I'd go with the 8TC, and spend the money you save on a season pass to your local symphony. This should leave you with enough spare cash to buy some more records.
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Bi-focal xl's are sounding great between my cj mv-55 and Alon II's. I too had seen reviews saying they were a bright sounding cable. I believe this coloration may be system dependent and/or due to lack of break in. Up to 150 hours I thought cables sounded unaturally bright giving digital playback an edginess that was fatiguing. At aprox. 150 hours this edginess disappeared but there was still a bit of brightness. At aprox. 275 hours the cables began to bloom, sounding richer fuller, more dynamic, increased soundstage depth and height as well. I now have aprox. 300 hours on cable and expecting further improvements. It seems that reviews claiming 500-600 hours of break-in are likely correct.
I've had a pair of Monocle XL's for about a year and a half and love'em. They made a huge, if not stunning, improvement in my system (at the time, AH!Tjoeb, VTL, Bryston, and Thiel, in that order). That said, I have never compared them to comparable, or even vaguely comparable, cables -- so I really can't be of much help other than to say that, in the absense of meaningful comparison, the before v. after improvement was so great that I just stopped caring about looking for anything else. (I got'em for a real bargain, so I couldn't resist trying'em out).
Contrary to what Ttat....aolcom says, Kimber 4TC is a super buy! It is cheap and gives outstanding performance. Not as bassy as 8TC, which is a good thing, but fully extended and extremely neutral. I don't think you could ask more of a budget cable. I would like to know what is both better and cheaper than Kimber 4TC, and how the characteristic sonics of these particular cables improve upon Kimber 4TC?
I am curious to know what kind of interconnects you are using ? I am using Kimber KCAG and KS-1038 between amp and preamp and what a difference they make!!!!!!! I have 8TC on the speaker cable end and for the most part the things that made the most difference in my system was the addition of a Levinson transport and the Kimber silver cable !
I have had nice results using Kimber's 8TC cable with a Classe CA-150 amp and Magnepan speakers. More than any other product, cables, in my opinion, tend to quickly reach a point of rapidly diminishing return with regard to the rapidly escalating price that manufacturers ask for them. The trick seems to be finding that "sweet spot" in a price/performance ratio that works with a particular system of components. For me, the 8TC does the job.
My HT system is bi-wired with Kimber 8TC on the lows and 4TC on the mid's / high's. I found this to be the most synergistic combo for that specific system. Like anything else though, it is a matter of personal tastes, budget and individual system configuration. Believe me, there are a LOT worse cables out there that receive FAR more hype.
I also agree that the law of diminishing returns applies here. How far one is willing to go or how much they will pay is up to the individual. Once that you find something that works quite well with your system and tastes, it will probably cost a LOT more to do noticeably better. However, that does not mean that one should stop experimenting or learning when possible. Sean
Hi Lawton111, i think the Kimber Select is nice stuff.
IMO, my OTA Cable Kit, at a fraction of the price of the silver Select, is a better sounding cable in every area.
I also think the OTA is IMO, a better cable than anything made by Nordost. Give it a try. You have much to win and a whole lot to lose.
Give Me an email Sean, I may have something of interest to you. If you are willing to break in some cable for me, I may have a great deal on some of my OTA. I have no more video. Can't say I miss it a bit. Haven't watched a movie in over two years. Although I gotta see the Lord Of The Rings. Read the books 3 times and now starting it a fourth time.