I recently bought a single nice "biwire" Canare cable to replace another simple (read "cheap") cable I'd made...mostly out of curiosity and because the Canare looks great...stuck my spades and angled (hard to find angled Neutrik Speakon plugs...but they make sense) Speakon on it and immediately heard a substantial improvement with my REL Q150e. Neutrik Speakons are so easy to use I find it's easy to make your own REL cables out of whatever cable you want to try (as long as it has at least 3 conductors).
I went with a Nordost Baseline cable made to Rel spec for my B3 and the difference was huge. I heard attack and decay I didn't even know I was missing. My brother in law bought the Signal Cable for his Q108 and he was very happy too.
Xti16,I made a "REL cable" from same baseline Wireworld speaker cable. Sound with the sub is fuller, full-bodied, instruments more palpable etc. When I turn off the sub clarity, purity of sound slightly improves though. Do you experience the same? I wonder if it's the cable that picks some RF noise or just more mikro detail causes the impression the soundstage is not crystal clear.
Both cables offered on audiogon have "Tri-braid geometry" that probably makes them immune to noise pickup.
When you commented on the Nordost Baseline "made to REL spec", does that mean that Nordost builds the cable with a Speakon connector on one end, and the three separate leads for the amplifier end? Is this a special order type of arrangement, or do dealers keep this in stock? Thanks for this great suggestion.
Yes it is a custom order from Nordost. My dealer had it within 1 week. There was also a $35 upcharge. I wouldn't think any dealers would stock them unless they were both a Rel and Nordost dealer. Now that being said once you see a basline cable you will be surprised. It's only 1/4" wide flat ribbon cable. But for me again the difference was huge as far as what I heard.
My Canare (Ebay score) is "star quad" which, as I understand it, simply means it's spiral wound to make it immune to RF...and I (among many other REL heads) think the REL, due to some "room charging" effect or something, always adds depth and a seemingly more life-like overall sound to the party, even with what you might think is music with little bass information...without the REL everything is sort of dull.
Jkuc - No I didn't experience what you are describing. When I turn my sub off I lose the lowest octave and a slight compression in the width of the sound stage and some warmth in the mids (especially with female vocals).
That being said I have Dyn C1 signatures driven by an Octave V110 tube integrated. Honestly the C1's go pretty low all by themselves. The great majority of my music doesn't go beyond what the C1's do by themselves. But when it does the Sub sure is a nice addition.
FWIW I do have all Nordost cabling less pc's. Heimdall 2 digital - Tyr 2 ic's and original Frey sc's. But back to the sub cable itself. It's nice Rel includes a cable but it is pure garbage in my opinion.
My C1 are driven by a tube amp as well... Mastersound 845, excellent amp, lifelike sound. Dyns seem to like powerful tube amps. AZ Absolute cabling. C1 go down to 35 Hz in my room. Thats pretty impressive.
It can be the diy sub cable bringing a tad of haze, it's not burned in yet.
When I first bought my Rel Stadium 2 almost 15 yrs ago I swapped the stock cable for the Signal Cable and noticed a faster, cleaner, deeper extension and was pleased with the improvement to cost ratio. I have also played with power cords ranging from the Signal Cable to VH Audio Flavor 4 to several others. Overall, no matter which speakers I combine the Rel to it is always a significant improvement in image presence and soundstaging...this is regardless of how deep the main speakers extend. I will almost go so far as to say the presence of the Rel adds benefits to practically any speaker system it can be properly integrated to. It's that profound. For the record, my speakers, all of which have found the improvement were/are:
Martin Logan Aerius I's, Audio Physic Tempo 3's, Silverline SR-11's and 17's (mini monitors naturally appreciate the Rel), Silverline Sonata 2's (essentially full range...almost) Apogee Mini Grands (already with built-in subs) and currently my fully rebuilt (by True Sound Works) Apogee Duetta Signatures...
Every instance was noticeably improved...Rel subs are a wonder...well worth it, IMHO. Good luck
Does anyone have an answer to Louisl's original question? I too would like to know what everyone thinks of the differences between the Signal and zikhmark's cable.
Since the original post included an "or", I think at least that part of the "original question" was covered. Again...you can avoid silly REL cable mythology and expense by easily building your own (multiples even) with whatever you like and comparing the results yourself.
I purchased a REL subwoofer cable from Mark Zikhmark to replace my diy cable I was not happy with. Mark cable is good, very good. Bass is tight and deep, seamlessly integrated with the rest.
When using my diy cable the soundstage had more "air", there was more spatial info , the soundstage was more open but at the same time I was losing some images density and clarity.
It's not the case with Mark's cable. Soundstage is more open, with more "air" and the clarity is there, images density is "preserved". Dynamics has improved as well. I enjoy the system with the sub more then without it now. I can recommend Mark cable, a good investment.
My new-ish REL cable lowers the dust content of my listening room, and has made me a much better person.