Speaker Cable Recommendation

I have the Krell KAV-500 amp and Dynaudio Contour 3.0 speakers. I'd be interested in hearing anybody's opinion on an excellent 3-figure (new or used) set of cables to connect them. I listen to mostly rock/pop, with a fair amount of Jazz thrown in. Also, the next upgrade is going to be for a beefier two-channel Krell amp if that figures into any recommendation somebody might have.
I'd look at www.interlinkhouse.com for a Stealth cable promotion, on Premier speaker cables or any ribbon design of fairly large gauge. I've tried Premier and liked them a lot, but settled on Ultimate Ribbon. Not much to lose since they come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Last commercial speaker cables in my system: MIT CVT Terminators. Putting them back in was like throwing a blanket over my speakers. Stealth speaker cables are in another league.
I would like to suggest trying ZCables Purple Passion or Black Magic cable. Not knowing you exact length, it may be close to staying within the budget. Their website is www.zcable.com
The Analysis Plus Oval 9 would give you more than your money's worth. Many customers and reviewers have proclaimed th performance of this cable, leading edge. If you want to discuss it, you can call me at 973-812-6717. Oliver.. I believe the soundstage review is out tomorrow 6/1.
I agree with Tom,S.T.E.A.L.T.H. cables speaker and interconnects are absolutely a bargain. The silver out performs Kimber KCAG by a wide margain. Background is quieter detail is greater and top end is smooth airy . I have compared these products with the best,and they are as good or better.
I have heard an amazing improvement over Straight Wire and MIT terminator in a couple systems when JPS Superconductors have been tried. Though there are slight differences between used models you can get here in Audiogon. Regards
I've tried Analysis Plus Oval 9 for a while now, and think it's the worst sounding cable I've ever heard. I don't care what the reviews say, they're dead wrong about this one. Kthomas, try the closeout MIT Terminator 2 from Audio Advisor, for only $130 for a 10 foot pair. You'll thank me later. It's beating a $4000 silver cable in my system. I have the KAV-250a, and Paragon Radiant speakers (use Dynaudio drivers), and also Maggie MMG's.
I really support Carl´s advice since I made a recent upgrade to Terminator 2 biwired from Transparent entry level the way he suggests. Excellent cost/performance improvement and beat upper cost options . The effect of speaker cable changes has been far more greater than that of interconnects (haven´t found otherwise yet). Regards
Sol, thanks for the support! I've found that either ic's or speaker cables can make a lot of difference, as well as AC cords. Those aren't in series with the audio signal, but thay are in series with the current supplied to the component, so their effect is total. I'm getting closer to the sound I want (and can afford)...
Carl: Could you share what the interconnects between your components currently are. I know you have the REference CD50 but don´t recall the rest of your equipment.Thanks
That was one of THE BEST set-ups, i've heard to date. Krell-Dynaudio 3.0 (number one is still, Wadia, Vac, Avalon) Ok, this is the cables used, including interconect: Krell Cogelco Yellow (balanced), QED Qudos Profile 8 (biwired). I don't know how much it costs, but demonstrations were performed with this cables. Good Luck
Hi Tom,Find a great used deal on the 1999 MIT High End Series Shotgun cables.In my system they do everything very well and better than anything else that I tried.You will usually get your money back on a net resale if you are not happy with the cables ,as popular used gear maintains its price. Good luck.
