Wavetouch speaker cable (WTSC). $2k /8ft pair. No veil. No glare. For the best close to the original music. Listen to the sound of WTSC.
Speaker Cable Recommendations - Under 2k
I’m looking for some advice on speaker cables. I currently have Morrow SP7s and would like to upgrade while keeping under 2k for a 2.5m pair. Below is a list of my equipment.
Linn LP12 with circus upgrade and lingo power supply
Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge
Herron VTPH-2a phono preamp
ARC LS25 MKII preamp
ARC VT200 power amp
Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary Speakers
Interconnects and phono cable are also Morrow 7 series
Thanks in advance for your insights.
CARDAS CLEAR REFLECTION as an upgrade from my prior NORDOST FREYs.
I have the HARBETH 30.2 XD’s ….highly recommended with my HARBETHs
- when I completed a full loom move from NORDOST FREY to CARDAS with a full CARDAS CLEAR IC & digital cable / CARDAS CLEAR REFLECTION speaker cables/ and a CARDAS CLEAR / CLEAR REFLECTION mix of power cables, it took everything to the next level that was not subtle.
- FWIW, the speaker cables component was the last piece in the sequential upgrade plan over 15 months as budgets permitted. All the cables were purchased over time pre-owned with COA’s to fit into those pesky budgets.
Q Why Cardas Clear Reflection speaker cables and not the full Monty CARDAS CLEAR or CLEAR BEYOND?
A Let me explain.
CARDAS CLEAR REFLECTION. (the improved successor to their prior GOLDEN REFERENCE model…)
I had an email conversation with Josh Meredith at CARDAS on this very issue. He referred me to his own experiences. His wife, Angela Cardas-Meredith,(… daughter of founder and Prez Emeritus George Cardas, and she is the current CEO at CARDAS …) and he personally stepped down at their home from their top CARDAS CLEAR / CLEAR BEYOND to the CLEAR REFLECTION speaker cable model. Its move was to successfully tame the excess brightness produced by audio system brightness and unwanted “glare” from reflections in a room with a lot of glass windows. Josh said it’s their recommended go-to model in like unwanted excess reflection “glare” or “brightness” situations.
I followed that key advice personally too in like manner, and I swapped out my prior NORDOST FREY (Ag coating on Cu) to the all-Cu patented Litz design CARDAS CLEAR REFLECTION speaker cables to tame my own unwanted brightness et al in a prominent glass windowed room.
= great Success - the unwanted brightness is gone, the ethereal digital “edge” is gone , the audio sonic signature presentation is a pleasant touch warmer, and all MUCH improved with no loss of details and great slam, presence and improved dynamics.
Post script …. Why beefy metal build speaker cables (like the CCR’s) can matter .
AUDIO: SPEAKER CABLES - From Alan Shaw (owner and designer of HARBETH)
” … So, the moral of the story is this: the most important factor of the loudspeaker cable that you should select is the amount of metal in the cable core. More metal means lower resistance.
If the core is round (as most are) then the correlation is simple: the fatter the diameter of the metal core the better because the electrical resistance between amp and speakerwill be lower.
Thin and really thin cores should be avoided regardless of how exotic the metal material is claimed as the lack of metal in the core conductor will increase resistance. That will reduce amplifier damping, effect the frequency response of the speaker and give unpredictable results that will vary from amp/speaker combination.
You can get awesome cables from Ali- Express for way under $300.I mostly buy from DIY HiFi. I started by getting a knockoff NAME Nordost Odin coax, and was so impressed that I slowly upgraded, IC, speaker cables and 2PCs (one for dac/pre and transport). See the long thread titled Counterfeit Chines Cables
The only downside is it takes 3- 4 week to FL
As good of a speaker designer as Shaw may be, the above is an example of how wrong he can be on closely related topics. Much like his earlier claims of being agnostic about amplifiers, Shaw is wrong in his over-emphasis of metal content.
I have been using Audience cables, which are well-known for being quite thin, on and off for many years. I also used them with Harbeth 30.1 speakers, and compared them to at least two other well-regarded brands that happen to have higher metal content. The Audience won, and I still use them now within my current system.
I’m not trying to push Audience, but there are reasons why they have been highly-regarded for decades now, and why their resale values are strong, etc.
Take a look at the reviews of Silversmith Fidelium cables as well. I’ve never heard them, but many apparently swear by them, and their metal content is obviously very low.
Don’t be fooled by Shaw’s poorly informed opinion.
Since your system is centered around litz type cable, most any cable should move the tonal response of your system toward the mid or the lows as the small gauge of the litz wire provide a more linear resistance than a larger gauge conductor witch provide more emphasis on the lower end. Hi you select a cable made of conductor of large diameter (16 to 12 gauge of individual conductor) you may find that the highs are missing.
