AudioAficionado.org  

Go Back   AudioAficionado.org > Audio & Video > Cables Galore

Cables Galore Speaker cables, Interconnects & Power cords

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-22-2018, 01:08 PM
Killergurt Killergurt is offline
Senior Member

 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: California
Posts: 231
Default Understanding Cables Better - Questions

Hi Cable Aficionados,

I have some basic questions about cables. I am looking to better understand the tonality differences between cables. I am not asking which cables are better, just figure out if there is a market consensus about specific brands and their "sound flavor". For example: are there brands that sound brighter than others? Or that have specific characteristics in general.

I have been using multiple cable brands in my system and trying to decide whether I should move to one brand, or cherry pick cables for each component separately. I currently use Kimber, WW and Audioquest across my system(speakers, interconnects and power). I tend to like "brighter" sound and sometimes feel that my system produces a fuller/heavier sound.

My other questions:

1. Do I need to use the same XLR brand between my Amps and Preamp and then between my DAC and Preamp? Or is it common to mix and match?

2. What would have more audible effect on sound, Amp->Preamp or DAC->Preamp cables?

I don't have the budget to purchase the top of the line cables so I always aim for middle of the pack when I buy (example: WW Eclipse 7 Interconnects, Kimber Base series).

Apologies for the many questions, and thank you in advance!

My system:
Preamp: PS Audio BHK
DAC: PS Audio DS DAC
Phono stage: PS Audio Nuwave
Amps: Mcintosh 601's
Speakers: B&W 802D
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-22-2018, 01:43 PM
Catcher10's Avatar
Catcher10 Catcher10 is online now
Prog-tastic!
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Puget Sound
Posts: 495
Default

Tough question but I would say silver seems, for most, to be associated with a brighter sound or add that character to your system.

Maybe depending where you are you can find a dealer that will let you borrow some different cables to hear in your system.
__________________
José (aka Hose-A)
Parasound Halo Integrated~Music Hall mmf-7.1 w/Pro-Ject 9cc~Lyra Delos~Musical Surroundings Nova II~NAD C545BEE CDP~Teac X-2000R R2R~Rega RX5 in Walnut
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-22-2018, 02:54 PM
audio bill's Avatar
audio bill audio bill is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 1,365
Default

As far as there being a market consensus about specific cable brands, I think you'll find in general there's very little consensus about anything among audiophiles! There are as many unique cable designs as there are opinions about them and their sonic attributes. Some feel that you're best advised using one brand of cable throughout your system since they're most likely to have some synergy, while combining different brands can take more time and effort to achieve a desired balance. You do not have to use the same brand of ICs between your source and preamp as you do between amp and preamp but you may find it easier to do so. There is no substitute for experimentation and it is strongly recommended to find a dealer to work with who can provide guidance for your system and hopefully some loaner cables to demo. When doing cable demos I'd suggest avoiding short listening sessions and quick changes, rather to listen to a given cable for an extended time and then switch back to your original reference. I find it usually obvious at that point to determine which is better.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-22-2018, 03:14 PM
jdandy's Avatar
jdandy jdandy is online now
No Work, No Worries



 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: North Central Florida
Posts: 51,426
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by audio bill View Post
I think you'll find in general there's very little consensus about anything among audiophiles!
Bill.......You've got that right.
__________________
Dan



STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC452, MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-22-2018, 03:18 PM
Killergurt Killergurt is offline
Senior Member

 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: California
Posts: 231
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by audio bill View Post
As far as there being a market consensus about specific cable brands, I think you'll find in general there's very little consensus about anything among audiophiles! There are as many unique cable designs as there are opinions about them and their sonic attributes. Some feel that you're best advised using one brand of cable throughout your system since they're most likely to have some synergy, while combining different brands can take more time and effort to achieve a desired balance. You do not have to use the same brand of ICs between your source and preamp as you do between amp and preamp but you may find it easier to do so. There is no substitute for experimentation and it is strongly recommended to find a dealer to work with who can provide guidance for your system and hopefully some loaner cables to demo. When doing cable demos I'd suggest avoiding short listening sessions and quick changes, rather to listen to a given cable for an extended time and then switch back to your original reference. I find it usually obvious at that point to determine which is better.
Thank you Bill, this is very helpful.
So everything is subjective when it comes to cables? If I would to try and work with my dealer to experiment with different brands, what should I do first? Speaker cables? Source? Amps?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-22-2018, 03:25 PM
FDPDK FDPDK is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Denmark
Posts: 425
Default

Killergurt.

