Connecting everything up - what kind of cables do I need?

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emma3701

Guest
Hi
Apologies for any dumb questions, but I'm very new to separates, having not even taken delivery yet. We have (soon to arrive) a Denon DCD 700ae CD player, a Denon PMA 700ae amp, and a Denon TU1800 DAB tuner.
We haven't yet decided on speakers, but Quad 11Ls are a possibility.
My question is - what kind of cable do I need to connect amp to CD, amp to tuner, and amp to speakers? The speakers will be about 8m and 11 m away from the amp.
I don't want to spend mega-bucks, as I have no claim to being an audiophile, but am prepared to spend a little more to get a discernible (to me!) difference. I'm looking for advice both on type of cable and brand, as I literally know nothing.
Can anyone advise me?
Thanks
Em
 

cwilson

Novice Member
you just need phono to phone cables from the tuner>amp, and CD> amp, people tell you some sound better than others. There may be some in the boxes when they arrive.
this type of thing http://www.true-colours.com/more.asp?Catalogid=5
(not suggesting what you buy, thats just the first link I found)

for the amp to speakers- any decent speaker cable will be fine, if you have a maplins handy, then 2 lengths of the van damme 2.5 mm will be fine, its about £2 per meter.(http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=13295&criteria=van damme&doy=23m8
 

Herbie

Standard Member
As a general rule of thumb, most say that you should budget for about 10% of the total cost of the system to spend on cables...

I'm guessing the system will cost in total about a grand, so £100 on cables.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
emma3701 said:
Hi
Apologies for any dumb questions, but I'm very new to separates, having not even taken delivery yet. We have (soon to arrive) a Denon DCD 700ae CD player, a Denon PMA 700ae amp, and a Denon TU1800 DAB tuner.
We haven't yet decided on speakers, but Quad 11Ls are a possibility.
My question is - what kind of cable do I need to connect amp to CD, amp to tuner, and amp to speakers? The speakers will be about 8m and 11 m away from the amp.
I don't want to spend mega-bucks, as I have no claim to being an audiophile, but am prepared to spend a little more to get a discernible (to me!) difference. I'm looking for advice both on type of cable and brand, as I literally know nothing.
Can anyone advise me?
Thanks
Em
All you need is properly screened ICs Emma, these can be bought for as little as £10 a pair ie :

http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/XFA02-100.html

Or check out Mark Grants stereo power cable in the Cable Forum.

For speaker cable use the Van Damme 2x2.5mm2 Blue series, many people use this with high end gear. Does the job perfectly fine, if your really on a budget you can also make your own speaker cables from network CAT5 cabling or Twin & earth cable from B+Q.

In short dont spend a lot on cables, IMHO the 10% rule on cables is just an old "rule of thumb" that is adhered to without question, mainly because mags like What-Hifi stipulate this. So save your pennies for your next kit upgrade and dont waste it on cables.
 

Spangle2k5

Novice Member
CJROSS said:
All you need is properly screened ICs Emma, these can be bought for as little as £10 a pair ie :

http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/XFA02-100.html

Or check out Mark Grants stereo power cable in the Cable Forum.
If you are handy with a soldering iron you can get some nice chunky cables and phono plugs from Maplin and make your own high-quality cables for a few pounds.
 

Herbie

Standard Member
CJROSS said:
In short dont spend a lot on cables, IMHO the 10% rule on cables is just an old "rule of thumb" that is adhered to without question, mainly because mags like What-Hifi stipulate this. So save your pennies for your next kit upgrade and dont waste it on cables.
Agreed, it shouldn't be adhered to without question, otherwise it wouldn't be a 'rule of thumb'!;)
Personally I think it does work where you've got a system of this sort of size. At either end of the spectrum it gets a bit sketchy!

Anyway, that aside, the original poster stated that the speakers were 8m and 11m from the amp... I was always told that you should have equal runs of speaker cable... any thoughts??
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Herbie said:
Anyway, that aside, the original poster stated that the speakers were 8m and 11m from the amp... I was always told that you should have equal runs of speaker cable... any thoughts??
I currently use 3mRight + 7mLeft. :smashin:
 

dynamic turtle

Novice Member
"Connecting everything up - what kind of cables do I need?"
Cheap ones :lesson:

DT
 
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emma3701

Guest
Sorry to be dumb, but the 2.5mm Van Damme cables that several people have mentioned appear to have 4 wires - red, yellow, blue, black (looking at the pic on the maplin website). My Denon amp has the type of speaker terminals where you wind the cable round and then tighten to secure. Which of the wires should I connect to what?
Also, I haven't yet bought the speakers, but they are likely to be Quad 11Ls.
Do you know how the speaker cable will connect to the Quads?
Sorry for the probably very dumb questions, but I'm a super newbie.
Em
 

pebbles

Active Member
Hi Emma

Connecting the Quads is a simple operation - even for me! Just loosen the terminal and thread the end of the speaker cable through the hole in the bottom of the terminal post. I used QED Silver Anniversary as my cable on recommendation and was more than happy with the result.

p.s. I am selling my Quad 11L (birds eye maple) if you are interested, at the reduced price of £175 - mint condition - see my post/thread

Regards
Pebbles
 

overkill

Well-known Member
In short dont spend a lot on cables, IMHO the 10% rule on cables is just an old "rule of thumb" that is adhered to without question, mainly because mags like What-Hifi stipulate this. So save your pennies for your next kit upgrade and dont waste it on cables.
Agreed. It might even be worth scouring ebay to try and get some even cheaper.

As you can tell from CJ's comments, we've all been there with the 'silly price' cables and come back wishing we hadn't bothered.

Use CJ's suggestions and you should be alright.

Too true as well CJ, the 'sun readers hifi-mag' and even the more credible ones such as hifi Choice, Hifi Review, Audiophile etc, still plug cables as if they are the final step to nirvana. They're not. While you can get easily better sound if you toss away the 'supplied phono lead' and spend about £10-20, once you get into £100's, even for hi-end gear, it's a case of diminishing returns run riot!
 

overkill

Well-known Member
Sorry to be dumb, but the 2.5mm Van Damme cables that several people have mentioned appear to have 4 wires - red, yellow, blue, black (looking at the pic on the maplin website). My Denon amp has the type of speaker terminals where you wind the cable round and then tighten to secure. Which of the wires should I connect to what?
Also, I haven't yet bought the speakers, but they are likely to be Quad 11Ls.
Do you know how the speaker cable will connect to the Quads?
Sorry for the probably very dumb questions, but I'm a super newbie.
Em
There is a Q/A at the bottom which states that the cable is two core, so don't worry about it. Red and blue are the two colours. Ignore the bi-wire cable.
 

BenW

Active Member
From my experience almost any cable will do. Personally i found that a shielded mains cable made a reasonable difference (I got my fron thudspud on ebay, i believe he's a member here too). I got a mark grant interconnect and heard no difference so personally i wouldn't spend more than a few quid on each one.

Then speaker cable, i don't have experience with different brands but the ultra cheap 13 strand works fine IMO
 

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