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FriedmanNY
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Kimber Hero Interconnects

I'd like to hear your thoughts on Kimber's "Hero" interconnects (RCA and/or balanced). Please recommend relatively inexpensive interconnects (less than $200 a meter). Also, what's your take on the difference (sound wise), if one indeed exists, between RCA and balanced interconnects?

ohfourohnine
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

I've no experience to address the question of balanced vs. RCA but I believe the theory that except for long runs, balanced interconnects offer no appreciable benefit over RCA. When it comes to Kimber Heroes, however, I'm a true believer. They are the outright value winner in my opinion. Great imaging, timbre, pacing and musicality.

I am, in fact, something of a cheapskate, so I've never tried them against stuff costing four or five times as much. I do, however, firmly accept what DUP calls the snake oil involved in the marketing of interconnects and cables. If you audition competing interconnects in your price range, you'll hear differences and be able to pick a favorite. The output of my Phono pre is a Kimber Silver Streak. All other interconnects are Heroes. Speaker cables are Kimber too. Well, I said I was a true believer.

My headphones do have a set of Cardas replacements, but they were a gift and not restricted by my penny pinching attitudes.

Obviously my advice would be to go with the Heroes.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

If you're running a true differentially balanced circuit on both input and output, you can gain 6dB signal to noise ratio by using the balanced lines. Whether your equipment sounds better on the balanced or the single ended inputs is for you to decide. If I had the option, I would almost always run balanced lines if for no other reason than an XLR is one of the best connectors you can find and a RCA one of the worst.

The Kimbers are high value cables. Make certain they compliment your system as they are a touch more emphatic at the high end where many equivalently priced cables will sound a tad rolled off or muddy by comparison. Overly agressive or unrefined CD players/tweeters or a thin system balance would rule out the Kimbers for me until I had a better system.

jkalman
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Balanced cables allow longer lengths and reduce susceptibility to external noise.

This makes balanced cabling more versatile. My whole two channel system is balanced from top to bottom (Ayre components). Consequently I don't have to worry about the long lengths from my equipment closet, or electrical wiring in the walls crossing the cables (though they don't do this anyway, better to be safe than sorry...).

Personally, I don't hear any differences between any cables I have owned, from $5000 worth to a few hundred worth. So I ended up going with BetterCables since it is both copper and a thin layer of silver coating the copper (less worries about problems with oxidization).

SAS Audio
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Hi Fried,

May I suggest the Grover ICs. Cost around $150.00 and are very impressive to say the least. Extremely coherent, open, great soundstage. Don't see how you can lose.

groverhuffman@hotmail.com

Unfortunately, he has no website. Other testimonials are at Audio Circle and Audio Nervosa.

Caveat: I am not affiliated in any way with grover ICs.

FriedmanNY
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Thanks for the post. I am quoting from wikipedia:

Most professional audio products (recording, public address, etc.) provide differential balanced inputs and outputs, typically via XLR connectors. However, in most cases, a differential balanced input signal is internally converted to a single-ended signal via transformer or electronic amplifier. After internal processing, the single-ended signal is converted back to a differential balanced signal and fed to an output. A small number of professional audio products have been designed as an entirely differential balanced signal path from input to output; the audio signal never unbalances. This design is achieved by providing identical (mirrored) internal signal paths for both pin 2 and pin 3 signals (AKA "hot" and "cold" audio signals). In critical applications, such as classical music recording, a 100% differential balanced circuit design can offer better signal integrity by avoiding the extra amplifiers and/or transformers required for front-end unbalancing and back-end rebalancing.

jkalman
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:
Thanks for the post. I am quoting from wikipedia:

Most professional audio products (recording, public address, etc.) provide differential balanced inputs and outputs, typically via XLR connectors. However, in most cases, a differential balanced input signal is internally converted to a single-ended signal via transformer or electronic amplifier. After internal processing, the single-ended signal is converted back to a differential balanced signal and fed to an output. A small number of professional audio products have been designed as an entirely differential balanced signal path from input to output; the audio signal never unbalances. This design is achieved by providing identical (mirrored) internal signal paths for both pin 2 and pin 3 signals (AKA "hot" and "cold" audio signals). In critical applications, such as classical music recording, a 100% differential balanced circuit design can offer better signal integrity by avoiding the extra amplifiers and/or transformers required for front-end unbalancing and back-end rebalancing.

