Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

Your statement that the substitution of the Nordost Blue Heaven speaker cable for the AudioEngine 5+-supplied cable achieved better sound for the entire system somewhat puzzled me. Since the left speaker is directly connected to its built-in amp and then to whatever feeds a signal to the amp, doesn't the Blue Heaven speaker cable only influence the sound of the right speaker and possibly improve it? Wouldn't that result in an imbalance of sound quality between the two speakers?

I own the AudioEngine 5+ and a Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus and would love to better the sound. I did purchase better interconnect cables and a USB cable, but I hesitate getting a better speaker cable based on what seems illogical. Yet you say you got better sound with a single better speaker cable. Any idea why you got better sound? What am I missing here?

Alan Margolies

You are not missing anything, Allen. I tried a run of my Nordost Blue Heaven speaker cable very late in the review process, on a whim more than anything else, so I was surprised to hear such an apparent improvement in sound. My thinking at the time mirrored yours, but I decided to include the results, since the cable change made a dramatic difference. In retrospect, I should have been more diligent in listening for differences in quality between the two speakers. The folks at Audioengine confirmed for me that the quality of the cable connecting the amp to the drivers in the powered left speaker is comparable in quality to the included speaker wire meant to connect the active left speaker to the passive right speaker. Accordingly, I suspect you're right in thinking that my Blue Heaven swap only improved the sound from the right speaker. With that said, however, the sound did not strike me as unbalanced with the Nordost cable in place.

Regardless, I hope you are enjoying your system. I've heard nothing but good things about the DacMagic Plus, and I obviously know firsthand about the qualities of the A5+. . . . Hans Wetzel