Sol, I use MIT 330 Shotgun, both RCA and Proline (my linestage is rca only right now, when I use it). The Proline is the best bang for the buck, I got this 2 meter pair for $550 used. There might be something out there better for the price, but I've heard many of them, and I doubt there is...I really do...at least with similar systems to mine. MIT has had a few duds, but when they get one right, they're better than all the competition! Guys that don't like MIT, have not heard these latest "High End" series. I also found a terrific deal on a 4 year old 350 Shotgun EVO RCA a couple of months ago, and will try to compare it to every RCA interconnect around that I can, to see how the rest measure up. You wouldn't believe how "not there" THIS cable sounds. Anyway, the 330 Shotgun Proline connects the balanced output of my CD50 to the balanced input of my Krell, and the improvement was astounding (in every way) over even the 330 Shotgun RCA (connecting unbalanced). I don't know if equal credit should go for both the cable and the balanced connection, or if one should get more credit than the other. The Proline does add a "CVT coupler"...but, the CD50 does sum the output of the differential DACs (many balanced players or DACs do NOT do this), so that the advantage of differential operation can be realized from the RCA outputs. As for Krell, I've never met anyone that thought a "Krell-anything" worked as well unbalanced, as balanced, so perhaps that aspect alone accounts for the higher percentage of improvement.....................In any case, the XLR version of an interconnect practically always seems to have slightly different charactersistics from the corresponding RCA version, and usually the XLR version is better...but not always. Just like balanced operation is perhaps usually better, but certainly the circuit topology is a huge factor there (depending on what the designers prioritized).
I haven't heard the speakers so my recommendations are not based on this particular combination of components.However, I really like the Kimber cables. I think you usually get the most for the dollars spent. Not knowing how long the run of speaker cable you will have to have i would start out with the 8TC and move up the chain trying to keep within your budget. The other speaker cables that i reallly like are the AudioQuest Dragons. i think that they ar now no longer being produced, which might mean that you could get a great deal on used ones, which might mean that you could get them on your budget (again depending how many meters you will need. Good Luck Joshua
I have Dragon Plus non-biwire, and if/when I ever do sell them, the guy won't be a getting a "deal", since Everest is $8500! I'll get whatever the "market demands"..........................I love the way AudioQuest has gone the way of Wireworld, and gone up 150% on the price of all their cables. But at least AQ changed the names and outward appearance! (And they're cool "earth-friendly" environmentalist-wacko names, too!) WW has the gall to just hike prices 25%, with NO changes to appearance or nomenclature! I've noticed a few dealers have had to have "50% off" sales just to move WW product. And make no mistake, they're still making 50 points on the sale! I picked up some cheap Atlantis 2 ic, and will report a comparison with it, to others soon, after it gets burned in some. This test will be with Sennheiser 600 headphones and tube headphone preamp ONLY...be several weeks before I post, though...
The best cables I've heard at any price are the Harmonic technology Pro-9 Don't take my word for it Check out their web site and click on reviews.This stiff wipes out some of the most exspesive cable on the market and for 888.00 for an8ft pair in biwire
So far, I'm really impressed w/ the Van Den Hul, The Wind on my Contour 1.1 mated to a Plinius 8150i integrated! The cable is fairly inexpensive and its very good. I;m trying out the ANalysis Plus in a few weeks, but I had had the Wind for almost 6 months and I can't complain!
Apostle or anyone else, have you compared HT Pro-9 to double runs of HT Pro-11, almost the same price and if cost is no factor double runs are preferable to internal bi-wire. Does Pro-9 use higher grade wire?
Jim Wang of Harmonic Tech advised me that double runs of 11 are better sounding than a 9 biwire.
Tj thanks for response. HT has an affordable cable that mere mortals can afford to have double runs, and have great sound. I am also amazed at sound I am getting with double runs of Analysis Plus Oval 9, $299 for 8ft new, great sound for audiophile mortals.....Regards Sam
Where do you get the Oval 9 dbouble run for $299. Please let me know Thanks
Dtranle, for Oval 9: Cable Co (www.fatwyre.com) largest source of audiophile cables and they have lending program to let you try various cables at home, large selection of other misc tweak items. Audio Advisor (www.audioadvisor.com) also carries, along with many other audiophile goodies.....Regards Sam
I myself use the MONSTER SIGMA cables throughout my system. a bit outdated, but still like em after all these years ! I had the chance to listen to the KIMBER BLACK PEARL... an event to listen to really ! fantastic cable, it did some things far better than my SIGMA's for sure ! but for linearity it could not match the SIGMA's. Cables who also impressed me were the NBS ! at a price though ! for the price the KIMBER 8TC is sure a good buy. Succes with your choice !
