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Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables (Read 40403 times)
beowulf
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Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
08/16/13 at 23:18:01
 
Hi all ... there's so many choices out there regarding cables that I thought I would get your feedback.

I need 10 feet minimum (bi-wiring N/A) and I can only spend $350 MAX.

Here is my equipment:

Amplification:

(a) Decware Taboo MkII and,
(b) Rega Brio-R.

The Taboo can take all kinds of connections, but the Brio-R is a pretty tight squeeze and I'm thinking only bananas would work there.

Speakers:

(a) Omega XRS Style Tower.

They are a new model that are not on Louis' website yet, but use the 7F driver which are around 94dB at 8 Ohms ... single drivers = no crossovers, etc.

Sources:

(a) Rega RP6 TT with Exact 2 Cart
(b) Rega Fono MM Phono Stage (the Brio-R has its own phono stage, but I use this with the Taboo MkII)
(c) Rega DAC with Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 USB/SPDIF converter (I'll be using my PC with JRiver MC 18)

Cabling:

(a) RCA Interconnects are Decware Silver Ref and Rega Couple 2.
(b) WireWorld Ultraviolet USB and SPDIF 75 ohm.

So far I have been looking at Dave's Cables and Reality Cables which for a 10' pair with spades on the speaker end and bananas on the amp end just under my budget of $350.

Are there any other hidden gems anyone can recommend that come in around $350?  Also does anybody prefer to run bare wires to both their amp and speakers?

Thanks everybody!
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« Last Edit: 08/16/13 at 23:23:23 by beowulf »  
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will
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #1 - 08/16/13 at 23:52:50
 
I don't know Dave's Cables, but did try Reality. Reality is a good concept (made by an audio head from personal interest, and tested in development by many audio heads with good ears), and value, but finally for me, the speaker cables were a bit too bold...too flow through...a bit in the face. Could just be me, but too much of a good thing is not necessarily the best thing. That said, they were highly recommended by a guy who's ears and mind I really trust. If your system/room is a little restrained, they might be just right. Or they may have changed since I tried them.

I feel a little uncomfortable recommending these since I have not had a chance to do a direct comparison since they have gotten more-or-less burned in, but I am happily using Virtue Audio Nirvanas. Check the sale price on the 3.5 meter pair http://store.virtueaudio.com/category-s/31.htm

$150

They do have a good return policy, so may be worth a try.

I used Decware Styx for a long time, then got tempted by Morrow, and since I was not satisfied with the SP4 (not enough wire, and therefore not enough body and bass), he sent me some SP6s "to make me happy". They were/are good, and prove that smearing with large cable is a real thing (Decware) though not necessarily a bad thing. I really like the Styx. If my memory is at all accurate, I might place the Virtues sort of in between the Morrow and Decware...warm but open, with great body like the Decware, and clean (little smearing) like the Morrow.
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PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; modified Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1; DIY Speaker Cables; feet - Madscientist, SynRes, Archie's, Herbie's isocup
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beowulf
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #2 - 08/17/13 at 00:51:03
 
Hi Will, thanks for the feedback ... I'm glad you chimed in about Morrow as I was just on their website trying to read a bit about them.  The closest Morrow I could get into my budget is only the SP3 AND the SP6 is a huge jump in price at $1700 for a 10' set ... compared to that the Decware Styx are a huge bargain (if your memory serves us correct) and they can compete with the Morrows SP6.

Maybe I'll just use my Blue Jeans until I can find a used pair of Styx ...
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beowulf
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #3 - 08/17/13 at 00:59:17
 
What about Grover Huffman?  Anybody hear his stuff?
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Lon
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #4 - 08/17/13 at 02:44:59
 
Mike (tgarden) likes Huffman stuff, I bet he can give some info.
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will
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #5 - 08/17/13 at 03:30:06
 
The Morrow stuff is never "retail" if you look. Always some sort of "sale" or discount happening. Seems like I got the SP4 3m to try out for higher 400s, and to satisfy me, he sent over the SP6 at no extra cost. That was pretty good, and they do sound good though they took forever to burn in. I would not pay the 1478 a 3m pair show up at in the shopping cart though! Nowhere near. Interesting...I guess the VirtueAudios are too inexpensive for many to look at! Don't know how they do it, but they sound excellent. Wink

Grover Huffman has tempted me many times for ICs. Seems a lot of folks really like them, and the costs are reasonable for the reported sound! Have not looked into the spk cables.
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« Last Edit: 08/17/13 at 05:30:46 by will »  

PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; modified Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1; DIY Speaker Cables; feet - Madscientist, SynRes, Archie's, Herbie's isocup
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beowulf
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #6 - 08/17/13 at 06:35:33
 
Quote:
will said,
Interesting...I guess the VirtueAudios are too inexpensive for many to look at! Don't know how they do it, but they sound excellent.


LOL I bet Steve D has that problem all the time!  I bet a lot of snobs dismiss his stuff based on price alone and then go buy $25K Shindo Labs products because they cost more so they must be better.

But me ... I'm a cheap bastard always looking for a bargain Grin ... I actually went to VirtueAudios website and emailed them a couple questions in regards to the difference between the Quadraphonic and Nirvana Models ... I just didn't report back on that as I was wrapped up in the Morrow thing.

How do you feel about Morrow's theory on solid core (their wire) vs stranded wire (a lot of other brands including Decware and, Dave's, etc.).

I don't know for sure but Reality Cables look like solid core wire as well, but they aren't saying!

Quote:
Reality Cables FAQ,
What is the "proprietary secret copper material" that you use in your cable
design?

We call it "secret" for a reason. All that we will say is that it is much better than your
typical "six-nines" or "single crystal" types of copper. It also is superior sounding to
any silver wire conductors that we investigated too. This is one of our many secrets
and we don't plan on letting the "cat out of the bag" any time soon. Sorry.



Can anybody tell me what the differences are between OCC vs OFC vs UP-OCC?  Dave's cables use the latter and I checked the costs associated with building a set and I think they are a pretty good deal for a 10' pair of 20 gauge UP-OCC with spades and bananas for $330.
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« Last Edit: 08/17/13 at 06:46:01 by beowulf »  
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Lon
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #7 - 08/17/13 at 07:39:25
 
I have a pair of Reality ICs. They match up very well with the PS Audio GCPH phono preamp I have in my second system. The cables tend to be a bit too forward for my tastes, and the GCPH benefits from their character, whereas elsewhere I didn't like the cables as much as others.

The cables that have most impressed me the last few years (not that I've tried dozens of cables) contain the "Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting." I think there is something to this unique (and costly) casting process as all the cables that I have heard that use metal drawn in this process share a fluid detailed sound that is less edgy and etched in nature than many other cables.  I believe that these can be referred to as OCC and UP-OCC. Look up the Ohno process, fascinating machinery and results. I have not yet used any speaker cables with these metals (I'm still so very happy with the Styx) but I have used Evolution, Analysis Plus, Neotech and Ethereal ICs, coaxial and HDMI cables with these metals
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Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
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will
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #8 - 08/17/13 at 16:50:23
 
Quote:
But me ... I'm a cheap bastard always looking for a bargain


Smiley

Yes, the bargain hunter club is a alive and well!!!  

I am always reminded how thankful I am for these crazy audio heads that make great stuff at relatively reasonable prices!

I don't know Dave's cables, but I have tried a number of cables over time, and those with lower gauge, either the sum of many wires, or single wire, (that I have tried) sound lean to me. Silver, copper, or a combo, wire size so far makes a difference to me. This is not to say I can claim this as a rule, just my experience. The Morrow SP4 compared to the SP6 was an interesting corroboration of this notion...Same theory, same wire, just more wires with the SP6, and it made a notable difference with the Torii and HR-1s. The HR-1s do love unrestricted power though and I can't say, but imagine the single driver Omegas might work better with lighter gauge wire.

