The first commercial cable that comes to mind fitting your description would be Cardas. Sean
The Audioquest OpalX3 (now discontinued) exhibits your aforesaid desired characteristics. Admittedly, these interconnects lack the Nth degree of refinement rendered by ionospherically-priced silver cables but offer an excellent value to the purchaser. If cost is no object and your ancillary gear is of pure Blue-Blood, then you may want to try the top-of-the-line Audio Magic interconnects. Enjoy the music, brethren.
I have found my Tara Air2 and Air3 to meet your criteria after a generous break-in of 50 to 75 hours. They are neutral and extended but can be very revealing if you have problems in the HF. The bass is very tight and controlled. However, I recommend you audition a pair for yourself in your own system.
Van den Hul lst and 2nd.....relaxing, smooth, the warm side of neutral but not too dynamic....great at low level retreival. When played at low volume they do not drop out the bass like some cables can.....all in all, a fine interconnect....I've owned both.....replaced with acoustic zen matrix......more expensive but another level......cheers, Bluenose.....welcome back everyone....
You may want to call Jena Labs and ask about the Symphony cables. They have a dead flat frequency response from 0 - over 10 mega hz. Each cable is tested and measured, unlike any other cable on the market. The cables are also cryogenically treated which smooths everything out without the loss of detail. They are dead quiet and also very reasonabally priced.
Call Jennifer at 503.639.7551 for a 30 day in-home audition. You will not be disappointed and have nothing to lose.
I will add my vote for the Cardas too. In my system, the inexpensive Microtwin was warm, but overly bloated in the bass and had a vague presentation overall. However, the Golden Cross is working wonderfully in my system. It helped take off much of the edge in my setup, without sacrificing detail.
For half the price, the Harmonic Technology Pro Silway II worked pretty well too. Close to, but not quite as warm as the Golden Cross though.
I hope that helps. Good luck!
We swapped out all of our Cardas for Red Dawns and have never looked back. We listen to a lot of fusion, Al Dimeola stuff and it has the same requirements that you stated in your original post.
Jim, Have you tried the Innersound innerconnects yet? I was thinking about trying some on the HT gear and seeing how it went.
all my best,
You can consider the Cardas Cross, Golden Cross, Wireworld Eclipse copper and the AZ Matrix! Their prices as used cables here in Audiogon are reasonable! I've tried them and find all to give what you're looking for! However, out of the 4, I prefer the AZ Matrix which I believe to be in a class of it's own!
Feel free to email me should you need more detailed info!
I forgot about Tara's and some of the Audioquest's might also work. A lot of it will boil down to being system dependent, personal taste and budget.
Thanks to Jonathan ( Jtinn ) for suggesting Jena Labs. I've heard / read about their stuff but never did any digging. Finally looked up their website and took a peak:
While i'm sure that the parts quality is quite high, the design of the IC's look quite high in capacitance. I did notice that they have NO technical specs whatsoever listed on their site. Given their reputation, i'm sure that they would be glad to divulge such info during a phone call though. Sean
I'll also suggest Cardas Golden Cross, very detailed, balanced tonally and can cure a little solid state harshness. The mids are just slightly warm not overexagerated and the resolution is close to some of the pure silver cables without their tinkly top end.
The Harmonic Technology Pro Silway II is also an excellent cable. Both of these can be had used here at audiogon quite affordably.
I'd suggest you check out the classifieds here. There is a pair of AQ AudioTruth Diamond X3 cables available. I have had a pair for 2 years, and have absolutely no complaints with them. I find they provide better bass than Cardas Golden Reference, great mid-range (only bettered by Nordost Quattro Fil in my system), and extended, but not harsh highs (not as forward in my system as Nordost, Kimber and some others I have tried). These might just fill the bill.
Thanks to all you guys for your posts. I just spoke to George Cardas who says as follows:
If the room has slight echo for whatever reason, go for the Golden Cross but if the room is soft, practically perfect, go for the golden reference. The bass of the Golden Ref is tight but a little softish than that of Golden cross.
Any comments, please from users.
George is right! However, I won't term the Golden Reference's bass as softish but rather tighter & less robust! Comparing both, The Golden Cross bass is more robust than the Golden Reference which is tighter and slighly less forceful. However, both are detailed and tuneful in their bass.
If however you're looking for something that is big sounding, then you should consider the Cardas Golden Hexlink 5c IC, Cardas older model which frankly is still good sounding till today and has very deep & robust bass but never sounding bloated!
I used van den Hul 2's for a long time, which made for a sweet, warm, relaxed presentation with great clarity. Bass was deep and fairly tight. Tried HT Pro Silway II's, and they were awful--far too bright, even after lengthy break-in. Finally moved to Siltech, which are fabulous in every respect: tone, image, soundstage, air. Can't imagine much improvement unless spending 1k+.