Speaker cables for Wilson Sophia 3

Good Day,

I've recently upgraded from Kef 205/2 to Wilson Sophia 3. Firstly, i'd like to share my initial experience on the Sophia 3
Secondly, I'm looking for opinions on speaker cables which will work best with these speakers. However, I'm not looking for a pair of cable which will cost as much as my speakers!

Wilson Sophia 3: IMHO, they're awesome speakers and they're a big step forward comparing to the Kef 205/2 (worth the upgrade!). They're very balance from top to bottom. However, I need to crank-up the volume to get them going. I highly recommend the Sophia 3

Speaker cables: I'm currently using Grover Sx speaker cables. They sound good on the Sophia 3 but I don't think they're "the one" SCs for the Sophia 3!
Wilson has replied to my email to confirm Transparent was used for internal wiring. However, I’m reluctant to purchase cables with network boxes (purest signal path is the path with nothing in between!?)
Can experienced Wilson users recommend a few cables brand?

Also for future ref. what will be the best cdp to go with the Sophia 3!? Should I go with integrate or transport, dac and clock. I'm leaning toward Antelope Gold Dac+PSU+ Clock or Lessloss DAC+CEC

My system:
Wilson Sophia 3
McIntosh MC501
Audio Research Ref 3
Primare CD 31 (with Analogue section heavily mod)
Linn LP12, Dynavector 17D3, Ittok, Lingo
Linn Uphorik
Grover Huffman Sx SCs
Nordost Quatro Fil ICs
LessLoss Sig. PCs on mono blocks which are feed by Weizhi PRS6
Stefan Audio Art PCs on cdp and pre which are feed by Shunyata Hydra 2
TG Audio Black & White 9awg to feed into Weizhi and Shunyata
Vibra Pods & cones on cdp, pre and tt
Custom Hifi stand using thick mdf and steel rods!
Music pref. mainly Jazz and classical

What is your price range?

Your assessment of the KEF vs the Wilson's is interesting, but if your KEF's weren't producing enough bass then the KEF's would sound thin and bright. Personally I think the Kef's image better and are more coherent than the Wilson's.

The 205.2 aren't known for producing Wilson level bass, the 207.2 are known for their deep bass response.

There are many good speaker cable recommendations depending on price range. Looking at your system I would upgrade both your interconnects and speaker cables. The Nordost Quttrofill cable doesn't sound anywhere as good as the new Norse series cables which are much more transparent.

It depends on the tuning of the system, the MAC amp is warm the ARC is not, the modified Primare is hard to know what that sound like. So it will come down to tuning and the taste of what the sound you want is.

If you want great clarity go with Norodst Frey interconnects and Speaker Cable. Great bang for the buck range. More transparent is the Tyr which is very similar to Valhalla.
The Nordost have a huge sound stage as well. If you want more warmth look to the new Cardas series of cabling. I would stay away from Network cables with a Mac amp, way too muffled sounding.

If you want a warm sound with a very organic feel go with Kubala Sosna Emotion series.

You should get rid of the vibrapods they make equipment sound soft.
I think you need to try the Transparent. I too am suspect of the junction box type speakers wire systems, but have no real first hand knowlege on my system using them. I own Wilson W/P 8's and use Siltech speaker wire (LS-180). Siltech has very balanced sounding cables but are awfully expensive. I bought my pair cheap used from a dealer...50% less than the new retail going rate. I would consider the cable company (cable) audition program...it's a bit of a pain, but it's important to have the right cable match with your speaker and power amp(s). When I first got me W/P's I used my old speaker wire...Wire World Eclipse 3. They sounded great on My Aerial 10t's, but sound like crap on my wilsons...
I've also been looking for SCs for my S3s and was thinking
about trying the Grover Huffman SCs since they can be returned.

What do you think is missing with the Grover Huffman Sx SCs?

On your digital upgrade, I'd go for a DAC with a computer
My friend uses Cardas GR on his Sasha; I also use it on my Gamut L5s. Transparent Reference might well be the best at a considerable increase in price.
Thank you for your replies. My price range would be $1500 for used pair

There is nothing wrong with the Grover Sx. I'd say they're the best cables at this price range and to my ears. You may want to ask Grover to custom your pair e.g. Add more weight, airy, etc. He is a nice guy to work with.
However, I want to see if there is anything better out there for my new price range
At that price you can get used Purist Venustas, more to my liking with Wilson than Cardas GR.
Do you know if PAD can be easily matched with non PAD ICs? I don't really want to replace all wires
The best Transparent you can afford, new or used.

