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Upgrading to esoterica

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by Peter Baker, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Peter Baker

    Peter Baker
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    I've always been pretty sceptical about the real difference made by cable upgrades. Don't get me wrong, I still have some pretty expensive silver interconnects from my valve amp days, and use them for the music side of my kit. And I have better than basic interconnects from my tivo and freeview boxes to my preamp. But recently I upgraded these to high end kimber cables (which I was lucky to spot cheap 2nd hand) and was quite astonished by the increase in intelligibility of dialogue, and by the improved soundstage and locational definition of effects. I had no idea I was losing so much from what I considered to be compromised sources.
    Encouraged by this, I borrowed a nordost silver shadow digital interconnect for my Arcam DV27 to preamp. This replaced a Mark Grant cable, which is always pretty well thought of. Again the difference is striking. In particular dialogue just sounds more real, whilst musical soundtrack information is etched and well, more musical. I'm severely tempted to buy this cable, even at a eye-watering £300!!
    Next stop is speaker cable. I currently use Hitachi LFC OC copper, a proprietary wire which seems to punch above its' weight. I swapped in Chord Signature, but found the improvement, whilst evident, not particularly exciting. Nordost Red Dawn was next, and this was certainly different, fast, etched sound, with all the layers revealed. Perhaps a little lean, and at £1400, bloody expensive!! I'm still looking at alternatives in this area.
    Finally, I tried an Isotek mains conditioner, and think that this does offer a pretty good upgrade, with music and HT seeming more open and detailed, without any major downside. Possibly another purchase shortly.

    Certainly an area to consider for those of us with more money than sense!!
     
  2. Barcoing Mad

    Barcoing Mad
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    Get a competent friend and do all your testing blind.
     
  3. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    If you like the cables and they improve the sound of your system and you can afford this type of quality, then buy them.

    The large Isoteks power supplies can make a big difference. It might also be worth looking at upgrading the power supplies of your existing equipment, obviously this is not for everyone but it can make a huge difference if it is done correctly.

    One of the things I have learnt about cables is that they are very system dependent, sometimes medium priced stuff can make a huge difference.
     
  4. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Been there and done that.....in some instances,very high quality cables,used in the right places,can make a huge difference,and if my wife,a self-confessed non-audiophile can walk into the room and immediately notice the difference,then it works for us.

    A good example for me,of something that didn't work,was changing the power cables on my Krells from the ship's rope diameter cables they came with,to some of Kimber's mains leads...the end result...poorer sound quality there,but used on the DAC/upsampler and processor...well worthwhile....same goes for changing from XLO to Nordost.

    My point is that as with any upgrade,it should be done carefully,and with your own system,as using the wrong items,or inappropriately,simply wastes money.
     

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