Interconnect suggestions

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Jeremyw78, Sep 19, 2007.

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  1. Jeremyw78

    Jeremyw78
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    Hi,

    Currently have A80, 73T and Monitor Audio BR5's. I feel the sound of my system is sometimes a little reserved, I would like to give the sound a bit more clout!! Any suggestions to any interconnects that might help do the job?
     
  2. PenguinHiFi

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    Jeremy,

    As far as I am concerned, I use inn analogue interconnects. They're quite cheap and especially easy to find on eBay. I compared them to AudioQuest Panthers that are 5 times more expensive : much more dynamics on the Linn cables ; really slight fuller sound with the AudioQuest.
    My conclusion : stick to the Linn cable. Useless to spend 400£ on a cable when it sounds worse than a 80£ one.

    Regards.

    FRED

    P.S. : compared Linn cables to really cheap ones. Slight difference. So do not spend too much on cables. Improvement to be proven...
     
  3. floatingkiwi

    floatingkiwi
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    Try some Van Den Huls or maybe some good Kimber interconnects. Something that is silver or silver based will tend to bring the sound "forward" a bit. Sounds like yours is a bit dull?

    What are you running at present including speaker cables? I've found the speaker cable makes the biggest difference with the interconnect a very tight second.

    Fortunately, despite what you will hear from some folks, cables and IC's make or break your system - or is that "unfortunately"....

    Matt
     
  4. webhammer

    webhammer
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    I like Nordost Blue Heaven for a reasonable price. As a former Linnie, they are the least expensive models that I felt offered a significant improvement over the Linns.
     
  5. floatingkiwi

    floatingkiwi
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    Webhammer - how would you characterise the sound of these ones? Quite a few folks in New Zealand have these. Van den Hul is going to be hard for me to find when I get back home.

    Matt
     
  6. craigd

    craigd
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    Keep saving and spend the cash on something that actually makes a big difference in a years time...
     
  7. floatingkiwi

    floatingkiwi
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    Like what - what are you referring to.
     
  8. LPspinner

    LPspinner
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    I think perhaps Craigd is reminding us to keep cables in perspective and realise that a cable will make only minor differences to the system. Beyond a certain level, a cable will make no perceivable difference at all.

    Kudos to Craigd for saying so: I make up my own interconnects and have only ever used a good quality microphone cable purchased from a musical instrument shop or general electronics store. I have A – B’ed my cables with the some of the Hi – End cables and I’m yet to be convinced there is any real difference, but that’s just my opinion.

    LPSPinner.
     
  9. leofox

    leofox
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  10. craigd

    craigd
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    LPspinner has understood what I was getting at. One of the first cables I bought for my system was some £200 Chord digital coax cable - the dealer threw it in for a 'bargain' £85 when I got my DVD player so I took it. I cannot tell the difference between that and a £10 optical cable I have. In short I was ripped off and I am annoyed (at myself).

    If you add up the number of cables in your average high-end setup:

    3 x Interconnects DVD-A multichannel (£150)
    1 x Interconnects for CD source (£50)
    1 x Interconnects digital connection (£50)
    3 x HDMI (£150)
    3 x Preamp -> Poweramp (£150)
    And the rest...

    There's over £600 already - then you decide want to upgrade these and it adds up to even more!

    Before you know it you have enough £££ to buy some new gear.

    I did some of blind tests with interconnects and had statistically insignificant results. I bought a power amp - massive difference (upgrade cost £1700).
    Tested some MA GS20s --> massive improvement (upgrade cost with trade in £1000).

    Its all about the perceived improvement vs. expenditure - I do not perceive any improvement when I change my cables for more expensive ones.
     
  11. floatingkiwi

    floatingkiwi
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    Yes, but I'm not talking about 1000 dollars a meter sort of stuff. A half decent bit of speaker cable will walk all over your generic multistranded cable. I have this proved to myself and others multiple times.

    You make your own IC's from good-quality microphone cable. Extremely good idea and I will try the same myself. I bet it is better than the leads you get in the cd player box too..

