In the past year I put together a system (see Evolving System in Vegas) but used my existing Audioquest speaker cables. Its time to upgrade and while I speant a great deal of time and energy researching and selecting my speakers and amps, I know relatively little about cables.
I have a B&W 800Ds powered by two McIntosh 501s. I would like the cables to be 5 feet long with spades on both ends. Additionally, I would prefer to spend $1,000 or less (the wife can't get why any old cable won't do).
Sometimes that's how rec's go. What are you looking to change with spkr. cables? What do you like/dislike about the AQ & why is it time to upgrade?
May I suggest since you spent so much time & energy researching & selecting your spkrs. & amp that you complete the process w/regards to the cables? There are many ways to go about this. One is to use a service like the cable co. to audition. Another is find out the type of wiring in the spkrs. & amp & use that.
Regardless of what you choose, auditioning any change should be done one piece at a time. I would listen to the new cables for at least a full week (preferably longer) and then put your AQ back in. Then you can compare notes & make a decision based on what you hear.
Try The Cable Company and demo several cables against your current ones. I'd suggest starting with something that has a very different design to see if you can hear a significant difference. The shorter the length the less difference that is expected. I recently built some DIY Cat5 based cables, but if I were going to purchase cables I'd likely start with the Kimber Kable 8PR though I can't really provide a specific reason other than I like their design and think this should be a high value product.
I will repeat what has been asked? What sound are you aiming to get vs what the audioquests yield. A used cable dependig on age etc should run you about 50% of new thus research $2000 cables. My personal favorites for a more detailed type speaker, JM lab Electra 936s, are the all copper braid from Jena Labs. No I am not selling them so I don't know where that idea came from. The least expensive are great but I imagine they get better as you go up the line.
Joe, Nice setup, I have the 800ds w/1.2 mc monos, and am using 5' audioquest oak biwire with excellent synergy. I paid $1200, (slightly more than your target) but once you heard them you would be well pleased. Ed
I like Cardas speaker wire. It is a little bit stiff because of the big gauge size but it does improve the sound over other speaker cables. You can usually find it at a good price on Audiogon much less than the 1000 dollars u want to spend. Shay
I'd reccomend trading the wife in on a girlfriend and then buying the cables you really need. Maybe want is a better word!
Thats what I did about 4 years ago. Then I was able to get rid of the B&W 802's and Classe stuff I dint really want and went with Wilson, Eggleston, MBL etc, without having to explain each and every decision I made and why I made it! I also find my girlfriend doesn't tell me to turn things down nearly as often.
I am just kidding of course!!! WEll maybe not. I too am looking to make a change in speaker cables. You have lots of good reccomendations. The nice thing about buying here is if they do't quite workout or sound as good as you expect you can sell them without losing your butt.
I am considering buying some anti cables as I need long runs. I do not like the thought of having to break them in for 200 hours before you know what they will eventially sound like.
Before you spend a boatload of cash check out the inexpensive ones such as Anti-Cables or Marrow, etc. Oft times, they sound better than the high priced spread. All the inexpensive cable companys have a money back policy...
My 2 cents. I have tried several brands of speaker wire. From $10 a foot to $3 a foot. The wire I liked best in my system was the Mogami W2921. This is a bi wire cable that uses their Neglex OFC brand of wire. I got 35 feet shipped for $120.00. After installing this wire my wife made the comment that the voices were clearer and easier to understand. If my wife says something it must be good. This wire made my system more detailed, improved the bass and added clarity with movies and music.
The Mogami wire used in my system was an improvement every time I added it. Interconnects first and then speaker wire.
I just purchased four 75 foot runs of JW Audio cryo speaker cables and they sound great. I too am hearing lots of sounds I have never heard before. Many different audiogoners suggested solid copper wire for long runs including some sellers of high end braided wire. I spent far less than I anticipated I would need to and am very happy with the outcome.
I would echo the JW Audio cryo speaker cables. I just bought an 8 foot pair; my system is an Audio Van Alstine 250 wpc heavily modded hybrid amplifier, EAR pre-amp, Emerald Physic CS 3 speakers, locally made subwoofer, Balanced Power technology modded Alesis ML 9600 CD player/recorder, Tritium triphazer interconnect, Dakiom amplifier stablizers; the sound of the JW cryo speaker cables is very clean, clear, spacious when there is space on the recording, and detailed. No part of the frequency spectrum is accentuated. They lack that extra sparkle on the top end that you get with silver and silver/copper hybrid cables. However, this is one excellent speaker cable. And it costs literally peanuts.......