View Full Version : Interconnect recommendations needed
02-26-2003, 09:35 PM
I would like opinions on the sound characteristics of different brand interconnects. I no that sound can be drastically different between different combinations of components but I am looking for the major selling characteristics of the different brands. I need to buy two pairs of interconnects and my budget is going to be around $200 total. Brands I have heard good things about are Audioquest, Cardas, Kimber. My setup is :
Polk rt800i running through a Polk PWS 400sub
Adcom GFA-555 MKII (200w x 2)
Adcom GFP-555 preamp
Very old Sony CD player (considering an upgrade)
Thanks for any input!
I don't think many people will touch this one but I'll give it a try. :)
At $100 a pair Audioquest will probably be your best option of the three. The entry level Kimber and Cardas cables (in my opinion) aren't worth the money.
I was in a simmilar situation a few months ago. I managed to pick up a couple of pairs of Monster Reference Interconnects (regular $99) at Circuit City for $69 a pair. They were a great improvement over my cheapo ICs, and well worth the $69 I paid.
You have a LOT of options, and it's probably best that you try a few before you decide. Most places will let you take some home over a weekend so you can test them with your gear.
As far as different sound characteristics from different brands and models, that is a VERY relative topic and it will be difficult to find two people who agree.
If you can find some Kimber Hero's for around $100 a pair I'd go with them, but they usually run $150 a pair. If you really want to go with one of the brands mentioned above I think you should save a bit more and also spend some time listening and researching before you drop the cash. :)
Good luck, and let us know what you decide on.
02-26-2003, 11:53 PM
Yeah, what he said, + signalcable.com .
02-26-2003, 11:54 PM
I second that, got to give it a listen, analog two rules!
02-26-2003, 11:55 PM
Try this one.
02-27-2003, 02:50 AM
I'll add more fuel to the fire, check out MIT at www.mitcables.com. Also check out used cables as a way to get better quality at lower prices, www.usedcables.com.
02-27-2003, 03:52 AM
check out these coppercats, they are right in your price range as long as you don't need em any longer than 1 meter.
a 1 meter pair will run $99 x 2 = $200 + shipping
I use the silvercats version of these analog interconnects.. the only difference i can find between silver and copper wire is that the silver wires seem to add brightness to you system. Some people think it's to harsh, while others (me) think it adds a nice top end range without being harsh. IMHO I think these silvecats will work very well with your Adcom amp... unless it's already bright.
02-27-2003, 04:11 AM
I had a pair of Alpha-Core Micro Purl interconnects that I returned because one had a loose connection. These particular cables are highly regarded by many for the price. However, upon returning I decided to purchase the slightly more expensive Tara Labs Axiom interconnects to see if I really could hear a difference with my system. I hooked up a 1 meter pair between my Anthem amp 1 and the pre-outs of the Marantz receiver. I can tell you that the difference between the cables was nothing short of breathtaking. With the Tara Labs connected the music went deeper, the mids cleared and opened up and the soundstage was wider with more exact placement of instruments including more depth. I am not sure if these would be in your budget but they would be well worth the listen. I paid $245 CDN. for the 1 set so they would be a little more money than you had planned but well worth trying.
02-27-2003, 10:58 AM
At the risk of getting flamed, I'd spend my $200 on a new CD player. My wife and I recently did an A/B comparison test between our twelve year old made by Philips unit and our current JVC. The difference was night and day, the JVC won hands down on all counts. If your Sony is somewhere around 8-10 years old, maybe it's time for it to go. Just my .02.
02-27-2003, 12:22 PM
I really don't know much about the different brands. Only car audio stuff. However, basic rules apply. High quality connections are imperative. gold plated copper is probably the best bet. The gold doesn't corrode and the copper is an extremely good conductor. As for the wires themselves, again, high quality prevails. I've seen other mention copper for the wires and I will have to agree. The more pure the copper is the better. Contaminants in the copper reduce cross-sectional area and increase impedance which reduced signal strength. That leads to signal loss and makes the wire more susceptible to outside interference.
Some very good things I have noticed in the interconnects lately is sheilded wiring and twisted pair or braided pair with a floating ground. These configurations can drastically reduce noise because they create an EM field that cancels out most EM and RF interference.
As far as what brand "sounds the best", I can't say. I never really noticed a difference between brands on the same level. A 20 dollar pair vesus a 100 dollar pair, there is a definte difference though. But a 100 dollar pair versus a 100 dollar pair, I couldn't hear anything worth worrying about. Look at specs and choose the set that would best match your system. Afterall hearing is subjective. What sounds great to these guys may leave you dissappointed or unimpressed.
