100 - 125.00 RCA, and coax recommendations please


I will apologize in advance as I’m sure there are many threads similar to this one, but being an owner in the restaurant biz means I have almost no time for myself, so I started a new one in hopes of getting some good/quick input.

Building a new 2-channel system, and of course, I’m just getting all caught up in the wire game. Just spent a good chunk of money on Furutech power wires/filter/distribution for all my gear (bought new, and used), and now I’m in need of 3 pairs of RCAs. .I guess you could say, I’d like to stay on the cheaper end of the budget for ICs, so I’m hoping to get into some good stuff in the 100-125.00 price range (per pair). Needing 1 pair @ 1 Meter and two pairs @ 2 Meters. Also in need of a good coax to go to DAC (I2S will be used later in conjunction with dedicated PC/Singxer)

System consists of a pair of Accuphase P-266 amps, W4S DAC-1 or another DAC I’m currently breaking in, modding and trying out right now, building a dedicated music PC that will be running Roon/HQ player, CEC 3300R as a transport, Tortuga Passive Pre, and Von Schweikert VR-4s (stage1 upgrades)...I do also own a pair of Emotiva XPA-2s that I am considering bridging to the lower half of of the VR-4s and bridging the 266’s to the top half....I know it’s a lot of power, but you can never have too much...right? Speaker wire is Furutech μ-2T on the low frequency section of the VR-4s and I am still undecided on the top half ( μ-2T or possibly the S-14 unless you guys can recommend something better in the lower price ranges)

Was thinking Blue Jeans for the coax, but any, and all input is greatly appreciated.
It’s been a while since I’ve shopped for ICs, and I’m just looking for some ideas at this point, so please help guys.

Many thanks



audioanomaly1
I like and use this spdif/coax with a Wadia and KillerDac combination KLEI gZero3D SPDIF but this spdif/coax, KLEI gZero2D SPDIF, is nearly as good.
Thank you for your input YPING. Sincerely appreciated.
Beautiful cable, and price is close to what I want to spend as well.
Thoughts on their ICs YPING?
I know this "bracket" is considered low-end, and I’m sure I will end up spending a bit more than originally stated if I believe the build quality and sonic benefits are there...I usually do. Just really want to see what you guys might have up your sleeves for the  budget-minded.


I can’t speak to their complete interconnects, but I’ve just fallen in love with the KLE Harmony RCAs. I made a pair of ICs with solid silver cable and the KLE Pure Harmony RCAs and they sound incredible.

I’m coming from ICs made with Cardas instrument cable and Cardas silver plated RCAs which were pretty solid performers.

The new cables are a step up in clarity and all that crap, but I have no idea how much of the improvement is the connector and how much is the cable..

Good luck!
Thanks todd!
Can you give me a quick idea on total cost to build a set?

You're trying to do too much all at once. If you keep going like this you're going to make some costly mistakes.

"Speaker wire is Furutech μ-2T on the low frequency section of the VR-4s and I am still undecided on the top half ( μ-2T or possibly the S-14 unless you guys can recommend something better in the lower price ranges)"

Use exactly the same cables for both.

"I do also own a pair of Emotiva XPA-2s that I am considering bridging to the lower half of of the VR-4s and bridging the 266’s to the top half....I know it’s a lot of power, but you can never have too much...right?

2 big mistakes with that idea. First, there's a few exceptions, but bridging an amp is usually a bad idea. You do it as a last resort if you come up short on power and you have no other options. Second, bridged or not bridged, a horizontal biamp is almost always a train wreck. Doing it with 2 different amps is even worse. Even if you go through the trouble of using an active xover, there's still some pretty big trade offs that will have to be made.

"I guess you could say, I’d like to stay on the cheaper end of the budget for ICs, so I’m hoping to get into some good stuff in the 100-125.00 price range (per pair). Needing 1 pair @ 1 Meter and two pairs @ 2 Meters. Also in need of a good coax to go to DAC (I2S will be used later in conjunction with dedicated PC/Singxer)"

Use whatever you have laying around. IC's are the least of your concerns. Cables are system dependent and should be bought last.

"Building a new 2-channel system, and of course, I’m just getting all caught up in the wire game. Just spent a good chunk of money on Furutech power wires/filter/distribution for all my gear (bought new, and used), and now I’m in need of 3 pairs of RCAs. "

Power products are even more system dependent. So much so that in many cases, you shouldn't even buy them at all.

"System consists of a pair of Accuphase P-266 amps, W4S DAC-1 or another DAC I’m currently breaking in, modding and trying out right now"

What makes you think you can come up with something better than a W4S dac? (I understand that you most likely have someone else doing the mods for you). I would at least give it 5 or so years listening experience until you're qualified enough to make a decision to have a dac modded.

I understand my post sounds negative, but you're throwing most, if not all of your money in the garbage.

You're in the restaurant business. If I came to you looking for a job as a chef and told you I had 5 years of experience working for McDonalds, and that I've also read a few books on cooking, would you hire me? Of course not. You would tell be that I need to learn how to cook first. I may not fully understand your comment, but you would be right. Same thing here. I'm not trying to be mean in any way, I'm just being honest. You're attitude is great but you're moving way too fast.


