Monday, June 3, 2013

Crimson Loudspeaker Cable Tops Ten-Brand Cable Shootout!

"...when we did the evaluation a second time, the results were identical!"

On Saturday, March 17, 2012, the San Antonio, Texas-based River City Audio Society embarked on the arduous task of a ten-brand loudspeaker cable shootout. Here's the post from RCAS' John Shurman about the shootout:

Hello RCAS! The meeting this past Saturday was one of the best. Superb. When I first discussed this concept with Bob, I expressed my concern that this wild idea could end up being a giant logistical, tabulation and formatting nightmare. As I needed someone to format and make the actual forms, I finally figured out what grand-kiddos are good for; I pulled them away from my refrigerator and big-screen TV and put them to work hand-making the tabulation forms, cutting the chipboard to use as clipboards and asked them to round up the zillion pens we would need. After they ran screaming from the house, I realized that I still needed to work out how to get all of the results together and display them on the wall for all to see. Because I have honorary stock in the Post-It company, they provided the giant Post-It which I stuck to the wall. As you can see from one of the posted pics, I was having a heck of a time reading the numbers on the forms. Between my bad eyes and all the RCAS members who must be doctors (judging by their handwriting) I was struggling.

Jesting aside, here is the list of hardware used and the results which we came up with. Definitely open to interpretations and opinions from all, but in whole, it was truly enjoyable and produced some intriguing results which should produce further discussions.


  1. Speakers: Mark and Daniel Maximus Mini Monitors (provided by Luther).
  2. Amplifier: Final Labs Music 3, a 35 wpc tube amp with EL-34 tubes (provided by Luther).
  3. Front End: Oppo BDP-93 in conjunction with an external HDD with data in FLAC format transmitting via USB (provided by Don).
  4. Magnificent custom blind test cover (provided by Luther).

Speaker Cable Test Results (MSRP figures are with terminations and estimated labor for the DIYs):

  1. Crimson Loudspeaker Cable: $600 (United Kingdom) provided by Austin Hifi, Austin, Texas (Creston Funk & Mark Heaston)
  2. Analysis Plus Oval 12: $230 (United States) from Audio Systems, Austin, Texas (Mark Lyon)
  3. (tie) Nordost Red Dawn: $1000 (United States) (this version is now discontinued) -AND- Monster Cable 13 AWG (United States)
  4. (tie) Naim NACA4: $350 (United Kingdom) -AND- 20 AWG DIY by Joe: $200 (cable stock from
  5. Cardas Golden: $2200 (United States) provided by Galen Carol, San Antonio, Texas
  6. Goertz Silver Alpha: $1000 (United States)
  7. IXOS 806 11 AWG: $100 (United Kingdom)
  8. Belden 10 AWG DIY: $75 (United States)

(Note that there are only eight places because third and fourth place were ties!)

The aspect which some members have already touched upon in previous messages that surprised me the most is that when we did the evaluation a second time, the results were identical. Unscientific, but yet maybe something was going on?

I can't wait to dig into this even further within the mini-meets!

Happy Listening, John Schurman, River City Audio Society

Thanks to John and everyone at River City Audio Society for allowing us to publish this!

We encourage you to have a cable shootout of your own: You can request a demo from any of our fantastic Crimson Audio Cable Dealers or email us at For prices and a dealer list see our Crimson Audio Cables webpage.