I am sorry but I have to recommend Cardas Golden Cross as well. They helped to balance out my headphone setup, I also had silver interconnects before that. I have tested HGA with my current speaker setup as well and has come to similar conclusions that silver is not good for this setup either (solid state electronics). I have tried Shunyata Altair Helix with my speakers and it seems to be nice balance, I have yet to find proper speaker cables though so I have to look into it some more.
For a cheap fix go to Ebay and find an early pair of Monster M series interconnects..Lush with exc. bass..Should also be $100 ish.........
Agree with Thorman, the older beige M1000i's were a nice sounding warm cable, however when I tried the newer black jacket version, they were not the same.
I also have a pair of Monster M1000i. They are a great buy for sure. They lack a tiny bit of articulation when compared head-to-head with the Cardas Crosslink but they have a more open midrange.
Another great warm cable is the van den Hul First Ultimate mk2. It has amazing capabilities but never sounds bright or etched. Quite an enigma. It surpasses all other cables I have tried in terms of soundstaging as well.
I very highly recommend any van den Hul for your system (except for maybe the Orchid which is more on the lean side of things). The First Ultimate is kind of expensive but the D102mk3 and the Well are also first rate and never bright. You might also want to consider their speaker cables - like the D352. I used to have a pair and they weren't bright at all (not enough for my system and tastes actually). I think these cables will give you exactly what you seek.
The original Acoustic Zen Matrix Refs were tonally rich and on the warmer side, and if you can find them you'll probably get a great deal since they've been replaced by a newer version. The new version takes a step closer to the Silver Refs and sounds a bit leaner than the originals, so they may not be appropriate for your needs. Best of luck.
Thank you all for the insight.
I actually have several pair of old Monster Cable 400 MkII's and swapped a pair in just to see. They sound muddy with a lack of definition compared to the Tributaries and HGA Silver Lace, but then again they're not even the best Monster cable at that. I guess it sounds stupid to try and cut corners after dumping so much $ on equip, power cords and conditioning, so I'll probably pony up for the Golden Cross. I never thought I'd get to the point where my system is resolving enough to allow interconnects to have that big an impact. I do like the speed and articulation of the silver cables, but can't get past the high frequency emphasis and brightness.
I've heard good things about the Kimber Hero, but wondering if they would be on par with the Monster Cable given the price point. The Accoustic Zen Matrix IIs appear highly reccommended too.
Appreciate all of your input. Any other suggestions or thoughts are certainly welcome!
I second Acoustic Zen cables as being warm - either the Matrix Reference or the WOW series are copper wire and full sounding
I also recommend the original AZ Matrix Reference( not the newer MK II, which is more tonally neutral) The originals had a very seductively warm quality.
For detail emerging out of a beautiful silent background combined with a noticeable absence of edge or brightness, one choice is any generation of the Marigo IC's, analog or digital.
I always describe these as delivering a luxurious Rolls-Royce sound, everything enjoyable as the flow of music seems so natural, and unforced. There is a distinctive conveying of emotion with the human voice which is very captivating.
All details of a recording are kept intact, but less dramatically, less "in your face" than most other wiring.
My recommendation are the Audio Metallurgy GAO's which are pretty much always being auctioned here on Agon.
Great people to deal with as well.
Good luck on your quest.
I recommend acoustic zen matrix also,anything az is high on my list.
Anyone A/B the Golden Cross to the Acoustic Zen Matrix (or Matrix II)? Curious how those would sound.
I picked up a pair of Audioquest Jaguar DBS to demo and compare to the HGA Silver Lace. Completely different cables in my opinion, but both good for what they're designed for I imagine. The Jaguars are more dynamic with a better soundstage, they tame the extreme highs a bit but also add too much etch for my taste. Imagine they'd work well in the right system. The HGAs are brighter, but also smoother in the upper treble. Not as much low end, but decent tight bass response. Don't appear to be as dynamic in my setup as the Audioquests though.
I guess I'm down to either the Golden Cross or AZ Matrix, hopefully either will be an improvement over the AQ Jaguar DBS.
Give the Audience AU24 interconnects a listen in your system. On Agon I see them being sold on the cheap used or going for a lot less than a pair of used Cardas Golden Reference interconnects which they do sound similar too. Very warm sounding.
Thanks again for the responses. I ended up trading my Monitor Audio Silver 8's in on a pair of Quad 22L2's, which opened up things quite a bit for soundstage and got me away from the hard dome tweeter (lost a little low end slam, but the MA's were too much in that dept too). So far I'm pretty happy with the new speakers (great soundstage presentation), now just still trying to find a good IC to match with everything. Quad's finish is incredible for the price.
I also picked up a used pair of Cardas Golden Cross interconnects to try. They are initially incredibly bright, which is a suprise. Very resolving, but bright (no etch however). I'm told to let them settle, but not initially impressed as it's too much upper frequency, regardless of how clean it is. Can a used IC really take 3 days of continuous play for the HF to calm down???
Was also demoing a pair of Audioquest Panther DBS and they were much less bright, although had an annoying etch to them I didn't care for. Giving the Crosses some time to settle in, but they're revealing for being labled "warm". Had to dampen some of my isolation setup to calm down the upper HF. Next on the list is Accoustic Zen Matrix IIs...
Alright..to polish this thread off I finally ended up getting a pair of Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference II's. Thanks for those that suggested them (and again for all those who had any suggestions). Much better for my setup than the Golden Crosses. Definitely satisfied.
Hi - I can 100% positively confirm that the Cardas Golden Cross are very warm interconnects - I found that using both GC interconnects and speaker cables added to much warmth in fact. They are a very musical forgiving cable - NO DOUBT about it