i find the entire aq line very confusing which is why I havent purchased them.
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No Audioquest cables are comparable to the more recent offerings with the DBS feature. My entire system is wired with AQ cables. All of my interconnects are DBS enabled. My speaker cables are not. DBS is such a game changer, I wish I could afford DBS speaker cables. Also the recent designs are using FEP (teflon) tubes as the dielectric. A big step toward ultimate neutrality.
With interconnects (latest versions to the right; ballpark 1m list prices are in parenthesis):
WEL - no earlier equivalent, but multiple revisions
Wild (4500) - no earlier equivalent, but multiple revisions
Sky I (2200) > Sky II (2700) > Fire (3000)
Cheetah (1000) > Niagara (1750) > Wind (2000)
**PSS Silver above here; PSC+ Copper below**
Panther (600) > Colorado (900) > Earth (1100)
Jaguar (350) > Columbia (450) > Water (500)
**DBS above here; no DBS below**
King Cobra > Yukon
Even towards the bottom & left are decent cables, but as 4425 mentioned, the Wind on up are really excellent -- this is where real improvements can be easily discerned on high-resolution gear. I also find even the ancient Sky I to be within a few hairs’ width of the "excellent" level as well (much warmer than Wind, though).
With speaker cables, they’ve changed so much in geometry and metal mixes that this is a futile exercise.
I have owned the King Cobra xlr,the Columbia xlr and now the Water xlr cables. All three have a similar build. But that's where all the similarities end. All of them have good points but the Water has all them put together. Plus the 72v battery pack gives the Columbia a nice advantage over the King Cobra. The Water has twice the carbon shielding of the Columbia and is 20 awg wire vs the 21 awg in the Columbia xlr. The small upgrades Audioquest made in these cables is very noticeable in my system
@ball-wheel, I agree. from my experience, the 72v DBS makes a very noticeable difference when compared to non-DBS AQ cables. I started with King Cobra, moved to Columbia, then moved to Water. I purchased a couple of AQ Earth, and was wowed at the sound improvement, although the only difference is the dialectic.