1 pair of good interconnects- which 2 components should I use them on?


Hi all,
I just picked up a set of 3' BlueJean LC-1 interconnects, which are much nicer than the others I currently have. Im wondering if they would be most valuable used between the phono preamp (Cambridge Azur 551p)---->tube Preamp (Cary AE-3) or should they be used to go from the Cary preamp---->McIntosh 2125 amp?

maybe this is a stupid question, but 2 fundamental things I know are that interconnects matter in the acoustic output, and also the signal output from a Cambridge phono stage vs Cary tube preamp are not the same. So with those things in mind I figured placing the interconnects in one spot vs. the other would matter based on the different output signals of each device.

I could listen to both configurations for a while and eventually gauge if I hear any difference (which probably won't be the case), but I wanted to see if there is a "right answer" first :) 

thanks for any feedback!
hockey4496
Honestly, if a $30 pair of ICs is "much nicer" than all of your others, you should replace them all.  Your components cost several thousand dollars and you should have at least (and I do mean least) something on the level of the BJs to connect everything.  I know that's not your question, but I thought you should know. 
Haha I couldn't agree more, and when I'm out of school and not on such a tight budget I will absolutely invest in better interconnects. But for the time being (another couple of years) I'll have to live with what I've got...
My dealer always told me to upgrade your system at the "source". Get the source sounding as good as possible then move through the "chain". 

N
There is no right answer that can be predicted with any kind of certainty, as there are a great many unpredictable component, cable, system, room, and listener-dependent variables involved. And in addition, a "better" cable will not necessarily provide "better" performance in a given application, from both technical and subjective standpoints.

FWIW, though, my guess is that connecting the LC-1 between the Cary and the amp is more likely than not to result in at least slightly better high frequency extension than connecting it between the phono stage and the Cary. And the greater the length of the other cable, the greater the likelihood that will be the case. (I see that the LC-1’s are three feet long, but there was no mention of the length of the other cables).

The reason I say that is that as a tube-based product the Cary probably has significantly higher output impedance than the solid state phono stage. (I couldn’t find an output impedance spec for the phono stage; the spec for the Cary appears to be 560 ohms, at least in the Mk2 version). The interaction of high output impedance with high cable capacitance (which is proportional to the length of the cable as well as to its capacitance per unit length) can adversely affect high frequency extension, at least slightly. And the LC-1 has exceptionally low capacitance per unit length.

Of course, greater high frequency extension may not always be subjectively preferable, even if it represents greater overall accuracy of the system.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al

Al has to be the most reasonably mannered & comprehensive contributers! 
I’m professional and use $30 ICs and happy with performance.
Used to have higher-priced AudioQuest, JPS labs and MIT, but figured price of interconnect or any wire isn’t factor of quality of performance but rather fashion or cult.
Very informative and helpful, thank you Al for taking the time to write that. I currently have it setup as you suggested, preamp-->McIntosh. The other cables are also 3’, and probably aren't all that bad, I just know the capacitance on them couldn’t be as close to as low as the LC-1. The other cables I have are Monster, and can be seen in the link. Apparently they are worth more than I thought, which is surprising considering I got mine in 2001

Monster cables I have between all other components:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Monster-Cable-M950i-RCA-cables-4-pairs-1-lot-M950-1-Meter-3-3-feet-/26243443...
Well, I hate to be an old poop, but I think you could do better than Monster Cables. In fact, if you can swing it ( and I know being a college student equals limited funding- I had student loans, too), I would convert everything to the Bluejeans-With such nice equipment, (And,I am kind of envious) you could do better.
Almarg suggested I get Cable Solutions cables for my subs.
They were reasonably priced and are doing a great job in my system.
Thanks Al.
I have also been using older iterations of cables by Zu, which can be had on Agon or Ebay for not much money, either. These, too, perform well for me. YMMV
Disclaimer: Though I enjoy tweaking my stereo system, I try to not get too 'anal' and lose sight of the music.
Bob
czarivey
2,780 posts
05-19-2016 2:34pm
"I’m professional and use $30 ICs and happy with performance.
Used to have higher-priced AudioQuest, JPS labs and MIT, but figured price of interconnect or any wire isn’t factor of quality of performance but rather fashion or cult."

Hey, I got that beat. I'm a professional and don't use interconnects at all.  I don't use power cords either.  
Al has to be the most reasonably mannered & comprehensive contributers!

+ 1...Al’s the best.  I'm so glad we have him.

IMHO and in my many, many travels though the high-end world, I have found the preamp to amp link to be the most critical, but I do understand the source side of things too.

As Al so adeptly said " there is no right answer that can be predicted with any kind of certainty".
Ditch the BJ cables and buy better. Then place the IC on your source 1st!
Lol, ditch the cables that I just invested in with the little $$ I have for equipment?if I were to ditch anything it would be the record weight made from a pendulum, circular saw bit, and housing of a keg tap :)

Thanks everyone for the feedback. If you have suggestions for the next pair I upgrade to I welcome them, but I don't intend on spending more than $60 tops
You don’t need to spend a lot for quality ICs. Try Signal Cables "Analog Two" interconnects for $55/pr. They will be a real upgrade to your system.
Money back guarantee.
If you're handy with a soldering iron, build your own. If you have never used one - learn. Buy the best ends you can afford, find some decent hook up wire and braid away. Basically, build your own Kimber PBJ. It's easy. 
Perhaps someone one has some experience with Anticable......I personally have never used Anticables, however they are on sale at 50% off on A'gon. $100.00 set for $50.00. Happy listening!

