Prices: $239 per 8’ pair (Black Oval 12), $315 per 1m pair (Micro Copper Oval-In)
Colin said: I like Analysis Plus for their strict adherence to a no-BS philosophy -- something exceedingly rare among makers of audio cables.
The gist: Real engineering leads to real-good sound with AP.
Price: $465 per 1m pair
Kevin said: Artisan Silver Cables offers a viable option for many. I believe the Ultimate Silver Dream is superb for the price, and a real bargain for anyone looking to get into silver cables.
The gist: Silver at copper prices.
Price: $379 per 1m pair
Jarrett said: While at first I felt that $379/meter pair was too high a price for an interconnect cable, I now have to admit: If I were looking for a midpriced cable that would provide high-end clarity and detail, I’d look to purchase a pair of Audience Conductor-e interconnects.
The gist: Upgrade those entry-level cables.
Prices: $1840 per 1m pair RCA or $2140 per 1m pair XLR (Clear interconnects), $8668 per 2.5m pair (Clear Beyond speaker cables)
Pete said: . . . represent a true value among state-of-the-art cables, based on both the ratio of component/manufacturing cost to MSRP and, especially, the performance they provide.
The gist: No assembler, a cable manufacturer. May be the SOTA.
Prices: $465 per 1m pair (interconnects); $1310 per 2m pair (speaker cables)
Colin said: The Crystal Cable Piccolo family represents a benchmark in excellent cable performance at reasonable prices, and provides all the high technology any forward-thinking audiophile could want in an attractive, reasonably sized package.
The gist: Thin is in.
Prices: $979 per 1m pair (Frey interconnects), $2059.99 per 1m pair (Nordost Frey speaker cables)
Jason said: . . . after listening to the Norse Frey cables in my own system, researching their construction, and examining them firsthand, I have no hesitation in recommending them for either upgrade approach: all at once or one at a time.
The gist: Jason gets Nordosted.
Garrett said: The Tyr both tutored me and transformed my listening experience. Supremely balanced and natural, its sound is something I won’t do without anymore.
The gist: Little things can make all the difference.
Prices: $5000 per 1m pair (Aeros Stratos-IC), $6000 per 2.5m pair (Aeros Stratos-SP)
Tim said: Technology aside, I was awestruck at how much more enjoyment I got from my stereo using this latest combination of Shunyata cords, cables, interconnects . . . High-end audio is a threshold of moving expectations. As of now, Shunyata Research has redefined the state of the art of audio power and signal delivery.
The gist: Better cable research from Shunyata.
Prices: $2500 per pair (Speaker Cells); $1500 per pair for RCA, $2000 per pair for XLR (Interconnect Cells)
Howard said: If you want your system to really swing in the big leagues, these products may get it a good part of the way there. In short, these are remarkable products from a truly innovative company.
The gist: Don't know how, but apparently they work.
Prices: $699.95 per 1m pair (Silver Eclipse 6 interconnects), $2449.95 per 2.5m pair (Silver Eclipse 6 speaker cables), $4.07 per foot (Horizon speaker cables), $499.95 per 1m (Gold Starlight 6 digital cable)
Howard said: They sound and look great, and they’re as close to plug-and-play as any set of cables I’ve auditioned.
The gist: Could WireWorld improve your world?
Prices: $840 per 1m pair with RCAs (Signature 3 interconnects), $3700 per 8’ biwire pair (Signature 3 speaker cables)
Doug said: XLO’s Signature 3 cables are one of the two holy grails of neutrality I’ve found so far. I have the highest regard for the Signature 3s, for their honesty and for their complete refusal to play games with the sound of my reference system.
The gist: About the best Doug Blackburn has heard in his system.