After i tried Power cables in my system and reading about it , it seems that one should start there. I was surprised in how much it gave over stock cords and cheap distributor.

Bu i am sure that there are many here with much more experience than i have.
__________________
Flemming
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-22-2018, 04:10 PM
Ricjor1's Avatar
Ricjor1 Ricjor1 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 618
Default

I submit wherever you start only add one variable at a time. Cables are system dependant; therefore in one system changing power cords may have the most impact. In another system speaker cables may have the most impact. Finally, make sure the cables are broken-in and you take a couple of days to get a feel for their sound.
__________________
Jeff Rowland 625 S2 amp, Corus preamp, Chord Dave DAC, Antipodes DS GT music server, Monitor Audio PL500 II, JL Audio F112v2, and more
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-22-2018, 04:29 PM
GW1800's Avatar
GW1800 GW1800 is online now
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 15
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killergurt View Post
Hi Cable Aficionados,

I have some basic questions about cables. I am looking to better understand the tonality differences between cables. I am not asking which cables are better, just figure out if there is a market consensus about specific brands and their "sound flavor". For example: are there brands that sound brighter than others? Or that have specific characteristics in general.

I have been using multiple cable brands in my system and trying to decide whether I should move to one brand, or cherry pick cables for each component separately. I currently use Kimber, WW and Audioquest across my system(speakers, interconnects and power). I tend to like "brighter" sound and sometimes feel that my system produces a fuller/heavier sound.

My other questions:

1. Do I need to use the same XLR brand between my Amps and Preamp and then between my DAC and Preamp? Or is it common to mix and match?

2. What would have more audible effect on sound, Amp->Preamp or DAC->Preamp cables?

I don't have the budget to purchase the top of the line cables so I always aim for middle of the pack when I buy (example: WW Eclipse 7 Interconnects, Kimber Base series).

Apologies for the many questions, and thank you in advance!

My system:
Preamp: PS Audio BHK
DAC: PS Audio DS DAC
Phono stage: PS Audio Nuwave
Amps: Mcintosh 601's
Speakers: B&W 802D
Lots of good questions and some great equipment that can really shine if feed with good power and interconnects. In fact if you are thinking at all about replacing any of your pieces - Don't. Cables will do a lot - many say it's as good or better then a major component upgrade. I totally agree!

My advice is to not mix and match cable brands. Depending on cost you may want to move around a bit within a line but I would definitely listen, hear then pick what you like and then keep buying more of the same. Another thing with sticking with the same brand throughout is there is definitely a synergy of them all working together towards the same end - satisfying you the listener.

Ideally a cable should not add or subtract from the overall sound some do which can be helpful with some components. Again its what you hear and like that should rule your choices. I know of no quick way as we all hear slightly different. If at all possible listen to some demo's so you can make an educated decision instead of just sales hipe. A couple of power, one or two interconnects and a SC should do the trick. Play a track or two that is well known then add power, interconnects then SC slowly over time and document the results.

I agree that power is king by a lot followed by interconnects then speaker cables. I would whenever possible stick with XLR for interconnects instead of using RCA. If you have no choice don't sweat it but if you do XLR is almost always best.

Your question 2 is a little hard to answer. Power most certainly particularly if you have a common connection or distribution hub for all your power connections. Its best to bring it in from one duplex then distribute. One thing for sure whatever power cord came with your component it needs to be replaced with something else - soon.

