Review: Aural Thrills Audio Speaker cable

Category: Cables

First, I can't believe that I am THE first to post a review on these excellent cables. They have been in my system for a little over 10 mos. now and they continue to impress.

I have these hooked up to the panals (highs) in a bi-wire configuration to my ML Summit loudspeakers, which BTW, are very revealing to anything linked up to them. I am by no means a "cable hound" or expert and certainly have not heard even 1/10 of what is currently available in the flooded market of cables, but I feel the Aural Thrills offer extraordinary performance for the dollar. These were purchased from Aural Thrills via auction here at the 'Gon, which I still believe A. Thrills is running (probably as a method of promoting their products to get the name out).

I am not one to give into high priced cable, with the sometimes attached mumbo-jumbo tech. jargon, but after reading the technicals on this cable, I was intrigued enough to try them, with little risk at the price paid (under $500.)

I just can't personally see how a cable, ANY cable, unless it is constructed using pure gold connectors, can ever cost more than a decent component! I certainly don't doubt that there are "sound" differences in cables, but I think the law of diminishing returns rears it's big ugly head in cables more so than any other hi-fi component, IMHO. That's just my two cents worth -- nuff said!

The Aural Thrills Force speaker cable, to quote their web site, utilizes an "active" approach similar to AudioQuest and Synergistic Research, in that they employ a DC source, hooked to the braid of the cable, to "create a positive field around each wire, effectively preventing any signal loss.." The signal lines contain eight 20 ga. silver coated high conductivity OFC solid conductors. The result is a combined ga. of 11awg. (The individual wires are also Teflon incased). I could go on, but you get the gist. For those who require more tech. detail, I defer them to the Aural Thrills web site.

OK, enough of the "jargon", how do they sound? In my system, with my equipment and personal tastes, literally like no cable at all.

The first obvious thing that I noticed was a blacker, quieter background. This allows the music to have a greater dynamic impact, both micro & macro, resulting in a better "flow" of the musical signal. I cannot comment to much on the bass, as again, they are strictly doing duty as the mid and high freq. carrier to the electrostat panel, though I did run them briefly "full range" with my prior speakers (Prodigys) and there were no complaints in the bass dept. Smooth, tight, & fast.

The mids and high freq. are really were these cables shine with a nice, natural balance on vocals, no over-pronounced sibilence, with warmth when the recording called for it. The highest freq. are pristine and extend on up into the statosphere without any attenuation or hype. Just a nice "transparent" overall balance.

The imaging and soundstage are also very good. Nice stable images, with natural 3D depth, and a wide expansive arc of sound with excellent focus. (BTW - I also use the Aural Thrills Force Gen I Active Palladium interconnects with similar, excellent results. Same adjectives apply to those as well). Construction is impressive with attractive jacketing and nice, beefy Rhodium plated Cardas spades.

I listen primarily to Prog. rock, prog./fussion jazz, some modern artists,etc. Here is a small sampling of some music selections used;

Norah Jones (various)
Van Morrison "
XTC - Apple Venus, Oranges & Lemons, etc.
Mindy Smith - one moment more
The Watch - Vacuum
John Mayer - heavier things
Steve Hackett - darktown
Peter Gabriel - so
Thomas Dolby - astronauts & heretics
The Blue Nile - walk across the rooftops
Barenaked Ladies - Gordon
Genesis - Selling England...(vinyl, Japanese import)

All in all, in the sometimes insanely priced world of high-end cables, these are terrific performers, in my system, and I would recommend anyone trying them - quickly, while you can still get them at auction for well below the "retail" price. These might be one of the best kept secrets in audio cable-land.

Associated gear
Click to view my Virtual System

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I recently added the active palladium interconnects that replaced kimber Hero. Am very pleased with the performance. It betters the Kimber in all areas except in the bass performance. I couldn't tell any difference between the Kimber and the Aural Thrills in bass depth, timber or speed. I too bought them off of audiogon at a fraction of the asking price. Phil Brady.
I ordered the Aural Thrills "active" speaker cables for my system & they sound & are working great.
They are silent & the soundstage really opens up from a dead black background.
Probably one of the best buys in any cable.
Next I went for the "active" ic's from power amps to pre amp - again with excellent results.
So I added the "active" power cords & am much more than satisfied.
Nice to see that someone knows & cares enough to make high quality cables @ very affordable prices.
For me & my system "active" cables are the only way to go.
Quality, performance & looks without breaking the bank.
You can bet that I'll be back for more.
Yeah, these cables get good reviews in the discussion forums.
I bought the palladium innerconnects and was very pleased with the sound.I was using Tara Labs Reference Generation 2 and the aural thrills sounded better in every area especially the highs and soundstage.