Where to place those expensive interconnects?

XL5

Well-known Member
Ok here's the thing, i've just bought a pair of expensive interconnects and already have a pair of medium quality ones. I have a CD player to pre amp to power amp, now where would be the best place to use the premium interconnects, between the cd and pre amp or between pre amp to power amp?
 

dazed&confused

Well-known Member
I would first try them between the preamp and the power amp. The reason for this is that your preamp will be attenuating the signal to the power amp. The best thing though would be to get a friend to swap them around for you, to give you a blind test.
 

XL5

Well-known Member
Thanks for that, so there is no definitive answer? I have been a member of various forums and this question is never asked and it is in my mind a most important one especially if your paying mega bucks (which i did not but it was enough) for those promises of better audio albeit in some cases a minor improvement. :confused:
 

hificork

Active Member
Ideally you would use the same interconnects from source to amplifier to get the full benefit.
But I have found cables more a way of tweaking your overall system as a cheaper alternative to buying much more expensive hardware.
This can get very obsessive though speaking from experience, and expensive.
The biggest improvement I have had was moving from component cables to good quality hdmi for my projector.
For audio pure silver cables of a generally unknown brand gave the best price performance improvements.
 

XL5

Well-known Member
Agreed, been down that road and the minute difference in sound from a £40.00 to £400.00 is not worth it for me anyway (and then its down to personal taste). Ideally yes cd straight to amp is the best way but i have surround sound as well to think about and limited cabinet space.
My Kit is;
Roksan cd player
sony 3d bluray
Panasonic DMR-HW100 HDD
Yamaha rxv2700
Roksan 2 channel amp
Epos Epic Fronts
Celestion A4c center
Celestion A5r rears
BK xxl subwoofer
Ps Roksan in for service so used bluray for a few days as cd player, bloody impressed is all i can say for its price!! ( but i guess thats another thread ) :)
 

Glen B

Active Member
In my main system, I have found the cables between preamp and amp to make the biggest improvement. YMMV. I would suggest trying ICs between source and preamp, and between preamp and power amp to determine which works best in YOUR system.
 

XL5

Well-known Member
After blind test with the wife (woman are supposed to have better hearing :eek:) the conclusion is better quality cables between preamp and power amp produce a 'better' sound than between cd and preamp :lesson:
 

Fourlegs

Standard Member
After blind test with the wife (woman are supposed to have better hearing :eek:) the conclusion is better quality cables between preamp and power amp produce a 'better' sound than between cd and preamp :lesson:

It was when I also got my wife to listen to various interconnect cables and give her view that I obtained conclusive proof of the existence of the difference between cables.

That was a few years ago now but even now whenever I need a sanity check when I am on the point of spending more money I ask my wife if she can hear any difference!

Glad you found the right placing for your cables.
 

ozzzy189

Distinguished Member
Source to pre, information lost at source can't be retrieved.
 

Fourlegs

Standard Member
Source to pre, information lost at source can't be retrieved.

But I'm not sure this is an issue of information being lost. More expensive ie 'better' cables are selected because they sound better and indeed one cable may or may not still be assessed as still being better in a different system. I'm not sure whether anyone has done tests to show whether they preserve any more of the signal compared another cable. If it was simply how much of the signal is retained then the same cable would always sound best regardless of which system it was in or where in the system it is used.

I have always thought that the cable was more likely to be sounding different because it's resistance, impedance and capacitance all worked with the rest of the system to modify the sound in a subtle or sometimes not subtle way.

The original poster reported that he found that the better (or at least more expensive) cables made the system sound at it best when used between the pre amp and power amp. So, for him, that is where they are working best as part of his particular system.
 

tfboy

Well-known Member
I'm with fourlegs and look at it differently now: every component has a signature on how it sounds. This is the case for both active components (sources, preamps, power amps, etc) and passive leads connecting them together.

Finding which interconnect best suits the transfer of information from one device to another is a case of blind auditioning to find out whichever you prefer: there are too many variables to say for sure one setup will be better than another.

And of course there's personal preference: one person might prefer "this" kind of sound whilst another will prefer "that" kind of sound. There's no hard and fast rule.

Are you using the pre-outs of the rxv2700 and not using the onboard amplilfication of the Yamaha for the fronts?

You could also, just as an experiment, try a digital connection between your CD player and the amp (and therefore use the DACs of the yamaha). Just so you can compare them then switch back to the CD's onboard DACs and swap out the interconnects.

I'd go with using the "better" ones between the Yam and the power amp as you can benefit from all your sources, and not just from the CD player.
 

TomScrut

Well-known Member
Source to pre, information lost at source can't be retrieved.

I disagree in this case as the chance of something getting lost from a line level signal at 0dB is a lot less than an attenuated signal at say -20dB where the voltage is a LOT smaller. That means if the better cable has better insulation you get up to a hypothetical 20dB increase in system SNR by having it between pre and amp. Probably significantly less in practice though.

In a lot of cases I would agree especially since there is an element of ignorance to the quality of sources on here by some, and I think source first is a good (but still compromised) way of looking at things, I think it needs to be taken with an outlook on the whole system rather than blindly as it is often said on the Linn forums! I personally prefer the analogy of a chain only being as strong as its weakest link....
 

deaf cat

Active Member
IMO swapping position of cables in a set up produces a different sound, I would say it is up to the person listening to choose what they like the sound of best...
In theory the cable that loses the least information should be connected to the source, to pass the majority of the information on to the rest of the system, however, it is one's own choice what cable goes where, as to what one likes the sound of best ;-)
 
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Kurchatov

Banned
Looses the information?? What does that mean?

Does it mean frees the information? Or did you mean loses the information?
 

tfboy

Well-known Member
I think we're talking about information that is "lost" :) From experience, I would say information that is "slightly modified", causing a "colouring" of the sound.
 

Kurchatov

Banned
I was actually commenting on a poster who doesn't know the difference between lose and loose. Discussion on information transfer is a touch ambitious for someone with such a limited grasp of English.
 

TomScrut

Well-known Member
I was actually commenting on a poster who doesn't know the difference between lose and loose. Discussion on information transfer is a touch ambitious for someone with such a limited grasp of English.
Sorry I thought you were being as bad as they were! :D
 

deaf cat

Active Member
Looses the information?? What does that mean?

Does it mean frees the information? Or did you mean loses the information?

Thank you, have removed the extra 'o' to save future confusion.
 

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