First of all i need to add something here, I have sold this military cable on Audiogon for close to ten years, and have feedback under aintitgr8. I switched to a dealer status so that people could contact me in an above board manner, and make deals on other things besides what's listed. I will talk to my Audiogon rep about the things I am trying to fix like the formatting and retaining the feedback I had under the old name.
This cable used as speaker cables is truly the real deal in terms of being an audiophile bargain. The wire is so transparent and neutral that for years I sold it unterminated because terminations simply altered and degraded the neutrality of the tonal balance. The Furutech spades and bananas do an excellent job of making a great solid connection and get out of the way of the transparency of the cable.
The key to this cable is shielding that is 100% impervious to any interference, you can drape it over power cords or power supplies in components, unshielded speaker magnets are no big deal. It was developed to shield electronics when a nuclear detonation takes place, to protect against the EMP that takes out electronics. It was developed to provide shielding, but also to do it with an ultimate degree of cable loss, with an attention to there being zero field effect that would cause tonal coloration. Cable manufacturers have long fought with wanting shielding but finding that shielding comes at a price of sound coloration or distortion, they have been left with trying to tune and control coloration. Extreme cables resort to filters and active devices to alter or eliminate unwanted coloration.
This cable compares very favorably to a long standing audiophile reference, Valhalla. I would say that somewhere around one out of four of the people who have bought this cable have or have tried Valhalla in systems that have ruthlessly revealing monitor speakers like Wilson Audio's or B&W. The sound of this cable is no sound, they are 100% correct in terms of having a perfect tonal balance, yet the transparency is every bit as good as the Valhalla that comes at the price of a forward emphasis on higher low level frequencies, this is designed to make details seem to be more pronounced. The reality of that is that it throws off the tonal balance, the relationship mall of the frequencies are supposed to have.
I have always sold this cable with a money back guarantee, and I can say that not one person has ever asked me to take it back. A large percentage of people have come back for another set either for friends who have tried theirs or second systems. These cables are good enough for statement systems, yet affordable enough for smaller budget systems. I have been replacing the little speaker wires provided with small mini systems for years, and the transformation it makes on a mini component system is truly stunning.
I do some custom variations for bi and tri wire that incorporate the jumpers so there are less terminations involved, and will talk about bi-wire versus shotgun with jumpers. I will also sell the wire without terminations to be used with bare ends, it is $25 a foot for cryo treated and burned in cables, and there are four cables per set so figure $100 per speaker cable set foot, eight feet is $800. I am selling this set at a promotional price that is only $150 more for a terminated set with graphite colored mesh jacket. The normal price I get for that is $1350. This set has the Furutech FT-211 Spades or FT-212 Banana plugs, you can have either one on both ends or bananas on one end and spades on the other. If you have an extreme system and want the Furutech Carbon Bananas or Spades (CF-202R or CF-201R) I will do a set of those for the extra $400 they cost, so you'd be looking at $1350. I'll ship these Priority Insured for $12.00 Try them with confidence as they are money back guaranteed. I have sold them to a lot of guys who already have eight or ten thousand dollar cables.
I don't have a set made up because I don't know the length needed, so pictures reflect what the cable looks like with a jacket, and the Furutech spades and bananas. The price includes a few day burn in on a cable cooker that will save you a couple of hundred hours of use before sounding better. You can use buy it now, but payment will have to be made to me either with a check or credit card through my wife's business. I have a dealer status so it is above board to call, and other products or sizes than this listed are okay. I can be reached at 530-957-0966 anytime, or my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can let me know when it's a good time to call.
Cable Sense 101 The importance Of Cable, Why It Does What It Does
I am going to be publishing a book on system synergy and understanding weak links in a system. The approach I've taken is one of explaining in easy to understand common sense logic why things are not always as they seem. That is best described by what can happen when upgrading to super high resolution speaker cables and finding that they seem harsh and edgy, when it's not the speaker cables doing that but rather them letting you hear interconnect faults that you couldn't hear with lesser speaker cables.
This starts by understanding the role interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords play in conjunction with the components. This is a topic that is full of misconceptions that people who consider themselves to be audiophile experts can be profoundly off base on. Many dealers would frankly rather sell components and speakers than cables and interconnect. Wire costs far less than components, but can make bigger improvements in any system than component upgrades will. The huge improvement that can be had for modest amounts of money can easily be done again for less money than pricey component upgrades, and can be done again by going to even better wire.
As a dealer I was focused on figuring some things out so that I could offer advice that my customers don't have the time or money to figure out. I wanted to understand the differences that could be had upgrading entry level equipment to higher end products, and more importantly which would make a bigger difference, a better preamp or source, or better interconnects or speaker wires. It takes a lot of work to take a well tuned entry level system such as Balanced Audio Technology with a $2000 tube or solid state preamp, figure which sounds best the tube or SS, try entry, mid,, and higher end interconnects, then entry mid and higher end speaker cables, then try the next grade up of preamp with the same variations of cables. I had something like eight BAT preamps alone, their entry tube had an SE edition, their mid grade had an SE version, and their flagship had an SE version as well, then the solid state had another five or so models. I didn't want to be trying to represent ten different preamps, so I needed to narrow it down to a reasonable five or so that had performance to price points that made sense for what they did. Then I had other products such as Belles that at $2000 outperformed preamps costing way more, in fact I did a custom version preamp with Auricap capacitors and upgraded tubes that outperformed the $10k BAT.