    My point is that something half decent WILL indeed change the character of your system, and that is what the original poster was looking for information on. CraigD is correct: beyond a certain level cables will be hard to differentiate between - but I don't know if Jeremyw78 is at that stage yet, which is why I asked him for info on what he has now.

    LPspinner : Do you make your own speaker cables by the way, and if so, what do you use? I'm always looking for something that is better than my current setup - for the right price of course....:D

    Matt
     
  12. craigd

    craigd
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    I assume you are using a rather loose interpretation of the word 'proved' in the above sentence.

    I don't use 'generic multi-stranded cable'. I use QED bi-wire something or other. This was chosen purely for its aesthetic qualities. If aesthetics were not a consideration I would have used 2.5mm copper 2-core - cheaper and better suited to the job.
     
  13. phil grimes

    phil grimes
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    I have been extremely impressed with van den hul first ultimate, competes even with cables like acoustic zen. very good value second hand.

    Missing link cables [on audiofile candy ] are superb and very good value
     
  14. floatingkiwi

    floatingkiwi
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    Ah, no. Twice (on both of my cable upgrades) and especially on the first one (from Monster stranded to Naim) I was actually astounded by the difference. On PF-The wall for instance I could suddenly hear what each group of kids was screaming in the background! Rather dramatic and definitely "proved" to myself that the naim was better.

    I have to say I'm a bit surprised at this - with the level of your gear you really should be able to hear some sort of difference, a "dropping of veils" sort of thing.



    I have been rather dissapointed by the high quality VdHul dig-coax that I have over a generic 30 dollar job. Thank god they gave it to me free when I bought the sub and DV-139 all at once. I would have been upset if I had paid for it.

    But yes, you really can spend far too much on cables. But I do think that you need to at least look at the mid-range sort of stuff even with half-decent gear. However, it all gets back to the same idea - if you can't hear the difference, don't buy it....
     
  15. floatingkiwi

    floatingkiwi
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    I didn't mean YOUR cable in particular. I was referring to "your" in a generic fashion as in "some person's". Sorry.

    Matt
     
  16. floatingkiwi

    floatingkiwi
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    Yes, I have to say the VDHul Jubilee Hybrid that I got is quite marvellous. Fortunately I got one from the first production run that was cheaper and only paid about 200 euros for it. I think they're now around 300-400.

    Matt
     
  17. craigd

    craigd
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    No need to apologise.

    I think we both agreement that if you can't hear the difference don't buy it!

    I understand that most 'audiophiles' say the differences that one can hear between different cables often characterises itself in the higher frequencies. I don't think my hearing works properly up there (to many sets of gromits as a child!). I focus a lot on the sound of the bass and midrange when listening to music.

    Havong said that, I really must object to the assertion that high-end speaker cables are a wise investment - they are wired in series to your speaker and are all of such low impedance, capacitance and resistance their effect must be negligible compared to the speakers. Not only can I not hear the effect, I can't even understand how it can make a difference.

    _________________________________________
    CraigD BSc (Physics!)
     
  18. floatingkiwi

    floatingkiwi
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    I wouldn't say it is all in the high freqencies, but better cables just sound more "real" to me which is my entire reason for being when it comes to choosing (and listening to) new gear. I want to close my eyes and be able to believe that there is actually a jazz trio sticking out of my wall. Of course we all have a budget which is why my signature doesn't list all sorts of esoteric items....sigh...
     
  19. craigd

    craigd
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    I hope you are not trying to suggest that I had to buy my degree :eek:

    _________________________________________
    CraigD BSc (Physics!)
     
  20. craigd

    craigd
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    Thats enough of that now. Sorry.
     
  21. LPspinner

    LPspinner
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    Hi Agian Guys...
    Cable threads are always fraught with danger and likely to open up all sorts of flaming wars, but I have already posted once; so in for a Penny ….

    Nope; I think Craig has pretty much got it all summed up. The difference is didly squat ….

