The Transparent cables are very nice, but once you get to the reference level or higher you must have them recalbrated for new equipment that they are installed on.
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Cables are VERY system dependent. You really need to try them in your system and see how they sound. Unless someone has the same exact speakers and electronics, the same cables may sound completely different. Their is just no way to really compare cables without hearing them in your system.
A couple of friends of mine have Kubala-Sosna cables in their systems. They just love them. When I tried them I was less than impressed. The Nordost weren't bad. I really like their Blue Heaven USB cable. I just tried Shunyata cables and so far they are at the top of my list.
BTW I own Sonus Faber Elipsa SE Reds with Audio Research Electronics.
With a moderate power tube integrated I would lean toward Nordost. I tried using Harmonic Technology 9 gauge copper with an Almarro 318 integrated and the sound was slow and muffled. I switched to some Nordost Blue Heaven and things just bloomed and sounded right.
I do like HT Pro-9 with high-power solid state.
Use their lending library to audition cables. They will advise you based on your electronics and speakers.
After wasting time and money on cable purchases, I finally found the right speaker cables for my system using the Cable Company.
I highly recommend the Audience Au-24 or 24E as a cable that provides natural, open sonics. Of course, system dependent.
Hello Djfst. I happen to own the SF Olympica 3's also and love what they do for me and my system. I myself am running Kimber Kable Monocle XL's with them and I really have no complaints about the pairing. The Kimbers seem to have good synergy with the Olympica's.
With that being said,if I was in the market for new spealer cable my first stop would be the new Belden wire just hitting the market through Hanson Audio/Video.I have not actually listened to their new top of the line cables but from what I have read about them they would be my first go to cable upgrade. I really like the Kimbers but at some time I may just pull the trigger on the Belden's.
I believe they are right in your price range...Good luck and keep us posted...
Here is a post on the PS Audio forums about them if you are interested at all.
Link to the post...
" I am looking to stay at $2,000 - $3,000 new or used. I've had recommendations from various dealers pushing mainly Transparent Audio cables or Nordsot cables, and have no idea who to believe or where to start. I am an audiophile newbie and building my system from scratch. Thanks for your help!"
People usually get mad at me because I don't always share the same opinion that they do. I'm sure this won't be an expectation, but the truth of the matter is, you're in no position to buy cables that expensive. Given some of your descriptions, it looks like you've been reading a lot of reviews. And there's 2 things that reviewers are really bad at. The first is they do a poor job of putting differences in perspective in relation to other components.
" I've read some reviews online and it seems very difficult to purchase cables without auditioning, but this is my situation. I really want to bring out the best of the Olympica III's, the soundstage, midrange warmth, instrument/vocal placement, and overall seductiveness of the speakers."
The only thing I can tell you for sure is that its not going to happen. What you're talking about are major component differences and qualities. Amp, preamp, speakers etc. Cables may effect those areas, but nowhere near the level that components do. When you read reviews, the descriptions they use make it sound like a pair of cables will have the same impact on your sound as a pair of speakers. The differences with cables are usually much less.
The second, and more important thing that reviews lack are difficulty levels. If you're new to audio, its not easy to pick through a bunch of cables looking for differences. The differences are there, but there's no guarantee that you're going to find them. It takes a lot of listening and experience to do this. The last thing you want to do is rush in and spend a lot of money.
So my recommendation would be to keep your 3k in your pocket, and spend about $100-200 on speaker cables. At least for now.
Zd542, I appreciate your input. Not sure what I'm going to do, but being the differences are very subtle about improved performance with cabling, it seems difficult to make a decision. So are you saying that spending $200 vs. $3,000 in say, a Nordost came line (for example a Nordost Blue Heaven cables vs. a Nordost Frey 2 cable) won't make my speakers come alive any differently that could be appreciate by someone new to audiophile equipment? I agree that some expensive cables won't sound good based on their characteristics, but that is from my humble inexperienced opinion (which should be taken with a grain of salt), there should be some very good cables in a moderate price point that mesh very well with different products. If certain audio equipment with its various circuitry, specifications, design and materials sound good and bad with other components, why wouldn't cabling act the same, even if to a lesser degree? I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but just trying to make a wise decision with enough information to ensure I am comfortable with it. I do agree, reviews tend to paint a picture as if cable differences are much bigger than they are...
When it comes to high end audio, any question can be answered with 2 words. It depends.
"So are you saying that spending $200 vs. $3,000 in say, a Nordost came line (for example a Nordost Blue Heaven cables vs. a Nordost Frey 2 cable) won't make my speakers come alive any differently that could be appreciate by someone new to audiophile equipment?"
That's definitely a possibility given your level of experience. My best guess would be that you would hear a small difference. More importantly, though, there is no guarantee a $3000 pair of cables will better than a $200 cable. They can easily sound worse.
