I think having good transparent cables is something to do once and let go. Personally I make my most important cables, either interconnect, speaker or power.
The other thing that lasts no matter what else changes is my room acoustics.
My speaker cables are very old, about 15 years. Of course they are Synergistic Research Element CTS, with Michael Spallone modified Tesla power, and I've only had them less than 3 years. Retail $7500 when new in 2005 mine were about $1100, including with the mods. Sound so good no plans to change them any time soon.
Cables really can make a big step forward. The CTS sure were. New Atmosphere are even better but at around $4k for a 2m IC not on the cards. Except I had a lot of old wire discarded over the years. With Synergistic, their Passport program gave me so much for trading those in it got me to Atmosphere Level III Euphoria without as you say breaking the bank.
The oldest continuous use in my system are a Synergistic Research Designers Reference .5 power cord, a Master Coupler, and Shunyata Powersnakes Cobra. Oh, and two Electraglide Fat Boys. All from around 1993.
I have a pair of #12 teflon pure silver, multi strand, that I have used for 45 years. USAF surplus. Whenever I want to compare cables. I hook one of those to the left and the "NEW cable" on the right. Put the system on MONO and give it 1-2 days of play, and then a good listen.. If the new cable can pass that muster, it goes on to break in the rest of the way..
The new weaves are just HARD to beat.. No aluminum shielding, sure makes for better SQ yet a dark background, by design..
They better that pure silver and at 10% of the material cost.. Break in times are still in the hundreds of hours though.. Silver and silver/clad.
Copper.. get it off the floor, its good.. 50 hours..
I use XLO limited and NBS interconnects that are at least 16 years old. My long interconnect (3 meters) between my linestage and amp is Audio Note Sogon that is around six years old. My speaker cables, also Audio Note Sogon, are also around six years old.
The new weaves are just HARD to beat.. No aluminum shielding, sure makes for better SQ yet a dark background, by design..
I am an interconnect newbie. I use Cullen Cable and one pair of Synergistic Research interconnects and do not know what model. They tamed the Thiels CS5is tweeters and made me happy.
So what are "new weaves"? Yours is the first reference I have noticed. Can you share any sources/info to check this out or a particular manufacturer?
I don't have any expensive cables, just mid-line Kimber, Audio Quest, etc. But, cables get swapped out depending on the systems needs. That changes as equipment changes. I don't believe in one cable serves all masters. Cables needs to be tuned just like the rest of your system.
Still using for 20 years my Siltech LS4-120 for speakers, FTM-3S for the phono stage and SPO-12 for turntable power supply. These have survived from an all Siltech cabling including FTM-4S, FTM-4G and SPO-18.
These are the original version better than later G3.
Some of my cables are older - 11 year old Clear Day speaker cables in both systems, a couple of 7 year old Audio Art Cable power cords, Silnote Audio Orion RCA 8 years & Poseidon 2 digital cable 10 years
Thanks guys – keep 'em coming!
I have kept original Purist Colossus fluid speaker cables for 20 years, along with the same speakers. Feel no need to replace them until I upgrade the speakers. I have changed all the rest cables and cords with excellent results.
Started building an entirely new system (components + speakers) a couple years ago and only brought all power cords from the prior system. I needed a balanced IC and AES interconnect for the new system and went with Nordost Heimdall 2.
The power cords I was using from my prior system were all PS Audio P3 or P5s with the exception of a bottom of the line Shunyata PC on the Hydra 6 power conditioner. Upgraded all PCs and achieved nice results. Most recently I replaced two of the newer PCs with Audio Envy PCs, one is a P2 and the other is an M3 model. They are significantly better than the Isotek Optimum cables they replaced. Very good value proposition here.
In my case, the PS Audio power cords were not that good, so it was easy to improve on them. The fact that the AE power cords were an even larger step up over the newer cords demonstrates their value in my system. I will be buying more AE cables once I've settled a few things in my system.
I use Shunyata Copperhead and Diamondback power cords that were 15 years old when I bought them used here. I have no idea how old they actually are. As far as I am concerned, they are good enough and will not be changed.
Mine are all old. 10 years +. Wire technology has changed greatly though in recent years mainly new ones from name brands cost more than ever and no end in sight.
Once I find the right ones, I am done. My favorites are from DNM Reson and Mogami.
Pangea works well and sounds good if you can get the connector to stay in place. Have not totally settled on power cables yet though. Leaning towards Signal Cable there.
Some of my power cables are getting old, Synergistic Research Master Power Coupling, and interconnects also. Speaker cables are around 10 years old, two sets of Tempo Electric 12 gauge solid silver in Teflon (one for each amp).
I've made many of the interconnects I currently use, and they sound as good as any other cables I've used. I let the guys that can afford to really sweat the small stuff worry about how to best spend large amounts of money on cables. I'm happy, and I hope they are, too.
Since I never seem to see any Acoustic Zen cable comments on this website I figure my Satori speaker cables are so outdated they're laughable. They're also much too fat to adhere to this year's (or was it last year's?) directive that skinny speaker cables are the way to go. In any event, I suffer greatly from the wretched sound quality they convey.
