AudioQuest cables

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert D, Jul 19, 2002.

  1. Robert D

    Robert D Extra

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    Hello,
    I have a monetary question on the cost of Audioquest speaker cables. Im thinking of upgrading to Audioquest "Slate" biwire cables. Specifically a pair of 15', a pair of 25', a pair of 35' and a single 10'. What is MSRP and the going rate for these cables?
    My other question is I will be replacing 12 guage Monster cables. How much more performance will I get with the "Slates"? My setup includes an Lexicon MC-1, B&W Nautilus all the way around, and Krell Kav amps. Also Audioquest "Viper" interconnects.
    Any info would be helpful. Thanks in advance,
    Rob
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    A quick check of a couple of websites found prices at $28/ft per pair at two of them suggesting that may be the list price and furthermore that's what dealers are hoping to get. Being as you're in the Chicago area, you'll likely find local sources also. So your overall price would be...$2,240 assuming they give you a single wire...worst case scenario.
    How much more performance will they give? I'd hope at that price point a quite substantial one wouldn't you? If for starters you're interested in whether biwiring would confer an audible advantage over say the same gauge not biwired, then scroll to the bottom of this link and a relatively simple method is described.
    At 2 grand discretionary income I'd be looking to improve my room's acoustics.
    IMHO the Slate will not confer an audible difference over what you're currently using but it is a pretty looking cable though!
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Robert, check www.audioadvisor.com for prices on the Slate cables. Also, Music Direct, which is in Chicago, sells Audioquest cables and tends to be cheaper than Audio Advisor. However, Music Direct does not list prices on its web site (www.amusicdirect.com), so audioadvisor.com will give you ballpark prices. Call Music Direct for their prices on the Slate cables. I am not sure if Music Direct has a walk-in store. Check their web site. I should note that I have ordered from both Audio Advisor and Music Direct, and both are first-rate.
     
  4. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  5. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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    This theory of whether cables make a difference is controversial.
    I fall in the middle in this debate. I do want a well constructed cable with good terminations and shielding. So I'm willing to pay a little premium over standard zip cord. The price difference can't be obscene as that money would be much better spent on components!!
    That said, I do have the Audioquest GR8 which is reviewed to be a little better than the Slate.
    You're in luck as the GR8 is in closeout at: www.hcmaudio.com A 10 foot pair, terminated, will run you $99 vs. $340 retail. This cable is 10 gauge, so you'll get very good bass response. 10 gauge is about as good as it gets when running long cables. Regarding mids and highs, the GR8 is neutral. For the price, it's a no-brainer choosing it over Monster. Remember that terminations are as important as the cable and these come with silver spades or bananas.
    Another recommendation:
    You can ask the guy who makes the highly "rated" DH Labs T-14 at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=1367179158 to make you a single wire cable. This will cost you 50% what the shotgun costs. Though, I'd go shotgun as you'd get lower bass. But that's $79 over the GR8 at that same length.
    Bottom Line:
    Don't spend too much on cables aside from good cable construction & shielding. Remember, it's very, very difficult to tell differences in cables to begin with. Most esoteric cables are really no more than tone conrols IMHO.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Yes...very difficult even with silver connections.
     
  7. DennisZ

    DennisZ Agent

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    What I would is check out Audiogon.com, look at the list for cables, speaker cables. they new and used. You can get some great deals. Another place is fatwyre.com. email them and ask what they would recommend with your setup. Get all the information you can. By the way fatwyre will let you demo cables for a small fee.

    good luck and happy listening

    Denny
     
  8. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  9. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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  10. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    A new piece by George? Do you keep those amps right next to the maggies Lee...that just might be the reason why you're hearing things. Unless Magneplanars have changed significantly they still present atypical impedences and I recall the recommendations fell into the general area of keep the wire lengths very short, preferably with an amp next to each speaker and choose an amp that's comfortable with being able to supply power at very low impedences. However the combination you possess, while I'm sure is thoroughly enjoyable, is quite unlike the poster's system or for that matter the majority of systems out there. However I trust if he does get a 'superior' wire, that he will make every effort to determine its effectiveness to what he presently has. To me at least, the contemplation of spending over 2K in wires, would mandate some serious effort upon my part to determine their effectiveness especially if I had issues with my hearing.
     
  12. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu,
    You repetitively post that there is no sonic or visual difference between audio and video cables of equivalent build quality. The reason I post this rebutle, is not to start a flame war. I just want to post an opposing opinion so some of these people will continue to experiment and try new cables and components etc. Let people decide for themselves if their is a sonic difference. I guess what I am asking is that you tell people it is your opinion, as I doubt you have any scientific evidence to prove of your comments that state essentially its not possible for cables to sound different. I too have no scientific evidence of my beleifs in cables, but I can hear it.

