some of the best speaker cables under $250


I have owned many many cables over the years but with my current setup I am focusing on a different approach as far as cables are concerned. Impressed with a recently purchased pair of Morrow Audio MA2 RCA cables I feel that there are some great bang for the buck cables available and rather than start with what I've owned and liked in the past I want to try some of the strong contenders in the 'budget' range. Above all else I want musical not dry. I want to hear as much as possible into the music without it becoming clinical. Nothing new, I know.
I'm leaning toward Morrow cables but there seem to be so many cable makers out there I'm interested in what might not be on my radar.
I've owned Signal, Mapleshade, Crimson, LFD, Harmonic Tech, WLM DIY(in use) to name a few. My short list so far: Cullen, thegreencable, Morrow.
My current system consists of an LFD integrated, Tekton LORE Reference loudspeakers, Musical Paradise DAC/OPPO transport.
Thanks-
nrthomas2
One of the FEW "budget" cables I've heard never go "clinical" are AudioArts.
The Grover Huffmnan cables will give you what you are looking for
Alan
2nd giving the Huffman's a try. They knocked out all the other contenders in my system. Who knows what they might do for yours.
I have art audio, and they are wonderfully musical cables. Another that is excellent is DH Labs Air Matrix. Both worth trying out IMO.
I'm curious as to why LFD cables didn't work with your LFD integrated amp?

Which model did you use?

The local dealer told me that the amps thrive best with their stablemate IC cables in conjunction with their speaker cables. Is it a case that you need to consider

a) cradle to grave LFD cables ...."all-in" LFD and/or
B) move up the LFD food chain to a higher grade set? My observations with LFD via my local dealer is that they are thoroughbreds that crave quality supporting kit including inserting LFD cables from IC to speaker to power, and that they won't perform with a cheap supporting kit.
I 2nd the Morrow cables! you said it yourself. Good luck finding a cheaper better sounding cable. I don't think you will. IMHO....I use Nordost, Morrow Audio and Signal Cable. My system is dynamic,articulate,powerful,sweet,gentle, with great PRAT! So I am very happy with these cables. I have listened intimately to Cardas, MIT, Transparent, Kimber Kable, Analysis Plus, Audio Quest. Monster cable,12 AWG Lamp cord, Bell Telephone wire. Seriously I have tried a lot of different stuff. Good luck finding audio nirvana!
Clear Day. Well, not 100% certain about under $250 (what length?) but definitely in the high performance to cost category and worth considering. I've got ICs from Grover and Morrow but Clear Days on the speakers.
I'll second the Clear Day SCs. I loved the Tempo Electric SCs with my Tonians but the Clear Day SCs work a lot better with my new Clearwave Duets. I think it's due to being of a smaller gauge but for whatever reason they are a high value item.
I'm really glad I kept them around.

All the best,
Nonoise
I use Cullen cables and cannot be happier.
ClearDays are great, and worked better for my system than my Morrow SP-6's.
Gabriel Gold new model speaker cable's should fit the bill for sound here for what you are looking for, cheers.
I have used every cable mentioned save the Grover Huffmans.
You asked for non clinical, the AudioArts are not the best
in all areas but decent in every area.
This second I'm listening to Clear Day double-shotguns which are better, should be at 3x the price and which, like Morrows, can sound quite clinical at times.
If you do not like the AA you are not out much and as a known quanity they are easy to sell as cheap cables are always in demand.
Try the Grover Huffman's you get a 60 days no questions asked trial. I have used Harmonic Tech and Tara Air 1 in the past and like the Huffman's as well or better.
Thanks for the fantastic feedback. I didn't think I would decide on anything so soon but I just bought a used pair of Tellurium Q Black cables on Agon. Some very intriguing reviews on these cables. And the British pedigree interests me. Really out of left field, they weren't on my radar at all right now though I had given them some thought in the past when I was spending more on cables. The only reason I sold my LFD Spirolinks was that I liked the Crimson Music Links more. I did like the Clear Day cables but preferred the Mapleshade's transparency. I've only owned Grover's power cables so far. Thanks again!
Cant get much.
I take that back Cullen cable is great for the money,
JW Audio
Budget cables..bluejeans, better than some of the basic brand names econo versions.
Bluejeans is ok for ofc. But, it does not compare to pcocc or silver cables. Which is what you need for a real high end system. Bluejeans is good for entry level and mid fi.
Dave...I said econo cables. I thought we were talking entry/mid level.
Are we talking about just the spades?
Dave - what is "pcocc"?
lol @ melb...I just gave up a set of Kaplans when I downgraded. Now I run #12awg ofc, 99% pure copper. Only other wire would I should have considered would be DH labs Continuous Crystal Copper which would be a better choice if you're on a budget. My system is entry level now and no need of high end cables much less spades or bananas. Just another connection point before it hits the terminals.

Personally I feel if you haven't invested 50k plus in your system all the lil expensive tweaks is a waste of money. I know there be few that comment on my beliefs but to each his own.