Also as the litz wire have a lot of dielectric material (as all the small wires are individually insulated) any cable upgrade with a cable having an air dielectric will provide more details and a faster sound with more impact.
I bought a used pair of Audience AU24 SX that are only about a foot long for a headphone setup. I was very impressed by them. So much so that for my Livingroom speaker setup I am thinking of saving the cash and get the AU24 SX over the Audience FrontRow.
I have Audience FrontRow on my office speaker setup, and I love them but the AU24 SX is also very good. Maybe not as clear as the FrontRow, but that is really nitpicking, and the price difference is rather large.
Yes. I own Wavetouch. All WT cables are made by me only.
All other brands cables sound veiled, glare, and unnatural because they are made by people (and machine) who don't know how to make audio cables. Every sound systems I've heard (and you've heard) are veiled and glare (un-natural sound). It is impossible to find a great sounding gear you want in merry-go-round in audio since there is none. Only I know it because I am making better sounding audio systems.
Anyone can hear WT audio sounds closer to the original music and more natural than any $million audio systems and "greatest audio systems." Alex/Wavetouch
“… Don’t be fooled by Shaw’s poorly informed opinion.…”
Hmmm … not so sir ! That’s a personal experiences exaggeration bias IMO at face value . Here’s why it can be challenged .
No quarrel on the merits of your good AUDIENCE cables that work in YOUR bespoke system … You make a good and valid point in your post about your direct experience that is contrary to Alan Shaw’s published opinion, And yes, I am very aware of the many strengths of your AUDIENCE cables …I’ve auditioned them myself too and concur that they can be very good and a good value.
BUT ….AND ITS A BIG “BUT”… here is the polar opposite from personal experiences.
My upgrade from a flat thin ribbon design, with many individually wrapped and very thin ( think 24 or 28 gauge ..can’t remember which ) ferrules in the Ag coated over Cu NOROST FREY speaker cables to the very much thicker mass and diameter and patented Golden Ratio Litz copper CARDAS CLEAR REFLECTION cables in MY system (emphasis added ) was a clear, unambiguous and graphic similar performance improvement parroting EXACTLY what Shaw published about “exotic” speaker material is elusive and a “ more metal is better ‘ approach may be be a better option to evaluate. The audio performance improvement with the fat and thick diameter CCRs was not subtle… full stop. Go figger… in my case, he was right on in helping me upgrade …. Who knew?
I fully concur that there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation in this and ANY other post ( there are no absolutes…) . But to characterize his position in the extreme as one to avoid being fooled is patently wrong IMO, sir.
the OP can ( and should) weigh the valid merits of ALL opinions . and preferably do a direct bakeoff of competing alternatives to hopefully separate the contenders from the pretenders . It’s never a restricted binary choice and Again there are no absolutes in general.
With respect, the quote below kinda summarizes our vastly differing experiences vis a vis Alan Shaw
“… “There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each differently.”
- Robert Evans.
I agree with your "TAKE", though I never suggested that the OP shouldn’t consider all options, nor that thinner wires are intrinsically superior to those with higher metal content.
I was simply responding to Shaw’s unsupportable, sweeping claim that "thin and really thin cores should be avoided". So it was he who was speaking in absolutes, not I!
I can accept your criticism that his choice of verbiage of “should be avoided “can be improved with either:
” should be cautious” substituted or something similar, or
Included an express qualifier that adverse …or better still: “non-optimal” audio performance results MIGHT be invoked if ignored …. I.e. make it caution worthy rather than predictable) He arguably kinda did that in a wordy way already , but point taken !
to the op
you have several competing good options to consider and polar opposite arguments presented . The Royal “We” have collectively done our jobs .., hopefully you compare them in good form for YOUR system.
cables are system dependent. You don't mention what type of sound your prefer. My customer has a pair of AQ Rocket 88 cables. In our systems, they have very good clarity, details, separation of the mid-range and higher frequencies. In our system we hard the same but the bass response was not as much pronounced. He uses monitor speakers so they probably do not go down low enough to hear what we heard. So you have to try cables to see what works and what you like in your system.
I CANT recommend audio art cable enough. Rob, the owner is extremely hands-on, helpful, conservative with his recommendations and after looking at morrow and a bunch of other brands I gave his product a shot. I went top-of-the-line but I’ve heard great things up and down his product range. I also had an issue with one of the cables and they were very helpful in getting it repaired.
@mihorn In the future, I would think it appropriate for all of your posts to begin with the clear disclosure "I HAVE A VESTED FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE PRODUCTS I AM RECOMMENDING" I have no problem with anyone joining forums looking for business, but I do find it disingenuous for you to be repeatedly contributing to discussions only to covertly recommend your own product. IMHO.
I have similar equipment. You can see my profile. I find Cardas too warm in my system… although I am not familiar enough with the sound of your speakers to be one hundred percent certain. There is a classic combination is Transparent cables, ARC gear and Sonus Faber speakers. Because they are just that, transparent and ARC is very carefully balanced in tonality… a little either way and it will not sound as good. Most of my cables and interconnects are Transparent after experimenting with at least a dozen high end cable companies.