I'm not sure what your point is?

Ayre components keep the signal in balanced mode internally, so it stays balanced from the Ayre C-5xe, to the Ayre K-1xe, to the Ayre MX-Rs where it is finally cleaned up of any aberrations before being sent out to the speakers.... Here, read for yourself: Ayre Acoustics Info.

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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

http://www.ayre.com/accessories.cfm?accessID=7 And make sure you "balance" it all on the special wood stuff. How does a company that sells itself on such fine electrical design, then go and also market this nonsense? Looks like it all falls apart for me when they push this stuff. Stick to electrical designs, leave teh BS out of teh mix.

jkalman
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


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http://www.ayre.com/accessories.cfm?accessID=7 And make sure you "balance" it all on the special wood stuff. How does a company that sells itself on such fine electrical design, then go and also market this nonsense? Looks like it all falls apart for me when they push this stuff. Stick to electrical designs, leave teh BS out of teh mix.

No idea. I just try to pretend they never released those.... Or their own cables.

Their equipment design is fairly sound, though they should be more explicit on exactly what they mean by "zero feedback," as from my understanding there is a small amount of feedback of one kind or another in any amp, because there has to be...

They should trust that consumers are smart enough to understand a detailed explanation of what they did in their design, and why they did it. Then again, with people buying things like Acoustic System Resonators and other trinkets, I guess I don't blame them for being esoteric about the whole thing. I do wonder if there is more to the Ayre cables than simply normal "cable" fluff, i.e. if they are impedence matched to Ayre components, etc. If it comes down to it though, I would rather a company, whose products I like to buy and use, sell whatever it has to, including mail order brides, if that is what it needs to do to stay in business and make the products I enjoy.

One thing is for sure, they create a solid and stable soundfield, and are not edgy or one dimensional. So I can't complain if that is what it takes....

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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

From what I have read and understand, the use of balanced I/C's don't really do much unless the components themselves are fully balanced, which is rare (read $). Other than that, they are advisable if you have long runs from one component to the other by providing sheilding to the low-level signal which is susceptible to EMI/EMF. Please correct me if I am wrong.

As far as I/C brands, I have been gradually replacing my ancient RS and monster stuff with CatCable I/C's. I have two sets of SilverCats running from my CDp > pre > power amp. At around $150/ 1 metre a pair, I find them a true value with workmanship and SQ comparable to other cables at 3X the cost.
I also run the CopperCat 1 metre from my Magnum Dynalab FM turner and my analog outs from my SACD/DVDp. The Coppers had noticeable and very positive effect on the LF an HF clarity, and go for around $65/ 1 metre set. All of them have the WBT locking barrel RCA plugs that I really like. No worries on ripping off the terminals on your components while still providing a nice tight connection.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Balanced line construction requires two signal carrying conductors plus a shield. The conductor legs are usually labeled as "hot", "neutral" and "shield". Unbalanced construction requires only one dedicated signal carrying conductor and a ground return and possibly the shield as well, if it exists. In a typical single ended, or unbalanced, cable the norm had been for years to have a single conductor wrapped with a shield that also served as a ground return. This would be a poor choice of construction for a long cable run as the shared shield/ground return is capable of noise pickup. The grounding leg must be connected to the equipment at both input and output ends which would allow easy transmission of noise into the equipment (and ultimately into the signal) after being picked up by the shared shield/ground.