The Realities I tried were two strands of insulated solid copper twisted together. I understand that many wires were tested over time and very specific twisting schemes found for the specific wire. Also the wire insulator was chosen based on sound...all carefully tested until the sound was right for them. They were just not quite for me in this system...great range, delivery and speed, just a bit too clarified and bold for me. But then they apparently sound great in many systems.

Luckily, these makers are confident enough about what they make to have great return policies! Finally, taste and room and system will surely make one or another better in a specific setting, but I would guess all will be nice cables with characteristic qualities that might suit one to a T and not another. With these refined systems, how could it be any other way?

As to the Morrow (and others) wire theory...I have not thought a lot about the theory, but I had been listening to my Styx for months on end and when I put in the broken in Morrows, this was the first time I had really listened carefully for blurring or smearing....and some levels of this that I could hear with the styx had disappeared with the Morrows. This was aside from other sound considerations, but the Morrows did bring something together to the sound across the range.

Now is this a big deal...for some I would say yes, and for others...no. I think the Decware cables sound great even with some smearing. By comparison, for me, the Realities...they didn't have notable blurring, but they sounded a bit forward, clear, or bold to me, and though I liked the clarity on one hand, I finally preferred the softer, but still clear enough sound with the Styx. The Morrows, were warmish and very clarified, but in a pleasant, soft way, and quite good to listen to, but when I put in the Virtues, I liked the bigger/rounder/warmer sound by comparison, and I think not particularly smeared. In the end, I suspect I could be happy with any of these.

I will try to get time for direct comparison in the next several days or so. Trouble is, I have a cabinet with holes for wires...makes it a pain in the butt.
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« Last Edit: 08/18/13 at 00:14:37 by will »  

PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; modified Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1; DIY Speaker Cables; feet - Madscientist, SynRes, Archie's, Herbie's isocup
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Syd
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #9 - 08/17/13 at 19:57:09
 
Daves cables, yes he`s got quite a selection. I bought quite stiff
silver cable for jumpers and ended up getting 40ft on a whim. Maybe 1/4" thick, black, which he says are suitable for sp cbls. So I made a set up, along with the jumpers. They`ll need quite a bit of taming through burn in and perhaps, who knows. I`ve moved my amps over to the side wall so they wont reach now, I got them out today to have another listen.
`Spose I could bring the speakers a little closer together.
....and the jumpers never worked out..to darn thick really, became a pain trying to shape them. So I bought some  thin dedicated silver jumpers which worked out a treat.
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« Last Edit: 08/17/13 at 20:12:58 by Syd »  

Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s , Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
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will
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #10 - 08/17/13 at 23:30:43
 
Interesting. I looked at Dave's site after Marky's post...a number of options for sure. I was referring to the 20 gauge wire Beowulf mentioned earlier which Dave says is good up to a 50 watt amp. Not having tried this particular cable, I can't be sure, but no small gauge cable that I have tried had enough body with the Torii. Maybe the Torii is responsible...it is set up in its own way, and acts like a higher power amp by reports. Or maybe this cable has some extra good qualities...I don't know.

With the cotton insulation, I would not think they would take very long to burn in, and the lack of dielectric influence on the sound is compelling.

Nice looking stuff!
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« Last Edit: 08/17/13 at 23:44:35 by will »  

PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; modified Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1; DIY Speaker Cables; feet - Madscientist, SynRes, Archie's, Herbie's isocup
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beowulf
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #11 - 08/18/13 at 01:43:00
 
Dave's a pretty patient guy to ask a lot of questions to as well.

Well, when I was trying to find reviews over a Audiogon for Reality Cables and Morrow Audio ... another vendor kept popping up called Clear Day Cables specifically their Shotgun series.  It's a solid core (double conducters with the Shotgun  design) of 24 GA solid core .999 soft annealed silver wire ... the price seems reasonably low as an 8' pair costs only $270 shipped (low of course relatively speaking ... not compared to Blue Jean Cables Grin).

Anybody heard of these guys at all?
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will
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #12 - 08/18/13 at 02:38:59
 
Clearday shotguns are one of the lower gauge cables that did not have enough body for me. Great guy, easy to deal with, and the cables had amazing clarity without being TOO hard. Maybe a little too clear for me...maybe not, not sure. But I would have needed double shotguns at least, and did not want to go there price-wise at the time. Now, since his prices have not gone up, and everyone else has, the double looks notably less bad. I found the basic sound of the shotguns compelling for sure...clear and a little warm too.

This all may be my system though, pretty different from yours with the Taboo. Again, a good return policy.
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« Last Edit: 08/18/13 at 02:41:38 by will »  

PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; modified Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1; DIY Speaker Cables; feet - Madscientist, SynRes, Archie's, Herbie's isocup
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seikosha
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #13 - 08/18/13 at 02:42:44
 
I recently replaced the lowest version of Morrow with Paul's Clear Day shotgun cables.  I'm very happy.  These cables are more open and detailed in a natural way.
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beowulf
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #14 - 08/18/13 at 06:22:05
 
I've contacted Paul at Clear Day (very nice and down to Earth fellow) and he said he would send me a loaner pair of the Shotguns ... Paul recommended the Shotguns over the Double Shotguns due to the efficiency of my speakers and the fact that they have no crossovers to get in the way of things.

Pressing my luck I asked for a pair of the Double Shotguns too and I'm waiting to find out if he can send me a pair to demo so I can A and B them next to each other.

Just wanted to say thanks to all who have chimed in thus far. Cool
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beowulf
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #15 - 08/18/13 at 06:31:20
 
Quote:
seikosha said,
I recently replaced the lowest version of Morrow with Paul's Clear Day shotgun cables.  I'm very happy.  These cables are more open and detailed in a natural way.


Hi seikosha, what equipment are you using with them?

Thanks!
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Syd
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #16 - 08/18/13 at 12:44:15
 
..checking my e-bay history..
35 feet 10 AWG Silver Teflon Wire Black 37 Strands 1000 Volt
cost $44
What I actually did was piggyback them onto my Isoldas at the SE3`s speaker terminals and  used them as  bi-wire pairs into the treble input of my m Logans. Thats when one of my el34`s decided to fail. I figured it was too much of a drain on the SE3`s.
Standalone and with my silver litz rewired Rega I`m afraid my patience ran out for a long  trial.
Ok I`ve just moved a speaker in from the right and swapped out my Isoldas and put Daves silver teflons in.
Listening to JL Hooker Cafe a Gogo. It`s not bad. Not bad at all. His voice sounds as natural, bass is nice sounding and comes over well. Yes it all sounds good, maybe not quite the sparkle and presence but with only 2-3 hrs on them it`s relieving that they dont sound duff.
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« Last Edit: 08/18/13 at 12:45:39 by Syd »  

Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s , Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
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will
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #17 - 08/18/13 at 14:16:38
 
That would be great if the shotguns worked, and they just might with your amp and speakers....Two 24 gauge wires are equal to one 21 gauge...I tried them with my 944s which are supposed to be 94db efficient and had no crossovers, but somehow I guess the single driver Omegas will feel different! Paul is such a nice guy, it would not surprise me if he came up with some double shotguns too...it would be great to hear your impressions. I look forward.....

Marky...is that silver coated copper? Must be for the price!
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« Last Edit: 08/18/13 at 14:23:14 by will »  

PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; modified Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1; DIY Speaker Cables; feet - Madscientist, SynRes, Archie's, Herbie's isocup
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seikosha
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #18 - 08/18/13 at 18:55:08
 
Hi Beowulf,

I'm running my cable from a Mini Torii to Omega Super 3XRS speakers.