One reason that I still keep the Colossus cables is that Purist abandoned the combination of silver alloy conductors and fluid, which I thought was a mistake. If I find old Dominus for a reasonable price, unlikely, I will get them. I do use the newest Purist Neptune fluid interconnects, they are better than Colossus in every respect except high frequency extension.
@inna Any experience with Purist Aqueous, or Musaeus Praesto Revision speaker cables?
i dont remember the name of my speakers cable, i only remember that they were better than the other one which i dont recall either...
My interconnect are Morrow 1 and Morrow 3 and they are very good for me...
Cables made a "small" difference.... But the fact that people speak always about that is explained by only 2 possibilities.... I dont know a third....
Either they have a Top Hi-Fi System and changing cable made an AUDIBLE impact that is big because their mechanical, electrical and acoustical controls are very good and not only their gear...
Either they have poor embeddings and a not so great system or even a great one, but they never listen to it to his true working potential with vibrations under control, with an electrical grid low noise and a very good acoustic; then they fall for the cables hype upgrading obsession... And the small audible change is call a great deal for namy hundred dollars....
Guess what is the more probable possibility?
i"m still happy with my old wires.
Interconnects are Audioquest Audiotruth Amazons primarily, with a few Audioquest Diamond x3 sprinkled in.
Phono interconnect is Graham Engineering IC50 from Graham Phantom arm.
Speaker cables are Amazon Dragons for stereo speakers. Cheap wire for surrounds.
Power cables are Tice for detachable cords. I liked the Tice build quality and ignored the treatment hype.
whipsaw, no, no experience with those. Generally speaking, as an analogy, think of Purist fluid cables as 'tubes' and of Ferox as 'transistors'.
I never tried Contego cables, people say that they are just in-between.
Dominus Rev B, which are probably 20 years old. The worst ergonomically but peerless compared to my other cables.
Audioquest Midnight and Sterling in the second configuration. 20 years old. Still sound good to my ears.
Dominus Rev B fluid is a great cable. I have Rev B with Ferox power cord on the amp and it isn't going anywhere.
Acoustic Zen Silver Reference interconnects and Satori shotgun bi-wire speaker cables have been constants in my system for about 20 years — yikes!!! — despite others making brief appearances and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
I have a pretty low-end system(s), a few thousand bucks. I have several times tried up-grading cables--interconnects, speaker cables. I was unable to hear a difference. So if I have a grand or three or four, I'll likely invest it where it will count--upgrade of one of the components, or even a separate system for where I sometimes sleep. I don't know whether they make a difference or not. I do know that I cannot hear whatever difference they make in my system, in my environment.
Monster Cable M1 Sonic reference Speaker Cable 10 ft or. Using in one of my Systems since 1990 Still great
I have Straight Wire Crescendo speaker cables from 2009 between my Rowland Model 12’s and JM Lab Mezzo Utopia’s and Crescendo balanced interconnects between my Model 12’s and Classe SSP-800 processor/DAC. They all sound very good but the cables are thick as Anaconda’s with all their insulation and such. You don’t see that any more with cables. Good? Bad? I dunno.
At the time they were top o’ the line but I just upgraded my analog rig bigly so lately I’ve been pondering if it’s time to upgrade for optimum sound. I was thinking of Triode Wire Labs cables.
I’m using cables from two companies, and yes they are old: Kimber: Illuminations D60, AGDL digital, KCAG and power cords. I also use TARA Labs: Space & Time speaker cables, Reference and Pandora "S" interconnects. I read somewhere that it was a mistake to mix-and-match cables from different manufacturers, so I keep the same company’s products consistent within my two systems. If it isn't broke, why fix it?
I am. My cables cost a whooping $50 ant they are perfect. As long as shielded, every cable is perfect.
I still have the cord I took off a Lava Lamp in 1975....still sounds groovy.
I've tested very expensive cables, but settled on a very simple solution. So much of the cable 'technology' relies on the positive interacting less with the negative... so I used separate cables. Currently I'm using tributaries 12-4 twisted into a single wire which is about 7 guage. The positive side runs in front of the Amp to the speaker terminals and the negative runs around the back. This setup has hands down given me the best sound stage and clarity.
I'm listening on Wilson Tiny Tots with Puppies.
What are your thoughts?
I just replaced some 25 year old DH Labs speaker cable with Mogami 3103 from Takefiveaudio. I was unsure what to expect but they did make a substantial improvement. Very happy with the swap.
Magnan RCA Interconnects.
Magnan Signature Power Cords.
Some old cables especially silver ones are better with age also i can tell you that companies have changed how they make interconnects are wires over the years and top of the line then may be way better than top of the line now.
my lovely sounding straightwire maestro and various purist and tara labs ic’s are still regularly in use, and used as references when presented with the hot new cables of the week...
