Are older series speaker cables a bad investment??

Obviously several of the used speaker cables on AG have been discontinued and replaced by the next super-improved series. However, why assume an older series cable provides less quality sound than its newer sibling.

I have a friend who has a pair of Straightwire "Maestro" speaker cables that are about 8 years old. He claims they are the best sounding cables he has ever heard. I don't totally agree, but they do sound very good in his set-up. He has used Nordost, Analysis Plus, MIT, Crimson, Tara Labs, and Harmonic Technology

So, he is no slouch when it comes to speaker cables auditions which he sources through The Cable Company, and other audiophiles He did grudgingly admit that the Harmonic Technology Pro 10 and Pro 11 had somewhat better soundstaging and solid imaging ( I thought it was more than just "somewhat better" !!!)

However, the main question is:.... can a previous ( or two series before) series speaker cable sound better than a new improved version.?? I don't think most manufacturers would answer that question with a resounding "NO"
However, the main question is:.... can a previous ( or two series before) series speaker cable sound better than a new improved version.??


Many folks make the assumption that newer = better, which is a common misnomer. Companies introduce new models of anything to stimulate sales. They know their clientele well enough that their customers will demand the latest and greatest. LOL!! Thereby feeding their coffers and stimulating their business. Companies come out with new models when they want more's not because they have come across some revolutionary discovery, despite what their marketing folks will have you believe.

That is one of the reasons that tubes and vinyl remain so popular today, because newer is not necessarily better. Different maybe, better, maybe, worse, maybe.
Also, materials cost can be a factor.

Years ago, I discovered that silver conductors sounded best in my main system, and I was able to afford the conversion to all silver.

But some time after that, the price of silver rose substantially, and I noticed that virtually all manufacturers switched away from it.

My silver cables still sound better to me than current copper offerings.

One thing to be careful about for used cable, though -- older cable may have experienced a degree of oxidation. While I know oxidation on the connectors is bad and should be cleaned off (with the right solution) periodically, I don't know the effect that oxidation on the conductor body might have. It might be audible. And it would be hard to remove without cutting through insulation etc.
Who cares about better? Just find something you like. After many years of listening, I found that, for speaker cables, I like the sound of a larger aggregate gauge cable consisting of multiple, small diameter, solid core conductors, made from high quality copper (like OCC), and individually (each strand separate) insulated with foamed PE, cotton, or foamed Teflon. Not too many cables meet that criteria but, there are a few and, I could live with any of them.
Regarding older vs. newer cables, I cannot tell much difference between the "plus" version and the newer "reference" version of Harmonic Technology's Pro 9 or Pro 11 cables, but I like them all.

Absolutely! newer does not always = better. Most top tier cable/cord companies feel that every few years a newer 'product' must be developed and released. Therefore, leaving some very good older 'products' for the rest of us!

Keep us posted on your buying decision(s).
Got a serious question, ... really. Has anyone bot cryo'ed speaker cables? Results??
04-19-14: Bifwynne
Got a serious question, ... really. Has anyone bot cryo'ed speaker cables? Results??

I have owned speaker cables that were cryo treated (Jena Labs), and they sounded very good.
However, I have never heard the same cable before and after the cryo treatment, so I can't say what affect the cryo treatment process itself has on the sound.
Thanks Jim. The reason I asked on this thread is because it might be an inexpensive way to breath new life into older cables and I/Cs.

The metallurgy is way over my pay grade, so take what I write with a grain of salt. To the extent I understand the theory, cryo'ing an object to near absolute zero in some way reorders/realigns the crystaline structure of the material, be it vacume tubes, gun parts, machine tools, etc.

I wonder out loud if cryo'ing would improve the electrical performance and properties of cables and I'Cs.