Here's a pic of my setup:

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Mini Torii, SE84CKC, Omega Super3XRS, Oppo95 as Transport, Shiit Bifrost UBER Dac, PS Audio P3 Powerplant
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Syd
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #19 - 08/18/13 at 20:16:46
 
Will, oops,  they wern`t Daves wire but from Johns Silver Teflon Shop   Smiley
He has, or had hundreds of wire deals of all descriptions. His site says he`s restocking. The strands form a solid core inside of a plastic sleeve. The teflon is the sleeve or what the silver is coated on ? The strands are stiff so I guess it silver on copper.
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Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s , Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
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beowulf
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #20 - 08/19/13 at 03:36:58
 
Quote:
marky said,
Will, oops,  they wern`t Daves wire but from Johns Silver Teflon Shop


Ok, I was looking at Dave's site and wondering where those were.  Who did the re-wiring of your Rega?  What model is it?

Quote:
seikosha said,
I'm running my cable from a Mini Torii to Omega Super 3XRS speakers.


Oh ... OK I remember your awesome speakers from the Audio Circle Omega site ... sorry I did not put 2 and 2 together.  Very tranquil vibe you have going in your room (not to mention great equipment) and it must sound AWESOME! Cool

Is that the PS Audio P3?  Also, I see a lot of vinyl ... where's your TT?
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Syd
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #21 - 08/19/13 at 14:22:01
 
I did the rewiring on my RB300 from a Cardas Isokinetik kit.
Cant say it`s good to have 2 decks. The Rega was tested and ok
but the cart went back into my main deck so is waiting for the arrival of a new Decca so it can have the hand me down.

Seikosha - Thanks for the pic. Smashing unit. I guess your tt is isolated somewhere.

RE 10ft cables  Beowulf you have some Rega gear have you cosidered the Rega cables. I remember having yards of their old flatwire in the seethrough plastic casing. It was very good and inexpensive. I gave it all to my nephew for Xmas with a Naim nait 2.

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Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s , Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
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maddog07
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #22 - 08/19/13 at 17:30:20
 
I won't get too wound up in the wire debate.. just because it's so subjective, but I'll throw in my .02 cents here.  I have tried dozens and dozens of different brands & types of IC's and speaker wire over the course of my 30+ years of chasing the audio holy grail in this hobby.  About 6-7 years ago now, I discovered Alpha-Core "Goertz", silver foil IC's and copper foil speaker wire.  They have remained my reference for a long time now.  I've tried others, and still own a few others, that I drag out and listen to every once in awhile against a newcomer or just to see if my opinion still holds... it does.  
My description of the Goertz is: "detail and resolution without fatigue or being forward"... they just sound "right" and make "music" most of the time, in most systems.  Occasionally, I'll hear a different wire that grabs my attention for a bit, but ultimately find it to be doing something "wrong" after extended listening.... back into the system go the Goertz.  
They do not advertise much at all.  Most philes have never heard of them.  They're main biz is making transformers and wire for transformer construction, and specialty apps., so they know a little bit about what they're doing - sound electrical engineering involved here - no snake-oil, fairy dust or voodoo science, which I also like and respect.  
I think they have discontinued the silver version of their speaker wire, just due to cost, but copper and silver IC's are still available.  I have several pairs of their silver IC's, both RCA and XLR.  I personally have not heard better - different, but not "better".
I have never owned their silver speaker cables, due to cost.  But I have a couple of copper versions of their speaker cables.  I find them, like their IC's, to be very, very good.  If you check audiogon, eBay, etc. you can generally pick them up for literally pennies on the dollar .vs. new price.  But even new, they are cheap compared to other boutique wire.  This makes it easy for you to give them a try and see how they work for you in your system.  I would recommend them to anybody.  I find that most people like them a lot... they might even get you off the hifi wire merry-go-round.!

Wink
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva XMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Wyred STP-SE, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, Cary SLI-80, DM945's.....
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seikosha
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #23 - 08/19/13 at 19:32:32
 
@a beowulf and marky.  You twoa re very astute.  Here's the TT situation:  I've recently gotten back into audio after a really long 20+ year hiatus.  I never sold my vinyl from the first time I was into it.  As I've gotten back into audio I did buy a Music Hall 2.2 turntable, but to be honest, the sound I'm getting out of it is not really exceeding what I'm hearing out of my Oppo.

I'm guessing that it has to do with the generic cartridge that came with the unit, or maybe it's the Musical Fidelity phono preamp .  So the TT isn't even set up right now as it was frustrating for me when I did have it going.  I plan on starting to fool with it again soon because I think there's a lot in that vinyl that I'm not hearing right now and I just need to figure out how to get there.
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #24 - 08/19/13 at 23:38:45
 
Quote:
maddog07 said,
I discovered Alpha-Core "Goertz", silver foil IC's and copper foil speaker wire.


Thanks!  I contacted and asked them a couple questions and the cost to make a set, lets see what they have to say.
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #25 - 08/20/13 at 00:14:19
 
interesting... you want something custom that they don't stock?  they offer all kinds of std. lengths and spade or banana termination, RCA or Neutrik XLR - what more do you need?
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #26 - 08/20/13 at 00:18:47
 
Quote:
maddog07 said,
interesting... you want something custom that they don't stock?  they offer all kinds of std. lengths and spade or banana termination, RCA or Neutrik XLR - what more do you need?


What's the website as the one I went to was Goertz Audio so I'm assuming I went to the wrong place! Grin

Also was it the M1 or AG series of cabling?
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« Last Edit: 08/20/13 at 00:21:13 by beowulf »  
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #27 - 08/20/13 at 00:23:57
 
Quote:
marky said,
RE 10ft cables  Beowulf you have some Rega gear have you cosidered the Rega cables. I remember having yards of their old flatwire in the seethrough plastic casing. It was very good and inexpensive. I gave it all to my nephew for Xmas with a Naim nait 2.


Yes, I actually have a Rega Couple 2 interconnect that sounds quite nice so that is something for me to consider as well, but I've heard that the previous generation of Rega cables was better than the current line up.
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #28 - 08/20/13 at 00:27:18
 
this one -->
http://www.goertzaudio.com/contents/en-us/d1_Goertz_Audio_Store.html
select what you're ordering, either speaker cable(copper only offered these days) or copper IC's or silver IC's, then the pages have boxes for selecting length and termination.  I have ordered from them directly before, cables and copper foil inductors - have received good service.  Have spoken to them on the phone as well.  Probably have bought most of my Goertz wire used from audiogon, eBay, Craigslist, etc....
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #29 - 08/20/13 at 08:48:35
 
Morrow cables ...

Ok, so these guys have the marketing thing down!  I contacted their website inquiring about which cables to use with my gear ... and I also mentioned that I had a friend (Will Wink) that told me he tried the SP4's, didn't like them and upgraded to the SP5 model and he recommended that I go to the SP5 or higher model as well ... but I only had a budget of $350 so I wasn't sold on the SP4's.

Well, the first email I got back was from Mike Morrow and he said that "your friend" didn't let them burn in long enough, yada yada yada and that's why the bass didn't sound great.  Mike then said he still recommended the SP4 despite what my friend said and that my budget wasn't enough to get into a 10' pair of SP5's.  So I checked them off the list as a potential cable and moved on to look at some other vendors.

Well yesterday I got an email from Mike Morrow saying that he would give me an additional discount on a pair of SP4's and that I should really try them.  I didn't respond back to him as I still am not interested in the SP4's.

Then today I got ANOTHER email from Mike Morrow saying ... I still don't know why you haven't made a purchase even with the discount I offered you.  Tell me what cables you want and how much you want to spend and I'll try to make it happen.

Now I realize this could just be an auto responder marketing tool, but I'm starting to think that these guys start with their prices incredibly high and then keep marking them down until they get a sale from you.  I've also read on the Audiogon forum that it was very difficult to get your money back from Morrow as they will instead keep insisting/offering you higher and higher cabling up their food chain.

So this leads me to believe that whatever model of cables you buy from them must have some serious mark ups in the first place in order to give such substantial discounts to unsatisfied customers down the line.

