Stereophile’s Favorite System at AXPONA & LA Audio Show

ANTICABLES recently teamed up in two separate listening rooms at both AXPONA 17 and at LAAS 17. This newsletter will highlight one of those two teams, and we will cover our other room with Spatial Audio and Vinnie Rossi in an upcoming newsletter.

We would like to thank Jana for her kind words and are honored to be part of the system she declared her, “favorite of the whole show.” It is amazing how good reasonable priced components can sound, when highly dynamic, resolving, neutral, and transparent cabling is used.

Paul Speltz
Founder, ANTICABLES

AXPONA 2017

  ANTICABLES  /  Well Pleased AV  /  Rethm Speakers  /  Room 504

“Throughout the entire show weekend, I had encountered many sonically and aesthetically pleasing rooms—with prices ranging from the affordable to the aspirational—that would have satisfied me for years on end. But this…   this was something else. In the moment, and in thoughtful retrospect, this system was my favorite of the whole show.”


LAAS 2017

ANTICABLES  /  Well Pleased AV  /  Rethm Speakers  /  Room 304

“And we’re back to the Well Pleased Audio Vida room that I raved about upon hearing first at Axpona just a month ago. I was overjoyed to see the Rethm Bhaava speakers ($3750) again, paired with a Qualiton A20i integrated amplifier ($4500), an Aqua La Scala Mk II Optologic DAC ($7000), and an Innuos Zenith Mk II server ($3400) with ANTICABLES throughout.”

“The soundstage was as I remembered: out of body, room filling, and seamless through the frequencies. I left the room pleased that my sonic impressions had not changed”


Shop the System
If you would like to get your system closer sounding to one of Stereophile’s favorites, here is a list of the ICs, Speaker Wires, and Power Cords used: 
 

Meet us at AXPONA 2017 April 21-23 in Chicago Illinois U.S.A.

paulchuckThis will be our second year showing at at AXPONA, and we are excited to meet our customers!  Stop by our booth in the Marketplace to meet Paul Speltz (Founder, ANTICABLES) and Chuck Bottemiller (Engineer, ANTICABLES). After chatting with us in the Marketplace, we encourage you to head up to listening rooms 504 and 634 (as described below).

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Paul Speltz
Founder, ANTICABLES

 

LISTENING ROOM 504

You can hear a system totally decked-out with ANTICABLES wires in this demo room. We will be teamed up with Mark Sossa of Well Pleased AV who will be demonstrating a very unique system featuring these imported products:

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 8.30.00 AM Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 8.30.11 AM

The room will be wired with ANTICABLES

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LISTENING ROOM 634

This is the Lampizator demo room which will be featuring the world premier of Spatial Audio’s new M3 Triode Master 16 ohm speaker. As an owner of multiple Atma-Sphere OTL amplifiers, I am thrilled with Clayton Shaw’s decision to go “high impedance”.

The Triod Master’s 16 ohm load, smooth phase response, and 95dB@1w/1m efficiency is a dream load for any tube amp or low power SS amplifier.

Learn more HERE

ANTICABLES customers receive special pricing on these new speakers.

Contact Paul Speltz for details.
paul@anticables.com
651-735-0534

 

ANTICABLES now a Premier Dealer for Alta Audio

alta1I am proud to announce that ANTICABLES has just become a Premier Dealer for New York based Alta Audio and the first to have a pair of their new $32,000 Titanium Hestia speakers for audiophiles to audition (by appointment only).

Listening to the Titaniums in the Alta / Krell / ANTICABLES listening room at the NY Audio Show for three days cause a paradigm shift for me. When I returned home to Minnesota, I started working with Michael Levy of Alta Audio to be able to offer these fine speakers to our customers. This goal was achieved and the Midwest’s only demo pair of Titanium Hestia speakers is now available for audition.

alta2There are three very common problems that audiophiles struggle with in their systems: Not having enough bottom end to give the music a solid foundation to ride on, not being able to get adequate 3D imaging & depth in the soundstage, and getting listening fatigue, which has them turning the music down or off all together. Any audiophile that struggles with any of these issues, I think will enjoy these speakers.

Anyone that is interested in hearing the Hestia Titaniums for themselves, and are willing to hike, drive, or fly to the St. Paul side of the Twin Cities, should contact me directly to set up a listening session (and special discount pricing): paul@anticables.com
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Paul Speltz
Founder & President, ANTICABLES

POSITIVE FEEDBACK GIVES POSITIVE REVIEW

usbReviewer Dave Clark of Positive Feedback said:

The ANTICABLES (USB Cord) is open and dynamic, clean and articulate. The music comes through with a wonderful sense of flow. It does tend to be a bit more robust and perhaps darker through the midrange than others here in house, though I feel that might be related more to the bass presentation being big and ballsy (or perhaps the use of gold).”

