You'll be disappointed if you expect significant improvement with cables. Most of the time it takes extensive auditioning to figure out what's going on. I would save up not for better cables, but more music, or towards a turntable if you don't have one. Me, I use DH Labs, and I like it fine. cheers
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Hey simonsez, I just ordered some Harmonic tech pro 11. I will be selling my Kimber 8tc cable for a great deal so if interested send me an e mail. They were an improvement ovrer my monster cable and now moving up again. Thanks, Scott [email protected]
get 70 cent per foot 10 g wire and twist and turn three speaker wires ..... and u will be set....some other speaker cables may sound differ but not better at the mid range priced cables... so save money and hassle,, buy a 400 ft roll "sound king" 10 g. for a 150.00 and u can wire ur whole house, few times over .. And they sound every bit good or better than most stamped cables out there.
I have really enjoyed my alphacore MI2 biwire in my system (I know there are those who doubt the physics behind their design, and I must admit less experience with other designs) but I have no complaints, especially for the price. There are more than one critic from more than one high end journal (I can't quote which ones off the top of my head right now) with whom I have agreed after having them in my system for a few months. I also know someone from whom you can get the best price on them (and other cables, components, ect) if you wish to email me. I also use their interconnects with good results. Another low priced but high quality manufacturer whose interconnects and power cords I have tried is harmonic tech. They are best found on the used market. My email is [email protected] if you want to get more info. Regards.
I will admit a certain bias (due to my current auction), but I've been using Kimber 8TC for the last couple of years, and I've loved it. The Kimber added so much more detail and air over my old Audioquest cables, and 8TC is a definite upgrade over 4TC--there's just so much more there in the bass, detail and airiness departments. I'm upgrading to monoblocks, though and I don't need the longer speaker cables, so I'm auctioning them off. Scottyb, strangely enough, I just moved up to Harmonic Tech Pro-11, too. Simonsez, the 8TC that I am auctioning is currently at about $150 if you're interested (MSRP $284).
I really have to laugh after reading this stuff. We've all seen stuff like this before. Cables are extremely system dependent and a matter of personal taste. Nonetheless, here's my take on the situation : ) Kimber 8TC will sound somewhat forward and "analytically etched". Their harmonic structure is lacking and notes decay very rapidly. For a system on the dull and slow side, it would breath life into it. Analysis Plus Oval 9's had very erratic response in the system that i tested them in. While bass was extremely tight and well controlled, i found it lacking in output. Midrange was a series of peaks and dips while the high end was over the top and smeary. I have no idea as to what type of system these cables could be used for. Maybe good for an overtly strong subwoofer or bottom end of a bi-wired system that's using multiple drivers in a vented enclosure. The Oval 9's would tend to level out the response and tighten it up quite a bit. Goertz MI-2's typically sound well balanced and quite musical. Good extension at both ends, lot's of open midrange with good air and soundstaging. This is not a "band-aid" type cable but does have it's own baggage that it brings with it to the party. Due to the design, you may need to run a Zobel network at the speaker system to keep your amp from oscillating and going up in smoke. They are not nearly as flexible or easy to work with as the other cables mentioned. Due to the fact that they may be more difficult to route in tight areas or around bends, you may need a slightly longer run than with other cables. MIT's in general tend to sound warm and smooth. Not as much detail or high frequency extension, but good for getting rid of rough edges on an overtly bright or hard sounding system. Can add "body" if mid-bass is lacking. Some of the XLO's do quite well for the money, but i've never stuck with the factory configurations. Taking a few cue's from Kimber's designs, i've rewound XLO's and had worthwhile results. Some competitive cables can be had for a reasonable price if you don't mind doing some cutting and soldering. These would not be the last word in any category, but then again, the price reflects that. The Audioquest's that i've used were kind of "there". Nothing bad, nothing good, kind of middle of the road. Did nothing to stand out but didn't offend either. Depending on what your system is like, kind of neutral to slightly dull. Nordost's tend to have an open, well defined upper mid and treble response. Good soundstage, air and depth. Can be somewhat thin sounding though with a lack of "slam" or bass output, slightly reducing the "drive" of the music. Never tried any Cardas or Tara's unfortunately. Sorry for some of the generalizations. It's been a while and i've tried more than a few, sometimes multiples from the different brands. As mentioned, these were based on my results in my systems and my opinions. What are these comments worth ? Place your own value on them. Sean >
Most of the "specialty" type cables all require a good amount of burn in time to sound their best. If you do pick some wires up on a time limited trial basis, try to leave the system playing as much as possible. You can do this by leaving the FM tuner on while not at home or sleeping. While higher volumes would work best and speed things up a bit, something ( low volumes ) would be better than nothing. Don't underestimate the effects of "burn in", especially when it comes to actual loudspeakers. Sean >
Sean, you're right on the money! My cable experiences have paralleled yours. If you don't know what direction you're going long term, try AQ or Synergistic Research. Both middle of the road. Tubes can use more forward cables like Kimber, StraightWire, WireWorld. Hardcore SS should use MIT, high end Monster, etc.