I know many people will disagree, but having compared many different cables... nordost spm, kimber select, MIT, etc., I find that the Transparent Reference XL is far superior. It is amazingly quiet and controlled. Very expensive but if you have the money, well worth it. The only thing that might compare, from what I hear, is the Purist Audio Dominus.
Nordost SPM is the best I have ever owned.
Audioquest Amazon and Nordost Quatro Filare are the best ones I heard and owned.
Tara Labs Master Generation 2 is very good.
Kimber Select 1130 balanced
I don't know what I would do without the Straight wire SERENADE in my system. I have to tried some expensive cable between pre-amp and amp. And nothing comes close.
Coincident IC best i have tried.
Van den Hul MC Silver is the best I have ever owned
Kimber PBJ! It can stand "neck to neck" with the most "heavyweights", mentioned above!
Purist Audio Dominus not only is the most well-constructed cable but also sounds increadibly transparent and neutral. I do not own these (can't afford it) but a friend has them in his system - WOW. My other favorite (that I have heard) is the Audioquest Diamond.
MIT Shotgun series - Impedance matching series. Best I've heard.
Here's a new one for you. Zu Cable is a new company that is manufacturing some tremendous products. I have been fortunate to sample their interconnects and review them before they were marketed. I am so impressed with them that I will completely re-cable my system with nothing but their ICs. Keep your eyes open for their introduction. Your ears will be pleasantly surprised...
My vote for #1 is the MIT 350 Shotgun EVO.
I will have to nominate the Superconnect IV from Musical Concepts. Have owned many of the cables listed above. But these cables are the best kept secret in all of audio bar none!!. And at their price point,they are the only contender PERIOD. Give them a try--truly remarkable by any standard.
Purist Audio Dominus and Proteus, NBS Monitor 0 and Siltech's G-3 line of those currently available, and Full Spectrum of those not currently available. The Kimber Select silver interconnects also belong on the list, as well as their KCAG and, as a top choice on the budget side that's not so far away from the big boys, their PBJ.
Oops, left out the Quattro Fil, it really is as good as they say.
Have had many different IC's including SPM and must say I really like the Harmonic Technology Pro Silway Mk. II. I personally believe that they are sometimes discounted as "the best" due to their price. One must remenber that system/cable matching is the most important and these have worked the best for me.
Harmonic Technology Pro-Silway MK2 I've had mine for a year now and it has improved my system as much as a major component upgrade.Not real expensive either ($399/M) Mike Fremer likes the Pro-silway's so much it is replacing his long loved Yamamura's
Straightwire Crescendo for 2 channel. Seranade & crescendo for theatre...impecable. Misty Crystal Revelations "Aquarious"
Jla, David...Please elucidate your perceived differences between the HT and the Nordost. I'm contemplating replacing my Red Dawn with something equally detailed but less lean, and am considering HT or Siltech G3 (available locally).
Subaruguru,I have no experience with Nordost,sorry.
Kimber PBJ for its price, value and quirky name
SYNERGISTIC DESIGNERS REF.ACTIVE SHEILDING BALANCED.Dead quite.Does it for me.
Straightwire Serenade. (used to be Jr, Cresendo, during the development phase) I got the Jr.crsecendo from my dealer for use between pre-amp and amp. BEST COMPONET IN MY SYSTEM. Brings out the best from my Dunlavy-Vs and Classe-CA-400. The trick is to have right cable (not necessarily same, from CD to pre-amp, )in my case MIT Proline.
No interconnect at all is the best interconnect. Integrated amps dispense with these fancy, but ultimately necessary, tone controls called "interconnects."
BUT.... integrated amps with pre out/main in jacks respond and benefit to IC's in EXACTLY the same way as separates do.IME, if you've an integrated with pre-main jacks, you should use the feature since components using bridging straps will be more prone to RFI pollution than from using a shielded IC.
Magnan Vi is the best I've heard. I don't have the most extensive experience with cables, I tend not to change monthly like alot of people. But these are by far the best I've lived with.
We'd better add FIM Gold series to the list.
i suggested the Coincident IC 5 months ago and now that this cable is fullu broken in +500 hours it is up there with the best.My previous favorite was Wireworld Eclipse Gold III and the Coincident are every bit as good.My least favorite is the Quattro Fil.This cable just does not do it.I had it with the Wireworld,Audioquest Opal and JPS Supperconductor on nite with a bunch of people and it was consistently the least favorite of all.The Coincident bettered them all.At 299.00 its a steal.
I agree with Leafs about the Coincident. I absolutely love mine. The best copper cable I have come across. Would like to compare it to the Kimber Select copper IC. This Kimber is also suprisingly affordable. Just because a cable doesn't cost $2000, doesn't preclude it from being the best.
My home brew-silver-copper-teflon-wbt(knock off)-braided design. I can make a great pair of interconnects for $30 that will please me as much as $500(+). Those that pay more for name brands (in many cases) are paying much more than they need to.
FIM GOLD, Coincident, and Kimber Select "Black Pearl". The KS "BP" is a bit more system dependent because of the tendency to move the center image further back behind the plane of the speakers, but it's unsurpassed in certain areas. The Coincident is great (after a rather long burn-in)especially considering the cost, and the FIM Gold (though stiff)is amazing. Just my .02
2nd vote here for Synergistic ic's, with Active Shielding of course! When you switch on that shielding power supply, the stage opens up wide & deep.
Having heard some out there including Mapleshade Omega Micro's with Network Box, MIT, JPS Superconductors, DH Lab, Audio Magic Sorcerer, Cardas Golden Cross, my award will have to go for the Stealth PGS Gold interconnects, amazing reproduction of sound, so natural and Serguei is also a wonderful person to deal with.
Stealth PGS and ultimate ribbon cables
In my system, the NBS Monitor I XLR interconnects sounded the best. I sold my JPS Superconductor II's and Nordost SPM XLR's once I heard the detail and overall sound from the NBS Monitor I.
Changing the best I heard from AQ Amazon and Nordost Quattro fil to NBS Monitor 0 and Siltech SQ88B, this two cables although both overprice (they really are)
,are the ones on top of the hill in my opinion.
Stealth PGS!! Full and warm sounding with lots of detail.
Recently received a 1m. pair of interconnects from InnerSound and, esp. at the price, they are very, very good.
A set of Nordost analogue balanced/XLR SPMs were the cleanest, no coloration, nothing added or subtracted, which surprises me why they have to be so expensive to achive this feat... Merblich / Erblichs
Well, in all honesty the best for me has been Straight Wire Serenade for ICs, and Straight Wire Maestro II for SCs. I have had and tried many others, some much more expensive, but nothing has touched these cables. Feel free to spend more if you want.
harmonic technology cyberlight was excellent but the synergistic designer reference is better overall
I second the PBJ. An amazing interconnect for cheap.
As I sit here chowing a medium-rare burger with steak fries, 4 come to mind :
Cardas Hexlink Golden 5-C
Magnan Type VI
Purist Audio Dominus
Virtual Dynamics Master or Revelation
Nice choice of interconnects, but come on.....cook that burger a little longer. I prefer medium well.
My CRL/FIM Gold IC's are a pain in the butt to position and install, BUT they are music to my ears. Amazing tight deep bass, crystal clear highs, and midtone magic. I now have them as my speaker cable, IC's and power cords. I haven't heard every IC out there, but of the one's I have owned, heard, and demo'd in my system...CRL/FIM Gold IC's rule!