I also use Cable solutions for my subs, but wouldn't rule them out for speakers.
+1 for Zu Audio cables. The Missions aren’t bad for the money but if you can pony up for the Event MkI, which they still have on sale, go for it.
If that is too dear, price wise, try some Supra Ply 3.4W speaker cable. They're stranded, tinned, high purity copper wire and impart a very musical perspective. Not the most accurate but they can sound very romantic and engaging.
All the best,
If you would appreciate a free audition, here's another vote for Clear Day cables. You will not find a better person in audio to deal with than Paul.
For amazing value look on E-bay for the vintage Western Electric 16 ga. You'll find the genuine article available from tajacobs.
Best value that's new and similar to the WE would be the Duelund DCA16. Parts Connexion has it in stock now.
Oxygen-free copper, as large as your connects can handle.
I remember reading an analysis by a materials chemist who looked into the subject. Anything else actually degraded electron flow, which would allow for the subjective differences noted by listeners. The upshot being your cables acting as a subtle equalizer...if that's what you want....
Always seemed like an expensive way to go about it, but to each his/her own. Enjoy...
a fairly large dia. for speaker cables, yes - but be sure the conductor is large; some cheapo cables have very fat plastic insulation and thin wires!!
most cables are "Oxygen-free copper" except maybe the cheap imports and... if they say Oxygen-free copper how do you know it really is
Belden is a quality name for all wiring
also, there are some liquids containing conductive polymers that you can use to coat the connectors; I have a tiny bottles form many years ago, and I think it might even be called Tweek ;]
that will help reduce corrosion at the connection
the wires that have served me well are, for biwirng : "soft sounding" canare 4s11, and for single-wring, the fairly neutral belden 5t00up10awg, and my favorite for its superior neutrality, definition, control, lightness, and flexibility: the canare 4s8 13awg.
These can be had for relatively little cash. Add techflex and they can look really good.
John's cables are so inexpensive and humble looking they might be suspect.
I urge you to try them. 30 day money back guarantee and it will cost you so little for the audition. They come up so well compared to cables costing a couple of thousands of dollars let alone a few hundred.
Found out about him on audiogon through others very happy with his work and I thought well why not try his stuff as it cost so little to make the effort.
I'm probably opening a can of worms but I still want to bring up the obvious. The most effective speaker cable is the one that can transmit the current from Amp to speaker with minimum loss. i.e fattest gauge you can buy (many scientific experiments available online e.g. http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-speaker-cable/). So why not Monoprice Nimbus 12AWG 4-conductor for bi-wiring
I have 12AWG Taralabs 4-wire sitting in a drawer. Didn't notice any difference when I had to replace them with the Monoprice 12AWG 4-wire due to my need for longer run.
I've tried a number of cables over the years, all with their own unique sonic-signature. I try to steer-clear of cables with higher capacitance in general as they seem to roll-off the treble. That said, I have to agree with gdnrbob and nonoise regarding ZU cables. I'm using the Event-1's and they have been the best IMHO than the rest I've tried. Triode Wire Labs also are really good cables. Both of these though are over your price-range but both will give you a trial period and no worries on returns... Good Luck !
I am surprised with this many responses Anticables ' Level 2 were not mentioned . Using them myself . Delivered manufacturer-direct an 8 foot pair with pure copper spades all around will set you back $ 104 . Don't be put off by the low price !! If you want to get off the cable merry-go-round you owe it to yourself to try these . At least read the customer testimonials on Paul's website . What really impressed me was how many mentioned what brands they had previously tried that were bettered by his no-frills , no nonsense product .I had Alpha Core Goertz Python Bi-wire copper and it was no contest . You can call and talk to the man yourself to answer questions . I have no financial connection to them or any other audio company .
I had been using Monster & Straightwire Cables, for Interconnects & Speakers for more than twenty years. A couple of years ago I decided to try those made by James Schmitt (of Milwaukee), who Sells both on Audiogon and eBay and, boy, am Glad I did! (I've Sold-off All of my Straightwire, which I was using in Three different All-Tube powered systems, driving Sonus Faber Speakers.) Schmitt uses Studio Grade Cable, the same Cables that are used to Record and Perform live music, for both Interconnects and Speakers and they are Inexpensive. Even Better, they sound Really Good! Get Off the Designer Cable Merry-go-round and use that $ for something else.
