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Kef ref - speaker cable needed.

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by sticker, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. sticker

    sticker
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    What cable should I be looking at for Kef reference 201/203 speakers?

    I currently have in mind QED silver anniversay, Chord co rumour or DNM reson. Any others I should be considering?

    Final question how do I demo thse with my speakers, Do dealers loan set out?

    Regards
    John
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    All good dealers should be able to loan cables....you should also consider Kimber(www.russandrews.com) and he will loan for up to 60 days
    Also have a look at some of XLO's offerings and be sure to try as many as you can.
     
  3. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    I do not recommend QED Silver Anniversary or any silver-plated speaker cable, as I find them rather shrill and lacking in presence, but that goes doubly true with Kef Refs, which have an explicit treble that will really shine a torch on inadequacies further up the chain, even cables.

    As Alex said - Kimber 4/8 VS/TC does a good job. If you want to go esoteric then SOLID silver is great, just don't be conned by silver-plated copper which is IMHO the worst of both worlds.
     
  4. sticker

    sticker
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    Thanks Alexs2/Dan for your input. As for the Kimbers, should these be terminated or bare?

    Alexs2 XLO? sorry to be a thicky but what is this/these?
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Good point dan.....the silver coated cables can sound a bit shrill.

    I'd recommend using spades as terminations on the cables,and XLO make some excellent cables,both for speakers and interconnects....well worth a look.
     
  6. Chrissywis

    Chrissywis
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    I run my Kef Ref 105.3s biwired with Kimber 4TC and am very pleased with results. Of course Russ Andrews suggests using 8TC for the bass and 4TC for the treble, but it all starts getting a bit expensive. I've got spades at the power amp end and banana plugs at the speaker end, but only because the sockets on my power amps weren't very happy with bananas.
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Russ is certainly right re:using 8TC if possible for the bass,and it will make an audible difference,but the cost does indeed rise rather fast....4TC is still a very decent piece of wire though.
     
  8. deckard

    deckard
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    Have to take slight issue over silver cables.

    I use Chord Rumour to biamp my front 3 speakers and it's a lovely cable, very pure and revealing.

    This 'revealing' nature could come across as harshness in some systems I suppose, but in mine it makes the sound detailed with great sustain on acoustic guitars, cymbals etc without sounding splashy. This is with Linn amps/speakers which are often thought to be rather 'forward' in nature.

    Afraid I don't know about the sound of the Kef's and whether they're laid-back in sound or not but I wouldn't rule out Rumour just yet if I were you.
     
  9. sticker

    sticker
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    thanks deckard for your reply.

    I'm really confused now about the silver cable issue, spoke to a dealer today e this for their recomendation and the reply was along the lines
    "I would endorse the use of silve cables inthe new ref series especally the QED silver anniversary. In fact we remove the bi & tri wire shorting links that Kef supply and replace them with short lengths of silver anniversary cable"!!!!

    Any way I did listen to some QED XT350 and that sounded very good.

    Alexs2 I will take your advice of the spade ending, they seem much easy to set up, never hanve got on with banana plugs.
    Whats the difference between PM25 & PM33 spades?

    Cheers for all your help
    John
     
  10. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    You are mistaking silver for silver plated - a very different kettle of fish. The following is a quote from www.silveraudio.com - a company that makes REAL silver audiophile speaker cables and interconnects. They are not alone - the big names like Kimber and Cardas don't go near silver-plated copper, they pick one, or the other:

    3. WHY ARE MANY CABLES MADE WITH SILVER PLATED COPPER INSTEAD OF SOLID SILVER OR BARE COPPER?

    "Eager to cash in on what is perceived as an easy and lucrative business, part-time hobbyists posing as "cable companies" continue to flood the internet and classified adds with "sensibly priced", home-made silver cables. Prospective buyers need to read advertisements very carefully since it is often not very apparent that many of these "bargain silver cables" are actually only made with silver plated copper wire, not solid silver. Often slyly advertised simply as "Silver cables", vague and misleading terminology has been created to give the impression that some groundbreaking, exotic manufacturing process has been invented, such as "silver saturation", "silver-clad", "silver hybrid" etc.

