KLEI Speaker cables -2023 Update.

Almost every system needs speaker cables to operate and it’s here that you can make the biggest improvement to the end sound that you enjoy. The new range of speaker cables replace all previous models. While evolutionary, the changes made to the cables are substantial, and take all KLEI speaker cables to a level that very few other cables can match regardless of cost. Each set of the KLEI speaker cables is individually hand made and terminated.

Keith Eichmann is a man on a mission and while I’ve often suggested that he just leave the range as it is, he’s constantly working on ways to make the existing designs better. How he does this can seem a little mysterious but I get to listen to the results and he’s never yet let us down. And more often than not I end at a literal loss for words having already burnt up my stack of superlatives on previous reviews. So let’s hear what a recent client thinks of their new KLEI speaker cables…

Now, to put this in context they have a finely tuned but by no means wildly costly system with a pair of shelf mount monitor type speakers and a trade in power amplifier that we had come through recently. The speaker cables mentioned are the KLEI QFlow7s with a set of the Purity level bi-wire jumpers which have replaced the bi-wired NZ made SlinkyLinks that have, up until now, seemed to be really rather good. And these comments are from the first few minutes of listening.

For 2023 (and hopefully longer) Keith has designated his new cables as ‘Truth’ versions. This reflects the recent work done and what appears to be a change to some of the conductors used. Previously we had ‘Quiesce’ and ‘Symphony’ versions. Add this to the different model numbers and ‘QFlow’ and ‘Purity’ prefixes and it does get a little unwieldy so let us simplify things for you…

There are 4 models of KLEI speaker cable; The first three are the latest QFlow Truth options. And then there’s the no compromise QPurity level speaker cable. We’ll walk you through the differences between the models a little further into this page.

While most speaker cable literally comes ‘off the roll’, each and every set of the KLEI speaker cables is individually hand made and terminated. 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.

All KLEI speaker cable use Keith’s bespoke 4mm plugs and we know from our own experience that they make a significant contribution to the quality of sound. This means that the KLEI speaker cables are a complete end to end design.

You can read our review of the original 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.

Many speaker systems are bi-wireable and feature dual speaker terminals for this purpose. All the KLEI speaker cables can be easily set up in this way because the plugs used are ‘stackable’ but of course you’ll need two sets of cables. There is a plausible argument that for the same outlay as that required for two sets of speaker cables you are in fact better to opt for the next grade or two up within the cable range as the improvement in quality will be greater than that of simply doubling quantity.

And to this end, KLEI now offer a range of 3 short bi-wire jumpers to replace existing shorting bars and optimise the performance of their speaker cables. Like the speaker cables, these jumpers have been significantly improved and in terms of a value for money proposition, are quite remarkable in terms of the sonic upgrade they provide, even with comparatively modest speakers and other designers cables. So, more often than not, these are the first step to take.

These jumpers are a story in themselves. Because of the short lengths they are actually made a little differently from the speaker cables and in every case Keith has devoted considerable effort into making them as good as they can be.

The original KLEI QFlow7 Bi-wire jumpers featured in our review here

For a long time, the NZ made SlinkyLinks were part of our home system for many years. But since we’ve been dealing with Keith, I’ve been astonished by how far we have come with the speaker cables. From the outset it was obvious that our own custom made SlinkyLinks were being left in the shade by even the entry level KLEI. The KLEI speaker cables deliver really solid pacy bass, a much larger soundstage and are at once more detailed and smoother. The background seemed a lot darker and sounds just 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.

Yet since then we have traversed even greater improvement with Keith’s work and this has taken our home listening to a place I’d never imagined.

The KLEI QFlow2 speaker cables are the new entry level – fitted with the Classic Banana plugs they sound sweet and open. This cable is very pliant and while apparently thin, delivers quite remarkable bass especially when compared to heavier looking cables.

The KLEI QFlow4 speaker cables are a completely new design at this level. With far better plugs and refined conductor architecture, you’re getting a big improvement over the QFlow2.

