Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4

Tested at £6
100100
5

Product of the Year, Awards 2013. If you're looking for a cable that does finesse and subtlety just as well as dynamic heft and punch, this is it

Comments

I live in the US. Based on your reviews and the price of this I'm interested in this cable. I own a Yamaha RX-A1020 AV receiver and I will run B&W DM602S3 speakers for rear and center channel (yes 3 identical speakers in all 3 places)

I can bi-wire these so I may want to.

It is probably more critical to bi-wire the center channel than the rears but I will do them all the same.

Thing is, stateside, I can only find a spool of "FLX/DB" 14/4...I cannot find a spool of FLX-SLiP. Are these cables essentially the same? I understand the former is for "direct burial" but I won't be burying them or placing them in the wall.

I just need to know a few things...

1) Are the "guts" of these 2 cables the same? 

I imagine the outer jacket difference won't make a sonic difference?

And

2) When you talk about biwiring and double runs, do you mean to do double runs of 14/4, giving you eight 14 gauge wires to work with per channel?

I have no problems with that, providing I can find good quality banana plugs to accomodate four 14 gauge wires and providing the weight of that won't affect the jack going to the amplifier.

I look forward to your reply.

Thank you.

OK, here's the official response from Audioquest:

"The FLX-SLiP is a single wire cable, the 4-cores and the conductors are arranged in such a way to ensure it rejects as much RF energy and interference as possible.

Hence why we’ve always supplied it as a single wire or full-range cable for review and it is always how we talk about using it.

After reading the thread, it seems that some retailers are indeed configuring the FLX-SLiP as a bi-wire…it is obviously "do-able", because of the cores, but not within the specs of the cables or our termination instructions. It will of course work, but you’re not getting the best of the cable if it's configured that way.

With regards the different versions of the FLX cables, they are all the same metals and conductors, we have different protective jackets designed for different applications – for example the FLX-14/4 DB cable as mentioned by the US reader is exactly the same conductors, but in a thicker heavy-duty jacket suited for direct burial in plastered walls…it will deliver exactly the same sound performance.

So the FLXs are all the same apart from the jacket – SLiP is the thinnest most flexible jacket which makes it much more living room friendly."

Hi twochordcool

I've brought you questions to the attention of Audioquest so hopefully they'll be able to come on here and respond.

Audioquest states that FLX-SLiP 14/4 isn't designed to be used in a biwire configuration but they DO NOT make it clear if it would work well and sound good if I ran double runs of it, doubling the conductors.

I can see how you could use a single 14/4 and biwire and how that might not be enough to biwire but what if I doubled it up?

 I bought this to replace Chord Carnival SilverScreen which one length was damaged (don’t ask!) - I've used it in none bi-wire with two wires twisted together & in my opinion isn't as good as good as the cable it replaced which was Carnival SilverScreen -  I think there is a slight bass (unwanted) increase over the Chord but for me a loss of imaging & sound stage. 

The big disadvantage of Carnival is it's as easy to route & hide as a hosepipe, but one of the best cables I've heard regardless of price & should have probably stuck with the if it's not broken don't fix it system - Personally I don't feel spending large amounts of cash on speaker cable is worth it - I’ve edited this review as the FLX-Slip is growing on me & I was going to sell this cable & return to the Carnival but I’ll keep it now - I’ve never believed in burning in cable as it don’t make sense but my system sounds better than when I first bought FLX-Slip so who knows?? 

I didn't have any problems understanding how What Hi-Fi tested this cable & I don't think there is a conspiracy with FutureShop either :-) 

 

(System Tannoy DC6 well away from corners/walls on good stands etc,. Amp is Roksan Kandy K2/Roksan Kandy CD + Arcam IDac for streaming from PC/NAS.

lol.. so many responses from testing team? detailed description what was used for testing? this is not true that they are promoting so-so cable. 

Hi lpv. Our description of the kit used with this cable is further down the comments thread:

"We tested this cable in two main systems. The first was one made up of Audiolab 8200CD player, Roksan Caspian M2 amplifier and ATC SCM11/KEF LS50 speakers. The second uses a Naim NDX/555ps streamer, Bryston BP26/4B SST2 pre/power and ATC SCM 50s. Other kit used with the cable include Heed, Cyrus, Leema , Cambridge, Rotel, Marantz integrated amplifiers  and speakers from the likes of Q Acoustics, Neat and B&W."