I'm just thinking I should offer him $350 for a 10' pair of SP6's and see what he has to say ... but then again are the cables really even worth that? Huh
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« Last Edit: 08/20/13 at 08:49:06 by beowulf »  
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #30 - 08/20/13 at 12:14:38
 
Once Morrow has your email addy, you'll get bombarded with notes from them.  They try really really hard to make sales.  For me, the incessant emails are a bit obnoxious.

If you are interested in the cable and it's the one you want, make him an offer and see what happens.

Good luck and let us know.
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #31 - 08/20/13 at 15:49:53
 
I unsubscribed to the Morrow emails and it worked.

Beowulf,

You mention the SP5 in your post. Remember, for me, the SP6 is the cable Mike Morrow upgraded me to and that resolved the bass issues for me. I can't comment on the SP5.

The breakin is horrible on these cables! Mike's comment about MY breakin is not true. Including their breakin my SP4s had well over 600 hours on them when I called to say they did not get it for me. I just found this in an email...maybe he didn't believe me, or maybe it is a stock line. They really did take 600 hours or so in my system, so when I got the SP6 I put them in my workshop system and did not listen to them in the main system until they had about 620.

Unfortunately, it was a few days after the 60 day return when I noticed my time was up for the SP4s...and a week or so when I finally spoke with Mike. He would not take a return then. They had gotten close to sounding good, and I wanted more hours on them thinking I might keep them.... but I was over so can't really blame him. The interaction did not "feel" good though, and it does not surprise me what you read on Audiogon. I did end up with the SP6 though, cables that I liked at no extra cost. He could have just left me hanging with cables I did not find satisfying. BTW I looked it up and after discounts I paid 448 for the SP4 including their factory breakin.

I did some listening between the Styx and Nirvanas, but have not tried the Morrows in the comparison thinking they were off the table. I will add the Morrows to the mix. More later.

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« Last Edit: 08/20/13 at 16:29:41 by will »  

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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #32 - 08/20/13 at 17:24:45
 
not shagging Morrow or their product at all - never actually seen, nor heard.  But I have "studied" them in depth... and I have a pretty good idea what they are made out of.  The cost of these cables is "labor" I highly suspect... the materials are pretty inexpensive... individually insulated, small gauge, solid-core, conductors...can you say "litz" wire.. or CAT5 wire... pick your recipe... OFC, six 9's, OCC.. silver plated... blah, blah, blah... 4 pair Cat5, plenum rated(gets you Teflon insulation), 23 or 24 gauge.. I have seen some some Cat6 that is 22 gauge even.. strip off the outer jacket and twist or braid the 4 pairs to meet your design goals for inductance/capacitance.. all kinds of info. about this on the www.  At 24 gauge wires, you will need 16 individual 24 awg. wires to be equivalent to a 12 awg conductor, so two runs of 4-pair Cat5 per pos./neg. leg of your cable.  Stuff is less than .50 cents a foot at my local Electronics supply house.  If you have a friend who is an electrician... just have him cabbage on to the leftovers on spools after they do a job - free... it will take you some time to make them, but like I said, the "cost" is in the "labor".  Techflex sheathing to dress them up, will costs you more than the wire any way you go.  Pick the termination of your choice, crimp them on, then solder over with silver solder... cover the solder/connections with some heat shrink... you're done.  I've tried this/done this.. works pretty good to my ears.  Mine tend to have a warm, natural sonic personality, with quite airy and delicate sounding high frequencies.  The antithesis of bright or forward.  Are they the most accurate, most correct - who can say?  Who cares?  They make music, they were cheap and if you enjoy DIY'ing... the experience will provide you with "satisfaction"!!!  Get r' done...!!!
  Smiley
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #33 - 08/20/13 at 20:06:43
 
Maddog,

Thanks for the Goertz reminder. I almost went there a while ago and then forgot since the ZStyx made me happy. Even retail the Goertz cables seem a good price...10 gauge w/ rhodium bananas 331.50

I agree on DIY CAT 5… a good inexpensive alternative. As to the Morrows being like CAT5 or CAT6 DIY cable...pretty different..at least compared to the ones I made with three teflon CAT5 cables per side...or were they CAT6??? If i recall, mine came to out to 11 gauge. But I did not go there on the stripping and braiding having found a recipe where the guy had tried some of the difficult braiding and said just putting three cables together was very good to him (spitting the center one to positive and negative and silver soldering). They sounded really good to me, as you said warm and airy. Warm was operative with mine when I changed to the also warm, but more open and airy ZStyx....but these Morrows are different.

One difference is: the Morrow SP1 has 12 of their silver coated copper wires, and the SP6 I have, have 96 wires. So these are little wires! Much smaller than CAT5 individual wires. I don't know the geometry, but all that dielectric is presumably why they take so long to break in.

Also, as with the Decware Styx, I hear what I think of as copper with silver plating. The copper/silver combo seems to have the body and articulation of good copper, but with the addition of more sense of micro detail, particularly noticable in the upper mids and highs from silver, and this of course is part of the low mid and bass sound.

I am trying to compare the cables I have and am listening to the SP6 now to get them warmed up and to reacquaint myself with their signature. They are very well balanced, detailed but smooth, warm and clear without blurring or smearing, very good soundstage dimensions and saturation, while also having a nice musical "blending" of the tonal ranges…Right off hand, with this tube set and amp settings, they are possibly a little too good for me...a little too "designed" or "smart" perhaps... if you know what I mean...they appear to be looking for a perfect blend of warmth, articulation, and musicality across the spectrum, but maybe perfect is not perfect with music in my room! Just a first impression after not listening to them for a while.

More later as I get a better sense of the Styx, SP6, and Nirvanas. So far I like each better after I change over to them. They are similar in warmth and body, the Morrow being a little less bassy, but fine. Within the warmth, I would call the Nirvanas most dynamic and articulate feeling in the bottom at this point, but to me, by comparison, they suffer a little from being pure copper...they miss some of the upper mid and high "silver" sparkle of the other two. They still may be my favs though…or maybe not.

After listening the last couple months to the Nirvanas, at first the Styx sounded too sizzly on top and a bit too muddled on bottom, but they had a very nice sparkle and sweet musicality. Thinking they are a classic example of Morrow's contention that "skin effect" of a big stranded cable is a real problem for blurring, smearing and subtle distortions, for fun, I just tried giving them a few twists, and they did tighten up on the bottom and smooth out a bit on top…solving skin effect ???? not in the usual way with many wires, but it did something….perhaps electromagnetic stuff is an operative factor that twisted cables solve.

Hmmm..more listening.
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #34 - 08/20/13 at 21:30:28
 
10 - Roger all that... I continue to be amazed at the differences I hear just based on changing "wire" between components.  I have also read in depth "white papers" about connectors(or lack of) being even more important than the wire itself.  This absolutely holds true for 75 ohm digital cables or video cables... but I have found this to also hold true for unbalanced RCA IC's to a great degree.  Since there is no bona-fide std. for RCA connectors, including their impedance, how a given connector "works" or doesn't "work" with a particular type and length of wire is a crap shoot, unless you have some expensive equipment and knowledge on how to test/measure all the electrical properties of the completed cable.

So Morrow is using even smaller than 24 gauge wire.. interesting... skin effect at audio frequencies becomes null & void at around 21-22 gauge.  Using smaller gauge than that only brings more "insulation" material into the equation when using greater # of individual wires to get to the required aggregate awg size - usually a bad thing.

