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.  

128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xtattooedtrackman

Thanks Tattooedtrackman. It's very useful to have your listening impressions versus your previous cables. It's always useful when people provide a comparative perspective.

Over the past 25 years, I’ve owned several different high end XLR interconnects, from several different manufacturers. About three years ago, I switched from another brand to a pair of Audioquest Earth interconnects, and they were just wonderful from top to bottom. About a year later, I got the itch to upgrade to the AQ Pegasus. Now, the Pegasus were so absolutely impressive and amazing in my system, they could’ve very well been my end-game interconnects for the long haul. That’s how brilliant the Pegasus sounded and synergized in my audio system. The AQ Pegasus had that "it factor" in my audio system. However, as great as the Pegasus sounded in my system, and, I mean great, the next level up in the line, the Thunderbird, was hauntingly calling my name. So, I just recently ordered the Thunderbird XLRs, which were at the absolute outer edge of my humble budget. I’m currently anxiously awaiting the Thunderbirds arrival. I strongly believe that the Thunderbirds will finally take me off the interconnect merry-go-round, and will ultimately become my "end-game" interconnects. However, and I mean this very sincerely, I could’ve been very much happy and satisfied with the absolutely incredible sounding Pegasus interconnects, which totally blew me away, and were even somewhat difficult for me to part ways with.  So, I can only imagine how great the upgrade to the AQ Thunderbird interconnects will sound in my system. Yes, I have fallen deeply and madly in love with AQ upper tier interconnects. Happy listening.


Jeff Smith of Silversmith Audio (and Fidelium Speaker Cable fame) recently came out with some XLR ICs--i bought a pair of them 12' in length for around $1700--they are top notch--i still don't see them on his site but contact him. I was buying speaker cables from him when he mentioned them. His cables are supreme value for quality.

@kennymacc  I totally believe what said about AQ ICs.  I have been looking for 2 pairs of Thunderbird ICs.  1m and 2m. I wish I could have afforded the Dragons but right now they are totally outta my price range. I’ve read a lot of fantastic reviews of the Thunderbird ICs and also really feel that they would totally be the end game for me as well. Right now I’m lookin for them used for about 3 weeks so far and nada. Did u buy yours brand new from AQ ? And do u still have the Pegasus? Would u be selling them when u get the Tbirds ? Also I would love to hear your impressions of them vs the Pegasus. Net ya can’t wait for the Tbirds to arrive!! Happy listening!!!! 

@tattooedtrackman I’m happy that the Pegasus interconnects have already sold (they sold very quickly). Also, I don’t even think about the ultra expensive cables like Firebird or Dragon, because, for me, they’re so far outside of the realm of affordability. But, it’s ok the dream. Besides, no need to spend that much, as reference quality sound can be achieved by much less expensive cables than Dragon or Firebird, such as Pegasus, IMHO, and Thunderbird. The Dragons and Firebirds of the world were created strictly for those who’s pockets are much deeper than mine. Comparatively, I may be able to afford a nice Mercedes, but Rolls Royce is simply out of the question, Lol. I was extremely fortunate and to stumble upon a brand new pair of Thunderbird XLR, .75m, at a substantial discount. I got lucky on this one.  Also, thank goodness for the good old internet, on-line, used market. Yes, I’m extremely excited, and look very much forward to the arrival of the AQ Thunderbird interconnects. I’ll be sure and post my thoughts on the Thunderbird after I get a chance to get them fully burnt-in. Happy listening.