"If certain audio equipment with its various circuitry, specifications, design and materials sound good and bad with other components, why wouldn't cabling act the same, even if to a lesser degree?"
That's actually my point. Anything can happen. The problem is making the right choice. You can't rush that, its something that comes with experience. Not only that, your personal taste is a huge factor. Good for me will be different than good for you. If you want an example of what I mean, just look at this thread. Besides you and I, there are 5 other posters that bring up 10 different cables. These cables are more different, than alike, in both price and design. How would you go about picking the best one for yourself?
Here's a thought and one that's worked for me really well throughout the years, first of all always buy used cables the depreciation is fast and furious. If you buy used and are reasonably patient and get a general idea of what things cost you can pretty much buy a cable, try it out for a while in your system, then resell it for whatever you paid for it originally. I have done this countless times and have pretty much kept at a break even point as i did my auditioning. I've become a fan or Robert Grost's Cerious Technologies cables. I'm not saying they will work for you but they seem intelligently designed and well priced. But I guess my main point is buy smart, buy used, and don't be afraid to try a cable out if you feel like its a good deal. Good luck and happy listening!
That's great advice Jond! Thanks for your input - and will definitely be keeping my eyes out for used gear. It does seem that many on Audiogon really seem to ask for unrealistic prices for some of the used gear (especially stuff that is years or older) and makes it harder to find a good deal, but hopefully something will turn up! Much appreciation for your time and input.
Yes I have Nano Reference interconnect in my system from DAC to preamp and from preamp to amp. I found them to be amazingly quiet and transparent letting the music really pop like never before. Very impressive cables at any price and a steal for what Robert has been selling them. That led me to pick up a Nano Signature power cable. I had dabbled with power cables before and never thought they made a difference. Well hooking this cable up to my preamp was a jaw dropping moment. More of everything, quiet transparency, musical flow, I was truly blown away. I plan to pick up a few more of these as soon as my budget allows. I've not tried the speaker cables. You can see details of my system on my system page btw.
After discussing Roberts speakers with Jond in my last post, I checked AG's listings just out of curiosity. There's a pair of Signature 3's listed for $750, and they look close to new. If anyone needs speakers, and is willing to take a chance on something they've never heard, this is the speaker. A new speaker like this in 2015 dollars would probably sell for at least 10k.
I have the PL HP AND use Nordost Blue Heaven cables. Recently, I've switched to another "budget" level $600 cable-Silnote. Comparing the two,I prefer the BH.
The BH I have are an older biwire model. The newer version is supposedly improved. When I find a pair of used Heimdall(the sweet spot in the Nordost line)I'm getting off the cable train.
Djst, the HP replaced a PL Prologue 2, which was troublefree. I'm envious you have the Olympias. Being a SF admirer, if funds allowed, I would have a pair of Ellipsa's fronting my rig. I do have the Italian thing going on with the nice veneer/leather - Opera Seconda floorstanders. These and a REL B3 are on maple slabs/ brass footers. A completely different speaker,(sealed) but musical and they weren't wallet busters.
Table duties are done with a VPI Classic/AT ART9 that is fed into a tubed Fosgate phono. I'm using Nordost Heimdall from table to the HP.
No file playing going on here. CD and FM still played here
I have NOT heard the Heimdall speaker cable in my system.
Zd542's advice is practical and sensible. If you think Nordost may be the line you want in your system, audition some with the Cable company or find a pair of lower end(BH, Red Dawn) used for cheap.
I base my preference of the Nordost line hearing what the BH do in my system, and hearing PL gear with top end Nordost cabling.
In the end, it's subjective and lamp cord from Home Depot does the same thing. It won't sound the same as Nordost Valhalla/Tyr but, your ears are the final judge.
If you want cable which is perfect mach for your speakers than please read mi suggestion!
Those who value natural, uncolored sound, requires adequate audio cable. Electromagnetic interactions can quickly affect and distort the highly sensitive audio signals. Emanation cable from Hungary lead finest impulses completely unadulterated to the amplifier or the speakers. The best materials and a loving crafted finishing round off the very complicated structures of the manufacturer in detail. These are real high-end cable. If you operate a "matching" system, you will hear the final touch in the reproduction of your favorite music.
Anyway, we are one: enthusiastic. But as the saying goes ... "Trust your own ears."
The best cooper cable is the Pro 600 series. The 1.5m is $2100 and the 3.0m is $3500. It`s worth every $$$.
As a current Sonus Faber Dealer in Orange County, CA, we have found excellent results matching the Synergistic Research Atmosphere Level 2-4 Speaker Cables. The primaluna combination with the Sonus Faber Olympica's is a great match. You will experience liquidity, dimensionality and an overall upgrade in focus and transparency if you chose the Synergistic Research cables.
If you have any questions regarding what cables to use, you can reach us here at Scott Walker Audio.