    The reality is silver-plated copper wire is simply a mass produced staple of the commercial cable industry, and readily available at any surplus electronics outlet or parts catalog. It is far less expensive than Teflon co-extruded solid silver wire which is only produced on an individual basis for high-end audio cable companies that can afford it. Silver or tin plating is simply used to protect bare copper from heat/chemical accelerated oxidation. Silver is used instead of tin for high temperature applications, or to boost the conductivity of braided shielding material. In contrast, the pervasive use of silver-plated copper conductors in high-end audio (and especially "low-end" audio) is never for any other reason than to seduce naïve consumers with the infallible reputation of pure silver as for a signal conductor.

    No valid SONIC advantage can be claimed for silver plated copper wire at audio frequencies. If anything, arguments could be better made for a sonic DISADVANTAGE of silver plated copper! Learning and understanding a little bit about the crucial differences between the nature of audio and RF (Radio Frequency) signals reveals the reasons why.

    Very high frequency RF signals (from MHz and beyond) propagate very differently than audio. Due to their very shallow depth of penetration, ultra-high frequencies only travel around the very edge or "skin" of a conductor and are incapable of penetrating into the conductor more than 1/1000 of an inch or so, and less at even higher frequencies. Thus ONLY radio frequency signals (RF) can benefit from a thick plating of silver over a solid conductor of different metal. In this case, the superior conductivity of silver partially compensates for the phenomenon of rising DC resistance to rising frequency (the constantly misunderstood "skin effect").

    Only two other valid electrical uses for silver plating exists; at connector contact surfaces and to boost the conductivity of braided mesh shielding material used around coaxial type cables. The later increases shielding efficacy by lowering transfer impedance. It was only a matter of time before this inexpensive and common material found its way into a few high end audio cable designs where it is used as the signal conductor!

    At audio frequencies however, any effect silver plated conductors (not connectors) MIGHT have on the signal could only be bad. At audio frequencies, otherwise small differences in simple DC resistance significantly alters impedance. Therefore, the presence of both silver and copper in the signal path is capable of creating two different, frequency dependant, conductive pathways to the signal which is a non-linearity that NO audio cable should be causing, especially not a "high-end" audio cable!

    In the case of silver plated connectors however, the benefits far outweigh the theoretical limitations of silver plating by reducing contact resistance. Contact resistance can be a source of subtle distortions due to arching and especially RF demodulating diode-like effects."
     
  11. sounddog

    sounddog
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    daninthemix ... are you really advocating spending $1100 or $1700 on 2 8ft lengths of speaker cable??

    I couldn't say weather what silveraudio say is true scientifically or not ... but if there's one thing I've learnt in the past about audio equipment / cables / etc ... is that just because theoretically one thing is better or worse than the other ... that isn't always born out in what is heard as the end result.

    It's like bi-wiring SHOULDN'T make a blind bit of difference ... but it does with many speakers.

    Vikki
     
  12. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    I have kef reference 203 speakers and im currentley auditioning cables. Currentley im using qed silver anniversary and it can only be described as horrid. Freindly advice dont even bother using it as an audition for your speakers. Ive tried most of the qed cable range up to the QED genesis and its still (imo) not good speaker cable. Im personally finding it bright with nasty treble and its even masking some sound to. The only good thing ive found with the qed cables with the 203's is it nice and basey but thats all.
    Ive found the AQ-indi quite good. Ill post some more when ive tried some other cables to let you know how im getting on.
     
  13. General Skanky

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    If Big Al gets some more Kef Ref cable in, buy that. It's what's inside Kefs anyway so at least it'll mean continuity and at a very reasonable price too.
     
  14. 337GUS

    337GUS
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    Hmmmm cable choice thread - always an interesting debate :)

    Heard Kef 203 with Nordost making good noises.

    Townsend Isolda is supposed to be good, haven't had time to try some out (sale or return I think).

    Personally use Chord Odyssey 4 B-Wire which suits my taste but may be a bit too "hifi" for some systems.