I have some IC's designed by the late great John Dunlavy, with documented lab measurement results for each serial numbered pair.  I have seen one of these disassembled.. the conductors are silver - and fine as a human hair.. the insulation is some kind of "foam", i.e. mostly air.  At the time I acquired these, I A/B'd them with my audio buds and they were indistinguishable from the AQ Diamonds I had at the time.  Subsequently the Diamonds were sold, as the Dunlavy's were much less expensive.. and much more flexible to boot.  Dunlavy also designed speaker cables - two models that were designed to have a specific impedance, one model was 4 ohms, one was 8.  Each meant to be used with speakers of approximately the same average impedance. I think the electrical theory involved here might have been one of "reflections".  I had some of these at one time - should have kept one pair.  They were the "fastest" and "clearest" speaker cable I ever heard.  Perhaps too fast and too clear for some systems/rooms.  They were absolutely made up of several small gauge, individually insulated wires, that appeared to have been twisted tightly around a flexible core material and compressed into the larger overall jacket.  That's about all I know about the details of their construction.  I believe Goertz touts their speaker cable as having an approx. 4 ohm impedance also, again talking about "reflections".  I'm not an electrical engineer, just a an audiofool hobbyist.  I have never heard Goertz wire sound anything but very good to excellent everywhere I've tried it.  Now, having said that, I have used other wire that has some specific sonic "trait", i.e.  bright, warm, fat bass, etc. to try to fine-tune an overall system sound that needs more or less of something... but overall, at least in the last 7 yrs or so, I always come back to the Goertz if the rest of the components in the system are competent and have their act together.. and if the room is "tamed".

On another note... have you experimented with magnet wire in Teflon tubes?  Minimal insulation material here.. enamel.  And mostly air in the oversized Teflon tube...  I have done some IC's this way, terminated with LoK RCA's from homegrownaudio, but I haven't tackled speaker cable made this way.  I find little to criticize about "the sound" of IC's made this way.  The gist of all this experimentation, in my experience, is that if you have time,  patience and some basic mechanical skills, you can make yourself some world class sounding/performing wires for your system, for very little $$$
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #35 - 08/20/13 at 22:23:37
 
Interesting Maddog...

My favorite ICs are DIY VHAudio silver. Not exactly cheap for the parts, but... made with silver wire that is insulated with cotton, wrapped in a specific way around teflon tubing, and finally wrapped with teflon tape for outer protection. Mine are terminated with Eichman gold. They are really good ICs in my book.

I get the concept of too much dielectric being a problem, but as you suggest it often does seem to be how the maker finds synergy that accomplishes his goals rather than shear technological standards. I don't know what Morrow is up to with so many insulated strands, and can't find the gauge equivalents, but it works whatever he has done. As I said earlier, the SP4 (48 wire runs) was too little wire for me, leaving the sound with my system too lean, and the SP6 (96 runs) was just enough here, though not as full and deep as the bigger Nirvanas or Styx. Morrow says this is because his design eliminates distortions and blurring and therefore bloat, and this can sound less bassy. I guess it is a bit of both from what I hear, and I bet his SP7 (120 wires) sounds a bit bigger in the bottom.

The only magnet wire stuff I have heard in anti-cables and for some reason i did not fully fall for them...a little too warm, big and hard maybe..It has been a long time. Another case of tastes since their cable is liked by many, but also a case of technological intelligence not quite winning for me.

And by the way, it sounds like the Virtueaudio Nirvanas may use similar concept to the Dunlavy speaker cables...I think the helical geometry is around a central core... Actually, this is what is happening with the
VHaudio ICs I made, a helix wrap around a teflon core.

With your Torii, which Goertz wire do you prefer. The 13, 10 gauge or 7 gauge?
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« Last Edit: 08/20/13 at 22:35:31 by will »  

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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #36 - 08/20/13 at 23:00:39
 
the stuff I have had for many years, is what Goertz called "Serpent" series and I have the "Python" model.. which is 10 ga. single wire or 13 awg. Bi-wire.  My pair is bi-wired.  I've used these for years, as every speaker I've owned(until recently) has been bi-wireable.  The Serpents were Goertz’s attempt at making their flat foil technology more conventional looking, easier to handle, and less prone to damage, by twisting the foil, and encasing it in a polymer sheath.  It appears they no longer offer these for sale.

Then along came my first DIY, single, full-range, high-efficiency drivers, xoverless pair of speakers and Decware amps(I had an SE34I to start with before the Torii).  I have used just one of the bi-wire connections from the Python’s on these speakers and they seem to hold true to their typical sonic traits I’ve come to expect – rez, air, naturalness, no zip, zing, tiz, forwardness or fatigue, excellent bass and dynamics, etc. etc. etc., blah, blah, blah... and all the normal audiophile reviewer terms.   Wink

I’m still “acclimating” to my system at the moment and the break-in process of my speakers is probably still taking place to some extent I suspect.  I at first(after 30-40 hrs) felt like I was missing some “air” up “there”.  I swapped in the Goertz IC’s in place of the Nordost’s I had used initially, and wa-la, the “air” returned.  

On the speaker cable front, my audiophile nervosa just can’t stand having that other set of bi-wire connections dangling there in the air doing nothing… so I bought a pair of the conventional Goertz MI-2 cables, copper version, 10 awg – single wire to see if these please me – both audibly and from a  psychoacoustic perspective… I haven’t had a chance to throw these into the mix yet.  I have recently acquired a whole slew of “new stuff” and am introducing each piece one at a time – lest wise I will have NO idea what is doing what to the sound!!  I just haven’t gotten to the Goertz MI-2’s yet.  Right now I’m “rolling” with a new tube preamp that is showing tremendous promise and potential for greatness….
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #37 - 08/20/13 at 23:42:30
 
will..

I have researched and analyzed VHAudio's offerings to death myself.  The conclusion I reached was: if the cost of the DIY components exceed the cost of manufactured cables I already know to sound "the best" to my ears, on many components, over a long period of time, not to mention my "time" to construct them - then I'll pass on that opportunity.  Just my philosophy on this particular aspect.  I only embark on wire experiments that seem to have a high potential for high performance for little cost and minimal time.  If the project consumes a lot of $$ and/or a lot of my time, I don't see the advantage over just trying ready-to-go, out-of-the-box products that cost less and consume none of my time.  These normally purchased used at pennies on the $$ so I can resell if they're not to my liking.

I can't remember if it was in one of VHAudio's(Chris Venhaus) DIY IC articles or not, but I think it was, where he mentioned that his home-made silver cables were a real PITA to make and bettered everything he'd ever heard, except for Goertz Silver Foil IC's.  All of my Goertz IC's(both XLR and RCA) are the silver foil ones.  And I have both gauges, 25 and 21 awg models.  I have never owned or heard the copper versions of Goertz IC's until recently, as in "this week" recently.  I bought a long 2.5m pair of RCA terminated Goertz TQ-2's off eBay.  They just arrived last Friday.  Thought I might use them for subwoofer hookup one of these days, but I have not actually used them anywhere yet.
I'm trying really hard at the moment, to "get off" the component merry-go-round.  Several trips to RMAF, led me to flea watt amps and single driver, high-efficiency, crossoverless speakers.  I have more "realistic" sound in my 2-ch system right now, than I've ever actually had in my room in over 30 yrs of chasing the audio holy grail, maybe as good as I've ever heard.. but that's hard to say with acoustic long-term memory being what it is.  But it's certainly in that ball park.  
I really want to focus on "the music" at this point.  My only other quest, which I am working on, is a "server" based system.  So I can set on my arse and touch-screen queue what I want to listen to from thousands of choices.  If the system "involves me" emotionally and gives me goose bumps pretty regular... I'm thinking it's far time I just settled down and accepted, this is "good enough"... just relax and listen.  What do you think?   Smiley
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #38 - 08/20/13 at 23:46:02
 
Ok, again thanks for all the feedback and sharing your knowledge with me maddog and Will, also thanks for the comparisons it's really helpful!

I think I'm about there and in no particular order:

1. Dave's Cables - 10' pair of UPOCC 20 gauge wire with UPOCC spade and copper bananas = $330.

2. Clear Day Double Shotguns - 10' pair of Solid Core Silver with Silver spades and bananas (four conductors per run or 8 per speaker (4 to the positive terminal, 4 to the negative per speaker) = $470.

