Best Speaker Cables?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by kronik, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    I think clothing is a difficult comparison as the tech doesn't really change that much. Maybe cars is better...there are some new manufacturing methods such as the Crystal Cable use of gold and the monofilament tech from Nordost.

    Nordost would be Ferrari - high performance but really spendy pricing.
    Cardas would be Porsche - long history, great performance, fair price.
    Kimber might be BMW - Very good performance and decent price.
    Blue Jeans might be some of the sporty models of VW - high value per dollar.
    Jorma Prime would be Bentley - insane pricing but terrific performance and luxury build.
    Harmonic Technology would be Audi - great performance for the dollar, decent tech.
    Argentum Acoustics (part of XLO company) might be Spyker but without the price, new brand but exciting sound.
    Kubala-Sosna might be Aston Martin - luxury pricing and performance.


    These comparisons make absolutely no sense and seem completely subjective. Pls elaborate on the difference btwn the Bentley and Aston Martin vis-a-vis the audio tech angle. Also, where does Radio Shack fit in? Saturn? Honda? Chevy? Finally, I was thinking of buying some new speaker wire for Xmas and wanted something along the lines of a Toyota. What would you suggest? [​IMG]
     
  2. JetBlast

    JetBlast Senior member

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    Nordost would be Ferrari - high performance but really spendy pricing.
    Cardas would be Porsche - long history, great performance, fair price.
    Kimber might be BMW - Very good performance and decent price.
    Blue Jeans might be some of the sporty models of VW - high value per dollar.
    Jorma Prime would be Bentley - insane pricing but terrific performance and luxury build.
    Harmonic Technology would be Audi - great performance for the dollar, decent tech.
    Argentum Acoustics (part of XLO company) might be Spyker but without the price, new brand but exciting sound.
    Kubala-Sosna might be Aston Martin - luxury pricing and performance.


    See now I just don't understand.
     
  3. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    These comparisons make absolutely no sense and seem completely subjective. Pls elaborate on the difference btwn the Bentley and Aston Marin vis-a-vis the audio tech angle. Also, where does Radio Shack fit in? Saturn? Honda? Chevy? Finally, I was thinking of buying some new speaker wire for Xmas and wanted something along the lines of a Toyota. What would you suggest? [​IMG]

    They are subjective but my best guess. Roma, look at Kimber 8TC if it fits your budget. Audioquest entry level for less money.
     
  4. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    Audioquest >> Toyota.
    Monster >> Chevy.
     
  5. RJmanbearpig

    RJmanbearpig Senior member

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    F, if you want to give me $21K I will personally stand in one place and be the conduct for your stereo. No distortion. Small footprint.
     
  6. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    AF, if you want to give me $21K I will personally stand in one place and be the conduct for your stereo. No distortion. Small footprint.

    I have my doubts about the "no distortion" claim. [​IMG]

    I would never buy some of these super-pricey cables but on the other hand it is simply incorrect to suggest that all audio cables are snake oil and not adding value or sonic improvement.
     
  7. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    Does anybody have any speaker cables to cut open?

    It's been done. Corey Greenberg cut open one of those boxes on the ends of MIT's speaker cables, only to find a big coil inside it. The Grado headphone amp was also revealed to be a cheesy bit of engineering by cutting away its potting. Cutting audio things apart is done more often than cutting clothes.

    Why no love for Heros? You don't think they sound good? Everyone I know loves them. A relative bargain among high end cables.

    They sound fine ... when they work. Because they have no shielding, and the braiding is so loose, they're prone to picking up noise, so you have to fiddle with them quite a bit before they're quiet. If Kimber were serious about their braiding, there are far better ways to execute it, but not shielding the cable is just plain stupid.

    what the is teflon dielectric? And here I thought teflon was for cheap non-stick frying pans.

    Dielectric is the cable insulation. Teflon is actually a very good insulator if you're doing microwave transmission, ie. using very high frequency signals that are orders of magnitude faster than audio signals. For audio, no one's ever proven that it makes an audible difference.

    I would never buy some of these super-pricey cables but on the other hand it is simply incorrect to suggest that all audio cables are snake oil and not adding value or sonic improvement.

    Generally, audio cables are not snake oil, but the explanations offered for some cables' (unproven) sonic superiority is pure snake oil.

    It's not that simple you need a high pressure, low temperature insulation process and that takes manufacturing and extrusion knowledge and investment. As a result just braiding DIY cable around teflon does not sound nearly as good. I have A/Bed those cables and they don't sound good. Look at the Nordost line, their teflon and monofilament manufacturing process is one that allows those cables to resolve a lot of detail in the music.

    So you ran a listening test in which the only variable that changed was the process by which they applied the Teflon? I have a hard time believing that.

    --Andre
     
  8. RJmanbearpig

    RJmanbearpig Senior member

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    How much does the best speaker cable cost, AF?

