40 responses Add your response
Used is best deal but hard to give recommendations as it is so fluid. Recently saw a pair of Van den Hul the First Ultimate for $200. It is one of the best available at any price. Kimbers are always good but many brands vary and most expensive are not always the best. Check this link:
http://www.spearitsound.com/home.htm, they are closing out some Siltech, which are excellent cables.
(http://www.audioreview.com/cat/cables/interconnect-cables/kimber-kable/hero/PRD_116466_5827crx.aspx) (http://www.soundstage.com/upton07.htm) (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_5_1/kimberhero.html) (http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39679) They were the first Kimber product that I'd personally tried. They performed so well that I progressed through the rest of the kimber lineup to my present Kimber KS-1130 usage.
Cables aren't going to create a
nice soundstage with tight bass and decent midrangeSpeakers, amp, preamp, and source create this. Anyone who tells you that cables will magically transform your system is smoking crack. I haven't heard any *dramatic* differences with cables. Just get something decent, but don't obsess over them. Kimber, Siltech, Van den Hul, Signal, Alpha Goertz, Cardas.. they're all good.
Anyone who tells you that cables will magically transform your system is smoking crack.I think of it from a different perspective. It is not so much that a cable can magically transform a system but rather that so many cables out there can instantly destroy the capabilities of a top-tier system.
Many of the cables recommended here are indeed good. But when you get to the top tier performing systems where the focus is midrange textures, natural decays, portrayal of space, etc., such cables quickly show their subtractive nature.
You might consider JPS Ultraconductor2. I auditioned them from Cable Co. and liked them quite a bit. Ultimately went with a used pair of Acoustic Zen Matrix from their used section but it was a bit over your $ limit. Anyway you can try many pairs by using their lending library and decide for yourself.
such a question will elicit many recommendations.
the answer is to audition as many as you can. if you can't borrow them, buy those which have good resale value, i.e., the relationship between retail price and resale price.
as well-intentioned as the suggestions are, each cable is vouiced differently and some of the suggestions will not be to your liking. you have no idea , before an audition which cable will be the one for you.
thus, if you follow one suggestion you should listen to the others as well, otherwise you are just flipping a coin.
If it were only that simple......then none of these high end products would be on the market. Cheaper speakers, cheaper electronics, cheaper cables........what a wonderful world this would be.
In the future though you may want to add "IMHO", as there really is a question on everything manufactured...... cables, speakers, electronics, et al. Everyone has their own opinion of what is best. No component or cable is the best w/o question.
what does someone do with all of the opinions/recommendations ?....Suggestions provide for a good starting point as to what products to be on the lookout for audition. The more suggestions that I see for a given product, the higher that product resides on my "to-audition" list.
The system for which the cable (or any product) is under evaluation greatly influences the "value" of a suggestion. If I am assembling a Rotel/NAD system for which I need cables, I am not likely to pay much attention to all the praise from owners of "high performance" cables. And if I looking to assemble a system that nails the tonality and harmonic structure of the piano, I am not likely to pay much attention to cable suggestions that get a lot of praise from a Rotel/NAD system owner. It's all relative to what we currently have and what we are looking to improve upon with our next system update.
Hello again MrT, I do believe that we have done this dance before in another thread.
Yes, there is no substitute for listening to a component or cable in one's own system...I agree.
However, I do believe that we can limit the choices from 10,000 to 10 by reading input from members in this forum, many of which we can do background checks on and find out what their personal musical tastes are (soundstage, tonality, etc).
If we find one that we have found to have similar tastes to ours from previous experiences, I have found that we can trust this experience in the future.
I will mention Jafox, Jadem6, Aggielaw, Vetterone, Tbg and many, many others to be of beneficial help to me. I have found that over the years their tastes in music runs similar to mine, so their reco's hold more weight than others whose musical tastes varies from mine.
This doesn't eliminate all other suggestions, but it does help to narrow the field. After all, no one can hear all of the audio offerings out there on the market these days.
is it group think and political correctness to follow advice and well-meaning opinions ?
what are the consequences of not doing one's research and hard work ? there is no substitute for trial and error. no can tell another what he or she will like. even an audio dealer will tell you that.
the idea that following the opinions of others in a hobby as hours may not be rational.
i think random works as well as being given a list of purchase candidates selected by audiophiles. is there any evidence which disproves my hypothesis ?
for every successful example accriung from following advice, there may be a counter example.
Lots of good ideas here, so my post may be redundant. One factor that must be considered is your system, as some cables will sound better than others with the equipment you own (and we have no info here). I have owned and used a fairly wide range of <$200 interconnects, and among the better ones, I've found there isn't a vast amount of audible difference. Somewhat perversely, the distinctions between cables become clearer as the cost/quality of your system increases, so "budget" systems are likely to be less revealing of nuances between cables. If you buy used cables here on A-gon, or perhaps from UsedCables.com, you will be able to afford better cables. Based on personal experience, the cables I suggest you consider are: Kimber Hero; Nordost Blue Heaven and Red Dawn; BetterCable.com's Silver Serpents; Alpha-Core TQ2; Analysis Plus; and various AudioQuest models. If I were forced, however, to recommend only one interconnect in your price bracket, it would be the Kimber Hero. I have owned Kimber products since I first met Ray Kimber in the early 1980's. He puts his personal integrity behind everything he makes, and his products have always provided high value for the dollar. If you want further guidance, you might try calling The Audio Advisor and getting their opinion.
