speaker cable prices

I read plenty of articles on the demise of high end audio and have been an enthusiast for 40 years and worked at a high end retail chain for ten years back in the 90's. I still own several systems and buy and sell gear to keep tweaking my systems. Nonetheless I'm pretty shocked at the prices of cables in particular- I look for a decent pair of speaker cables to run from a Pass amp to a good pair of speakers and can hardly find a pair of 8 ft cables for less than $1000- most are commonly 2-3k for a pair of cables. 

Is it me or is this ludicrous? 

What are people buying for an average pair of cables ? Can a pair be had for $300?
I feel for you. I need 22 foot pairs of speaker cable and the cost is more than my first brand new car.  I paid 2500 for my first brand new car in 1971.  47 years later, that 2500 would be more like 5-6K.
Yes it is!


These cables are not expensive and sound "invisible" after a long break-in. I use the MA3’s and love them. I would try the MA4’s or MA3’s you will be impressed. Recommended!

Matt M

Depending on your speakers I would look at Nordost Red Dawn, Kimber or Cardas. You should be able to get a good cable for your system. Red Dawn is a great high entry level cable.

ok thanks, I'm looking for a simple pair (not a bi wire set up) about 10 ft long. Everything I see in the 300-400 range is either ridiculously short- like 3 ft- or a single wire. Pretty weird and frustrating. 

Looks to me like the market is ripe for some company to offer reasonably priced well made cables in normal lengths and in the 200-400 per pair price point....jeez...
I like the no-frills Audioquest Type-4 based cables built by Audio Advisor. I like them better than the factory terminated version because I prefer the low-mass BFA style banana plugs used by Audio Advisor over the bananas used by Audioquest. And they are less expensive. 

I think a 10 ft pair is about $120 terminated.

Personally, whatever speaker cables I buy or build myself, they will use the low-mass style BFA banana plugs. They are simply the best termination IMHO. I prefer them over spades (by a wide margin) and I like them better than bare wire.
I feel for you. I need 22 foot pairs of speaker cable and the cost is more than my first brand new car. I paid 2500 for my first brand new car in 1971. 47 years later, that 2500 would be more like 5-6K.

Whoa! Maybe move the amps closer to the speakers and/or move the speakers closer together. Or look around for a more cost effective speaker cable. Perhaps consider making your own. There are many ways to skin a cat.
When I had Pass gear, these are the speaker cables that worked best for me: Zu Libtec, Clear Day Double Shotgun and Supra Ply 3.4, all are available for under $1,000.

I separate cable pricing into:

Entry level - a step up from stock cables but noticeably better

Value - probably up to limited hundreds of dollars. Bang for the buck.

Quality - this is a wide range but where most audiophiles getting serious play. Maybe up to a few thousand dollars. Hard to truthfully get better than these.

Status - there are legit offerings here mostly seen at audio shows, but this category and the prior is where the biggest growth has occurred over the years relative to the "early days" of hi-fi. Clearly bigger profit margins.

I’ve participated in all but the last category including stock/consumer cables for many early years. My cables today are a mix of value and quality. My gear doesn’t justify spending into the status level.

Is it me or is this ludicrous?

It's not you.  The high price is justified however as cable marketers put some real innovative work into the design of these cables.
What's ludicrous is that there's no audible benefits; they do not "disappear" more than any other simple 12 awg cable made of pure copper and PE insulation.
The upgrade path proposed by exotic cable manufacturers is always more copper... entry-level is 16 awg or smaller, going larger as you move up the line. Double the copper...
LOW R,L,C is KING over everything else; that's where the real differences are; the key is to not screw it up with bad connectors... choose pure copper / silver terminations also.
Few buck per foot is just price for speaker cables. $1...5
Everything in excess is just market balloons with snake oil no matter what story or reviews behind specific brand/model -- vanishable to just monetary value that is in excess. No need to know Electrical Engineering or electrical wire properties -- just $ is enough!