03-04-2003, 12:21 PM
MONSTER 850I ---- All the way !!
There are extremely transparent inerconects and run about 85 dollars per pair....
03-05-2003, 01:14 AM
Unless your deadset on spending that range of money from a reputable manufacturer, I'd consider doing some DIY.
dcarlson put a link to a project in the Basic Hook-up/Wiring section that looks really good. The name Eggleston comes to mind. I'm sure there aren't to many Egglestons out there that are also into hi-end audio.
03-05-2003, 01:25 AM
Signal cable, analog 2. End of story.
03-05-2003, 02:08 AM
Just something I've noticed around town, almost all the hi-fi dealers here, no matter what gear they sell, use MIT cables. That to me, speaks volumes.
03-05-2003, 02:21 AM
Russ: I've got some Analog 2s coming. I'm glad you like them. I'm geeked.
03-05-2003, 11:12 PM
man I don't know how I messed this thead,But I'm all over it.
OK where to start.....thinking...processing........thinking... ..
Wire ...well it's a matter of how serious you are about your sound.Sometimes it takes a long time to find the right wire for your system.
You have a nice 2 channel system and I suggest you try Monster to get going.One guy said the M850i's,yes they are a nice cable and fit your budget but,I think you would be better off going with the M950i's.They are a 3 wire network cable.......ok ok I will leave out the hardcore facts between the 2,but I own both and they are night and day.The M950i's are much more muscial and revieling.They are smoother in the lower end as well.Highs are clearer and more detailed.But you need to hear it for yourself.
Monster is a good"I have no Idea where to start"wire company.They have been doing it longer then just about ALL of them.And they are so much more then that as well.
Quality interconnects,speaker wire can make or break a given sytem.It's the final word in how your system will perform.
Monster isn't the be all end all by no means,but is a solid relible company you can trust.Not to mention that there prices are fair and very competitive with others.
Theres a whole wonderfull world of wire out there......waiting to be discovered.I have been searching for years for the Right cable/s...........Trail and error........best route.
03-05-2003, 11:23 PM
I missed out on important question you had.......different brands.....
Transparent ........one of if not the best cable company for musical systems.Very flat and neutral.The most impressive cables I have ever wired a system with.
MITT...........close to Transparent in performance and overall sound quality.Depends on the level of cable you purchase.I have heard less then average sound from them.but very good nonetheless.
Monster............the standard in cable period.
Straight............my opnion.....sucks........alot I could say,I owned a couple pairs and hated them.
Kimber..........o Kimber,as we speak,I'm on a quest to get some in my system for demoing.I have always had a ton of respect for there cables and there off the wall built quality.These cables tend to be more on the HOT side of things.They can help breathe some life into a dead system.
Cardos............good quality stuff.Picky what you connect it to.Ulgy as hell,not that it matters as they got it where it counts.
Nordost.............another high end cable company with a strange approach to build.They use some way of the wall technics.But I have heard many systems wired with there wire and all I got to say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
signal cable........Franks wire.......well I got that ball rolling and I got to say I'm extremely nrevous buying wire online that I never listened to or touched.I like to look at the wire,test it in a given store,then bright it home for the final.But alot of good things have been said.That means something.
Well that should get the ball rolling I hope,I know I babble alot about wire,but wire is my baby..I know what it can do and do to a system.Such an overlooked sometimes thing in a given system.
I suggest to learn all you can about wire,in the end it matters what you hear and not what you know about wire.All you really need to know is "how it sound in my system".Learn that and your on your way.
Just to follow up on Dans excellent post.
Do not rule out IXOS wire, a Brit company. The looks are strikingly simular to Kimber. From what I heard, Ixos "borrowed" kimbers technology.
So far I can only speak from my experience dealing with speaker wire. Let me tell you, its typical 2-conductor wire equaled that of the vastly more expensive Mit Terminator 4's and Monster Z2 Bi-wire's. The price of the Ixos wire? Depending on where you go, 99 cents to 2.75 per foot. Its a friggen STEAL..........
Recently purchased the Ixos Gamma super-bi-wire. Oh man - Blows MIT and Monster out of the water.... The cost is up there, around 6 bucks per foot, but its still less exensive than the MITs and Monsters I owned, with a definate increase in performance.
03-16-2003, 11:18 PM
Hey. You guys are fun. Just wanted to let you know that I just purchased two used pair Tara labs Prism 22's. I will let everyone know how they sound. And yes, my new equipment has been sitting for some time! I can't wait to get everything setup. By the way, I paid $32 for both pair which I think was a good deal.
03-16-2003, 11:57 PM
Excellent choice and good price!
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