I myself am using a one foot pair of MG Audio Design top of line speaker wires which I attach to the speaker terminals of my present Martin/Logan SL-3 speakers. Their cost is $900 which is much lower than their 6 foot pair going for $4800. Anyway I then attach 3 individual 18 gage Jenna Lab hook up wires to each and every-plus and minus-other ends of the MG Audio Design wires and hook them up to the speaker wire terminals to the amplifier being used itself. That is 12 individual 18 gage Jenna Lab hook up wires beteen the amplifier and the one foot pair of MG Audio Design wires attached to the speakers. The cost of the Jenna Lab hook up wires is $6 a foot. A few years ago I was able to obtain a one foot pair of the then top of the line Shunyata speaker wires at the time and also had a bunch of Jenna Lab's 18 gage hook up wires to play around with and found out eventually that using three instead of one or two of the Jenna Lab 18 gage hook up wires works best. It really works. I have been using the top of the line Rega Orisis integrated amplifier and the results are truly impressive. By the way, both Arnie Nudell and Paul Mcgowan use Mg Audio Design wires themself-Mr. Mcgowan to demo his Bascom King stuff these days at audio shows. By the way I was kicked out of DIY Audio for presenting this same story-said it was spam. Well my name is Alan Holvey and I live in Boulder Colorado and am only relating to you my observations. I have no financial or personal involvement other than enjoying the results on my own audio system.
I can't really tell if the Canare 4S11 is 4 multi-strand bundles or 4 solid core conductors. Has anyone had experience with solid core?
I am using 12G Auvio speaker wire. It was quite reasonable, about $2/ft, if I recall. It is a multi-strand blend of LOFC and silver coated LOFC. I use it in a bi-wire config. I heard a great increase in bass and a more defined, wider sound stage when I replaced 12G copper with the Auvio. Not much difference when I added the bi-wire.
It probably doesn't make any sense for me to try anything other than solid core from here. I've heard that some folks have used CAT 5 to good effect/
I also use Canare 4S11 cables - I think a set of 10 footers cost me $60 or 70 for the pair, something like that, custom-made by someone on eBay.
True story...local dealer let me bring those to the shop for a comparison against a set of Nordost ribbon cables. I don't remember the Nordost model name, they were the wide, flat, sort of pinkish-transparent colored cables, retail was $7000 (this was 2014, so not sure if that price has changed). Did a back and forth between my cheapo cables and the Nordost, on a system composed of an ARC integrated, ARC CD9, and DeVore speakers. All I will say is that the result was...awkward. I still have the Canare 4S11 cables.
A lot of excellent recommendations that I'm sure sound excellent. It's gonna come down to what your looking to get from a cable. My experience with classic anti-cable was very positive. Very clean but a little lean. But this was to good effect in an EL34 push pull that was fat. Their newer levels with double runs are ones Id like to try now.
I have the Supra 3.4ply with silver spades now. Under a hundred bucks but I soldered them up myself. As Nonoise described them is what's up with them. I like them over anti cable because they are fuller and they do something I find pretty cool. My amps now though are much more delicate low powered 300b based so it works synergisticly with the same speakers but different amps than I used with AntiCable.
That new Dueland cable based on the WE16awg vintage cloth wire sounds interesting to me. As does the clear day! Good luck and enjoy your ride.
Randy, Sean, good advice. Go cheap, and make any other cable prove its superiority before you spend your money.
I think it may be only after you make your own gear that you start to notice the limitations in commercial equipment. A good way to save money is wire - and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to link two poorly wired components with exotic cables.
A note about experiments: as Randy notes, breaking the corrosion may be what everyone hears when a New and Better Cable is tried (new connection, no corrosion). Another thing is exact head position of the listener. I have made that mistake myself. The only sure way to do the experiment is to let someone else change the cables, or someone else to judge the quality. Head of the listener should be immobile for the duration of the experiment.
Cables change sound imo i have done swaps personnally many times ( i sold gear at brick and mortar for yrs , we had free time in controlled treated rooms ) I feel little need to battle about it .. some will be nuetral others not , some will do different things . A used pair of acoustic zen satori ( copper and very well insulated would be a the top , used is the route imo .Also as to an earlier post, i have adagios which use satori wire internally also . Many high end spkrs run excellent wire internally . Generally the longer the run the more significant the role .. jmho
I've since gone 100% Transparent on my setup, but I still keep my Anti-Cables around just for comparison from time to time. They're cheap, they're well made, and they brought out the best in my Thiel CS3.5's. I went 100% Transparent as a test. I'd never before had the same brand of cables throughout, so I decided to give it a go and see if spending more delivered anything worth the expenditure.
I may again use the Antis on my Thiels since I just got a new Pass amp. In any case I like them both.