Final Report, Canare 4S11 Speaker Cable

I posted this in the original thread yesterday, but it is so buried that unless you were following it, you would never see it.  At the end I will add a few more comments.   

This is the final report on the Canare 4S11 cables.  I let the 25 foot pair break in on my secondary system for almost 19 days 24/7.  At the 445 hour mark, I reinserted them into my main system.  I first removed the $1500.00 Groneberg Quattro Reference speaker cables and coiled them up under the floor in case I decided to go back to them. After my son helped me install the Canare cables (I had to make larger holes in the floor for the banana plugs to fit) and routing them perfectly, I am happy to say my system now sounds much better.  I no longer have the softness in highs I had with the Groneberg cable and the bass is tighter and deeper.  I was always under the impression that the higher the price, the better the cable.  The fact that a $130.00 pair of speaker cables bested a $1500.00 pair should be a lesson for everyone regarding price VS performance.    Now I have the Canare in both of my systems and I am one happy audiophile. 

A few more thoughts:    The cables sounded good when brand new with a slightly ragged treble and loose bass. I was told it could take up to 500 hours to fully break in.  For myself, I did not hear any changes after the 300 hour mark.  I let the cables cook longer than planned because I needed help from my son as i had to drill larger holes in the floor to account for the locking banana plugs.  My son lives in another state so I had to wait for him. The construction of the terminated cables is as good as many of the more costly brands.  I purchased 2 pairs of these cables in 15 foot and 25 foot pairs.    My secondary system now has the 15 foot cables back and I am continuing to break them in as I removed them from the system at the 250 hour mark.   A lot of people bash McIntosh but my McIntosh MA6600 integrated amp and McIntosh tuner never failed in 19 continuous days of 24/7 service.   The heat sinks were never more than slightly warm to the touch.    
That’s all folks.    
I’ve had good experiences with that cable. I now use Anti-Cables because I now have mono amps next to the speakers. The twisted two pair is great for long runs. It helps with RFI and EMI. 
I have Canare bi-wire speaker cables. Really nice low end and mid-range but they sound slightly rolled off and washed out on the top end.  I inserted Legacy bi-wire cables in their place.  The Legacy are not rolled nor sparkly on the top end but are rather smooth and balanced.  Neither cable costs very much.
The Canare line of cables have excellent fundamental designs and are built for professionals. The quality and consistency of their product are among the best I've seen, they are not designed to be a tone control like many high-end cables. It is very likely that your $1500 speaker cable was designed to sound that way and would have been better served in a slightly cool or tilted up system.
The Groneberg cables were purchased with a Odyssey Kismet stereo amp and Odyssey Kismet Reference speakers which I ran for about 5 years. Both the amp and speakers were internally wired with that cable and that is why I purchased the same cables for my speakers.  Once I sold the amp and speakers, the magic was gone.  The cables then seemed to restrict the flow of the music with the Mac equipment and GE speakers.  The Canare cables really opened up my system, the bass isn’t muddy and the treble is pristine. 
After reading here about the Canare 4S11 I decided to give them a try, at that price why not. I'm running them bare wire on my Pass 250.8 and banana on my Maggie 3.7i all I can say is wow these please in every way, great dynamics, separation within the sound field, depth and overall presentation. These are keepers thank you to stereo5 for bringing them to my attention.
Johnto, What speaker cables were you using before the Canare 4S11?
 I ask as I have the same amplifier as you and am running Lessloss CMark cables now. Just curious, as you say, at that price it is worth trying.

