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  1. #1

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    Default good sounding interconnects, oh Lordy here we go again!

    Ok. so i know that good quality interconnects (IC's) are important to getting the most out of your equipement. I've been using some good Signal Cables for all the IC's. Good sounding I thought.

    In my 2 channel rig with the SRS's, i am using a NAD 2600A amp with a Kenwood Basic C-2 pre and an NAD 5340 CDP.

    Today i found a local guy who builds his own IC's, speaker cables, optical, and digital coax and power cords.. yeah, i know what you're thinking.. there are lots of people who do that and they all claim THEIR cable is better than every one elses. Blah, blah, blah. Right?

    Well, i am demoing a very well built cable from a local guy who knows his stuff. His cables look alot like Kimber Hero's to me. with a few differences that are exclusive to his cables. Mostly connectors, types of wires and cable seperators to name a few.

    The guy had some serious gear in his basement, Martin Logan Aerius i's, some kick ass mono block Aragon amps, McIntosh pre amp, Kenwood KD500 turntable made of granite, Grado head on the arm. and a lot more fun gear. Plus he's using only his hand made cables in his entire system. Man, vinyl sounded dang sweet to my ears.

    Well, i brought one home to burn in for 100 hours he said.. so i'm in the process of doing that. I had wondered if I could only replace one set of IC's. where in my system would it make the most difference. Would it be from the CDP to the pre? Or would it be from the pre to the amp? What would you guess?

    I tried the IC from the CDP to the pre.. ok. not much of a noticeable difference. Then i hooked it up from the pre to the amp.. that's where i noticed a difference right away. The highs and mids seemed more open and detailed. I liked that alot immediately.

    The IC i'm demoing is 1 meter and is copper core with silver tinning on it. I'll post a pic soon. I know it hasn't been given time to burn in yet.. that'll take several days or a week at least. But so far, i'm quite happy with the sounds i'm hearing.

    I've dabbled in silver IC's before.. and didn't like the harsh highs and brightness that comes with silver wires. So this could be the best of both worlds. The guy... John Raymond and his Raymond cables are both good looking and so far great sounding. You can find him selling on Ebay currently with his goods.

    So my point is.. that yes good IC's make a difference. BUT it also depends on where in your system you use said cables too. In a perfect world my system would have all of these Raymond cables.. i'm aiming for that.. but funds limit me swapping out all three pairs at once.

    I wish we still had the cable demo in place. these would definately be a nice suprise to some of you, it sure was to me. C'mon baby burn in, BURN IN!!!!
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  2. #2

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    danger boy,

    I assume by your post he designs and makes his own cables? there not someone elses wire that he built? I didn't get the brand name they are calling them.
    Actually I tried the Signal cable silver Ic's and I liked them. I felt they had a really good quality connection and build. There ability pass along the sound was quite good. I didn't find them harsh at all.

    Good luck with them.

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  3. #3

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    Dan here is the link to one of his ebay auctions... he mixes silver wire with gold connectors, and different combos like that. the gold connectors "tame" the harshness of some silver wires.Raymond Cables

    and there isn't anything wrong with Signal cables at all. i haven't tried his silver cables.
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    Personally Im not a believer in the high priced cables. Ive used them and now I use Monster Standard at 70 cents a foot. Works just as well as the $100 a pair cables Ive used. And in the 15 years tinkering with audio Ive never noticed a burn in time for them either. They sound the same when I first fire them up as they do 6 months down the road.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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    I get a kick out of all the description of the types of materials used to get an "accurate sound".

    In these cables alone you have:

    Silver wire
    Gold plated copper connectors
    Tin coated copper shielding
    Silver solder
    Teflon coated wiring
    Cotton wiring covers


    All this to get an "accurate" sound? Give me a break. How many more self described sonic improvements can be built into a set of wires.


    BTW, they do look nice. :)

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    Here is what I believe thru experience guided by intelligence:

    A more expensive RCA will have a better connections, plugs, shielding, lower resistance and be more durable. However in basic electrical performance, there is no difference between $2000 MIT cables and 16 cents a foot lamp cord.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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  7. #7

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    the pair of interconnects i am demoing are not anywhere near the cost of the ones in the auction. maybe 1/4 of that price.

    I guess some people will notice a difference. I did. This is the most i will pay for a pair of interconnects myself.

    I met the guy who makes these.. i saw the quality workmanship that went into these... but until you try them. i think that there will always be people who aren't convinced. And there's nothing wrong with that. I do have to say.. that not all higher end cables are snake oil either.

