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  1. #1

    What are your reference cables.

    I am interested in hearing what cables people have used & why they are "their" reference. The price &/or the company is irrelevant, I am interested in what you hear & what has brought you to these conclusions. Here are my last 3 experiences.

    Some time ago in a system far far away back in the day of MSB Diamond, McIntosh 2301's & Sonus Faber Stradivari's, my choice of cable was Wire World Platinum 6. These were by no mean stretch an average achiever in the cable world, very articulate with a minuscule footprint in way of stamping a signature of sound on the intended recording & just a plain disappearing act. Being silver cables they do not hide bright or poorly recorded material so synergy with your components is critical to enjoy the benefits that they can bring to your system. An overly bright or neutral system will show up some horrible traits in the recording because they will ruthlessly reveal all as they do not colour at all. In my opinion sibilance or shrill only enters the equation with these cables if a mismatch in components or speakers. I also noticed little to warrant an upgrade from series 6 to 7 (current) & yes I did compare them in my own system.

    Moving forward to Meitner dac into Soulution preamp & Sanders Magtech mono amps with Magnepan 20.7's, too much of a good thing was going on & the shrill could be heard with some recordings, way more than I liked. This was probably one of my most neutral, not bright, but true to the recording intended systems but with the WW Plat 6's, too much of a good thing. Out with the WW & in with Shunyata Ztron Anaconda. The goal was to bring the detail but also the midrange warm glow that copper brings, even though subtle, it is an attribute that I have demonstrated in my system to many. In a very revealing system I would give the nod to Shunyata Ztron Anaconda. All of the qualities of the WW Plats were evident with their introduction into the system & a nice balance was introduced to the highs albeit though that the speed & attack almost seemed to slow, which in the system at the time was what it needed. We all know that the timing is scientifically unchangeable & this was the first time that i had experienced this phenomenon so easily.
    Things in my world with cables from there on in were real easy for me, i had a set that covered both signatures of voicing that i liked, thank jaysus & the saints i was done with cables.... ;(

    Then I started to wonder, the blue pill or the red.... bugger!
    Suffice to say I have found a cable that magically seems to have both the qualities of the 2 before, inside & out, looks the ducks nuts, but seriously has really blown me away. So it should for it's price too.
    Enter the Siltech Royal Signature, Princess. These are the bottom of the ladder i/c's when you get near their top range & I will not be climbing higher as I thought it was a pretty good effort to get here. All I did was swap one i/c, it was a holy shit moment. I have put the WW, Shunyata & the Siltech into the same system separately & am very surprised at the actual difference. The attributes of silver & copper are quite evident to my ears & as I have been & always will be an advocate of midrange & that warm golden glow of sound that just sounds "right', I have come to understand the importance of a little gold with the silver. These do it for me.
    Immediacy, prat, slam, delivery, non-fatiguing, digital or vinyl, but most of all "timbre". These have enough timbre to send chills down your spine, spooky good!
    just a thought anyway, anyone else care to comment please.....

  2. #2

    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Great post Kev. Wireworld Platinum Eclipse G7 XLR and loudspeaker cables are my reference cable along with Siltech Royal Signature Ruby Mountain II G7 with Furutech carbon rhodium F-50 terminations and Flux-50 filters.

    The WW PE are a great cable I am happy to live with but were a price compromise. If price was no object, I would prefer a Siltech Royal Signature choice instead. There's no beating their military/aerospace grade Kapton shielding implementation from DuPont. They emit absolutely zero emissions meaning they are also not subject of any external influences. The mono-crystal silver wire injected with gold nano is a signature process that other manufacturers are only just beginning to experiment with and introduce into their own premium formulations. Furutech Nano Flux comes to mind here.

    Siltech Royal Signature oozes super premium metallurgy, material composition, geometry and construction. Price can be a barrier and so can the expansive Chinese counterfeit market. Buying Siltech outside of the authorised dealer network is a risky proposition which also means buying second hand can be an issue.

    For interconnects, I think Siltech excels most between pre-amp and amp and this is where I would like to permanently swap in a 2m XLR length and move the Wireworld Platinum Eclipse elsewhere, eg. Source.

    I have also tried the Shunyata Zitron Anaconda (unshielded) in my system and agree that the Siltech offers the best of both without missing anything that the Shunyata does.