Next time you stop by, you will be able to hear the Canare in both systems.
I recently made a pair of speaker cables from Canare 4S11.  I used cheap amazon spade lugs at each end. System is Merlin3B with Music Reference RM9 amp,  RM5 pre and Denafrips Ares2 DAC.
Only 3 days in and to me they sound  better in my system than the Cardas Series 5 they replaced.
Cost $19 for the wire and $11 for shipping.    I am happy, my ears are happy. 
I've been using 4s11 for years.  Currently using it with audio quest gold spades on Joseph audio Perspectives 
I replaced 8 guage Knukonceptz, monter cable prior to that and also some silver coated copper, one of my buddies brought over.
I've had a pair in my system for several months and they sound better than the much more expensive cables they replaced.
I've been using the Canare 4s11 for 3 years with my Pass Labs X250.8 and Vandersteen Quatro CT speakers. I hear a very neutral, natural sound with nothing exaggerated. I recently upgraded to a pair of X260.8s, shortened the cables down to 5 feet, and sonic bliss again.I will also mention that the dealer who sold me the Quatros told me he was very impressed with the Canare cable. He helped a customer set up a pair of Vandersteen 5A CT speakers, and the customer had his own set of Canare cable. The dealer felt the Canare was every bit as nice as some of the more expensive Audioquest cables he sells.
I think the Canare cable is a good budget priced cable, and in some situations might be a better choice than "higher end" cables. I used to have a pair of Magnepan 3.5r speakers driven by a Krell FPB-300 and was using older Nordost Red Dawn cable. I switched to the Canare and found the sound much fuller and smoother. 

I'm currently using this cable in my home theater where I have moderately long runs to seven speakers and couldn't really justify anything more expensive. It works well for movies and TV. 

But in my two channel system, I found this cable to be kind of dull sounding and lacking image detail compared to other speaker cables I've tried. I'm currently using a DIY cable similar to Kimber 12TC (woven multi-gauge OFC copper with PTFE insulation). My cables are only about 3ft long since I use monoblocks that sit directly behind the speakers, but this cable sounds much more open and lively than the Canare cable. 
I read somewhere that the optimum length for speaker cables is between 2.5 to 4 meters long.  That's about 8 to 13 feet.  Perhaps, your cables' short 3-foot length may partly account for what you heard.


If you’re comparing a really long run of Canare to a 3ft pair of Kimber 12TC that’s not a fair comparison. Any long run of cable is going to lose. Never owned 12TC but I had the older blue and black 4TC and the current 8TC. I have owned Kimber speaker, interconnects and power cords and I enjoyed them for years. Stumbled on to Clear Days and that was all it took and I sold the Kimbers. Probably purchased my first set of Kimbers in the late 80’s from Ray directly... nice guy.

I do find the Canare, and speaking across the line including interconnects and digital cables, to be a little on the warmer side but they’re damn good wire for the money. Hopefully you had a Canare set under 6ft to compare to your 12TC and not something over 12ft or more. Is your 12TC a biwire set and if so, curious when you tried the Canare on your mono amps did you have to use the stock speaker binding straps? I find the Canare more neutral than the TC series overall but it ultimately comes down to system synergy and ones preference.

For the fun of it, have you experimented running cotton rope down the center of your 12TC to open/spread the conductors a little from each other? Easier to fish a wire or electrical fish tape to pull the rope through. You might want want to try it as it’s a cheap tweak. I found it took the slight edge off the 4 and 8TC. I think I used 1/4” rope or a little bigger but nothing too fat.
I find the canare 4s8 actually better than the 4s11, better clarity and neutral.
I was very pleased with the Canare 4S11 and tried the Kimber Kables Bifocal XL

I preferred the Kimbers significantly...and until they the Kimbers out performed the my previous AudioQuest Rocket 44s.

So I recommend Canare 4S11 as a great budget wire - I'm sending my to my brother.

And if you have a higher end system, I suggest you experiment if you are curious on the impact of cables.
After seeing some good reviews of the Canare 4S11, I decided to give it a try.  I also compared Monoprice 4C 12AWG in a 9AWG config, Mogami 3404 in star quad 9AWG  config, and KnuKonceptz Krux Kable 8AWG 16C a Kimber style braid with 8C per side.  The cables were all about 6 feet long  hand terminated with pistol style locking banana plugs.  I let all the wires run in the system for a couple of weeks or so (maybe 4 0r 5 hrs./day) before evaluating.  I realize after reading some of the comments that this might not been long enough for a fair evaluation.  The Krux Kable, which I ended up liking better, has stayed in the system longer so maybe it has an unfair advantage.