Yeah Mental, ridiculous statement.
@Mental, I started out with a pretty humble system being a compact Nad lifestyle system & pair of Infinity Reference 3 speakers. I think I was using Monster cable back then connected with bare wire the old-school way. Now I own a system worth upward of $150k. Along the way i've owned several other systems, and could not fully appreciate what I have now without having done the hard yards. Ridiculous? Maybe to some..
Pdreher -

PCOCC = pure copper Ohno continuous cast.

Some discussion here (scroll down a bit on the 6 Moons page)...

href=http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/interconnects/interconnects_3.htm
l>http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/interconnects/interconnects_3.htmla>
@Melb...guess I didn't explain myself very well last night. Was in my happy place indulging with my old buds, Jack, Jim, and Johnny.

I have spent more money than I needed to on my many builds over the years. I learned quite a bit about the many elements that create different tones. Now days I realize I do not need brand names but only the material that make up those many cables and tweaks.

I still purchase power cords and interconnects, I now know what material I need in those areas. My latest build is a simple one: S-300i, BDP-105, B&W CM9 S2. Those tweaks for them I managed to keep under $500 by knowing what quality material to choose.

I'm not dissing anyone who prefers a brand over another, only bring up the subject that understanding metallurgy and the many products available on the market to the DIY you can be frugal if you do not need manufactured eye candy.

By the same token, if money was no object rest assured my system would probably consist of BAT gear and Legacy speakers or something very close to that. I would then have no problem purchasing those top quality cords and interconnects for big bux.

I know better than to hit any forum when I'm wasted, I make little sense. LOL I hope y'all get over it...cheers
Paul Speltz Anti-Cables ..... really, really good, and very affordable !
Mental, it's all good. My last comment was a referance to Devilboy's deadpan remark. We all think the grass is greener on the other side. The most satisfying thing in this hobby is learning what sounds good to your ears and why. And if you can achieve that sound on a modest budget, all the better. Then you can just get on with enjoying the music which is what it should all be about. But if you are heavily invested in high end gear (aka: bling), there is always a degree of self-consciousness about the fact it is expensive high end gear. At times, you feel a silly need to talk up your gear to perhaps make yourself feel better about your investment, or deflect criticism. Maybe that is just a bit of insecurity/anxiety about the level of coin you've put into your system? But once you've gone a long way down the road toward achieving your audio goals, there is no doubt how satisfying it is to hear glorious music at the end of the day. But part of me would be happy to live with the first full range system I had back in 1991 and keep it simple and relatively modest. With that said, there is no going back for me!
@ Melb, oops, it's all good. Yeah, I saw the devilboy comment and figured from the name, young and inexperienced so I let it go...heheh.

You, on the other the hand, thought I send my minions scout see if they could grab any of that gear you have *chuckles

You know I'm sitting here lmbo, you have a good one.
I've been enjoying the conversation. My purchase of the Tellurium Q Blacks fell through as the seller found damage prior to shipping. I did discover that one can buy a new 1.5M set for under $250. But, on a a bit of a lark I bought some Virtue Audio cables on AgoN for under $100. After reading some of the reviews I want to hear them for myself. Part of me still enjoys the hunt. I enjoy putting a new set of cables into my system then sitting back...
After all is said and done I'm looking for synergy more than anything else. I realize I didn't specify new or used. I think the sub $250 world is relatively small (but worthwhile) for both so I don't think it much of a defining issue.
Has anyone owned the Virtue Nirvanas?
Forgot to mention that I have also been looking at the Black Cat Neo Morpheus+ cables. At $290 they perhaps occupy that next level beyond budget/entry level. Along with Grover's and quite a few others.
While I haven't heard them yet the Tellurium Blacks strike me as an exception. They are not budget cables yet that they can be had for just over $200 in any usable length makes them potentially the best buy out there that I have come across.
Mental, I guess you CAN figure out all one needs to know about someone from their username.
Your remark about investing north of 50K on your system, or else all the "lil tweaks" would be a waste of money is totally absurd, arrogant and quite laughable, actually.
Most any component, regardless of cost, would benefit from a legitimate tweak.
I'd love to know how you arrived at that magic number of 50K, btw. Apparently, everything below that is merely meant for background music.
Realitycables.com is well worth checking. Still winning shootouts in my systems after all these years. Affordable, too.
Radio Shack going out of business sale.
Straight up, the ZU Wylde IC and Libtec SC which you can get
a pair of BOTH of on ZU's ebay site for less 200 bucks are about as good as it gets below $1200-1500 .
In the search for high-value (quality to cost) speaker cable, I auditioned all of these in my system: Audio Art, Morrow, Signal Cable, Blue Jeans, Anti-Cables, and Reality. With mostly 30-day trials, it literally took months of change-outs, comparisons, and shipping back and forth.

I'm still with Reality Cables ... though currently at $310, they're slightly higher than your stated limit. They were $275 at the time I bought mine, and well worth it IMHO.
Above all else I want musical not dry. I want to hear as much as possible into the music without it becoming clinical.