    Think for instance of those people who are the more senior members in here.... people who we look to for guidence.. for their knowledge.. people who've been thru what we're going thru.. and i can tell you.. that they each have their own favorite interconnects and speaker cables. It was that way at Marks during PolkFest. Ask Sid, he's been there.. used to be happy with Home Depot lamp cord.... and now has moved on to something a bit more of an upgrade in quality.
    Last edited by danger boy; 10-14-2005 at 01:17 AM.
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    and another thing.... silver wire is more detailed than copper wire. sometimes to much so.. it brings out a lot of harsh brightness most of the time. so few people use silver wires.. and silver is much more expensive than copper as well all know.
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    I never rag on anybody for buying the higher priced stuff cause Ive always believed that if you think they sound better, well, then they sound better. One thing for sure in this hobby is that good sound is relative. Hell, whos to say Im not just tone deaf?! :D
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod
    However in basic electrical performance, there is no difference between $2000 MIT cables and 16 cents a foot lamp cord.
    BS and I'd be happy to prove it to you on my rig any time.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut
    BS and I'd be happy to prove it to you on my rig any time.
    Sweet! I'll bet you a round trip ticket to Maryland plus dinner and lots of beer you can't pick your IC out against a $40 knukonceptz IC in a double-blind test.

  12. #12

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    see. so there!

    JK

    i guess we'd never all own the same amps for instance.. we all have our likes and dislikes about this amp or that amp lets say. some are more expensive than other amps... meaning that if you never try another brand of amp.. how would you know if you liked brand X amp over brand Y amp?

    I don't have alot of extra cash to dump into this audio hobby.. so i usually look for (somewhat) inexpensive tweaks that will improve the sound i have. and at $70 or so for a 1 meter pair of IC's. I think it's a tweak i can afford. It's all just a experience guessing game.. not all tweaks such as wire will improve your sound.

    As i mentioned in my first post.. when i used the IC from the CDP to the pre amp. it made very little difference.. but then moving it from the pre to the amp.. it made a noticeable difference. enough so.. that i immediately could hear it.

    Mac, i'm not dissing your choice of wires at all... if you're happy with it.. more power to ya bro.

    I guess some times we think of higher end cables only in terms of Monster cables.. and that's not fair to all those other brands out there. We all now the hijinx that Monster spouts out... and while alot of people use their products... there are other better cables out there.. you just gotta take a chance on em.
    Last edited by danger boy; 10-14-2005 at 01:39 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolkThug
    Sweet! I'll bet you a round trip ticket to Maryland plus dinner and lots of beer you can't pick your IC out against a $40 knukonceptz IC in a double-blind test.
    I don't drink, but the rest of it, you're on. Hell, I'll up the ante, $1000.00 cash.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Quote Originally Posted by danger boy
    and another thing.... silver wire is more detailed than copper wire. sometimes to much so.. it brings out a lot of harsh brightness most of the time. so few people use silver wires.. and silver is much more expensive than copper as well all know.
    +1

    I had been demoing the Nordost Solar Winds which are silver plated OFC and they are very bright to the point of harshness in my system. I could hear a distinct difference as soon as I swapped these in for my current cable. I could see a cable like this being used in a darker more laid back system. For my system they were not a good match, lot's of siblance too where there was none before. This cable had excellent mid-range warmth and presence. But the harshness and very noticeable lack of extension on the bottom end were things that I couldn't get past with this IC. So it has some good qualities and some not so good qualities. But I'm guessing its the silver in the construction that gives it the characteristic.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Hey DB
    I'm looking to replace/upgrade cables as well. You certainly seem happy with the Raymond cables. In your post you don't really expound upon what it is about the sound of these cables that makes you so happy. I know it's subjective but what about the sound of these cables makes you like them so much? I'd be interested to read.

    Thanks
    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod
    Hell, whos to say Im not just tone deaf?! :D

    Thump Thump Thump, happens to the best of the CA guys. :D,

    Cables matter, how much, depends alot on impedence input/output matching of the gear involved. Especially, when hooking vacuum gear to SS.

    Remember Papa Doc was killed by Voodoo!!!

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    I agree witcha RT. Cables do matter. For instance, I believe a more expensive cable will have a better connection, have better noise rejection qualities, have less resistance thus a stronger signal and overall be better built and more durable. This I do not dispute.

    Where I part ways is that I dont believe one cable can have tighter bass over another or a wider soundstage or smoother highs than another. Thats like saying differnent lamp cords run from the wall socket will make the lamp glow different colors.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod
    I agree witcha RT. Cables do matter. For instance, I believe a more expensive cable will have a better connection, have better noise rejection qualities, have less resistance thus a stronger signal and overall be better built and more durable. This I do not dispute.

