I'm currently using the following setup for my speaker rig:
Electrocompaniet DAC -> (Van den Hul The Bay C5 RCA interconnect) -> Cyrus 8 integrated amp -> (QED XTube XT-400 speaker cables) -> Epos M5 speakers
I have had the cables for nearly 10 years and the ends have started fraying off at the plug ends. I cannot re-terminate as there is no more spare length for the setup. There seems to be no obvious sound degradation but the thought of dust settling between the conductor wires arguably is reason enough to get a replacement.
I'm okay to spend $100-$200 for a 2.5m pair (5m in total). I'm a cable believer to the extent that they offer some difference (not always for the better or worse), but never more than a change in source, amps or transducers. No complaint on the cable (probably because I'm so used to the sound now). Another run of the XT-400 is within consideration but are there better alternatives for the same or lower price? The only complaint I have on the XT-400 is its size: difficult termination, looks bulky and stress on the plug ends (thus the fraying). Sound-wise, I had the initial impression that they sounded kind of dry but I've either grown into it or burn-in took care of it. I've read a bit on the Chord Audyssey 2 and Atlas Hyper 2.0. Both seem highly regarded but I don't know how they compare to the XT-400 and, more importantly, synergise with my system.
Appreciate any input and recommendations. I'm located in Sydney, Australia.
Edited by Zorander - 3/6/13 at 10:23pm