Why don't you try to get better electronics. It is a common mistake to hope that a cable can transform a mediocre System to good.
You did own SignalCable and it does not satisfy you. Well, that cable is good. Too bad, hm.
02-07-15: Devilboy
Mental, I guess you CAN figure out all one needs to know about someone from their username.
Your remark about investing north of 50K on your system, or else all the "lil tweaks" would be a waste of money is totally absurd, arrogant and quite laughable, actually.
Most any component, regardless of cost, would benefit from a legitimate tweak.
I'd love to know how you arrived at that magic number of 50K, btw. Apparently, everything below that is merely meant for background music.
Devilboy (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)
I agree with you 100%, you are correct, the same so called know it all has told me I cannot hear tweak differences on my system because my speakers are not up to their beliefs of good speakers, that's absurd is an understatement!, that my friend, is the craziest thing ever, to be told what you have not heard when you heard what you do and did, Ha,ha,he,he,ha.
@ Audiolabyrinth: Thank you. How someone can have the gall to tell you that you won't be able to tell differences in making tweaks in your system, a system he's never heard before, is beyond me. Also, setting a price point to determine the worthiness of a tweak is, like I said earlier, ridiculous. Speaking of which, I'm still trying to make heads or tails of Melbguy1's statement about my "deadpan" remark. ???????
I've been in this game far too long and spent far too much money for comments from those listed above to go unrebuked.
Hey, if people feel they must spend exorbitant amounts of money on equipment (or anything else for that matter), as the only means to achieve great results, then I say LET THEM.
I've been to someone's house a few times whose system retails for around 300K. Every time I've been there, I kept thinking I couldn't wait to get home to listen to my system. While his system did a few things very well, it was too "hifi" and not as natural and organic sounding as my own. Now, this is all according to MY ears of course, but Audiolabyrinth that's all that matters.....your own ears.

Take care and happy listening.
Thankyou devilboy for the kind word's,btW, The person who told that comment to me is the same person who said, dead pan remark to you,and I agree, my ear's is all that matters, however, given your description of the sound of your system, we have the same tast, natural, organic,= win's!
In defense of Mental’s statement of 1/24, he was referencing expensive tweeks.

I believe any system benefits from ‘tweeking’, which I see as a response to individual preference and system environment. However, I could not justify the use of expensive tweeks on a budget system. Expensive tweeks can easily out-cost a budget system, which to many might seem ridiculous.

Regarding the original thread, speaker cables are not tweeks, testing many might be termed “tweeking’. Tweeking is fun. :-).
Just saw this. Try LAT International cables. Maybe a little over $250, but not much. Big bang for the buck. They need some break in though. I was lucky enough to find Alan Kafton with his excellent cable cooker! Enjoy!
I'm about to sell a pair of Crimson RM Music Links for around the price listed in the title if anyone is interested.
Out of curiosity, I replaced my trusted canare 4s11 bi-wire with the BJC-Belden 10awg single-wire, used also as jumpers on the binding posts. Speakers are in the exact same position in the room.
My impression is that bass is stronger/deeper/tighter and better integrated with the rest of the range.

Lovely for $20 + techflex + locking bananas.
I had some fulton brown that was very nice; if you see some it should be fairly inexpensive and worth a try.
8' lengths of Supra 3.4 cables can be had for around $100 with bare ends. I had them terminated with Supra bananas and they've bettered all cables I have on hand with my present set up.

Deeper and tighter bass, a much clearer and cleaner presentation, airy highs with no etch or glare, and a wonderful midrange with all the tone, timbre and separation I could ask for.

All the best,
Nonoise
Syntax's and Strateahed's posts kinda sum it up .......

TAKEAWAYS:

This a loop formed by (a) and (b) below

(a) looking for immediate audio performance improvement by investing in more expensive cables without reference to the resolution capabilities and limitations of the system itself first, is a losing proposition; ( as you move up the gear price and matched quality stratas with their improved resolution capabilities . choice of cables becomes exponentially important) and

(b) as Strateahed graphically highlights , at that budget price-point, it is generally just a "pick one of 'em" exercise from a sea of contenders or pretenders without much - if any - distinguishing performance improvement qualities.
Using vintage Western Electric tinned, stranded copper here and they sound great. Buy the wire from ebay in 16, 14, 12 or 10 awg...it all sounds similar and very good. All gauges are made from the same 30 awg strands, and the same thermoplastic covered by cotton casing. I am running biwired 10 awg wires directly from the boards (e.g., no binding posts at the amps) of my Acoustic Imagery Atsahs. The tinned copper has similarities with the Supra 3.4 cables that Nonoise likes. Another good way to use them is to twist quads and use a star-quad connection. Double that up for bi-wire. Don't laugh until you have heard the cable. I have tried a lot of stuff and these are the real deal.
(a) agreed

(b) not so much as there are manifest differences in all of my cables at, below and above the stated price range

(c) cables: Zu Misssion, Mapleshade standard and Double Helix, Clear Day, Tempo Electric, Music Metre, and a couple more I can't remember right now. The Supras simply wiped the floor with them.

All the best,
Nonoise