Even dealing with the ribbons, go for Fideliums. May be "best regardless of price".
My experience is in 50 years I never once tried to "match" components. Waste of time. Silly, when you bother to think about it. I mean it is not like these things change how they work. It really is loopy. If that were the case why would you even ask? It would be pointless. The only opinion that would matter is your twin with the exact same everything. Nuts to that.
Instead, study listener reviews and evaluations. When people like mglik say Fideliums are good for the money, don't ask, "When used with what?" Instead ask, "Why do you say that? How do they sound?" When you get answers that agree with how you want things to sound, follow along, learn some more, because that is what you want. Regardless of whatever other components you have.
You can have home trials of the Silversmith and Zavfino cables. I'd definitely try them first if I were you. I had the Silversmith Fideliums for a couple of weeks and sent them back. They lost too much detail and space for me. I also bought five Zavfino power cords and sold them all. Also, tried Cerious Graphene Matrix interconnects and they were ok. I sold them immediately. I'm glad to be finished with cable shopping. Just say "No" to cable hysteria.
@misterwiggles113 - In-Akustik would be a step up from those mentioned above, but a little more pricey.
Or try Nordost
But the Zavfino range seem to be an exceptional bang for the buck because of their use of UP-OCC copper and exceptional cable geometry
Regards - Steve
I am sure @mozartfan will sell you some lamp cord....
I have had good results with Signal Cable Silver Resolution, Blue Jeans Cable Canare 4S11 Speaker Cable (get it on Amazon) and Raven Audio Soniquil Audiophile Speaker Cable.
Review of Raven Cables here.
Thanks for all the responses from everyone so far. @dalims4 given your feedback, what did you ultimately end up with? I'm not considering Zavfino PCs, just their speaker cables and ICs.
I will say that my original plan was to just go with Canare but then started to doubt myself given all the posts here.
This is the final report on the Canare 4S11 cables. I let the 25 foot pair break in on my secondary system for almost 19 days 24/7. At the 445 hour mark, I reinserted them into my main system. I first removed the $1500.00 Groneberg Quattro Reference speaker cables and coiled them up under the floor in case I decided to go back to them. After my son helped me install the Canare cables (I had to make larger holes in the floor for the banana plugs to fit) and routing them perfectly, I am happy to say my system now sounds much better. I no longer have the softness in highs I had with the Groneberg cable and the bass is tighter and deeper. I was always under the impression that the higher the price, the better the cable. The fact that a $130.00 pair of speaker cables bested a $1500.00 pair should be a lesson for everyone regarding price VS performance. Now I have the Canare in both of my systems and I am one happy audiophile.
All Van den Hul. Mountain interconnects, Cumulus speaker cables, and Mainsstream and Mainsserver power cables.
Agree with millercarbon , describe what sound you are looking for so that you can get more speciifc versus generalized comments and/or do your research based upon that specific sound. The likelihood of anyone being able to provide recommendations based upon your specific equipment combination I’d suspect is pretty low
Listen and compare.
And I would resist buying the 'best' cables and interconnects until you have the major components you like.
I had Canare 4S11s and was very happy. And then I upgraded my amp and speakers- even happier.
Then I experimented with interconnects and cables and they improved my experience further. But the biggest impact in money spent was definitely on the speaker upgrade and the amp not the cables.
Thanks again for all the responses. To answer some of the questions asked of me:
- Budget is flex. But I value performance over cable 'jewelry'.
- My longest run is 17' to the left speaker. It's only a 5' run to the right speaker. From what I've read it I really don't need to make my SCs the same length unless I care about resale value, which I don't.
- I'm running the cables down under my LR floor and will place them is hard plastic split loom or conduit and then bring them back up directly behind each speaker.
- I don't yet have any ICs. This is a new system so I need all new cables including PCs assuming that is worth the cost. I am installing a dedicated 20a circuit for the amp.
As for sound preferences I'm seeking, I can't really say. I really don't want any coloration of sound from my cables nor does the science of it suggest this is really even possible. Opinions vary I realize. But for overall sound the Pass amp is one of the closest SS amps that gives a 'tube like' sound, so perhaps a bit on the warmer side. My DAC is generally accepted to be neutral and transparent which is one of the reasons I settled on it. Not sure if that helps.
My comment about starting with Canare 4S11 and then having doubts came from reading many posts on Audiogon, not just the posts in this thread. But I think my updated plan will be to get Canare and use that as my inexpensive baseline before auditioning 'high end' cables based on some of the suggestions here. That way I can validate whether I notice enough of an improvement over the Canare to merit the cost. Thanks again for all the comments.
Look into Morrow Cable. Their upper level cables really are very, very good and they can do custom orders. Transparent will as well. I'm sure there are others. Touch call how to handle those extremes in length. A foot or two is one thing, but a 12' discrepancy is significant. Possibly a bit of an impedance mismatch. Something to consider.
Thank you @johnto That's great. Pulling the trigger on the 4S11 and then will audition some others suggested by other folks in this thread. My wife has already been trained to be a double blind testing assistant. :-)