I am really having difficulty in selecting cables for my current system. It's time to upgrade as it's been years since I touched anything on it when it comes to wires.
The system runs McIntosh MC275 (two of them and may sell one in the future so I may or may not mono/bi-amp), McIntosh MC220 pre-amp, Rega P9 and a series of speakers, to which I will have to play with to determine which ones I keep. Infinity Reference 6's, Magneplanar III's, and Martin Logan Aerius's, oh and an older Paradigm self-powered sub.
In going through the list I was wondering about interconnects for the components and then speaker wires. XLR's, Coaxial or bare wires? After reading and researching many discussions on this I am more confused than I was originally.
I do want to start out simple, and inexpensive (say $500 - $1000) for all wires and see where I go from there.
Any advice, what do you use or what is your experience with certain cables/wires/connections would be very helpful.
Npdoherty...I wouldn't select cables ahead of deciding which speaker you are going to keep. You can then use cabling to match the rest of the system with the speaker selected. Using the Cable Co. is a good way of taking advantage of their lending library to try out different brands/models. If you have a local dealer, I would also see, if they have a bunch of different cable looms that you can use. Some brands to consider:
Entry-level Transparent won TAS Budget Product of the Year award a bunch of times
Kimber Hero interconnects and 4TC speaker cables also won TAS Editor and Product of the Year awards (you will probably have to buy used to get in your price range)
If you can borrow either of these and test them out, that will be a good start.
The Cable Company seconded; you can go through a lot of cables, listen, and finally decide which you'd like to buy - in a situation like yours, it's the only way to go unless you enjoy spending a lot of money for naught.
Every system is different, as are every listener's expectations; synergy is everything in the world of cables. Blind recommendations are just that: blind. Only you can decide what will work and what won't.
I agree w/Mceljo. If your system sounds good as is, leave well enough alone and save your coin. But if you need something new, I say look at one brand's lower-end models to keep cost down. Mixing and matching is just opening the door to a whole lot of wasted time and second guessing, IMO.
I'll throw in my 2 cents as well, I'd try contacting Grover Huffman and ask him some questions. I am fully wired with his Sx IC and Se speaker cables and yes it did make a difference with my Apogee Slant 6s :) and he is very cost effective as well. But also I have to agree with everyone else as well and say that you should decide what speakers you're going to use but.... Grover's cables are (IMHO) are a world beater.
I went with Home Grown Audio DNA / X-32 and have never felt the need to change. I switched from Audioquest Volcano and Anaconda. The HGA cables are better than the Audioquest cabling they replaced. Much more revealing and natural.
You kept the same wires for years!!!! Shame on you!! I hope you don't consider yourself an audiophile. Suppose everyone kept their wire for years??? How would the snake oil people keep their S classes and afford their life styles Think of other people sometimes!! It's not just about yourself!
Palasr - Ironically, a blind recommendation plus placeo is probably worth more than we'd like to admit. If I think it should be better, it likely will be better. I have a few tweeks that fit this criteria. The issue is finding a method to make a placebo proof comparison.
My grandpa once told me that he didn't care if something was a placebo as long as it worked. It's difficult to argue with that logic.
Mceljo- I agree. In fact blind recommendations (usually via forums, magazine reviews, etc) plus the placebo of 'it costs more so it must be better' have kept many a cable manufacturer in business for a long time. Being purely objective in one's assessment of anything audio is difficult at best.