I was lying on the floor, inhaling a whole warren of dust bunnies I had re-disturbed from behind my speakers as I was maneuvering around. Was I installing a new amplifier? No, nothing so grandiose. Perhaps a new set of cables? Again, nothing quite that complicated.

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I was lying on the floor, inhaling a whole warren of dust bunnies I had re-disturbed from behind my speakers as I was maneuvering around. Was I installing a new amplifier? No, nothing so grandiose. Perhaps a new set of cables? Again, nothing quite that complicated.

In fact, the sole purpose of my tinkering, which went on for a few hours, was focused on less than three inches of wire. You see, the biwire-capable NEARs came with four metal jumpers connecting each pair of binding posts together for those running a single run of cable to the speakers.

While most of what I tried was a significant step up from the factory-installed jumpers, by far the best results utilized a disassembled piece of AudioQuest Type 4 speaker cable. I was impressed enough that I decided I should try out a full-length run of the cable to connect my speakers with.

The Type 4 I had bought a year ago was a pretty straightforward design. Four gauge conductors, made of solid long-grain copper a premium version of the usual oxygen-free high-conductivity copper , were spiraled inside an insulating jacket. For the jumpers, I had torn the jacket off and used the individual gauge wires.

The current production of Type 4 is designed a bit differently. AudioQuest claims that using similarly sized but slightly different conductors helps smooth out the flaws present in each individual strand. But if you can forgive the choice of words that AudioQuest is marketing the idea under, it seems like a solid concept. My last round of speaker-cable testing left me with the impression that I prefer designs with a moderate number of solid-core wires inside.

I hate dealing with spades all the time, so I also tried a set of the matching banana adapters. Some dealers will assemble custom cables out of the Type 4 wire for you, often at a cost savings. Just be aware that in those cases, you may not get the same termination quality or labeling as the factory-assembled cables. You can tell the official AudioQuest product because it will be shipped in one of the AQ boxes for retail sale.

You can order Type 4 in a single-biwire configuration, where the last few inches of the speaker end of the cable splits to termination with two pairs of connectors. Also available is a double-biwire run, which splits into two cables after a few common inches at the originating amplifier end, where one set of spades makes for an easier connection.

This sort of focus on ease of use permeates AudioQuest products. All of their speaker cable is prepared very professionally, with clearly labeled "amp" and "speaker" ends. I put my old Type 4 jumpers back in place and replaced both sets of cable. Hooking up the Type 4 in place of my existing speaker cable was simple enough. The gold-plated soft copper spades deformed a bit as I twisted hard on the binding posts, molding into the space available.

So when I tell you the Type 4 stayed in place for several months without any compulsion to switch, that should say something right there about how well it presents music.

After that rather soothing long-term usage, I sat down one day and considered carefully what I was listening to. About the only thing I really was bothered by was the bass. It was a bit too heavy. Since my problem at this point was overly fat bass, there were two sets of things to consider. I could try to change something that would attenuate the problem a bit.

The alternate approach would be to elevate the midrange and treble output. I suddenly remembered when I had heard the opposite effect of my current problem.

The last time I removed the grilles from the speakers, the treble seemed too hot and the bass a bit weak in comparison. Ah, that was exactly what I wanted to hear.

The 50ME IIs really do sound better with the grilles off when the rest of the equipment is matched just right. Encouraged, I grabbed my old cables again to revisit how they compared with the Type 4. Compare and contrast The DH Labs speaker cable remains the best I have at really throwing top-end detail into sharp focus. This manifests itself in a couple of ways. In recordings with noticeable hiss, the hiss is louder with the T than the Type 4.

But when you start getting into low-frequency material, the Type 4 is the obvious winner. It sounded like I was getting an extra 10Hz of bass extension. The T seemed somewhat muddy, without nearly as much power or impact in the low frequencies. Associated Equipment.



They are therefore implicitly recommended. Where a cable has been found to have specific matching requirements or an identifiable sonic signature, it is noted in the text. Very-low-level detail, however, was lost. Similarly, wrote BD, "While the soundstage as a whole was reasonably deep, the individual images lacked dimensionality. BD: "Their failings I unhesitatingly recommend their inclusion in any budget system, and strongly suggest that anyone cabling even an upscale system give them a serious audition. It was neat and tidy, left no loose ends, and was free of glare, grain, or other annoying artifacts.

IEC 61400-3 PDF

AudioQuest CV-4 Speaker Cables

A bit expensive Still needs improvement One of the vintage names in audio cables, AudioQuest has remained true over the years to certain design principles while still managing to innovate. This is a rather interesting idea, which uses a small battery housed in a plastic moulding which clips to the side of the cable to provide a volt bias to the insulation within the cable, effectively stressing it uni-directionally before any audio signal is applied. Come to that, the claims AudioQuest makes for the existence of distortion in normal cables are not well supported by scientific evidence. Anyway, the star-quad geometry with four mixed-diameter cables and the low-to moderate resistance, will do no harm at all to an audio signal.




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