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Audioquest GO-4 Speaker Cable Review

Rate this cable:

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)

    Votes: 253 97.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 3 1.2%

  • Total voters
    260

diaolodoro

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If I recall correctly, audioholics reviewed a similar cable and they did measure a difference between cables when the dc was on vs off. It wasn't favorable to the audioquest cable, but there was a difference.
 

Endibol

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the AudioQuest GO-4 speaker cable. It is on kind loan from a member and costs about US $599.
View attachment 230272

The attached dongle is a 72 volt battery supply that feeds an unterminated wire the length of the cable. Different terminations can be ordered. Here are the company advertisement about the cable:

View attachment 230274

And this interesting note about terminations:
View attachment 230275

They are certainly dull looking but in addition, they have already tarnished/oxidized:
View attachment 230276

I slid my meter over the terminations and whenever it hit an oxidized spot, it would add about 0.1 ohm of resistance! Both the spade and banana ends had this problem. Not good.

Testing of this cable was challenging due to one end being the spade terminal. I could not mate that easily to my analyzer for the typical measurements I run. Still, I managed to squeeze good data from it.

Comparisons are made against a non-name 12 gauge cable from Amazon with typical banana plugs. Cost is probably $20.

Audioquest GO-4 Measurements
I started by make wideband frequency response measurements as high as my analyzer can go (200 kHz):
View attachment 230277

The cable makes no changes to the response even if we zoom to ±1 dB vertical scale (zoomed inset). This is better than the response of any amplifier you connect to it. As expected.

For next two tests, I connected the Topping PA5 amplifier through the test cables and then to my standard dummy load. Here is our power sweep:
View attachment 230278

The generic cable is a hair better but that may be because of easier termination and lack of oxidation. It is tiny and negligible difference so we can put it aside and conclude that the AQ GO-4 cable didn't bring anything to the party on noise or distortion.

Above test is at 1 kHz. We can expand that to 32 tones at varying frequencies:
View attachment 230280

Results are identical as far as noise and intermodulation distortion.

EDIT: for extensive evaluation and test of the DBS, see the review of their Victoria cable: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...t-victoria-audio-cable-with-dbs-review.14683/

Conclusions
I know many of you could have predicted these results but it is always good to have solid data to back it. Whether we check for tonality using frequency response or real life amplifier driving a load, noise and distortion remain the same with GO-4 cable compared to generic. What is not the same is the degradation of the terminations on the cable. This is a fail and simply not acceptable in a premium cable.

I can't recommend the AudioQuest GO-4 speaker cable. Use a generic cable and put the rest of the money toward good music.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
1663048965378.png

I think we must admit that although AudioQuest may not have a clue about audio science they do have the best marketeers in town....
 

Endibol

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No, not an Audioquest fanboy. But the majority that still believes cable make a difference will disregard these type of reviews. It's not what they are looking for. They are looking for reviews that describe how the cable sounds. They're not looking for reviews with measurements and numbers, but babble about "detail" and "pace" and ... I don't know all the buzzwords.
People interested in why a cable would make a difference get better info from an educational video/text.
I bought some "entry level" AQ cables simply because they just look pretty. Not because they are sonically any better than "20 USD" cables from other brands.
 

voodooless

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View attachment 230576
I think we must admit that although AudioQuest may not have a clue about audio science they do have the best marketeers in town....
Use of carbon in these types of materials is not very special. Generally it is done to make the materials tougher, but also for better fire proofing. It does indeed have an effect at RF frequencies.
 

JSmith

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I think we must admit that although AudioQuest may not have a clue about audio science they do have the best marketeers in town....
I'm sure there are many people that don't want their hash reduced... O__o


JSmith
 

Chrispy

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Expectation bias is what keeps companies like this in business in today's deep-end audiophile world, which is mainly about conspicuous consumption, not enjoyment of music
Or just marketing from crappy retailers?
 

deniall83

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I honestly don't think Audioquest make a single decent product. The Dragonfly sucks, their headphones were awful, their cables are poorly made, finished and expensive, their power products do nothing... I could go on. Truly a company of snake oil.

