For under $500, I like the DH Labs Q-10 signature. It’s a quad cable of silver-plated high purity copper which adds both fullness and detail. In full disclaimer, I do resell DH Labs products, but I do believe they offer the best bang for the buck when not aiming for total endgame cables.
For your budget, also consider Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme, or if you can find them, Graphene Matrix (which might cost you a bit more on the used market). They are made with ceramic, graphene, etc. They are quite heavy and thick, but they sound incredible at their price point. They certainly deliver more of everything, including fullness and detail.
I appreciate the options. I'll look into those today. Many thanks.
^^Agree with soix. Been using Satori for years with Parasound amps and most recently the JC5. Also use all Acoustic Zen power cords. Extremely good cables at fair prices.
That pair on US audiomart looks perfect. I'd jump on that.
I will Highy recommend the Tellurium black ll speaker cable? This cable is so close on my Heimdall 2 speaker cables, TMR audio has it used less than $300.
Soix my recollection the satori is not even close on Tellurium black ll in my system.
Juanmannuel thank you for the link, I don’t know how they sound? But they look beautifully made.
@jayctoy They sound exquisite and there are quite a few of us on the forum that own them. I am using a complete loom from Zavfino Speaker, IC, USB and Power Cords.
I have a friend here that has done the same with the Dart Series. OCC Copper is the only way to go.
Juanmannuel what cables you replaced for the Zavfino? Iam interested on the fusion ic. What Kimber model you can compare them? Anyone has more experience compare them with other brand cables like Audioquest , Cardas , Nordost?
IC was all Cardas Clear Reflection. Speaker Cardas Clear Sky. Cardas Pasec Power.
These will provide all the sonic benefits of other cables at a fraction of the cost (minus the expectation bias).
All copper, 10 gauge
Consider these super value cables. I bought the cable and made my own with 100% copper spades and braided black sleeves. I was shocked how good they sound. They replaced DH Labs q-10 sig and it wasn’t even close. Fuller warmer sound with improved bass, Mids and clearer highs. They are a copy of Kimber Kable 12TC which run $1000 +. I just tried them for fun and glad I did.
Pair 12TC HiFi Speaker Cable With 2 Banana Plug to 2/4 Banana Jack High Quality OCC Speaker Wire biwire speaker cable
In Audience Cable I trust. Music alway sounds natural and balanced, but somehow more special their wire.
Ohno is a great entry level cable, but I'd recommend pushing up to Studio One (the new AU24se) which is more than your budget, but if you're patient you could probably find one second hand. AU24SX level could be an end game cable for most of us.
I’m using RAMM Audio OCC cables. Amazing and you’ll save $$$ if you DIY.
Love my Ohno, Studio One or 24SE when I can fine a nice used pair.
I totally agree with everyone but there's something even better than the round OCC single crystal wire and that's rectangular OCC single crystal wire it's expensive but what a difference to the round O C C wire I tried and bought the Neotech Sahara which is their rectangular wire I tried the speaker cable and the interconnect which has copper and silver wire in it and man am I impressed I really like it will beat anything ofc on the market and any price.
My vote is Anti Cables, they are hands down the best affordable speaker cables. I just upgraded to the new Level 4.2 flex model and it was about $500, and they are very noticeabley better then the level 3.1 anti-cables I’ve had the last couple years, like night and day better. I used to have Audience AU24, wire world equinox, and a few other much more expensive cables, the Anti-cables beat even the Audience at less than half the price by a wide margin and that was before the new 4.2 flex model.
Anti-cables have incredible bass, great imaging and separation, detail, just awesome especially since they are so much cheaper than many lesser cables. Also they are thin and I can get them to run through my speaker stands so it looks really clean. I’m pretty sure they let you buy them and send them back if you don’t like them like a trial or something, but trust me you won’t be sending them back. And they will terminate them any way you want, I ordered mine with bananas on the amp end, and their excellent solid copper spades on the speaker end with biwire layout.
I only use their speaker wires, all my other cables are Acoustic Zen absolute and matrix reference, Krakatoa, which I swear by and are very expensive, but the Anti-cables are my favorite speaker wires by far.
