Go to innersound.net and check on Rogers Sanders way of comparing interconnects.
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That is a an excellent method to evaluate cables. It is absolutely safe to connect 2 sets of interconnect to two different inputs. Ensure that the two inputs you use are high-level inputs --not a tape loop. Anytime you move cables and reconnect wait about 20 minutes or so until the cables re-settle in --then begin to compare. Do the test several times over some hours and jot down your listening observations. As a final test, use the IC's individually and listen again. That will confirm (or not) your listening tests with the Y conectors and determine if it had any sonic degradation upon the individual cables sound.
Have fun. It really is amazing the impact such so-called passive components make.
Well, it'll work in the sense that you'll be able to compare the two, but why not take it a step further? Give the remote to a friend, so that you don't know which I/C is being used. Then try to guess which I/C it is. (Do this after you've listened to both enough that you think you know the "sound" of each.) Be warned: it is very, very hard unless you've got a really terrible I/C or some rather unconventional components.
a better test is to leave one in your system for aw hile then take it out and try another youll either notice a loss or an improvement. ive tried the switching deal and logically you think if you cant choose one over the other their is no difference, but for whatever reason it is difficult like that but when you take out a better component etc you will notice it.
Tieing the two cables together in parallel will alter the total impedance that the source sees regardless of which cable is selected to listen to.
Running the two cables into different inputs may change things slightly. Since i am a confirmed believer in cable break in, it is possible for one input to have more "mileage" or "break in" on the internal conductors than the other input selected. If you must do this, select two line levels that are commonly used so as to minimize the potential differences.
Other than that, i would say that this test might give you some idea of what each cable sounds like, but it would not be an exact duplication as to what you'll get if they were set up individually within the confines of a system. Sean
I have to respectfully disagree with the positive responses. Impedence matching is so important that to monkey with that in the way that a Y would do will skew the results. I concur with the break-in period as there is in effect a "charging" process. I've spent consideraable time comparing interconnects and haven't really found much ambiguity when the right one was installed. I've had trouble picking second place, but first has been obvious. And don't expect the right one to necessarily be the right one for each of your components.
I've always done it the way Hotrod recommends. I try to avoid any variable the something like a Y adapter might introduce. I also think I get a better feel for each cable when absorbing a long listening session with each component change as opposed to jumping back and forth. Not that I ignore the fine details, I'm just more interested in the overall experience each cable portrays.
cables are very system dependant
I tend to want to listen to a cable exactly how it will go in my system and for at least several hours or more likely several days to get a truer flavor (tube warm up is always a factor).
I like to keep going back to tried and true recordings that I am very familiar with. I'll listen to pieces specifically and make mental notes.
Looking for great imaging,accurate tonal balance etc. Piano and acoustic guitar are great for getting a true sense of this.
Sometimes a stunning cables gives you a wow, "never heard that before" or gives such detail and seperation of instruments layering. Also musical decay and the the emotional musicality of music is important, if the cable is dynamic and full bodied, you'll be enraptured in the music.