... as are mid and low line wireworld and xlo's from the 90's... still sound great
@whipsaw I used to use the Purist Musaeous Praesto Revision speaker cables but they were handily beaten by Cerious Technology speaker cables. I've since moved on the Audio Note Lexus to complement my speakers but highly recommend the Cerious cables they sound excellent and are a good value.
Music Meter interconnects and Audio Quest speaker cables. 25 years old and still sound great to me.
@jond Thank you!
It's great to see that so many members are using older cables.
I think the newest cables in my den system are at least 15 years old. I finally threw out a pair of 1m Fulton Gold speaker cables that were languishing in my garage; probably around 40 years old. Always a pain in the ass to use, as they were so stiff, and the plastic covering did nothing but deteriorate into a sticky mess over the years. Still have a bunch of Fulton Brown (same vintage) sitting in my misc cable bin.
I’ve monoblocs beside my speakers so the cables are only 2’ long. 14 gauge solid core UP-OCC in Teflon insulation. I replaced home-made ones four years ago using a pair of wires from CAT6 in parallel with loosely-twisted 14g Romex wires. I’m a fan of solid core on speakers. The OCC wire is excellent with superb clarity, speed and transparency.
I had an audio dealer over here for a listen. Of course, he was looking for things he thought he could sell me to improve my system. When he walked over and saw my 19 year-old speaker cables, he kinda stepped back in reverence. "Those.... those are good."
Yup, old cables. Got off the merry-go-round quite some time ago; there's too much music to listen to. Some Gabriel Gold Revelation R ICs, Argent Audio Pursang S, and Clear Day double shotgun speaker cables. I'm a solid core kind of guy, aside from power (Triode Wire Labs and LessLoss). The only new cable I'm sorely tempted to try are the Silversmith Fidelium speaker cables.
Well I guess I have you all beat as far as age is concerned, bought 300 feet of Hartley Reference Cable (10 gauge) in 1980. Spec'd by Rich and custom built, Rich owns Hartley. Needed 300 feet to get the 6 runs from amps to speakers in my tri-amped system. As an aside very few people had speaker cables on their radar at the time. Many people thought I was nuts, some still do. And $300 for 300 feet was not a small sum (for me) at the time. Yes, they are still in service. I've inspected and re-terminated them as needed.
Still using my QED silver Anniversary bi wire cables. They sound good to me. Also have Audioquest type 4 (two 4 meter pair for each speaker) laying around somewhere. The type 4 is a highly regarded affordable cable and well reviewed by stereophile (stereophile recommended component for years). It is a neutral cable that just gets the job done. The QED cable is also a great affordable cable also well received. I can see why, as I have no plans on changing them out anytime soon. Priced the auditorium 23 cables (4 meter pair), over $1500! I would need 2 pair, ouch. Maybe someday.
Most expensive cable i own is my Audioquest thunder 2 meter power cable/chord. I think I paid about a thousand bucks.
Oh yes, old stuff all throughout.
Speakers : Straight Wire 'Waveguide' (using FuruTech spade and 30° angled screw tight banana type connectors).
Pre- to Poweramp : OLD versions of XLR Transparent MusicLink Ultra.
LP to phono boards in Preamp : Vd Hul silver (something or other), 1,2 meters.
CDP to Preamp : some old odd German brand low Oxygen type, 1' long only, XLR interconnects.
CDP to DAC : OLD Transparent Reference, 2' long.
DAC to Preamp : Some German brand, stock standard microphone XLR cables.
Tried many, many alternatives but always preferred the lot mentioned above.
I do concede that my system is just not sufficient Hi-End enough to make any noteworthy difference with more expensive / exotic type of interconnects and speaker cables. 😉
(also see my system page)
I also use Clear Day solid core solid silver speaker cables on the second rig. Took a few months to break in and open up fully. Bought them a few years before Paul passed away.
Phono cables are default Jelco JAC501. They seem fine. Better than an Audio Sensibilty cable I tried.
Interconnects are interesting. I’ve tried a few options with the best of intentions. While they all have had some nice aspects to the sound, they’ve all been colored in some way or another. So my trusty cheap ICs (not patch cords!) remain my reference for maximum detail. I use them for all non-phono connections in all systems.
Cables don't wear out so use them if compatible with new system.
In my case, new speakers more neutral than old. Old cables too lean and had to replace them.
Used StraightWire Maestro ICs and Kimber 8TC speaker cables for 25 years, but decided several years ago to give Cardas ICs and SCs a try. Liked the Litz/solid-core construction and the fact that they're made in the U.S. First time I've ever had the same manufacturer on all audio cables and I really like the results. Nice tonal balance and very musical.
I have a mix of cables old and new. AFAIK the most I've spent was on a set of speaker cables from Benchmark Audio with Neutrik SpeakOn connectors (for the Benchmark AHB2 amp). About $2/ft. I'm satisfied.
It's not that I'm unwilling to buying fairly expensive gear. I have about $18K -$20K USD tied up in the rest of my fairly simple system, about half that in the loudspeakers. I'm skeptical though that cables matter much (as long as the connections are tight, they aren't damaged, and the gauge/length/type is appropriate for the use).