3. Clear Day Shotguns - 10' pair of Solid Core Silver with Silver spades and bananas (four conductors per run or 4 per speaker (2 to the positive terminal, 2 to the negative per speaker) = $270.

4. Grover Huffmans Cables - 10' pair of copper, silver and aluminum ribbons suspended in air tubes with spades and bananas = $400.

5. Goertz MI2 - 10' pair of 10 gauge OFC copper with silver spades and rhodium bananas = $343.

6. Morrow SP6 - 10' pair of SP6 with spades and bananas = $350 (this is if they accept my offer).


The Clear Day Double Shotguns are over my budget considerably and Gover's is really stretching it past my comfort zone. So what do you guys think of what's left over?
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« Last Edit: 08/20/13 at 23:53:13 by beowulf »  
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #39 - 08/21/13 at 00:06:23
 
If "UPOCC" copper is what I think it is (Ohno Contuous Cast Copper) I'd check those out; interconnect and power cables with that copper have made there way into my system and have not been removed. Smiley
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #40 - 08/21/13 at 08:40:47
 
Quote:
Lon said,
If "UPOCC" copper is what I think it is (Ohno Contuous Cast Copper) I'd check those out; interconnect and power cables with that copper have made there way into my system and have not been removed.


Yes Lon, that is what it is ... with Dave's Cables you can even order them with the Furutech FT-211/212 Copper Spades and Locking Banana Plugs which are also Ohno Continuous Cast Copper.

On a side note, my Omega Speakers got here!  I was wrong with the specs I originally listed and they tested at 95dB ... ok, so I dug out an old pair of Impact Acoustics Velocity Cables that cost me all of $19 bucks about 7 years ago, plugged them in and while I'm not nearly as versed as many here on this forum when it comes to different audio components, but WOW, I'm really impressed with the speakers even though they are brand new out of the box.

Not ony that but this is the first time I finally plugged in and heard the Taboo MkII (as the speakers I previously had were so inefficient that I didn't even bother hooking the Taboo up to them as I knew I wasn't going to keep them), so can you imagine it sitting for close to 4 months and not being able to listen to it?  It was driving me crazy! Grin

Anyways ... now I know what you guys are finally talking about when it comes to Decware and it's everything you guys desctibed it to be.  A lot of people already know that I also have a Rega Brio-R and I think very highly of it, I swapped them out several times today for A/B tests and although the Brio-R is good - it cannot compete against the Taboo ... I've heard a few different tube amps, but I'm sold that this is one of the best amps I've ever heard. Cool
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« Last Edit: 08/21/13 at 08:42:20 by beowulf »  
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #41 - 08/21/13 at 11:26:04
 
Great! So glad you're finally hearing the Decware sound!
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will
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #42 - 08/21/13 at 20:35:07
 
Awesome Beowulf. I did not realize you were not using your system yet. Since you like it so much as is,  I might wait on the cables until you get a sense of your system burned in. This is what I came up with for the cables I know.

I have had a difficult time getting clear on these cables, but I guess this is a good sign...to me they are all really quite good. Lately I have been sticking them in and listening sort of critical/passively for hours instead of hard core listening seat analysis to try to get realer on what I like and don't like.

I have compared the Styx, SP6, and Nirvanas in critical listening and critical "passive" listening. The 5-6 twists I put in the Styx completely solved the tendency (with my current adjustments) toward a little top sizzle and bass muddle. The bass tightened up a bit and the top is now very clear, but smooth and lovely. I feel like they are sounding very, very good.

I like them all for slightly different reasons, each doing some things best. The cables were surprisingly similar in presentation… warm, deep, dynamic, and balanced musically in their own ways. Especially the Decware and Nirvanas have a similar tonal range....a very complete tonal range.

After the first run through I adjusted the Torii a little to try to balance its tone with all three cables. I have not touched the adjustments since.

In critical listening, each time I changed from one to the other, I liked that one better.  In critical "passive" listening, things have sorted out a bit more, having gotten more used to the signatures.

The Decware has more sparkle, I think probably from the silver plate on copper strands and this is a very nice thing. They are also very smooth, the ranges of frequencies blending musically, but to me not excessively. It appears this is in part due to what (by comparison) sounds like slight blurring, particularly mids down. Very pleasant blurring though. These cables have a sophisticated sweetness to me. But the Styx are out of your current budget range.

That they are really broken in ….thousands of hours as opposed to perhaps 200 on the Nirvanas, and since these two are most similar, this could be important. I feel like the Nirvanas will resolve and refine more in time. This assumption is in part because they have improved over the last couple days, giving me the impression this will continue a while.

Couched in a similar pleasant warmth, body, and depth, the Nirvanas are a bit more clear and articulate than the Styx, except that extra sparkle the Styx  have upper-mids up. This is not to say the highs are flat or lacking texture…they are very good in this setup…and the cables are copper.

The Nirvanas articulation is throughout, but compared to the Styx, particularly noticeable mids down. This is not based in brightness. Something else is going on. I guess it is likely due to the muti-cable helical arrangement and lack of smearing, or subtle distortions, or electromagnetic stuff, or whatever…..Slightly cleaner bass (but still deep and musical) and slightly increased soundstage saturation are good things to me. The Nirvanas are impressive in this system/room, $150 or not.

The SP6, Though I have enjoyed using them a lot, I have never fully fallen for them, so it was good to do this listening comparison in order to get closer to understanding why. Remember, this is serious hair splitting here…these cables are really nice and likely the best of the three at articulation through the range, but still with nice musical blending.

First, I noticed something each time I put them in, and though I don't have a meter, I believe this is true. The SP6s play a touch quieter (less dB) than the Styx and Virtues indicating restriction or lack of flow to me. Still good dynamics, but a touch restricted by comparison.They are also very much about midrange detail within their particular midrange "warmth," and they have less power and impact low down, something I am a sucker for. I can more easily forget the cable if it has good flow and balance.

What I was picking up before as "too designed or too smart" may be a slight sense of lack of authenticity??? They remind me a little of the auricaps I have tried on my tweeters and in the Zstage…Analytically they sound "right", but on careful review, something gets under my skin, and finally I found the warmth is a little contrived and the sound a touch constricted…a little unnatural.

That said, I can and have enjoyed these cables plenty with the right tube sets and amp settings (same for everything here…adjustments are a key to amazing possibilities). And remember this is all my system/room and sensibilities.

Two pretty serious caveats with Morrow though. They take forever to break in and it is not pleasant a lot of the way. Also, it occurs to me that if he accepts your offer, I would be surprised if you could get out of it. For something this critical to tastes and system/room, I would want a real return possibility.

Not knowing how your system room sounds to you, or how neutral your current cables are, it is hard to recommend something…but assuming your cables are relatively neutral, if the signature of the Nirvanas sounds good for your room, I might take the risk of saving money for a tube set or two, or something else and try the Nirvanas. They are staying in my system for now. They were much more easy to listen to during break in, but if you have a second system, I would run anything you get for a while there…with the Nirvanas, I would recommend 8-9 days, and the Morrow, with their crazy amount of dielectric, I would go a full 600 hrs or 25 days.

If your system is dark and unclear to you, has excess bass problems, and you want a very open sound, I would probably tend toward trying the Cleardays. If it is darkish on the bottom with bass issues, but clear mids up, I might try the Morrows. If it has good balance, but lacks bass clarity and depth, and perhaps wants a touch of warmth, I would try the Nirvanas.

Can't comment on the other cables, but maddog has me interested in the Goertz.
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #43 - 08/21/13 at 21:51:40
 
Wow Will!  What an awesome breakdown of each cables and luckily you had some of the cables that I was interested in.

The Decware Styx are a clear no brainer, but unfortunately out of my budget, so I will be on the lookout in the classifieds if a set pops up in the future.  I already have a set of of Steve's Silver Reference Interconnects and I prefer them to the Rega Couple 2 as I have been A/B them.

