Straight Wire Symphony II Speaker Cables

Symphony II

Interconnect

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
Vasily   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 25, 2013]

I can wholeheartedly agree with a review below written by Kuma. The Straight Wire brand cables are in effect quite the opposite - they modulate the sound, not transmit it purely and directly.
I have used the Symphony II and Flexconnect II in my NAD-Tannoy system, and liked it... for a while. The highs were mellow and pleasing, bass warm and thumpy, the Symph.II has more prominent bass than the Flexconnect.
BUT, and a big but that is..
It's all wrong. The timbre of the instruments is curiously modified. Female voices sound nasal. These cables also mess up the the scene - , and time information. A high hat sounds "sweet" with them, not fast and metallic. There is no impact or PRAT.

Replaced with supermarket HAMA brand (top of their line, blackstream), the music is so different now, my ears need to adjust. But now I hear what's on the record, not in the cable.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
RobertinChico   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 13, 2003]
Strength:

Midrange detail, treble control, bass control, steady sound stage, voices are instantly rendered more accurately without being constricted or distorted.

Weakness:

Nothing to complain about for $50.

I attached these interconnects to my Panasonic DVD player, to be played throught my Toshiba stereo television. The upgrade from OEM cables, yielded an immediate improvement in voice definition, mid-range control, bass presentation and spatial information. The overall soundstage was very real.

Similar Products Used: I was already a Straight Wire fan after having the original Maestros interconnects and speaker cables. I promptly junked my various Monster Cables with their blaring midrange BULGE after finding Strai
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Mike   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 02, 2000]
Strength:

MIDRANGE, PRICE, BUILD QUALITY

Weakness:

NONE SO FAR

I JUST GOT THIS--WOW! RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX IT SOUNDS BETTER THAN THE AUDIOQUEST RUBY I WAS USING TO MY CD PLAYER. WARMER, YET NOT LACKING IN DETAILS. ALSO A WIDER SOUNDSTAGE THAN THE RUBY--AND THE RUBY COST TWICE AS MUCH!
I THINK AFTER TRYING VARIOUS BRANDS, I MAY HAVE FOUND THE BRAND FOR MY SYSTEM AND MY EARS. THIS IS A HECK OF A BARGAIN. MY CURRENT SYSTEM CONSISTS OF: NAD 304 INTEGRATED
AMP(A FINE LITTLE PRODUCT); AMC CD8a CD PLAYER; MISSION 702e
SPEAKERS. ANYONE WITH A REAL WORLD SYSTEM SHOULD GIVE STRAIGHT WIRE A TRY.

Similar Products Used: AUDIOQUEST RUBY AND TOPAZ AND VARIOUS MONSTER CABLES
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jon   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 10, 1999]
Strength:

Tighter bass, more prominent midrange, extremely low cost

Weakness:

None, at least on my system

After researching interconnects for two months, I decided on the Straight Wire Symphony II for my mid-fi system. In fact, Straight Wire's website (http://www.straightwire.com) offers to evaluate your system and recommend interconnects and speaker cables; they suggested the Symphony II. My system:

Receiver: Harmon/Kardon AVR20mkII
CD Player: H/K FL8300
Speakers: Klipsch KSF 8.5, KSF-C5
Speaker Cables: 8' runs of 12 ga. Acoustic Research cable

I ran this interconnect from the CD to the receiver, and it made a noticeable improvement in the presence and quality of bass, midrange, and imaging in this system.

Other Straight Wire reviews on this site have mentioned that these interconnects 'roll off' or diminish the treble that eventually makes it out of the speakers. This is not necessarily undesirable if your speakers tend toward the bright side anyway, as Klipsches do. For my system, the Symphony II is perfect; in fact, Klipsch recommends Straight Wire interconnects and cables for use with many of their speakers.

Using the Symphony IIs, I find that the treble is very realistic, the soundstage is both wider and deeper, and the midrange and bass are lifelike and tight. A somewhat overzealous audio store owner insisted I demo a set of Kimber PBJs, but these made the system EXTREMELY bright and difficult to listen to. I returned the Kimbers and instead purchased a 1.5 m Symphony II for $65. Not a bad deal, considering that most others of this length and quality go for $150+.

For my system, these cables are a great match. They are obviously not for everyone's system, but if you run Klipsch speakers with neutral to slightly warm sources, I would suggest you give these cables a try. Not only are they an incredible value, they sound great!

Similar Products Used: Acoustic Research Interconnects, Kimber PBJ
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 22, 2000]
Strength:

Nice balance, good high end

Weakness:

Bass a bit thin?

If you have followed my reviews of rebuilding my system starting with adding the Velodyne HGS-10, you'll find that when my Outlaw Audio 750 amp arrived, my new interconnects were MIA. So, I pulled out some old Phoenix Golds and went forward. Things sounded good but the highs seemed to be rather muted at times on familiar music.

Well, I got the Symphony IIs on sale while travelling on business and cancelled my on-line order. Once they were in, the highs came back. The Symphony II seems very balanced, clear, and bring out everything in the mix. The only sad thing to note is that the Phoenix Golds did one thing really well and that was carry the bass line. I almost kind of miss the meaty bass they brought to music, but I know what I was hearing was the only part of the music they did well.

In general, a nice improvement and a demonstration that a few extra bucks on cables are worth it. Now, I'm still skeptical that any cable could be worth $100+, but maybe someday when I'm swimming in Krell equipment they might be worth a try!

