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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by fbm211 View Post
    You could also check out ebay and audiogon for Used cables. Most often you will pay Half of what you would new.
    Thanks, but the problem with that is I really am not experienced enough to know what cables are really good and which are just so-so. And I have no problem buying used gear, but used cables? Don't cables eventually wear out? I think it might be better to go for new when it comes to cables. Which is why I started this thread.

    I'd really appreciate it if Ben, BlueFox, F1nut or anyone else could help me choose which ones to get from BlueJeans or Signal Cables. Please refer to the questions I asked in my prior post (post #29) in this thread. Thanks guys.

  2. #32

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    Cables don't wear out, so buying used is a great way to get more for less. If you really want new and don't want to spend much, I suggest starting with something like Signal. As you climb the audio gear ladder, you can upgrade to better cables then.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Cables don't wear out, so buying used is a great way to get more for less. I suggest starting with something like Signal. As you climb the audio gear ladder, you can upgrade to better cables then.
    I've been seeing Some AudioQuest cables for sale on eBay and Audiogon. Are the AQ King Cobras a decent step up from Signal? A one meter pair of the King Cobras goes for around $120. Would you say I'd notice a difference with the AQ's over Signal?

  4. #34

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    Another cable I'd like your guys' opinion on is Morrow Audio Interconnects. Currently there's a sale running for 1/2 off. The MA1 Interconnect (look surprisingly light and flimsy) are on sale for $99 a pair. The MA2's are sale priced at $169 a pair. The other Interconnects by Morrow Audio (MA3, MA4) are a bit out of my price range at above $200 a pair.

    I'd like to know if anyone has experience or any opinions about the AQ King Cobra vs. the MA1 and MA2 interconnects. Thanks.

  5. #35

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    King cobra is a pretty goon IC.A step up from diomondback which are good too.You can get the king cobras for less than 120 though if you shop around and wait for a good deal to come up.I wouldnt pay more than 100.00 shipped.I saw a pair go for 85.00 on ebay and that included shipping.BUT be very careful with those as some people make fake ones and rip you off... These look nice.Offer the seller 150.00 shipped and see if he takes your offer.>> http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=390047400419
    Last edited by fbm211; 05-06-2009 at 03:46 PM.
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  6. #36

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    I'd start with Signal. A good solid cable to use as a baseline. If you add too many things to the system at once, you will not be able to decide what made the difference, if any. For example, you want to add amps, wires and upgrade the TT. If you add it all at once, which piece made the difference?

    If you start with cable "A" with the new amps and decide to try something else, you will have a datum point to compare. By the way, you can never have too much power from an amp, even at low listening levels!

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  7. #37

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    Wow, I was unaware that fake AQ cables were floating around! Why does this not surprise me? Scams are everywhere.

    I seen the AQ KC cables going for about $120 on Audiogon, but thanks for the heads-up that they can be had for cheaper. I'm new to this and just trying to ask advice from more experienced folks. :o

    Thanks also for the info on the Nerve Audio Reference Vagus cables. They're similarly priced to the Morrow Audio Interconnects I asked about above. Any idea if the Vagus cables are better than the Morrow's?

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    I'd start with Signal. A good solid cable to use as a baseline. If you add too many things to the system at once, you will not be able to decide what made the difference, if any. For example, you want to add amps, wires and upgrade the TT. If you add it all at once, which piece made the difference?

    Welcome to CP.

    Gordon
    Thanks Gordon, that makes a lot of sense. This hobby can get overwhelming, fast. Perhaps I am going a bit too fast. Signal was my first choice but then I thought why not spend just a bit more and get some higher quality used cables. But I reckon I'm not experienced enough to know what would be a good deal and whether or not I'm getting took. Hence all my questions.

    Another cable I heard that were decent and can be had for cheap (used) were Kimber PBJ cables. But I also read Cardas Crosslink interconnects were better than PBJ's. Perhaps I should just "start with Signal" as you've suggested.

  9. #39

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    FWC- this hobby can get very expensive quickly! Many guys here have years of trying different pieces and one thing I'm sure we'll all agree on is you can't do it all at one time unless your very wealthy.

    Take a breath, a deep breath and approach it slowly. What you put together today probably won't be there in 6 months if you get serious about this. Buy a piece, see if it pleases you. If not, sell it off and try another. If it sounds good but you want "more" (whatever that is) try another piece in the chain. There is no silver bullet and there are lots of folks here who have much more experience than I do, so get your read on here and other forums.

