Trying to avoid having to try a dozen different speaker cables, if that is even possible.



I could use some advice around speaker cables.

I appreciate your positive input.

I am using my Marantz CD player drive into a Schitt Iggy DAC.

My preamp is a Mac C52 which pairs nicely with a pair of Pass Labs 250.5 power amps.

One amp powers my front ADS L2030’s and the other amp powers a pair of ADS L910’s on the sides.
I happen to side the ADS sound, and have this orientation as it provides me a more “surround” experience.

I am aware of the benefits in sound using good quality interconnects so I am using AudioQuest cables of the mid-range level like Yukon.

I am also using good quality power cords. Shunyata. All ones that are medium range in price.

Where I am lacking is in the speaker cables, I believe.

I was using home made cables using 10 gauge copper wire made by Knukonceptz.
I realize that this is my weakest link in my system.

I am trying to avoid the changeout swap-uhm-out technique if I can, and hope to move into cable that will simple work fine on first try. Yes, I have rolled tubes, and tried this and tried that, and I spent a lot of money doing this to get to where I am today.

I do understand that good speaker cables and interconnects do make quite a difference.

I had a long conversation with a well known cable company that told me to dump my homemade cables.

I do not disagree. But, he also recommended a bunch of different cables for me, and so I’d like to hear from those in the know about how to proceed. Please keep this informational. It is appreciated.

Here are some of the manufacturers mentioned to me.

Synergistic Research
Cardas
Analysis Plus
Shunyata
Audioquest
Kimber Kable
Audience
Nordost

I was asked what kind of music I listen to. Well, primarily rock, but also jazz and classical.

Regardless of the style of music, I simply want to heard what was recorded. All of it.

I am aware that cheaper systems can mask instruments/performances hidden deep in a recording, or the blanket over the system sound from poor cables. My gear is good and they all play nicely together.

I am simply looking for detail and 3D imaging. This is why I have the Pass Labs vs a Mac 452.

The Pass Labs projects the sound out into the room creating a more 3D experience.

I want the same thing from my speaker cables.

I’d need a pair of 10’ and a pair of 18’ cables. I would want banana to spade.

My budget is $2,000-$3,000 for the 4 cables. I am also aware of diminishing returns.

Do I even need to be spending this much on speaker cables?

I do not want or need the best cables known to man. I want cables that are the best bang for the buck in my price range.

Also, I am not opposed to buying used cables from a company like usedcable.com but I’d appreciate your opinion on buying used cables vs new. It was also recommended to keep both sets of cables made by the same manufacturer for sonic consistency.

Any help is truly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

What cables would you recommend and where from?






johnnystereobuyer
You are going to get all kinds of advice  with a post like this. You have a good list and I have tried all the brands you have listed except for Nordst. To save you time and possibly money I would call Jason at the Cable Company. He is an excellent source of information and I am sure he will have some good recommendations for your system. For years I have borrowed cables from them and I find it amazing in the differences I hear brands. What I like you might not and vice versa.
There is probably noting like trying the cables in your system to know.
From my experience in DIY cables, I think that there are two mains factor to consider: tonal balance is affected by the gauge of conductors. larger conductors tend to shift the tonal balance to the low end, then the details are affected by the mass of dielectric material around the conductors. Lower mass more details. I favor a braided cotton dielectric or something similar that allows as much air around the conductors as possible.
Since you are working from a DIY  pair your can link the sound you have with the dielectric material and gauge you have in you current cables. Do you have the tonal balance you like? if so try to find some cables with similar gauge wire. One thing I noted when I made cables of similar gauge but by combining finer strands (22 to 32 awg) is that the finer the stands the closer it resembled the sound of the solid core. If the stands are coarser they are not held as tight together and start to behave like individual conductors.
I have never heard the ADS L2030s. What direction do you want to take your sound? More highs? More midrange? More Bass? Detail? What interconnect cables are you using now? 
You might try and find some demo/used Audiomica cables. They bested cables I used before and will not break your bank account (at least they didn't break mine) but placed a big smile on my face. Just another opinion I'm sure there will be many more.
Thanks to all for the posts. ADS L2030's were the biggest speakers made by them in the 80's. They weigh about 190lbs each. They are well balanced in terms of highs, mids, and bass. I want my ears to be sonic fingers digging deep into mixes.
I have experience as both engineer and producer, and I am able to hear/perceive the smallest details and things that disappear in most mixes.

