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spampup
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Joined: Nov 25 2005 - 8:59am
Interconnect & Cable Overview or Comparison Site?

Hi, All,

I have finally succeeded in putting together a system of components that I'm happy with and hope to live with for a long time.

Over the last ten years I have had an agreement with myself that I would not even THINK of buying any new cables or interconnects until I was pretty satisfied with the system components.

I have been using halfway decent (by early 1990s standards) interconnects (Monster Interlink reference 2) and cables (biwired Monster Powerline 2), but after reading 20 years worth of reviews, discussion and hype I am finally ready to consider wire upgrades.

I can hardly believe the "explosions" over the past few years of not only the number of cable manufacturers and models, but also of the shocking prices!

I am looking for some way to narrow down the available choices, mainly based on the general "sound" of the different brands and models.

I have been a Stereophile subscriber since 1983, and have every issue. I have been reading wire reviews in several other magazines over the years, and now, of course, there's the internet. I could go back and start reading reviews and check out "Recomended Components", surf the net and peruse various catalogs, but with the number of possible choices available, I'm just overwhelmed!

I have no nearby audio dealer who carries more than one or two cable brands, so I really wouldn't be able to compare locally, and I am really hesitant to do mail-order trials.

My question: Is there any recent publication or web site that gives a (well-informed, competent, objective and reasonably comprehensive) description of the sound of the various cables?

What I would like to see is a ranking of cables as to those that are warmer, more neutral, more bright or detailed, etc. (especially if it includes cables that are more reasonably priced...). It would also be nice if some of the older wires, like my Interlink References, were included for comparison.

Stereophile's Recomended Components listing is useful, but is nowhere near comprehensive, and is definitely biased towards cables that are WAY out of any price range that I would even consider!

How about it... any ideas?

Thanks!

Ken

Yiangos
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Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: Interconnect & Cable Overview or Comparison Site?

Hi Ken ,
Try ecoustics.com You will find reviews of just about anything ! lol
If you are asking,us,the "posters",forget it.i don't believe anyone who paid $ for his/her cables will say anything negative about them.

Jeff Wong
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Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: Interconnect & Cable Overview or Comparison Site?

Ken B - There are soooo many cables out there, and even more being made by DIYers and start up companies as you read this. It's nearly impossible to keep up with all the wire out there. I know of no dedicated site(s). There are plenty of forums that have a cable section. But, quite often the threads there get dumped on by DBT trolls and Cable Agnostics... it's an unpleasant experience and best to be avoided.

Over at Head-Fi (a headphone-centric site/forum) a member named markl did an ambitious 14 power cord shootout with extensive notes:

http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=141423

I see many threads there where members champion some unknown or DIY cables as giantkillers. They could very well be that, but will that company or cable be around in a year's time? I suspect many of the more established companies have survived not just due to marketing hype, but because they've done extensive research and listening and produce good stuff. You might fare well to check out the recommended brands in the magazine - just bear in mind noone can possibly have heard all the stuff that's out there. Reviewers may have settled on what they like, or don't have the time to explore as much as they might like and as a result aren't aware of all the new stuff. That's where these forums actually are a valuable tool... you've got budget conscious kids and the like rooting around for the best sound for the money. My only concern would be if something went wrong with the product and no support was to be found.

Do you have an audiophile club or group in your area? Perhaps, you can make some audiobuddies and listen to cables they have? Reading about audio gear can only get you so far. It reminds me of the Elvis Costello quote: "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."

I recently ordered some silver cables on eBay to try. They're from some small company, probably one guy, but use a configuration that I was planning on using for my own DIY project. It's a tri-braid design, and will serve as a filler until I can get some Kimber when funds permit. But, at 1/10 the price, it represents very little risk, so, why not?

Other than the multitude of reviews on the Web, I'm not sure what to tell you. 6 Moons does a lot of cable surveys:

http://www.6moons.com

If you're feeling ambitious, you could roll your own:

http://www.venhaus1.com/diysilverinterconnects.html

Allen Wright has a book that has DIY projects:

http://www.vacuumstate.com/cables.htm

It's a fun read and several are easy to make.

Jon Risch's site is very informative:

http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/cables.htm

I'm sorry this wasn't more helpful in terms of offering an overview or comparison site...

RGibran
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Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Re: Interconnect & Cable Overview or Comparison Site?

Ten years is a long time to finally be satisfied (if there is such a thing) with your audio system. Why do you want to go and screw up a good thing? I would not be too anxious to upgrade cables after finally arriving at a

Monty
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Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: Interconnect & Cable Overview or Comparison Site?

I would really consider approaching cables the same way as you would any other component. Try before you buy and audition well used cables whenever possible. Otherwise, you are going to be in for some long burn-in time just to decide if you like them or not.

Bluesbob
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Re: Interconnect & Cable Overview or Comparison Site?

There are some recommended interconnects that won't break the bank. The Alpha-Core TQ2 sounds pretty good to me, compared to older Monster (and other) brands I tried, especially between pre and power amps. JMHO.

RGibran
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Re: Interconnect & Cable Overview or Comparison Site?


Quote:
There are some recommended interconnects that won't break the bank. The Alpha-Core TQ2 sounds pretty good to me, compared to older Monster (and other) brands I tried, especially between pre and power amps. JMHO.

Since you said it. I'll second it! Easily bested Kimber PBJ which I used for years. Perhaps a toss up compared to the Blue Heavens but nudged them out IN MY SYSTEM. Definitetly improved with age. Outstanding budget cable, in my biased opinion.

RG

Jeff Wong
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Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: Interconnect & Cable Overview or Comparison Site?

I've used Alpha-Core Goertz silver and copper cables in my system for years and have been very happy and highly recommend either.

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