I must admit this is a slightly confusing review it is quite clearly a bi wire cable as it has 4 cores and if you look at the technical tab it sayes it is not 

however as it got such a glowing review I am tempted to give a go and just use two wires together which seems how they did the test 

Which banana plugs are best to use or did you use in the test?

I will be using this with a Denon D-M39DAB system and Dali Zensor 1 speaker

Hey guys, I just made a first look video of this cable in its 16/4 version:

http://youtu.be/1ik4ROidgeE

I thought What HiFi was the place to go when I needed sound advice (pardon the pun).  Apparently this is not the case.

I'm looking to upgrade my speaker cable so when I read the review of this cable, I thought, no contest, this is the cable to go for.  It has the look I'm after, it has a 5 star review from WFH and it's very reasonably priced.  But then it gets fuzzy.  In acual fact, to get a 5 star performance using it in bi-wire form, we have to use twice the cable.  No mention of this however, in the actual WHF review.  The review that people all around the world quote when selling this cable.  No, we have to find out the real truth by reading other peoples reviews and comments.  Most of which, I might add, are from confused and misled readers of this review.  Used for bi-wiring, this cable is in fact, no better than average.  So why push this cable?  Surely it is not the only bi-wire cable available that will perform well used in this way.

In my opinion, this review should be scrapped or reworked to include the truth, and that is, if you need 10 metres of bi-wire cable, you actually need 20m of this cable to get a 5 star performance.

To be honest, I smell a rat.

Do the good folks at What HiFi have shares in Audioquest?

 

The cable was tested in single-wire form, as that's how most people will use it, and no, we don't have shares in AudioQuest.

Really, that's the best reply you can come up with?

There is no mention in the review of what configuration was used.

Futureshop, a company you advertise sells this cable in bi-wire configuration with your 5 star recommendation slapped all over the page.

It matters not how many people use it in whatever form.  Even if 1 person in the world bought it as a bi-wire cable, that person is being misled.

 

Perhaps Futureshop made the error and has mistaken the cable as a bi-wire since it has 4 conductors?

We're neither pushing this cable nor advertising Futureshop.

There is a very obvious Futureshop advert/link on the same page this review is on that will direct anyone who clicks it to Futureshop's website.  In what way is that not advertising Futureshop?

GarryR wrote:
There is a very obvious Futureshop advert/link on the same page this review is on that will direct anyone who clicks it to Futureshop's website.  In what way is that not advertising Futureshop?

The fact that a particular retailer chooses to place an advertisement alongside a review doesn't mean that we, as a magazine/website, are advertising or promoting that retailer.

In this case the Futureshop advert has been placed by the advertiser to appear alongside many cable reviews, just as such a retailer might do against the relevant section of the Buying Guide in the print magazine.

Sorry?  Who's website is this?  What HiFi's or Futureshop's?  Is it not up to WHF who advertises here?  I mean, can I place an advert for my business on this page.  Without the permission of WHF, I shouldn't think so.

Just for now lets forget the blatent advert and turn to the fact that Futureshop, on the page where they sell this cable in bi-wire form, have "What HiFi 5 star review" all over it.  Surely you have to do something about the fact they are deceiving people using the good name of WHF.  Are they allowed to say that a particular product has a 5 star rating from WHF when in fact it doesn't?  I wouldn't have thought so.  They don't supply twice the amount of cable as suggested on this website, by your good selves.  They merely sell it as it comes but still with your 5 star recommendation.  Trading standards need to be involved in my opinion.

Now, stop trying to dodge bullets and admit, you know I'm right.

Also, I must point out that it is not only Futureshop that sell this cable, in bi-wire form, with your 5 star recommendation all over the advert.

GarryR wrote:
Sorry?  Who's website is this?  What HiFi's or Futureshop's?  Is it not up to WHF who advertises here?  I mean, can I place an advert for my business on this page.  Without the permission of WHF, I shouldn't think so.

Not dodging any bullets, but the fact remains that the advertisements, and where they are placed, has nothing to do with the editorial content of the site. So, as I said, we are not advertising Futureshop, nor 'pushing' these cables: it is an editorial review, in a section against which Futureshop has chosen to place its advertisement. No more to it than that.