I want cables that present the most detail with a 3D soundstage. My interconnects are primarily all mid priced Audioquest.
You're going to get much better bang for your buck by going with one of the smaller brands, which don't spend $$$ on their advertising budget and need to factor that into the cost of their product.

Audio Envy, is the current Audiogon fav.  Search for threads.

Other brands to look at: Black Cat, Moon Audio, Audio Sensibility.
Check out Elsdon Wonfor Audio LS 25 Speaker cable,

the 2 sets would cost you about £2000 so that should be in budget but you may have to work out import duty.
http://www.hifianswers.com/2020/07/ewa-elsdon-wonfor-audio-ls-xxv-ls-25-speaker-cable-test-review/

review at this link, I am currently using a 2m pair of these. Colin is the guy who designed tellerium Q cables which are well regarded these are better performing than TQ black ultra IIs which would cost you much more.
They image fantastically, I have achieved a 3 D soundstage on my SS integrated amp once I got the power clean enough. The key measurement for speaker cable is phase coherency. Shorter lengths of speaker cable are better but these will still perform well at the lengths you require. You can buy these from ABCaudio in the UK more info on their website including phase shift measurements (which most companies dont provide)

I have no affiliation with this company just a happy customer.

Alternatively Morrow audio are well regarded on this forum and they currently have special offers running (not heard these but lots of folk on here speak highly of them for value).
I’m not going to quote a brand, but a type of cable. Ribbons and weaves, look into both. I was just blown away at the "Western market" vs the "Eastern market" in terms of bang for your buck... sometimes 1000% mark up.. VERY close in SO of 10 year old 20K cables.. or a lot of the "Name brands".

Newer tech, like weave, ribbons, and the ABSENCE of built in shielding that KILLS the dynamics of a lot of cables, make for a whole new world. The weaves by design, have a very low noise floor, but deliver wonderful tonality because of the wire constriction size and dielectrics. 4-500.00 at the most, 2-4 week delivery time..

The ribbons, are really cool, but the longer runs, might get noisy, at 18 feet. 10 is still a bit long for a ribbon.. 3 meters works, 2 meters is better.

If all else fails and you have to stay state side, USED is the only way to go. 2-3K can go along ways.

Do you get what you pay for? Only you can answer that question.

Are cables important? I think you’ll like the change for sure..

I sure do, I’m pretty friggin’ picky..

OP one other thing, doesn't the C52 have a built in DAC? That's crazy. I know the C70 didn't.
Why aren't you using the C52 dac in lue of the other DAC? Just wondering..

Regards
Hi. The Schitt Iggy DAC blows away the built-in DAC in the Mac.

Then again, it is 2K used.

As a follow up, I spoke with Morrow Cables.

A 3 meter SP-5 runs 535 a pair.
A 3 meter SP-6 runs 824 a pair.
A 3 meter SP-7 runs 1236 a pair.

Anyone have experience with these?

Or should I be looking more at Synergistic Research Foundation series?

Or the Cardas Cygnus?


THX!
You really should throw Purist Audio into the mix, something like a Musaeus would sound wonderful, dead silent backgrounds.
OP, I can only offer general information to help you on your quest. Generally speaking my experience has been that as you go up the product line speaker cables get more and more detailed. IMHO your system is very good but probably what I would call middle of the road vs. some of the big statement systems that I call the hi-end. I would suggest for the highest level of detail and space for your system to pick a middle of the line cable from one of the companies you have listed. I can't make a specific recommendation without hearing your system. 
Thanks for all the input. Interestingly, I do have a pair of ML Summit X as well as a pair of Montis, but side by side, the L2030's sound better....
at least to my ears. I also forgot to mention I also use a SVS or ML sub with the rig.

Any input around the Morrow SP-7 vs the Synergistic Research Foundation?

Again, thanks for the assist. It is appreciated.
I would sure like to hear the ADS  L2030, I wasn't even aware of their existence back in the day and I was a big ADS fan. 
You are right, really good cables can make a tremendous difference. Night and day. Your preference for wanting to hear all the details with 3D imaging and high value, to me that narrows it right down to Synergistic.  