Back to power that starts at the wall. Do you have a dedicated circuit? 10 or 12 ga. wire? At least a heavy duty hospital grade duplex will also help. When you are listening to your system you are essentially listening to the power flow through your components. It all starts at the wall.

You did not ask for this but grounding is also a big part of a system. Its not power exactly but its a related subject that is often overlooked. Even a good earth ground to a common distribution hub can do wonders. There are obviously other ways to accomplish but this is a good place to start.

2 Channel: Bricasti M12 DAC & M28's Mono's Black / Aurender N10 Black / Treatments: RPG BAD ARC panels (F, S, Bass Trap & R walls)
Speakers: Martin Logan CLX ART (Dark Cherry) w/30# weights / 2-ML 212's Subs tuned w/PBK
Grounding: Nordost QKore 6 (2-M28, 1-N10, 1-M12, 1-QB8, 1-Router) / 8' Earth Ground Rod / Bricasti M12 w/Acoustic Revive RGC-24
Nordost: 5-QV2 & QK1, 2-QX4 / 12-TC Kones, 27-Sort Fut & 28-LIft / O2/V2 Pwr / O2: SC, Digital & XLR's / H2 Network / V2 RCA Sub's
Misc: Mini iPad / Furutech GTX-DNCF / LED lighting / Aurender AMM / Lovan Rack / SR Quantum Blue Fuses & Black Box
Media Rm: ML: 13A's, 2-Descent i's, 6-Vanquish, Focus / Parasound: 3-A23 &1-31 / Entreq SM /65" LG 4k OLED / Anthem AVM60/ Nordost Tyr 2/Vahalla 2

Last edited by GW1800; 05-22-2018 at 04:41 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-22-2018, 05:08 PM
Rex Anderson Rex Anderson is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 172
Default

Try using some well known brands used by audio professionals (recording, mixing, live sound engineers).

I use Mogami 2549 for balanced and Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 or Mogami 2497 for unbalanced interconnects. I use Belden 5000 series or Canare 4S11 for speaker cables.

I use Blue Jeans, Canare or Apogee Digital cables (AES, S/PDIF, and Toslink)

I use two sources: Redco and Blue Jeans Cable

https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/index.htm
https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/audio/index.htm
https://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/index.htm
https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store...sign-notes.htm


Read the relevant articles on BJC's website

https://www.redco.com/Mogami-W2549.html
https://www.redco.com/Mogami-W2497.html


By audiophile standards, these are inexpensive cables but used on a daily basis by people who make the recordings you listen to and do live sound at concerts you attend.

Once you have tried basic high quality cable made by companies who specialize in making cable with data to back up their performance, you can try some more expensive cable to see if you can hear the difference and decide if it's worth it to you or not.

Last edited by Rex Anderson; 05-22-2018 at 07:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-22-2018, 05:14 PM
Timobi Timobi is offline
Senior Member

 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Monroe, LA
Posts: 425
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GW1800 View Post
Lots of good questions and some great equipment that can really shine if feed with good power and interconnects. In fact if you are thinking at all about replacing any of your pieces - Don't. Cables will do a lot - many say it's as good or better then a major component upgrade. I totally agree!

My advice is to not mix and match cable brands. Depending on cost you may want to move around a bit within a line but I would definitely listen, hear then pick what you like and then keep buying more of the same. Another thing with sticking with the same brand throughout is there is definitely a synergy of them all working together towards the same end - satisfying you the listener.

Ideally a cable should not add or subtract from the overall sound some do which can be helpful with some components. Again its what you hear and like that should rule your choices. I know of no quick way as we all hear slightly different. If at all possible listen to some demo's so you can make an educated decision instead of just sales hipe. A couple of power, one or two interconnects and a SC should do the trick. Play a track or two that is well known then add power, interconnects then SC slowly over time and document the results.

