Your gear is great. I'd stick. Your set-up looks weird (and less than optimal). Move stuff around and see, unless you have a need to spend money.
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Weird? It's on an angle from a corner of the room. I get what you're saying but it actually looks pretty normal in real life. It's just a bit of an illusion in the photo although I'm sure a dedicated room with appropriate treatments would improve things, that requires a new house.
I've flip-flopped about sticking with the cables I've got and have stuck with them for 3 years now. Sometimes I think I'm just exhibiting OCD, I'm sure a first for anyone on this site ;-)
I haven't heard Stereovox here (Basis TT, Joule, Merlin) but your EXACT wish list matches what I received going to Tg Audio speaker cables from Cardas Golden Ref and AU24 here...
Hall info, seperation,layering, height of stage, width, depth, wholeness, PRAT bigtime, all improved with the TG. The off axis info (players far left of the left speaker, and far right of the right speaker) became more palpable, better seperated YET more a part of the whole ensemble and room/hall of the recording... while the center image gained in "see around-ness" too... very 3d, not cardboardy cut outs.
rear hall info, or players way back in the recording (whether symphonic or Van Gelder) became more real and easier to hear as well - without those players moving forward - rather becoming more seated where the recording presents them (some did seem to be deeper in the stage, some stayed localized in the same spot, just the hall info went further back). Deep bass was the real eye opener with Tg...
The TG Audio High Purity IC's were just as obvious an "upgrade" for me (not just a sideways move).
Just my humble/enthusiastic opinion...
Oh, and I use Bobby's Cardas lead free jumpers...
I read the Stereophile review and they sounded a little cold or at least leaning that way
I read all the Stereovox reviews prior to getting the Stereovox LSP-600C and I didn't get the same interpretation from the Stereophile review. I've listened to many systems using Nordost cables. I had Nordost Red Dawn/Tyr for many years. IMO, Nordost cables tend to lean toward the upper registers a bit. My interpretation from the Stereophile review is that the LSP-600C speaker cables are more balanced than the Valhallas while maintaining the same level of transparency, articulation and detail.
Mike @ Tweekgeek was kind enough to loan me a pair of Stereovox BAL-600 interconnects, which are from the same Reference series as the LSP-600C. I could not believe the dramatic change that just a single pair of interconnects brought to my system. My first impression was that a veil was removed from my system. I don't mean a veil as in the air is a bit more clear, I mean a veil as in a curtain was removed from the window. I listened to this cable for about 7-8 days and that convinced me to go all the way with the Reference series. I got the other BAL-600 interconnects and once they settled in my system, I got the LSP-600C speaker cables.
LSP-600C speaker cables have been in my system since early July and I seriously believe that these cables play with the best of the best out there. There is speed, clarity, super-black background, crystal clear stage definition, excellent dynamic contrast, and the realness of instruments is simply superb.
I've never tried the LSP-600C speaker cables with any other interconnects other than the Stereovox Reference series. I found more logical for my system to start with the interconnect at the source and then from preamp to amp to speakers.
The only negative aspect of these cables is that they take a long time to burn in. I've come across some posts from fellow audiophiles who went from Tyr or Valhallas to Stereovox Reference and never looked back. I even came across a website of a dealer who declared the Stereovox LSP-600C speaker cables his reference over the Valhallas.
Tweekgeek sales both, the Stereovox and the Audience cables and Mike is quite familiar with both cables. You should perhaps contact him and other dealers who carry both cables and ask for their opinion.
This is the dealer I mentioned in my last paragraph. The page has a brief description of the Stereovox Reference series in the context of the AU24 and Valhalla cables.
I have a very similar setup as your's and have been running with TG speaker cables from the start. I love 'em and would recommend anyone with Merlins to at least give them a try. I really find no fault with them, but then I haven't tried any others......yet. Often tempted to try Cardas GR since I use it for i/c and like it a lot. Also curious about Jena Labs' cable but it's so damn $$$! Others that I am curious about are the Kubala "Emotion" the Silent Source speaker cables.
I think if you wanted to pick up and try the TG Audio, you could find a 2m pair for about 400 bucks.
good luck, and nice system
Thanks for the system compliments guys...
Some other speaker cables I'm curious about are the Stealth Hybrid MTL (I've liked the Stealth Hyperphono and Metacarbon interconnects I added to my system and wonder how the speaker cables would be), and was also interested in the Kubala Sosna Emotion. Anyone heard either of them on Merlins?
The Kubala Emotion were too dark and slow sounding in my system. I went from Valhalla to Audio Magic Clairvoyant and then to Stereovox LSP 600C. The Stereovox cables are definitely in the upper tier of cables. In my system they had the speed, transparancy, and focus of the Valhalla's with more weight in the midrange. The Audio Magic cables had the speed and weight of the Stereovox but with less focus and transparency.
Thanks everyone. I actually ended going with the Stealth Hybrid MLT speaker cables. I liked the improvements in my system with the Stealth Hyperphono and Metacarbon cables so when a good deal came up I thought I'd at least give it a try.
I'm very happy with the results and it continues to provide what I like with the other Stealth cables namely, a detailed but relaxed sound. The detail is there but not in a bright in your face way.
Actually the cables are more full sounding while also being more detailed than their predecessors, a rare combination in my experience.
Thank you for all your recommendations/feedback.