Anyway, the Canare at twice the cost of the Monoprice, I thought was a little better.  The Monoprice is rated at CL2 which I'm not sure about the Canare.  The Mogami at three times the cost of the Canare I thought was a just little better than the Canare.  The Krux Kable at about the same cost as the Mogami seemed the best of all, maybe sounding a little smoother as best as I can explain it.

I was wondering has anybody had similar results with the KnuKonceptz cable?  I have no connection with the company other than being a customer.

I did my comparisons using SACDs in an Oppo 205, XLRs to a Parasound JC2BP, XLRs to JC1s to GE TRs.  I was using Canare L-4E6S XLRs.  I've since switched to some silver plated copper XLRs which really changed/improved the sound.  I will have to do another comparison when I give the Canare a little more burn in time.
If you didn't run the Canare 4S11 in for 400 hours, it isn't a valid comparison.  They NEED that much to sound their best.  This is from the manufacturer themselves.
Thanks!  I'll keep that in mind.  I guess I'm not dedicated enough to leave my system on when I'm not listening to it, so it'll take me about 3 or 4 months of use.  Since my amps have two pair of speaker outs, maybe I'll hook both pairs up at the same time  and see how that sounds.  The locking bananas can lock into each other.  I've also been burning in a Kimber type wire with a rope in the middle for comparison.

I was just wondering if anyone had tried the KnuKonceptz stuff since I don't hear it talked about much?
I made a nice 7ft pair of these and burned them in on frybaby + (75) hr’s and went on to a more expensive wire just to satisfy my.."cause i can i guess"...well those are run in +/- some hr's....Just for kicks and wanting to finish up running in the canare’s i put them back in...and you know they sound dam nice with my system...a better match and i just cant find a justifiable reason to take them out other than they are not a more expensive cable... lol.
I think these are as someone put it "one of the best cable’s period" not just a great budget wire...fwiw.

thank you for this... with all the ridiculous expensive cable threads creating so much heat and very little light, this is a much needed voice of sanity to be heard

yes you need GOOD cables for your system, they are essential for maximize sound quality ... but good does not need to be expensive
jjss493,221 posts07-27-2021 11:05am
yes you need GOOD cables for your system, they are essential for maximize sound quality ... but good does not need to be expensive

Define "expensive". Do you have general guidelines for up to what $ we need to spend on cables? What price level becomes "expensive" and up to what price we are allowed to spend?

Please include price limits for all types of cables (speaker, interconnects, power, digital, etc.).

Also, please include price limits for all countries, or, if too hard, just for developed, developing, and emerging, country categories. Thank you

ignoring your sarcasm for a moment, i would answer that i personally would not spend more than $400-500 for a 8 or 10 ft set of speaker cables (used), and the ones i am using now in my main rig are less than that - for interconnects perhaps the same amount for a 1.5 or 2 meter run, maybe less (some systems can benefit from ic’s with some silver, that can cost a lil more) ... power cables, no more than $100-200 for a 6 ft run...

in the past i have tried (much) more expensive cables, and while they sounded subtly different, but to me, not necessarily ’better’ to my ears

for people who live in the real world and the value of money matters, i would suggest that if you are going to blow 4 figures plus for cable upgrades, you are better off putting that $ into components that more fundamentally improve the sound rather than high buck cabling...

and btw... i have lived and worked in both ’developed’ and ’developing’ countries in my life, cables do sound the same in either type of place (although i would say i don’t know which category the usa falls under anymore) :)
@stereo5 I have been using these fantastic cables in all my systems for several months now and cannot agree more with your review. 

 I was always under the impression that the higher the price, the better the cable.  The fact that a $130.00 pair of speaker cables bested a $1500.00 pair should be a lesson for everyone regarding price VS performance.    Now I have the Canare in both of my systems and I am one happy audiophile.

I have been using various inexpensive speaker cables for years including Canare and Supra.  Several month ago at the suggestion of someone who knows cables very well I tried  Furez FZ124AS 12-4 at a bit over $1 a foot.  I had to terminate them myself but hey were better than anything I had tried by a very easily heard difference, even before being broken in.  

In cables especially there may be little correlation between price and SQ.  Perhaps too much system dependence.
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