I agree that power is king by a lot followed by interconnects then speaker cables. I would whenever possible stick with XLR for interconnects instead of using RCA. If you have no choice don't sweat it but if you do XLR is almost always best.

Your question 2 is a little hard to answer. Power most certainly particularly if you have a common connection or distribution hub for all your power connections. Its best to bring it in from one duplex then distribute. One thing for sure whatever power cord came with your component it needs to be replaced with something else - soon.

Back to power that starts at the wall. Do you have a dedicated circuit? 10 or 12 ga. wire? At least a heavy duty hospital grade duplex will also help. When you are listening to your system you are essentially listening to the power flow through your components. It all starts at the wall.

You did not ask for this but grounding is also a big part of a system. Its not power exactly but its a related subject that is often overlooked. Even a good earth ground to a common distribution hub can do wonders. There are obviously other ways to accomplish but this is a good place to start.

2 Channel: Bricasti M12 DAC & M28's Mono's Black / Aurender N10 Black / Treatments: RPG BAD ARC panels (F, S, Bass Trap & R walls)
Speakers: Martin Logan CLX ART (Dark Cherry) w/30# weights / 2-ML 212's Subs tuned w/PBK
Grounding: Nordost QKore 6 (2-M28, 1-N10, 1-M12, 1-QB8, 1-Router) / 8' Earth Ground Rod / Bricasti M12 w/Acoustic Revive RGC-24
Nordost: 5-QV2 & QK1, 2-QX4 / 12-TC Kones, 27-Sort Fut & 28-LIft / O2/V2 Pwr / O2: SC, Digital & XLR's / H2 Network / V2 RCA Sub's
Misc: Mini iPad / Furutech GTX-DNCF / LED lighting / Aurender AMM / Lovan Rack / SR Quantum Blue Fuses & Black Box
Media Rm: ML: 13A's, 2-Descent i's, 6-Vanquish, Focus / Parasound: 3-A23 &1-31 / Entreq SM /65" LG 4k OLED / Anthem AVM60/ Nordost Tyr 2/Vahalla 2

GW1800 (Mike) is 100% spot on. Listen to Mike. I flew up to hear his setup last October and got to hear first hand what good power cables/ interconnects and other treatments can do. It changed the way I viewed that part of the process.

Then Mike and a local Milwaukee dealer drove ALL the way down to Monroe, LA to bring some equipment and audio cables. With my existing equipment and replacing the Stock cords produced a DRAMATIC uptick in soundstage, depth, realism and emotion.

It was awesome.

We all have budgets (guidelines) But start with Power cables...will make a nice uptick.
__________________
Tim


Analog Preamp....McIntosh C1100T/C1100c
Amps....McIntosh MC601's (2)
DAC ....Cary Audio DMS-500
Speakers....Martin Logan CLX-Art
Subwoofers.... Martin Logan Balanced Force 212's (2)
Turntable....VPI Classic Signature-Ortofon Cadenza Blue Cart
Interconnects/Power Cables...Nordost Odin/Valhalla 2

Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Audioaficionado.org tested by Norton Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:58 AM.

Follow @AudioAficionado
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
©Copyright 2009-2018 AudioAficionado.org.Privately owned, All Rights Reserved.
Audio Aficionado Sponsors
AudioAficionado Subscriber
AudioAficionado Subscriber
Fortress
Fortress
Harmonic Resolution Systems
Harmonic Resolution Systems
Wyred4Sound
Wyred4Sound
Audeze
Audeze
GIK Acoustics
GIK Acoustics
Esoteric
Esoteric
AC Infinity
AC Infinity
JL Audio
JL Audio
Acoustic Sciences Corportation
Acoustic Sciences Corportation
Legend Audio & Video
Legend Audio & Video
Audio by E
Audio by E
Canton
Canton
Bryston
Bryston
WireWorld Cables
WireWorld Cables
Stillpoints
Stillpoints
Bricasti Design
Bricasti Design
Furutech
Furutech
Shunyata Research
Shunyata Research
Accuphase
Accuphase