    On that note, I would not recommend any form of unshielded cable especially with tube amplification. indeed, the concept of using unshielded cables anywhere is a ridiculous proposition IMO.
    Steve

    Furutech Passive Power Filtering


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  3. #3
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Kev,

    Yesterday I heard Siltech 550 ic's and speaker cables in a friends system yesterday. I had heard Kimber, Audioquest, Shunyata and I think one or two others in the past. I am fully aware of your holy sh!t moment with Siltech. I am obsessed now. I could not believe what a difference. Full and tuneful bass, tremendous separation, sweet highs and perfect mids, seamless top to bottom as in being more coherent. I've always admired Siltech from other posters over the years on many forums. Now I truly know why. I don't know how or when but Siltech is on my radar and come hell or high water, I will be Siltech bound.
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    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

  4. #4

    Re: What are your reference cables.

    If you can't get into the Siltech Royal Signature bracket, the 770 G7 ICs are quite awesome also. I have a pair of RCAs hanging off the MCD1100 and often switch between the (balanced) XLRs and these. More often than not, I prefer the unbalanced presentation of the 770s in comparison!
    Steve

    Furutech Passive Power Filtering


    Speakeasy

  5. #5

    Re: What are your reference cables.

    I have heard from several people now about the 770's being close to the Royal Signature sound if one cannot come to grips with the price.

  6. #6
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Kev, A friend of mine with Salons and Hegel amp told me the Siltechs were fantastic ! I would love to try some in my system. I love my Kimber Select sp cables, but I want something for my IC's instead of my Shunyata.

    The Shunyata Cobra and Anaconda that I have are very good, but since I'm not buying any new gear for a long time, I want to maximize my system by picking out the best cables that I can find.

    I want to find that "Magic" synergy !!

    And if the Siltech speaker cables beat my Kimbers, I'll get them too.
    Mark

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  7. #7
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    I am no expert on cables and have tried only a handful .

    A dealer once told me their are only 3 kinds of cable those you can not stand to listen to, those you can not afford(the biggest group) and Cardas.

    I have always come back to Cardas whether or not it is better or what I am use to and like I am never sure. But Cardas is not a bad choice for a lot of gear. IMO only
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    Not in use Infinity QLS and Ohm F

  8. #8
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    I'm no expert in cables either, and have maintained an overall modest cable budget. My reference are the top of the line LAT International cables which just sound "right" to me as well, especially in the midrange as you mention Kev. I have demo'd several much more expensive offerings in my system, including WW Silver/Gold/Platinum, Tributaries, Shunyata, Cardas, Nordost, etc. and I've only found them to sound "different" vs. blow me away this is so much better that I want to spend 2-5x the price for them. As I've written elsewhere here, I made what I considered to be a mistake by going down the WW SE upgrade path because I was told I would be blown away with the difference. I was not. Over time I swapped out all of my LAT International cables, only to find out that I didn't like the sound near as well and was much happier when I sold them off and switched back. Since that time I've upgraded to even better LAT cables which was a modest investment and am even more pleased by the improvements without jumping into a completely different level and price bracket. I'm very satisfied and no longer think about upgrading cables outside of wanting to try out Jeff Whitlock's power cables in my system again down the road sometime. Now that being said I probably shouldn't demo the Siltechs in my system and take that blue pill because I do know they would likely break my perceptions based on what I'm reading in this thread, but other upgrades will take priority for now.
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  9. #9
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    When I search to improve the sound of my system, I use bad cable because I have a beginning system.
    Now, I have a great system.
    So I use Furutech Lineflux RCA and XLR, Speakerflux, jumperflux, and Flux 50 NCF (4)...Very good cables.
    I have VDH too.
    Marantz SA7S1/GRIMM AUDIO CC1/MARK LEVINSON 360S+TECHNICS SL1210 MKII/ORTOFON X1-MC/VPI CLASSIC 3 in rosewood/Audio-Technica ART-9/ESOTERIC E03+TAG MC LAREN T32R+JEFF ROWLAND CORUS+JEFF ROWLAND MODEL 625+Magnepan 3.7i+Cables line: all Furutech lineflux+power cord DIY

  10. #10

    Re: What are your reference cables.

    I have all kinds of cables I use. I have Cardas, LAT International, Gabriel Gold, Vansevers, Tara Labs, Nordost and Audioquest. Right now Tara, Vansevers and Cardas gives me the best overall sound I am looking for. I am sad to see that LAT apparently went out of business, they made great cables.

