Inteligent high end cableing

Good grief.....I thought mating my electronics, speakers and budget was tough, but getting any consistancy with cableing advice seems impossible. I have recently acquired Proceed HPA3 amp (250/Ch), Proceed AVP pre-amp, Proceed PMDT DVD transport and will be linking them to either Watt Puppies 5.1 or to Revel Salons (there's a conversation right there). However, my real issue is what speaker cableing will match this setup. I can rationalize spending $40,000 on my system, but cannot get past $895 per foot for Audioquest top of the line. There's got to be a better 'mousetrap'. Any intelligent advice will be appreciated.
i have spent many hours listing to different calbes.I have listened to JPS,Audioquest,Wireworld,Tara labs,MIT garbage,Nordst crap.The best interconnect I have heard is from a small Canadian Speaker Mfg.Coincident Speaker Technology.299.00 for a 1M Lenght.It beat out Wireworld Gold Eclipse III 1200.00 1M.Money is not allways going to get you the best cable.Their speaker cable is also very good.Theur speakers are awesome.If you need to brag about how much you spend this is not for you.If you want to brag about how good you sound is then this is the product to go with.
One more thing.The Coincident Super Eclipse will trounce the Puppys and the Avalon.Not a brag a fact.
I'm with Tmi2. ONLY Stereophile drools all over Wilson,and what ever speaker they come out with.(WAY out of my budget range.)TAS did a review on a new speaker called "Kharma". 70 grand with stands;Not cheap, but 5.1's used go for 80 grand.The review made my juices flow.Good article, as they refer to other "mega-buck" speakers as well.
buy the cable used ( people already break-in for you ) at 1/3 of the original retail price. It is true that small cable companies might make good product but he who claims that the $299 wire is better than $1200 wire is all subjective to his listening preferences. Good to try out name brand because you'll get more feed back from the users. Take your time and find a good bargain.
I probabely will be alone in this recommendation and have not tried ultra-expensive cable. However I have tried a few costing up to 100.00 a foot. My favorite is very low in price compared to some of the Audioquest and Kimber cable wire that I have used. Try the Lat SS-1000-D speaker cables. 10 guage silver plated copper, shielded, with excellent locking bananas or heavy spade and a very smooth detailed sound but may be a little exaggerated in the bass for some systems but is just the ticket for my system. A 10 foot pair will cost you about 300.00. Lat offers a 45 day trial period. I suggest you try them last as if you buy them first you are bound to feel that there most be much better cables since Lat is so inexpensive. You will likely keep the Lat cables. No snob appeal but excellent sonics. I have used this cable with a Proceed AVP and Aragon amplifiers. Now have a California Audio Labs unit but cable works with this pre-amp as well.
I concur with two remarks above: 1. Buy used cable - it's a lot cheaper, is broken in, and if you don't like it you aren't out a lot of money (and it's pretty damned hard to damage cable, short of gross misuse). 2. Try Kimber Kable - I've used it for years and think it is virtually impossible to beat for mid-priced cables (both interconnects and speaker wire). I do not profess to be a "golden ear", but I have been an audiophile for more than 35 years, have been a high-end audio salesman several times, and have had the chance to play around with a reasonable selection of cabling. Personally, I think audio cabling is the best illustration in high-end audio of diminishing cost returns. I believe that ultra-expensive cable is justified ONLY if you have a mega-buck system ($25K and up). I am currently using Kimber 8TC speaker cable in a bi-wire configuration between my Bryston 4B-ST amp and Vandersteen 3A Signature speakers, and have been very satisfied. The interconnects in my system are a combination of AudioQuest and Kimber Kable models, plus some digital and video interconnect made by a relatively new company, BetterCables. I tried several products from BetterCables and am very impressed with the build quality and performance. I suggest you look at their Web site at: If you decide to try used cables (I have bought a lot of used cable and interconnect and never been disappointed), Audiogon has numereous listings, as does the web site called "Used Cables", which is a division of Fatwyre (Web address is If none of the less expensive or used options appeal to you, then find a good dealer who will let you try several brands and models of cable and interconnect in your home. Get your wife and/or girl friend to listen to your system with the different cablings, because their hearing is usually a lot better than us guys. Then, make an objective decision and don't get caught up in the "audiophobe" or "hot product of the month" mentality. Bottom line: trust your ears. If you can't hear positive improvement as you move from medium-cost to high-cost cables, buy the less expensive stuff.
The fact that a 299.00 cable sounds better than a 1200.00 Wireworld Eclipse III is not subjective to ones flat sound outright better.I have a friend who has over 100K in a sytem and he put in the 299.00 Line level interconnect because it sounds better.If you need to brag on how much you spend that one thing i like to brag about how my sytem sounds.Alot of the big money cables are the same cable as the lower priced tear in a more expensive looking suit.Same sound different look.
