Review: Purist Audio Design 20th Anniversary Aqueous Speaker cable

Category: Cables

I love these cables!

I started out with Monster's 2.4s bi-wire. Wanting to get a taste of a more high-end cable company, I made a lateral move (in terms of $$) to the PAD Musaeus. The Musaeus is a very nice cable, but it didn't blow my socks off in comparison to the Monster. So the Monster 2.4s is a very good cable, IMO.

So I bought on audiogon a used 2 meter pair of 20th Anniversary Aqueous bi-wire for around half the retail price.

Now we're cookin'! A definite improvement! I find my system now has greater resolution and detail, with improved imaging and soundstaging. Everything seems more natural.

While the Purist is a stiffer cable than the Monster, they are by no means super stiff--they are quite easy to work with. Purist doesn't include the long leads in their measurement, which means that the labeling is a little misleading: a 2M cable is really 8.5 feet. The standard spades are 8mm (5/16"). I have 1/4 speaker and amp terminals and the spades work just fine, though it would be nice to have the exact right size. Although very nicely built and finished, I have a little quibble with the spades. They probably work great with terminals that don't have those plastic coverings, with a slot for the spades, that many terminals come with now. But I have them on my speakers, and I can make a satisfactory connection, but not jam them quite all the way. Almost, but not quite. And the way the rubber insulation rides fairly high up means that it is inevitible that some will be nicked or rubbed away.

I mostly listen to Grateful Dead, I am also a Shirley Bassey fan. So I need something that can rock AND also do female vocals well.

All in all I am very pleased with these cables.

Associated gear
mbl 7008 Int. Amp.
Linn Majik CD Player
Krell Resolution 3 Speakers
I'm demoing some Aqueous Anniversary biwire (3m). So far (first few hours,) they are *extremely* resolving and fuller-range when compared to Musaeus, However, I'm concerned that they might have a noticeable upper frequency glare that I'm not liking. I will need to see how they break in over the next few days.
Since I bought the cables used, they had already been broken in, so I can't really comment on the settling-in process for this model. But I can't say that I have noticed any undue brightness.
It's their second day and they're doing quite a bit better now. For the first few hours, I was a bit iffy on them. Now they're becoming more liveable.

Very musical cables, and they are sounding more integrated. Really world-class musical bass performance - musical tones and emotion coming from the speakers. I hope they keep getting better :)

It's strange, but I find that quality speaker cables are more important than quality digital sources. I'm using the analog outs of a Sonos ZonePlayer, which is not regarded for being a true hifi component. Sounds great through these cables.

I'm sure a nice DAC would help me quite a bit, but I think that if you have a good integrated amp, good speakers, and good speaker cable, you can get away with a cheaper source and interconnects and be fine. This is contrary to conventional hifi nerd wisdom but I think it's true. Bad speaker cables seem to really make the music nasty and add a lot of non-musical artifacts to the sound, whereas a "bad" digital source is still fairly accurate to the original recording and has relatively miniscule distortion in comparison.
after trying the Nordost approach, having SPM speaker cables and the Tyr interconnect, I also flirted with Magnan, Transparent, Audience au24e, homemade wires, don't ask :-) and maybe a couple others.

What I get a kick out of what I liked about the Nordost so much, is still there, the quickness of a guitar pluck, I hate rounded guitar notes, but the really big difference is the quiet they afford, I still can't get over that. They also have a weight that is there when the instrument is there and then goes away when not needed. I am really enjoying vocals a lot more. I also like, that it doesn't move the instruments two rooms away, I know sound staging is a trip but when it sounds so far away, that's not my taste, I like it "closer".

I guess the term more "meat" on the bones goes with these cables, but they aren't lethargic, kind of a goldilocks happy middle, when it comes to harmonics, not too much to loose the leading edge, but not to little so that the leading edge is all that there is. I do like "lush" or harmonically rich music but not (too much) at the expense of timing.

I went to see a Charles Lloyd concert, at U.T and had an LP of his waiting when I came home, I really expected to be let down, but I was actually really pleasantly surprised.

NO it wasn't the live event it was like a mini live event, everything just scaled down, but enough harmonics, timing, what ever other adjective live music has, was there just in a lot smaller doses. and clunkier, which I wish I could describe that better but compared to live music, my system had a clunkiness to it. Still trying to figure that out.

Fun, but not the real thing, but I can live with that.