The latest QFlow7 speaker cables produce greater scale, have even better bass performance and dynamics. These are now our go-to speaker cable for most systems.

It is hard to imagine anything better than the latest QPurity speaker cablesI’ll admit to being a little reticent about bringing these into stock for ourselves given the extra cost relative to the QFlow7 but after Keith pointed out that this only brings them into line with the QPurity Analogue interconnects and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind as to the performance of these. Now having experienced these speaker cables in our own system it all makes sense. Context matters, and in this case the quality of your speakers will contribute to how great a benefit you’ll gain with these speaker cables. There are many very revealing and transparent smaller two way speaker systems that might not be expensive and while it might seem crazy to have a speaker cable that costs more than the actual speakers, you could easily say the same about any component in a system. Larger speaker systems can deliver even more. And it is quite possible that you already have a speaker cable that you regard as capable.

Yet all it takes is a couple of minutes of listening to conclude that great improvements are possible. I’ve repeatedly found this as we have stepped through better and better speaker cables of many brands and styles. There is a continuity of all the attributes that I’ve come to associate with KLEI cables through the range – a natural and organic sound that, to my ears, is more balanced and coherent than with any other cables I’ve heard. What the Purity level cables deliver is even greater transparency combined with a balanced extension, that’s akin to the difference between seeing a great artwork in real life rather than just a print. It’s texture, a vivd colour and the impression of three dimensional depth. These are things that anyone can see of hear.

You can also easily put my descriptions into a context with what you are likely to hear. While we are exposed to a lot of cables and systems with constant change and development, you’ll (sensibly) tend to stick with any particular cable or system for longer. I lay no claim to have a special talent for listening and am very aware of the passing years but find that, if anything, the differences and improvements are becoming bigger with both time and cable development.

There are good reasons for this – we’re hearing significant progress in the components from which we build systems, the quality of recordings and both analogue and digital technology. Quite simply there’s ever more to hear. Your existing cable will be from a time and place in the past so it’s almost inevitable that total performance you will experience will greatly exceed anything I’ve have described. Hence the screenshot of the txt at the top of this page.

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 . 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 any speaker cable the cost is per metre – 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. Just select the model of 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.

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 in one system with 2m to one speaker and 6m to the one furthest from the amplifier (and the TV between the speakers). 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 QFlow2s 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 recommendations….

  1. Good speaker cable will make a huge improvement to the sound from your system. Kimber is where we start and set a benchmark that many fall short of. For longer runs especially, Kimber is a more affordable option and when terminated with the KLEI Harmony Banana plugs you get a really good performance. Complete KLEI speaker cables take you even further.
  2. 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.
  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. KLEI cables are really pliant and flexible.
  4. Still unconvinced? E mail me and we’ll spin you a demonstration set – I’d love you to hear what we do!

KLEI QFlow Bi-wire Jumpers – standard size 100mmm – (also 150mm if required) QFlow4 NZ$550 a set, QFlow7 $1000, QPurity $2000.

KLEI Speaker Cables – 2.0m sets, terminated with KLEI™PureQ Harmony Banana (Classic Harmony for the QFlow2)

QFlow2 SC   NZ$1125 including GST & delivery.

QFlow3 SC   NZ$1950

QFlow7 SC   NZ$3000

QPurity8 SC NZ$7100

2.5m sets, terminated with KLEI™PureQ Harmony Banana

QFlow2 SC   NZ$1300 including GST & delivery.

QFlow3 SC   NZ$2259

QFlow7 SC   NZ$3575

QPurity8 SC NZ$8200

3.0m sets, terminated with KLEI™PureQ Harmony Banana

QFlow2 SC   NZ$1475 including GST & delivery.

QFlow3 SC   NZ$2550

QFlow7 SC   NZ$4125

QPurity8 SC NZ$9300

Contact us for pricing on other lengths.

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