Cyclonicman, I never said that Danovak should not try Anti-cables, I just objected to Stringreen's statment of "No Question".
Anyone who has spent any time in these forums/hobby knows that synergy is everything and NOTHING is beyond question.
Some have found bliss with the Anti-cables, some have not. I envy those that find the Anti-cables the best out there, because they will save a lot of money. Just as I envy my sons who are happy listening to an ipod, they will never spend what I have on audio gear. To be happy with less expensive gear and/or cables is a blessing.
FWIW, I did offer my suggestion in my first reply, in case you missed it. You'll also note that I said "IMHO", because I've been around enough to know NOTHING is "NO QUESTION".
I bought one of their early cables, the WEKA, and then traded up a few times so have heard a few of their cables including the Gold, which I owned for a while. The sound of all of the Antipodes cables appears to me to be more natural and clearer than with other cables. A little hard to describe, but it is like there is more phase coherence, less noise and the music appears less confused. The main thing with the Katipo is that it is as good as any silver cable I have ever heard. I don't want to name the various cables that weren't as good as the Katipo but they cost more like $2000 than the $200 half-price offer on the Katipos. I use the Antipodes Reference now and that is a stellar product. On the one hand the Katipo almost competes with it, it really does sound very similar, but on the other the Reference adds such a musically engaging, beguiling and gorgeous midrange that there is no way of going back. Sorry to gush. The Katipo is just a lot of cable for the price. To describe its sound I would say, well balanced tonally, engaging musically and a lot more transparent than anything else at its price that I have heard.
The Katipo interconnects from Antipodes are without a doubt the best value I've ever heard in an interconnect. I have tried many interconnects from the very inexpensive to the ultra-expensive and the entry-level Katipo, which is currently being auctioned on Audiogon, will hold its own against most of them. There's no question in my mind and to my ears that the Katipo is far superior to anything up to $200.00 and then some. What is also very cool about these interconnects is that their unique construction makes them much less system dependent than most cables. They sound great on just about every component. Take it from a long-time cable junky. These cables are very special. Their 30-day return policy is also a nice guarantee.
Hi John. Yes, I have two pair of the Komako, the next step up. I won a couple of the entry-level Katipo and paid the $140.00 upgrade for the Komako. The Komako is worth the slight additional cost. It is basically a Katipo, but with some gold and platinum added. The Komako also have the upgraded Xhadow connectors. The improvements are a little more natural timbre and tonal colors. Mark Jenkins, the owner/designer of Antipodes spent 6 years researching and developing his interconnects. He is a great guy to talk to if you have any questions about his interconnects. I would love to try his all-out assault Reference interconnects, but need to save up my pennies. (o:
wow, after reading this I realize how ignorant some of you are. Don't you know that the most important piece of Audio Gear is the power Cable? It determines all of the sound.
Let's say you have $2000 amp, that needs a $1500 power cable.
Your $3000 preamp; $2000 power cable.
If you don't do this you are not taking this hobby seriously, and don't know anything. Only power cables can release the "Magic" of the music.
Discussions about cables are always so fascinating; they bring out every nuance of thought about audio that there is! I've said this before and I'll say it again, a cable should not have a "sound". Now, the reality is, all cables DO have a "sound" in all kinds of varying degrees. The reason for this is that ALL cables, makes no difference who the manufacturer is or what kind of magic dust he sprinkles over the wire or his connectors, are filters. Every interconnect, every speaker cable, every power cord, every piece of wire in a circuit, has an impedance characteristic. Some are small enough that they are completely inconsequential, but in the case of most ic's and speaker cables you can manipulate the "sound" by manipulating it's structure in a way that changes the impedance/filtering effect that it has on a signal. That's why so many folks buy a certain cable and immediately get excited about its sound, because what has happened is that what they're listening to is now different. It may not necessarily be better, but it's different.
What a good ic (or any other cable for that matter) should do is to transfer a signal. There's a lot of good cables out there, and many of them have been mentioned here. They're all worth a try, if you can muster the money and time to do that, but certainly digging through the forums here and getting good ideas for starting points is a good practice. Ultimately, you need to find what works best for your budget and your slection of components. For myself, that's PNF Audio. Everything in my system is PNF Audio and I've yet to find a better ic than their ICON product. Yes, I've used/tried almost everything else desbribed here, and many are VERY good, like Kimber and AQ, but I've found that with a wide range of equipment, PNF consistently does for me what a cable should and that is truthfully transfer a signal with the least amount of filtering or signal deradation possible. Plus, at it's price, it's a steal. One of the best pound for pound values in all of audio IMHO. That doesn't mean that you may like something else, and that's perfectly fine, that's just what I have found after many years and lots of experimentation works best for me.
The laws of diminishing returns and the marketing of the snake oil vendor are probably more prevelant in the world of cables than almost anywhere else in audio. Good cables are worth it, but stupidly expensive ones usually are not. Be careful out there.... :)