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wackoconqueso
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Cables and interconnects

Hey folks,

 

Being new to all this, I'm a bit overhwelmed. I thought my search was complete and I could ease up on the computer time looking at stereo porn. I was wrong: Cables.

 

My system (Should be here Wednesday!) B&W CM5- Peachtree Audio 220/Nova Pre. Pretty simple, but I think I made some decent choices, let alone the deal I got on the Peachtree stuff was incredible.

I have about a $500 budget for interconnects and speaker cable. Oh, and a good USB too!

The advise from real people makes this easier, so thanks in advance.

 

Rob

BRuggles
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Take a look at Mapleshade...

I have a Mapleshade-modded amp on order, and I have been eyeing their cables. I haven't read a bad review on them, which is especially remarkable since they cost realistic prices and are compared against the esoteric craziness out there. 

Bill B
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asking

asking about cables sometimes goes off track into discussions of how much they affect the sound (hugely! not at all!) and $ value (worth it! rip off piece of wire!).

One way to go is to get perfectly fine interconnects and speaker wire from Monoprice.com.  Amazingly low prices for good quality stuff and great customer service.  Then after investing that $25, and knowing how your system sounds, try out "higher-end" brands and see if you like/want the difference.

The Mapleshade stuff makes such stupendous claims for itself that it makes me suspicious.  I would go for Audioquest, in contrast, which to me is more grounded in reality and still has audiophile cred.

commsysman
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Interconnects

There are two kinds of interconnects; balanced and unbalanced (RCA).

Balanced interconnects are always used in pro audio and recording venues because they have a balanced design with perfect shielding which allows for perfect performance with zero noise even in runs of 100 foot or more.

ALL audio equipment should use balanced interconnects. EVERY balanced interconnect always performs perfectly.

Unfortunately, it is much cheaper to build and design equipment usning the very inferior unbalanced interconnects, so much equipment is made that way.

My experience, in 50 years of audio, is that the choice of unbalanced interconnects CAN make a big difference in sound quality, but not always.

Let me explain.

I have found over and over that certain pairs of equipment wil be VERY sensitive to the cable connecting them, and HUGE differences in sound quality will be heard readily when changing from cable A to B to C.

On the other hand, certain pairs of equipment will have almost NO audible difference when you swap the cables connecting them.

People who state that cable A is better than cable B are way off base; that;s not how it works. No one cable is always better for every case.

Cable A might sound better between a certain CD player and amplifier, for example, while Cable B might sound better between a different CD player and the same amplifier.

The reason for this is that each output circuit and each input circuit in each piece of equipment has a different circuit design, and these circuits form a complex electrical network in combination with the unbalanced cable.

The bottom line is that you pretty mich have to experiment with a given pair of pieces of equipment and some cables, do some careful listening, and discover what combination sounds best.

I will say this though; I have had very good results in many instances with Audioquest cables, and extremely BAD results in most cases with Monster cables.

wackoconqueso
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Thanks. You guys are awesome.

Thanks. You guys are awesome. Very helpful too.

 

Well, I got my interconnects: Audioquest King Cobras. I didn't mind spending the $200 and I have 30 days to return. After reading consistently about them, I feel they were a decent choice.

I also got a JM labs Toslink to hook the Apple TV into the DAC. 45 bucks...............and it looks cool. Ha. I like the beefy connectors. To me, it was worth the extra not to have platic.

 

As for a 2 meter USB, I got Wireworlds Starlight 7. Yes, it was really expensive (for me), but I figure I would suffer some buyers remorse if I got a $20 A-B USB. It got some decent reviews.

 

The next one is the hard one: Speaker cables. I don't mean to start any controversy from a seemingly worn-out subject, but I'm stuck. I know I can audition, but it's hard living up in these mountains and te closest place I can do that is at two hours away. Right now, the front runner is the Audioquest Rockett 33's SBW. The rep from Peachtree recommeded the Type4 with gold spades on the speaker side, but I'm a believer in biwiring, and from what I can tell, you can't do that short of doubling up. The other option is Bluejean Cables for really cheap with bare wire to start and go from there. Something like a previous poster said. I like the braided covering on the AQ, but I can add that myself on the Bluejeans. Silly, I know. My Peachtree 220 and Nova Pre should be here before the weekend and I go and get the CM5's in two weeks. Actually, when I get to the dealer, I can audition cables there. Plus I'm only 90% sure those are the speakers I want, but after showing my wife pics of options, she said those are the ones I should get too. Arrgghhh! This consuming me!

 

Thanks for everyones help. I hope I'm doing OK.

Bill B
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good

you got some fine connectors there, they'll serve you well.  I don't remember the original price on the King Cobras, but I sense you got a really good deal on those.

Speaker cables.  I say arrgh also and altho i am happy w/ the ones i eventually upgraded to, I won't try to suggest to others, since there are too many variables.  But anyway, I don't think there are any cables that sound bad.  Just some will be slightly better in some areas, during careful comparison listening.  If you don't compare (and it is awkward/difficult to really compare speaker cables), I think you will be happy with whatever you get!  And that's appropriate.  

commsysman
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Speaker Cables

I can make you a deal on some Audioquest Indigo biwire cables I have.

The Indigo Cable is no longer made, but if they were they would probably cost around $800 now.

Each of the four cables has 8 solid conductors, and a dark blue outer rubber jacket. The length is around 8 feet.

The amplifier end has dual-banana connectors, and the speaker end has Audioquest gold spade lugs. I could change them if you prefer a different arrangement.

I will sell them for $250 plus shipping.

You can see pictures in the classified section at the AVS forum website.

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