However, with the coming of better cables a few decades ago, the norm for unbalanced construction went from a single leg to two conductors wrapped with a shield. The shield was then no longer at ground potential and the ground return/neutral leg was made of similar materials to the "hot" leg and both hot and "neutral" were constructed in a similar fashion, usually twited around each other to minimize overall impedance and provide a degree of common noise rejection. This sort of two conductor with a shield cable construction allowed for signal transfer over a cable which sought to minimize changes in impedance between the hot and the ground return legs while simultaneously lowering the potential for noise being injected into the signal through the ground return. This made the now typical single ended cable's internal construction look much more like the typical three pin XLR balanced line construction save for the connectors. Of course, the connectors are the failing point of unbalanced lines. Joining the ground return with the shield at (at least one of) the RCA connectors, lowers the performance of unbalanced lines, though this reduction in performance is not as dramatic as when the shield carries the ground return and both are connected at output and input. So, sharing the requirements of both ground return and shield on one conductor leg will make the cable much more susceptible to extraneous noise when compared to a typical balanced line construction. Dividing the duties of ground return and shield between two dissimilar legs (with the shield lifted above ground at one end) will offer some degree of improvement in minimizing noise pick up over longer cable runs. Twisted or braiding the conductor legs internally within the cable will further minimize common noise pick up though at the expense of higher capacitance per foot of cable length.

However, for truly long runs of cable, the construction of the cable and the choice of connector in regards to, specifically, capacitance, and more generally overall impedance, per foot is far more important than the noise pick up issue. Good cable dressing techniques will go farther in reducing noise pickup in either type of cable than just thinking balanced vs. unbalanced. The type of shield and the specified coverage (90-100%) used in either cable will be the first determining factor in how well the cable itself resists noise pickup. This would be important for any cable length, though obviously the longer the cable the greater the chances for noise intrusion.

If you wish to run cables over a distance of more than a few meters, however, you must insure your equipment is capable of such operation. This is true of either single ended or balanced operation. If the output impedance of your equipment is too high, say, over a few hundred Ohms, you are not going to have great success with long cable runs no matter whether they are single ended or balanced. If your cables are made using a high capacitance, inductance or overall impedance type construction, you should not run long cables without making a choice of another cable better suited to the purpose. If your terminating connectors at both ends are not 75 Ohm correct, you should look for a more accurate connector.

With a balanced line a low capacitance cable with adequate shielding should be able to carry a very low level microphone signal over two hundred feet of cable without deterioration. An appropriate unbalanced line should be able to go 75 feet without major problems, though you would be wise to switch to balanced lines if you have that option. That, of course, assumes good cable dressing and an input impedance at the receiving end that is sufficiently high to provide good signal transfer functions. No matter the length, if the input/output impedances of the connected equipment pieces are not well matched, performance will suffer.

So, the bottom line here is, if you only think in terms of balanced and unbalanced when choosing cables, you will be overlooking far more important issues that could result in unsatisfactory performance. This would be true for either a one meter cable length or for a 75 meter cable run.

jkalman
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Isn't that just a very long way of saying, the quality of cable build and ability to carry the signal properly are most important, but after that you will get benefits from XLR because it does prevent noise inteference and allows longer distance (for me in particular, I couldn't use unbalanced without risking serious integrity issues due to wire lengths, among other things...)?

Why make that point so convoluted, when it can be said so simply? It looks like an argument instead of agreement when you post it like that. Best yet, why not post links to sources as well....

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:

Isn't that just a very long way of saying, the quality of cable build and ability to carry the signal properly are most important, but after that you will get benefits from XLR because it does prevent noise inteference and allows longer distance (for me in particular, I couldn't use unbalanced without risking serious integrity issues due to wire lengths, among other things...)?

I'm sorry you found that convoluted. I tried to discuss the basics with the least amount of verbage I could manage while covering a fair amount of territory. The only argument that should be taken from that post is that the discussion of balanced vs. unbalanced lines for low noise pick up is far too simple. What I am saying, to boil it down to the basics, is the specifications and how the cable lives up to those specs are very important. If that equates to "quality" in your mind, you might be missing something. It also ignores the equipment as at least a portion, if not a very large ingredient, in the success of a cable installation. XLR connection by itself does not provide real benefits other than the basic quality of the connector when compared to the lousy RCA's that most high end equipment still employs. You can, if you wish, wire an unbalanced cable with XLR's at both, or only one end. Beyond the connector, there is no real advantage to be had in that technique. But XLR's are a true 75 Ohm connector when done properly, most are locking types, all are self wiping, many are made to be gas tight and all make the hot and ground connection at the same time rather than the ground following the hot leg as it does in a RCA. Balanced lines can also be managed without XLR's using a three conductor phone jack/plug or some of the more exotic connectors that have appeared over the past few decades. Further, there is more to consider than simply noise pick up when deciding which type of connection or cable type should be employed.

