I believe GMA has switched to Virtual Dynamics cables as their preference. I am currently using Cardas speaker wire and plan to try others when funds are available. The Cardas wire has been very good.
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when I was at the factory listening to the Callisto, the speaker cable was Virtual-Dynamics Master. Superb sound! I do not know what other speaker cables used before at the factory might have sounded like so I have no comparison metric for you. However, the V-D Dynamics was excellent sounding. Their sound/tonality reminded me of the TARA Labs Master Gen2 speaker cables I personally use. FWIW. YMMV.
Am I missing something? The Callisto, which I've owned, is a wonderful speaker, originally retailing for, what, $2200 and now retailing for $2900. Now there are 3 posters who recommend speaker wire (Virtual Dynamics) that retails for $2200 for a pair of 8' cables?! With all due respect, that's an insane recommendation.
Man, the Callsito owner would be much better served by moving on to a pair of, say, $4,500 speakers (GMA Pico Mideo?) and using the remaining $600 for a pair of "budget" cables. Or, as Drubin suggests, investing some of that $2200 cable budget in amp or source upgrade(s) and some on, say, a set of used GMA floorstanders, and still have a few hundred left over for "cheap" speaker cables.
For what it's worth, I used Paul Grzybek's (Bizzy Bee; Tube Audio Design) Fro-Zen cables with my Callistos and enjoyed them thoroughly. I got them when he first introduced them (a 15' pair for about $150) and much to my surprise I found that I thought they sounded marginally better than my 14-guage Home Depot utility cords. Marginally. Barely, but it still surprised me that there was ANY difference.
I still have the Fro-Zen's, although I'm thinking of trying out Blue Jeans Cable's bi-wire cables for my new, used GMA Continuum 1's.
Good luck, dude, and make sure you keep your cable spending in proportion to the thing you're cabling!
Winegasman, a clarification, three posters have not recommended $2200 VD cables, in fact no one has. Bombaywalla stated that he heard the Callistos with the Master Series and two other posters only recommended VD cables, not any specific series. There are four series of VD cables that retail for less than the Master Series, granted not with the performance of the Master series. I own VD David cables with my Callistos and they are wonderful, while not the Masters they contain much of the same technology. In fact, there are a pair of VD Master speaker cables right now on Agon for $850 that look like a steal(I have no affiliation) and while I agree with maintaining cost proportions between cables and components one may have to consider used prices to maintain a proper ratio. I agree with Jwmazur in contacting Roy and Rick Schultz, that's what I did when seeking cable advice and they both were very supportive and generous in a solution for me. So I'd say give VD cables a try, they are special with my Callistos.
Drubin has a good point as does Winegasman. I went with used Cardas speaker cable because that is what I could afford and was the best cable for the money. I would rather put my money in the Callisto, amps, and front end. I have been very happy with my combination and like most of us in the Audio "hobby", would like to experiment with others. I personally spent alot of money once on Audio Magic wire and found it not to my liking, but it may be right for you. Buying used at the right price and being able to experiment and not loose huge amounts of money when you decide to change makes this hobby alot more enjoyable. What have you used in the past?
I love these discussions on cables and their importance. This hobby would be a lot cheaper if they weren't important. You can get good sound without paying attention to them, but most naysayers have no clue where the ceiling is with their current system if they ignore cables as a component. IMHO the Callisto is reference caliber and I found them unbelievably revelaing of cable changes at all levels, in fact more so than any speaker I have ever owned. I went through too many to list, some esoterica and some not nearly so glamorous. I did not try Roy's recommnedation of the Virtual Dynamics however.
The best in my system was Revelation Audio cryo treated silver cable. In fact I am at a point I never thought I would be where all my calbes and IC's are from Revelation. Brad's cables don't seem to follow the rules regarding silver (too much of a good thing). Everytime I dropped one in the noise floor sank and ultimate musicality improved. At the time I purchased them they were half of their current offering but I still think they are a reasonable value. They also have a 30 day trial. Make sure your source components are dialed in to your musical tastes and with top tier cables, the Callistos are capable of amazing performance. BTW I have no realtionship with Revelation, just sharing my experience.
