Recent cable experiments have demonstrated two things to me:
1) I like copper better. 2) Unfortunately, while the economy brands are very good, it is possible to do better.
I am now in the market for something that will be warm - not bright in the least - and full, yet detailed. And I do seem to favor solid-core wire (single or more than one, individually wrapped) to stranded.
Recommendations for warm cabling almost universally default to Cardas Golden Cross, although I don't believe it's solid core.
I can also recommend Gregg Straley's Reality Cable speaker cable. Have you tried it? I wouldn't characterize it as warm, but neither is it bright. It transmits everything fed to it, but it's free of etch, grain and glare in my system.
It's tough to find "warm" and "detailed" in the same cable. "Warm" tends to also include "reduced detail".
Now, to you Cardas Golden Cross may not be warm, but based on your long, unsuccessful search for rolled-off, treble-reduced CD players, amplifiers and speakers, I would question the applicability of your opinion as a baseline for the majority of Audiogon members.
However, your opinion may be just the ticket for the OP, yet you offered no suggestions or alternatives, so of what value is your contribution?
Having read your submissions over the years, I believe it's safe to say that your definition of warm as it applies to audio is off the scale compared to how most readers would define warm if they heard the same cabling in the same system.
I would suggest ( since I have used them ) the Ridge Street Audios " Midnight Silver " edition of cables ..I used them myself and liked them very much..I realize they are not copper but you would never know once you have heard them...Also should be in your price range and have a return policy..........
Cardas says in the FAQs section of his website that the Golden Cross "has a warm, involving character", and Golden Reference is "accurate, resolute, and hides no sins".
The quote from George Cardas can be found in the Cardas FAQs section.
Now, if one accepts Mr. Cardas' statement as a true reflection of his perceptions and not as marketing rhetoric, then Golden Cross and Golden Reference cannot both be neutral cables. In fact, Golden Cross must be more colored than the Golden Reference if the Golden Reference hides no sins, and the Golden Cross does.
Your perception differs from that of the cable's designer. In fact, from your posts in these discussion forums, one can clearly argue that your perceptions regarding Cardas cabling do not coincide with the vast majority of listeners and owners of Cardas wire who have reported in these threads.
Your perception is your own. From that perspective, there can be no debating with you.
Now, undoubtedly you will reply with more philosophy and rhetoric. I really have no interest in that game.
The OP was seeking recommendations for warm cabling, and you have stated that from your perspective there are none. That should be enough.
07-24-08: Tvad Having read your submissions over the years, I believe it's safe to say that your definition of warm as it applies to audio is off the scale compared to how most readers would define warm if they heard the same cabling in the same system.
Well, at least it's better than the usual line "There is no such thing as a warm cable, or bright cable. They do not exist.....". In this aspect I agree that Mrtennis's participation in this thread or other similar ones, is of no value. No offense intended.
Apart from the universally-accepted Cardas being a warm cable, Van den hul also applies.
i read george cardas description of golden cross. there are two points.
he did not say the cable was colored , or not neutral.
he did not define "warm". perhaps the whole problem is my definition of warm as a coloration disagrees with the connotation that others have of the term, and therefore, the reason that i do not observe components to be warm is based upon my definition of warm.
this is not philosophy, this is definition.
i will agree with one point ,namely if i have not experienced any "warm" sounding cables, it is obvious i cannot recommend any. if tvad, that is indeed your point, you are correct.
I had a pair of golden cross 1 meter RCAs for about two weeks. They were anything but warm. I was pairing them with a Musical Fidelity A308 Integrated and a Benchmark DAC, conditioned through Shunyata Taipan Helix cords and Hydra conditioner. The golden crosses were EXTREMELY bright. I then tried a pair of Acoustic Zen Reference II's that did the trick and tamed the upper frequency while providing great resolve. From what I've heard this is opposite of expectations, as the AZs are a silver/copper blend compared to the Cardas all copper design.
In the end, I sold the A308 Integrated and picked up a Sunfire TGA5200 to simplify my setup. Now I realize just how warm (and truly resolving) the Musical Fidelity A308 really was. For solid state I'm not sure I'll find anythign that matches it and I've tried Rotel, Outlaw, Anthem (A5) and now this Sunfire (which I'm leaning keeping as it's holding the compromise well enough between HT and 2 channel).
fwiw the one time I listened to Cardas Golden Cross with my Maggie 1.6 speakers I hated it. It was the most lifeless sound I ever got from my stereo. Maybe it would be better in someone elses rig who knows...
I whole heartedly second all of Gregg Straley's Reality Cable products. Fantastic bargain and amazing performance. Transparent as all hell and super detailed without harshness. However be careful with his tube interconnect, it doesn't work with all tube amps (like mine: an Art Audio Carissa). His speaker cables are THE BEST (certainly for the $$$).
Warm speaker cables in my system were older MIT 2 and Audioquest Indigo and Sumiko OCOS. When I say warm I mean they had less resolution and transparency. I really like the Signal Cable Ultra cable, cheap, detailed and a pleasing bass response which is my definition of warm. You don't want a lack of transparency and detail.
Glad to hear some posters mention the Straley's. I believe I'm headed there next.