Well... guess I have to jump in the rabbit hole of speaker cables... lol

I just bought a pair of 10 T’s and am having a raspy edge on the high end. I contacted Mr. Kelly at Aeriel Acoustics and I sent the tweets to them for an evaluation...  tweets are in good shape! I have replaced everything in the system except the spk cables... I bought BJ cables the 10 ga. Belden etc. I have a dear friend in the high end audio business and is sending me a higher end pair of cables. Not sure what they are going to be but he is excited for me to try them....

Are the Belden really that bad? Can they be the cause of the raspy bad guys?

I am really looking forward to this... not so much for my wallet... she is scared. 

Looking forward to the great experience here on the GON...
6f46e9d1 45ca 46fd 8370 73d2abece53bcaptbeaver
What is the rest of your system? Is it the cables or just the T10s revealing additional upstream issues that need to be evaluated again...  Try the loaned cables and if the raspy edge is gone then there are cables (beside the loaned pair) that may work with the 10Ts better than the BJ cables and leave your wallet not feeling assaulted.  
denon cd player
Mac C-41 pre
no amp at the moment

was a mac 7100 she couldn’t run the 10t’s

Have a Parasound A 21 coming in a month or so.

Cables are not your problem. Sounds like problem(s) with upstream components to me. That Mac was likely the culprit.
FWIW, I agree with Stevechamp. Cables are not your problem, and certainly the Belden 10 ga is not a problem which another cable is likely to solve. If anything I suspect that other cables will exacerbate the problem. I have been using the Belden for some years now in preference to several other high end cables, they are not 'bright'. Be careful in matching an amp to your speakers that you do not get an amp which might just aggrevate your perception of brightness. 

If I were you, I would insure that I had maximized all set up possibilities before I concluded that your problem cannot be solved without getting different stuff. Been there. If I had taken my own advise I'd have saved a ton of dough going thru the component merry-go-round.
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It’s not your Belden cables.   They are “industry standard” cables long used in the pro realm for many of your favorite recordings.  They would not be used if they had some weird defect like “raspy highs” and all the recordings using those cables would have “raspy highs.”  But the don’t.
You can look up measurements for those exact cables (e.g. on audiohilics) and see they measure superbly.

FWIW I use the Belden 10awg speaker cables (from BJ Cables) and my system certainly doesn’t have raspy highs.  I’d hate that.

Beware of “friends” bearing expensive cables.  ;-)

Look elsewhere in your system including room acoustics, speaker positioning.  Remember that different speakers interact in different ways with a room/listener position.


Where are your speakers pointing?  Try orienting them straight ahead, so when you're in the sweet spot you're somewhat off access.

Is there a lot of glass in your room?

There are a lot of variables here.  Best case you can ameliorate for free, less-than-best some inexpensive room treatment (GIK).

Does this happen on all music? The other night, I was playing A "Living Stereo" SACD and there was so much junk coming out I thought "damn, I must have blown a tweeter". Not the case. The "junk" was in the recording!

>>>>Geez, where’s Dolby when you need it? 😳
I have changed the pre with a cool tube “chifi” pre... replaced all tubes with solid tubes ( I’m a guitarist and use only tube amps, so I know the process... same. And to be honest, with the tube upgrade it sounds very very good.
xlr and rca switched... same

I REALLY hope it’s not the Mac pre. I have always wanted one and finally got the money to get it... I would be bummed.

I’m really hoping the A21 will do the trick. Mr Kelly thinks they will be a great match. 

This two channel thing is getting complicated... lol

When I was rocking the Crown pre and DC 300 with the L 100’s life was so simple. Lol

I had Martin Logans before the 10 T’s and had nothing but problems with their reliability. Went to the 10 T’s and really want to get it right and enjoy listining again. 

I am looking forward to the surprise cables coming.

Thanks to all who take the time to help me. It’s a frustrating period...

What are the ic’s ? Bad cables will definitely deter achieving great sound. First reflection surface quite important too. That said if the sound is raspy/sibilant listening right in front of the speaker you will have to consider the speaker. Is it a metal dome of some type? 
I doubt it’s the Mac preamp.  One thing McIntosh is not is raspy.  Look elsewhere within the system. 
I agree with stereo5.   

Your cables are definately a problem. Low quality cabling will lose bass information which will make the top end  raspy also the Denon CD player is probably not up to snuff. 

A more revealing loudspeaker will show you things that were in the system that you didn't know where there.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Definitely not the Mac. Agree also.  If anything it would sound slightly warm or syrupy not bright. 
 I suspect your room is the culprit! There is lots of YouTube info on acoustic treatment. That is the most likely way to solve your problem. 
I have never heard a McIntosh product sound raspy! You don’t have quality cables. I have heard the 10t’s and the 20t’s and thought they were very bright sounding especially the 20t’s. It very well could be a synergy issue. Maybe borrow a friends amp/preamp/integrated to see if the raspy sound follows when changing components
Captbeaver, there seems to be confusion as to what amp you are running with your current gear. You say the Mac 7100 doesn’t have enough power, so what amp are you using when the 10t’s sound raspy.

Also, I see the Mc7100 is 100 watts at 8 ohms. I would think that would work. 10t's are  rated 86db.