Petland, Sure it's bad to "ignore cables as a component" and have "no clue where the ceiling is with" one's current system. But I would argue that one can raise the ceiling of one's system far higher by taking the $1,500 it costs for an 8' pair of the cables you recommend and investing the bulk of that money into either a serious upgrade of their source or their speakers or, perhaps, even their amplification than can be realized by using $1,500 cables for $2,900 speakers.
That's not to say that cables make NO difference. I only suggested to the thread-intiator that his cable spending be proportional to his investment in his speakers. I do not think that 50% of speaker cost for cables is a good proportion.
IMHO, I agree with several of the above suggestions to spend much more on the speaker and much less on the cables (10:1 ratio, Speaker to Cable, is probably more than generous enough for the cable, especially if they are driven by an SS amp). After all, the speaker makes the sound and usually most of the coloration and distortion comes from the speaker.
I also agree with the comment about the amplifier being critical; a cable when coupled to an amplifier with a high output impedance will result in the amp-cable-speaker circuit to behave like a filter with a variable response as a function of frequency...then the cables will have a much more marked effect on the sound.
I understand the points about distributing resources within a system and certainly agree that if other areas are lacking, money could likely be better spent but not necessarily so. Cables always fall to the bottom of most peoples list and then we blame the source, amplification etc if we are searching for "more".I would argue you can't really evaluate those variables until you tie them in some fashion with good cables. I think your dollar ratio system is flawed for one reason in this example and many others: The Callistos cover 90% of the audioband in world-class fashion which is 95% of most music. You would be hard pressed to out-class them with anything you could put in front of them regardless of pricetag. I could care less what their retail value is, I only care what their potential is. By this reasoning only 10K speakers (likely full range floorstanders with multiple drivers) would justify $1500 speaker cables.
Now that I think of it, I have bedroom system where the total cost of all the cable is close to the total of the amp/speaker/source.(used values) This was not intentional, just how it ended sounding the best. the amp is the Music Reference RM10 which can be had used for around $700. Speakers are Meadowlark Kestrel I HR, also cheap. I would not hesitate to pair it with a $1500 (if necessary) speaker cable that can show off the glorious midrange of a well designed dead quiet EL84 amp such as the RM10 paired with an uncanny speaker such as the Kestrel I. Link them with some mediocre cable based on some "formula" and you could easily miss the magic.
One last idea since we are kind of indirectly on it anyway. Average cables smear the signal with phase distortion in the same way average or overly complex crossover networks do in many expensive speakers. Speakers like the Callisto that do not do this really show cables that do.
I have been following this thread regularly & note the interesting discussion of what the cost of the cables should be in relationship to the cost of the components. I noted that both sides of the coin are represented here (towards which I have absolutely no problem, just wanted to make that clear up-front). (what a revelation! this is audio & both opinions are well represented! LOL!)
Re. speaker cable recommendation: I've been toying w/ the idea of making my recommendations FWIW. So, what the hell, here they are for whatever it's worth:-
Luminous Audio Synchestra Reference (the copper cables)
TARA Labs Master Gen II or Decade
Virtual Dynamics Master
ALL the above cited speaker cables have the same general tonality. I have heard all three of them & I personally use the Master Gen II myself.
The tonality of these 3 cables is very similar to your TARA Labs Decade interconnect. If you like this fantastic cable, you'll like any of the 4 cables suggested above.
I've also read that Paul Speltz's "anti-cable" speaker cables are very good sounding & good value of money. I've also read that same for Mapleshade's speaker cables. I believe that these cost $75/ 8' pair & there is an upgraded version that costs $150/ 8' pair. No personal experience w/ either of these.
yet another speaker cable is the Sonoran Plateau from Audio Stillpoints (the folks who make those brass cones & that Harmonic Precision Caravelle speaker). IMHO this cable has a little rich bass & it's a bit boomy to *my* ears. People, who I know use these, think otherwise.
Shadorne, the only point I was really trying to make was that I think the Callistos are of a high enough caliber even though they are not full range to warrant the best, even if it meant the Callsitos ended up being the least expensive component in a given system. They are very tough to trip up.
And yes, I have no trouble at all imaginig systems that would benefit form downsizing their speaker and upgrading their cable, probalbly one of the more common mistakes around. It is far easier to tune up the right size speaker than to tune down a speaker that is overcompressing a room. P