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Kimber Kable 8TC Speaker Cable Review

by June 03, 2013
  • Product Name: 8TC Speaker Cable
  • Manufacturer: Kimber Kable
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarhalf-star
  • Review Date: June 03, 2013 11:45
  • MSRP: $21/ft + terminations
  • Buy Now
Kimber 8TC:

16 individual TCSS conductors – 8 clear and 8 white in braided configurationDUT: 8TC 2.5m bare wire ends
  • (Cp) parallel capacitance:     821.0 pF @ 20 kHz
  • (Ls) series inductance:     0.345 µH @ 20 kHz
  • (Rdc) dc loop resistance:     0.018 Ω
  • (Xt) total reactance:     0.044 Ω @ 20 kHz
  • Frequency response ± 0.5 dB: dc - 300 kHz

 

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Dresses up a high end system beautifully
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • WBT connectors may not mate well with some amps

 

Kimber 8TC Cable Introduction

Kimber Kable has been an Audioholics favorite exotic cable manufacturer for a number of years, and for good reason. They make a quality product that looks great, and measures great, without all of the voodoo that plagues this category of product. When I was perusing their website, my eyes took interest in their 8TC speaker cables. When I found out the $50k/pair Status Acoustics 8T Speaker System I was reviewing was to be internally wired in 4TC Kimber speaker cable, I realized it would be a good idea to get some in for review. Do the Kimber 8TC perform as well as they look? Read the review to find out.

kimber-8tc.jpg

Kimber 8TC cable coiled on our Continental Theater Chair waiting to be hooked up

Design Overview

wbt.0610.pngAccording to their website, the Kimber 8TC speaker cables consist of sixteen individual TCSS conductors; eight clear and eight white, arranged in a large format braid. They go on to describe the wire as “hyper-pure copper utilizing their proven VariStrand conductor geometry.” I can’t really confirm or deny this statement and most exotic cable vendors try to sell the consumers on the purity of their copper. That being said, I’ve never seen a Kimber product oxidize (turn green) or corrode like you see ordinary 12AWG lamp cord do. Kimber claims their insulated dielectric is a high-pressure, low-temperature extruded fluorocarbon. That sounds fancy and important but what they are really telling you is they managed to efficiently pack a lot of wire density into a small area.

As with all Kimber products, you won’t find any voodoo—such as batteries slapped onto their cables. Instead they utilize proven braiding techniques by interweaving wires to reduce cable inductance while at the same time using generous amounts of copper to keep the most important metric in speaker cables at a minimum – resistance. The aggregate wire size is two 9AWG conductors. I measured an effective gauge of just under 11AWG but more on that later.

I love the terminations Kimber employs on their cables. From their standard banana to their compression WBT, they look wonderful and perform great as well. The only gripe I found was when using their WBT compression connector, the little plastic post was preventing me from connecting to the Emotiva XPR-1 amplifier I had under review at the time. I quite honestly don’t understand why Kimber even has this piece of plastic which seems pretty unnecessary to me. I had to cut them off with a pair of wire cutters so that I could connect the 8TC cables to the Emotiva amplifiers. Be prepared to do this if you chose this termination for an amplifier with a speaker binding post like the one pictured below.

xpr1_rear.jpg

Emotiva XPR-1 Amplifier Back Panel View

Kimber’s standard banana plug fit perfectly snug on all of my amplifiers and loudspeakers in my reference system. It’s a less costly connector and you can avoid any potential compatibility issues if you just decide to go that route.

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About the author:

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Pogre posts on April 18, 2017 21:28
Rats can be cuddly once you get to know them.
Strum und Drang posts on April 18, 2017 20:46
Good question. The rat is a multi-purpose tool. It not only can accurately judge the best speaker cables, it will also provide companionship in lieu of a dog or a cat. Plus, if you have leftovers that are about to go bad, the rat also functions as a self-powered, self-propelled portable garbage disposal. (or, you can just rent a 14 year old)

I actually did a growth curve on a white rat in high school science. Amazing how much they can eat and how fast they grow. And they do like baloney. Something that life is full of.

I'm very happy my Polk towers do not need $700 speaker wire to sound wonderful.
Bizarro_Stormy posts on April 18, 2017 18:23
Why not just wrap the speaker wire in baloney..?
Should be cheaper than the rat in the long run…
and you get nifty baloney scented wire…

It's a win win…
Strum und Drang posts on April 17, 2017 20:00
Maybe I can go to Pet smart, buy a baby white rat, start feeding it baloney, do a growth curve on it, and see if it can discern minor sounds produced by my new, $700 speaker wires. The fully fledged, full of baloney rat should be able to hear how great those speaker wires are, and accurately describe just how nuanced they are. I can then set up my own ABX test with my skilled operator, great listener, rat. I should get excellent test results. After all, that rat will be full of baloney.
Speedskater posts on April 17, 2017 16:58
Strum und Drang, post: 1182980, member: 82454
What is a “sensitive ABX test?” I don't measure any of this stuff except with my ears and use them to determine if speaker A sounds better or not than speaker B, etc. You can scientifically measure many differences that go beyond human hearing abilities. Many people that advocate for very expensive speaker wires claim they can hear a big difference for the better. This is subjective and it does enter into purchasing decisions.
A “sensitive ABX test?” is one that is setup by skilled operators with experienced listeners and using very demanding test signals. An ABX test is about hearing very, very small differences. The differences are too small to have a preference. It's not a preference test that might apply to most loudspeakers.
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