Especially since you require 10' and 18'. Those are not real common runs, the ten not so much but the 18 will be hard to find. Ordering new is very expensive, and risky since a lot of places will not let you return what they consider custom length. Pretty sure even SR will have a restocking fee on ones like this. 

This argues even more for Synergistic. SR has made enough cables over enough years you will have your best shot at finding used. With used cables these less common lengths might actually work to your advantage. Not a lot of people want them so if you do it right you might get some good deals. Synergistic has made so many over so many years it increases your odds greatly. I've been running them for 30 years, and not for lack of trying others.  

If you can't find used searching around private parties the Cable Co will almost certainly have some in your lengths. All SR cables are very similar in character- detailed, 3D, with a big stage and bold full bodied presentation. They are not lean. All kinds of choices if you want a lean hi-fi analytical type sound. Detail to me means the kind of eerie detail that tells you the person really is there in front of you.
+1 for value Audio EnvyAnd Audio Art
Yep, ADS are pretty awesome. I have owned pretty much all models of them at one time. The 30 series to my ear is the best.  L1230, L1530, and L2030, which are really quite rare. I bought a pair in mint condition.

So, I spoke with Jason at the Cable Company.

On Monday, he is going to send me 3 sets of cable on loan to try.

Shunyata Venom

S.R. Foundation

Cardas SKY

I welcome opinions around all 3 of these.

They all run about $1,000 a pair. Same ballpark.
And thanks all!!! Appreciated!!!!
I'm not trying to be snarky here but you don’t need our opinions on the loaner cables. Just try them and decide which ones you like. No one can tell you what to like. Let us know your results and good luck.
Post removed 
I wouldn't use The Cable Company. You will be paying full retail and end up with subpar cables at the budget that you have. Once they lend you cables, I'm pretty sure, you're obligated to buy with them. I dealt with them before - they're a bunch of car salesmen. See posts from others re their bad experience with The Cable Company.
I was hoping to avoid any snark. I have not heard the cables I mentioned. Some here have. In that I value their opinion, there is no reason why I cannot and/or should not ask. I fully understand that no one can tell me what I like. If I knew what that was, then I would have no reason to have posted this, or have asked other's opinions.

And thanks for the direction regarding the Cable Company. My impression was similar to yours. I have the option to move in a different direction before I make any commitment prior to Monday. I thank you for the input rdk777.
I realize that it can be a daunting and confusing task to search for an improvement in your system, especially cables. And, yes, you have every right to ask for opinions. The search is what makes this hobby fun for most of us. In the old days you found a dealer you could trust and let him help you build your system with the knowledge of your room, equipment and preferences. Today things are a little different. But if you let others tell you what to expect from the cables you're getting, won't that tend to lend a prejudice to your opinion? Listen to the cables in your system then let us know your thoughts. That will help us suggest others that you might also like and wish to try. Again, good luck.
I've been using Magnan Signature Speaker cables for the last 15 years and they are still my favorite cables. 100% neutral & transparent. They can compete with any other cable on the market, even those costing 20.000$. You will find these for 700$ on SH market. With remaining 1300$ upgrade your DAC because that Schitt Iggy DAC is a weak point in your system. 
Those ADS speakers must sound great, I think Nordost would be over kill. You may like Audioquest, or if you want to be different and like others have recommended, go for Marrow SP 4, anything higher and prices do jump up quite a bit for long runs, Audioquest Rocket might provide what your looking for...I think having such classic speakers you need classic designed audio cable..Good hunting 
Please look into Triode Wire Labs speaker cables.

Great quality, reasonable and fair pricing. 30 day try out.

https://triodewirelabs.com/product/american-speaker-cable-american-series/
Pay attention to the op’s budget. He’s not getting 2 pairs of purist cables for 3k. He needs 56’. I’d look at kimber 8tc.  Nice cables at a decent price. 
Check this out:

https://www.mcmaster.com/6276T21/

Look very carefully at the current rating of the cable above (124A). I have not seen any other 8 AWG wire anywhere which can carry that much current. Try & find one.  This indicates a very low loss cable, which is excellent. Each strand is also tinned, which is excellent against any kind of corrosion. It is only $4 per foot.