5 stars on value 'cause I found them on sale!

Similar Products Used: audioquest
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Fred   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 19, 2000]
Strength:

Good construction. Detailed sound. Excellent value.

Weakness:

None I can hear or see.

I have Straightwire Musicable, Chorus, and Symphony II interconnects in my system.

I use Musicable for cassette, and used Chorus for everything else.

I purchased a headphone amp to use with my system. Needed another cable so purchased the Symphony II this time instead of the Chorus. I removed the Chorus from between my amp and preamp to use with the headphone amp, and inserted the Symphony II in it's place. There was an immediate improvement in the sound. I was very surprised. I did not think there would be much of a difference, if any.
There was a noticible increase in midrange level and clarity. Increase in detail. I had the midrange level adjustments on my speakers up slightly. I had to reduce these to normal setting.

For the purchase price of $53 it is an amazing performer.
Straightwire has a trade in policy. If they will give me a good deal on my old Chorus interconnects, I will upgrade.
I would recommend these wires.

I use A Rega Planet CD player, Acurus RL11 preamp and A100 power amp. Vandersteen 2ce Signature speakers.

Similar Products Used: Straightwire Chorus. Radio Shack specials.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian   an Audio Enthusiast [Nov 05, 1998]

As it breaks in (mine has about 40 hours on it now), this cable comes into its own on a begginer system like mine. Compared to what it replaced, Monster Interlink 400, it has what I want. Tighter, more controlled bass, cleaner highs, smoother midrange. Straightwire recommends this cable for CD players and that's what I'm doing with it. System:
CD: Sony CDP-Whatever El Cheapo
Integrated Amp: Harman Kardon AV200MkII
Speakers: Tannoy System 600 (studio monitors)
Sub: Energy e:XLS8

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Fred Barnes   an Audiophile [Jul 01, 1999]

I stated that I was an "audophile". I like high end equipment, but like mostpeople, there are budget restraints. If I win the lottery, I will be audio
shopping the next day!
I have been upgrading my system. Main components are Rotel Receiver, Fulton
Tempo speakers and old Onkyo CD player. I also have a Sony 920 Minidisc recorder. I use classic 12 guage Monster speaker cable. Most of my interconnects are Radio Shack GOLD video cable (individual cables, not "sets molded together". I listen to classical music mostly.
My first upgrade was earlier this week. I replaced the Onkyo CD player with
a Rega Planet, a pretty nice machine. At this point, I decided to replace
the interconnects on the MD recorder and the Rega. BUT, I do have some electronics background, and for many years stubbornly refused to believe that "premium" inconnects above the $20 level could be worth the investment....3 feet at audio frequencies? No way is $150 or more worth it. In your dreams!

But I did research, including a lot of usenet and website readings. Could not see gambling $100 for one pair. No way. So I found a high end store that carried some "good" ones. I called, and said I wanted to audition before I bought, and also wanted to bring my old RS cables.

Well, I did. I did not listen to a lot of brands, just Straightwire Symphony and Chorus. The Symphony was $40 for 1 meter pair, the Chorus, $150. I listened, with a reasonable equipment setup at the store, with a helpful salesman. To make the story short, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE, AND IT IS VERY AUDIBLE. The Symphony's were superior to the Radio Shack, period. The Chorus was audibly superior to the Symphony's....but not by much. Main difference was imaging, it seemed. To ME, the $110 price difference was NOT worth it in my system...I needed cable for the MD AND the CD player...two. So I put down my $80 and took the Straighwire Symphony cables home. I am very pleased with the upgrade. I am sure there are better cables, since there are many brands and designs. But these Straightwire's are audibly superior to my old ones, which in turn, were better than those provided with equipment.

I am convinced now. But one important thing I want to state...there are diminished returns on sound improvement beyond a certain point...in cables, AND the quality of the system they are matched to. If you have a $120 CD player and a $300 amp, I doubt if the $150 Chorus cables are worth it. I think not. Cheaper cables make more sense...standard cables never make sense. Of course, there are speaker cables too. To me, the $1 a foot 12 gauge cables for speakers sound very good.

Salesmen wanted me to TAKE HOME a set of his speaker cables to try. But one thing at a time. I (AGAIN!) am not convinced MY system would benefit from $100 speaker cables.

In summary, I think the Straighwire Symphony at $40 a 1 meter pair is a necessity for GOOD systems. The more "audiophile" your system, the better your interconnects should be. Try other brands, of course. My point is they made a difference in my system.

Oh yeah, I could say all the "audiophile buzzwords" like improve spacial imaging, depth, clairity, nuances, etc. Better cables sound BETTER, period. My apologies for this review...the $150 cables were NOT Chorus, but
Rhapsody II's.

Fred

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Kuma   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 13, 2000]
Strength:

Price, detailed, Transparency.

Weakness:

Artificial sound.

It seems to be true that these cables provide massive bass, prominent midrange, smooth treble and a wider soundstage, but totally the sounds are heard quite artificial for me. Female vocals sound a bit nasal and Orchestras electronic. Just the opposite of natural. These cables would be for people who want to modulate the sound by them, but not for the people who want neutral cables. The Van Den Hul D102‡V would be the better.
System:
CD: Philips LHH300R
Integrated Amp: Arcam Alpha9
Power Amo: Arcam Alpha9P for biamping
Speakers: Celestion 300

Similar Products Used: Monster M550i, Van Den Hul D102‡V, Monitor PC PC-080.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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