In your last thread regarding your system, Georgehifi gives you real good input on your speakers needing current. You may want to reread that.

I wouldn't worry about speaker cables until you get amp situation corrected.
I have no idea what else may be contributing to what you're hearing, but your cables are definitely crap and at least a part of the problem. Speaker cables (and interconnects, and power cords) are not a rabbit hole. They are very straightforward- you try them out, you buy what works. It is only when you try and make sense of why - or worse, try and base your decisions on why - that you plummet headlong into the abyss. So take my advice: don't buy anything you haven't heard in your system, don't even audition anything based on anything other than listening impressions. Buy only what sounds good to you in your system. Stay a million miles away from anything even resembling a measurement. The only three instruments that matter are either side of your head and in-between. 

In fact, not just cables. Stick with this for everything. 
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I am not running anything as the tweeters are still in Mass. with Mr. Kelly. They should be back later this week. Chad is sending the cables... I am borrowing them to remove the Belden from the equation. I sold the Mac so I will wait until I buy the Parasound A-21 or 21+ to really listen and evaluate the impact the cables have. 

The CD player has been a solid component for me... DVD-2900. 

The 10T’s need current so the A21 will satisfy that.

I want to do this right and simple.... not so simple huh. Lol

I am fortunate I have Audiogon and Mr. Kelly, who is a true gentleman in every aspect along with My friend Chad who is incredibly talented and respected in the audio video biz.


I had to tame some speakers once, that would put your eye out with the wrong equipment. Ended up with a Butler amp which slightly rolls off the top.

 The best speaker cables I owned for this set up were Audioquest 8.
Yeah, I would look at your source and the cabling.  Nice speakers, they are going to tell you a whole lot more about what’s going on upstream. The Denon was nice in its day, but modern DACs are really getting good.  You owe it to yourself to try something else with the 10t’s.
Dirty power from the outlet?
thank you.

I am retired and my wife is disabled so I am doing this as easily as I can.
My plan is this:

1. New amp
2. New spk cables
3. Check the preamp ( for some reason there are peeps who think the Mac is harsh) 
4. Look into a DAC or CD player... I would prob need to buy used.
5. Gin and tonics and music...lol

Here's something for perspective 


Great info to help with your decisions. 

Some suggestions/advice(not necessarily here) really should be questioned.

Great reading from that link in previous post. 😬

“Along with green magic markers on CDs and audio bricks is another item called the wire conditioner. The claim is that unused wires do not sound the same as wires that have been used for a period of time. The device supposedly simulates what program material will do for the wire. This is called a break-in period. The thinking is that, like a new pair of shoes that are stiff when first put on, repeated use will make them more pliable and therefore more comfortable. 

It would therefore seem that used speaker wire and used audio and video interconnects would be worth more than the new wire and interconnects simply because they have been used already. There could be a big savings in time and expense by doing conditioning on your own or purchasing the device. Unfortunately, this is just another way of making money. It can be considered as another “quack” remedy machine.”

Gman74, plus 1.  Relatively inexpensive but effective power conditioner set up: Shunyata Venom Defender in simple breakerless power strip like Wiremold L10320.  Around $300 all in.  Try this on your source and preamp, not power amp.

Captbeaver, do not scrimp on source.  Can’t fix original sins.  That said, there are a number of good to great DACs that would provide more involvement than older Denon available today new at many price points.  Buy used, especially if you can live with red book to 24/192 resolution in PCM.  Lots for sale on Agon right now in many different flavors/sound signatures.  Maybe a nice used Chord DAC for you?  Use Denon 2900 as a transport, but don’t cut corners on digital cable;-)
I think and believe that knownothing has hit the nail on the head. the source is your first "crown jewel"
Tweeters are back and I just installed them... Mr. Kelly included some silver solder for the task... I REALLY need to learn more about DAC... 
Check out the review below.  The Marantz SA8005 is a solid player.  I happen to own the original Arcam irDAC compared favorably to the Marantz here, at least for streaming digital.  The original irDAC plus a decent digital interconnect can probably be aquired for much less than the SA8005, and when used with your Denon would sound better on redbook CD’s or PCM digital files streamed from a computer.  There are many other high quality PCM DACs from other manufacturers coming available used for reasonable prices as people look for DSD and MQA capability (I would steer clear of the Arcam irDACII however).

I got new cables this week an I do like them... My “audio mentor” sent them to me as I ask to borrow something so I could “hear” a cable other that the 10 ga. Belden cables I have now in order to remove the belden set from the equation. I do like the Tranparent set but I wont have the opportunity really compare for a few months because I dont have my A 21+ yet.

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How could the belden cables be the problem... Electrically they are almost like no cable at all. 
My question also chrisr ... sometimes here on the Gon simple, quality cables dont get a fair shake... the 2000$ cables didnt really kick the Belden in the pooper. 
Captbeaver, What amp are you using for your evaluation of the 10t's? I know you are waiting on some Parasound amps, but could the problem be the temporary amp?

YES... I am sure its the culprit! My Mcintosh didn't have enough power at all so I have never really given the 10T's a fair shake.
I am close to the 21A+.... waiting on my friend to get me the end price. I just built a power cable for her and the rack space is empty and cleaned... lol