Little bit "forward" sound - what cables to avoid?

My system with Cary SLP-05 sounds great, but just a little bit "forward" to my taste. My PC and interconnects all are Wireworld, and I feel to explore all SLP-05 potential I need something better - I am thinking about Kubala-Sosna, Purist Audio, Nordost, Shunyata...
I know the choice of cables is system dependent, and matter of taste... But, is there a common opinion which cables are known for tendency to "forward" sound and I should avoid?
I do not have experience with cables and any help to narrow my choice is greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
741f65e5 fa08 4c26 9e82 263fb3ec46e1homosapien
I've found components are as much the issue as are wires. Power cords too can have a great effect in changing the geography of the sound stage. So can tubes, but less so.

Cables I've found which layout the SS from the loudspeakers rearward, are Shunyata Python helix & Helix VX, MIT ICs, Cardas Golden Cross, and the previous versins of Synergistic Research Resolution Ref x2 & SR PCs, Nirvana SX Ltd., Elrod Sig pc,

Speakers as well yield something to the sound field setting.

A single power cord might just be all that's needed to gain you some mid hall or rear of hall effect. Too much of that however might put you into the lobby, so a mix of things has always seemed best to me.
How cables will sound in your system is a difficult thing to determine.

My general impression of Nordost products is that they are slightly thin in the midrange, maybe slightly forward in the high end and down a bit in the midrange...

Most will tell you to buy them and try them on your system, you probably know that but you may have to do it anyway for a definitive answer.
Are you running with the stock tubes. If so you can pull back the sound by using a slightly euphonic tube with a mid-bass emphasis. The Chinese and Russian tubes are used as stock because no manufacturer can count on a steady supply of NOS tubes. The stock tubes generally on the strident side. There is a long list of tubes to try. You don't have to jump in at the $200/tube range, the less vaunted tubes like Sylvania GTBs will mellow things out.
My choice for cables are Cardas Golden anything but not the neutral refs,. The Cardas house sound should help even the plain "Cross".
I do not use stock tubes - Pope gives me a great, great improvement, but most signification result I got when replaced rectifier tube with metal base Philips Miniwatt, it was not just improvement, but brought my SLP-05 to the next level up.
I am not looking for something to tweak the system, I just want better cables which would not emphasize sight imperfection (I seems to me that vocal sounds too much to my face, but somebody might like it). In that sence I do not think Cardas is step up from my Wireworld.
Oh well, I guess there is no stright answer to my question, and I have to go thru long and costly process to try as many cables as I can.
Thank you very much anyway.
You may not even have to change IC's or PC's to get what you want. You say you don't want tweaks. I don't know if you consider AC receptacles as tweaks, but these can make a large difference in soundstaging. I suspect a large portion of what you describe as forwardness is the effect of sound emanating forward of the speaker. Before spending lots of money on cables that may or may not work, try some Porter Port Ac Receptacles (I think $36). These are actually Wattgate 8300's that are double cryo'd by Arthur. Wattgate 350i and 330i PC connectors will also work similarly. The Wattgates will focus more of that midrange energy behind speaker rather than forward of speaker, I think this is what you're looking for.
Sorry, meant Hubbell 8300 rather than Wattgate. The Wattgate PC connectors are correct.
Are you using any sound treatments for the room? Diffuse the first reflection point on the side walls and see what happens. Also try different toe-in positions on your speakers and move seat forward or back some and see what happens.
OK... try tjhe lengthy and costly way first.... start at the A's and go from there....

or listen to those posts above about the cables listed here... MIT, CARDAS, AZ, SR, etc.

Good luck.
Cables aren't the answer. Electronics that suit your taste are the answer. Find a more "laid back" preamp (or source, or amp).
I did try Nordost Valhalla ICs once, and they were extremely forward. In fact, that was their primary characteristic. The Kubala-sosna Emotions were not forward
(nor recessed either, just neutral in terms of image placement).
My question is not how to fix "forward" sound, it is just a tendency, not a problem. I just want better cables than my mediocre Wireworld, and do not want them to make it a real problem. So, as Rgs92 suggested I might want to exclude Valhalla IC from the list.
Thank you.
fwiw I have been thru several cables and prefer Gabriel Gold Revelation I to all including Audio Note AN-VX, Audience AU24, Acoustic Zen Mat Ref II and many more.

