Speaker cables

I have seen on an internet used cable mart a pair of Harmonic Technology Pro 11 Reference speaker cable and a pair of Cardas "Cross" (NOT GOLDEN CROSS) speaker cable

I was able to listen to the HT Pro 11 Reference with a pair of Martin Logan ESL, and later with a pair of Monitor Audio RX-8.at a dealer in Los Angeles The cable sounded very good with both speakers, especially its ease of sound and transparency

However, a few days later,I listened to the Cardas Cross speaker cable on the same Martin Logan's. They were impressive with a great sense of musical rightness and solid imaging

I learned later that both these cables are, or will be discontinued. The dealer suggested I listen to the new Nordost Red Dawn LS series with both the above speakers; I did and was somewhat blown away, but not enough to cutting a check on the spot for close $1100 for a 10-11 ft pair

However, I can buy either the Harmonic Technology or Cardas speaker cable online for almost half their original price, and much less than the Nordost RED DAWN LS. My pocket book tells me to buy one of the first two brands, but my intuition tells me that overall, and despite a bit of some of brightness, to bite the bullet and buy the RD's.

I realize each product has particular strengths but this one might be too close to call, especially when there is some money to be saved.

Will appreciate any and all advice. Thanks

Since you are getting the first two at such a great price buy them both and sell off the loser. Keep your eye out for the Nordost, they come and go on here all the time. Compare with your current wire at the time and sell off the loser. Pretty simple really. If you buy right you can always sell with little risk. At least that has been my experience, YMMV.
Be careful you are buying actual Cardas product and not Chinese knockoffs. When the price is too good i would be seriously worried the item is fake.
Then big names have plenty of fakes out there for sale taking advantage of folks wanting a deal on them..
Harmonic Tech, Cardas or even Nordost are all manufactured in asian countries. Those who sell at a fraction of price claim to be a manufacturers for them(or at least insiders). You can bargain with them and get them even lower.
The real fact is that neither US or Asian product should be worth that much and makes me confused and thinking what is really fake or joke? Logically and straight-forward US hi-fi home AV wire prices are definitely joke and probably fake.
I agree with the above posters, make sure that you are buying authentic cables, lots of fakes out there.

That being said, I'd also send another warning, this one about the Nordost brightness that you noted. This does not seem to be something that one gets used to, at least not in my case. I have found the Nordost sound to be alluring, all of that speed and resolution can be quite enticing. However, twice I have gone down that path, and in both cases I eventually found myself listening less and less often, for shorter and shorter periods of time, as listening fatigue would set in earlier and earlier. Too much information is not always a good thing.

So while I still enjoy Nordost cables in demo situations, I do avoid buying them now. I want my home system to be a bit more relaxing, and easy to listen to.

Of your choices, the Harmonic Technology would probably be my choice, as the Cardas tends to go too far in the opposite direction of the Nordost, and is too warm and slow for my tastes. Of course you pays your money, you makes your choices.
Agree totally with Jmcgrogan2 on the Nordost. I will never buy Nordost Red Dawn again, or any other Nordost.
Three very different sounds. I couldn't live with Cardas Cables (I tried once) at any price. I like the Harmonic but they're not for me. Not familiar enough with Nordost. These cables in my opinion all sound so different from each other, may be a big mistake to base decision on price, especially if you will keep them for a while.
Thanks to all for their comments. The information is very helpful. No big surprise, my source for the used Harmonic Tech and the used Cardas is the Used Cable Company inventory.

Of course, despite their reputation who knows whether they did not take in a few fakes cables over the years by accident or oversight.

I am trading all my ICs collected over 20 years. but am not convinced I am getting a good deal.

To Mr. Grogan, I heard that complaint many times before about brightness of Nordost cables. They claim they have toned it down (bad pun) in the LS series; and, I can't say it was searing or fatiguing to listen, at least for the hour.

I think part of Nordost's appeal is those cool, bright skin colors they use to often identify the cable, especially the "Purple Flare" and "Blue Heaven"

Sunnyjim- If you check Cardas' web site, you will see pix of many of the counterfeit cables they've seen over the years. Might help. I agree that the Csrdas house sound is a bit on the fat or syrupy side. At least that's they way they sounded to me 5 or so years ago.
I think part of Nordost's appeal is those cool, bright skin colors they use to often identify the cable, especially the "Purple Flare" and "Blue Heaven"
Absolutely agree, as vanity definitely motivates a buyer. I'm sure some guys buy Nordost, put them in their system, and before playing music, step back thinking, "Wow, they look great!"

IMHO, it is very important to NOT think about how each particular cable sounds, but to think about how each cable could affect the sound you currently have. If your system is a little bright, then it is very unlikely the Nordost will eliminate this, and very possible to add more brightness. However, if your current sound is somewhat rolled off in the upper treble, or a little dull sounding, then no doubt, Nordost would probably solve that problem.

System synergy is very important, and I have often compared this to making a casserole. If you eat a casserole you just made, and find it a little salty, you don't pick up table salt, and add more. The next time for making the casserole, you just alter the recipe. Also, a certain spice can be great for numerous recipes, yet horrible in others.

So, here are your descriptions of how these cables sounded.

1) "especially its ease of sound and transparency"

2) "great sense of musical rightness and solid imaging"

3) "somewhat blown away, despite a bit of some of brightness"

Which characteristic is most important, as an advantage to try, or a disadvantage to avoid, in changing the sound of your current system?