Cardas Golden Cross or Golden Reference is my favorite.
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Keep in mind as you are searching for speaker cables that there is NO one best speaker cable. It depends on your system, your musical tastes and how you want your music to sound.
P.S. However, I have found that the Discovery Signature cables are quite good. . .nicely balanced and not sterile or amusical.
While recommendations from others are a good starting point, shopping by brand or price can result in a big waste of money. I would always try before you buy. The best source I have found for this is The Cable Company (1-800-FAT-WYRE). They rent cables (Speaker/interconnects)for about 10% of the purchase price and all rental fees going towards any purchase you make from them (they also have equipment and accessories). They carry essentially every brand of cable available, so you can try a wide range of brands and prices. Even the outrageously priced exotics (like Nordost Valhallas)! You may find that a brand you hadn't even considered may be best (as I did when buying inexpensive interconnects for a friend. The Wireworlds I tried were far better than anything else in the price range!).
I know that almost all brands of Monster are the worst.
I use a short 3'runs of isolated speaker wire from VanDenHul(CV-122H model if I will trust my memory). Before I've plugged them instead of my JPS Superconductor cables, I plugged them into AC outlet with 200W bulb for about 2 hours for real break-in. The result is -- I've sold my JPS cables after I've pluged in these magic wires. I've paid just $60 to get this wire, and I use silver-solder covered bare wires to connect to binding posts.
Among brand names there are only few brands to pay attention for VanDenHul, AudioQuest and Cardas(newtral reference).
Aside from the obvious comment that there is no single "best" speaker cable, it would be helpful to have some additional information:
1. what is your budget?
2. how long will the cables be?
You obviously have good speakers, so you want something better than 16-gauge zip cord (smile). However, based on a number of years of experience in the audio hobby, I have a strong bias against the prices being charged for some of the high-end cables. If your objective is to get good yet reasonably-priced speaker cables, then you should have Kimber Kable 8TC or 4TC on your list. They detract very little from performance -- which is all any speaker cable can do, or ought to do. The lower-priced Cardas cables are also good. If you look back through the Audigon archives, you will find a LOT of threads about speaker cables. I suggest you start by reviewing previous comments -- use the A-gon search engine to find the threads. Ultimately, you should audition ANY speaker cable before you buy it -- how cables perform will vary somewhat from system to system. As with all things audio, trust your own ears. With speaker cables and interconnects, there is a sharply declining performance-to-price ratio.
In my relatively short experience with various amps and speakers, I found speaker wires do change the sound the system especially using one of those with lumps near the ends. :-)
I found there's no better cable than "no" cable ideally (for both speaker and interconnect). I have used 1' lenght Kimber type cables (close to being jumper wires) as close to the speaker terminals as possible from the mono block amps and long interconnects from the preamp. It gave me the best performance (no sound signature from the wires to speak of) driving both B&W M801's and Maggies in the past.
However, I found Monster M1 speaker cables to give me the best performance. I am sure there's better cables I haven't tried yet but so far, M1's make my system sing without adding any coloration or subtracting any information.
I guess I have learned the hard way that the "best" cables are the ones that give you most pleasure while listening to music and not the "sound," regardless of their cost. I find Monster M1's to be the best speaker cables between my Krell FPB600C and B&W Nautilus 802's for the front duties and 3 Bryston 7BST's for N-HTM1 and N-805's for the rear speakers.
Although cost of cables like Monster M1's are very small in comparison to the rest of the good cables avaialbe in the market and some may think I am crazy. But since I am happy with them, think of all the extra $$$ I have (or had...) for more CD's and DVD-A's - the beautiful music that really matters the most!
The best speaker cable is like picking your favorite food or flavor. I have numerous "favorites" depending on the speaker and amplifier(s) used. There is no cable which will work very good in all situations. That is why we audiophiles keep chasing the "holy grail" of sound reproduction. Try both solid core and stranded speaker cables. These both sound very different. My personal favorites as a general rule is the Cardas line. There are other good ones also, but the Cardas sound like music to me. The best advice is from someone who has components similar to yours and a room similar to yours and similar musical tastes. Happy listening, Jeff
Hello, and a Happy New Year. I have tried many different high end cables, Nordost, JPS, AudioQuest(Truth), Kimber, Straightwire, Cardas, Transparent, etc,etc,etc in at least 25 different amp,pre,dac combinations and have found many good qualities in each setup.
I am now driving Aerial 10T's with an Aragon 8008BB x 5 using a Meridian 565 as my processor/pre. I recently tried Virtual Dynamics Signature Cables with WBT spades and will not go back to anything else, unless of course Rick comes up with a new product to try. I am now waiting for my true shotgun biwired cables to arrive and then I can update this.
The missing ingredient that Virtual Dynamics solved for me was the seamless interface between a wonderful bass and the high end. Aerials are notorious for being punchy, almost boomy in the lower ranges, but with these new cables, I find the 10T's to be everything Aerial said and more.....I am extremely happy and recommend these cables to anyone who will listen........14 day guarentee...unconditional..can't beat it...
I know this isn't what you wanted to hear.--- But your speakers are only running in first gear with your intergrated amp.You could spend thousands on wires--and that won't overcome how the speakers are being short-changed by the electronics.Same for Sogvet. If this were "Component-Story"--as in-- "Toy-Story" your speakers--3.8's or 10T's would be saying to the rest of the components--" Hey,I'm so much better than the rest of you guys"-- "Na,Na,Na" Keep whatever wires you have--The new wires may not mate well with the electronics you need to move up to.
Nordost spm has beaten everything else I've used by a fair margin. Simply a higher level or resolution and detail. I haven't tried valhalla in my personal system.
At the prices people charge for used cables, I've actually found them to have a very good price/performance ratio. My system goes downhill FAST whenever I put a lower performing cable in it.
i haven't heard them all, but i have heard many of them in my system. None THAT I HAVE HEARD are close to my Transparent Opus mm. the closest has been the Jena Labs and then the Valhalla. i would put those 2 very close with the Valhalla faster and more open and the Jena Labs more body and texture.
but neither of them or any other i have heard can do what the Opus does; more open, more resolution, better drive and energy to the music. like turning on a light in comparison it simply is more "alive".
it is interesting to read or hear people dismiss the Opus due to it's network boxes without ever even hearing it. i would only suggest that they keep their minds open. i readily admit to not hearing the NBS, Purist, Siltech, or Kharma. (i did hear the new Kharma Enigma at CES today and was impressed; although i can't tell if it is quite Opus level, for that i must wait for them to send it to me for a comparison on my system which should happen soon).