The cables listed are well regarded but you might be surprised by trying the less expensive Harmonic Technology Pro 9 Reference cables that IMO have most of the attributes you seek.
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If you're into that kind of money, I would try a few pairs from the Cable Company to see what best suits your tastes. There's just no way to tell what you're going to get without putting them in your system and $4K is too much to risk without a demo. IMO. There are probably also some cable dealers here on A'gon that would be more than happy to let you home demo at that price point. Good luck
I have the YG Anat III Studio Signature.
I'm also very familiar with Kubala Sosna as I've had the Emotions for about 4 years and I currently use the Elations.
They are both very well balanced from top to bottom, however the Emotions do emphasize the midrange/mid-bass a bit more than the Elations do, which happen to be totally neutral across the entire frequency range.
I was originally using the Emotions with a pair of Kharma Mini Exquisites which had a ceramic midrange and a diamond tweeter, so this cable was a great match for my tastes since it perfectly subdued the upward tilt of that speaker.
When I bought the Anat's 14 months ago, I kept the Emotions on them due to lack of funds, but I felt like the Emotions were holding back the Anat's in the areas of speed and transparency. So, about 9 months ago I upgraded the Emotions to the Elations via Kubala's upgrade policy. I am very thrilled with this upgrade as I feel the Elations are providing everything that I was looking for.
Description of the differences that you are asking about:
Neutrality: rated 1-10 with 5 being perfectly neutral.
Emotions: very good deep bass, a little slower than the Elations. "fullness" greater weight, some of this may be due to the fuller mid-bass.
Elations: Excellent, fast and taut bass. "tautness" greater speed, more athletic like a basketball player.
Emotions: silky smooth, not etched
Elations: silky smooth with increased transparency and air.
Timber: Both cables have fabulous timber.
Emotions: Excellent woody and natural sound of the double bass
Elations: Outstanding woody and natural sound of the double bass and you can add an increased robustness and realism to the sound emanating from a solid 3-D real instrument. Perfect pitch as well.
Vocals/ Midrange: the Yg's do vocals so naturally.
Emotions: sweeter, perfect recording of a vocalist.
Elations: More Transparent as in a couple of veils removed. The vocalist is in the room at times. Better instrumental and vocal shadings.
Emotions: slightly slower, holds onto the notes a bit longer like a top tube preamp would. Increased Harmonics, richer sounding.
Elations: faster, better PRAT. more transparent. Excellent Harmonics as well due in part due to it's increased ambiance retrieval, as opposed to holding onto the notes longer as the Emotions do. The Elations also have a better transient attack; as in piano strikes, string plucks, drum strikes. Clearer window into the recording venue, whether that may be the recording studio or live soundstage.
Imaging: they both image very well and I would give the edge to the Elations for front to back soundstage depth, image height, ambiance retrieval and resolution. There is also greater instrument separation and air surrounding the instruments through the Elations. The back wall also disappears better with the Elations.
I have seen the Elations 2.5m used within your price range of $4000.
The Elations are better in every area. I would think the Emotions are better at taming a brighter system, and smoothing out any grain, stridency or hash or for adding a richer, fuller sound to a thin sound system. Keep in mind, hadn't I changed my speakers, I would have been very happy keeping the Emotions in my system permanently, as it represented a perfect match at the time.
With the Emotions the Speakers disappear as a sound source.
The Elations even go one step further, in that it seems like the speaker cables disappear and the speakers aren't even hooked up to anything.
The Elations are just purer and untouched without any additions or subtractions, just like virginal snow.
Another cable to consider is the Kaplan cable (now Waveform). I also have the YG Carmels (great speaker) and the original Kaplan GS provided a great match, besting my Audience, Highwire and JPS SC3.
They side very slightly to the rich warm and sweet side of the spectrum, with a detailed and open midrange, and without any (!) harshness in the highs, providing lush tonal colors and density. As Henry Wilkenson said in his Audiophilia review: "After inserting these cables in my system, I noticed that my listening sessions became far more frequent, more enjoyable and often extend into the wee hours of the morning. I attribute this to my systems new found musicality."
I liked them so much I purchased a second pair to biwire, and though that provided some improvement, especially a tightening in the bass, I'm not sure the extra scratch is worth it over single wiring with my Audience jumpers.
Another cable to consider that I'm also quite enamored with is the MG Audio. They're a bit less rich and warm though, and more extended / accentuated in the highs, and more forward and dynamic, but they do add an amazing life and sparkle to the music that really gets your toes tapping. Color me torn (I've been switching back and forth, pleased with both).
has anyone tried the new Audience 24SE speaker cables, I understand they are meant to be quite full bodied, maybe even like Cardas Clear.