I notice that you only want to answer on the point of advertising.  You make no attempt to comment on the fact that this review is being used to help the sale of the cable in bi-wire form without a word of WHF's somewhat hidden recommendation that one should double up on the cable.  Surely you have a duty to stop this happening and if not a duty, a wish.  WHF after all, provides "the world's most trusted reviews".

The review, and the Award, were for Audioquest FLX-SLIP 14/4, a four-conductor cable, with four identical conductors, designed to be used in single-wire configuration, using two conductors for each leg, commoned into a single plug at each end; in two-to-four biwire, using commoned pairs of cables with a single plug at the amplifier end, and two plugs for each leg at the speaker end; or in four-to-four biwiring, with four plugs at each end.

Futureshop is advertising the cable we reviewed, and to which we gave an award, configured as either single-wire or biwire, as it is designed to be used. We'd suggest using twin runs for optimum quality if we were to biwire, but it's perfectly possible to biwire speakers with a single run of the cable as reviewed and awarded.

The Award badge is correctly applied to the cable in both instances by Futureshop, as it is the same product, simply configured differently by the plug arrangements at either end.

So whats the verdict were these 14/4 tested by joining the two pos & 2 negs into 1 output and single wire speaker??

I've tested the 14/2 but find them a bit lacking in bass, the mid and treble are so prominent, would I get more depth using the 14/4 in a single output into single wire speaker terminals? 

The cable was tested in single-wire form. 

We would biwire by doubling-up the cables, as opposed to splitting a single one as you describe. I'm not surprised the split cable lacked a bit of bass.

so people are trusting this review...however i cannot trust any review since reading that costly usb cables 'deliver a precise, open sound'. lol this website is a bit of a joke really, i might start my own business of just buying 99p cable, painting it with pretty colours and then selling it for 10 times the price.

 

 

^ I would like to know the answer to this too...  It's sold as a bi-wire cable,  yet WHF used it as a single run cable twisting two connctors together,  doubling the awg of the cable...

 

So how does it sound using just two cores rather than 4?  Or as above use the 14/2 rather than the 14/4 and do a comparison??  

 

Smile

Is this the "biwire" version or the other? - audioquest seems to offer both, and yet they look the same? Here you are saying not to use on its own for bi-wiring but instead one should have 2 sets (8 wires)? Of either version? My present system is biwired with 2 sets of cables, and I thought I could replace them by one set of FLX/SLiP 14/4. Not a good idea?

I'm sure it's possible to split the conductors to enable biwiring, but I don't think the cable will sound as balanced that way. We used two sets of the FLX/SLiP when we want to biwire.

This cable looks perfect, just what I need but the ambiguity about how it was tested is putting me off. If I use it for biamping will I be getting a worse cable, say three star?

 

basically was the review the 4 core cable connected to 2 plugs either end?

We tested this cable in two main systems. The first was one made up of Audiolab 8200CD player, Roksan Caspian M2 amplifier and ATC SCM11/KEF LS50 speakers. The second uses a Naim NDX/555ps streamer, Bryston BP26/4B SST2 pre/power and ATC SCM 50s. Other kit used with the cable include Heed, Cyrus, Leema , Cambridge, Rotel, Marantz integrated amplifiers  and speakers from the likes of Q Acoustics, Neat and B&W.

The cable works just fine bi-wired. I would use two sets rather than splitting the conductors from a single run.

Thanks Ketan. So I will need just one cable each side? All the pictures of the cable show it with four cores and some audioquest cable suggests combining the cores to make a single cable is the thing

If you single-wire, a single run per side is fine. If you want to biwire, I suggest two cable runs per side. It's possible to split the cores on a single run (to biwire), but I think performance will suffer too much.

Biamp you mean

 

...the drill is already out

I don't understand the choice of WHF. I find the Wireworld Luna 16/4 much better. Richer sound with better sweet voices, better punch ans better dynamics.

does this product come in XLR or is only the jack version (banana plugs)?

2godbglory wrote:
does this product come in XLR or is only the jack version (banana plugs)?

Given that it's a speaker cable, I'd expect it to come with bananas, spades or bare ends, but not XLRs.

the picture accompanying the review seems to suggest that you used the four conductor version of this cable (14/4) but combined the two positive conductors into one plug and did the same with the two negatives. is this the case?

 

if so, what banana plugs did you use? and what are the benefits  of this approch?

will you be reviewing the two conductor version of this cable?

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