The bottom line is that I found that a modestly priced system with a few thousand dollars in components and speakers had performance potential with cables costing more than the equipment that was way beyond tens of thousands in equipment and speaker with lower end interconnects and speaker cable, then power cords deliver mind blowing improvements, but only after bring the other wire to very high levels. I object to the "I've done the work so trust me approach, and prefer explaining why these things make such a difference, so here goes.
We've got several factors in wire performance that need to be understood and defined as to what they are doing, and why one cable is better than another, as well as how it will influence the rest of the system. There is coloration versus neutrality, transparency versus what's less revealing, which has nothing to do with coloration, and we have which wires between components make the most difference and why.
Neutrality versus Coloration
Neutrality is a very misunderstood term, too many people want to bring subjective elements into the equation. People want to think that when they have tried an array of cables that the one that sounds best is the neutral one. In a tube system people lean toward brighter edgier cables to make off for the tube rolloff of high frequencies. These cables that emphasize high frequencies may make your ears bleed on solid state systems with ruthless speakers. Neutral does nothing, it has no coloration, it does not emphasize any frequency, and it does not tone edginess down like people find a preference for in a solid state system. The proof of neutrality comes with one pure fact, a neutral set of cables will work well with solid state or tube systems. I've been taking neutral cable sets to people's homes to listen to them in their systems for well over a decade. I don't care whether it's a three hundred thousand plus tube or solid state system, I know that when a person is not happy with their system's performance a set of neutral hi resolution cables fixes that. From entry to mid grade to high end, if they are all neutral they will sound good, the only thing that changes between the grades is how much more detail can be heard and the price. Neutrality is the thing that always sounds good, and a purely natural and "live" sound can't really be had without it. It's hard to define neutrality for someone who does not have an opportunity to try substantial numbers of products, and even then it's to easy to think that the best of an array is the most neutral. This is a place that having an exposure to neutral, getting used to the balance of what you are hearing on an array of music will ground you on what things should sound like when balanced against the other frequencies.
Transparency would define the grade or quality of a wire, how much detail is allowed to pass through the wire. Taking coloration or tonal balance out of the equation, this defines the degree of tiny little details that will get through the wire to the next component or the speakers. It's the tiniest of super low amplitude frequencies that's where audiophile sound lives, the details that have to do with the ambient sound of a room coming through the microphone during recording. The highest resolution cables transfer subtle details that make it easier to distinguish between the sound of a plastic kick drum or a sheep fur one. The decay of a piano or guitar will be longer and more pronounced if the wire is capable of revealing that subtle degree of detail.
You could have the finest front end and $25k+ preamp on the market and it will not, simply can't reproduce super fine details that an inferior interconnect is not capable of delivering to the next component. Preamps do not synthesize sounds, they operate only at the level determined by the connection between the source and preamp. This is exactly why you are going to hear an improvement between interconnects of different levels of transparency. Added to that is coloration, and the preamp is going to amplify things that would contribute to harshness or edginess as well. The source to preamp connection is the most critical because the signal from the source is the most detailed in the system, it's also the weakest as it's the preamp's job to bolster this signal in a refined way that the amplifier can do the horsepower work from there. This leads to what the speaker cables are going to be doing as they are looked at with different degrees of transparency.
A lower performance speaker cable will not allow you to hear the finest details that would be happening if you had an ultimate level interconnect. In fact you could have an interconnect that is harsh and edgy and lower caliber speaker cables would not reveal that edginess, it's only after you go to try a high performance speaker cable that you would hear a negative characteristic from the i/c, and many people would think it's a nasty sounding speaker cable. Dealers have been known to pass that off as the speaker cable being too good for the system, and recommend better components or speakers. Upgrading those without upgrading wires will result in a very unsatisfactory level of performance, but then the recommendation is that now you need better wire because the system warrants it. I've been putting higher end cables on modest systems for a long time, and I will put modest equipment with high end wire that costs more than the equipment up against components costing tens of thousands with mediocre wire any day. This gets us back to the whole concept of an upgrade path being done in the right order, when it is done right each upgrade done one at a time will make a much bigger difference. Done in the wrong order they will make less difference, and what is being heard is very easy to misinterpret.
There are a lot of philosophies regarding which order to do interconnects, speaker cables, or power cords. I make an argument based on pure common sense logic that the speaker cable comes before the interconnects, here's why. If you have speaker cables that you know you are going to upgrade, but think you'll do that after trying interconnects, here is what's wrong with that thinking, and questions that have logical answers make the points very well. If a better speaker cable is going to allow you to hear a lot more of what is going on with interconnects, how is it possible to hear what the differences are between ones you are trying? You can't. The reality here is that there will be things going on, subtle differences including things like harshness, edginess, a thin sound, incorrect bass coloration, whatever, that you will never hear until you go to try higher grade speaker cable. There is the very real danger that because you tried different interconnects and found the one that performed best, you are psychologically done with interconnects. You'll hear something objectionable when trying speaker cable that your brain will associate 100% to that change. You are likely to say that this cable was crap when you have a crap interconnect.
So...evaluating cables starts with speaker cable that allows you to hear the differences in interconnects. As a bonus here, having good speaker cables compounds the improvement you would hear in interconnects that are evaluated with inferior speaker cables. Because you can fully hear what's going on you can better hear how much of a difference in transparency there is between one i/c and another. One good wire makes others reveal more than they would.
I'll get into the relative importance of each wire in Cable Sense 102 that I'll post with a set of interconnects. I'll also post these speaker cables with an interconnect as the combination of both will knock your socks off.