Tellurium Q-Black 2 alternatives... (speaker cables)

Morning all. I know this topic was mentioned dozens of times but I am still struggling to find an answer. I recently got ex-display 6m pair of Tellurium Q-Black speaker cables to match my Naim Unity Atom and pair of Linton Heritage speakers (after upgrade). Initially I was positively impressed with the clarity and cleanliness BUT after extensive listening for the last few days I noticed that the midrange is a bit thinned and recessed especially when listening to the old recordings where mastering was not the best. I strongly considering returning them back to the shop and looking for an alternative which will give me more fullness on the midrange and still maintain the detail and spaciousness…

I’d try kudos ks1 cables my dealer cymbiosis strongly recommends them they were brilliant with my previous atom as well as my current set up or you could try the classic naim nac a5. I’d suggest trying a few at home if possible maybe see what a local dealer has available.

I swapped from TQBII to Witch Hat Phantom a while ago. The Phantoms just sounded a bit more right to me, a bit more Naimy maybe.

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I’m interested in this as I’m thinking of changing my TQB which has been with me since I had a full XS level system to where I am now.

The KS-1 is on my list as there may be a synergy with my Titan 707’s.

Witch Hat Phantom is also on my list but is out of stock at present. Speaking to Witch Hat the other week, they said the new Spectre speaker cable may be ready for release before Phantom is available again and I’m also keen to try that if the price is not prohibitive….I’m not big on the idea of paying silly amounts for speaker cable.

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Tellurium cables are pretty good in lot of Naim-based systems and rooms IMHO - if Naim A5 works in a given hi-fi and room, then TQ Black usually does too.

TQ Black 2 might even be considered overkill with an Atom - I use TQ Blue with an Atom and Shahinian Compasses upstairs - sounds good to me, if not 100% transparent and neutral.

What cable were you using before?

Is it possible that the recessed midrange is actually not caused by the cables? Is it possible that the speaker placement in no longer ideal? For example, have they been moved enough that they are no longer toed-in toward the listener at all?

IIRC, Lintons come in pairs and want the maker’s label on the outside and modest toe-in, plus well over a foot free behind, though others with more knowledge can correct me if that’s wrong.

If it is the cable that doesn’t suit, then the commonest choices here for happy listeners seem to be (in order of decreasing Naim-ness): -
Naim A5
Witch Hat N2 or Phantom
TQ - Blue or Black
Chord - various
Kudos - but usually with their speaker

Why not try Witch Hat N2 on a 30-day trial? Or whatever your dealer can lend you?

Finally, do remember that new cables change in sound as current runs through them - the famous ‘burn in’ period. My TQ cables sounded great for about 2 hours when first installed, then increasingly dull and lifeless, By the time we had had 50-60 hours playing done, they sounded great - slightly better than their initial sound or A5, and they still sound like that.

If you borrow cables from a dealer, they will be burned in, but new cable from Witch Hat or anyone else won’t be.

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Switched from Tellurium Q Black II to Witch hat Phantom. No looking back. Now awaiting the new cables from Witch hat that will come on pre sale September 1st shipping later this year.

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This is the exact conclusion I came to when I purchased TQB2. I returned it. I’d recommend getting some good old NACA5 to start with and use for a while. It can then be your benchmark for all future potential cable purchases.

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I think my desire to try something else is just down to curiosity. In the time I’ve had TQB my system has evolved and new products have come to market.

I’d like to try a few alternatives but will only change if they’re definitely better as opposed to just different.

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Thanks for all the helpful answers. I will be returning TQB2 and getting Witch Hat N2 instead for the time being waiting for Phantom to be in stock again. Cheers lads

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Do let us know how it sounds to you with N2!

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Well I hope that the body and heft of the midrange will improve over TQB2. To be honest I had high hopes when decided to pull the trigger on TQB2 and again practice shown that every system sounds different in every room. The pain now with returning the pair to UK shop and the whole rigmarole of getting customs charge back…

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I can tell you that going from TQB to TQBII is not really any sort of upgrade.

I’m very curious about the new Witch Hat Spectre cable, depending on what it costs. If I can get a pair of 4m Spectre for under $1,000 USD, I’ll probably buy it.

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No facts of Spectre pricing to my knowledge.

I paid a lot less for my 5m Phantom, maybe around $500 plus the weeks waiting time.

Now with Brexit your probably on the right track price wise.

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Pre orders on Spectre starts September 1st with a discount.

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Well I happily take over 6 metres pair of Phantom anytime if anyone wants to move one on…
If I won’t be lucky enough I will pull the trigger on Witch Hat N2.
Had a good listening session with Tellurium QB2 against my own speaker cables and still couldn’t get over how evident differences are even on an entry level equipment.
Tellurium would not be the presentation I enjoy. It is a good cable indeed regarding detail, cleanliness and space but the midrange is too thin to my liking.

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The N2 is far from Phantom performance IME, maybe ok on budget entrylevel where price fit in, but up the hierarchy its easy to improve.
Guess we all have different basics.

My problem is the availability as the Phantom will not be available for some time. Was thinking to get the N2 to give me the rough idea of how Witch Hat cables sound as I never came across them before in any syste…

What’s the deal at Witch Hat? Can’t secure supply of Phantom materials? Or maybe Spectre but not both? Can’t profit if you’ve got nothing to sell.

I have no idea. Do they have more waiting time than before? I waited 5 weeks for my Phantoms this spring and by then they had a banner stating this but today I don’t see anything about delays on production and regarding Spectre they told me pre-sales starts September 1st but shipments starting end of this year, best case, saying “logistics” being a root cause. I would guess they source more or less all parts for their product. Connectors come from Audioquest but the cable itself I have no idea who is manufacturing.

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You haven’t mentioned Naim cable. Have you tried it? I have tried a few different cables on my system but the Naim @ 4mm gives me greater bass depth and impact and nice full mids. Exactly what you are talking about. I’m sure the phantoms will also give you that at 6mm (I think) but you can pick up nac a5 pretty cheap and it might just give you the sound you like. Pain in the arse to make it look neat but a great simple cable.