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  10. #40

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    Default Used cables

    It should also be mentioned that you can generally sell used cables for about what you bought them for. So shipping becomes the price of testing the cables out. If you buy new, then you are going to lose more money if/when you decide to upgrade your cables. By keeping an eye out I've gotten 1m Straightwire Encore IIs for ~$30, 0.5m Blue Jean cables for $20, and 1m Zu OxyFuels for ~$30. This is my first foray into cables and these sound great, a big step up from the junk I was using. When the upgrade bug hits, I'll just use the sales of these to finance part of the next level. And if I didn't like any of the cables, since resell value won't change too much I'm likely only out the cost of shipping, much the same as manufacturers 30 day trial periods (without the 30 day limit).

    But be warned, this is quite addictive.

  11. #41

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    The morrow are fine cables and even better they come with a 60 day return policy.I suggested the vagus cause they use pure silver conductors and those DH Labs ultimate RCA plugs are top notch.You may not like the sound of silver wire though.(I do)I just got two pair of air matrix ICs on audiogon the other day and cant wait for them to get here.
    I got ripped off last year by someone on ebay.I have had what I thought were air matrix ICs for some time and after I joined CP I found out about how some people make fake cables.I removed the techflex from mine and found they were BL-1 and not air matrix.The seller is no longer on ebay---go figure.I will post my thoughts on the REAL air matrix cables after I get a chance to listem to them.
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  12. #42

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    Yeah I appreciate your suggestion of the Vagus cables. I think for my first quality cables though I should go with copper. That way when I do decide to try silver I'll have a good idea of what the differences are. Learned me that little trick from Hawkeye (thanks Gordon).

    Quote Originally Posted by roscoeiii View Post
    It should also be mentioned that you can generally sell used cables for about what you bought them for. So shipping becomes the price of testing the cables out. If you buy new, then you are going to lose more money if/when you decide to upgrade your cables. By keeping an eye out I've gotten 1m Straightwire Encore IIs for ~$30, 0.5m Blue Jean cables for $20, and 1m Zu OxyFuels for ~$30. This is my first foray into cables and these sound great
    Well as you guys can tell I was thinking of buying AQ King Cobra cables for $120 plus shipping and thought that was a decent deal since they sell for $225 new. But I was quickly informed not to pay more than $100 shipped. So I really don't have a good sense for what is a good deal yet. Which means I'm likely to pay more than the cost of shipping as I'll inevitably overpay for used.

    Speaking of deals, the really good deals are gone in mere minutes on Audiogon. That's true for cables, to amps, to speakers. I swear, I think people sit there and refresh the page every 10 seconds in the various categories. And time is money, so investing a lot of time trying to find "deals" is an oxymoron.

  13. #43

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    Not sure if these are still available or not.Shoot him a pm.Never hurts to ask.> http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82473

    Another option> http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQBMII
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  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    I'd start with Signal. A good solid cable to use as a baseline. If you add too many things to the system at once, you will not be able to decide what made the difference, if any. For example, you want to add amps, wires and upgrade the TT. If you add it all at once, which piece made the difference?

    If you start with cable "A" with the new amps and decide to try something else, you will have a datum point to compare. By the way, you can never have too much power from an amp, even at low listening levels!

    Welcome to CP.

    Gordon
    Well, I took Gordon's advice, kind of. I started with cable "A". However, I did buy two pairs of them but added one pair into my system at a time. I didn't go with Signal though, I found a pretty good deal on eBay for a couple RCA terminated interconnects that are 1 meter in length and in excellent condition. They have the locking ends and look very well built and appear much higher quality than the little gray Radio Shack type ICs I had been using.

    I connected one pair from my universal disc player to my preamp. My player has multiple analog outs that are always active and since it has two sets of "front" connections, I left the cheap ICs connected and then connected the new pair I got to the second "front" jacks. I felt this would be a great way to A/B test the new ICs to the cheap ICs. I was expecting a noticeable difference in sound quality. What did I get? Barely no difference at all. :(

    I tried the second pair (gee, sure am glad I bought two pairs ) and again no significant difference. I then put in both new pairs to see if I could tell any difference between them. Not that I could tell.

    The new ICs look nice and also appear to be much higher quality cables but I could not tell them apart (sound-wise) from the cheap RCA cables. So is that an indication these cables are sub-par or does it say my system can't get any better sounding with better ICs? Or perhaps these ICs don't mesh with my system but would on somebody else's? I'm confused.