Appreciate everything you just said mgreen, and it’s not taken negatively at all. Maybe I am sounding like a newbie...and while I’m certainly no almighty expert...here’s just a little history on me...This is not my first venture in audio. I’ve actually been in the industry for almost 30 years doing high-end car and home A/V installation and fabrication. The restaurant biz was passed down to me via family, and is not my first choice in terms of career, but I’m grateful for the journey nonetheless. Since my first Adcom/Denon/Mirage system at age 17 (about 1989), home audio has always been a serious passion/hobby, but I’ve gotten away from it over the past few years and sold off a majority of my last 2-channel setup. Recently, I was bitten by the bug again after helping a fellow enthusiast build some open baffles for a pair of Altec 420A bi-flex drivers/scan-speak Beryliums, and he talked me into building another system. So...here I am. I’ve sold a few things here on audiogon, and knowing first hand how fast the industry moves, I feel like I’ve lost touch with who’s making good cables at a fair price these days, and was just looking for input on that topic.

1) Was actually heavily leaning towards, and experience tells me that using the same wire for both up and downstairs is obviously the best choice, but was just wondering if anyone had any experience with the mentioned models of wires and/or trying a combination of them/others. I should’ve been more specific, but thank you for the re-enforcing the fact that I should just keep it simple.

2) The vertical bi-amping was a thought that spawned from speaking with other VR-4 owners, and the guys at VS. I’m local, and dropped off the newly acquired pair a couple of weeks ago to have the woofers upgraded by VS, as they still offer this service, and the original woofers were known to be a bit on the slow side. While there, there was a lot talk about using a solid state on the bottom half, and possibly tubes, or a warmer sounding class A or A/B on the top half. As you probably know, the Accuphase are very smooth, warm, and almost tube-ish to my ears, not to mention, switchable between pure class A and A/B....hence the thought about trying this for the top half, and using the input level adjustments to help with level matching. Quite few people have made this type of amp combination suggestion when it comes to running these particular speakers, so I will try it. As many experiences in this industry have shown me over the years, and I’m sure yourself...a lot of the time, you don’t know until you try (yes, some outcomes can be predicted, but not all IME). While I’m aware of the typically bad results vertical bi-amping can produce as I’ve had that experience with my last system who am I to tell those experienced VR-4 users that they don’t know what they are talking about? Trying different things...that’s half the fun IMO, and a crucial part of this hobby/passion.
Not planning on running active at this point, but you never know....I hear you on bridging and understand distortion levels go up, phase issues, etc. Still willing to try nonetheless...won’t kill me to do so...I have options.

3) Honestly...I don’t really have much of anything just lying around aside from some ancient "death grip" Monster Cable 800 ICs that I’d rather not wrestle with if/when I need to switch some things around...seriously.
All my other decent ICs are being used in my dedicated home theater system.

4) The Accuphase amps came without IECs, and a couple of my stock power cords were lost/misplaced during the move into the new house, hence, I bought new ones. The new & used Furutech, and filtering/distribution were a steal at his prices, came from someone well trusted, and I was able to get several different models/termination coatings to try out in different parts of the chain to determine which ones will work best for my set-up. I purchased one Nanoflux 18 which will run from the wall (dedicated circuit) to a f-TP615, 2 of the Piezo Powerflux cords, a pair of the Evolution Power II, a single Absolute Power 15 plus, and a few cheaper 10 AWG power cords made by a local buddy for the Emotivas (just basic OCC, with cryo’d red copper ends). Although it was a decent chunk, I didn’t "blow my wad" purchasing he cables, and I’m confident that I can recoup my money back out of them if needed, and invest it in better matching cables if/when needed. The opportunity was there, and I took it. Not a huge deal to me.

5) I agree that the W4S DAC is a great piece of gear and is tough to beat in its class. It is one of the last few remaining items from the previous system. The new DAC is a Gustard X20pro with dual ES9028s (one for each channel), a huge list of abilities, including DSD DOP decoding, PCM384K DSD256, has a plethora of inputs, including IIS, BNC, is incredibly well built/laid out for an overseas piece, and is burning in as we speak. Trust me when I say to you, the W4S has some very serious competition here. This DAC seems to be VERY capable thus far. With me moving in the direction of a dedicated music PC, this DAC seems to fit the bill a little more nicely. That is...as long as my ears like it more than the W4S of course (which seems to be the case so far). And no, I’m not paying someone to do the mods. I’m very comfortable performing the level-1 mods myself. They are mainly A/C related and, fairly straight forward (fuse/switch bypassing, transformer de-coupling, A/C lead twisting, etc.) and are said to bring it to a far superior level. We will see, as I have about 40 hours of break-in left before reaching the suggested 200 hour mark. It is absolutely outstanding so far.

6) I have MANY years of listening and tuning experience. I’ve tuned many SQ competition mobile systems, ( I understand the mobile environments are very different from a listening room), and home set-ups utilizing active networks, and/or processors. I would say I have a very good ear, know "how to listen", and what, I personally, am listening for/enjoy. I see where you may have thought otherwise, so, no harm, no foul.

