Looking for RCA Interconnect Upgrade

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by avanti1960, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    I recently explored IC's
    I bought:
    cardas quadlink
    cardas neutral ref
    AudioQuest Waters
    Analysis plus one
    Kimber hero

    will do a shootout very soon, will post back results.

    I have a dac with 2 separate outputs and a preamp would multiple inputs which will make it VERY easy to A-B testing with only a knob to turn!!
    timind, avanti1960 and Dave like this.
  2. indycardude

    indycardude New Member

    Phoenix, Arizona
    I have Ven Den Hul The First Ultimate RCA cables and the sound quality is excellent. I ordered them from Futureshop in the U.K. for around $300.
  3. samurai

    samurai Forum Resident

    My suggestion, look into the KLE cables from Australia.
    Read the reviews etc.
    Keith Eichmann has designed some great stuff.
    His rca terminations are currently some of the best around.
    I don't think the prices are insane either.
  4. Guildx500

    Guildx500 Forum Resident

    Since you like the King Cobra I suggest moving up in the Audioquest line. Get something with DBS.
  5. Cherrycherry

    Cherrycherry Forum Resident

    A small quibble here? Your profile is selectively not openly available here on SHF.
    "Steve Hoffman Music Forums - Error
    This member limits who may view their full profile."

    Whether or not you have a profile listed somewhere else on some other website is irrelevant to this site and to the membership.

    This doesn't affect me personally in reading this thread.
    I don't have money for power cables. But, when I do... I have this thread bookmarked.
  6. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    My explaination which are someone else's words is that when connecting a preamp to a power amp or CD player to a pre is that the best cable is NO CABLE!
    But if we do use a cable then the cable
    Which loses the least information is the one to go for.
    SandAndGlass and GuildX700 like this.
  7. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    "the best cable is NO CABLE!"
    :thumbsup: :agree: :uhhuh: :bdance: :uhhuh: :agree: :thumbsup:

    That simple statement is rather quite profound, and in reality it's 100% factual and pure in the absolute value of truth that it speaks.

    Really, think about that for some time, let it roll around in your mind, consider the simple purity of truth contained therein. It's almost gospel like in it's revelation.

    Frankly anyone seriously considering buying cables should really think long and hard dwelling on that statement first for quite sometime before opening up one's wallet. Unless, again one's desire is to use cables as a sort of tone control, which by and large it certainly does seem many folks are doing exactly that, some doing it unbeknownst, others doing it knowingly and by design.
  8. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chicago metro, USA
    Thanks for the info. I do trust opinions from people who have been in similar positions and learning what has worked for them.
    The cable co. link looks like a potentially great source of knowledge.
    Thorensman likes this.
  9. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chicago metro, USA
    The problem is understanding what the truth actually sounds like. Unfortunately I need a cable between my source and amplifier and so far the ones I have tried all sound slightly different. I can handle the truth- I just don't know what it is.
    samurai and F1nut like this.
  10. Lonson

    Lonson Don't get around much anymore

    Chardon, Ohio
    The Cable Company lending program is a great suggestion. I would throw VooDoo Cable into the mix in auditions. I settled on them as being great for my system and all the price points I've tried have been excellent sounding and a good value.
  11. royzak2000

    royzak2000 Forum Resident

    Nothing in Hi-Fi is neutral, Quads straight wire with gain is a great slogan, thats it, everything is based on the designers own prejudice, love em or hate them, this is your prejudice.
    Cables slot neatly into this, so do recordings. I personally have found Audioquest works best with my decidedly un-neutral system.
  12. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    The Mars Hotel
    In that vein, every speaker is a tone control and therefore the best speaker is no speaker.
  13. timind

    timind Forum Resident

    Brownsburg, IN USA
    Discussions on politics and religion are banned on this site. Maybe cable discussions should be banned as well.

    I can't remember if it was the Audioquest King Cobra or Coral that I really liked, they seem very similar. I sold them as I no longer needed a 3 meter run of balanced cables. My all-time favorite IC was a pair of MIT balanced cables, can't recall the model, but they were exceptional and I bought them from Joe Abrams.
    Dave and F1nut like this.
  14. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Kansas City, USA
    Posting this excerpt from a recent newsletter published by a nice dealer I buy some equipment from that I found to be very down-to-earth and quite accommodating. I think much of what he says here is good food for thought and it is interesting to get his take between the sound change afforded by different cables:

    "I hate the fact that cables make a difference. The expense and trouble of selecting can drive you crazy. Just consider how many permutations of different combinations you can come up with - and I assure you there will be a noticeable change in sound with each combination. The other side of the coin, cables can customize the sound for your ears and get you closer to the music.

    Quickly, there are several reasons cables sound different. All cables have a resistance, capacitance and load. Each cable design has different amounts of these three basic electrical properties. Let's take a speaker cable. A speaker cable's properties interact with the speaker crossover and changes the sound by adding different amounts of resistance. For example - it's like placing a resistor in the crossover. Since different cables have different resistance, this can effect the sound of the speaker.

    Then there is the material used. The dialectic will affect the way the signal travels thru the cable. The signal will spend more time in the dialectic on poorer made cables.

    The break-in of cables is a hard phenomena to explain, but we can all hear it to some degree. Most agree that it is caused by static stored in the cable from testing and manufacturing. How is that for crazy?

    A few nights ago we set down with the objective to evaluate a new Cardas speaker cable that was sent on loan. We are very serious about understanding the sound of all the gear we carry and about making sure there is value in the products we sell. We were very surprised in the outcome.