  15. #45

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    What brand ICs did you buy?
    I see you say you hooked them up from your source to the pre amp.What about from your preamp to your amp.You will need to have good quality cables complete the signal path to notice a difference....The new cables may need to break in some and of course some people just dont notice much difference.
    I have to admit that switching from monster to the air matrix cables a little over a week ago gave me a very nice SQ improvement.Right away I had better detail,clarity,and a wider soundstage.
    Anyway did you get some cables with a eval period? Take a look at audiogon lately?? The morrow audio cables offer a 60 day audition..
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  16. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by fbm211 View Post
    What brand ICs did you buy?
    I purposely excluded the make and model of the cable for two reasons.

    1.) I did not want to bash any certain manufacturers cables. I did research and everything I read said I would notice a difference and that these cables would be a noticeable upgrade. Spilling the name would only lead to people drawing conclusions that the brand or model is inferior and I should try brand X instead.

    2.) I feel that for the money, anyone should be able to detect an increase in sound quality from cheap, gray, freebie type cables to quality interconnects. So what difference does it make what brand these cables are? Whether it's Kimble, Audioquest, Signal or BlueJean or another quality brand, shouldn't I hear an improved difference in sound vs. the cheapest RCA interconnects available? Until I bought these higher grade cables, those super cheap ICs are all that were in my system. No matter what cable I went with I was expecting some difference in SQ, providing it's from a company that makes quality cables such as the ones I've just noted. I will say the cables I'm referring to are NOT Monster.

    Quote Originally Posted by fbm211 View Post
    I see you say you hooked them up from your source to the pre amp.What about from your preamp to your amp.You will need to have good quality cables complete the signal path to notice a difference....The new cables may need to break in some and of course some people just dont notice much difference.
    Well heck, nobody told me about this. As a matter of fact you can see from the quote I posted above that I was advised to start with my cheap cables and then add one quality cable at a time to my system to notice differences in SQ, i.e start with cable "A". To answer your question though, no, I still have the gray cheap ICs running from the preamp to the amp.

    Quote Originally Posted by fbm211 View Post
    I have to admit that switching from monster to the air matrix cables a little over a week ago gave me a very nice SQ improvement.Right away I had better detail,clarity,and a wider soundstage.
    Mine are much lower quality than Monster and the cables I upgraded to are (supposedly) better than Monster. Why did I not hear a very nice SQ improvement?

    Quote Originally Posted by fbm211 View Post
    Anyway did you get some cables with a eval period? Take a look at audiogon lately?? The morrow audio cables offer a 60 day audition..
    I bought used cables in excellent condition. They look new but sound the same as my super inexpensive ICs.

  17. #47

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    Im sorry nobody told you about the signal path thing.Think of it this way>>Your chain is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain...So you should notice a difference if you have the same ICs running from source to pre and pre to amp.
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  18. #48

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    What is your setup by the way.PRE,AMP,etc?
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  19. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by fbm211 View Post
    What is your setup by the way.PRE,AMP,etc?
    PreAmp: Parasound Model 2100
    PowerAmp: Parasound Zamp v.3
    Speakers: Paradigm Export Monitors
    Uni Plyer: Lexicon RT-20
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    By the way, I actually upgraded my speaker wire first. I was using Monoprice 12-awg wire that was not terminated. Same thing, the new wire looks great and is in excellent condition. Great banana-plug terminations and I was really impressed with the build quality. But again, didn't really notice much in the way of improved SQ.

  20. #50

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    Speaker cables will make an improvement -- but Interconnects are far more important in my opinion. The only speaker cables I have heard a major difference are they ones I am using now and they cost more than alot of speakers I have owned in the past. LOL -- the box attached to them made the difference.

    Before that, Interconnects, hands down have made the largest difference. I highly recommending changing them out.
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  21. #51

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    Well what about what fbm211 said, am I jumping to conclusions too soon because I still have low quality ICs between my amp and preamp?

    You suggest swapping them out so perhaps I should say the model and make of the cables I'm unhappy with. I certainly don't want to slam any company but maybe these just don't work in my system. Should I perhaps reveal the ICs I bought?

  22. #52

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    The weakest link will always depict how your setup will sound.

    But then goes all the way back to your power, your power cables, your ICs, speaker cables, your source, the source material, the amp, the preamp, the speakers, the room.

    All of those factors can be wink links.. lol
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    Yes you should, one thing I have learned is there will always be controversy over cables. LOL

    By the way I love my Audioquest cables.