I am not just after midrange richness, want inner detail as well. I know something like Jorma Origo can provide it but it is too far out my budget.
I do prefer the sound of copper cables though
I had Hidiamond D8 and kubala sosna emotion, now I got Snake river signature cottonmouth cables that in my system bested two of those (more balanced , open and natural) and also cost less. I sold HD8 and KS emotion and very happy with Snake rive signature. They are also very flexible cables to work with.
Hi,let us know how you go.I was struggling with a lean sounding system,good cds were good,but lots of the collection,just wasn't doing it.Ive always liked Tara labs between pre and amp,where it will stay. I had a pair of harmonix strings interconnects lying around,I forgot about,and boy did that bring things together.From CD player to pre,it just nailed it,no brightness, full mid range,and strong bass.Everything was there and stuff I haven't herd before.I'm now looking at getting harmonic golden performance in the future,along with another one of there PC.
stealth is nice but wrong price for performance try calling Robert Lee at Acoustic Zen he is a great guy with a great balanced product that you can get what you need with your budget intact .
The kubala I heard seemed little tubby and closed down to me,tara was thinner causing wrong timbre but great product.
just my 2 cents
My speakers are marten django xl. The snake river is more open and detailed than HD8 but those details are not in your face, the more you listen to tjem the more you hear. I would say it has the same midrange magic as KS emotion but much better micro details across the spectrum.
Most imprortant to me, there is something in their sound that make you want to listen music more. Call it great balance, coherence, I dont know. I am not affiliated at all with them, actually I found about them by chance, and was very sceptical by the claim of their owner (that is btw great guy) that nobody returned them yet, but decided to give them a try - they have 30 days back no problem, and I love them, now wating for their signature power cord. I am not sure about their ICs, since having KCI silkworm + se in my system for some time, I dont have any desire to change ICs.
Looking for "rich sounding cables" is the wrong approach. If your system needs richness, look at your components, particularly your source. $4,000 can be better spent elsewhere, rahther than on cables! And, I have experienced wonderful 'rich sounding' speaker cables, Teo liquid cables. Unfortunately, they are more than $4,000.
If you are going to demo cables, I would add Fusion Audio cables to your list, which are known for their midrange "liquidity". I found their Enchanter power cord to add some warmth to my Pass Labs amp, while preserving frequency extension. Cheaper SC options that play above their price point by a good margin are Clear Day Double Shotguns ($500), which I use, and Triode Wire Labs ($700). All offer generous, no hassle return privileges. The Cable Co is great, but their 5% charge per cable is money down the drain if you don't end up buying from them.
The more I think about your quest, the more I think you should listen to some cables with gold in them, at least before making a final decision. "Rich sounding" is gold's trademark. The list of cables with gold is getting longer, but a couple of well-respected brands include Jade and Gabriel Gold. If you want to try gold on the cheap you might look for a used pair of Stealth PGS, often available for $400-$500/pr here on the 'Gon.
Apologies for not seeing your post earlier. My speaker cables are not appropriate in bi-wire configuration, and sound far worse than a single pair with jumpers....
Bi-amped is fine, but I think you're being kind in saying anything positive about my speaker cables bi-wired.
I would strongly suggest you try my speaker cables (or anyone else's) in a single wired, diagonal configuration as suggested in this PDF from Audioquest -
Kaplan Cable / Waveform Fidelity
I have Focal Utopia speakers and tube amp / preamp. In my system, Cullen Speaker cables ($179 for a 8 ft pair) sound as good as my AQ and Kubala. Don't waste your money on speaker cables unless you are filthy rich and don't know what to do with your money. Buy the Cullen cables which have 30 day money back guarantee and use the left over money to upgrade your system.
Lak, I have Snake River signature speaker cables and I also have plinius integrated hiato and plinius sb301 in my HT. All I can say that you should try them. Jonny (the owner) is a great guy to deal with and can land you a demo pair if he has it availabe. In my systme they have been better than Hidiamonds HD8, Kubala Sosna Emotion, Stealth Hybrid MLT, MG audio and some others. I think for the money you will be hard pressed to find anything better. I dont have any connections with Snake River and actually was sceptical to try them, but once I got them and they settled, I stopped to listen to my system and now enjoy the music.
I have to agree with Denon1. They are very revealing and musical at the same time and Jonny couldn't be a nicer guy with which to deal. I have heard a lot of the same cables mentioned (MLT's, K-S, MG and others as well) and really feel settled in and happy with the SRA Cottonmouth Sigs....although I still think about the MLT's.....you know how it is!