Help me choice Audioquest speaker cables

What Audioquest speaker cables should I choice to hook up MAC C611 amps to B&W 800d3 speakers? Will be using MAC C2700 tube preamp. My dealer suggested I USE REDWOOD cables. 

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RIght now these audioquest speaker cables will run me $6,000 used for a demo pair, the dealer said they were originally 12K for a 10ft pair. Our local dealer only represents Audioquest, so I am starting with their brand to learn more. 

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You'd have to hold a gun to my head to get me to spend $6K on speaker wire! Just buy the CHEAPEST AQ cables! As the French chef says "No diffawrance" between the cheap and the expensive brands! 

Wire, along with fuses, is the biggest rip off going! And the most profitable for companies selling "audiophile" speaker wire!

I read many responses on this forum that changing cables make a big difference. What has been your experience with speaker cables "jasonbourne52", why do you feel it doesn't matter?

Speaker cables to make a huge difference. For me, this improvement was more than interconnects and PC's. My first expensive speaker cable was an old AudioQuest Volcano. It brought out the missing bass with my then Revel Salon 1. I even chopped it up in half (done by AQ) and used with mono blocks, even better sound (mostly the monos). Surprisingly, after not using it for 5 years and forgetting about them, I tried TMRAudio to sell them and got an incredible price for them. 

I currently use Audience FrontRow and Conductor SE speaker cables and sometimes the Benchmark speaker cables, if my amps have SpeakON terminations. I need to buy another set of speaker cables in the future and it will be FrontRow once more.


After a certain price point any benefit is miniscule. Your equipment would have to be incredibly sensitive to tiny changes. I would choose something from that brand at half of that price to audition. IME there are very audible differences in speaker wire depending on the amp/speaker interaction.



Listen to your dealer, especially if he/she will allow a no obligation home demo.


Those who say cables/wires make no difference just haven’t experienced a meaningful difference in their system or they can’t understand why a specific cable might make a difference so they deny it without trying. Doesn’t much matter to me why.


It may because their setup didn’t need the help, couldn’t exploit the help or that cables truly make no difference. It also depends on the electronics, the length of cables, etc, etc. Blanket statements are frequently incorrect be they from the evangelist or the atheist. Try for yourself because there are alot of factors at play. Your room, your power, your electronics, your speakers, your preferences tonally...don’t be afraid to try and if you don’t hear a meaningful improvement, it doesn’t mean that cables don’t make a difference, it just means you don’t need what that particular brand/model brings to the table. BUT, if someone is telling you that cables don’t make a difference for your system they are incorrect and have an agenda, pro or con. It defies logic that they are denying what you may or may not be experiencing in your room with your gear.

My dealer suggested I USE REDWOOD cables. 

I bet he did, because he's an entirely disinterested party.  Quality cables do make a difference, but there's a law of diminishing returns.  You don't need to spend anything like that much to achieve complete satisfaction.  Take a look at Zavfino and Inakustik.

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I am going to pass on my dealers suggest to purchase their 10ft AQ Redwood cable pr., since they are much too long for my purpose. My speakers spread  'center to center' is 7.5ft, so space available give or take is just 6.5 ft. (78") to place MC611 mono amps and rack with preamp C2700, Niagara 5000, HIFI Rose 150, MEN220 room adjustment and MCD600 or MCD12000 SACD/CD player.  So i suspect I only need 1m or 1.5 m speaker cable with a single 4 level rack will be tight. I may have to spread the speaker a foot more. They also want to replace all the equipment power cords with AQ products. 

What cables are you currently utilizing and what are you trying to achieve/address/solve? The additional information you just provided is helpful as would any room/tonal preferences or challenges you may be experiencing.

I am a firm believer at establishing a base level for speaker comparison purposes.  I suggest purchasing a pair of Canare 4S11 speaker cable from Blue Jeans Cable or the vendor of your choice.  This "star quad" cable is made in Japan and a 6-foot pair with the termination of your choice is only $90 plus shipping from Blue Jeans.

You won't be the only audiophile on this site using them, and not just for their low cost.

The only way to know is by trying different speaker cables in your system, in your home. That is the only way to know for sure which is best--for you. Either ask your dealer to lend you a 3-4 different AQs (or other brands/versions)--or go through The Cable Co. I just did this for power cables (for amps) and what I chose was not what I went in thinking would be best--for my ears/system. It's more work but it will be worth it in the end.

@jetter +1. The smartest way to play with cables.

The 4s11, 4s8 by canare are affordable references. 