Pbn shown right choices that are never wrong, only you don't need termination on home audio speaker cables. 
Mapleshade and Transparent Audio...there's a 10 ft pair of Transparent The Wave on here now for $125 . it's an excellent cable
Better sounding cables cost more as the good ones are made to a higher standard for $300.00 good luck you can not get anything that really sounds good at this price.Good luck though!!
Not mentioned lately,but I continue to recomend ( and go back to) Goertz alpha core speaker cables. For 8 ft, MI 1 < $200, MI 2 < $300.
Another vote for Goertz cables. Plus they understand wire directionality. 
If you're a "non believer", why not go to an auto parts store and pick up some heavy duty jumper cables? Cut off the connectors, strip them down and you're done! I have some in my trunk that must be 6-7 gauge.
I happen to believe in OCC "single crystal" copper -been using it for decades. Harmonic technology "Pro-9" pops up here regularly. The "non reference" cable is very reasonable.
I'm currently using Wireworld Eclipse 7.
Check out Shunyata "Venom" speaker cable. It's OCC and cryoed and very reasonably priced.
Virtue Cables. Jason Terpstra assembles beautifully- crafted, modestly-priced, and lovely-sound wires. He is also great to deal with.

My affiliation is simply as a very happy customer.
heavy duty jumper cables aren't flexible and not practical to use for home audio.
mcmaster.com, digikey.com, newark.com, mouser.com, crutchfield, musiciansfriend, b&hphotovideo, zzounds, fullcompass -- all these vendors have premium audio wires $5 per foot tops and choice is HUGE for believers and non-believers alltogetheratonce.

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I paid a little over $400 for the length I needed and it was solid, silver core. If you don't need 14 gauge and something like 16 gauge would suffice, then check out Tempo Electric : Pure Silver Cables.

They don't have the bling, but boy, do they sing. 🎼

All the best,
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Duelund DCA 16 or 12 gauge. $10 or $20 a meter. Replaced the classic Western Electric in my system. In the right system my opinion is they would compete with wire at any price.

I work in an industry where the power cords (150 ft coiled) are too heavy to carry due to weight of the copper wire contained within. We have had to install connectors so they could be removed. ( thieves for copper value). These extension cords run between 1000 - 2000 bucks with Appleton 460v three phase connectors. Now think about your stereo looms and what we are being charged. I have experimented with lots of cables in my system and there are improvements/ changes in sound to be had but the prices can’t be justified IMO
In fact there are more and better high quality, well terminated and customer focused cable companies in Audio today than EVER before....
just look at the ten brands you have been given.... wow
and there is some good sounding wire in there...
plus most of the really high end firms offer a budget line or three... I also happen to like Audioquest type 4
i prefer spades for a gastight Connection but that is probably nitpicking....

A plug for BlueJeans a Seattle company
i needed a set of 25’ RCA built on Belden  wire for a film soundtrack recording project - 24 hours later at my door via USPS $110

no affiliation other than happy customer

Clear Day pure silver speaker cables in an 8’ run are priced (including shipping) at:

- $135/pr for Single (for high efficiency speakers)

- $270/pr for Shotgun (medium efficiency)

- $450/pr for Double Shotgun (low efficiency)

Okay, Virtue Audio Nirvana speaker cables. I got my pair of 24 foot cables for a little over $300. Read the reviews, these are giant killers at this price. Jason Terpstra builds them, I bought his Nirvana speaker cables, outfitted my $35,000 system with his interconnects, and bought several of his power cords. I researched to death for high value cables, and am so glad I found him. Good luck
Check out Bryston Speaker Cables.  Good price and great sound, very flexible and  without all the bling factor and associated costs.
I am a big fan of Anti Cables. They made an instantly audible difference in clarity and presentation. I think Paul Speltz is really onto something. I'm use them with a PS Audio Stellar gain cell dac and  Stellar amp.
I'm hooked and use them for speakers, interconnects, and power.The price is reasonable and Mr. Speltz stands behind his product. 
there are many dozens of well made cables under $300. you need to try them and decide which you prefer and if the more expensive one's are worth it to you...
geoffkait, you endorse Goertz cables because they understand wire directionality.  Can you explain how wire directionality exists with AC current since it travels in both directions?
Hello to all who have posted on this thread. I have reached out to AudiogoN support, and understand it is ok to post here about our products. My name is Rob, I own and operate Audio Art Cable.  We sell direct to consumer.  You can find information about our product line-up on AudiogoN, and at our website, audioartcable.com. Custom lengths, custom termination options, and longer length cables are not a problem. Please message me directly if you would like to know more about what we do, or if I can be of any assistance with questions, or recommending something for your system.
geoffkait, you endorse Goertz cables because they understand wire directionality.