    I will agree that the super cheap bits of wet string that some manufacturers supply for free are less than ideal and It takes very little to better these throw away cables. However beyond that the differences are all perceived in the customers mind. How else is the punter going to justify the large amount of money he has just spent on cables.


    Speaker cable is the same; yes a long run of 24 gauge cable is going to be less than ideal. But any copper cable bigger than 12 gauge should be just fine and very little, if any differences will be observable from this point on.

    Yes I make up my own cable using a generic 0.12mm X 630 multi-strand copper cable (equivalent to about 8 gauge). I then lightly twist the two conductors to minimise the series inductance and that’s about it. Total cost is about 6 dollars AUS per meter, Job done.

    Cara L-2T2S as interconnect configured in Pseudo balanced mode.

    [​IMG]
    http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/album_page.php?pic_id=4872&sid=212018af6c5553b85cf356f489dfd2b7

    Generic 0.12mm X 630 copper cable twisted for use as a speaker cable.

    [​IMG]
    http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/album_page.php?pic_id=4871&sid=212018af6c5553b85cf356f489dfd2b7

    PS: There are two runs of speaker cables but I don’t bi-wre. This is another ploy to make you purchase twice as much expensive cable. I actually have a bi-amped system, unlike bi-wiring; bi-amping does offer real advantages.

    PPS: now I'm really upset how can I Make the links above appear as an embedded image... Please :lease: ?????

    LPSPinner:

    Edit: Links revised (still not working :confused::confused::confused:)
     
  22. PenguinHiFi

    PenguinHiFi
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    Hi,

    I think there a several things to keep in mind when it comes to cables.

    1°) First thing is that changing a cable will not suddenly make a bad system sound good, or other way round, a good system sound awful. Differences inducted by changing cables can be heard, but it will only make some minor tonal differences : slightly improve bass regsiter, or high frequencies... But if your system gives you no bass or no meds, you won't be able to get them back just by changing the cable.

    2°) Price of the cable should be rational. It doesn't help to get a 1000£ cabl if all your gear costs about 500£. Other way, it may be a fault to use a 2£ cable ina 100 000£ system. Aas a usual consideration, at least a consideration that is common amongst hi-fi dealers in France, all your cables should cost something between 5 and 15% of all your system, in some cases (5.1 systems i.e.) up to 20% of the system. Any cable costing more than that would not be rational and you'll spend too much money.

    3°) Differences between cables should be really well analysed. You should listen to music a lot with the same cable. And then, after you have a well trained ear, change the cable. Not just listen to one track and then change the cable and listen to it again. ANd the listening should go both ways twice or thrice to make sure what you are hearing is not just an illusion.

    Of course, if you happen to run on a really decent cable seller, he SHOULD allow you to borrow the cables to listen to them and make up your own mind. This will help a lot.

    Regards.

    PenguinHiFi
     
  23. tvh3ad

    tvh3ad
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    For what it's worth: in my system, cables -- both interconnect and speaker -- make small (but not negligible) differences. I understand the electrical engineering and generally agree that in most cases this should just not be true...but, for me, it is anyway. I don't know why, so from a scientific point of view I can't/won't defend my position, but in the end I don't really care: I have enough of that in my professional life as it is. This is a hobby and a chance to play around with what amount to nifty toys that make good music. If the science lines up behind the experience, great. If not, then hey -- what's a hobby for if not a little controversy and money-burning? ;)


    That said...stateside there's a nice online cable company with a nice lending library I've used in the past: http://www.thecableco.com/

    In a nutshell: they send you whatever you want to listen to in exchange for a 10% deposit and shipping. The shipping is nonrefundable, but the 10% can be applied at any time to any purchase. (They sell other audio gear aside from cables, so if you decide that expensive cables are bunk, you're not without recourse.) I prefer them to my local dealer-of-choice for cables because: a) they loan several sets at a time, b) they have a very wide selection, and c) there's absolutely no pressure to buy anything.
     

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