example and is a strong move up with no risk of screwing up what you already like. Good luck..
Thanks to all who have responded!
I have tried 4 different speaker cables and did some research, this is what I have learned AND heard.
Gage/AWG, my 15' length of Audioquest type 4 is only 15 AWG, when you begin to turn up the volume to really enjoy the live experience, the sound becomes compressed as if the cable was saturated where it just lost control of the speakers. I tried another $500 set of cables that were around 18 AWG, they sounded sublime at lower levels but suffered the same problem when you turned up the volume. I did learn something with this cable, and that was termination - go nude!! When I dissected the Amp end spade connectors they were soldered to the wire with a large amount of solder, so I cut off the spades, the results were dramatic! My next test was with a very inexpensive cable I purchased from Amazon, $24 for 50 feet of 12 Gage Pure Copper, Oxygen Free, Stranded wire. I connected the wire "Nude) on both the Amp end and Speaker end, WOW, bested the two other wires in terms of detail and ability to go loud without saturating the wire! In fact, I did not need to turn the Amp up nearly as high to get the same output on the speakers! In the end, I went with the last cable in the test, Blue Jeans Cable! I ordered a 30' run of their 10 AWG cable in white and terminated it myself, just stripping the wire and going nude - fantastic! The lessons I learned from this little experiment were this:
1. Price does not necessarily equate to performance
2. For longer runs, the Gage/Resistance of the wire is paramount
3. For terminations, unless they are "Welded" or "screwed" onto copper connectors, you are not getting the best sound out of you cables! Silver Solder still contains a significant amount of LEAD! If your cables are soldered, re-terminate them.
4. Solid wire is not necessarily better than stranded
5. There is a lot of Snake Oil out there, try different stuff if you can before you buy, you may just be surprised with what you can get without spending a small fortune.
I digress - thanks for reading!
The Blue Jeans Cable cost me $45 delivered!
Blue Jean Cables sound great ,
I was using them before I moved to Cardas .
You made a great choice that is very cost efficient .
Cardas has a great reputation, however needing a 15' pair is way out of my league. I have heard Cardas speaker and interconnect cables in another persons system, they had Cardas throughout and the sound was amazing - maybe someday!
Hello ; and I have Sonus Faber but Olympica III connected to a Hegel Amplifier. At this time I do not have Audioquest cables on my speakers; I'm thinking of buying Mythical Creature Series, maybe ThunderBird; could it be a good combination? did anyone try these cables on Sonus Faber? what is the difference between ZERO and BASS? Thank you
You have a very nice high-end system, your Sonus Faber speakers are works of art both visual and sonic. Your speakers are rated at 4 ohms and your Hegel amp, depending on model, can output considerable power.
In terms of speaker cable, be careful your not investing in snake oil, do your research and try different cables if you can. With your system, pay very close attention to the actual size (Gage/AWG) of the wire! If I had your system I would be looking at cables that were at least 10 or 12 AWG.
I started another thread on here about speaker cables, Kmber 8tc’s versus Analysis plus oval 9’s and I can recommend both. I had the same Audioquest cables you have plus bjc 10 ga. and the Kimber’s and the oval 9’s were both quite a bit better.
Agree with @stringreen
if what you have sounds good to you, save your money. Don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken
I have purchased an early version of the Bionic cables at about 1k they are a great value, hitting above the purchase price. They are very resolving, great staging & placement, w/excellent tonal balance. The Bionics were at least as good as I recall the Mosaic Chimera cables I heard some years ago .. which were the best (wow!) I had the chance to personally audition prior to this.
Not reading all the numerous posts here I sure my fellow experienced A'goners have stated the disclaimer "Of course at the minimum you have to have a certain level of system quality to take advantage of & hear the distinctions of quantum type changes" (referencing entry level big box store electronics vs upper mid to high level components).
I a-b'd the Bionics against AQ emeralds (my previous cable), Shunyata Delta (well balanced performance, just not to the level of Bionic), a small boutique Texas cable maker (name un.recalled) w/a thin minimalist design, & Darwin Cables Silver (beautiful mids & uppers).
All were big improvements over my AQ's. But if you get the opportunity to audition Bionic cables I believe you will be pleased & perhaps quite surprised at the level of performance.
Sorry, in my search I thought the topic was IC, my apology for crashing the topic!