What price range are you in Bob?
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So we all stay sane, let's just assume that someday you'll upgrade to the Audience AU24.
For $200, assuming you mean for just speaker cables, you could look into Audiences newer lower priced models, not sure if that is cheap enough. Older Cardas is an option. The best budget cable I've heard is Signal Cable. It's definitely in your price range. Didn't hear them on VSMs, but they are solid product for their price...
At the risk of wearing out my welcome on this recommendation, I'm going to once again propose Stu Wein's (Audioparts) MAS Hybrid speaker cables. You can come in under budget, and he offers a 30 day money back guarantee. I'm using them in a system consisting of Von Schweikert VR4 SE speakers, VAC Phi 110/110 amp, First Sound Presence Deluxe II preamp, EMC 1-UP CD player and Acoustic Zen Matrix and Silver Reference interconnects. Do yourself a favor and try them. What've you got to lose?
Another low price/high performance speaker cable is the $180 eight foot pair from Audiogon member, Greggstraley, which replaced my already excellent value Alpha Core Goertz MI-3, and AG-1 speaker cables.
Currently use with ribbon tweeter/transmission line bass Clements Rt-7, driven by either Aronov LS960I, or Cary SLA70Sig tube amp. When paired with dynamic speakers from Duntech, Spendor, and Platinum Audio, these cables always sound natural, detailed, and full range.
The bargain price of a direct seller gives no hint just how superb is the performance, and the money back trial offer eliminates buyer remorse.
I have heard several of the cables mentioned above, including those praised by 1markr and Listener57... As Tmiddle says and other Merlin owners in the past have said, TG Audio cables and jumpers have been found consistently to work well... Merlins are very revealing, so finding something that works isn't as easy as some might think... disclaimer: I peddle TG Audio, so don't take my word for it...the proof is in the listening... Try before you buy is best whenever possible, instead of reluctantly asking for a refund after the fact, regardless of what the product is...
Brian, I respect and look forward to your posts. Your last statement, "try before you buy is best whenever possible, instead of reluctantly asking for a refund after the fact..." sounds like a pointed attempt to dissuade people from trying either the MAS, SignalCable, or other products from manufacturers/dealers offering trial periods. Am I correct? Why, Brian? I can personally attest to both Stu Wein (MAS/Audioparts) and Frank (SignalCable) standing behind their 30 day money back guarantee offers. I have tried, returned, exchanged and kept products from both these gentlemen, and they have proven themselves to be just that...true gentlemen. Any reluctance to return a product has been completely self-generated, and not due to any pressure from these guys. I believe they offer a win/win proposition, and anyone in the market for products like theirs will do themselves a favor by taking advantage of the trial periods.
Tvad, my point is because people are in most cases reluctant to return something they purchase, or they either don't get around to returning it or don't want to bother... I regret it if you read it as a pointed attempt to dissuade, as I'm aware of the people you mentioned and many others. My post encouraged home trials before money changes hands, a preference...this is different from money back guarantees, which also are very appropriate, although you may see them as the same.
Brian, thanks for your explanation. I too, would also prefer home trials
without money changing hands. However, these are hard to come by in
my experience. Your point regarding one's reluctance, or in effect
laziness to return an item in a timely fashion is also well taken. Those
who try products with 30 day trial periods have to be disciplined enough
to return the items within the window. Otherwise, there's no point in the