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I described above how impressed I am with the build quality and overall appearance of the CQ500 speaker cable. I listened to the CQ500 with four separate speakers: Thiel CS2.4s, Harbeth Compact 7s, Transmission Audio M1s and, of course, Trends' own SA-10s. These are very good speaker cables, offering clarity, coherence, and an even-handed presentation that utterly belies its amazingly low price. I am really hard pressed to find any faults. When subbing the CQ500 for far, far more expensive speaker cables, there is no collapsing of the soundstage, no change in overall tonality, or clues that something major has changed.
I literally rechecked the price to see if I was seeing things. I was not; the CQ500 indeed sells for $110, with an additional $10 for spade lugs. I spun every kind of music with the CQ500 installed -- from Terence Trent D'Arby's bass heavy funk to Indian/Jazz fusion,to orchestral pieces -- and I could not seem to trip it up.
Trends Audio, in my opinion, is doing a great job of providing products for a growing segment of the audio market: buyers looking for inexpensive, yet great sounding, gear that is easy to set up and integrate into a listening space. Their full suite of HiFi products -- from tubed headphone amps, amplifiers, DAC units, cables, and now speakers -- are all well made and, most importantly, fun to use.
I can imagine a very neat desktop system assembled from the Trends product line that would give you everything you need to play music, minus a source, for around $600. Pretty neat. SA-10 speakers are a great little find, and even though there are tons of competitors making speakers in the sub $300 market, SA-10s will appeal to those who prefer a more retro sound and look. By the way, SA-10s come in two flavors: standard, and the SA-10R, with a slightly different tweeter and woofer alignment.
The CQ500 speaker cable is a stone cold bargain. As a matter of fact, it may have spoiled me for any future “giant killer” speaker cables. The CQ500 can be used with much more expensive speakers than SA-10s and hold its own (and then some). Check out the Trends website for their complete product line. They also offer upgrades, like external power supplies. HiFi does not get any more fun than this.
Trends Audio SA-10 Speakers: $265/ per pair.
Frequency Response: 65-22K Hz
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 88 db
Power Handling: 15-70 watts
Tweeter: Single 1.00” polymer dome and neodymium motor with heat sink
Woofer: Single 5.25” Multi-fibre coated pulped paper cone
Weight: 6.5 KG (Pair)
Dimensions (DxWxH): 125 x 195 x 300 mm
Unit E, 13/F, World Tech Centre, 95 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2304 0730 (9am-6pm, HKG Time)
Fax: +852 2566 5740
CD Transport: Musical Fidelity M1 CDT, Unison Research CD Primo
Server: Squeezebox Touch with CIA VDC-SB power supply
DAC: Bryston BDA-1
Headphone Amp: Pro-Ject Head Box
Preamp: Audio Research SP16,
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55
Integrated Amplifier; McIntosh MA6600
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4
Cables: Stager Silver Solids, DH Labs Revelation (IC), Kimber KCTG (IC), Transparent MM2 Super (IC), Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Shunyata Venom (AC)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Sound Anchors stands, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner, Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Salamander rack
CD Player: Marantz 5003
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch
DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, Rein Audio X-DAC
Preamplifer: Densen B-200
Amplifier: Revox A722
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3, Transmission Audio M1
Cables: Kimber/QED/Transparant (IC),/PS Audio, Pangea Audio (AC), Kiimber(digital)