Also, check this out:
https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/index.htm

Also read the "Oxygen Free Copper" section here:
http://www.bcae1.com/wire.htm

Give Morrow audio a try ! They are great value and you got 60 days trial if you don’t hear the difference! I love my sp6 speakers cable , I never hear my zenith mc4000 can perform the lower frequency that well .... I can turn my sub off without worry the need of lower bass ! Great cable ! Hope you find what you need ! Cheer !!
Yes, give Morrow a shot... good cables for the money. Audio Sensibility is another good source. Also Audio Art. Look at a bit higher line Shunyata cables too. I’ve got Cobra’s, excellent for the money. Don’t over look Transparent either...
Please do yourself a favor and buy some Duelund Dual DCA12GA 2x12 awg, Tin-plated, Stranded Copper, Oiled Cotton Speaker/Interconnect Cable. They sound best unterminated- just bare wire to your amp and speakers. Partsconnexion.com is the place to get it from. You will not be disappointed. 

This is an example where obsession leads to unhappiness! In my 40+ years I learned this: wire does not matter! If a piece of wire passes a signal it is fine! Herb Reichert stated the same thing in Listener back in the 90's. The conned and the delusional continue to believe in some kind of "hierarchy" of wire: wire A is "better" than wire B is "better" than wire C ... all nonsense and scientifically unverifiable! Manufacturers are happy and only too willing to cater to this belief - it sure is profitable! Wire that costs less than a dollar a foot can be sold to the gullible for hundreds and thousands a foot! 
I can't comment on anyone else's experience with the Cable Company, but I have found their lending library to be extremely helpful in figuring out what cables are a good match for a specific system. It does have some cost involved, but it's not excessive IMO. You have to pay shipping costs and put down a deposit that is 5% of the total retail cost of the cables you borrow. So if you borrow $3K in cables, you pay a deposit of $150. The deposit is not refundable, but it can be used to pay for any gear you like, either now or in the future. If you decide that you prefer speaker cables from somewhere else, you can put the $150 deposit toward a power cable, an interconnect, a USB cable, or any accessory that the Cable Company sells. I think that having several cables to compare at the same time in your own home is great, and it's definitely worth the small costs involved.   

I made my own using Mogami w3104 and I’m so impressed with them, I was using QED XT400 with QED airlock plugs and that was ok but the Mogami is on a different scale altogether, plus I saved a fortune and really enjoyed doing them, and a plus is if you don’t like them it didn’t cost silly money. 
At that budget, no doubt the Auditorium 23’s....although, now that I see you need 2 pair, these may be out of the question. I like the Audioquest type 4's and the QED silver Anniversary bi- wire cables. 
Last year I upgraded from Audio Envy to Morrow SP4 and have been very pleased

Price performance of both Audio Envy and Morrow have delivered as advertised in my experience

The improvement gained with Morrow SP4 was immediate and only got better with burn in

Dynamic range and detail benefits right out of the box

Lots of industry accolades and awards for the Morrow products and I believe Legacy speakers use Morrow exclusively at the various consumer audio shows where they've often won best in class or best room at the show type ratings

Another interesting reference for Morrow cables

For Christmas I sent my brother a Morrow instrument cable, he plays guitar

He response was, I thought my guitar was crap and the whole time it was the cable.  He was using a few gadgets between this guitar and amp to help shape the sound of the guitar and after adding the Morrow cable has dropped all the gadgets and is getting the sound he has always hoped for
There seem to be many shills on this thread. At the price point you are talking about, it is easy to spend less and make your own cables. You can buy from Parts Express (no affiliation) and elsewhere and make some very good speaker cables and interconnects. Again, there are some great YouTube videos on how to make them - it is incredibly easy even if you are not adept at making things. One last thing - unlike others here, I have good experience dealing with usedcables.com (The Cable Company in Newton Square, PA).
Oh, here we go... where is the popcorn? Oil thread anyone?
Hello,
I like Nordost a lot. You should get to the Hiemdal line. It’s the first of the micro filament. Good gauge with lots of detail. I also like Murrow Audio cables. You need to get as high as you can to get to a good overall gauge wire. I believe they have a sale going on now and they allow returns for 30-60 days. Below m4 the gauge is too light. If your in the Chicagoland area Nordost is sold at https://holmaudio.com/
the Murrow you have to order direct. 
No popcorn. This is not audio drama theater. It is simply a guy trying to gather information from other experienced individuals regarding an important link to his system. I appreciate the input so far, and really wish to stay away from others with a personal agenda other than mine.