have you tried FMS ZEROS hand made by alex
"Carl-eber" Could you be more specific as to why you don't like the analysis plus oval 9? I've heard nothing but good things about it & was considering trading my A.Q. midnight III. Please advise. [
Either seek out what I've posted in other threads, or better yet, just try it yourself. Your own thoughts on it are all that matter anyway. It might work in your system, but I didn't like its murky distorted-ness and laid back-ness, when compared to many, many other cables in my system. I don't care if everyone else on the planet literally gets a buzz on, just from listening to this cable!........I still heard what I heard. I will also say that the Powersankes Black Mamba cord on my Krell amp brought out the WORST in this Oval 9, and the Synergistic Reference cord brought out the best, but not nearly enough to make the Oval 9 the equal or the better of all the other cables. (So far I do like the Synergisitic over the BM). The thing to note here is that several of the very ones that beat the Oval 9, costed less than it, like the Kimber 8TC, and the MIT Terminator 2. And I'm not talking "added euphony", either, I'm talking accuracy and musicality......................My philosophy is, I want to hear what's on the recording, and that is the highest someone can aspire to with a music system. The others got me much closer, than did the Oval nine. If you think you might need a laid back, soothing and fuzzy speaker cable with pretty adequate dyanmics and bass, then you should definitely try it. It likely would be the perfect match for an overly aggressive system.
"Carl-eber" Thank you for your candid response. It's much appreciated. Because I need such a long run (24ft), it's to costly to try every cable out there(cableguys only give credit not money back on long runs because they consider them specials). Naturaly I realise & agree my ears are the final judge of what goes in my system. However, I feel asking real users their opinions to be the most helpful & accurate informatiom as a starting point. I refuse to rely on those inflated, inaccurate, contraditing, nonsensicle reviews that you read in magazines like Stereophile by boneheads such as Jonathan Scull. By the way, what do you think of bi-wiring as opposed to a single run? I've found that a single run actually sounds better. It offers more resolution & detail, but does sacrifce just a tad of bass. In addition, have you tried the A.Q. midnight III? If so,what is your opinion?
Feel free to correct me if I am wrong anyone, but I would say that for a 24' run, you should be looking at a network cable of some sort (MIT or Transparent) since it should be less prone to distance effects (Interference primarily). If I were looking at runs that long though, I would be thinking about monoblocks real quick. A 24' balanced interconnect is going to stand up to that distance a lot better than any sort of speaker cable.
Feel free to correct me if I am wrong anyone, but I would say that for a 24' run, you should be looking at a network cable of some sort (MIT or Transparent) since it should be less prone to distance effects (Interference primarily). If I were looking at runs that long though, I would be thinking about monoblocks real quick. A 24' balanced interconnect is going to stand up to that distance a lot better than any sort of speaker cable.
I haven't tried the Midnight, but own Dragon Plus. My guess is that Midinight may be similar with regard to transparency, and perhaps more aggressive with attack transients, than was the Oval 9. It's only a guess............A run that long will always be a compromise in my 'pinion, and it will be difficult to try different cables of that length, as you say. I would try doing it a different way, in another room, if possible. I believe that there can be advantages to biwiring, and that it's necessary if your speakers have bi-wire connection. If you don't believe in biwiring, you need to get speakers with single-wire connection.
"nhorton" Thanks for the monoblock suggestion, however I have the wife factor here. All my equipment must be concealed in a antique cabinet. In fact, that's the reason for the long speaker cable run. I had to snake the wires down through the cellar & back up to the cabinet for minimum visabilty. Without to much explanation, long interconnects will not work with my set up either. Believe it or not, long speaker runs don't have nearly as much sonic degregation as it is written. It's just real costly. I'm have'nt tried transparent but MIT has never been my bag. I think it's that network that actually gets in the way of the music. "Carl-eber" You actually don't need a speaker with single wire set up to use a single run. I own a pair of Sonus Faber Electa Amators MKI's & actually got his whole idea from the Sumiko people. By removing the midwoofer, I reposition the hi frequency connections unto the low frequency terminals thus eliminating the use of external jumpers. I'm told that Sonus Faber and many other speaker manufacturers offer their speakers in biwire configuration simply because the market demands it. In other words, most consumers believe any given speaker will sound better if it offers biwire, triwrie, ect. ect. as opposed to single wire configuration (the cable people got to love it). Proofs in the pudding. My speakers do sound better single wired. They offer more resolution in the mids & highs but sacrifice just a tad of bass. Of course I'm sure how the cross over is configured has to come in to play. Mine is fairly simple. Give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised as I was. It does'nt cost much to make up a cheap set of jumpers if you don't want to pull your speakers a part.