What sort of links would you like? You can place "balanced operation", "single ended cables", etc. in a search engine and get far more information than I can link to. If you are interested in the real differences between single ended and balanced operation, I would suggest that is a good way to begin learning about both. The very old book "Sound System Enginering" published by Sams might not be in print any longer, but, if you can find a copy, it would be an excellent resource for all things audio.

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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:

Quote:

Isn't that just a very long way of saying, the quality of cable build and ability to carry the signal properly are most important, but after that you will get benefits from XLR because it does prevent noise inteference and allows longer distance (for me in particular, I couldn't use unbalanced without risking serious integrity issues due to wire lengths, among other things...)?

I'm sorry you found that convoluted. I tried to discuss the basics with the least amount of verbage I could manage while covering a fair amount of territory. The only argument that should be taken from that post is that the discussion of balanced vs. unbalanced lines for low noise pick up is far too simple. What I am saying, to boil it down to the basics, is the specifications and how the cable lives up to those specs are very important. If that equates to "quality" in your mind, you might be missing something. It also ignores the equipment as at least a portion, if not a very large ingredient, in the success of a cable installation. XLR connection by itself does not provide real benefits other than the basic quality of the connector when compared to the lousy RCA's that most high end equipment still employs. You can, if you wish, wire an unbalanced cable with XLR's at both, or only one end. Beyond the connector, there is no real advantage to be had in that technique. But XLR's are a true 75 Ohm connector when done properly, most are locking types, all are self wiping, many are made to be gas tight and all make the hot and ground connection at the same time rather than the ground following the hot leg as it does in a RCA. Balanced lines can also be managed without XLR's using a three conductor phone jack/plug or some of the more exotic connectors that have appeared over the past few decades. Further, there is more to consider than simply noise pick up when deciding which type of connection or cable type should be employed.

What sort of links would you like? You can place "balanced operation", "single ended cables", etc. in a search engine and get far more information than I can link to. If you are interested in the real differences between single ended and balanced operation, I would suggest that is a good way to begin learning about both. The very old book "Sound System Enginering" published by Sams might not be in print any longer, but, if you can find a copy, it would be an excellent resource for all things audio.

Please, don't quote me and insinuate that I am making statements I didn't make. I am not "missing something."

Also, it isn't polite to suggest you know more than someone else. Anyone can read up on this stuff on the variety of online resources currently available without plagiarizing. That is why I posted a link, to avoid sounding "bombastic...." You should consider doing the same.

No need to complicate the issue. I'm not interested in arguing, and you apparently are since you are creating conflict in your arguments where none needed to exist and are using other people's statements to fuel the fire. So knock yourself out. I'm going to post somewhere else and then listen to music....

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:
When you believe in things that you don't understand,
Then you suffer,

jkalman
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:

Quote:
When you believe in things that you don't understand,
Then you suffer,

Just as I suspected, now we see the truth. At least you aren't pontificating as means to veil it anymore. I guess that is an improvement.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

I'll reply to my own post since relies to JK seem only to piss him off.


Quote:
... it isn't polite to suggest you know more than someone else.

I could easily be wrong, but don't we come to a forum in order to find answers from someone who does know more than we do? It would be a sorry state of affairs if a lack of knowledge where allowed to be posted without a refutation. What would be the use of such a forum?


Quote:
Anyone can read up on this stuff on the variety of online resources currently available without plagiarizing.

I hope, sir, you are not accusing me of plagiarizing anything. I've read the articles and books and the words posted are my own. At the very least I would think you could decide whether the post is convoluted or plagiarized. It cannot be both.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:

Just as I suspected, now we see the truth

I doubt you and I see the same "truth". How much longer would you like to piss on each other?

jkalman
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Yep. You just want to get in a fight. Have fun. I'm not engaging you.

Monty
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

In addition to the great info posted before, another consideration in going balanced vs rca (single ended) is your gear itself. Many components will offer both connections, but will differ in impedance and gain between the two. You may prefer one type of connection over the other simply based on things that have nothing to do with the cable and everything to do with the component design.