I sincerely appreciate your input/concern nonetheless mrgreen, as I’m sure it wasn’t meant to sound arrogant or condescending. Thanks for taking the time to respond so thoroughly.

So...any suggestions on some pre-mades, or cable and ends to assemble myself?

As stated, was just hoping for some insight on who I should be looking at these days in the above price range.

Thanks again

Music Direct is (was) selling Audioquest Diamondback or King Cobra ICs at 1/2 half retail. Well made cables.
+1 mgreen.
I suggest you get things set up and listen, let it all break in. Then consider all the alternatives.
For inexpensive cables, I have gone to Zu Audio. They do what they should with little coloration. For me, spending a lot on cables is silly.
I also suggest plugging the amps directly into the wall and comparing the difference using the Furtech. Sometimes power conditioners suck out dynamics.
Bob
audioanomoly - total cost to build my interconnects was $160, including heat shrink and tech flex. I used this cable:
http://www.partsconnexion.com/wire_interc_connex.html

It's solid silver and I was told it can be brittle, so I put heat shrink tubing over each length then tech flex over that to make kinking the cables harder. I also only grounded the shield on one end.. 
 
I'm happy to answer more questions, but I'm a stay at home dad and have more time than money, so I do lots of DIY. It sounds like your situation may be the inverse of mine, so I won't dump an epic DIY description here.

audioanomoly1, I would call the KLEI gZero2 ICs a real and genuine Hi-End interconnect and is a lovely sounding and performing interconnect. The models above them are even better. The KLEI gZero1 ICs are exceptional value for money and might be all you require. It is good to have choices, isn't it.


Mesch, thanks for the tip! Much appreciated. I've got an old pair of Jaguars being used in my HT set-up, and they have been good to me. Will look and see if that's still going on. 

Gdnrbob, I will definitely look at Zu too, and amps directly off the wall was part of the agaenda as well. Sincerely appreciate you chiming in sir. Thank you kindly. 

Todd, thank you so much for the info. Sounds like you are living the life I wish I had...more time for DIY, and the ability to pay my bills without the looooong work weeks would be a dream come true. I'm quite envious. I would much rather build my own cables to length than buy off the shelf, so I'm leaning heavily towards doing so. 

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts/input thus far.

yping...after your input yesterday, I’m very seriously considering them. Prices are on the higher side for what I want to spend, but, free shipping as well as a good exchange rate right now definitely help the situation haha. Thank you so much sir.

+2 for mgreen27

Anything other than vertical bi-amp is a train wreck. This has been discussed in numerous posts and I recall one that a well known and respected amplifier designer commented that the horizontal configuration would never come close to working without an active crossover and then it still may not work well.

"I hear you on bridging and understand distortion levels go up, phase issues, etc. Still willing to try nonetheless...won’t kill me to do so...I have options."

Keep in mind that a bridged amp sees the speaker's impedance as half of the actual value. With the VR4's being 6 ohm, that's a 3 ohm load. No, it won't kill you, but may kill an amp. Always best to only use 8 ohm speakers with a bridged amp.

Have you thought about an upgrade for the main power cord? The one from the breaker box to the outlet for the system. This system would benefit from a dedicated line, two even better, one analog and one digital for better isolation with upgraded outlets.

Thanks for the input tls49.
I know it has been discussed heavily in the past, and my apologies, I meant horizontal, not vertical. Just going by what’s been mentioned by whom I spoke with at VS, and other VR4 owners in terms of what they’ve had success doing. I’ll try and add a link to one of these discussions.
I was under the impression that the VR-4s are rated at 6 ohms paralleled across both sets of terminals, and were half that at each set. Am I wrong here?
Yes, my dedicated pair of outlets are the orange Leviton number 5362 professional grade outlets with a run of Southwire 10/3 Solid UF-B W/G Wire run straight to the panel. Nothing fancy, but a decent upgrade.


Heres one of the discussions:

http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/bi-amping-von-schweikert-vr4.666700/

And, I stand corrected...4ohms on the bottom, and 8 on top from what I'm seeing. I assumed a lighter load than that at each set of terminals. Thats what I get for assuming. Thanks for pointing that out tls49

Well this thread went in a much different direction than expected, hahaha
Regarding cables, I just remembered another supplier:
http://www.cs1.net/products/cables.htm
Simple cables at a fair price, you can always upgrade later.
+1 tls, I agree vertical biamping/monoblocks is the way to go. You are going down a slippery slope going horizontal. (That sounds dirty, doesn't it)?
Bob
Ha! Yeah it did...Thank you gdnrbob.
Understood on the horizontal. As stated, the idea was sparked from the above mentioned sources, and I'm always open to different things, especially in this industry. I would assume that a recommendation coming from VS and other VR-4 users would warrant a try, and I will most likely do so just for the sake of it. The impedance of the lower half of the speakers sure changes things in terms of bridging, so no-go there.

Appreciate the link sir!