I appreciate all of you and your suggested products. The $500 limit I thought may be a good starting point. It sounds like it's still a good starting point. Now to see about auditioning some of these great choices.
Cardas Iridium cables for the price are excellent. $390.00 for 2m cables.
Run, don't walk to Ali-Express. Type in the search bar Odin speaker cables. The only thing wrong with them is they should never have been named Nordost, BUT, they are EXCELLENT value. I find the Odin Gold the best and have both PCs and ICs. Currently I have the Odin 2 silver speaker cables and coax, but will also try the Odin Gold, which only come with bananas
A quick glance at the title (The Right Speaker Cables) makes me pause and ponder this a bit.
Shouldn't we be paying attention to the left speaker cables as well?
@derfman66: Three questions: Is this for a 2-channel system? If so, how far apart is each speaker from the amp? Are the cables of equal length, regardless of the individual speaker's proximity to the amp?
As usual, everyone has their own opinion of best performance. I won't criticize, but I might be able to save you some money.
Over the years I have tried almost everything out there under $5K, married to a variety of solid state and tube components. During that time, I have discovered some basic truths pertaining to wire technology, insulation designs and materials, and connectors.
I won't get into all of that so as not to offend anyone. One note; however, - - - - - - - - - The person who recommended the ZAVFINO cable technology is on the right path, but they are fairly pricey. Beautifully built however if appearance is an important factor to you. Recently HARMONIC TECHNOLOGY has discovered some of the same factors that I have over the years. Another great cable design company, but pricey.
So here are my two recommendations, based upon what my ears have told me plus my training as an engineer and professional musician.
First you might take a look at "REALITY CABLES". When you see them, you might "freak out". But I can say without hesitation that the performance is worth every penny. Only problem - - - - They are somewhat unruly due to the fact that they use an extremely high quality of OCC "solid core" copper from Germany. They are quite stiff, so routing takes a bit of work. Definitely "NOT" for closed component cabinet use. Side Note: These cables have been carefully developed and auditioned by members of the "CHICAGO AUDIO ENGINEERING SOCIETY". The owner was one time President.
O.K. secondly, the cables that I currently use throughout my system, are custom made (so to speak) by a Chicago area-based company called "AMPLIFIER SURGERY" Their forte is rehab and repair of high-end components. "THEY ALSO DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE CABLES"
So, you are looking for speaker cables; - - - - - The design I use (once again) are a bit stiff to route due to the usage of OCC solid core copper (with or without OCC silver plating) Personally I have components that produce a very flat audio spectrum. I do not use the silver plate version due to the fact that I have invariably found silver plated cables to be a touch edgy and emphasize the upper frequencies slightly. If you have a system that has a tendency toward a bright sounding "high end" I would not recommend the silver plating.
Otherwise, these cables provide an audible performance spectrum that is as benign to all variances of audio component design, as anything I have yet to come across. AND (AS MENTIONED) the pricing will astonish you. (In a good way).
When (and if) you make contact with either company, you may tell them that you came across this recommendation from Lance Lawson. The reason being that I have jointly made a few minor adjustments to the cable design. So, if you wish to try what I have, that would be the best approach.
The owner will provide you with a run through of the build specs.
Finally, don't be put off if you don't get a return call or email immediately.
This is a one-man company and engineer, and he is always very busy. Mentioning my name might help, both with build assurance and pricing. Always ask for his "best price" Shipping is always included and "NO TAX".
And never forget, "all cables" (even OCC copper) require "break-in". These cables will come to you "directionally unpolarized" So about 50 hours of break in will render the best results these cables will provide"
@deadhead1000 Ohno was the gateway for me. I'm at Au24se / Studio One now. If I improve my source components, I'll jump to Au24sx.
None of their cables (entry to premium) sh*t the bed. Build quality and sonics great across the entire line.
Thanks again for everyone's feedback. It's most helpful. I have my first pair of cables coming. I'm going to audition the Audience Ohno lll first. I will try to get to others as I can. Signed up with, Used Cables. They have most of the cable brands mentioned.
