KLEI Speaker cables

Making your music sound much better – the innovative new audio cables from Keith Louis Eichmann.

While most speaker cable literally comes ‘off the roll’, each set of the KLEI speaker cables is individually hand made and terminated. But this is part of why the KLEI cables are better.

Virtually every other cable employs exactly the same conductors and configuration for the positive and negative parts of the design. The KLEI cable is fundamentally different in this regard with not just differing materials but also a visibly different cable architecture between positive and negative conductors.

Yet of all the points of difference, it’s the plugs used that appear to be the most significant contributor to the superior sound quality that our clients hear in their KLEI speaker cables.

So let’s look first at the plugs. We introduced the Classic Harmony Banana Plug in February 2018 – this was the first banana plug that I’ve ever found to made a significant and repeatable improvement to the sound quality of speaker cables. The magnitude of the upgrade made when I replaced the existing gold plated plugs on the cable sets we use for demonstration was compelling and I strongly recommend that every existing KLEI and SlinkyLinks speaker cable owner does likewise – I’m more than happy to do the soldering for you.

At the same time, the Q7 Bi-wire jumpers proved to be equally impressive – these make for a superior alternative running two sets of speaker cables, providing more detail and coherence. Not to mention being much tidier and often lower in cost.

Shortly afterwards, the Purity level Q8 Bi-wire jumpers arrived. Suffice to say the performance is at another level again. More organic, free flowing and balanced. Visually it is obvious that while a short length of cable (100mm), the Q8s are a different construction, but at first glance the plugs appear to be the same. Appearances can be deceiving.

The KLEI™PureQ Harmony Banana is made in the same way as the Classic Harmony plug – a flat thin section of sheet metal, rolled and folded in a precise origami-like fashion with a very simple red or black insulator. But like Keith’s legendary Bullet and Harmony RCA plugs, it’s the metallurgy that makes the difference to the end performance. He’s justified in not telling us exactly what is in there for obvious IP reasons so outside of the silver colour we can only guess but I do have a few ideas.

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The KLEI QFlow7 Bi-wire jumpers

What I do know is that the Classic Harmony Banana plugs sound great but the PureQ Harmony Banana is even better again and by a worthwhile margin. And it’s this plug that features on all the new speaker cables. You cannot buy the PureQ plug separately.

The new range of speaker cables effectively replace all previous models. While evolutionary, the changes made to cables themselves when combined with the PureQ plugs deliver a big improvement and take all KLEI speaker cables to a level that very few other cables can match regardless of cost.

By way of context, our initial slow uptake with the KLEI speaker cables was been due to the outward similarities of them to the NZ made SlinkyLinks which had been our long term reference speaker cables and part of our home system for many years. Yet in the 3 or so years we’ve been dealing with Keith, I’ve been astonished by how far we have come with the speaker cables – there have been obvious performance gains at the entry level and the above this, each step has immediate and beneficial.

When compared to the original gZero6 SC it was obvious that our own custom made SlinkyLinks were being left in the shade. The KLEI cables deliver really solid pacy bass, a much larger soundstage and are at once more detailed and smoother. The background seems a lot darker and sounds just seems to hang. We found that the music carried much further in the room, and even when not listening seriously, there were parts of the music that previously unheard, captured our attention. The character became much more organic with no overstated glare. The subsequent upgrade to the Classic Harmony bananas was transformational and has taken our home listening to a place I’d never imagined.

The KLEI QFlow3 speaker cables replace and outperform the similarly priced gZero6 – so don’t let the numbering system confuse you – with far better plugs and refined conductor architecture, these are now our go-to speaker cable for most systems.

The QFlow7 speaker cables produce greater scale, have even better bass performance and dynamics.

It is hard to imagine anything better than the QPurity8 speaker cables – just hearing how the original Purity level cables responded to the plug upgrade is one of the most impressive changes I’ve ever personally experienced – to extrapolate from this with both better plugs and conductors is a conceptual challenge but I’ll try to articulate what you’ll hear –

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The new KLEI Purity level cables.

I have played with more costly cables with seriously over engineered terminations and buckets of audio glitz – but none have approached what the best of the KLEI cables do – the music simply flows out of these in a way that allows you to hear the very best of what your amplifiers and speakers are capable of. In the past I baulked at the idea of carrying cables at this price level in stock. But given the price equivalency of these to the Purity 88 1m meter interconnects which I have no hesitation in recommending, it has become a bit of a no-brainer to have these.