Wireworld Eclipse excellent cable,value ,the speaker cable is awg-9
the conductors all Litz individual conductors 6-9s Copper ,patented opsilex dielectric and silver over Copper connectors , which too is very important
underwood Wally -excellent deal is you buy both interconnects, and speaker cables
puts you under your $2k no problem.
I also have Harbeth 30.2’s - all details in my virtual system.
I recently switched almost everything to Zavfino. Build quality is top-notch. I have Nova speaker cables ($390 for a 2.5m pair) - no further interest in changing. Happy to see the Nordost Purple Flair’s gone.
The step up from mine are the Prima’s at $719.
Both OCC copper. Spending more than the $900 Morrows doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a better result in your system.
I had used Cardas Golden Reference for a long time with good results, mostly with B&Ws. When I changed speakers to Joseph Audio Pulsars, the GR suddenly exhibited bass bloat and the top end sounded veiled. So, after doing some research, I got a set of Audio Envy SP12s. It’s a flat cable made from OCC. It’s been only a few weeks, but my system sounds terrific with the SP12s. In particular:
1. The top end is crystal clear, with a lot of air surrounding instruments.
These are great cables for not a lot of dough. With a 45 day trial period, you have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain as far as system enjoyment is concerned.
Yep all others, jeez. @mihorn
Yes. I will be clear about the disclosure. Usually, I write I make cables and speakers on my posts. But my post in this thread was not clearly disclosed. Thanks for pointing out! Alex/Wavetouch
Yes. All others. Have you heard any audio system sounds more real than the sound of my videos in this thread? Alex/Wavetouch
@mihorn LOL Sound of a video on YouTube going through chitty speakers on an I pad or laptop.
Gotta love it. What a joke
Take a look at Darwin Cables. I use them for my ICs and SCs. They just get out of the way of the music. Check out the Darwin Specials section for what could be a great discount. Great guys to talk to.
All the best,
YT sound is good to understand the sound quality. Iphone and most laptop speakers are OK too. Any $20 PC speaker will be fine to hear the sound quality difference of YT videos.
Listen to below videos with your PC. Can you hear their sound quality?
MoFi S10 Loudspeaker w/ $600,000 Of Electronics
Sonus faber EXTREMA Loudspeaker
Wavetouch audio - How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
By far and away the best I’ve tried are Lenehan Audio FoiFlex cables which use a roughly 2" wide lacquered copper foil. Never have I used a more detailed and nuanced cable, yet it’s also utterly natural sounding with deep solid sounding accurate bass. Timbres seem to be more accurate than my previous cable choices also. I’m now running the FoilFlex RCA’s and speaker cables. I’d go as far as to say they’ve made the most significant improvement of any component in my sound chain which was rather unexpected.
FoilFlex - High quality hand made audio cables. – Foil Flex (foilflexcables.com)
I have had fantastic results with Transparent Audio speaker cables. Synergy is key in any system so its best to demo whatever cables you want to try. Hopefully you have a transparent dealer in your area or a seller that takes returns. My system is on a similar level with yours and I found the Transparent Supers to be a perfect match. The MM2 version sounded more open than the G5s in my system but both can be found used in a 3 meter for less than $1K. I am running a clear audio performance DC with a cadenza black through a Manley Chinook to a Manley stingray 2 into Wilson watt puppies. The MM2 TA supers are a perfect match but had to demo several cables before I was happy.
While I have no doubt re the poster (@akg_ca) suggesting Nordost sounded bright in his system, the bottom line is that cables are highly system dependent. Indeed, the description of his system would lead me to the conclusion that Nordost might not be the best bet for him.
That said, his full-cable-loom experience partly mirrors my own, with the major exception that my loom is Nordost (variably and according to need from Blue Heaven to Frey 2.
What this confirms to me is that to get the best value from your investment you need to try a few different brands and once you find the brand that works best for you/your system maybe a couple of different options from that brand. It takes a bit good ones are) but it is worth the effort and the process can be quite enlightenting.
I recently upgraded to Anti-Cables Level 4.2 flx, they blow away my old Audience AU24 and Wireworld shotgun biwire cables that both cost many times more, the Anti Cables were like $550 and I think they have a trial period
The nice thing is they are easy to manipulate and thin, best bass I've heard, most live and real sounding... And it won't cost you anywhere near $2k
Buy used! I went from monster to Bi-wire BlueJean 10 gauge cables for my speaker wire. I then purchased AudioQuest Oak Bi-wire, Bi-amp cables. They were 6K retail and I got them for $1800. Huge difference in smoothness and balance.
I am not saying that these are the best, but purchase high end used and chances are you will be happier than 2k of new.