First of all, I don't like wireworld wires. Second, I think cable are just tweaks and not your major problem in your system. However, if you don't know anything about mix and match your system with different speakers, amps, preamps and wires then it doesn't matter how much you spent on your system because it's going to sound like shit. High end cables just have better insulations ( NBS ) but it doesn't mean that they use better copper. Afterall, copper is copper. However, stranding pattern is another story. Timl2 is correct about expensive "suit" because that's the major difference in cost. Purist Audio use "fluid" as the insulator. Also, if you can't tell the difference between a high end cable versus the low end then you should stick with low end. Either your system is not sensitive enough to detect the difference or your ear is not sensitive enough to pickup the difference. I just think buying new wires are waste of money because you can save from someone else's mistake. Maybe you can find this $299 cable for $100 used.
I don't see in the previous comments that you've been given a clear star to steer by. As always, after using a lot of name brands over 40 years, then making my own from expensive Kimber AGSS and AGSC, I think you'd be making a big mistake not to check out for STEALTH cables. I have a flock of them in my current system, and they are NOT just tweaks! If you come to that conclusion, something else is badly wrong with your system. You can try them free except for shipping, given the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Tom_nice is right. Give any free offer a try then you'll find what's good for your system.
I use Jenalabs interconnects and find that they were a major improvement in my system of Krell,Wadia and Aerial Acoustics. They are a small company, with great reviews if you can find them (Positive Feedback in the spring issue). I have heard great things about their speaker cables also. Check out their websight and call Jennifer there. She gave me great info and a lot of time.
Try Wen-Li will let you audition different cables and their service is excellent.
I have not tried as many brands as some of the participants here, and I don't know what would happen in a face-off with your equipment and the other brands mentioned, but, many, many people have offered testimonials to Harmonic Technology cabeling, prefering it over the "highest end" cables. I think it would be worth a try. Many dealers offer a 30 day in home trial( with some qualifiers). My experience is that on rare occasions a special synergy occurs between components and cables that trounces other brands, no matter what the cost, so you must compare two or three brands.I would try Harmonic Tech, just in case. Sometimes they can be a giant killer. I am very satisfied with mine. I agree that a "used" able can be a great value. With so much upgrading going on I have gotten many immaculate cables at 60% below retail, right here at Audiogon. These guys have some good advice here. Tom has been helpful on some occasions, and so has Blbloom (nice rig).
Despite your title being oxymoronic (is that the opposite of redundant?), here is my two cents. I do not have golden ears, but I can tell you that it really is not going to matter IN THE BEGINNING, what you get. Get whatever the best deal seems to be on cables that are as close to fully broken in as you can get. Hook everything up and play the heck out of it, listen and enjoy like crazy! Maybe a couple months. THEN, AND ONLY THEN will you have established a "base" (sonic signature, whatever) for your system, and then you can start introducing ONE SINGLE CHANGE at a time, based on how you might like to hear the system change, if any. You can audition or buy used at that point to your heart's content, because you are now depending on the science of what you bought versus the magic of all of the various forms of--to use the nicest word I can think of-- advertising that jumps in the way of what you are actually hearing. And do not forget to tune the room.
I am certain that the myriad cable manufacturers "voice" their products with certain components (eg. Levinson, CJ, ARC, Wilson, etc). I suspect that there is a deliberate conspiracy on their part to conceal the details of these components so that consumers will purchase their cables (unaware that they may not be optimally suited to their personal audio-gear). This wilfull concealment makes economic sense to cable manufacturers as there is greater potential to maximize their profit by foisting their cables on a greater number of "ignorant" consumers. One of the advantages of acquiring a whole system (e.g. Linn, Naim) is that they often customize ("voice") their "house" cables for their own systems, thereby saving the customer the exasperation, and, often, bruising expense that independent cable manufacturers often exact. In short, I feel certain that cable manufacturers conspire to keep us ignorant since this is economically advantageous to them! I have tried directly to approach various speaker and amplifier manufacturers to find out their cable preferences (as I surmise they must use them in product-development). However, they consistently duck the issue by suggesting that cable choice is a matter of preference. Perhaps... but only to a point! No wonder we audio-enthusiasts and 'philes are generally such incurable sceptics - our hobby is saturated with endless propoganda and rank lies. Which is why Audiogon is such a great forum - it fosters some healthy bullshit-sniffing thereby allowing us to 'retaliate' against this conspiracy of lies. P.S. I do not think I suffer from paranoia, nor is this a political manifesto! I apologize for any obscenity - I am merely passionate about music and regret that the hobby is often bedevilled by the issues I have raised.
I have the same Proceed components along with B&W N802s,805s. After trying Audioquest, Tara, Synergistic, MIT, I decided on Stealth cables as mentioned in the previous posts. Started with eval'ing the speaker and ended up with using them throughout my system. The best sound out of my system so far. Also, adding Powersnakes to the Proceed is highly recommended. Good luck...