  11. #11
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Ansuz D2's, Chord Music
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  12. #12
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Belden, Canare and Mogami.
    Oh, West Penn and Gepco are also good.

  13. #13
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    Belden, Canare and Mogami.
    Oh, West Penn and Gepco are also good.
    my guess is you have not been able to perform a good cable comparison, but all that matters is that you are happy with your choices
    Rob
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  14. #14
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    my guess is you have not been able to perform a good cable comparison, but all that matters is that you are happy with your choices
    maybe you're presupposing Canare, Mogami, etc aren't worth considering? I can borrow a full loom of Nordost Odin anytime I like, my dealer is also a friend he has it on demo and his store is two blocks from my office. To this day I haven't taken him up on the offer and I have no interest. talk about head in the sand
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  15. #15
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    my guess is you have not been able to perform a good cable comparison, but all that matters is that you are happy with your choices
    My guess is, you have not studied cable design engineering and what qualities are required to make a good cable.

    But for you:
    but all that matters is that you are happy with your choices

  16. #16
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    From a "Blue-collar budget" perspective:

    This is only my opinion, but I consider "my reference cables" to mean the the best sounding that I have in my own systems. I fully understand that paying more could produce better sound.

    Anticables Level 3 power cords, Level 6.2 and 3.2 RCA's and Level 3.1 speaker cables perform wonderfully together to my ears.

    Shunyata Venom power cords, DH Labs Silver Sonic D-14 speaker cables, Kimber 8TC speaker cables and Hero RCA's also provide great value.

    Blue Jeans Cable LC-1's are good enough for me for powered subwoofers.

    Monoprice HDMI cables work fine on the TV.

    Swapping any and all of these cables between systems in many different combinations has yielded interesting changes in sound, so in the end it all comes down to whatever sounds right to you.

  17. #17
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCS123 View Post
    From a "Blue-collar budget" perspective:

    This is only my opinion, but I consider "my reference cables" to mean the the best sounding that I have in my own systems. I fully understand that paying more could produce better sound.

    Anticables Level 3 power cords, Level 6.2 and 3.2 RCA's and Level 3.1 speaker cables perform wonderfully together to my ears.

    Shunyata Venom power cords, DH Labs Silver Sonic D-14 speaker cables, Kimber 8TC speaker cables and Hero RCA's also provide great value.

    Blue Jeans Cable LC-1's are good enough for me for powered subwoofers.

    Monoprice HDMI cables work fine on the TV.

    Swapping any and all of these cables between systems in many different combinations has yielded interesting changes in sound, so in the end it all comes down to whatever sounds right to you.
    Your opinion matters when you have gone through the exercise as you have, that’s the fun in it!

    Enjoy your sound!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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  18. #18
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    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    My guess is, you have not studied cable design engineering and what qualities are required to make a good cable.

    But for you:
    but all that matters is that you are happy with your choices
    Perhaps the quote you referenced meant something else? It’s too general a statement with zero meat on the bones.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Source Analog: Kuzma Stabi R with 4point 11 arm & Kuzma 50 Cartridge
    Source Digital: Aurender N10 | Brinkmann Nyquist MK II
    Amplification: Dan D’Agostino Momentum Pre Amp and Monos | Boulder Phono 508
    Speakers: Wilson Alexias
    Cabling: Nordost Valhalla 2/Odin: power, interconnects & speaker | Ansuz: C2 power & interconnect | Audioquest Diamond RJ45’s
    Power: Stromtank S1000 | Nordost QRT series | CAD GC1 | Furutech FP55SN cable from 20 amp breakers to Furutech GTX D NSF packages | Keces P3 & P8 | ADD POWR Sorcer 4 | Environmental Potential EP2050
    Other: HRS M3X | Stillpoints Ultra 6, SS & Mini | Nordost Sort Cones TC & BC | etherREGEN | Gigafoil v4 | Vicoustics | Audio Desk Systeme - Gläss








  19. #19

    Re: What are your reference cables.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    My guess is, you have not studied cable design engineering and what qualities are required to make a good cable.
    And my guess is that if you stop reading and studying, and just listen to the music, only with your ears, and trust them for a while, you will notice the differences.

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What are your reference cables.

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