    And AY, what is your opinion of the cost of the best speaker cable?
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    How much does the best speaker cable cost, AF?

    And AY, what is your opinion of the cost of the best speaker cable?


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  10. RJmanbearpig

    RJmanbearpig Senior member

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  11. unjung

    unjung Senior member

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    Four comments:

    Isn't any audio system only as good as the lowest-quality component? You better have similarly kick-ass amps, speakers, audio players, etc.

    If this is for a consumer system, hooray for you. If it's for recording, the recording quality is only going to be as good as the consumer's system.

    This reminds me of the extensive debates I had with our ridiculously pedantic manager while I was on the board of a community radio station. I wanted to allow playback of MP3s. He refused, citing low quality. Granted, MP3s are lossy and the difference between an MP3 (even 320kb) and a CD or similar is noticeable. However, FM radio already drops enough quality, that it was more important to provide access to the music at a lower quality level, than not play the music at all.

    For music, I have a pair of Sennheiser HD280s, a pair of Etymotic ER-6Is, and a random set of Creative 5.1 speakers. I use these with iPods, on-board sound cards in my computers, and my entry-level Fender electric guitar amp. And they sound just fine for me. I save my money for scotch, shoes and stocks.
     
  12. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    They sound fine ... when they work. Because they have no shielding, and the braiding is so loose, they're prone to picking up noise, so you have to fiddle with them quite a bit before they're quiet. If Kimber were serious about their braiding, there are far better ways to execute it, but not shielding the cable is just plain stupid.

    Dielectric is the cable insulation. Teflon is actually a very good insulator if you're doing microwave transmission, ie. using very high frequency signals that are orders of magnitude faster than audio signals. For audio, no one's ever proven that it makes an audible difference.

    Generally, audio cables are not snake oil, but the explanations offered for some cables' (unproven) sonic superiority is pure snake oil.

    So you ran a listening test in which the only variable that changed was the process by which they applied the Teflon? I have a hard time believing that.

    --Andre


    Kimber did not shield to keep the price point down so that is a good thing. I've not had any problems with RFI or EMI with this cord in any event.

    Teflon has been proven in capacitor applications. That's prolly been the single most popular parts upgrade lately. I've heard amps and preamps before and after teflon cap additions and it clearly improves the sound in terms of detail and neutrality. Likewise Kimber offers cables with the new teflon upgrade and I have heard the same cable with and without the teflon dielectric.

    I do agree some cable theory statements in the biz is pure BS and marketing, but there are a lot of quality companies doing good work out there as well and really pushing the envelope and improving the transmission of signal. Look at Harmonics photon technology.
     
  13. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    Four comments: Isn't any audio system only as good as the lowest-quality component? You better have similarly kick-ass amps, speakers, audio players, etc. If this is for a consumer system, hooray for you. If it's for recording, the recording quality is only going to be as good as the consumer's system.
    In the first comment, I would suggest that cables are a component that are material to the sound. In the second comment, what one uses in the studio ironically is very low in quality in terms of neutrality and accuracy in my experience with the exception of ADCs and mics. That is why so many studios buy high end cable like Cardas and Audioquest for projects. The reference level Music Matters LPs use an entire mastering chain of AQ cables for instance. So in recording one has the best possible cables in several high end brands. To RJ's question on cable cost, I find that the law of diminishing returns sets in when you exceed $1,000 in interconnect cable pairs although I have been impressed by how some of the $2K and $4K interconnects sound from Jorma and CrystalCable. Above $2K on speaker cable is very hit or miss. A famous record label I know is starting to use Crystal and it is definitely allowing more music to get through. The Nordost Odin is the most expensive cable I know with speaker cable exceeding $20K which is stupid money. There is an upside however...Often these crazy flagship products subsidize budget cables further down the line. Nordost' budget WyreWizard line is very good.
     
  14. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    It's not that simple you need a high pressure, low temperature insulation process and that takes manufacturing and extrusion knowledge and investment. As a result just braiding DIY cable around teflon does not sound nearly as good. I have A/Bed those cables and they don't sound good. Look at the Nordost line, their teflon and monofilament manufacturing process is one that allows those cables to resolve a lot of detail in the music.

    Lol........................
    but NO.
    A friend of mine who knows how to braid, made a speaker cable very very similar to one of Shuntayas high end. Then a group of us ABXed it against a loaner Shuntaya.

    HEARD NO DIFFERENCE.
     
  15. RJmanbearpig

    RJmanbearpig Senior member

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    Lol........................
    but NO.
    A friend of mine who knows how to braid, made a speaker cable very very similar to one of Shuntayas high end. Then a group of us ABXed it against a loaner Shuntaya.

    HEARD NO DIFFERENCE.


    I think the loaner Shuntaya must have suffered some degradation. Did you elevate it to reduce EMF interference?
     

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