i had an oppoetunity to audition interconnect and speaker cables. it is the sound of "silver".
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The Homegrown X32 speaker cables are the best I've heard. "The sound of silver" above is misleading: it implies a bright sound, and the X32 is by no means bright. They're smooth and very detailed. They made Cardas Golden Cross cables sound rather muddy by comparison. And the folks at HGA are great to deal with!
I am struggling a bit in evaluating and comparing the HGA speaker cables. I have a double run of SA-16 per side, which is the same as a double run of X-32. The X-32 stands for 32 wires per pair of speaker cables, or 16 per side, and is the same as the SC-16 DIY wire, except they have added a damping core in the middle of the X-32, which I believe may be cotton rope. Both are all silver wire in teflon. Mine are damped with microbearing steel per Starsound, and they are or "true" bi-wire cables - two separate runs of the 16 strand silver in teflon per side, or 13awg to both the MF/HF posts and the LF posts. They are indeed clear and also smooth sounding. Detail is very good, not great. Bass is controlled and also deep. These would tame "boomy" sounding systems. However, I have to agree with Tennis, they have the silver sound, which I can detect by listening in most cables. They do not "sizzle" in any way, but they do not quite carry the weight or body compared to my HT Pro 9 Reference cables. The Pro 9 Reference are more dynamic, with deeper and more impactful bass, and have more body to the notes and vocals. The HGA cables sound very good, and would make me happy if there were no comparisons. They would complement many systems. However, for my system and tastes, and for now, I am leaning toward the Pro 9 Reference, which are solid core PCOCC copper.
Very many thanks for the responses here, they do help.
Mitch2, interesting you comparing the HGA with the HT pro9, as that is the other cable I'm thinking of. I'm using HT Fantasy at the moment, and once my new amp arrives, i may look at a better set of leads. The amp is the ASR (Emitter 2) which will work well with many cables from an electrical matching point so it's really sonics that may differ.I will of course get 300 hrs on the the Asr before evaluating a change.
Ps68, I have 5 ft runs of HT Pro 9+ and HT Pro 9 Reference (2008). I have not been able to find out what was changed with the newest HT Pro 9 Reference SE (2009) - except of course that the name is too long :?)
I have tried using a double run with the Pro 9 Ref on top and the 9+ on the bottom, and also tried using that set-up with the negative connectors jumped to each other. Right now I am using a single run with the Pro 9 Ref to the bottom posts and jumpered with Luminous PCOCC wire to the top posts, and the sound is very good. The main difference is maybe just a touch less impact in the bass compared to the double run. I may try leaving the Ref on the bottom and the older Pro 9+ to the top MF/HF posts since I suspect the Pro 9 Ref may offer tighter bass than the older 9+.
Regarding HGA, they are not hyper-detailed, but clear and smooth for sure. They would likely control systems with boomy bass, and they are very coherent in the bass. I tried them doubled up on my LF posts and found an improvement in bass, so at least in my system, throwing more conductor area at the bass did improve things. I was considering making a double set with two runs to each bass post (10awg) and a single run to the MF/HF posts (13awg), but instead my next move may be to go with HT's magic cable line, which contain OCC copper as well as OCC silver solid core wires. My conclusions from a lot of listening are that I belive the OCC wire does make a positive difference compared to more standard forms of copper, and that I prefer individually insulated solid core wire to stranded wire.
I am the second owner of a pair of Silver Lace with countless hours on them.The above comments that they lack detail is not the case . In fact I use them as the leads from my table to the phono stage. They are indeed very detailed and revealing. I dislike the "silver sound" as much as anyone, these ICs in other uses have proved to have some of this quality.
In a system where I combine Silver and Copper the strategy is to extract as much detail in the higher octaves to yeild the most imagery from the source as posiible while providing articulate bass.Bass when subjected to multiple stages amplification can lose definition quickly.
Then I use use fairly thin copper from the phono stage to the preamp and then very use the warmer and rich sounding Cradas Golden refs to the amps. This has proven to be a winning combination for me.
If there is a lesson to be learned from my experience . It is to take advantage of the characteristics of a variety of cables to reach a desirable end result. Unless there is one affordable cable that does all you think cable can do.
I failed to mention I use pure copper again, for speaaker cable. They are neutral to slightly warm, small AWG entry level Jena labs braids. Entry level is a misnomer given the cost!
I can't comment on the HT cables.
In sum the Homegrown cables are an excellent product. specifically the Silver Lace as ICs.
The build is excellent as this well worn pair has stayed in good shape for many years of active experimentation and use. The sonics are indeed silver which is not as harsh or glaring as the cliche silver sound is. However they do posses the fast clean and high frequency detailed quality silver is known for smoothed over a bit. As is often quoted "all things are best in moderation."
When applied in a coherent strategy,they HG do their job right and are superb performers.Only IMHO for a specific dedicated purpose. Try not to think of it as a single element all by itself which will turn the whole system into a HG sonic, but rather as a part of a composition.
It took seven years to figure out the combination but I found what I was looking for.
I've been using the original version of the Silver Lace interconnect since 2001 and am very pleased with it. It is not bright. Since then I've tried Moon-Audio Silver Dragon and find it a bit better. But I haven't heard the recent versions of HGA Silver Lace.
I'm using their all silver speaker cable (originally called "Silver Lace" since 2002) and I think it will stay in my system forever. It's really great.
as is always the case, one persons's "muddy" is another's neutral. having listened to the hga for many hours i consider them analytical and unbalanced.
i realize i am the outlier as to perception, but i think many stereo systems that i have auditioned are threadbare even though they may be considered smooth and/or resolving by their owners.