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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
okay, despite all the threads about cables and benefits/suckers who spend a fortune on "wire", i have tried many different cables and have come to like tara labs, transparent and cardas. of the three (since they are not cheap) which ones do any of you use and why? i am interested in peoples experiences of either of them and please don not post about the cheaper "wires" being the same. i have seen and heard huge differences sonically between cables and am sold on these three companies. just looking for experiences and comparisons if possible. btw, i have ML ascent i's, ML theatre i and script i's on the way. velodyne sub possibly in the future. i like transparency and crisp details in music. thanks.
 

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Anthony


Like you I used Tara Labs exclusively in my system for many years and loved it. I had The One for AC Power cords, The Omega for speaker cables and The Zero for my interconnects. I found them to be excellent, more so than your other two aforementioned cables.


I must say that I never felt that I would switch until I auditioned Nordost Valhalla. For me the buck stops here as Valhalla IMO is the most neutral (transparent) cable that I have ever used. For me going forward this is the cable that for my ears and my room and system sounds the very best.


BTW, Tara Labs has fallen on some hard times recently with sanctions by the government for selling goods made in China and labelling them "Made In USA"
 

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Hi Anthony -


If transparency and crisp details are what you're after, I would second the Valhallas. But I don't know if your intention is to spend that much on a cable. Are you looking at the top products from each of those brands? Also, I'd probably rule out Cardas unless you are looking at the Neutral Reference. I've used Cardas for several years, and find it to lean on the warmer side of the tonal balance - especially the Golden Cross.
 

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a short comment to say that having the opportunity to hear the valhalla cables in oneobgyn's system on numerous events, he speakes with truth!!


the nordost cables are superb with any source.
 

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Have you tried Kharma cables?


I used to have Valhalla interconnects throughout, I decided to give Kharma a try... in my system, the Valhalla sounded positively veiled in comparisons! And I wasn't even using the Kharma Enigma, their highest end cables, only the Grand Reference (one step below the Enigma). I've since sold off all my Nordost interconnects and moved to Kharma throughout.


Interestingly, in this month's Absolute Sound Recommended Components, Johnathan Valin claims the exact opposite -- that the Kharma is not as transparent or open as the Valhalla (but theres no indication of when he actually did the review, nor was it published).


I've never tried Valhalla speaker cables though...


Quote:
Originally posted by oneobgyn
Anthony


...

I must say that I never felt that I would switch until I auditioned Nordost Valhalla. For me the buck stops here as Valhalla IMO is the most neutral (transparent) cable that I have ever used. For me going forward this is the cable that for my ears and my room and system sounds the very best.


...
 

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Quote:
I've never tried Valhalla speaker cables though
They are worth a listen



Quote:
Grab some Supras, then decide.
Keith is right with this recommendation for an inexpensive cable. Thanks to Keith I bought Supra last year and use it for multichannel listening. It is very good.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by oneobgyn
BTW, Tara Labs has fallen on some hard times recently with sanctions by the government for selling goods made in China and labelling them "Made In USA"
Boy, that is putting a positive spin on it. I wouldn't exactly call being raided by Federal agents as sanctions. I personally don't care where the cables are made as long as the quality is there, but labeling laws are just that - laws and you have to follow them or suffer the consequences.
 

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Hi


The Valhalla are the best cables I have heard in a long while... I use them all around... Highly recommended.. They are not cheap however. On the more affordable side their Red Dawn is worth an audition. Superior to many highly touted and more expensive cables IMHO
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the suggestions everyone. i will definitely try out the nordost line. the valhallas seem great, but price is a bit steep. what are the lower steps of nordost cables that are close in performance to the valhallas?


red dawn, .......
 

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While I understand your looking for suggestions, and WITHOUT turning this into a bashing post, from all of the other posts about cables here, they seems to be such a subjective item, why not just find a high end dealer that will let you try out cables?


Listen, swap out, and try. I don't think there is ONE definitive cable, and frankly, I think the word 'transparent' is used as a sales pitch by all of them..:)


Curt
 

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I agree with Curt...and Valhalla for example doesn't work well in many systems. Cablecompany.com is a good place if start trying.


I have all Supras for ICs, and ended my search there. At $175 list as I recall, they are a great value.
 

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I don't think any of the 3 would work well with MLs as Tara Labs I would stay away from (due to company)--i know Harvey's used to use them a lot with the MLs as I recall though


I don't care for networked cables, and Cardas tends to be on the warm spectrum, so not what he's looking for.


Hence, I go back to Supra and AZ.
 

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I would give the Jena Labs cables a listen. Her Symphony interconnects and speaker cable is outstanding and many have sold their Valhalla cables for the Jena products. If you want a cheaper "Valhalla" the newer Nordost Valkrye is a good alternative as sonically it has many of the same "Nordost" characteristics. Of the three you mentioned about I would recommend the Cardas Neutral Reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
well, this past weekend i finally found a nordost dealer in my area and i borrowed the red dawns, cardas neutral reference, and transparent supers (mm). all were quite different IMO. the cardas were pretty neutral (considering the golden are soooo warm) whereas the transparents were very forward. great overall for a center channel where the smallest details require forwardness, but for 2 channel too harsh. then i put in the red dawns and immediately noticed there openess. great cables. now my setup involves transparent refernece powerlink power cords and musicwave plus speaker cables (they bring out good midrange details). coupled with the red dawns makes a great detailed, yet open soundstage. now my only question is this: if i step up to the spm reference (2x price) what will i achieve really? i really want an even more open soundstage so is it a better idea to stay with the red dawn IC's and use the matching speaker cable? anyone compare the jena labs to nordost?
 
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