“You get all the little things—air and ambiance—and lots of the bigger things, like atmosphere and space. Lots of separation and “thereness”. The high end is all there though perhaps the overall presentation is a wee bit more forward in relation to the speakers when compared to other USB cables here in house… though I guess one could argue that perhaps those are a wee bit laid-back? Even so, the ANTICABLES USB was never fatiguing or over the top. Stellar soundstage too.”

“The ANTICABLES USB is highly recommended. Sweet indeed… I found myself listening more to the music than what the cable was doing to the music. Which is what it is all about anyways.”

You can read the entire review here: Positive Feedback / Issue 89

$50 OFF Level 3.1 USB Digital Interconnects
When you place your order online now through March 31.
Enter this coupon code when checking out:
USB5ZERO

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ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC: Willie Dixon Tribute


Every so often Todd Parks Mohr, frontman for Big Head Todd and the Monsters, breaks free from his music to celebrate legends.

todd

Todd Parks Mohr (right) and Ronnie Baker Brooks

I had the good fortune to see him and his band team up with some remarkable musicians, Mud Morganfield (Muddy Waters son), Billy Branch, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Erica Brown (who joined the group as their backup singer and power house), to sing songs from Willie Dixon.

One of the remarkable things about this concert was its venue, a small renovated theater, something out of the Vaudevillian days, in downtown Red Wing, Minnesota. Red Wing is a small Mississippi river town that I’m sure no one outside of Minnesota would have hear of, but regardless, it was perfect for an intimate night with Todd and his friends.

As always, I’m very easily “blown away” by live music, not just any live music, but music of soul shaking proportions, and this was surely a night to remember.

Erica Brown only came out twice, which was a shame, because she had some “pipes” in her, holy god…..it was living the Maxell tap commercial, fantastic.

The rest of the boys shared the spotlight singing their renditions of Willie’s master pieces, but what was surprising to me, though maybe not to you, was “You need Love” which Mud sang….Led Zeppelin has also covered it pretty famously.

One of the highlights was the up close and personal moment each singer spoke about, their introduction to the blues, meeting Willie, and how the Blues changed their lives. Mud spoke of his father Muddy and the day Prince showed up in a long Limousine, or Todd’s first meeting with Ronnie Baker Brown 20 yrs ago.

Billy Branch, Erica Brown, and Mud Morganfield

Billy Branch, Erica Brown, and Mud Morganfield

Paul and I have followed Big Head Todd since their debut album back in the 80’s. They remain one of our favorite bands to see live, showing us music is timeless, and uniting.

ANTICABLES named Product of the Year by Audiophilia!

audiophilia-product-year-smallWe are proud to announce that Audiophilia.com named our new Level 5 Signature Speaker wires as Product of the Year!

The Audiophilia writers listed their choices, including many as “runner up”, “special mention” and “honorable mention”, but if you scroll to the bottom of their Product of the Year lineup, you will see that Martin Appel chose our Level 5 Signature Speaker wires as the Product of the Year.

level-5-signature-awardsThe Level 5 Signature Speaker Wires were originally reviewed by Mr. Appel last September. You can read the entire review HERE, or if you want a quick read of the highlights, here are some snippets from that review:

 

“Along with killer imaging it was apparent that detail, resolution and transparency were off the charts and placed these 5 Signatures in rarified air. Instruments were so well defined — at times it was startling. It was as if each instrument had its own envelope of air surrounding it.”
-Martin Appel, Audiophilia

“I must report, to these ears, the 5 Signatures got the musical timbres of instruments as correctly as I’ve ever heard. I think the combination of characteristics also contribute the fact that the leading edge of notes or transient attack is accomplished without sounding edgy or hard and still produces a full, three dimensional image that is smooth and texturally complete. This is so difficult to achieve that one usually suffers at the expense of the other.”
-Martin Appel, Audiophilia

ANTICABLES would like to thank both Mr. Appel and Editor Anthony Kershaw for their efforts and the recognition we have received from their fine publication.

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Paul Speltz
Founder & President, ANTICABLES

 

Shop Level 5 Signature Speaker Wires

Announcing NEW Level 2.1 & Level 3.1 Speaker Wires and Jumpers

ANTICABLES would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy new year, and with the new year comes a new version our longest loved product line:

Level 2 and Level 3 Speaker Wires and Jumpers have been improved and are now called Level 2.1 and Level 3.1 Speaker Wires and Jumpers.