I don't need to try it, because my speakers are single-wire anyway. Also, adding jumpers is one of the worst things you can do, believe me. I'm sorry to hear that you've had to compromise and do all of that work, under your floor, etc. I'm a firm believer in NOT having the living room as the listening room. It's too easy for anyone in the house to pop in and disturb you, and your system must be hidden in order for your wife to accept it (usually). Highend audio isn't about compromise, especially for decor, or anything else! The components cost too much, to even consider making compromises like that, IMO. I tried my system in the living room for a while a couple of years ago, and it was an impossible situation, and that was even without any acoustic treatments. The living room is your "receiving room" for your guests, and thus it will always be extremely compromised as a listening room, and perhaps necessarily so. Get yours out of the living room.
Carl: Point well taken. My guess is your single. I'm married with kids, so compromise is a BIG part of my life. I've been an audiophile for about 25 years now. When I first got married I got out of it. I've been back into it for about 8 years now. It does'nt matter where my system is set up. The agreement between my wife & I is with the exception of the speakers (which must be small: thus I own moniters & a sub), she does'nt want to see any of the gear, regardless of what room it's in. In addition, having my system in the family room allows my company to also enjoy it when they are visiting. When everyone's out of the house, I can fully enjoy my system. This doesn't happen often but when it does, I cherish those moments. Don't get me wrong, marriage & kids are cool too. P.S. I know jumpers are'nt good which is why I made the internal modifications descibed above.
Kimber Select. These speaker cables were a big improvement over the harmonic tech (also good and in fairless, less expensive) speaker cables that I heard. If you have the money (and they aren't cheap) they're as good as I've heard.
Sagger - I feel your pain, I finally wore my wife down, I've had a dedicated room for some time now. In my old house I took over the living room! Who needs a formal living room anyway. Now I'm in the basement. No more sneaking in power cables, ic's or the like. She has accepted my obsession/hobby/disease, whatever it is. But... my problem now is I've got 2 college tuitions I'm paying and another one 2 years away!! How selfish is my family - they expect me to pay the college bill instead of upgrades to say Aeriel 10's or CJ Art - stuff like that. But I'll wear 'em down.
Keep on pluggin Pops... I know exactly what your talkin about. I put in a play room for the kids down stairs last year. Of course, my long term secret intention of use is that it will eventually be my dedicated room for audio(shhhh... don't tell anyone). Unfortunatly that's about 5 years away. Anyway, thanks for the sympathy.
OK, you guys have convinced me. I am make a prenuptual agreement contract that says I can do whatever is neccessary to achieve sonic nirvana when I get married :) Better yet, do any of the big audio engineers have daughters? ;)
You may be pressed to find such a Goddess!!!!
Hi, I second or third the opion that the Dynaudio sounded very good with the AP Oval 9's. I think for those people who have not burned in the cable, well, there are in for a disappointment. I burned my in for about 50-100 hours and it really really improved a lot. I have the Contour 1.1 which is the smaller version of the Contour 3.0. I also have an Audience 40. Both Dyna's sounded very good w/ the AP Oval 9's. The previous cable that I used were the Van Den Hul THe Wind. No comparison! The midrange bloomed, bass was tighter and the precise laser cut imaging was unimaginable. But again, I'm using the Plinius 8150i for the amp side. By itself that stuff and the Dyna's are made in heaven! Try out the AP Oval 9 before paying $300 + for an 8 foot cable, break them in for awhile and return it if you don't like it. hard to go wrong with those cables!
I did burn mine in, and I did return them, because the more affordable MIT Terminator 2 was worlds better in every way.