A Different Solution for Cables


In the past, I have contributed to topics on the forum about building your own cables and tweaking cables. I would like to revisit another cable theme that I have talked about in the past, one that has not received much interest since it is on the fringe. The subject is series cabling. By this I mean piggy-backing cables -- 2 cables only -- to improve SQ. I started experimenting with series cabling by chance, frustrated after successive purchases from well-known companies fell short of anticipated results. The most common shortcoming was thin sound with deficient harmonics.

I ended up experimenting over a period of years, mainly with PCs and interconnects in series. I have come up with improved SQ -- not subtle --- by trial and error. My most recent success came as a total surprise -- using interconnects in series from BSG QOL to Lyngdorf RP-1 before the pre-amp. I know that some audiophiles insist that making the signal path unnecessarily longer has to degrade SQ. The truth is that the contrary has often been the case with my system. The latest results are quite stunning. There must be a scientific explanation for this but I am not the kind who worries much about theories. I am more interested in the music. As long as the sound improves I am happy.

You might want to try experimenting with this if you have some spare PCs or interconnects in the audio closet. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results. Have any others out there done something similar that they would like to share while risking a few slings and arrows on the forum?
sabai
certainly I am a little slow on the uptake, but I don't understand what series cabling is.  Can you explain it a little better?  thanks.
kclone,

This means attaching one PC or interconnect to another before plugging the ends into components. With PCs this means using a burn-in adapter to make the connection. I use only cryo-ed adapters. Interconnects need no adapter, of course.
Same story. I’ve implemented IC’s in series for quite a while. Mixing and matching different wire design allows for tweaking - similar to blending spices when cooking or grapes for making wine. Sometimes, the ingredients brings out the best of each - other times, the worst. Currently, I’ve paired up one IC that is very smooth with minimal dynamics with another IC that is detailed with excellent dynamics. So far, so good. For RCA terminations, barrel connectors are needed.
How do you piggyback interconnects?
Bob
XLR connectors don't need anything, you can just link them. For RCA you need a F to F connector.
Beside getting a combination of the best characteristics of each cable, you are also getting the worst of each!
bdp24,

I have experienced something similar with sound stage being constricted and harmonics disappearing. That kind of piggy-back does not last long in my system. As I say, this takes a lot of trial and error. Have you actually experimented with series cabling? I would be interested in knowing the details.

steakster,

Glad to hear there are others doing the same thing I am doing. I knew I could not be the only one out there. As noted above, yes, the worst can also be brought out if the combination is a bad one. I just combined 2 XLR interconnects -- one with thin sound, the other with good harmonics. The result has really surprised me -- an opening of the sound stage with full harmonics and great detail. Like changing a component.

In like your analogy to blending spices when cooking. This is very much a matter of creating the right blend and discovering what blends well with what. Often, simply reversing 2 cables can make a huge difference. The difference may not always be pleasant, but there are many permutations to be tried out along the way before the best reveals itself.
No I haven't sabai. But I will be soon, trying both Kimber Hero and Mogami Gold Studio balanced/XLR cables with both my main amp and speakers, and my subs. The XLR jacks make combining balanced cables a snap!
bdp24,

I would be interested in knowing what results you get. But in my experience there are XLRs out there that will give much better results than Mogami.
I'm using two sets of RCA connected via barrel connector from a phono preamp. I also have a power cord plugged into an adapter into another of same cord. Also have plugged XLRs into each other for extra length on a remote CDP.  Does this disqualify me as a  high end cable user?
gshepardbuster,

I would only be using cryo-ed connectors. I have found that non-cryo-ed connectors can degrade SQ.
I guess you could say I went the opposite direction. I don’t use ICs at all. I don’t use power cords. I don’t use speaker cables. Oh, and no wall outlets. And no connectors, either. I don’t need fuses. Or transformers or large capacitors. I don’t use AC house power. I don’t have electrical ground. If thine eye offend thee pluck it out. 😀
  I'm currently bi-wiring my speakers with a combination of Wireworld & Anti-cables.  I had assumed that the improvement using both (over either singly--even connected bi-wired) was primarily due to the larger amount of wire involved--especially since they're over 20' long.  Perhaps there's more to it than that?
  Anyways, I'll drop matching wires to the bottom of the list of things to worry about.
gnostalgick,

One way to find out is to reverse the wires and listen for significant changes in SQ.
I've done a LOT of cable switching, The brand that seems to play best with others is ZU.
schubert,

What kind of switching are you referring to? I have never used ZU cables. What kinds of things happen when you use them in series?
Check Out some of MIT's literature...According  to their philosophy
you have just created a 2 pole cable.  They feel each cable has a specific frequency that may get accentuated or pole of articulation - so by combining different brands you are creating a multiple pole cable.