Try these as an inexpensive experiment.
Been running them in a "mini system" for a few months now and they come close to my 47 Labs, Neotech and other cables.
@derfman66 Something to consider…
Some approach wire as a "tuning component" by mixing and matching silver (brighter and airy) and copper (meatier) across brands to get the sound to their liking. Others buy "full" looms of a single brand because they like the tuned House sound of the manufacturer.
I fall in the "full loom" crowd and recommend you sample the Ohno III speaker cables with matching Audience Ohno RCA interconnects from the source.
The sound you like will find you eventually with time and testing. Be patient and enjoy the journey.
Morrow cables. get the "4" or the "5" for 50% off on their constant sales....
very good, and very balanced, not so bright, natural sounding on the top end. MASSIVE difference in that and 12 gauge standard wire.
Germany doesn't make OCC cable, there's only one company out there license to make OCC now and that's Neotech, and there's even a better OCC conductor now, it's rectangular OCC far superior to the round OCC and Neotech produces in their Foundry, Neotech supplies pretty much everyone with their OCC cable.
can't see how the anti cables could ever beat audience, I was on their website and they use ofc conductors which are very inferior to OCC I see that you're using OCC everywhere else so it doesn't make sense not to use OCC speaker cables, but there is something better than the round OCC now it's rectangular OCC and it's even better than the round OCC not cheap though, Neotech produces the rectangular OCC.
I was on the Reality Cables website and nowhere does it say that they use OCC single crystal wire and I went through their whole website so I don't know where you're getting that from.
Hi derfman66, thanks for the question...
My fascination with our hobby is how we evolve as we gain listening experience and knowledge over time...into our dotage I might add. :) Synergy is a term bandied about contextually in hi fi. Attempts to "more finalize" my system once settling down in a dedicated room these last 22 years...overall contentment is the goal. Timbre, attack, stage, depth resolution, minutia, air, corporeal sense...all the important buzzwords onboard without the loss of overreaching musicality.
Having most of that now in place, my focus turned to loudspeaker cables. My music tastes are eclectic, easily spanning 100 years, having grown up in a musical household. The highly exacting, ribbon cables I'd been using no longer fit. They overreached on all but the best recordings...an audio style "Peter Principle," if you will, and suffered dimensionality.
Now, I do think that some of us are highly sensitive to cable differences. Less indifferent to the changes is another way of presenting it. Sadly, I'm in this group. In doing a deeper dive, I rediscovered George Cardas and his progressive performance line of cables, finding my sweet spot. Of course, being me, I've sent the cables to Cardas, upgrading to forged connections and bi-wiring the speaker end of the internal bi-wire design. What? Did you think I'd gone sane?! More Peace Pin
you said recently Harmonic technology has discovered the same technologies Harmonic technology has been around since 1989 doing single crystal wire. LOL
I go by my ears, not OFC vs OCC or by measurements , and for low level Acoustic Zen has been my favorite for a very long time, running Absolutes between my DAC and preamp and Matrix Reference preamp to amp... also Krakatoa power cords on most stuff which are amazing...
The AU24’s I used to have years back were very good and thin which I liked, but I bought the Anti Cables which were very cheap and had the risk free trial just for a lark and I ended up liking them better, much more and very very tight bass, I ended up selling the Audience AU24’s here on Audiogon and made back I think over a grand... the new Flex 4.2 is a big upgrade and pretty inexpensive... Maybe you should give them a shot, you might be surprised, I think they do a 30 day risk free trial still but I’m not sure
Another thought, call Audio Adviser. They buy Audioquest cable in bulk. They have a guy there and all he does is terminate speaker cables for them. They call it their No Frills cables. A pair of AQ Type 8 cables, 8’ long goes for @$340. They uses several different AQ cables. I’ve been using their No Frills AQ Rocket 88 cables for a few years now and have been very happy.
Give them a call and see what they suggest. Even if you don’t buy, you might get a better idea of what’s out there.
All the best.