To help you celebrate the new year, through the month of January you can buy the new speaker wire and jumpers before the price increases on February 1.

Here is how the improvement came about.

Material Scientist Dr. Douglas StaufferAfter observing some batch-to-batch sonic inconsistencies with our #12 gauge wire, and accumulating reels of wire I was not willing to use in product, I launched a research project to find the assignable cause of the inconsistency.  Material Scientist Dr. Douglas Stauffer and I worked together for 6 months and successfully determined the variable causing the batch-to-batch sonic inconsistencies.  Dr. Stauffer called the variable “Dislocation Density”.

In material science, “dislocation” is a crystallographic defect, or irregularity, within a crystal structure. So “dislocation density” is simply the measure of the number of dislocations in a unit volume of the crystalline material.  Now knowing the variable, I could not-only control the variable, but it enabled us to push that variable as far as possible in the direction needed for even better sound. The goal in our case was to reduce the dislocation density as much as possible.

Dr. Stauffer helped me work with the US facility that draws our high purity oxygen-free copper wire to our specifications, to change the wire drawing process to achieve the lowest dislocation density possible. The new process was achieved and the sonic outcome was well beyond what was expected. This new #12 gauge Reduced Dislocation Density (RDD) wire is so good sounding that a new pair of Level 2.1 Speaker Wires sounds better than a fully run-in pair of the previous Level 3 Speaker Wires. Yes, Level 2.1 actually leapfrogged the more expensive Level 3 in these ways: a sense of increased volume, midrange sounds more real, less grain noise, the highs are much smoother (like driving on a newly blacktopped road), more bass and better bass articulation, more exciting and involving.

Even though the new RDD™ wire will cause an upcoming price increase, since the new better sounding Level 2.1 will still cost significantly less that the old Level 3 Speaker Wires, this is yet another example of how ANTICABLES continually strives to offer better sounding products at lower prices. 

With two of the new RDD wires (Level 2.1) out performing four of the old wires (Level 3), the next question is what would four of the new RDD wires bring to the table? Doubling-up the new wire still proved quite beneficial, and will be available as Level 3.1, which when compared to the new Level 2.1 provides: an even greater sense of increased volume, livelier, more harmonic structure through the midrange, an increased clarity of downward dynamics (hear deeper into the recording), instruments sounding more presence in space, and additional bass weight, body and definition.

If you recently purchased a pair of our speaker wires, I have extraordinary news for you. The above research project ran from January to July of last year and we have been making and shipping all speaker wires orders since Aug 1st with the new Reduced Dislocation Density (RDD) wire.  So, if you placed your order as far back as Aug 1st, you already got the sweetheart deal of getting the new RDD wire at the old price.

If you are unsure if you bought your speaker wires before or after Aug 1st, just look at the wires as they come up to the speakers. If there is a piece of red shrink tubing where the wires do a “Y” split, then you have the new RDD wire, and your Level 2 is actually Level 2.1, or your Level 3 is actually Level 3.1.  Enjoy!

If you are considering a new set of speaker wires and/or jumpers, order at anticables.com now through January 31 before the price increases.

Level 2.1 Jumpers 
Current Price: $30/four  // New Price (Feb 1): $35/four

Level 3.1 Jumpers 

Current Price: $90/four  //  New Price (Feb 1): $95/four

Level 2.1 Speaker Wires

Current Price: $6/ft per speaker  // New Price (Feb 1): $8/ft per speaker

Level 3.1 Speaker Wires 

Current Price: $12/ft per speaker  //  New Price (Feb 1): $15/ft per speaker

I would like to publicly thank Dr. Stauffer for his invaluable assistance, Chuck Bottemiller for his help with sonic testing and comparing, and the US wire drawing facility that accommodating our process change.

Paul Speltz
Founder & President, ANTICABLES

ANTICABLES Lab: A History of Improvements

db3ad6a5-a553-4f11-853d-ad5ce5f2f7d4ANTICABLES  Speaker Wires were first introduced in 2003 and were immediately recognized for their sonic merit and value.  They formed a cult-like underground following, and quickly earned seven consecutive “Editors’ Choice” and “Top Products” awards in a row from The Absolute Sound.

Through the years, we constantly look for ways to push for improved audio performance for all our product offerings. Most of the time the improvement comes without a price increase and often times comes without even being announced. We’ve included a historical account of how our speaker wires have evolved.