Before you invest for an expensive cable connect a cheap cable to do the job. Usually dealer can install a standard cable for free after a big purchase. After that start auditioning some used high end cables if you think they sound better. Always buy a used high end cable, prices are dramatically less when you buy them used. If it doesn’t make a significant difference, try another one at another price range. Have playlist with detailed jazz songs, try same list on two different cables.

"drbay" great advise, I will ask the Dealer to supply both the 10ft demo cable and any others they have. Thx

I have B&W 800d3 also but with AQ Wildwood speaker cables, very similar to the Redwoods.  I’m pretty sure you will like the Redwoods. 

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I ordered the MAC MC611 monoblock amps and C12000 (12000c & 12000st) two box preamp and already own 800d3 Speakers. I will work towards purchase of equipment than set down for cable selection. But I have time to research opionions in the mean time. .

Your dealer offering demo Redwood for $6k is far closer to a kick in the teeth than a favor. That model has been discontinued for at least a couple years, and is now highly depreciated on the used markets. The model above it, Wildwood (also long discontinued), is significantly better in ever way (twice the silver content, much better sound) and 6K is still way too much even for THAT model. 8ft Wildwood have gone used as low as low 2K recently. Dealer seems like he wants to offload old stuff on you for premium prices. 

Five months later and I finally finished gathering my equipment, as mentioned above: Speaker-B&W 800D3, McIntosh MC611 pair, Mcintosh ref. preamp 12000C/ST, McIntosh MEN220 room conditioner, AudioQuest Niagara 5,000 AC conditioner, HIFI Rose 150B streamer, setting on Solid Steel Hyperspike series stands. Cable lengths for equipment and speakers 1m. My dealer has agreed to provide a few of AQ speaker cables and IC to try with this system. We may do this before we add 4x Auralex 2"x4'x2' panels behind the listening couch since our room ceilings are high and the room echo's. It has been a full year in preparation and affording the expense. Now to chose cables. Any general suggestions on Silver vs Copper, which cable placements will most likely make a difference as well as if I should replace the AC cables on any of the equipment (of course the Niagara  does not come with a power cable. Thats everything so far.  

Any general suggestions on Silver vs Copper, which cable placements will most likely make a difference as well as if I should replace the AC cables on any of the equipment (of course the Niagara  does not come with a power cable. Thats everything so far.  

My experience, many AQ models over many years:

  • Silver is better - usually gives a good bit more detail without getting too bright. But the "bigger" silver models are usually better, as the entry level models can often be a little lean / lightweight and sterile by comparison. 
  • Silver is worth it when you're searching for good deals on USED cables. However it's hard to justify their current "new" silver prices. In that case I'd say copper is more than good enough; use the saved money for other upgrades. 
  • I found the best improvement from Hurricane PC's is on power amps. But I still really like the old NRG-1000 cords. I'm also quite happy with NRG-1000 type cords on all my source and preamp equipment.
  • Speaker cables are #1 importance, then PC's on amps (and maybe Niagara) #2, then ICs and source PC's #3. 
  • There are often great used deals on older AQ models but the lines are VERY confusing at first and you have to watch out for counterfeits - especially on certain models: Sky, K2, WEL Signature anything. And all the new stuff :( 

It appears AQ has not mailed the cables to my local audio shop, so in the interim I have created a list of possibilities using AQ cables without auditioning.

Speaker cables (3Ft-3.5Ft): WIlliam Tell (silver) combo, Thunderbird Bi-combo, Firebird Bi-combo.

Interconnects: 3-sets of Black Beauty XLR (1m).

Thunder AC plug (1x) for Niagara 5000.

Not cheep but would like your opinions especially if you have auditioned these cables. 



I have a pair of MC611s fed by the C2700. I'm using AQ Hurricane PCs, and AQ Tbird interconnects. To my ears, the cables just reinforce the MAC sound. Incredible bass and mid-bass and a liquid midrange. The highs are not as precise but typical of MAC sound. My wheelhouse is from midrange down, and highs are not important to me. I plan to experiment with Firebird IC to see what it would do for the highs. 

I would suggest upgrading PC to at least hurricane (which is the best value in AQ''s line). You are very performance-light on IC's (the Tbird is the sweet spot there). You have a reference preamp, and it should be treated that way. I can't offer speaker cable advice since that is my next journey.