In the last year I build a new no 1 sound system with Raidho X3 and upgraded another one with Q Concept 500. In the process, I tried various speaker AND power cords. The latter have a big influence on the sound balance, i.e more or less open . Here are my findings for power cords. I will talk about speaker after
Audioquest NRG, Blizzard and Dragon: sowhwhat darker sound
Luna Mauve: also dark, but with a lot of oumph in the bass. More solid low bass.
DR Red Fire Ultra: great highs , cristal clear, but thinner bass, less free flowing.
Siltech Classic: Bingo the ideal solution: higs as good as DR and strong bass like Luna.
Same conclusions on both systems.
Speaker wires now:
For the Raidhos, I tried Transparent Super and Luna Red. The latter is kind of smoother, more liquid or organic sound. I kept those.
For the Q concepts, I got Tranaparent Ultra, biterminated to replace the Supers. I was stunned by the difference. Suddenly I had the feeling to be in the mixing room of a friend's studio years ago, listenning to a band playing in the studio , the sound going from the microphones to the mixing table to the monitor speakers. Wow. These cable brought me closer to the sound of live music , a lot.
My advice: experiment, borrow cables and try them. You will learn a lot and have fun doing it. There is no better cable. You just need to find a good match.
I bought, and currently run 16 strand cables from GR Researech. A little bit on the large diameter side, but flexible, and feed through my Dynaudio Contour S 1.4 stands without any trouble. I have no desire to replace them. Length dependning, could be under your budget. You can buy them assembled, or DIY.
The silversmith Fidelium speaker cables are excellent. There is a no obligation free trial. Google for reviews
contact me and I will send you out a custom made set of speaker cables that will outperform everything mentioned above to try in your system. No cost for the shipping.
I have the Triton 1.r and use the Silversmith Fidelium cables with them, if you can stretch your budget to them you will be done. You won't need to consider future upgrade paths. They will astonish you.
Has anyone tried Mapleshade speaker Cables? Very curious.
I've got some pricey AQ and Morrow cables but curiosity reared its ugly head again so I bought a pair Kimber's new red and black (cool looking) 8PR cables...relatively inexpensive and they now have the "vari strand" copper innards in the latest version...I bought a 13 1/2 foot pair and they're great sounding, especially for less than 500 bucks. Note they are not marked for direction (they develop some sort of direction after use allegedly), leaving me somewhat directionless.
Please check out the Marigo audio labs line of cabling. Pure copper, stay away from silver cables-they tend to skew the frequencies-especially the top end and can sound bright, lean & brittle. Unless u can afford some Audio Note silver but very expensive.
LOL wolf_garcia "directionless"
derfman66 ...now that we have you totally confused, Luminous Audio Technology is another long proven, fair priced recommend that feature musicality above all. Tim Stinson is a character person.
More Peace Pin (bold print for old eyes)
Save your money, don’t waste it on a manufacture name on the rubber coating
years ago I bought 30 feet of 8ga speaker cables, t he standard copper stuff,
you can use my 8ga thick wire, or make the,same,run with 14ga , will sound the same. If you want to change the tone, try the silver plated, or silver wire, will boost some highs.
Check out Cullen crossover. Read the user reviews. Nothing but excellent products from Patrick.
@derfman66 I am on a similar quest and have tried four different cables under $500, including Blue Jeans which are still in favor. I have noticed more differences with speaker cables than any other type of cable. I know there is something better out there, thinking OCC is of interest and maybe Zavfino. Have you come to any conclusions?
Zlone I decided on the Audience Ohno lll. I have since purchased the xlr cables where I could. Replaced the rca's. Found the rca's had some background noise. They are unshielded. The xlr's are fantastic. I also went with there power cords. It took some time but I find my system is dialed in finally. Go to The Cable Company and fill out the firm for advice on your system. They have an extensive data base on different cables for different systems. They also offer trial cable for a fee. You will not lose the cash ass long as you purchase from them. The fee goes towards the purchase. Happy hunting.
@derfman66 - Take a look at Audio Envy - OCC copper + great insulation + modest price
They should make a noticeable difference
If that does not turn your crank - take a look at Zavfino - they are the next step up from Audio Envy and their TOTL products are pretty darn good
Regards - Steve