I agree with this post:

give them a try and you may not go back
What model is your Wireworld interconnect? I've owned the Eclipse II and still have the Super Eclipse 5 and they are not bright but rather neutral and clean. Brightness can sometimes be caused by the room itself due to reflection from the front, side and rear walls especially in small rooms resulting in sharp piercing treble.
Ryder, no offense, but where did you find word "bright" in my post? I described my system as "a little bit forward" sounding, but it is never bright. To me it is completely different characteristics of the sound.
And I am using Gold Eclipse and Eclipse IC.
Thank you.
11-29-08: Homosapien
I described my system as "a little bit forward" sounding, but it is never bright. To me it is completely different characteristics of the sound.
Would you please describe what you mean by "a little bit forward sounding" so we have a better idea of what you're describing and hearing?
OK, I'll try.
It's like wall of sound right in front of you, like singer sings right to your face (I exaggerate of course).
Especially clear I feel it with women vocal - Sarah Vaughan, Patricia Barber...
Thank you.
So, you would describe it as if you were sitting in the front few rows rather than at the back of the room?
Even close.
I see.

Honestly, and please understand I'm not trying to be argumentative, I am very
doubtful that anything other than a change in your electronics...perhaps the
preamp, is going to correct the forward sound you describe.

Different speakers would do it: some with a more recessed/polite sound due to
a dip in the presence band.

Wire won't do it, IMO. I know that's not what you want to hear, but having tried
many different brands and designs of wire, I strongly believe it to be true.

I owned an ARC Ref 3 for a short while that had a presentation closer to what
you describe than have all the other preamp I have owned, but you will have to
Thank you, Tvad.
Once again, I am not looking for a way to fix forward sound, it is not a problem. I just want to get better cables, and asking if there are cables that potentially can make it a real problem. If cables have nothing to do with that - it's fine, or, as Rgs22 said "I did try Nordost Valhalla ICs once, and they were extremely forward", so at least I will not look at them.
Thank you.
You wrote on your original post:
My system with Cary SLP-05 sounds great, but just a little bit "forward" to my taste.

So, I hope you can understand how one would surmise the fowardness is not ideal for you.

Anyway, good luck with whatever it is you seek.
I guess I did not make myself clear - my fault, sorry.
Anyway thanks everybody for trying to help.
Homosapien, no offense taken. Adjectives used in audio can sometimes be confusing especially with cables when objectively we cannot quantify brightness or warmth with them. I often associate forwardness with brightness and laidback with warmth so I have presumed your system sounded a little "bright". Now I understand what you're looking at. As Tvad has suggested(which I agree), wires won't do it as they are more towards fine tuning the sound. If you want to sit a few rows back and have a more 3-dimensional sound, you can either look at the electronics or the room for bigger effect. You can be surprised on the changes if you place some diffusor panels at the back of your speakers. In my case, I find the effect to be 10X more noticeable than swapping cables.
To sum up for the adjectively challenged... the OP does not want his system with new cables to sound "more forward". He is content where it's at now. Of course that begs the question why new cables? Which as noted make no real difference. Length, look, flexibility?
I have been watching this thread as it develops... I reviewed Wire World cables and know the line pretty well.
The Wire World Gold cables are extremely good. They are extremely revealing, so with certain electronics, say all Solid State and highly detailed speakers they may seem very "forward". There are solutions for it.

Boris, what is your entire system comprised of (I quickly scanned the postings for it but didn't see it)? What are all your components and cables? This may help us better answer your question.

For instance, if you are using smaller monitors I would suggest that this may play a big part in the kind of sound you are experiencing as "forward". I often feel that monitors are more "in your face", like an oversized boom box. They may sound extremely good, but they cannot have the same "ease" which a larger floor standing speaker has. This may be part of your frustration in not being able to get the sound you want. It is possible that you may enjoy the planar sound as it is more "spread out" as opposed to focused. This may give you less of a sense of it being right in your face. If you have never heard planar speakers you may want to try to listen to them if you can.

It very well could be a component. What is your source? If the source is a less expensive player they often sound forward and less refined than a higher end player. The better the source the "deeper" the sound stage, or shall we say more spatially correct, I have found.

These are generalizations, but ones which are seen often enough that they may be at work in your dissatisfaction.

