Too much of a good thing...


I've always been a "Cardas guy" and they're always worked great in all my setup. I recently replaced my Thiel CS2.4's with Audio Physic Avanti III, which are stunning speakers. When an opportunity to get a Pass Labs XA60.5 at a very reasonable price came up, I couldn't pass it up. The combination of the AP and the PL is just plain amazing. Now to the challenge, I'm starting to think that the speaker/amp combination which are both on the warmer side and the warmth of the Cardas Cross (and Golden Cross interconnects) might be too much of a good thing.

What other speaker cables should I be looking at?

Rest of the system consists of a PS Audio DirectStream DAC (connected via XLR directly to Pass amps) with Auralic Aries streaming (connected via AQ Carbon USB).
audiojan
Don't do a thing, let it burn in. You just changed how many items?
Ok, so I guess I should've been clearer... it's been over a month of listening. I've owned all cables for at least 5 years, so they're burnt in. The speakers are about 3 months by now and although the amp was only added about a month ago, it was used (although never abused).

After month of listening ~2 (or more) per day, by now they should be pretty much settled in.
I too am a Cardas, Cross specifically, guy who loves that cable for the very reason you have stated, when looking for a cable to get away from that darker signature I have found the Audioquest Colorado’s to meet that need. There are some available from Music Direct for 50% off and they show up used as people move up to the newer models. Please note my experience stated is mainly with the ICs. Enjoy the music.

I would look at Audioquest, too.
All of their cables perform above their price range compared to other company's offerings. Sound-wise, I won't say they are neutral, but definitely not colored.

Why not stay within the Cardas universe? You may be surprised at how different the Clear or Clear Beyond are from the Cross / Golden Cross series. 

A cable loan from The Cable Co. will let you hear the differences, which I believe will fit your new needs, without getting too far off from what you liked about Cardas in the first place.

All the best.
I agree 100% that the new Caras are not the same warm sound of old Cardas..                     
Agree on solution offered by david_ten.
Highly recommend upper tier WyWires IC’s or SC’s. Very natural sounding.  Totally uncolored. 
I think that your Cardas wires are excellent, but if in the end you decide they aren't the right thing in your current system context, I recommend Cerious Graphene Extreme. So good, and so reasonable. 
If you want something a bit brighter, Nordost comes to mind.
@david_ten sounds like it might be a good time to try out the newest Cardas line. I do love the Cardas I have and they have always performed well, but I do need a bit more top end sparkle and probably a bit leaner (!) bass (can't believe the Audio Physic Avanti can even produce that much bass with those small drivers, but they can POUND when required).
One other way to tighten bass is with a good powercord. A powercord can make the bass tighter, and less wooley, seeming to be leaner yet taunt and strong. So I suggest considering  a powercord for the amp.  
And yeah if you like a brand, stick to it, instead of wandering the corridors hoping to find a match.I bet you will like the new Cardas IC lineup.
@elizabeth Forgot to add that to my notes, already have good power cords all the way around (Shunyata) all connected to a PS Audio Power Plant.
Another option would be to start with the balanced cable and replace that. The Cross speaker cable is probably less warm then the Golden Cross XLR...
So I'm going to give Cardas Clear a try. The speaker cable will have to stay Cardas Cross for the time being, but I'm replacing the Cardas Golden Cross XLR with a Clear XLR. If that gets me closer to where I want to be, then I'll start the process of getting a Clear speaker cable as well.
Testing the Cardas Clear XLR right now and its spectacular. Everything that I always loved about Cardas but without any of the drawbacks.

Next up is a Cardas Clear Beyond speaker cable
Great! glad it is working out.
audiojan OP216 posts12-17-2018 9:01am


@elizabeth
Forgot to add that to my notes, already have good power cords all the way around (Shunyata) all connected to a PS Audio Power Plant.
@ audiojan


I assume all the above power cables and PS audio Power Plant was used with the previous speakers and amp. Before you go out and buy new speaker cables and or ICs cables I would first try connecting the Pass amp directly to the AC wall outlet using the OEM power cord that came with the amp.
I believe Nelson Pass recommends his amps be connected directly to the wall outlet.

As for the Shunyata power cord you are using on the Pass amp, if it is shielded that could very well be causing what you are hearing.

A good non shielded power cord that mates well with Pass amps is the 6’ Kimber Kable PK10.
.

@jea48 You are correct. All of the cables and power conditioner were used with previous speakers.

I tried plugging the amps directly into the wall outlet and it made a subtle difference, but unfortunately not to the better...

I might give the Kimber a try. I'm not convinced the Shunyata's are ideal for the Pass.

I am changing to Cardas Clear XLR and Cardas Beyond Clear SC (got a great deal on it!). The Clear XLR is already in the system (and it made a huge difference!) and the SC is at Cardas for retermination.
@ audiojan

Did you use the stock OEM power cords, that came with the amps, when you plugged them directly into the wall outlet?

@jea48 No, I do not have those, but I did try some other cables (basic stock cables from other amps) and it made it worse.
Is the wire gauge of the cords you used at least 14awg?

Just curious is the wall outlet a 20 amp dedicated circuit? What are you using for the wall duplex receptacle?



@jea48 Yes, power cables are 10awg.

I don't have a 20 amp circuit, but it is a dedicated 15amp line with a standard (i.e. nothing special) outlet.