Looks are Deceiving

Even though our red coated speaker wires still look a lot like they did over a dozen years ago, they are actually quite different and have notable better sonic performance. If you bought your ANTICABLES Speaker Wires years ago, now might be a great time to upgrade to a new pair! The cost of a new pair might yet again be one of the best investments you could make to your audio system.

screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-3-46-46-pm

Speaker Wires Evolution

2006

  • Reduced red coating thickness from 0.002″ down to 0.001″
  • Even lower dielectric effect distortion
  • Shorter break-in time

Fall 2007

  • Created our own better sounding solid copper spade
  • Greater clarity
  • Fits both 1/4″ and 5/16″ binding posts

March 2010

  • Started testing, managing, and marking the best sounding wire flow direction
  • Proper directionality provides greater resolution and dynamics
  • Increased pitch definition, more presence, and less smeared highs

Nov 2011

  • Started factory twisting the wire pairs together
  • Keeps inductance low for greater ambient information and tighter bass
  • Nicer looking and easier to manage
  • Started using even higher purity copper (down to only 5 parts per million impurities)
  • Smoother and more extended highs and greater harmonic textures through the midrange
  • These two changes marked the point in which they were now called the Level 2 Speaker Wires
  • The price was increased by $1 per foot per speaker, and the “original” version was discontinued.

Feb 2012

  • Went from a generic gold plated brass banana plug to our own gold plated 90% copper alloy BFA style banana plug
  • Brass is simply not a good sounding metal (the sound gets “hard” when the music gets complicated)
  • Sound is now about half way between the old bananas and our best sounding solid copper spades

 Aug 2012

  • Developed an even better sounding banana plug that is made out of a gold plated 99% Copper alloy called Beryllium Copper
  • The sound is now only one small tick away from our 100% solid copper spades.

Nov 2012

  • Introduced the Level 3 series, which is simply a doubled-up build of the Level 2 series
  • Provides additional bass weight and authority
  • Greater musical dynamic impact that makes the music sound more alive
  • Greater harmonic structure through the midrange

Feb 2013

  • Increased the copper purity of our solid copper spades
  • Slightly better resolution

Jan 2014

  • Changed the wire drawing process to a new facility (still in the USA)
  • Improved bass and a smoother top end

Aug 2016

Many thanks from ANTICABLES

ANTICABLES would like to give immense thanks to our customers, for their continued loyalty.

Judy and I would also like to give an extended thanks to our ANTICABLES team who deliver outstanding service and quality products:

  • Thaine, who hand builds all of our analog and digital interconnects.
  • Mike hand-assembles all our power cords, and who recently has also taken on many of our office coordinator tasks.
  • Scott, helps with shipping and building power cords.
  • Ryan, our newest employee (since August) hand assembles all of our jumpers and speaker wires.
  • Thomas, steps in to help with special projects including working at and preparing for trade shows.
  • Lauren & Dan, who help with marketing, including these monthly newsletters.
  • Chuck & Doug , who help with new product development and continued quality control.
  • Dave at Cryo-Parts who cryo treats all our terminations and top-level products.

 


Paul Speltz, Founder & President; ANTICABLES
Judy, Thomas, Mike, Thaine, Ryan, Scott, Chuck, Doug, Dave, Dan & Lauren

Report: New York Audio Show

Image Credit: Audiophilia

Image Credit: Audiophilia

Images courtsey of Karl Sigman of Audiophilia.com

I was humbled when invited to join with Alta Audio and Krell Audio to share a demo room a the New York Audio Show earlier this month.

Micheal Levy of Alta Audio debuted his new $27,000/pr Hestia Titanium loudspeakers. Michael is a highly skilled speaker designer – I have to say, the Alta Audio Hestia Titanium speakers are some of the best sounding speakers I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. They continually sounded more like real instruments and less like speakers, than any other speakers I have ever heard.

It was a treat to team up with Krell Audio as well. Krell is now back in the hands of co-founder Rondi D’Agostino, who I am sure will direct the company with a “love of music” perspective. Also from Krell was Dave Goodman, who is their chief designer and has been with the company for decades.

Reviewer Karl Sigman of Audiophilia.com declared our room as his “favorite sounding room” of the entire NY Audio Show. Karl stated, “the sound-stage was huge and focused (nothing amorphous) with pinpoint accuracy of imaging, voices had the singer way up high smack in the center and there was amazing bass and detailed tonal accuracy”.  You can read Karl’s entire show report here.

Adding up the total equipment cost in our demo room well exceeded six figures, which is a first for ANTICABLES at an audio show.  We are proud that our products are recognized to be good enough to be a part of such an elite team.
The room consisted of:

Listening to other rooms at the show, I cold tell our full loom of ANTICABLES wires had a significant contribution to the success of our great sound.

I look forward to teaming up with both Krell and Alta Audio at future audio shows!

Paul Speltz (President & Founder, ANTICABLES)