While outwardly similar to the other KLEI speaker cables, the performance of the Purity speaker cable is quite astonishing – you really need to hear this for yourself.

The radical improvement in both performance and price of the electronics we carry has reshaped our exceptions of what systems can do and the balance required to optimise them. The best digital is especially good but also affordable and this is allowing us to allocate more for speakers (which have also improved but perhaps not by the same quantum). What this all does is make the link between the two all the more crucial – there is more and better signal, and speakers have become more revealing and sensitive. Combine these two parts and the way in which a speaker cable performs becomes far more critical.

The resolution of these systems makes the difference between speaker cables far more obvious than ever. And this is why there is a place for speaker cables such as the KLEI QPurity 8. All the signal from all your musical sources go through this link – the more you have, the more you stand to gain. Likewise very few people have ever heard their speakers performing at their absolute best – but the QPurity 8s will take you a lot closer top this point.

With all of the KLEI models, you are probably going to be conscious of the cost – if you can subtly reposition amp and speakers to reduce the length required all well and good but it’s worth remembering that all speakers will have an optimum position in the room and with the improvements gained by new cables, you should have the flexibility to take full advantage of this. But for most people, somewhere between 1.5 and 3m will often be ideal. The KLEI cables are both discrete and pliant so will normally run via the shortest route.

With all models of KLEI speaker cables, the new Bi-wire jumpers are an absolute no-brainer with any speaker system that has this option. In the past I might have debated the efficacy of bi-wiring verses improving cable quality. Now the equation is much simpler. With QFlow3 and 7SCs, the QFlow7 jumpers will optimise the performance of the cables while making sense in terms of total cost by staying well below that of the next level up in cable.

With QPurity SCs, there is only one logical option – the matching Q8 jumpers as these are identical in construction, metallurgy and plug

Different lengths?

Normally I have no problem with the idea of having different length speaker cables in an asymmetrically set up system and at home this is exactly what we have with 2m to one speaker and 6m to the one furthest from the amplifier. But the nature of the KLEI cables means that there are quite possibly greater effects due to the differing positive and negative conductor layouts than you might otherwise get. To this end Keith is not especially keen on making such sets.

While the difference between two varied cables in the QFlow3s is probably acceptable for most, the higher resolution and capabilities of the QPurity 8 SCs mean our best recommendation is to always have identical runs in this case.

So – are you still with us? I’ll try to simplify our best reccomendations….

  1. If you have speaker with bi-wire terminals, the new KLEI Jumpers should always be your first consideration as these will give you the greatest and most cost effective improvement, regardless of cable type. And they set the stage for any further improvements.
  2. The new KLEI plugs are a major part of the cable performance – outside of the entry level, no-one else has access to these and they are fitted as standard to the QFlow3 to Purity level cables and the Q8 Jumpers.
  3. Keep your cables as short as practicable – this saves you money and quite possibly allows you to get a better model. Sets can be made from 1.5m upwards.
  4. Still unconvinced? E mail me and we’ll spin you a demonstration set – I’d love you to hear what we do!

KLEI QFlow7 bi-wire jumpers (QFlow7 cable, Classic Harmony Banana Plugs – 10cm pair) NZ$320 including GST and delivery.

KLEI QPurity8 bi-wire jumpers (QPurity8 SC cable, PureQ Banana Plugs – 10cm pair) NZ$920

KLEI Speaker Cables – 2.0m sets, terminated with KLEI™PureQ Harmony Banana

QFlow3 SC   NZ$1050 including GST & delivery.

QFlow7 SC   NZ$1575

QPurity8 SC NZ$2650

2.5m sets, terminated with KLEI™PureQ Harmony Banana

QFlow3 SC   NZ$1200 including GST & delivery.

QFlow7 SC   NZ$1850

QPurity8 SC NZ$3050

3.0m sets, terminated with KLEI™PureQ Harmony Banana

QFlow3 SC   NZ$1375 including GST & delivery.

QFlow7 SC   NZ$2100

QPurity8 SC NZ$3500

Contact us for pricing on other lengths.

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