Now, what I would recommend at the moment in regards to your Wire World cabling is not an entire system change, but only a slight tweak of the cables. For instance, change only one set of interconnects (maybe from pre to amp). Or, change one power cord, i.e. on the source or preamp. Why such a small change? I have found that making an incremental change to a suite of cables such as Wire World allows enough of a "tuning" to find the perfect sound without having to dump all the cables and start over.

For instance, I recently have used an all Wire World system in a review I am writing, except for one power cord. That one power cord which is different is a Xindak PF Gold. If it is utilized in the right spot (there may be more than one excellent place for it, but I like where it's being placed now) it makes the rig sound perfect.

I think I know what you are trying to do, how you may be trying to take a very small edge off the sound. But you do not want to lose the incredible detail. So, change only one set of IC's or PC's at a time. I believe you will quickly find a tremendously satisfying sound that way.

If you want to try something very unusual, which is not "orthodox" for audiophiles, but I have found to give a remarkably beautiful result, use two Wire World Gold Eclipse Digital cables as IC's! (To all the purists, I know, I know this is not "good audio form" but I accept what works, not just what is deemed good form) I have found using two of these to warm up and relax the sound, to make it very comfortable versus too "in your face" with some components. I still prefer the use of these as IC's with my twin Pathos Classic One MkIII integrateds in mono. It is as rich as many very pricey separates, and the cables make the big difference.

So, do not despair. If your speakers and source are extremely fine and you really know their sound well, then tune the rig with a couple of different cables at critical points. If you can rule out the limitations of speakers or source, I would suggest starting with one or two power cords on the source and/or preamp. :)
douglas if you are into reviewing cables you should check out the gabriel gold cables.they are the one cable i have found that does music justice.
When I heard the Nordosts, I also tried Kubala
Sosna Emotions (I bought these) and Purist A.D. Dominus Rev B's in a direct comparison.

Both of these were not very forward, with the PADs slightly recessed, the KS's about neutral in placment. The PADs had very, very deep bass that was also very solid. The bass was prominent but not overwhelming.
I think the bass orientation, while not boomy, had the effect of recessing the mids a bit, so it was an easy-on-the-ears sound.

The KS was slightly brighter but very well balanced overall, with pretty natural tonality, almost as good as my current Stealth Indras in natrualness, but the Indras still take the prize in this area.

(I now use Stealth Indras which are well balanced with very liquid highs and a very transparent, detailed, natural bass--not rolled off but not bright either, quite relaxing actually. And not forward at all.)
Audiobuzz, anything is possible... :)
You should audition the Kubala-Sosna Emotion cables if you get a chance. Of the cables you mentioned in your initial post I think these would be most to your liking.
Douglas-schroeders post sounds intriguing as well and might be worth a shot although I have no experience with what he is suggesting.
Avoid Transparent, Tara Labs, Nordost, Siltech.
Look for 1): VDH The Third 2): CARDAS Golden Ref (& above)
If you still have Proacs, look no further!!!

I have faced this many times in the past. While extreme cases of forwardness is a difficult situation for moderate corrections it is rather easy. The first thing I would look at for such a treatment is power cords. Typically power cords have the highest effect in taking the stage forward or backward. If you want to take it backwards try these:

1. Transparent Reference
2. ESP Essence or the Essence Reference
3. Yamamura Millenium (any one will do from these, they area amazing for source)
4. Cardas Golden Ref.
There are many more which do it, but these are the cords I am certain will help you without taking away anything from music, rather adding some to it.

Please remember these are power cord recommendations, not IC. If your system is biwirable, do try biwiring it, it will immediately relax the stage.
I had the same problem with music being forward and went through a lot of cables (Nordost,Mit,Monster,Synergistic...ect) and changing the souce (cdp) 3 times.
I eventually just gave up on trying to get better seperation as each change I made was not to my liking.One day I deceided to run a toslink cable from my cdp to pre and let my pre/pro do the d/a conversion (Rotel RSP 1069).To my surprise this gave me what I was looking for.Music was now more detailed and airy and seperation was amazing.Instead of having a wall of sound I could now pick out each instrument and it being a toslink cable I thought it would end up on the bright side but it is just smooth , detailed and a more realistic listing experence.
Your results may vary.