As a default, I would use the balanced connection if the manufacturer incorporated it into the design, even if that meant having to purchase new interconnects. But, I would also listen to the same interconnect via the rca connection to satisfy myself that the balanced connection offered superior sonics. That is not always the case and you will always wonder if you don't try both.

Most dealers will be happy to loan you a pair of each if they are worth being dealers in the first place...particularly the inexpensive Hero.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:
Many components will offer both connections, but will differ in impedance and gain between the two.

The additional gain achieved in balanced operation is the result of the six dB difference in signal to noise. Or, more precisely, the other way around. It is somewhat like driving both inputs on a subwoofer with left/right RCA's, you have 6dB of additional gain compared to driving just one side. The additonal gain will not be available if the circuit reverts to single ended within the equipment, only when the signal is balanced from input to output. The circuit noise is constant but the gain raises the signal 6dB above the noise floor. You are correct that impedance can be quite different between the two connections and since impedance plays a role in making a proper connection, you should know what you are driving into with what output impedance. If you are in doubt, most manufactures who provide balanced operation can advise you on the more desirable connection.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

?!

FriedmanNY
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Hi Jan,

My Jeff Rowland Concentra integrated amp and Stax 006t headphone amp are both fully balanced internally. From what you have said, I would have a purer connection if I went balanced.

Maybe you can help me with this one. The Concentra has a balanced PRE-OUT output. Would connecting the Concentra to the Stax via the PRE-OUT output bypass the Concentra's preamp? (I'd love to connect my Stax directly to my turntable (Basis 1400) but my Stax model does not have a built-in phone stage, as do earlier models.) I currently go through the Concentra's Tape Out (RCA) output.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Sorry, I'm not going to be much help on the specific questions you posed. I don't know the Stax headphone. Is it driven from the speaker outputs? Or, off a line level output?

"Would connecting the Concentra to the Stax via the PRE-OUT output bypass the Concentra's preamp?" No, pre amp output is taken after the signal has been processed by the pre amp and it is affected by the volume control. Tape out is the simplest signal path in the Concentra. However, the distinction between pre out and tape out signal quality should be virtually indistinguishable through the Rowland save for the effect of the volume control. Tape out will typically have a slightly higher output impedance than pre out which could affect the current (amperage) drive to the headphones depending on their input impedance.

There is no way that I know of to drive the Stax phones directly from the turntable/cartridge's output. You will require a phono pre amp at the very least.

Unless someone else can answer your questions more completely, I would suggest you give Rowland a call. They should be able to assist you.

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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

I personally think any of the various equivalently priced Audioquest cables are much more natural and dynamic than the Kimber line. I did a lot of comparisons when setting up my system and the Kimbers, although a little more detailed, were also WAY more on the lean and cold side. My 2 cents...

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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Ahh! There it is.... to your ears, in your system.

RG

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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Some information, that I plagiarised i.e. I was taught it or(?) read about it early on in my career.

Balanced cable- A balanced cable carries the audio signal along two of its conductors. The phase difference between the signals is 180degrees. Imagine an unwanted interfering signal then being induced in both cables along the cable run, (hopefully having exactly the same amplitude and phase). We now will have four signals two out of phase audio signals and two in phase and equal amplitude interferers. When this mixture of signals arrives at the input to say an amplifier, then if the amplifier is designed with a differential input, as its

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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:
The reason for having equal load, source and cable impedances is so that all the energy from the source is absorbed in the load, (maximum power transfer theory) no matter what the frequency. This means that the frequency response will also be as flat as possible.

Not very many people employ or subscribe to that design goal. Jeff Rowland does, but I think it's more of the exception rather than the norm.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:
It
Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:
Not very many people employ or subscribe to that design goal.

I don't know that it is a matter of "subscribing" to the concept so much as it is just more difficult/expensive to achieve. Input/output impedances have very little rhyme or reason in consumer audio. Why not design all separate pre amps to drive long cables? Answer, it is more difficult and generally more expensive to do so and maintain the same bench test measurements.