    Where I part ways is that I dont believe one cable can have tighter bass over another or a wider soundstage or smoother highs than another. Thats like saying differnent lamp cords run from the wall socket will make the lamp glow different colors.
    Mac, not trying to rag on you....but have you ever done a comparison? I am a true believer in letting everyone decide for themselves. But I personally have been pleasently suprised at the results of different cables. Just wondering what/how you tried and how you came to your conclusion. I used to be on the fence and more leaning towards it being total bunk, but I've heard a marked difference so now I can't deny I'm a believer. However I cant' say for every situation every cable will make a difference but it is entirely possible to get different results with different cables.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    I suffer from severe tweakitus. I am constantly buying new stuff to replace stuff that isnt broke. Ill get tired of my amps and run out and buy new ones just to have new amps. Im sick like that.

    Same thing with RCA's. Ill start out with a $10 set from Radio Shack when I first install because Ive spent all my money on amps and speakers. These usually let in a lot of noise. Then Ill run out later and buy a set of $30 cables. The noise is gone and all is well. Then about 6 months down the road Ill convince myself I need better cables and go buy some $60 cables. This goes on to the $100 level or when I trade my truck in. Ive been doing this for years. Other than noise rejection I have never noticed a difference in the $100 Streetwires or the $10 Radio Shack cables. I still believe in buying a quality cable for durability and low resistance in addition to the shielding so I dont use the Radio Shack cables, but my $14 Monster Standard cables have no noise and sound just like the expensive ones.

    Aside from this, there have been several double blind tests done over the years and as far as I know, to date nobody has succesfully shown they can hear a difference.

    Aside from this
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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    Aaron,

    You're talking about car audio and we're talking about home audio. I think there is a difference. Have you read all the reviews from the cable swap program? There's a number of folks there who have noticed a difference. For example, H9's post above about the Nordost wires is exactly the same as I experienced and we have very different set up's. The common thread is the cable, therefore it is the cable that changed the sound.
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    Mac when you say you switch out different cables.. are you talking car audio or home audio? just want to clarify this is all.

    H9, i haven't had enough time with these cables yet.. but my first impressions is that it brought out more detail in the mids and the highs for me. The highs brightened up a little bit.. but not to the point of being harsh, yet that i could tell. I'm still burning them in.

    The mids cleared up quite a bit. I was using all Signal cables all around. While the sound stage, depth, etc is very good with the SC's, the mids were a little bit muddy to my ears. These Raymond cables cleaned that up... i can hear more clearly and cleanly the raspiness of that metal brush instrument that drummers use on cymbals. that part of some music used to be muddy, no other way to describe it.. other than it being muddy and no descript. That has opened up.

    Guys, i'm not saying these cables are right for everyone.. certainly not. I feel that for a lot of people they would be way to bright. We all know that silver wires bring to much of a good thing in the highs. So far these are not to bright.. but i need more time with them still. Being how they are copper wire with a silver coating, maybe that doesn't bring out such brightness. That's what the builder claimed. He knew that pure silver wires were way to bright for most people. so he is trying this out... and so far has had good feedback from most of the people.

    So i decided to give these a shot.. they aren't the only cables i'm going to try out.. just one that is local to me.. and that really made a differenc to me wanting to demo his cables.
    Last edited by danger boy; 10-14-2005 at 02:00 PM. Reason: edited for spelling errors is all hee hee hee
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    You are correct Mac, there are no verified results showing anyone can tell the difference between cables and speaker wire.

    I searched the entire net, and found no positive results. You would think there would be at least ONE.

    There are hundreds of negative results though, examples:

    http://www.pcavtech.com/abx/abx_wire.htm

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...s-12-2004.html

    But you will never convince the believers, it's practically a religion, with the same blind faith as most religions.

    And if you don't hear the difference, they always claim you've never tried it, or your gear isn't good enough. Whatever.

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    William,

    First off, we're talking about interconnects, not speaker wire or power cables. Second, there are plenty of verified results right here, on this forum, in the cable swap program. Third, the test in the second link you provided is so flawed that it is laughable. The first link doesn't provide enough info for anyone to reach a conclusion.

    Bottom line is exactly what you posted, if you haven't tried it you can't possibly know. If you have tried it and can't tell the difference, all that means is YOU can't tell. It's funny to me how nay-sayers such as yourself can't seem to believe that other people CAN hear a difference. Jealously, maybe!?!
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    William,

    Your post indicates your thinking will not likely change, so be it, I would suggest you study systems analysis, basically, how a set interdependant parts relate to each other with their issues being systemic within the system, forget audio. The world is made of up of so many different types of people, we each have unique strengths.

