The first official day of 2-channel at CES started in the Venetian on Wednesday morn. It was my second presentation by engineer Garth Powell of AudioQuest in the past few years, which is always a well-spoken and entertaining affair to attend. The subject of today’s coffee talk was two new series of speaker cables named after Folk Heros and Mythical Creatures.
While it’s clear that the debate over cables on the fringes of audiophile comment sections and forums shows no signs of slowing down, it is worth mentioning that most sensible audiophiles don’t jump to either radical edge of the argument with much haste. Spend more on a cable than your transducer? Probably not. Argue tirelessly that there is no way a cable can make a difference without ever actually listening to one? …Time better spent actually listening to music. The reality for us here is that there have been situations with cable manufacturers where a swap made no change, and even some that sounded worse than good ‘ol thin copper, but not at these presentations – not with Garth Powell. There is a confidence to the executions that elude to both tenured experience and predicted outcomes.
Some of Garth’s propositions do outline proper logic after all. Not to undermine the original options of years gone by, but what if times have changed, especially in terms of interference? The last step between amp and speaker has traditionally been woefully under-protected…how much more now races through the air unseen? AudioQuest’s newest response comes in the form of two series starting with three tiers for Mythical Creatures (Thunderbird, FireBird and Dragon) and two for Folk Heros (Robin Hook and William Tell). Each cable is available in full range of bi-wire configurations and starts at around $1.8k for the Robin Hood ZERO and scales all the way to $50k for 8 feet of Dragon ZERO in a BiWire configuration.
Our demo went from original Monster cable to William Tell to Thunderbird to the spicy Dragon cables. Some changes were noticeable, and it made for a very interesting demonstration. Its important to remember that the target here is obviously lucky individuals that already have high-end gear in tow, so expectations through speakers that cost less than the cables connecting them might not see as much of a difference. But against the B&W’s some additional crispness (even some additional acoustic energy or enthusiasm) might be observed for those with an open mind.
When queried for street dates Garth joked that products at AudioQuest aren’t release, they escape. Some of the line up is currently available, but a few more will run from the zoo in the coming weeks. Best check your local dealer and/or the company site for more details as they unfold.