I usualy like QED cables. In fact I like them so much that I use them on all my vintage system. I tried the XT silver anniversary because I was very satisfied with the Silver anniversary (previuos version), but this time QED screwed up. Quite frankly the new version is not a match for the older one. The supple outer jacket and the different geometry of the conductor are probable cause of the problem. The so-called X-tube technology may be derived from the genesis series, but just because of the name, it doesn't make it sound better. The supposedly improved bass response results actually in a more compact and sluggish bass, whereas in this area of the sonic range the older version had a better definition with a bandwidth as much as extended as the new one. The mid and treble are similar, but somewhat less bright; a quality I enjoyed a lot with other qed cables. To sum up, the XT is not as good as the previous version of this cable, and since the Anniversary XT replaces the older version, only the Qed original remains faithful to the traditionnal sound of rigid QED cables. Let's just hope it won't be discontinued. Actualy, the range of budget rigid cable, wehter it be copper or silver, should be extended instead of being narrowed.
You're right, double-blind testing is all about the listener. That's because cables are all essentially the same! Show me one properly-conducted double-blind test that demonstrates a one speaker cable is better than another, to any listener in the world. In the decades I've been following hi-fi, I've never seen a single one, though I've seen many such tests that demonstrate the exact opposite.
Speaker cables are all about packaging, labeling, marketing, and pricing. It's pointless to debate whether it sounds better until somebody, anybody, anywhere, can even demonstrate that one speaker cable sounds different from another. If there was "no doubt", there ought to be somebody who has been able to demonstrate this!
Instead, we have reviews that say "sounds a tad lean" (lean?), while people who bother to do actual listening tests discover that no audiophile in the world can tell the difference between $1000 speaker cable and the wire ripped out of an old desk lamp.
As far as modern science can determine, how "effective and noticeable" a speaker cable upgrade is, depends entirely on whether the listener knows what brand was used, and how much it cost.
Since when has a fiver a meter been considered budget?
You can get 3mm csa installation speaker cable for 60p a meter. It carries a signal just like other pieces of wire.
Try some double blind testing sometime.
This cable is a hard on the treebles. I am having problems with women voices and flute.
tieno (NAD M3 amplifier, NAD M5 cd player and KEF 104.2 speakers + XLR Supra Cables interconnects so be change by DH Labs revelation).
Double blind testing often tests no more than the ability of the listener to differentiate. There is no doubt that for many people the quality of speaker cable and interconnect can make a significant difference but we all have the choice where to spend our money.
How effective and noticeable any upgrade is will depend heavily on the system involved. I have not always been most impressed with the most expensive cables but careful choices that assist the tonal balance of the rest of the system rather than exaggerate any particular trait can help hugely.
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