    Here is the gear we used:
    Yamaha WXC-50 (for streaming) $350
    The solid, well known Ayre Codex DAC $1800
    The killer Quicksilver Line Stage $995 (this is the preamp you want!)
    A Parasound A21 $2500 hard to beat amp at any price
    Spendor A6R $4200 Open and transparent with great detail - musical

    We love the sound of this system using Kimber Timbre IC $147, and Kimber TC12 speaker cable $700 (the Kimber VS12 at $344 is also very good). We first replaced the TC12 with the Cardas Clear Light $1470 (twice the price). The sound changed and for the better - voices sounded more natural and cymbal decay continued much longer. There was a slight heaviness in the mid range that was unexpected, but changing the Kimber Timbre IC for a Cardas Clear Reflection $1150 (7.6 times more expensive) removed the heaviness. This is very curious to me as the Timbre is an excellent cable, but somehow its signature did not mesh with the Clear Light speaker cable.

    I finished the Kimber to Cardas switch by changing out the Kimber from the Codex with a Cardas Parsec $360 (twice as much). Again, a surprise. The music opened up and lost some weight. Not sure if this last sound was better than the previous, but it was different. I am guessing most would find it a toss up.

    We increased the price of cables from $1000 to $3000. The cable design is much different. The sound is different. We felt that the added naturalness and extended decay allows us to say the higher end Cardas is better. Some may like the Kimber better - it is a little snappier, perhaps."
    Dave, royzak2000 and F1nut like this.
  15. royzak2000

    royzak2000 Forum Resident

    Cables make a difference, if you don't want to believe this is not my problem, it's yours. I don't have the skills to define it.
    I took my Silver Sounds to my dealer when buying my latest speakers, it was that important, a number of cables later I bought a different one.
    lance b, Johnny Vinyl and F1nut like this.
  16. beowulf

    beowulf Forum Resident

    Chula Vista, CA
    I've experimented with copper, silver and combinations of both along with some other metals.

    My favorites have been cables made from Ohno Continuous Cast metals such as copper, silver, combinations of both as well as gold mixed in.

    The company that Lon mentioned above Voodoo is one such vendor that uses those metallurgy techniques. Another company that uses those metals as well is ZenWave Audio (Zenwave Audio ), who DaveC, the owner is a member of these forums. I use Dave's cables almost exclusively and think they are some of the best that I've tried. He will also send you a demo pair to try in your system before you buy, I believe you just pay shipping.

    I suggest his D2/D3 cables in your price range. Athough I really like the Duelund DD - though they are not as neutral as his other cables, but they have a harmonic richness to them that I love to use on my DAC, but I don't think they would be as appropriate for an analog source such as a turntable .
    F1nut likes this.
  17. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Well-Known Member

    Washington DC USA
    Anyone who does not (budget aside) should do same for ears.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
    formu_la and F1nut like this.
  18. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Well-Known Member

    Washington DC USA
    The "truth" is that they all sound different. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.
    F1nut likes this.
  19. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    My thought is interconnects should have no sound of their own. If they do, the product has been voiced to produce an intentional result. If someone wants to take an edge off their system, it's a lot cheaper to fool around with some capacitors. All the interconnects I have sound the same, both cheap and fancy, except for one 3.5mm to RCA with ferrite cores on it. That last one is nasty, but one could play with ferrite cores and get a different result.

    At the end of the day there is probably something else costing less to change out that will make a bigger difference.
    LarryP, DPC and GuildX700 like this.
  20. royzak2000

    royzak2000 Forum Resident

    It's not about adjusting the sound of a system to your taste, good wires make the whole system sound better, not brighter nor warmer just finding the potential of what is already there.
    lance b, Jim13 and F1nut like this.
  21. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Well-Known Member

    Washington DC USA
    Answer this question: If it's just voicing as you say, why hasn't anyone figured out that they could make millions by "voicing" $99 cables that sound just like the ones people are paying $3,000 for?
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
    Dave and F1nut like this.
  22. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Cables will always start heated debates.
    The suggestion of the cable company is
    Sound one! It's very hard to be specific
    On this subject.
    I use tubes. Shark cables sound very good to my ears with tubes.
    They are available from Holland.
    They may not suit transistors, and this is the thing, your ears may be different to mine.
    I build cables sell the odd pair, price is not really an arbiter of quality.
    Belden, Shark are but 2 , there are several major suppliers that the main manufacturers use. Not many make their own
    cat 5 cable woven makes a good loudspeaker Cable! Sattellite cable makes a superb interconnect . Its true. Construction method has a bearing on sound quality.
    So many variables. You can hear the effects of a poor cable immediately in the bass, boomy coarse and a dull treble.
    I would be wary of spending large ammounts on a super cable.
  23. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    Easy, because people who pay more believe they are getting more, which is one of the crazy things about this hobby. Besides, it a cable has a known property it should be stated by the vendor. Instead, consumers are forced to experiment. If there is a worse way to spend your money, I don't know what it is. For $3k you can get another DAC or turntable. I bet a $5 from Fry's could be voiced and do the job.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
    SandAndGlass, timind, LarryP and 2 others like this.
  24. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    If it´s not voicing, then it´s about adding least distortion. Then it would be better selecting by measuring.
  25. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    The Mars Hotel
    See, that's not true. I've had more expensive cables than what I'm using now that I didn't like.

    Your second notion runs into the problem that cables have different presentations in different rigs just as other gear and speakers do.
    thegage likes this.

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