EDIT maybe their record brush is OK?
 

JSmith

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EDIT maybe their record brush is OK?
That doesn't seem overly positive either...

1663053541761.png


I think this was so bad they had to replace it with a "new and improved model";

I know these brushes are a bit hit and miss in general, but one would think AQ would be selling the best version... alas.


JSmith
 

Chrispy

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I honestly don't think Audioquest make a single decent product. The Dragonfly sucks, their headphones were awful, their cables are poorly made, finished and expensive, their power products do nothing... I could go on. Truly a company of snake oil.

EDIT maybe their record brush is OK?
You expected more from marketing guys?
 

Sal1950

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Personally, I use a 12' pair of Canare 4s11 Quad Star
Good stuff and can be purchased assembled with various terminal options at reasonable costs from Blue Jeans Cable.

Another supplier of custom assembled speaker wire at very reasonable pricing is SVS.
I've never owned any of the these speaker cables but do own their RCA interconnects for my subwoofers. The same heavy duty and very handsome braided outer coverings, etc etc.
Do take a look at these, for under $50 each in most lengths looks a steal deal to me.
And NO snake-oil marketing.

SoundPath Ultra Speaker Cable Specs:​

  • 12 AWG stranded speaker wire – Each SoundPath Ultra Cable is made with two braided Dual Balanced conductors, with a total of 82 strands of 99.99% pure stranded copper across both conductors.
  • Precision machined and anodized aircraft grade aluminum body - stylish and durable with a great feel and easy handling.
  • PVC dielectric joint - Flexible and durable break-out for Positive and Negative terminals.
  • Rated Bandwidth = DC-5.0 MHz (3M cable) with ≤1.1 Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) and ≥26dB Return Loss.
  • Conductor DCR = 8 mΩ/meter
  • Nominal Impedance = 90Ω - Cable and connectors are impedance-matched to minimize VSWR and Return Loss
  • Nominal Capacitance = 68pF/meter @ 1kHz
  • Nominal Cable Diameter: 9mm
soundpath_ultra_complete_1024x.jpg
 

GXAlan

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@amirm,
I came across this article which suggests measurable differences with cables/amplifiers, at thresholds approaching detection but clearly at costs that make zero financial sense when the $ could be spent elsewhere.

Is there any chance that the APx555 is just “too good” as a source and with lower quality amplifiers which are more reactive that you could get more of a difference?

@Alpha Audio
 

DonR

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@amirm,
I came across this article which suggests measurable differences with cables/amplifiers, at thresholds approaching detection but clearly at costs that make zero financial sense when the $ could be spent elsewhere.

Is there any chance that the APx555 is just “too good” as a source and with lower quality amplifiers which are more reactive that you could get more of a difference?

@Alpha Audio
If you mean the article that is the subject of this thread, there are some serious questions about testing methodology used there.
 

GXAlan

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If you mean the article that is the subject of this thread, there are some serious questions about testing methodology used there.
That's weird that my link somehow didn't get linked and was lost. The article I'm looking at is DIFFERENT from the one that was discussed previously which shows the influence of the amplifier in the presence of cables. That is, some amplifiers are less sensitive to cables and I would imagine the APx555 is fully insensitive.

 

egellings

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If the amplifier is sensitive to the cables connected to it, then the amplifier has a problem. Of course, if your cable puts several nanofarads of C across the amp's terminals, then YMMV.
 

welsh

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$599 minus the cost of a few $ for a good cable = lots a good music indeed (40 CDs, 5 year's worth of streaming service subscription, lifetime Roon subscription, etc.)
Alternatively, quite a few bottles of decent single-malt whisky, which I dare say WOULD make the sound more agreeable, albeit ultimately incomprehensible…
 
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