N
Also, Morrow Audio has MA1...1 Meter pair interconnect for about $50 bucks. I have not used Morrow either but their are others on this site who do. 

N
Geof,
Thank you for being a true treasure of this site.
Hockey, be a little careful if you decide to solder cables. Most of the better cables have teflon (PTFE) dielectric, and teflon is bad stuff when it is heated. Completely stable to about 450F, then begins to decompose into some of the nastiest chemicals known to man.

Best to use a fume hood when you are around teflon, or at least solder while looking up at the joint, so that the fumes rise away from you. A respirator doesn't hurt, either.

HF is not good for you. Just sayin'.

czarivey
2,781 posts
05-19-2016 9:15pm
"Geof, Thank you for being a true treasure of this site."

No, it's I who should thank you. Ckrivney.

Nutty, you're right: start at the source. 

If you only have one pair of good interconnects, it doesn't matter where you use them.  The rest of the system will drag down your performance.
Thank you nirodah35, IMHO, it's difficult to improve or a poor sounding once it's left the source. 

N
Hi: Cables are a tough one! Everyone seems to have a favorite? Mine are mostly Purist Audio Design. I lucked into a "stash of them" at almost yard sale prices! I plugged in a pair of Proteus between my Old Audio Research SP5 and D100A...and they came ALIVE!!! The Proteus was missing a tooth, so I got them free. The Retail was $2495.00.SCORE! I had Kimber PBJ in there before( Still a very good cable). I am always on the hunt for cable? You never know what someone else has given up on? Great and very expensive cable can sometimes push your system towards Brightness or Analytical sound. Cable seems to be a QUEST for what sounds good to you, what you can find and afford now and the future; plus what matches with your equipment in your acoustic environment. Experimentation I believe is key. If you have a "static" situation, replace one set of cables to see how it affects (YOUR) sound. There is so much information on forums that can help. Proteus is a keeper! Go to the next need and build brick by brick; keeping a solid foundation, so you always know where you are at in your system process. Who thinks they will get a $2495.00 RCA cable for free. It turned out to be the foundation of my whole system. I bought Purist IEC's, XLRs more Proteus RCAs and several speaker cables( Venustas) and all at Best Buy cable prices; from that same source. I got more equipment to utilize the cable! Backwards compatible way of building a system? The cable was older, so there were reviews and information to avoid common pitfalls of mismatched equipment. Stranger than fiction? I bought an Audio Research PH3 just to utilize the two pair of longer Proteus and they retailed at +$5,000.00 each. My Phono section retails in at $12,000.00 list? My cost around $1,000.00! That is how I ended up improving and upgrading my system. I like the sound, I am very happy. I dreamed big but was still budget minded. Just something to think about on your (Neverending?) Quest for cable. Your whole Life is in front of you! Enjoy the Quest.
I bought an Audio Research PH3 just to utilize the two pair of longer Proteus and they retailed at +$5,000.00 each. My Phono section retails in at $12,000.00 list? My cost around $1,000.00!
The Audio Research PH3 did not retail for $12,000. It sold new for $1495, then went up to $1995.

If you are buying the Purist Audio cables as cheaply as you claim, I can almost guarantee you that they are fake.  Lots of counterfeit cables are out there.
You are right about the PH3. I must have written that poorly? I do count the cables as part of the Phono - section. Since that seemed to fit the best use for them, I needed a "Box" for two pair of idle RCAs.  The cables were an estate situation from a guy I work with and trust! Did not want to get into that part too much? They are fairly old cables...and lose lots of retail value over that much time. More to the point of "How do you choose cables to build a system on a Budget" That is what I did and how I did it. I look for older cable that were/ are highly regarded; and had a high retail price. MSRP of 20 years ago; can be a RED FLAG as to some good cable! They were most likely written about and reviewed then and since; if they have a high MSRP? Then as a Kid I could only dream about an RCA that MSRP at +$5000.00? A PH3 as a kid was a dream too $1995.00 for a Phono section only? You can get a used PH3 for around $700. I could not hope to sell the PH3 and three pair or proteus for $12,000.00. Mr. Aud and Mr. Johnson thought they could in the 1990's; and they did! That is more to the point that I failed to convey. Do some research, check some history and read reviews from days gone by. There might be Gold in them thar hills? I definitely struck gold! It came after 30 years of prospecting. Sorry for not being more articulate and clear.
I feel sorry for the OP.  He asks a simple question, but little does he know how far afield things would get!  The topic of cables has always been so.

I've got a pair of Monster Cable IC's.  I bought them in about '89 and they've been in storage for about a decade.  I recently found them as I was short of a pair, and put them in play on my cd player source.  I was surprised but they sounded pretty good, so I disconnected one length and unscrewed the RCA jack.  The copper was still bright and shiny!  After about 27 years, that says something about Monster, doesn't it?

I'd say Monster Cables from back in the day are solid.  They were one of the pioneers of quality cables after all.  So Mr. Hockey, I'd say you're doing fine with the cables you have while you're in school.  The Blue Jeans cables may be inferior to the Monster in this case.  It wouldn't hurt to experiment, try different sources, and enjoy.