    Welcome to the land of OZ

    Larry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vr3MxStyler2k3 View Post
    The weakest link will always depict how your setup will sound.
    Well since I have two sets of these I reckon I should install a set between my pre and amp before I conclude these don't work well in my system.


    Quote Originally Posted by TOOLFORLIFEFAN View Post
    Yes you should, one thing I have learned is there will always be controversy over cables. LOL

    By the way I love my Audioquest cables.

    Welcome to the land of OZ

    Larry.
    Hey Larry, OK well I'm new on here and don't want to stir up any controversy. I don't want to get flamed on if I tell y'all the cables I went with. But I have not been happy with the performance of these cables. That's for sure.

    Would you say you would be able to tell in a blind A/B test between your Audioquest cables and those cheap gray RCA cables that come with VCRs and cheap DVD players?
    Last edited by Freak When C; 05-28-2009 at 12:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freak When C View Post
    Hey Larry, OK well I'm new on here and don't want to stir up any controversy. I don't want to get flamed on if I tell y'all the cables I went with. But I have not been happy with the performance of these cables. That's for sure.

    Would you say you would be able to tell in a blind A/B test between your Audioquest cables and those cheap gray RCA cables that come with VCRs and cheap DVD players?
    Yes, it was night and day when I changed them out, and they kept getting better with hours on them. I was running monster befor. I am running AQ Diamondback IC's and Type 4 for my front stage and bluejeans speaker wire for my surrounds. The only monster cables left in my system are running my subs.

  26. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOOLFORLIFEFAN View Post
    Yes, it was night and day when I changed them out, and they kept getting better with hours on them.
    See, damn it, that's what I was expecting. Ain't no chance these cheapo ICs I have are actually decent sounding, is there? With the way I can easily select between two different inputs on my preamp and with my universal player having two "front" always active output connections, it's very easy to A/B two pairs of cables. I was so hoping for "night and day" differences.

    On another note, although I appreciate the input from everyone, I find it rather strange that the usual Polk folk who were vocal in the beginning of this thread (and have likely read the recent posts since I revived this thread) have not chimed in with comments.

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    Too many variables to say why you didn't hear a difference. Could be the wire, could be your gear, your room, your ears, the humidity, etc.

    The important thing is that at least you tried something different. This time it didn't make a difference, so sell them and try something else. There aren't many folks that hit a home run the first time at bat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Too many variables to say why you didn't hear a difference. Could be the wire, could be your gear, your room, your ears, the humidity, etc.
    +1 - Agree that it could be one or a number of things.

    I noticed a difference when I swapped out my M0nsters with Signal Analog II's. Surprisingly, upgrading the power cord on my DVD player to the digital magic power cord made a difference as well.

    It's quite possible that there is no difference to be noticed with the cables you bought. Keep watching the classifieds section on this forum. Good cables often come up for sale and buying them used is the cheapest way to try out a set. I've done that a couple of times and just resold them when I didn't notice a difference.

    Enjoy the ride. It seems to never end. :)
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  29. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Too many variables to say why you didn't hear a difference. Could be the wire, could be your gear, your room, your ears, the humidity, etc.

    The important thing is that at least you tried something different. This time it didn't make a difference, so sell them and try something else. There aren't many folks that hit a home run the first time at bat.
    That's good advice. I did contact the seller to inform him I was unhappy with the performance of the cables he sold me. Below is his response:

    As I'm sure I don't have to tell you, differences in cables (as well as most any part of the audio chain, or music in general, for that matter) are highly subjective. My description that I found them to be more detailed, dynamic and neutral than my previous Monster, Kimber and AQ cables was 100% accurate in my system (even my wife noticed how much of a difference they made). And again, I stated this to be the case in my system, but there's not any way I could guarantee what kind of difference they might make in other systems. It's possible that some systems might be less resolving, and potential differences might be diminished. I'm surprised that you hear NO difference (good OR bad), and for that reason alone I would suggest that you look to other components in your system to see why they are not allowing you to hear changes made. If nothing else, there are likely capacitance or inductance differences vs. your other cables that should cause there to be some differences.

    So I guess I keep trying. I did try swapping out the cable between my preamp and amp but still have no noticeable change in SQ vs the cheap cables. It's just disappointing there wasn't any change (good OR bad). :(

  30. #60

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    The seller is spot on with his response.

    I'd like to suggest you try this. Listen to your system with all of the new IC's installed for at least a week. Then swap your old IC's back in and see if you can't hear a difference then. That method is a better way to discern differences than swapping cables back and forth minutes apart.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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