My local Wilson dealer invariably connects them with Transparent and it's consistently been some of the best reproduced sound I've heard, and I've heard them with VTL, ARC tube, ARC class D, Ayre solid state, Classe, and some others. ARC tube through Transparent is the best setup I've heard for Wilsons.
Dear All
Any advice on integrated cdp or 2/3 boxes?
Have you use vibrapod previously? Do you use anything to further control vibration under your components?
New headache!!!!
For the first time, I've tried to play with acoustic treatment. It was a cheap diy. My family room is about 7x5 meters with a large wooden cabinet on a side and an lcd on wall (longer wall). My speakers and electronics locate on the shorter wall side. I used a blanket to cover the lcd last night and wow the sound seems to flow more subtle, better to my ears. However, question come in term of room treatment. Do any of agon fellows have any recommendation on a basic acoustic treatment plan! I have heavy urtain behind speaker but almost empty wall behind listening chair . Standard door size entrance is also on the same side. I'll add a door to enclose the room shortly
Please note i wish ican move the furniture, etc the way i want but in reality the wife factor is an issue!
Hi I'd start a new post on the acoustic issues. That's a critical area to address also.

I've used Transparent, Cardas and Purist all to great sounds with my Wilson's over the years. They all have strengths and weaknesses. I would not discount the networks due to purer signal path. You want purest signal transmission (the networks don't cut the cable, just add stuff to strip away rfi and correct imdepence)

I your price range I'd look for Transparent Ultra mm2 or Purist Venastas as the best choices used. I think you'll find the transparents have better bass control, better image, and maybe a little quieter, the Purist more transparent and delicate. These are not night and day things...more subtle. Both great cables and you can't go wrong. ymmv

best of luck
I use Canare Starquad 4S11 with my Watt/Puppy 7's with good results. The Canare cables are a little expensive ($1.35/ft) but I think that they are worth it.
Thank You all for your responses
I'm looking into PAD Venustas SCs

Do you have experience on Acoustic Zen Absolute?
I have owned a variety of Wilson speakers over the last 10+ years, Maxx 2 at present, and have found MIT to be the cables that sound best with them. You will often see them showing with MIT as well as Transparent for what that's worth. With Sophia, I would use the best I could afford, beginning with Magnum level but preferably Oracle.

Regarding network cables and purist transmission, all wire alters the signal carried. The networks in MIT cables correct that alteration to allow for a purer, more accurate signal between components. In essence, what you described as your goal will be accomplished by networked cables that function as MIT, not straight wire.

Best on your quest for great sound and enjoy your wonderful new speakers!
The best I heard Wilson Watt Puppy 6s with were top-end Transparents (at a dealer in Pennslylvania, now defunct).
They were very nice to me, and in fact I never heard Wilsons sound so nice again. This was 10 years ago, so take that into consideration. The dealer said the this match was the best, it seemed very true to my ears.
I'm thinking of continue to use the Grover Sx but add in a pair of Walker hd links
I have a very similar system. I called up Wilson and even met up with them during the CES. After trying around 20 speaker cables in a span of over a year back and forth...even one of my favorite speaker cables of all times did NOT work with the Sophia's for some reason and that was the Audience Au24's. I still use the Au24e interconnects in the chain but for speaker cables, after long listening sessions and frustration I ended up going with Wilson's suggestion - Try to push yourself and get at least The Transparent Ultra or anything higher in that family, its worth every penny and everything just snaps together and I can not even explain why. Another good alternative if you are actually using a full tube system would the the older Synergistic Designer Reference, which would probably cost you more that the Transparent cables suggested. Good luck!
I've used Cardas Golden Reference w/ reterminations using their new cold forged process w/ my WP7s. I've had the Cardas for many years and have felt no need to change.
Thank you all!
I was so close in trying PAD Venustas. However, i've emailed Wilson and they also recommend Transparent. I'll try with a used pair Ultra, not the new mm tech. I'll move to ref if the Transparent proves to be working!
Simple- transparent. They are not only wired internally, but designed on transparent. nothing will focus like the transparent's. I don't recall any other speaker cables even being in the wilson facility or ever being used during the design process.
You may want to look again, I don't think Wilson uses Transparent cables in all of their speakers. You may be surprised.

I don't agree with your statement that nothing will focus like Transparent. I had a home audition of the most current Transparent Cable(Ultra) and it wasn't even close to being the best cable in my system. I've talked to several people that own Wilson's, including Sasha's and they agree that even Transparent's more expensive cable isn't always the answer. My advice is to listen, compare, and come to your own conclusion. There are no absolutes with this hobby.
Ricred 1,

You may be right, in your system and for what you were looking for. However, if you what predictable results and want to hear the speakers as they were designed- it is transparent. They are used exclusively in the design process at Wilson audio.
Transparent is used inside all of the Wilson speakers in at least some locations internally. They used to use transparent and I believe some monster to woofers, not sure if they are currently using other cables in the crossovers, but they are definitely using transparent. However, I think what is much more important is that they are using transparent interconnects and speaker cables in all of the design and listening tests.
Dear All,
Please see the extracted email from Wilson Audio re. internal wiring in my Sophia 3. However, they didn't mention if the Transparent network box was used or not! There is a recent sale of a Transparent watt puppy tails on ebay but they 're too short for my application

Thanks for writing. Yes, indeed, we do use the raw Transparent wire and twist it here at the factory for our internal wiring.
Indeed, it is excellent cable with the Sophia 3.
I would try Clarity Cable Organic line. They are impressive
In his reviews of the Sophia 3s and Sashas, Art Dudley used Auditorium 23 speaker cables. They cost a lot less
than the Transparent Ultras.
Thank you all for your responses. Much appreciated!