>>>>>Actually that’s not exactly what I said. I said I endorse Goertz cables. Period. Then I added, plus they understand wire directionality.

Can you explain how wire directionality exists with AC current since it travels in both directions?

Yes, it’s because you only hear the part of the AC signal that’s traveling in the direction toward the speakers. We could not care less about how the part of the AC signal traveling toward the wall outlet sounds. So, ideally, the “poor sounding direction” of a wire should be toward the wall outlet, no? The sound you hear will be different depending on how the cable is oriented. That’s why Goertz, Audioquest, Anti Cables, and many others mark their (unshielded) cables with arrows. Shielded cables are another separate issue, sort of but not entirely - because if the manufacturer is smart he would control directionality if the wire in shielded cables too. It’s also why Audioquest controls their new power cords for directionality, you know, even though power cords are obviously always used in AC circuits.
So was not talking about the wall, I was talking about a speaker cable between an amp and a speaker which is AC, ie Alternating Current.  AC must travel in both directions for the circuit to function properly, if it doesn't the circuit does not work.  Alternating Current reverses direction many times per second depending upon the frequency, so which direction would be the "poor sounding direction"?  

My same questions about would also apply to anything you plug into the wall however in this case the frequency is 60hz in the US, which would be the be the correct direction?  No matter which way you point the arrows on your wires 50% of the time they are going the wrong way.

What you are suggesting implies that the wiring in a home or building is directional and therefore the wires should be installed in a specific direction.  Same would be true for the wires coming from the power transformer and on up the chain.  Have you ever heard of a wiring job that had to be done because the wires were installed in the wrong direction??
Another vote for Duelund 16 gage. $10/m or $120 for a 10 foot pair. No need to terminate.  I have been very pleased with mine. There is a thread on Agon about it.

abzrd, I’m afraid you’re not following me. I’m talking about any cable or fuse or cord, whether it’s the speaker cable, interconnect, digital cable, fuse or power cord. Any wire anywhere, transformer, internal wiring, anywhere. They’re all directional. In DC and AC circuits. Look at it this way. What’s easier, stroking a purcupine’s back in the same direction as his quills or against the direction of his quills?
Hmm, i’m not following you because you are mixing AC & DC & the rules of physics. If what you suggest was true all AC circuits would be wrong 50% of the time because the current goes both ways, if it didn’t the circuit would not work, period.

What you are suggesting is that ALL wire, including the wire in your home, inside your speakers, your amp, your pre-amp, etc for example has little arrows on it so the electricians know which way to wire your home, god forbid they have a "oh crap" we put the wires in backwards! The little arrows don’t exist because there is NO directionality in wire, electrons don’t know the difference!

abzrd, now I think you’re starting to see what I mean. Wires would be wrong 50% of the time. As regards the sound. That’s why Audioquest controls directionality for all their cables including their new line of power cords. Follow?

But let me correct you on one point. It’s not electrons that don’t know the difference (at least according to you), it’s the photons. Am I loosing you?

Back around 1990, I had a local cable builder make a set of speaker cables for me. He had a workshop out back of his house, and in it, were every connector made and sold (at the time) and looms of wire of varying gauge.

He simply laid out one cable, measured it, and then reversed the cable and measured it again. He did the same for the next leg and laid them so that they both measured similarly, in the same direction.

He then sleeved them and attached the connectors and the whole process was repeated again. He then applied the heat shrink and marked directionality on the cables.

He told me he was just making sure they oriented in the right direction.
He measured, and read, enough of a difference to justify what he did. I never gave it a second thought until I joined A'gon.

All the best,

Ok, so you have an speaker wire (2 wires to be simple), 50% of the time current is going one direction and then the other on both wires, not just 1 wire.  So i ask you which way would you point the arrows when 1/2 the time the direction is wrong?  

Please share with us what physical characteristic of a wire makes it directional?  What is the secret to determining which way electrons prefer to go on a wire?