It's been ages since I discussed Rowland gear but, if I remember correctly, Jeff Rowland does not approve of long cable runs with his gear. Is that right? Not because of difficulties in building the equipment to drive long cables, Rowland is a competent designer no doubt, but he just philosophically doesn't like long cables is my recollection.

Monty
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

I think Rowland's beef with long cables is his belief that cables have a significant impact on the signal for a host of reasons and that "less is more" is the rule.

Here is a bit from Rowland's website. Not much to go on, but it gives a hint of where they are coming from.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

From that linked article; "The degree of isolation and immunity from these undesirable effects and their resulting problems is indicated by the CMRR (common-mode-rejection-ratio). (Note that balanced interconnection schemes are referred to in this discussion. Single-ended interconnected systems, by their inherent design limitations, can never overcome the problems discussed here.)"

Monty
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

I'm not suggesting that balanced connections do not have the potential for better sonics, I'm simply saying that some gear sounds better through their single ended connections as a matter of application. Whether it's because of poor engineering, impedance variables between components or whatever.

No axe to grind with balanced designs on my end.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Here's where a bit of help from JA would be of assistance. I assume the difference is largely whether the manufacturer has cheated and used a transformer to create a balanced line from what was once a single ended operation.

martin_n
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

What is apparent from the article IS PRECISELY what I implied earlier - the need for a flat frequency response, hence a matched system impedance. If you do not have this, when transmitting the quoted complex set of discrete signals (representing an audio stream) a non matched system will alter the phase and amplitude of some of these discrete frequencies, especially where it starts to look electrically reactive (e.g. as it departs from a nominal 75ohm resistive match)

I don

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:
So why not do what you can where you can? Matching the interconnecting cables (not really possible to the speaker) is good start. It also is easy to do. 99% of the RF stuff we use today (TV
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

While much of the previous posts about impedence matching is true, it applies to maximum power transfer and RF applications.
Audio equipment attempts to operate as an ideal voltage source. Low source impedence driving a load having a much higher impedence. Pre-amp to amp or amp to speaker, same thing. The greater the ratio, the less effect load variations will have influence.
Interconnect impedence? At audio frequencies they are a non load. And if they do have some capacitance that can help create a load to any unwanted RF interference.
Balanced circuits are great for CMRR, if that is an issue.
On the negative, balanced circuits require additional circuit components. An inductive bandwidth limited transformer, a duplicate matched gain stage.
As always, trade offs. Implementation is what's important.

martin_n
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

The principle is the same, whether at audio or RF frequencies. When you talk about audio attempting to act as an ideal voltage source, well so does RF!

Elk
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:
Because ALL cables are reactive then connected into the above system when the signal arrives at the load it WILL contain phase and amplitude errors introduced by the cable.


At what point do we hear these introduced anomalies?

Also, are these considerations any different when connecting components than when wiring circuits together within a single component? I can hear a difference between interconnects - which is sometimes quite pronounced - which makes me wonder how much of a difference does the wire used within a component make? (Assuming all the wiring meets the basic needs of the circuit.)

As Cyclebrain pointed out, it is all in the implementation. Just like optical digital transmission can be excellent if done right - optical just happens to be done cheaply in most consumer goods.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:
I can hear a difference between interconnects - which is sometimes quite pronounced - which makes me wonder how much of a difference does the wire used within a component make?

