Help with XLR ICs.

Ok gang. So here’s my situation. I’m looking to upgrade my XLR ICs. I’ve been using Straightwire Crescendo XLR ICs for many years now. I originally bought them for my first system I put together about 10 years ago. Since then I have totally upgraded my whole system including PCs which are 4 Audioquest Dragons (2) HC and (2) source. I really did want to go with Audioquest Dragons for my XLR ICs. But the prices for them brand new is to high for me. 2 m xlr are 18k and 1 m are 12k. I was looking for used for a few months now but never ever seen any that were ever for sale used. I also am using Straightwire Crescendo speaker cables which are quad wired. That’s 2 pairs for ea speaker going into ea mono amp. So u can imagine what the AQ Dragon quad wired speaker cables would cost.100k ++ That being said I will be keeping for now my Straightwire Crescendo speaker cables. So back to my original question post. What high end XLR ics would be a lot better than my Straightwire Crescendo XLRs. Budget is about 4k a pair. And will need 2 pairs. 2 m and 1 m. . I really did like the Straightwire Crescendos ICs and speaker cables for their powerful bass as they are also known for. So that being said I would like high end ICs that are known also for extremely good bass. My system consists of ARC Ref 750s mono blocks. ARC Ref 6Se pre. ARC ref 9 CDP. And a McIntosh MQ 112 EQ.  

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You can find top quality pure silver interconnect cables, RCA and XLR at For way less than $4000

Many reviews and user comments.

See what you think.

I appreciate the cables I tried are not at the same price point as the cables you are considering but the conclusion may be something to consider.

I tried some AQ Earth XLR's they were used and a good price so why not, anyway they sounded ok. My son came round to listen to some music with me and after 5 mins he said it sounds a bit flat, not knowing I had the AQ ICs in. I changed them back to my Chord Chorus 2, and straight away we both thought that was more dynamic etc.

Moving on I had bought a pair of used VDH D102 mkIII'S  and out of curiosity I tried them and wow they sounded fantastic, dynamics, scale, detail and tone were all better. I started to research VDH cables and bought a used pair of VDH The Rock, they had the same signature as the D102's but everything was up a notch or 2.

So to the point try some upper end VDH'S and you might be able to save yourself a buck or two.


Make your own cables for wire is wire, just make sure you get some pure copper xlr cable and neutrik xlr connectors or switchcraft both make the best xlr connectors and wire is wire I am an electrician so I know what I am talking about, Mogami gold is one of the best premade wire you can buy but if you make your own it only takes a fraction of the price, do not buy into gimmicks thinking that companies have access to a private material that no one else can get their hands on for that simply isn’t the truth.

I recently upgraded to Morrow and noticed a big difference in the overall sound. From center stage to mid bass and highs. They have a very nice range of price and will offer a fair assement based on your equipment. 

OT but I had Straight Wire Crescendo Speaker cables for 13 years and thought they were great. I upgraded to Townshend F-1 Fractal speaker cables and the difference was astounding. Better in every way. 

I also had Crescendo XLR IC's but changed to Townshend Fractal RCA's. Getting the RCA's at Max Townshend's recommendation. He thought RCA's provided more "pure" music due to less circuitry of the RCA's. Unless you had very long cable runs, he believed that RCA was better.