    It may be the quality level of your equipment that will not allow you to see or hear a difference...I dont know.

    I would be intrigued to read one of these scientific double blind tests that state a golden-eared audiophile cannot hear the difference. People are always saying that these tests have been done. I have yet to see one of these tests, please lead me in the direction.

    Now I dont disagree that there becomes a point of diminishing returns between ultra expensive cables, but nonetheless, there is a difference in the sound quality between various cables, I have heard it. Am I willing to pay for it, not really. I prefer the ultra high quality DIY cables. An extrememly high quality cable can be made at a very reasonable price.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  13. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills Stunt Coordinator

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    David,
    I too have read the stuff at axiom but still have yet to read a report. All I have seen is hearsay on the forum.

    But,
    as I stated earlier, from my own experience I have and can hear a difference between cables, these are very slight differences mind you. What I was trying to point out was the fact that people need to decide these matters for themselves. As you well know, their are extremeists for both sides of the story. You should not tell people that there is no difference, when they just may very well be able to hear a difference.
     
  15. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  16. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree 100% Lee. I simply meant $8000 cables are not for me. I dont have that kind of disposable income. But if I did, Im sure $8000 cables would be on my shopping list.

    Many high end shops will aloow people to borrow cables to evaluate in their system. I feel everyone should take advantage of this to see for themselves if cables can make a differrence in "their" system.
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well Jeff, if I'd posted something along the lines that I can guarantee that "stick your favorite company name here" cable made a difference, you'd have no issue with it. My own experiences and those that I've read of that have involved level matching under at the very least, unsighted conditions, have shown an inability to determine a difference. Examination of the results has indicated findings that are no better than could be attributed to chance. If I were to interpret these results in the 'cable friendliest' euphomism, I'd say something like the differences are quite subtle. But that's playing with words and could also be stated as 'they're so subtle you're unlikely to tell them apart'. In some cases this has even been extended to using the blind approach in what's commonly called the triangle test. In a triangle test as would be done with cables, one cable is always different. No tricks. One cable is always different. The objective is simple. Pick the one that's different. Most of the DIY recipes that I've seen have one primary objective, and that's to mimimize the inductance which typically comes at the price of increased capacitance. Electrically all else being equal this will result in less attenuation of the top end. Most well designed modern amplifiers will have no issue with this increased capacitance, but for the very few that do and then to attribute this to 'cables make a difference' to my mind is incorrect as it is the amplifier design that is faulty and lacks robustness. Older Naim's and some Spectrum's come to mind although I can't speak to whether that's still a problem. As to whether this difference is audible under the conditions I'd mentioned earlier has yet to be demonstrated. It is quite possible to design a bad cable and I'm sure we could tell the difference there. On a different note, that's a lovely part of Canada you're in.
    Lee...you're a Maggie owner. You run tubes. And quite possibly you're running long lengths of wires. I'd wager to say that well over 1/2 of owners of either tubes or electrostatic/planar/ribbon system owners consider their units remarkably detailed and look down at other speaker owners and transistor based methods of amplification. By no stretch of the imagination could one logically extend one's findings with the peculiarities (uniqueness) of such combinations to what we're dealing with here. My god, look at the gross differences between the impedence curves of those compared to the B&W's! As far as detailed goes, I again submit for your consideration, that nowhere does Cardas, AudioQuest, or any of the other players intimate that one's system needs to rise to a certain level before cables will make a difference. Rather various emails I've sent and received suggest that the recommendations follow a linear relationship with price of ones components. It would seem though that Robert D's system does have that sufficiently revealing quality, wouldn't you say? However, what of his issues with hearing? My own personal interpretation of that is they're making a guesstimate as to your propensity and ability to spend. Your interpretation may well yet differ. The limiting factor is us and our eyes and our ears and our senses.
     
  18. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu Gai,
    Very nicely put.

    I have read of tests where they a/b test zip cord. One zip cord cable is dressed very fancily.

    Almost all those tested (golden ear audiophiles included)chose the nice looking wire using all the buzz words that exist in audio.

    They did not know they were talking about the same cheap zip cord cable! LOL! It lends evidence to the fact that our eyes add much to the equation.
     
  19. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Understand, that I'm not advising Robert D to not investigate the Slates or any others, however if he wishes and has the means to do so, I'll present him with a protocol he could use to insure he's getting an audible difference. Its a protocol that's consistent and a damned sight better than the advice given by many vendors which is just listen. Imagine if that were the instructions given on the utilization of the Rat Shack SPL...put these batteries in and adjust you levels. The one thing I like about blind tests is that they adhere to the audiophile mantra...trust your ears.
     
  20. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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