What cable would you choose?

Naim CD5i, Arcam AVP-700 (direct stereo mode, pre-amp to be upgraged soon, but will keep the Arcam for HT), Odyssey Stratos Extreme amp, Usher CP-6381 speakers.

I'm currently using two pairs of Outlaw PCA's for IC's and Monster M1.4's for speakers cables. I also have on hand and have tried in every conceivable combination the following IC's: Chord silver siren, cobra, cobra III, Chrysalis (the original Cobra and Chrysalis have the Naim Din to RCA which is supposed to provided better performance)and Eichmann eXpress-4.

As it turns out the cheapest cables I own (Outlaws) wound up sounding better than anything else I had on hand.

I know that some of these are very popular components and many others own them, so I was hoping to hear your findings and get your recommendations.

I'm not one to spend a fortune on cables, but I do realize there are big differences. I'm looking for the best reasonably priced cables I can find.

The one name that seems to keep coming up when I read about affordable cables is Audio Art (Think they're either the same or very similar to DH Labs).

Anyow, I would be greatful if some of you could find the time to share your experiences.

it depends upon your preferences. it is difficult to recommend a cable in the context of a stereo system with which one is unfamiliar.

what are your sonic preferences ?
A budget, and tonal characteristics desired in your system are required for substantive input.

I owned the Outlaw interconnects at one point. I can say without hesitation they were the worst sounding interconnects I have ever owned. Hands down. Hard, hashy and lacking finesse. This is good news! You can only go up from here.

Seriously, though, I would suggest that money spent on room treatments, AC power, and equipment upgrades will yield higher benefits than interconnect upgrades. The benefits of wire become more apparent as system resolution improves.
Actually, the Audience Au24's used here on Audiogon would be a stellar fit. Also check out the XLO reference 1 or 2 lines used. They both will deliver what you are looking for without question and allow you to enjoy music again.


Outlaw PCA's are made with continuous cast copper, which should sound pretty good. The only thing holding them back are the cheap connectors. Before break-in, they do sound just as described above, harsh, etc. I use CCC cabling from Vampire throughout my analog setup and have used the Outlaw PCA's for DVD-A connections. I use Dimarzio cabling for my vintage digital system.
Thanks for the responses so far. For those who point out that cables are system/taste dependent; I do realize this. However, I figure thare are some folks who may have some of the same components that I do, so I thought I would check and get their insight on some cables they have found that work well for them.

I realize this is anything but an exact science, but it's a starting point. I can tell you the Odyssey and Usher combo can sound a bit lean in the bass with a lean and forward presentation overall. I figure most silver cables in my price range could potentially spell disaster.

I also tried Nordost Blue Heavens in my last set-up, which was much warmer and fuller sound than what I have now, and I thought they sounded too lean. Great clarity though.

I always try all cables I have on hand in all combinations until I find what works. With the Odyssey and Ushers the Outlaws sounded totally different then with my Outlaw amp (which they sound terrible with) and Veritas speakers.

Also, I have an old pair of Monster M1.4's for speaker cables which may be the weakest link of all, but in my experience it seems as though the IC's have a bigger effect than speaker cables. Anyhow, I'll povide a little additional info to see if it helps.

I would like to stay ~ $500 for two pairs of IC's and a 12' pair of speaker cable (new or used). I listen to Jazz, rock, new age and country. I really like a cable that gets the highs right. I hate a splashy, spatty high end. Clarity and detailed, but not edgy. Good solid mid bass punch and good dynamics and a nice deep soundstage.

I find many cables can throw a wide sound stage, but few have correct depth. Hope this helps.

Thanks again.
hello jack, i have the usher 6381's and they are not lean in the bass so i don't think cables will fix this. for what it's worth i use audio art ic-3 interconnects and either straley (reality) speaker cables or audio art sc-5 speaker cables and i don't have a bass problem. my amp is the usher r-1.5 with a belles 21a preamp and onix x-cd88 cdp.
get in contact with capt. humble at audio circles, he has had usher 6381's now 6391's with odyssey amps and preamps.
he might be able to give you a hand.
Mboldda1, the bass is very tight an accurate and it has good extension. However, I had the Belles 350A Reference in before this amp and it shows just how good the bass can be. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to keep the Belles due to funding restraints.

I also need to get another pre-amp as most of my issues are probably going to be resolved right there, but that's yet another issue.

I'll check in over at the AC forum as well, but I'm seriously considering giving the Audio Art cables a try. I've also read very good things about the Reality cables, but I have to admit that I'm having a hard time getting past the looks.

Thanks so much for the input.
I have been very happy with the Audio Art IC-3 i/cs and probably the best speaker cable in your price range that I've tried is the MAS Signature Hybrid.
straley does have outer coverings for his speaker cables now, but he does say that they effect the sound.