Opinions on Speaker Cables?

Hi all

Firstly, I’m very new to all this, I’m just finishing off my system with some new bookshelf speakers and am looking for opinions on speaker cables.

I’ve narrowed it down to 2 contenders and wondered if anyone had any experience with them?

1/. Kimber Cable 8PR 2.5m terminated with gold spades or bananas

2/. Audioquest Rocket 33 2 x 2m terminated with gold spades or bananas

From the reviews I’ve seen so far, the Kimber seems to be more overall balanced. I’ve seen the Audioquest can be considered perhaps a bit bright?

I’m running a PrimaLuna Evo 100 Integrated Tube amp, looking for as much warmth as possible. Speakers are Buchardt S300s which are rated down to 35Hz.

It’s a full analogue system purely for vinyl playback.

Curious. Why limit yourself to Kimber or AQ when Cardas Iridium can be had for essentially the same price per meter? Remember speaker cables are a highly personal choice. Nobody can know better than you what will work in your listening environment with the genre of music you favor. I’d go for Cardas in a heartbeat compared to Kimber or AQ, especially if a risk of brightness is a concern. But that’s because I’m a long time user and from that experience am a Cardas fanboy. Btw I’ve owned AQ, although not specifically Rocket 33 and prefer the house sound of Cardas.

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Not sure what your budget is but I’d give these a look over AQ Rocket series,
Disregard. Sorry @owlsalum this wasn’t directed for you

I’d consider this over Rocket series if your budget permits.

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If you haven’t you might want to look into the Dueland dual 12 gauge wire from Parts Connexion and build your own for a little over $100. You can either run them with bare ends as Dueland suggests or buy the ends of your choice from Chris. I built a second set about three months ago.

https://www.partsconnexion.com/DUELUND-87080.html

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Since you’ve narrowed your search to Kimber 8PR and AQ Rocket 33, I second the opinion of @paul172. AQ Rocket 33 (14AWG) is an amazing cable with well balanced sonics. I used it with a Naim 70W amp for years, and it never sounded harsh or brittle, and provided both a good sound stage and well balanced bass response. It is one of the longest standing Stereophile recommendations for speaker cables. However, if you can stretch the budget a bit, those AQ Robin Hoods are in a different class altogether.

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I agree with most of the above except the Kimber vs AQ Analogy. For my system the Kimber was a bit bright after my new speakers. Long story short, I sold the Kimber and got Robin Hoods and the system has a much more balanced and neutral tone which works really well for me. Cardas is a great choice too but I did not have a dealer nearby. I had easy access to try AQ.

Based on what you mentioned, I think Robin Hoods would work great and I believe a pair is for sale on this site… Best of luck

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Cables are incredibly personal things. All I can do is report that I chose Kimber 8PR a couple of years ago on the recommendation of my dealer, Dave Holmes of Millwaukee’s Audio Emporium, whom I’ve known and trusted for over 40 years. He knew the system it was going into, and he suggested Kimber in general, and this model in particular, saying it was the sweet spot in their lineup. Others are better, but this is where diminishing returns kick in. I can say I’m extremely pleased with them. I think they, in combination with the rest of the system (Magnepan .7s, PSA M700s, SGCD), provide detailed, well-defined and neutral sound. I wouldn’t characterize it as either warm or cool.

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it’s not sexy stuff, but I would recommend getting some Belden 1313A cable and using that as your reference. The price? About $2 a foot. Sacrilege, I know.

Actually, I don’t know much about anything, but this is really good, extremely inexpensive cable. If I had some esoteric listening palace I might consider something else, but in a living-room system, I think it’s great. (I got it for a longer run, but I’m also using some in my office system, and I can’t complain.)

Its appearance is pretty boring on its own, but add some black cable sheathing and decent bananas and you’ve got something that looks downright fancy.

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This is a lot of copper. I’ve got two sets and my son has one set. They’re nothing fancy, just lots of copper.

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Belden 1313A is a solid option.

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Thank you all.

Unfortunately I’m based in the UK so a lot of these options aren’t available.

Cardas for instance is only sold at the higher end and there doesn’t appear to be any Dueland or Belden available.

The Robin Hood does look very appealing but it’s about 10 x the price!

Appreciate the thoughts.

I know the Rocket is very well perceived and reviewed, as is the Kimber.

I may see if I can get lengths of both to test.

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These look intriguing. For that price I can’t help but want to try them. Might be good for the HT system :thinking:

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I once used them in my main system while waiting for my Iconoclasts to arrive. They exceeded my expectations–a lot.
Those cables are now in my ht system.

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I was using an Analysis Plus speaker cable and these blew them away. I hope to one day have something as nice as Iconoclast, but until then, these exceed my expectations as well.

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There is a long discussion about Belden 1313A here:

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The Audioblast HQ-SPK-AP2HD-8AWG speaker cables “blew away” Analysis Plus speaker cables?

I did not have a good experience with Analysis Plus cables and interconnects. No matter how much I wanted to like them I was unable to do so. Their theory is appealing.

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This is a great community illustration of why cables are so subject to personal taste. While I’m currently using Cardas in my system, I have AP black mesh oval 9 speaker cables and a full loom of solo crystal ICs in my cable box. I find them to be excellent cables and, as always, when and where I use them is strictly a matter of system matching. That’s the reason I keep them rather than selling them. I respect Elk’s opinion as well. This is why I’m always so reluctant to reply to ‘tell me what cables I should use’ threads.

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The whole oval theory thing is definitely appealing, but overall I’ve had better luck with Kimber Select and Hero for interconnects, and I got light on cash during the covid paycuts at my jobs, so no Iconoclasts for me, but I tried the Audioblast (silly name) speaker cables on a whim. I was pleasantly surprised. The M700 and the Wharfedale Jade love them.

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That’s extremely good value for 8 guage!

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