Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4 WHFS&V review
Today I snipped off the plugs from my recently aquired Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4 speaker cable. I had them fitted, at some cost I might add, with banana plugs in a 4 to 4 config and got them to go with a pair of Concept 20 speakers and a Marantz M-CR610. I had purchased the Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4 for the same Marantz units upstairs (but with 2010is) before getting these cables made up for downstairs, but upstairs it was in single wire config as the 2010is aren't biwireable...thankfully. I followed a how to on a YouTube vid to use them in single wire config.
Apart from already liking Audioquest cables, what originally led me to this particular speaker cable was the WHFS&V review. However, it seems I made a big mistake because I didn't think to click on the 'Your Opinion' tab on the review page. If I had I wouldn't have wasted 45+ quid on plugs and fitting and I would ahve also saved myself a lot of headaches and head scratching.
It transpires that the Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4 is only 'good for use' in the single wire configuration...as I clearly discovered today. I actually braved it and snipped the connectors from the new cables and connected them to the Concept 20s and low and behold, bass, musical cohesion, rich, punchy, and enjoyable music coming from the speakers.. from my Marantz M-CR610. My wife shrugged her shoulders, shook her head. Kind of said it all really. Me standing there like an idiot almost 50 quid lighter in the pocket. May as well have torn it up!
WHFS&V review makes no mention of the cables being only good in single wire mode, but the user opinions (and then the subsequent WHFS&V replies) certainly make it abundantly clear that when the cable is 'split' to biwire in a single run then it isn't any good at all (and some people were quite upset that there was no mention of this as well). In response to my recent headscratching and confusion trying to work out why the sound wasn't as good as I'd hoped for someone here on these forums actually suggested that I hook the speakers up in single wire mode but they were a lone voice and I confess to dismissing it...and I honestly didn't want to snip the plugs off and face the fact I'd wasted my money. I got half way as I snipped one end and turned them into biwire leads but that wasn't far enough.
I personally thinkt that the WHFS&V review should have a footnote added to make it absolutely clear the review is for the cable in single wire config no in biwire/biamp. Just so that others don't get caught out. And my advice to anyone thinking about using the Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4 as a biwire cable is don't bother. It'll sound okay...ish, and you'll no doubt be happy to a point, and you'll enjoy aspects of the quality, but you'll soon get fed up with the lack of richness to the music, and the lack of cohesion and you'll think something is wrong with your system no doubt. Admittedly I've lost a bit of the precision in single wire mode, the spatiality has slightly dimished, but until I sort out duplicate lengths of cables to poperly bi-wire it will stay like it is because today for the first time I started to enoy my setup. Lesson well and truly learnt I'd say. What a waste of money and brain energy etc.
Oh, and as a final word on the Marantz M-CR610 in biamp mode: I whipped the single wire config cables from the two upstairs Marantz units to try in biamp mode downstairs and the same problems (lack of bass, lack of integration, 3dlike but not in a pleasant way etc.) became immediatly obvious. There was more bass, not a great deal though. It just doesn't fair much better even with two single runs of Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4! Doesn't sound right, so more copper won't make it any better. I don't know whether more sensitive speakers would help...probably not.