To the beginner audiophile, upgrading loudspeaker cable can be a challenging notion. How can two lengths of wire, ostensibly transmitting the same electric signal, possibly sound different? It’s only through direct experience that we learn that no two loudspeaker cable sound alike; and that some sound better than others. Experience that brings many a WTF moment. Our understanding of the science that explains why we’re having these moments often arrives much later.
I liken this process to a child learning long multiplication at school. S/he first learns how to apply the algorithm taught by the teacher. It’s only much later that the child understands what’s going on inside the algorithm and why it works as it does. Most people go through life not knowing how long multiplication works. They simply trust that it does. And that trust comes from past experience.
With zero previous experience, our first steps with long multiplication become the most daunting. And so too with loudspeaker cable changes. The first step up the loudspeaker cable ladder can often be the most challenging.
What to buy to replace phone wire or lamp cord? My own experience tells me that hardware store-bought loudspeaker cable sounds flat and lifeless next to my present choice: AudioQuest’s Rocket 88. Worth it – but it’d be deeply uncool of me be complacent about the €1150 needed for a 3-meter pair. (Rocket 44 and Rocket 33 sell for less).
AudioQuest’s all-new Rocket 11 loudspeaker cable, announced this week, is a more affordable descendent. According to the press release, Rocket 11 uses “Long-Grain Low-Distortion Copper (LGC)”, “Semi-solid true-concentric conductors” and is “Direction controlled for optimum noise dissipation”. Coming off the spool at €15/metre (in either black or white), a 3-metre pair will ring the high street dealer’s cash register at less than a hundred Euros.
Those looking for a little extra performance can opt for the similarly new Rocket 22 loudspeaker (€25/metre) that specifies larger conductors and “a blend of LGC and Perfect-Surface Copper (PSC)” for 20% lower impedance than Rocket 11. A 3-metre pair of Rocket 22 can be yours for €150.
And for those unaccustomed to pushing bare wire into the binding posts found on the back of their amplifier and loudspeakers, AudioQuest offers banana plug and spade lug terminations. Ask your dealer for SureGrip 100 Series or 300 Series.
Further information: AudioQuest