Kana813, I beleive Art also used Shindo amps. However, I've emailed Auditorium to find out if they have 30 days return policy

Since I'm using McIntosh MC501's, I'm not entirely sure if their autoformer will work well with network boxes cables e.g. Transparent or MIT. In Australia, it is almost impossible to try out ref. cables at home due to thier costs and they only get order from manufacture upon purchases. Hence, I source most of my cables from the US and try to have a one off purhcase due to postage cost between US and AU (yes, we're in the middle of nowhere!)
I'm trying my luck here but has anyone tried Transparent/ MIT on MC501's?
Most speaker cables i tried works well with the sophia 3s. Analysis Plus, Auditorum 23, Purist Audio Design, but personally i find the Transparent to be my type of sound. Its sweeter, fuller sounding and musical. But that is not to say the other speaker cable sounds bad.
Best if you can try or audition different speaker cables. Boils down to system synergy.

Check out the Wilson forum on the Audioaficionado site.
I would look into Tara Labs 0.8. I use the Omega Onyx having upgraded from Transparent Reference XL V w. MM tech. I was a nice difference. I love the versatility of Tara and spacing the plus/minus leads can tune the sound. Good luck as most cables are a crap shoot.
Transparent Ultra has made it on top of my SCs list!

Have you settled on a pair of SCs for your Sophia 3?

Hope you get a deal on the Ultras.

I'm using some cables I got here on Agon sold under the title of Nuclear Valhalla Military Grade.

I might try the Decware ZEN STYX cables.
Thank you all. I'll try with a used Tranparent Ultra pair and upgrade if it sounds good. Any opinion on the old Ultra vs the latest Ultra with mm2 tech, i think?
I'm also waiting for a new Esoteric K03 to be delivered! It'll replace the Primare cd31
Stick with a Transparent MM2 version. They are much better then MM1.

Buy the best MM2 Speaker cable you can afford. I am using TA Ref MM2 with my Sophia 3's and TA Ref XL interconnects and I could not be happier.

Don't buy any of the used MM ones.
Good Day,
I've also recently install 4 corner bass traps (Blakhole) in 4 corners of the room. While the bass response has improved substaintially. The bass zones seem to be shifted! For certain songs, there is very little bass at the listening chair position while seated. However, there is plenty of bass if standing up at the listening chair position!
Can you please let me know what i can do to resolve the issues?
I've done my simple mod calculation but really have no idea where are the problems or how/ where to apply acoustic treatments.
Appologise for this as i'm new to these acoustic treatments. Your helps will be much appreciated

L 19.7
W 16.5
H 7.9
Cu.Ft. 2567.895
L-1 28.68020305
W-1 34.24242424
H-1 71.51898734
L-2 57.36040609
W-2 68.48484848
H-2 143.0379747
L-3 86.04060914
W-3 102.7272727
H-3 214.556962
L-4 114.7208122
W-4 136.969697
H-4 286.0759494
L-5 143.4010152
W-5 171.2121212
H-5 357.5949367
L-6 172.0812183
W-6 205.4545455
H-6 429.1139241
L-7 200.7614213
W-7 239.6969697
H-7 500.6329114
L-8 229.4416244
W-8 273.9393939
L-9 258.1218274
W-9 308.1818182
L-10 286.8020305
L-11 315.4822335
I am using WireWorld Silver Eclipse 6 speaker cables with my Wilson Audio Sophia 2's with great success. Be sure to let them burn in at least 100 hours because at first they will sound very congested. When mine hit 200 hours they began to perform magnificently.

Take a look at my virtual system for some room treatment ideas.
I got Sophia 3's a few months back & I already had Signal Cables Silver Resolution speaker Cable from my previous system, so I used them. But the combination was a bit too bright for me & was fatiguing for long listens. I then got Cardas Golden Cross speaker cables & its got amazing synergy with the Sophias. The highs are smooth but still have great extension. Mids ,Bass & soundstage are also outstanding. Guess Silver cables are a no go with the metal tweeter of the Sophia's.
I agree.   With the exception of Clear Day cables I've always found silver cable to sound too bright on my Sophia's 2s.