Just wanted to check in. From my experience, most cables sounds right in some systems, and not others(some seem bad always). You have to try and see. I agree that there are many $300 cables that sound better than $1200 cables(you guys are right about Coincident). But there is one cable I am always on here touting, only because I see no one else talking about it. I think many of us should try it, assuming they have the right system for it. Pure SOLID SILVER interconnect from HomeGrownAudio. Their version of Kimber KCAG(and we know that can be great cable in many systems), using solid core wire in place of the stranded Kimber. It also features pure Teflon insulation. $70 for 1 meter, terminated!!! Yes, you read that right! The fact is that cable SHOULD cost this much. Not 10X this. They also offer a money back guarantee. There is nothing to lose, and it loses NOTHING to any other cable. Hoping to spread the word...
do yourself a favor and talk to quest for sound about phoenix gold interconnects and speakercable they are very good and will make custom lenghts for you i got rid of my red dawn and monster and i got a new system by just upgrading my cables and speaker wire to phoenix gold running a golden tube amp for the high end and a sunfire for the bottom end check them out -- quest for sound they have auctions on audiogon now ...
Lest Trelja's post be overlooked, note his reference to a company called Home Grown Audio. I looked at their Web site last night. They are offering silver interconnects either assembled or as kits. Their 99.999% pure, all-silver braided interconnect sells for $70 ($40 in DIY kit form), and their "imitation" of Kimber Silver Streak sells for $40 in assembled form. I decided to buy the all-silver kit for $40, and will report back after I do some experimenting. The company's web site address is: Go to their website and use their free CRES system for recommendations, then email them with more questions. Great folks at TARA Labs and very helpful. They actually make all their own cables!
Tm12 mentioned coincident cables. About six months ago I bought a pair of coincident super eclipse speakers. I had kimber 1030 IC a pair of quattro fil IC and FMS nexus. In my system the 1030 and coincident sounded best. 1030 cost $1200. Coincident $300. Coincident speaker and PC cable are also excellent. Tm12 wasn't just talking. He did his homework. A friend of mine with Venture speakers Goldmun 36 transport and a million $ worth of other cables use's Coincident IC and speaker cable. My point is it's not just a good match with coincident speakers. Coincident cables is great stuff period. At it's price it's a must audition.
Tm12 and Brulee are right on. The CST (Conicident) IC is amazing value, and better than everything that I have tried. HT is not even close. I tried the top of the line from a dozen name companies before the CST. I do not know about the speaker cable, but it is reported to be just as good as the interconnect. I use monoblocks, and back them right up to the speaker and use 6 inch links of Siltech, which essentially is like not having a speaker cable, given there is more, and lower quality, hook-up wire inside any speaker than I am using to connect from amp to speaker - so I am not about to thry the CST speaker cable.
Redkiwi's post re 6 inch spkr cables is intriguing, as I, too have monos close to speakers, but was warned both by Nordost and YBA to use 1.5m min length speaker cables because of some resonance issue! Is this a bunch of crap? Powered speakers certainly benefit from direct-connect, no? As it turns out I mounted my monos (Aleph 2s) UNDER my floorboards, so needed 2m to thread up the baseboards, anyway. Any thoughts on min length parameters?
Emanse, I actually played around with various lengths of the cables I like (lots of time spent terminating cables). Even at lengths less than a meter, shorter still sounded better. So I tried 6 inches of 8TC (not my favourite cable), and it outperformed 30 inches of Wireworld Gold Eclipse. I tried a few better cables at 6 inch lengths and the result was very little difference between the cables (when the differences at 1m were substantial). I certainly did not experience any instability with any of the cables. My monos are tube, the speakers Martin Logan.
Redkiwi, that is interesting. I'm thinking of making some short cables, to go along with the little 2A3 mono kit I'm going to buy (I noticed nobody replied to my thread about those). ARE YOU SAYING THAT 6 INCHES OF 8TC SOUNDED BETTER THAN GOLD ECLIPSE 3 speaker cable, or was it GOLD ECLIPSE??? Have you ever tried the thin banana connectors from Nordost or AQ? I'd like to use bananas on the speaker end, to be compatible with Maggies (when I use them). And if I could find silver ones, that'd be ideal.
It was Gold Eclipse 2, and yes, short 8TC sounded more open. But the Wireworld cable has high capacitance and my experience with it could be amplifier dependent. At six inches, I heard none of the characteristics of 8TC that I usually do not like about it, but I did hear an improvement when I tried the Siltech instead of the 8TC, principally in greater mid-range texture, where the 8TC tended to smooth things. The Siltech, by the way, that I used was just their silver hook-up wire lightly twisted, as I did not believe that cable geometry would make a significant difference over this length. I have not tried the Nordost bananas, but the small AQ bananas sound very good and are cheap - probably the best value for money around.
Thanks Red, I'll likely try the AQ bananas then. Probably won't get to doing this for a while, though. I want to build a tube amp kit.