The Morrows seem to be really good as well ... I sent him an email on pricing on the SP6 to see what he has to say, but I think you're right about being able to return them, I have a feeling that if he cut me that great of a deal he may not go for it.

The Virtue Audio cables seem like such a great deal for what you get though, your description on these budget cables has them competing with speakers that cost 3x as much and holding their ground (not to mention that I will still have a few bucks left over).  They have a forum over at AudioCircles, however I think they are on hold as they have been having some supplier problems ... I put in a couple of emails to them and they have been unresponsive ... I noticed that they offer a Quad Shotgun with the Quadraphonic 4x16awg cables, but I was wondering which of the 2 models of cables (the Nivanas or Quads are the better cables).
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #44 - 08/21/13 at 22:54:59
 
I would purport to you that the “break-in” phenomena occurs to some extent… Every time you turn your system on.  This goes for wire as well as components.  With components, we’re talking about reaching thermal stability for one thing.  Where, in the case of Decware amps anyway, they have been voiced at and with components and values chosen for their performance “at that temperature”.  My Torii takes 30-45 minutes every time I turn it on to sound “right”.  And it sounds better and more real the longer it’s been on up to a period of 2-3 hours, which after that point I have never sensed its sonics changing much more.

For wire… I suspect that you are more likely to “hear” or sense an immediate difference upon swapping out one set of IC’s or speaker wire for another – right after the swap.  That is the point in time where the “just hooked up” cable is the least “settled” and least dielectrically “formed”.  I suspect that there is a bit of stabilization that goes on every time signal flows thru a cable for the first time, and also when it has not had any signal applied to it for a while.  The longer it has had NO signal passing thru it, the more metamorphosis it goes thru.

This just raises more questions… we always hear/read that we should listen to a cable or component for a while to let it break-in, settle, etc.  Yet, lest we not forget that while this “breaking in” is going on over a period of time, our ears, brains and auditory sense is also “acclimating” to the sound as well.  So is the component really breaking-in, changing sonically or are we just getting “used to it”?  Or is it a combination of both?!!!  

Which gets me to one “learning” I’ve acquired over the years and I try to observe it when I audition something new and not let the excitement and anticipation overcome my sensibilities.  “If” the new component just installed into my system for trial/audition/comparison, etc. immediately draws my attention to some aspect of its sonic signature – there is probably something “wrong” with it.  i.e. there is something “unnatural” about its sound that has caused my brain to “react” and to “notice”.  Either something is bright, dull, too heavy, tizzy, tilted, out of balance, phasey, etc…unnatural sounding.  Something has caused me to “notice”.  If the item under consideration does not draw attention to itself in some fashion pretty quickly, then it is probably relatively neutral, accurate, etc.  
For items that meet this criteria, I then begin the “long term” task of playing all my reference music thru them to see if it all sounds as expected and to listen for “differences”.  If one does detect a “difference”, then we have to decide if that difference is; 1) an improvement or just a difference, and 2) does the difference make the system sound more “real” to us.  Since 99% of the music we listen to, we did not hear the original live performance where & when it was recorded, then this becomes a completely subjective process that is different for each of us.  Being one who was never satisfied with this limitation, I strive to listen to live performances as often as I can to keep my references “fresh”.  Also, to that end, I have a close friend and true lover of music, who plays in a local band.  Not only that, but he also sings in a choir.  And to make it even better, he is an amateur recordist as well.  So… I have heard many performances subsequently played back on my system, and I know what they sounded like live as best acoustic memory can serve.  My friend is also a bit of a purist too, and his recording technique typically only includes two mics positioned at where a normal seat in the audience would be, etc.  He records digitally, no multi-track mix-downs, individual close mic'ing or anything – direct to disc so-to-speak.  He is now recording at high bit & sample rates also.  Surprisingly, or not, his amateur recordings are some of the most “real” recordings I’ve ever heard.  When I want to get down to the brass tacks of assessing a components performance, I put on some of his recordings.  They do a better job of telling me if something is “right” than anything else I have ever been able to obtain.
Another source I have found to be quite revealing and useful, if you have the capability, is just to setup a mic config. in some room in your house and start recording – everything that is going on.  Pick up human conversation(one of the most telling sounds), background sounds, TV playing in the other room, footsteps, the sound of your HVAC fan coming on, going off, water running in the kitchen… common ambient sounds.  Play this back thru your system and look for things like unnaturally heavy or chesty male voices, all the little ambient sounds – are they there?  Can you sense the “space” they were in?  Can you tell what room, direction the sound came from in your recording?  Does it fool you and your dog and/or your cat into believing the sound is real?  Of course this introduces a whole nother set of “how good are the components” into the mix – the microphone, ADC or tape machine, etc.  But I have found that there are many modestly priced digital recorders available these days that do an unbelievably good job of capturing sound.
If a new component passes all these test, and it produces no “fatigue” over long listening sessions – it becomes the new reference for that part of the chain in my system.  And the longer it remains the reference, the more it proves it was the most accurate to start with in all likelihood.  
This type of system performance assessment will not work for those philes who strive to get their system to have a certain sonic flavor for everything they play thru it.  i.e. anyone who wants everything to sound “polite”, or laid back, or to jump out at them with boom & sizzle, or to have micro details conveyed as significantly as macro, etc.  This only works for those seeking “recreation” of the sonic event in their listening rooms…not merely a editorialized reproduction of it….  That’s my philosophy on the purpose of my music system…. YMMV..  
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #45 - 08/22/13 at 01:04:50
 
maddog, thanks for all the good tips and what you're saying about break-in makes sense as well ... I have noticed that the Taboo starts shining about 20 minutes or more after it's turned on and it also makes sense with the cables.  As I mentioned earlier I have a Decware Silver interconnect and also a Rega Couple 2 interconnect ... the Decware has many more hours on it than the Rega, but I can't help but like the Decware better at this point ... I will keep a/b'ing until the Couple 2 gets some more miles on it though.
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #46 - 08/22/13 at 06:45:28
 
Beowulf.

My room and system, but within my perceptions and preferences, the Nirvanas do compete. They have a signature though, as the others do. I am keeping them in now as I find what they bring to my sound compelling, but also to see where they go with more break in. I really like the Decware cables too, and like the Morrows also, but not unequivocally. I am hesitant about them for a number of reasons I put in post 42. The cool thing is, the Nirvanas are cheap and have a good return policy, so even if they don't fit ....

Maddog,

I have noticed cables being a bit "off" when first installed too, even when they are broken in.…worse for some than others…especially the Morrow cables really had to "warm up" a while before I felt I could listen carefully to them…the dielectric??? Likely!

At any rate, all three had been in use over the last several months, and hard as it is, I did run each a while before initial critical listening. After that, when I changed them again, I just sat down and listened to a number of the same test tunes with each, and each cable came in with the same level of settling in. This is another reason I went for hours of "passive" listening with each. Just in case.

You pose some interesting questions about "reality" in music reproduction and perception. I think these are valid and good to keep in mind, but also relative depending on ones body/mind, senses, discernment, practice, gear, gear/room synergy, and perhaps most importantly, having reason for trusting, and then believing our preferences and perceptions. I find psychoacoustic concepts interesting, and I agree that acclimating can be influential, but also feel it does not necessarily have to be to a meaningful degree. For me a lot is physical…listening fatigue being a great indicator of this.

Starting from such a satisfying music playing system, with parts and components made by folks with very good minds and ears, it appears for me that the reference concept applies more to them than me as long as my room is good.

I mean, every recording we own was made based on individual preferences using individual sets of gear, rooms and ears. And all are different! So to me, it is more a thing of adjusting my system to enjoy the recordings I love to hear to help them sound their best as much as possible (most of which are at least decent in musicality). Actually, the wide range of recording qualities, some bright, some dark, some bassy, some sizzly, and so on, seems itself a governor for keeping from getting too far off real.

