OK, so I'm still stuck on the speaker wire issue!
Sorry to post about this again, but I did a test today and would like to share my results.
At work, I was given some free microphone cable. So, I decided to use it as speaker cable. The mic cable is wrapped in a protective plastic, and shielded with bare copper wire and braided with two strands of what seems to be regular insulator string (whatever that is!). The wire itself is VERY thing, thinner than telephone wire. I had one speaker with this wire, and the other speaker with my 16 ga twisted pair copper. GUESS WHAT? yep, the thin mic cable was cleaner, and more neutral. It was, however, having a hard time driving the speakers at the same loudness as the other cable. I wonder if this is due to the thiness of the cable?
I may purchase Kimber 4PR after all (a tad less than $3 a foot inc tax and shipping), but until then I will try to get my hands on some thicker mic cable and see what that does. I'll keep you all posted!
In the meantime, does anyone know for a fact that thinner wires will send less signal to the speaker than an equivalent, yet thicker wire?