Post removed 

Go To

Multipole Technology Explained...

I tried to post a link but it wouldn't let me

sabai---I got Mogami's with XLR's just to use with my subs, where full-range good sound is not necessary. Since I have them anyway, I thought a comparison to Kimber Hero, Silver Streak, KCAG and KCTG would be interesting. Have you seen the video series of Paul McGowan setting up the new PS Audio listening room? In one of them he said he intended to run Mogami balanced ic's from his sources over to the power amps and Infinity IRS speakers. In the next video in the series he told of being inundated with emails from outraged viewers! Also from Bill Low at Audioquest, who offered to make him a nice loom to use instead.
firedrums,

And a cable with other characteristics besides frequency.

bdp24,

I have not seen this video of Paul's. I have not been able to find it yet. Do you have a link?. Paul's company makes some great products. I have his DS DAC and PerfectWave transport and will be upgrading to the new DMP transport eventually. But Paul seems to live in another world at times. One example was his intransigence regarding tube pre-amps -- until Bascom King came along. How could one hold out for so long? This is a mystery to me. And now he wants to use Mogami interconnects? You have to be kidding. I wonder where he has been living for the past 10 years. In a PS Audio cocoon?
I myself do the same with my search for a high quality speaker wire, but at a reasonable price.  I start with a one foot pair of the top of the line MG Audio Design's speaker wires.  Although they have listed a 6 foot pair of them for $4800, they will sell the public a one foot pair for, again, only $900.  These are the very sam spesker wires that Arnie Nudell and Paul McGowen use for their own mono amplifiers.  Anyway, I attach them to my speakers.  Between the MG Audio Design wires and my amplifier I use 18 gage Jenna Lab's own hook up wires.  They go for $6 a foot.  I began with one Jenna Lab hook up wire attached to each of the MG Audio Design speaker wires.  Through experimentation, I now am using 3 of the 18 gage Jenna Lab's 18 gage hook up wires to each MG Audio esign's wires.  That is 12 Jenna Lab'shook up wires total.  I myself needed long runs of speaker wires as my audio gear sits right next to my chair to my right.  Anyway, I am using 18 foot lengts of the jenna Lab's wires for my left speaker-that's 6 individual 18 foot length's of them.  for my right speker I am using 6, 10 foot length's of them.  The total cost comes to $1915 for the equilivant of a 14.5 foot pair of speaker wires.  The end result is basically the equilivant of a 14.5 pair of the top of the line MG Audio Drsign speaker wires. I really works.  I discovered this originally when I had a one foot pair of Shunyata's own top of the line speaker wires and some runs of the Jenna Lab's 18 gage hook up wires.  I could easily demonstrate this speaker wire combination to anyone interested.  I believe that all I would need to do is to play either my Day/Sequerrs FM Studio Tuner or one of my McIntosh MR74 FM tuners to demonstrate my wire solution.  That's all I would need.  Of course with my Oppo 105 or Thorens TD125-Rabco combo it would even be more apparent.  Anyway, anyway interested has the information for free.
alanholvey,

I never had success with wiring my speakers in series, so I find this really interesting. It shows how much can be accomplished in different systems using series wiring.
So funny, I had something else in mind when I first read that you were wiring speakers and components in series.. and it didn't seem electrically possible. This makes way more sense. Though I'm not going to try it for now... Enough other changes need to settle in first.
Wow, it took me 20 years to get one high quality wire different Ga.
  From inside my Speakers to pre amp. To server. All the same model. C. Clear.    

I'm currently using the Mogami gold IC's balanced since it's a long run to The BHK 300 mono amps discussed above (dealer alert). Discussing the balanced only - can anyone whoose heard these suggest csbles they liked better?   I know true 600 ohm balanced designs are supposed to mitigate cable differences more than single ended. 

That being said, many years ago Soundsmith told me that the balanced cable that goes from the strain gauge cart to their energized pre amp didnt make a difference and sure enough it did.  
The Mogami ICs will not do justice to your amps, IMO. I would try a Cerious or Shunyata product, if I were you. If you experiment with series cabling you may get even better results.
emailists, it is Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere who feels a true balanced connection between two truly balanced circuits (most commonly the pre-amp output and power amp input, of course) mitigates or even completely removes the sound of the inter-connect from the system. At one Ask The Designers forums at a Stereophile Show, I asked the cable designers assembled to respond to Ralph's comment. Only Ray Kimber did, saying that a balanced line removes the noise present in both channels, but that was all.