I have been listening to the AQ Firebird-combo speaker cables in my McIntosh System for over a month now and am very pleased with fast deep lows and crisp detailed midrange/ highs. To my surprise swopping out these cables with AQ William Tell (silver) combo cables in my All McIntosh System they sounded as goos as the more expensive FB's cables. 

In my system, a 4ft pair of WT's will cost me 6.5k (with discount) vs. a 4ft pair of FB's combo for 15.4K, "there just wasn't enough difference". Both Cables worked great and I would recommend them both. For my Ears in my system and room conditions, "Silver was the way to go". I would liked to have heard the AQ Dragon-combo speaker cables in my system but $$ was prohibited for my budget and keeping the peace with my wife. 

Start with Audioquest Rocket 88, they are the best bang for the buck Audioquest cable. You can usually find a nice used pair for much less than a thousand dollars. 

Paying six grand for speaker cables is just ridiculous. 

I compared AQ Firebird speaker cable combo with AQ William Tell (Silver) speaker combo in my system.  IMO and my representative opinion, there was very little difference when streaming HD music. Considering the FB cables are over 6 times the price of the WT, we decided the WT were the way to go. I also discovered using spades at each end to connect to Mac mono-blocks and B&W 800D speakers provided a stronger connection (the banana plugs pulled loose, due to the weight of the FB combo).  

AQ Rocket series of cables are great high gauge cables. Mac amps benefit from them. Rocket 44 cables would be my choice as I'm not crazy enough to spend one stratospheric priced cables.

The Rocket 88 is a very good cable that represents a "sweet spot" of sorts for price-to-performance. Even on a modest system, I heard a big upgrade from 88 over Rocket 44 (both single biwire configuration, both modern versions, to be sure -- since Rocket production goes back many years). It's a good cable you can stick in any system in need of a good cable, and get good performance.

Above the 88 is where it gets tricky - system & preference matching becomes key. I've had my share or exotic older AQ silver cables (KE-4, Kilimanjaro x2, Everest x2, Wildwood x2, Thunderbird Zero). Sometimes, in some systems, the silver cables simply run away from 88's, revealing a large chasm of difference in detail and dynamics. Other times the 88's hold their own quite well; their natural warmth can actually be quite seductive. The Thunderbird Zero didn't do it for me -- I think, as they say, these really need to be the biwire version to show off. I wouldn't recommend just using the Zero as I did. AQ recommends William Tell bi-wire over Thunderbird Zero alone, and I believe them. 

Better off changing a few capacitors and resistors as cables can vary depending on your components especially if you buy and sell them at various times.

I compared AQ Firebird speaker cable combo with AQ William Tell (Silver) speaker combo ...

Nice to know.  My next speaker cable change/upgrade will be from copper to silver like my interconnects, so I was debating between these same 2 cables models.  Probably go for the AQ Dragon or VooDoo PC upgrades someday also.  The AQ Dragon speaker cables, not within wallet reach but there are other toys...

I decided to hold off on 4ft speaker cables because the AQ WT silver combo including 20% discount new, will run me $6598.92, a bit too much right now.

Please note: During our two month loaner trial on a pair of AQ 10ft Firebird Combo (I only needed a 4ft length).When my rep. returned the cables, they were informed one of the pair plastic termination caps (where the termination divides into 4-connections) was "scuffed" and they wanted my rep. to pay for this. I don't know how it turned out but what a surprise for what was suppose to be a "loaner cable" (keep in mind they sent their second most expensive cable especially at this length) and I assume "New". Bad experience for my AQ Authorized Representative. 

So, you were looking at cables over $10K, jacked up a loaner set that you had for 2 months, and now balk at $6k? I feel sorry for your rep and dealer. 

Some advice that someone should have given you already: your overall system would benefit a lot more from better speakers and amps than it would cables. Just recently I had your same setup, and it’s “meh”. You’d be MUCH better off investing that money into better components. Given how narrow you have them placed, 800s are far too big if you don’t have more room for them anyway. Go for higher quality smaller speakers and a sub. There’s a set of MBL120s and a MBL amp on Audiogon that would mop the floor with your B&Ws. 

Buying used you get what no one else wants. Read reviews, then search for used. Look for good reviews of cables rarely available for sale used. This indicates they actually work.

People keep the good stuff, sell the junk. Think about it.

You may laugh, but after over a year in purchasing equipment and demoing AQ cables, I finally ordered AQ William Tell (Silver) biwire combo with U-spades on each end. I hope to receive them by Christmas and spend some time lessoning to some favorite tunes. I am considering some of the recommendations provided in this thread, as well as others in this forum, adding PCs and upgrading ICs. Wish me luck, and please continue to provide your recommendations.