    Used to use Van den Hul (CS122 I think) with ProAc's, may be worth a try with Kefs.

    Gus
     
  15. deckard

    deckard
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    Gus, how do you rate Odyssey against Rumour, have you heard them both? Was thinking a while back of getting Odyssey for my bass amps and keeping Rumour for the treble.
     
  16. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Even if you think that solid silver wires sound different from solid copper ones for reasons that can't explained by the fact that silver has a somewhat lower electrical resistance, you then have to go on to ask what sort of wires the sound engineer who mixed the recording was using. Chances are that he was using copper, and mixed the recording in such a way that it sounded "right" over those copper wires. So even if using silver does make it sound different (which I am doubtful about) that doesn't necessarily mean it will sound better.

    Oh, and I take issue with the statement "bi-wiring SHOULDN'T make a blind bit of difference ... but it does with many speakers." There are some cases where it might - the most obvious ones being if either the supplied shunt is a bit dodgy, or the resistance of the speaker wire is a little bit on the high side. But beyond that, and you're back to the point where you need to be able to quote the results of a double-blind experiment to justify that claim.
     
  17. bamber

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    Biwiring had a positive effect in my system.
     
  18. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    That assessment is the result of a rigorous double-blind test, is it?
     
  19. daninthemix

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    With me bi-wiring had a negative effect. I went back and forth a few times and decided I prefer single wire. No it wasn't a double blind test, but it was more than enough to persuade me to buy only one set of speaker cables...
     
  20. BLACK_MAGIC

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    So basically in a nut shell were concluding here that bi-wiring is a waste of time and the only real way to increase perfomance would be to bi-amp with all speakers except in the cases you mentioned above?
    I hope not or im gonna get ****** with my local dealer who's been trying to get me to buy birwire cables when the equivilent single wire is half the price:mad:
     
  21. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Well Black Magic ... weather bi-wiring makes a difference depends who you talk to.

    IIRC ... there have been blind tests that have concluded both that bi-wiring is a waste of time and bigger improvements can be gained from single wiring with speaker cable costing twice as much, and also that bi-wiring is the best way to (subtly) improve the quality of sound you can get.

    I'm not trying to judge weather bi-wiring works ... but with this along with a lot of other areas of HiFi / AV ... there is a lot of conflicting evidence and like everything the best plan is to demo and see what YOU prefer.

    Vikki
     
  22. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    Without _you_ being involved in a blind demo, double blind might be ideal but a logistical nightmare to arrange, it's very hard to draw firm conclusions to say whether bi-wring has any ad- or dis-advantage to _you_.
     
  23. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Sure no more difficult than comparing a length of silver anniversary, to a length of Kimber 8TC ... which other people are advocating doing!!
     
  24. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    It's less about what you're comparing, and more about how you go about double blinding. It's not difficult...but is more time consuming than i've found even the most patient of my Hi-Fi dealers is happy to go to.
     
  25. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Most dealers will lend you some lengths of cable though tyefi ...
     
  26. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    ...but then you need at least two friends to help you double blind yourself...that's two more than i have.
     
  27. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I have to receive a satisfactory explanation of how bi-wiring is in any way electrically different from single-wiring, so long as the resistance of the shunt is << the resistance of the cables, and either is << the speaker impedance.

    If bi-wiring makes it sound better then ultimately it doesn't really matter whether the difference is actually measurable or if it's pure placebo effect: so long as you're happy. But yeah, at the very least I think you should definitely listen to the system both ways before buying bi-wire cable.
     
  28. martintyler

    martintyler
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    Made me laugh :) From someone who has spent the last 6 (or more) months posting detailed opinions based on various demos in different shops ;)
     
  29. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Well, there is such a thing as Occam's Razor. If I suggest to you that two very different designs as complex as a home cinema processor may sound different, that's not an unreasonable claim. If I give you two absolutely identical pieces of wire and claim that one sounds much better than the other one, then you ought to be a lot more sceptical.
     
  30. sticker

    sticker
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    I am hence the original question :zonked: :zonked:
     

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