Cardas "Cross" line, such as Cardas Golden Cross.
You have to ask yourself what would cause a cable to do that -- then, if you are satisfied that it is possible and the reason can be ascertained -- look for a cable with those attributes.
Or, if you want to soften the highs because the highs are "hard" -- you might look into your room. I'd be willing to bet your room is causing the hardness in the highs and trying to treat this problem with cables will send you on an expensive merry-go-round.
Rather than trying to find a cable that will roll off the high end, I would hire an acoustical consultant for a few hours to analyze your room and suggest treatments.
Resbeck's suggestions re room acoustics is a good one. A lot of brightness stems from 1st reflection points on walls, ceilings, and floors, as well as the amount of toe in used. Before you start spending money on cables make sure you have your set up down. If you want help, describe your room dimensions, openings, furnishings, speakers, present set up (location of speakers and listening position). Don't know that you need to hire a consultant yet though.
Rsbeck's comments are very good. I would add that not only can speaker placement, room acoustics and listening position change the tonal balance that you hear, but that component selection also comes into play here.
With all of that in mind, if you are looking for cabling that will "roll-off" the top end somewhat, try to find a "zip cord" type cable that has a wider spacing between the conductors. There are cables that are made like this with a built-in wide & flat plastic spacer located between the conductors. This is used in HT installations where cables have to be routed in a specific manner. Using this approach, the cable can actually be stapled in place by using the "spacer" material as an anchor between the conductors. Most HT installers are more than willing to trade off the customers wide-bandwidth performance and high levels of linearity for their ease of installation and convenience of using this high inductance design. For someone that wants to alter their frequency response in a non-linear manner ( softening the highs, warming up tonal balance ), this cable can do the job.
If you've already got some "budget" type zip cord of heavy gauge and don't mind experimenting, you can literally "unzip" the two conductors apart and spread them further from each other. This would be equivalent to what "shotgunned" cables look like i.e. an individual run for each polarity rather than having the conductor for each polarity in close proximity to each other. Whether or not this will give you enough of what you are looking for will depend on the rest of your system, the room and your seated listening position. Sean
I agree with Rsbeck and Newbee. Occupational hazard thought, since we are an acoustical design group. However, I also agree with Newbee, that you may just have some very fundamental issues that you can tackle yourself. See our resource page for many articles on basic acoustics. Be sure to visit the listening room. It's a tutorial on basic room acoustics.
The only help I can give you, not understanding or hearing your system and the room it's in would be to tell you about my experience with two cables that I have spent a long time with and that connected my CD player to the preamp.
Tara Labs (Tara) Air 2, 0.5 meter, XLR terminated.
Harmonic Technologies (HT)Prosilway 2, 1 meter, XLR terminated.
The Tara cable originally connected a Meridian 508.24 to a Bryston 25MC preamp.
Because my impression of the Tara cable is relative to the sound of the HT, I disclaim any idea of "reference." To my ears when I connected the CDP to a Bryston BP25MC preamp with this cable, the sound was laid back and evenly balanced across the range. I can't say that it gave me the impression that it was anything special or that it "colored" the sound in any audible way.
When I upgraded the system to better amplification components, I also invested in HT interconnects and speaker cable having intellectually bought in to the idea that single crystal copper stranding with silver coating was of good fundamental physical design. But before I installed the new system, I compared the Tara with the Syn and was surprised that the HT cable made a huge audible difference. I immediately was impressed by the increase in overall volume. OK, so what does that tell you compared to the Tara cable? It tells me that more current is getting though to the amp. A good thing. Also the top end really seemed have much more of what I see most folks refer to as "air," not treble per se, but of the stuff that's way up there, the sound of a ride cymbal or the breath sounds of the horns (think Miles Davis' Nefertiti, Columbia Remasters, Side 2.
Piano sounded much less strident with the HT compared to the Tara. Bass was firmer and fuller with more clarity, I could hear more texture of both acoustic and electric basses with the HT. I believe that the folks at HT know what they are doing. Plus, their cables are what I feel fairly priced. I still have Tara cable out of system but to date I haven't identified a use for it. I have enjoyed the HT for almost two years now and I have no desire to part with them.
Both manufacturers make good products, but for me, the HT made such a huge overall improvement that for me they are one of the best values around.
Hope this helps.
The various producst of harmonix reportedly, and accoring to my experience, are tuned to darken a bit the sound-print of a system. Try various combination of them, like tuningd discs, room tuning devices, ics, loudspeaker cables an dpower cords. Also, might be very effective the use of acoustic system resonators. They really effectively altereting the sound of a system, but you have to find the right combination to get the expected results. If there is a local dealer, give a try. They would come to your flat with a set of resonators and would set up a trial combination.
Great advice above. As a sidenote, the MIT cables are somewhat surprising in that they "tame" high end brightness in systems tending toward bright, without affecting the detail or overall response to my hearing. In other words, the harshness from bright systems is gone but the music remains. In neutral systems, the music remains and there also appears to be no affect or diminishment of the high end. That's my experience (various Thiel/Bryston combos for bright and various Montana/Sierra combos for neutral -- MIT Oracle 2 speaker cable). I like it, but I sure can't explain it. Regardless of the system, the highs don't roll off but overly bright systems are tamed.
I auditioned many of Cable Companies recommended darker cables in the under $500 price range. For my system, the Purist Audio Museaus's worked best. It gave me all the smoothness, warmth and fullness of the Cardas in that range, while sounding completely natural across the spectrum.
In fact I compared the Museaus's to cables in two price categories above them and still kept the Museaus.