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    Well, I also wonder why the "nay-sayers" just don't use the fabulous 99 cent IC that came with their equipment---I mean, IF wire is just wire....right? Why upgrade at all? 20-20kHz is 20-20kHz, so why not just buy the GPX CD player at Walmart for $29?? Right? A bit is a bit and all the junk. Would you put $30 tires on a Corvette? Hell no (I hope not anyway), because you'd never be able to experience the vettes capabilities on $30 tires. Would $30 tires work on a Corvette? sure they would.

    C'mon fellas, really.

    Everyone has their limits. I refuse to spend more than $100 on .5 meter pr of IC's myself, but I'll admit in a second that there is a difference (to my ear) between certain cables. If you're happy with what you got, amen to ya, drive on. Afterall, it's your hard earned bucks; just don't dismiss the idea because it sounds illogical. By the way, have any of you tested any cables in the cable swap program? Just curious...
    Last edited by steveinaz; 10-14-2005 at 03:23 PM.

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    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

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    you cmon! Tires make a measureable difference in traction and wear, really.

    I can't wait to see the new interconnect thread that gets started 4 weeks after this one dies, then the one after that, then the....

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    Al,

    Your point was to you it matters where the connect is placed. I agree with you. You tried it and heard a difference. I believe the connection between the pre to amp is a high priority.

    RT1
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    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


    RABBIT HOLE RIG
    BAT VK-31SE
    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
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    Acoustech Phono-Pre
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    BillyBags Rack
    MIT S1/3 cables
    Shunyata/PS Audio/Virtual Dynamics Power Cords


    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  28. #28

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    What will really drive you nuts is when you start to think "ok, is it that the IC's are better, or I'm just now hearing the full potential of my speaker wires...or is it the new speakers....arrggggggg..." OR so was it the CDP or my cables that made my system sound too hot in the treble, which cable is telling the truth?...LOL

    It's a "chicken or the egg" scenario. I'm glad I've got my cables sorted out.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  29. #29

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    Ted, yeah my point exactly.. between CDP and pre, nada much happen. but between pre and amp.. it's where the magic happens and mad the most noticeable difference to me.
    Last edited by danger boy; 10-14-2005 at 04:24 PM.
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
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  30. #30

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    All the cables I was talking about were car audio cable. So what? If fancy home cable can widen my soundstage why wouldnt fancy car cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz
    Well, I also wonder why the "nay-sayers" just don't use the fabulous 99 cent IC that came with their equipment---I mean, IF wire is just wire....right? Why upgrade at all? 20-20kHz is 20-20kHz, so why not just buy the GPX CD player at Walmart for $29?? Right? A bit is a bit and all the junk. Would you put $30 tires on a Corvette? Hell no (I hope not anyway), because you'd never be able to experience the vettes capabilities on $30 tires. Would $30 tires work on a Corvette? sure they would.

    C'mon fellas, really.

    Well thats easy. You dont use the cheap-o wire because it has no shielding or noise rejection at all. Plus theyre flimsy and have a lousy connection and will probably disintegrate within a month.

    Ill say it again, there are differences in cheap and expensive RCA's (resistane, build quality, noise rejection, connection) but they have no effect on how smooth the bass is or how wide the soundstage is or how clear the highs are.

    That the same as saying "boy these $600 tires on my Corvette really make my air conditioner colder".

    There have been double blind tests for over a decade and everytime they show you cant hear a difference (tonally) between cables and everytime the test itself is accused of being corrupt.

    Back in the late 80's at the Audio Engineering Society convention, Absolute Sound (a big proponent of the different sounding cables) put together a double blind test to once and for all prove there was a difference in amps and wires. Over 200 audio engineers took the test over a couple days and at the end nobody could do it. Zip, zero, nada. The excuses flew and flew and even Absolutel Sound discredited their own test saying "the test forced them to use only one side of their brain!!!"

    Again, if you think you hear a deeper soundstage with Signal cables over Monster, then good on ya. Go out and buy whatever you want and enjoy it. Thats what this hobby is all about. Like I said before, if you think you hear a difference then you do hear a difference so enjoy it. Thats what we're all here for, enjoyment.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
    MECA SQ Rookie of the Year 06 ~ MECA State Champ 06,07,08,11 ~ MECA World Finals 2nd place 06,07,08,09
    08 Car Audio Nationals 1st ~ 07 N Georgia Nationals 1st ~ 06 Carl Casper Nationals 1st ~ USACi 05 Southeast AutumnFest 1st

    polkaudio SR6500 --- polkaudio MM1040 x2 -- Pioneer P99 -- Rockford Fosgate P1000X5D

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