I understand that some posts and/or posters may wish to carry this thread in another direction, but I ask politely to not do this.

I am trying to weed through the hype, and the shills, and gather information designed to benefit me and my decision regarding speaker cables.

Many thanks in advance to those sincerely trying to provide me their personal input.
I recently upgraded to Transparent 10-2 with Bricks.  They sell it by the foot. I have been very happy with it so far.  
I’d say look at anticables for those lengths, maybe audio art. Rob, the owner would work with you on the custom length. 
Also, audio envy is pretty good for the $, Cap is a real good guy to work with. 
I think it’s worth looking at Audience and Analysis Plus, too. 
I just bought some Kirmuss cables, $610 for a 12’ pair from Mike Kay at Audio Archon, but Charles Kirmuss himself may make custom lengths for not much more if you contact him directly.
Also, I just picked up Stager silver interconnects for cheap. I liked them so much, I got him to make me a pair of silver cables. Very inexpensive.

sorry to throw a lot at you, but I’ve listened to a ton within the $1-$2k range and they make a difference, but I honestly think getting the best interconnect you can and going cheaper on the speaker cables is the way to go since they’re closer to the source in the signal chain. If you didn’t have a holy s$&@ moment when you put your AQ interconnects in, you might want to go back a step.
Wireworld.......contact Larry Smith.....you won’t be disappointed.  
I wish someone had told me the truth about speaker cables when I started out. There's a whole spectrum between "hobby" and "obsession" and the way one goes about crafting the perfect system. 

I would suggest you start here, and then ask yourself why the specs that really matter are hardly ever listed on the manufacturer's website. 

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7DdcZCbABo


"Regardless of the style of music, I simply want to heard what was recorded. All of it. ..."

That is an impossible ideal, and includes I think a very ambiguous and problematic phrase: "what was recorded." If that can’t be defined clearly, then it’s almost impossible to understand what "reproducing" or "hearing" what was recorded would mean.

None of the music I hear at home sounds exactly like what I hear in a recital or symphony hall (not even taking into account the various positions I might sit in that music hall); a lot of it sounds better.
jasonbourne52

Finally, someone with a bit of sense.

I gave a perfect wire example before at about $4/foot, probably better than ALL the other wires specified here but as you mention, obsessive personalities cannot see past their noses.

I challenge ALL of you to show me a wire, at 8AWG, about $4/foot, which can carry more than 124 Amps....


I used to have a pair of Aerial 10T’s which I’ve now replaced with Tektons.

 I also have an Iggy DAC.

 I use Gryphon gold plated silver cables which are pretty pricey but incredible.  They were great with the Aerials and are great with the Tekton.

A safe alternative would be the most expensive Audioquests you can afford.  I think they know what they’re doing.  I use their Diamond USB going into my Iggy.
Inakustik, Solversmith and Nordost are the three brands in my very short list of 3

Home :: in-akustik (in-akustik.de)
https://silversmithaudio.com/fidelium-cables/
Nordost | HI-FI Audio Cables

What to look for in a top performing cable...
  1. noise cancelling geometry
  2. quality wire preferably OCC copper or OCC silver
  3. Insulations with a low Dielectric constant
  4. top quality connectors

If a brand does not post the geometry used then DO NOT consider it - one reason my list is so short.

Regards - Steve
Thanks to all for the positive input. Make no mistake, any products mentioned and all links provided, I have since looked at or read.

Information is King
Communication is Queen
and without those two...
You Ain't got Jack

Hello Johnny!  If you are willing to DIY, you can make flat, 50 conductor cables (ala Nordost), light grey, not pretty, best sound I have heard. You will wire every other conductor to + an the others to -.  It's tedious, 200 wires to strip and separate for each pair, but (drumroll please) you can buy (computer surplus) 100 foot rolls for $65 (Amazon or All Electronics under "flat cable"). Spades & bananas available from many sources. Nordost puts their conductors in two wide parallel pairs (1-15 as +, 26-50 as -), missing the opportunity to avoid the strong magnetic field around the wire when in use. 
By using every other wire as +, etc. the magnetic field around the cable is cancelled and cannot be interfered with by unwanted stray fields nor will it interfere with other wires in the area. The result is ugly, but excellent, very inexpensive, "hand made," speaker cable. It will go under rugs nicely. Feel free to contact me if you need more info. Boomer Bill