“ …. Go buy some counterfeit cables. Hell they all are the same.…”

NOT SO …, Rather, counterfeit fake cables are usually crap builds,


Go check out the OEM CARDAS and NORDOST quality cables versus fake crap build quality fakes explained . It’s graphic. .

OEM CARDAS quality versus illegal fake crap build are vividly compared in the pic ….. Does anybody still think these illegal counterfeit fakes are “OEM knockoffs”“ in terms of same design and same parts and same build quality?

Fake Cables Discovery 1 - counterfeit Nordost

Nordost’s roots were in the Military, Medical and Aerospace industries. It gives the company access to the most advanced materials technologies known to man. Ever since the launch of the first audio products in the early 1990s, Nordost has always insisted on the highest quality, extruded FEP for use in cables’ dielectric and jacketing. FEP has many advantages; primarily, it is the most consistent and best performing dielectric material available, with the exception of air; which is where micro mono-filament technology comes in. The micro mono-filament technology is a process developed by Nordost to reduce the effect of the insulation material. It uses a thread of FEP which is helically wound over each highly polished conductor. A precision FEP jacket is then extruded over the thread and the conductor. A number of proprietory methods are used in this difficult and extremely precise manufacturing technique.

Now that we understand the construction of a genuine Nordost cable, it’s simply not easy to make. We can see that counterfeit cables DO NOT have the technology and manufacturing technique, and it is very costly to duplicate the same construction. Therefore, the counterfeit cable can only duplicate its appearance.

Couple things we can notice on these counterfeit Nordost cables:

- Fake Nordost uses cheap and rubbish rubber /PVC insulator.
- They don’t have the manufacturing technique for proper twisting; instead they need an inner wire for the twist.
- They have poor printing; sometimes misspellings. They also don’t have serial number, and often no box.
- They have poor soldering points, and also counterfeit connectors.
- The counterfeit can’t twist conductor like Nordost, they have to use inner wire (Pic 4)

Counterfeit cable has poor printing, and often in time, misspelling (Pic 3)

This counterfeit Valhalla power cord even comes with fake Wattgate plugs. (Pic 2)

See YouTube [Fake ODIN2 dissected vs the OEM ]

Hence, do they still think the fakes going to sound anywhere marginally decent or anywhere close to the OEM?



Your dealer is probably right that his recommendation sound better.
BUT …and it’s a big “but”…. The part he is leaving out is your independent personal assessment of the price Vs value matrix . In simple terms…. Yeah I guess they are “better” ,,,, but maybe not enough to warrant spending a lot more than lesser budget options.




I admit, I skipped to the end so I could post this link.


I for one do not buy into the snake oil. I'm not going to drink the Kool-Aid, as it were. My humble opinion of course. I did go for Audioquest cable, but at the entry point level more or less. I do recall when I first did this, replacing the el cheap-o speaker wire with Audioquest Type 4, I could not hear a difference. {my wallet had more of a hollow ring to it though}  Same with interconnects. Standard Big Box store RCA or Audioquest, I hear no improvement. Will multi thousand dollar testing equipment detect a difference? Most likely. But human ears? Nope! I bought them because they may be physically stronger and last longer.....and most importantly, they look nice.


During my speaker audition using the SA30 integrated, they first had William Tell Silver's hooked up. As I wanted something closer to what I use he swapped them down to something in the Rocket level. No, sorry. I heard no change.

When I picked up my new speakers yesterday I was offered to upgrade my wires from the Type 4 to "at least the Type 9" I politely declined. 

Just my two cents worth. But don't take my word for it. Google is your friend.

“ …. Go buy some counterfeit cables. Hell they all are the same.…”

NOT SO …, Rather, counterfeit fake cables are usually crap builds,

Sadly I had my brain turned off, and inadvertently bought some counterfeit AQ King Cobra cables off ebay. They’re not super expensive cables, and I didn’t consider they might be counterfeits. I’m well familiar with higher end counterfeits on higher end AQ models, and have successfully avoided those to date.

Anyways, these counterfeit KC cables superficially look like the real thing (I own genuine pairs as well) - packaging, cables, connectors. However, the termination quality was truly awful. The metal XLR connectors fit together very poorly, and nothing was secured properly. Strain-relief nonexistent. No way I was putting that crap in any of my systems to test.

I can’t get on board with knowingly buying this Chinese knock-off garbage. They are NOT the same as genuine articles.