In this, some audio decisions might be a touch different than adjusting for reference recordings, but not very different. For me it is about getting the system/room the best it can be toward a sense of players in the room. And after all, of all the recordings I have heard or made, none are totally accurate.

And venues for live playing…I can't even think of trying to duplicate that myself…most venues beginning compromised, often in many ways. So I need to go by the standards my system and room create, and trust my preferences to guide the way. There are the occasions when something does not work well, but luckily not often for me.

As long and hard as I have listened, first impressions often last for me. The way I listen and the way I "play" my system, with tuning and changing out tube sets every so often (as a vehicle to finding new listening pleasure as well as reaching greater levels of discernment), I believe I have come to a baseline that is pretty real. My perceptions and decisions yes, but the sounds of real instruments and real voices within this.

I check myself with the help of my wife pretty regularly. We will AB stuff and she has little or no idea what I put up is "supposed" to do. Neither do I for the most part except in a general way since the only way for me to really "get" a piece of gear is to hear it myself, in this room. Sometimes, I check whatever it is myself first to get my impressions…but also, I might just put it up and we both listen, in which case I develop my impressions on what I hear as we listen and wait for her to comment before I do. Though her words are most times a little different than mine, what is described is ALWAYS what I heard. I trust this.

This is interesting. Thanks for starting this part of this discussion… I love it when real thoughts stimulate more thought.

For me, when I hear something that draws my attention, it is most often a thing that holds up with time. Either I don't agree with it in my system/room, or I do, in which case I might flesh out the subtler details with time…or not. Most times I really like what it brings to the system, perhaps because I rarely try anything out of the blue, using trusted sources as pointers. But also, as my room and system become more refined, it accepts synergistically more variety of decent stuff than it once did.

In this exploration, many things that "stick out" at first can be really good….more refined transparency; forgiving qualities of warmth that do not compromise detail and which still hang within a neutral feeling framework; more satisfying bass; better timbre; better attack and decay; micro or macro dynamics, or micro detail..textures, or whatever.

It actually constantly amazes me how a system/room that is so good can get better by following and trusting perceptions and preferences! With the vast variety in recordings and mixes of good music, for me it actually becomes an imperative to try to help the system awaken them as much as possible, sheerly for the increased pleasure of hearing them.  "Accurate" to the original recording may not be very true to the real sound of instruments...players or singers in rooms. This is my objective, to help pull out the real sound of music right here. I think it is safe to say that many recordings sound better here than they did in the studio or live venue. Why not improve them with an excellent system/room.

It is tricky, and there are many places where we could stumble, but I doubt I would like a system that was completely accurate. Then all those different rooms, and recording gear, and mixing gear, and mastering gear, and digitizing gear, and all the rest that was not accurate to begin with, will sound inaccurate in terms of a real musical experience.

As I "write out loud" I guess I find accuracy a bit mythical. No matter how good the technology and gear, and the measuring gear, finally it is people running the gear and making decisions based on their preferences and perceptions. And we all know that gear and technical knowledge is constantly developing, change that by definition rules out ultimate accuracy.

I do like that the gear makers I like use good references along with their knowledge of tech and most importantly their great perception and discernment.…it puts me in a good ballpark for my personal exploration and refinement of all that I hear in tuning my system/room to satisfy me.

I guess one safety factor that can help keep us on course is this: Though few recordings are accurate in fact (or recorded in accurate rooms), most who made recordings of good music were trying to make it sound real within the framework of a given economic environment, technology, gear/systems, and rooms…all of which, they also tried to make sound real. But few are alike.

So if we make our systems feel right within the the variety of the above, there is likely a "balance" within the imbalance of recordings that can work with. We might lose a little of the best of the best in terms original accuracy, but we might also improve upon a lot of recordings that are not so accurate. At the same time, I don't really think those more accurate recordings necessarily suffer from system tuning…they might have a slightly different flavor than the original mixing room, but still be great, or even get better musically. This is my experience anyway.

Luckily, we can get gear to help us get great sound in our own rooms, and we can flesh out the good of what we listen to without revealing just how bad the less good recordings are. This is a whole lot of what I love about good tube gear.

All that said, I think your suggestions for checking system sound and trying to get it real are interesting and compelling, I am just pulled into the exploration from another angle, very possibly toward a similar end.
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« Last Edit: 08/22/13 at 15:50:10 by will »  

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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #47 - 08/30/13 at 18:31:23
 
OK.. I promised I would report back on my experience with the Goertz MI2 between my Torii MK.III and my high-efficiency, full-range, crossoverless DIY's - here it is.

Once again, I continue to be stunned & amazed at the Torii/Audio Nirvana combo.  It's upsetting the turnip cart and shattering "knowns" that had become "givens" in my audio experience of the last 30+ years.
Prior to the above said combo, I have preferred the Goertz wires in "every" system I've ever heard them in.  Not so, in the Torii/Audio Nirvana configuration.  It's not that the Goertz were "bad" - far from it - just "different" and I preferred the other cables, which are Nordost Red Dawn.  Another member on this forum compared and contrasted Nordost cables with Zen Styx in another thread not long ago.  I believe the guy had Vahalla's... which are just too far into the $$$ lunacy realm for wire for me.  But I bought the biwire Red Dawns I have, used, for a mere pittance.  The other poster, commented that the Zen Styx sounded so much like the Vahalla's that he could not reliably tell them apart, so he sold the much more $$$ Nordost and kept the Zen Styx - all this is dependent on my memory here... so don't quote me on this - just search the forum for the discussion.

If the Red Dawn's I have, sound similar to Zen Styx.. then the Zen Styx would be my preference between my Torii and my DIY Audio Nirvana's.  However, I am still running Goertz silver IC's, sources to pre and pre to Torii and prefer them over any other IC's I've tried so far... so my "known" about Goertz hasn't been completely shattered.!

will

yep... listening "fatigue" is the #2 thing I listen to, after the initial check for traits that draw unnatural attention to themselves.  I don't think I could come to live with wires that take "hours of passive" listening to settle-in every time I turn on the system.  I can barely stand the 30-45 minutes it takes my Torii to reach "thermal stability" as Steve refers to it.  My listening time is "precious" and is all about quality and not as much "quantity" as I would like.  I get listening time in small chunks.. an hour - hour and a half max usually.  So I need things "there" as quickly as possible.  I currently kind of have to plan my listening.  Go down to the man-cave, get everything fired up and something playing at low volume - come back in an hour, usually before bed, to "listen", relax and unwind.  I require a system that comes "on song" relatively quickly.
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #48 - 08/31/13 at 05:15:56
 
Quote:
maddog07 said,
then the Zen Styx would be my preference between my Torii and my DIY Audio Nirvana's.


The Zen Styx would be my preference if I could afford them ... I will always be on the lookout for a used pair to come up, but I rarely see them in the classifieds!
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Re: Suggestions 10' Speaker Cables
Reply #49 - 08/31/13 at 06:15:41
 
maddog.

I agree on the cables and amp warmup. I would hate to have to play cables for hours before serious listening. I thought I had heard the Morrow cables sounding a little dead after not playing for some weeks, so decided to let them and the Styx "warm up" before serious and critical listening. I had had the Virtues in for a while, so little concern there (except that they probably are not fully burned in). I don't recall having heard this with the Styx before...but played it safe. When I was listening daily to the Morrows, I don't recall hearing this. Actually I believe I recall Morrow saying to let them work in a bit when changing systems, or after prolonged non-use. Lots of little wires with lots of dielectric likely the culprit.

I always try to turn on my Torii for a half hour or so before listening and leave my DAC and Zstage on all the time.

Did I interpret correctly....my assumption is that you don't have Styx, but base your Styx observation on someone saying the Styx sound like the Red Dawns and you prefer your Red Dawns over the Goertz in this case?

I would love to hear your DYI speakers with the Torii....sounds like a great thing!
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