If we are to believe a cable's impedance doesn't come into play at audio frequencies, what should we think is responsible for the variance we can perceive between cable "A" and cable "B"? From what I have read on the web, the manufacturing quality of copper cable has improved substantially over the last decade. So much so that oxygen free copper is rather run of the mill today and more represents the norm rather than the exception. While the extrusion or drawing process can account for some improvement in the quality of copper, there must be more to this than just how many "grains" of copper are in each foot of cable or whether we coat each strand of copper with a bit of silver. Reading the cable reviews and advertisements, the differences between cables often seem to be centered around the construction techniques the designer chooses. Termination quality, other than physical appearance is seldom if ever discussed. However, the high end buyer generally believes "better" connectors sound ... well, "better" but they have few distinctions in why that would be other than physical appearance. Beyond the obvious changes in construction such as Litz cabling for cartridge leads or CAT5 as speaker cable being responsible for the cable's higher capacitance in circuit, doesn't construction of a cable affect the impedance of a cable? How then can we be so certain cable impedance doesn't result in an effect we can hear at audio frequencies? Isn't the idea that cable impedance is a non-issue at audio frequencies similar to the idea held a few decades ago that all capacitors appropriate for a specific circuit are broadly alike in audio signal quality? Is that still disputed by engineers? Engineers rely on long standing mathematics to disprove something as if that is all there is to be done. (Please, gentlemen, I'm not attacking you, just pointing out what I see from my side of the fence.) I came across a quote from one of the well regarded audio engineers of the Golden Age of audio that can be paraphrased as, "If it measures well and sounds good, it probably is good. If it measures poorly but sounds good, you measured the wrong thing." This, IMO, appeals for better understanding of what we are measuring - or not measuring - and as a result of those measurements, approving or not approving. Wouldn't this applicable to cables also?

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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Properly designed stuff liek a well designed pre amp can drive any piece of wire from it to the amp. Probably JR stuff doesn't have the ability, not enough Current drive or it's not isolated properly. The poor designs are where the cable voodo plays into. change a wire, hear something, cus your equipment can't deal with the whacky cables with high C or L. Now that's high end!!! I love how "philosophy" not electrical design is the reason. More nonsense. Ya buy audio stuff for it's electrical competence, not a philosophy lesson. This is Funny stuff. Let's all join hands, and hum, chant and make it all sound OK.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


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Properly designed stuff liek a well designed pre amp can drive any piece of wire from it to the amp.

Once again, you are either wrong or you miss the point. Or both.

CECE
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

How am I wrong?

tandy
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


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How am I wrong?

Haven't many articles from PHds and others been presented to you in the cable forum? Why have you dismissed them, if you are scientific and objective as you claim?

Gripe, gripe, gripe.

cyclebrain
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


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The principle is the same, whether at audio or RF frequencies. When you talk about audio attempting to act as an ideal voltage source, well so does RF!
einsteincool
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

You've mentioned you are using Kimber speaker cable, but didn't mention which model. I'm currently considering Monocle XL or Bi-Focal XL speaker cable and KCAG or KS1011 interconnect.

What are your thoughts? Also, what do you think of Audience AU24 cables?

ohfourohnine
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

I really am a cheapskate, Joe, so I'm happy with the 8TC's. Tried the 4TC's when I bought the 8's and I felt the extra cost was worth it in terms of smooth tonal presentation, pacing, and soundstage. It's been a long time since I've listened to any other cable so I can't speak to how the other cables you've listed might compare with them. I'm sure, however, that some of the others here can offer some knowlegeable advice. Good luck with the auditioning process, that can get a little boring.

martin_n
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Hello Cyclebrain
I think that you miss understood my point? Which was about impedance matching. Firstly you appeared to make a distinction that impedance matching applies to maximum power transfer and RF applications but not audio?

Quote:

While much of the previous posts about impedence matching is true, it applies to maximum power transfer and RF applications.


In many designs it may be true? But unless you are privy to all the different circuit designs out there, it

cyclebrain
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects


Quote:
Firstly you appeared to make a distinction that impedance matching applies to maximum power transfer and RF applications but not audio?


Yes

Quote:

An ideal power transfer requires an equal impedence between the source, interface and load


Wrong - Maximum power transfer occurs when you have the same load and source resistance - not impedance. If they are connected by a cable then the cable should have a characteristic impedance = to the load or source resistance.
Should the load and source have an equally reactive component then energy will be reflected rather than absorbed, and the frequency response will not be flat.

You are correct on that. I said an "ideal" power transfer.
Ideal would be resistive only with no reactive component as you pointed out. I was mixing ideal with real world.

Wrong

cyclebrain
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects
martin_n
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Re: Kimber Hero Interconnects

Hi Cyclebrain
Thanks for your response

Quote:

Unfortunately your first formula is flawed and that mistake carries through and effects the rest of your calculations.
Square root of L/C is a valid equation but not at audio frequencies


Sorry, I think you

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