Video: AudioQuest Speaker Cable
Dave Bar worked for Crutchfield from 1981 until his retirement in 2016. After a 23-year stint in the sales department, he joined the home A/V writing staff. Dave's expertise and good humor will be sorely missed.
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Steve Kindig has been an electronics enthusiast for over 30 years. He has written extensively about home and car A/V gear for Crutchfield since 1985. Steve is also a volunteer DJ at community radio station WTJU, where he is a regular host of the American folk show "Atlantic Weekly," as well as the world music program "Radio Tropicale."
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Learn about some of AudioQuest's most popular speaker cable lines, and how to know if they're a good choice for your system.
Dave: AudioQuest's design philosophy or goal is above all else, "do no harm." It's kind of like the Hippocratic Oath of speaker cables. They know that you can't improve on the original signal, but that you can minimize the loss of sound quality that happens as the signal travels through all of the cables in your system.
Steve: Yep. And we know that not everyone agrees that speaker cables can make a difference. Some people have never heard that kind of improvement before, and admittedly it gets easier to hear as your equipment gets better and more revealing. But if you like to listen closely and you have decent gear, we think the chances are that you will hear an improvement.
Dave: And one of the things that we've noticed most in speaker cables is better definition in the bass.
Steve: Better sound staging.
Dave: Right. Better, deeper sound staging and more high-frequency detail, and better clarity.
Steve: So in this video we're going to talk about what makes AudioQuest cables different, and give you an overview of their speaker wire lines.
Dave: Right. We're going to try to give you some advice on choosing the right wire for your system.
Steve: AudioQuest makes a broad range of speaker cables, and we're just going to talk about some of the key things that they have in common.
Dave: Right. They focus closely on the quality of materials used, including ultra-high-purity copper, and they pay close attention to just how those wires are arranged and wrapped inside of the cable.
Steve: Yeah, and AudioQuest uses fewer and larger copper strands than other cables that you might have seen. And all of these design details contribute to minimizing the potential sources of distortion.
Dave: Now we'll take a look at some specific lines. AudioQuest G2 entry-level cable is a great place to start for people who want better sound.
Steve: And this is X2 which is like G2 but it's a little thicker. It's got more copper, so it's for longer runs or for higher powered systems.
Dave: If you're a careful listener and you really want to get the best out of your system, AudioQuest Type 4 cable makes a great choice. It's ideal for music, and it gives you crystal-clear dialogue and sound effects with home theater systems.
Steve: It's a pretty big upgrade over the speaker cables that we've been talking about, and one of the first differences you'll notice is the banana connectors at both ends. These are silver-plated copper for really superior signal transfer and in general, banana connectors are a really easy, secure way to connect your speakers. They're a lot easier than, you know, trying to wrap the bare wire around the speaker posts.
Dave: Very convenient. And one of the biggest improvements in Type 4 is one that you can't see, because this cable uses solid core conductors.
Steve: And we've already talked about how AudioQuest prefers to use fewer and larger strands of copper, but this is even a step further.
Dave: Right. The conductors inside are individually insulated to isolate them from each other and remove any potential sources of distortion.
Steve: AudioQuest CV-4 is aimed at the serious listener with high-end gear — someone who really pays a lot of attention to the music; you know, really likes to sit down and listen and really wants to optimize their system.
Dave: Right. And one of the things that you'll see on the CV-4 is — it's kind of unusual and you may not have seen on cables before — is this battery pack. And, I'm about to get a little geeky on you here, but AudioQuest calls this their "Dielectric Bias System" or DBS and if you're the kind of listener who likes to warm their system up before really doing any serious listening.
Steve: Yeah, we do.
Dave: Yeah you'll love the cables because this battery keeps a constant voltage on the dielectric, or insulator, inside the cable. And that helps to keep the material aligned to match the signal flow, and it's almost like having a pre-warmed up, pre-broken in cable.
Steve: Also CV-4 uses higher-quality copper. It's what AudioQuest calls their "Perfect-Surface Copper," and I think our impressions have both been that the sound really is a little smoother and clearer.
Dave: CV-8 is the best AudioQuest speaker cable that we sell.
Steve: And I've actually been using CV-8 at home for about the last year or so, and I've been an audiophile for over 25 years, and I've used a bunch of different speaker cables, but CV-8 is definitely the best speaker cable I've ever used.
Dave: Yeah it's kind of like a revved-up CV-4. But AudioQuest uses more conductors so it's a thicker cable for better signal transfer.
Steve: It's a really good choice for very particular listeners. If you've got high-powered amps, if you've got speakers that are really revealing, if you're a demanding audiophile, CV-8 is something you should really listen to.
Dave: If you want to learn more about AudioQuest speaker cables, check out our website at crutchfield.com.
Steve: And if you need some help choosing the right cable for your system and listening preferences, just call our advisors.