Best path to test different interconnects?

Just wondering what would be the best place in your system to try different interconnects? I have 3 different sets i would like to try but none are matching, xlo , tara labs rsc 2, and some signal wires. Would i get no real change if i only swapped out the set from the pre amp to the cd player and left the same set between the preamp and the amp. Do you need 2 sets of each kind to truly listen for a difference. Hopefully what im saying is making sense. Which path would make the biggest effect in swapping. I would think from the cdp and the preamp. thanx for any info Kevin
I know what you mean but do not know the 'answer'

I suggest hook them up and try to forget about them for a few weeks and the sonic signature will present itself.
would agree with CD to preamp or if your into vinyl turntable or phono pre on out. See if you can get them burned in some other way and then listen. What you get from the source or don't will be heard most clearly through the speakers. What you don't your not going to get by putting them further downstream
Kevin you may not realize the complexity of your question; here's the basics. Most listeners feel that cable swapping at the source component is a good place to start; this is probably mostly true. No the cable pairs do not necessarily need to be the same. Sometimes that yields best results, sometimes a mixture works better. Experimentation is always required. Use the same source music material repeatedly for your auditioning; something you're very familiar with & of high quality too.

Cables are such a controversial area; everyone has opinions & different experiences. They are highly dependent upon synergy with your specific componentry; a cable that sounds great in one system won't necessarily be so in a different rig. Guarantee they won't sound the same.

Typically they need to settle in for awhile after installation. The time required can vary considerably; a few days to several weeks or more. Signal passing through the cable full time accelerates the process. Ensure the connectors are clean before you plug in; there are lots of contact cleaners available. At least use a Q-tip & 90% isopropyl alcohol if you don't have anything else. Don't use that 70% rubbing alcohol which contains water & oils.

Sometimes you'll actually determine more about the sonic signature when you remove a cable in place of another. You'll then realize what was missing or added.

Invest some time in the forum archives to further educate yourself in that regard. There's a lot of valuable info here, but you have to be willing to seek it out. As in all things, the amount of effort you put into the process typically determines the quality of your results. Best of luck & have fun.
I would agree with the previous responses. Swap cables in and out from your digital or analog source to most readily identify the sonic characteristics of each cable. Once you believe you have a handle on the sound of each cable, place it in the system where you plan to use it long term to verify or nullify the result.

One thing... in my recent experience, cables DO have an intrinsic sonic signature. Their "flavor" is their flavor.

Cable shoot-outs are interesting and fun.

Enjoy the esperience.
It's pretty simple if you're not alone.
Tell your friend to swap cables while you're blind-folded and listen to the same selected by you passage(s).
so i should be swapping cables from the cdp to the amp? i think it would be hard if it takes days to hear a difference. i was thinking of trying some blue heavens to hear a difference in my copper ic and silver. i guess that would open a whole new can huh? thanks again kevin
it does not take days to hear a difference but it may take days or weeks to hear all of the differences - and that would only apply to your system. I have heard great differences in wire from system to system. You may plug the wire in and hear the main differences right off the bat but give it time anyway, it is the nature of this 'hobby' to hear weaknesses and want to improve them so listen til you identify them and decide if you can live with them easier than your other cable.
It is extremely frustrating because cables really do have an impact, and there's no guarantee that someone else's experience will hold up in your system.

I've had good experiences trying to find others with similar gear and listening tastes and finding out what they've had success with. A lot cheaper to build on other people's experience first, then narrow down the list of alternatives to a set you can listen to yourself.

Once in a while I get caught up in the enthusiasm about a wire, only to find that it works very differently in my system. Cable lending, audio clubs, and the cable company might also be good resources. Do your research first, and I think you'll find something you like. Don't just assume that what you have is pretty good without trying some alternatives.

Hope this helps!
Great suggestions so far, unfortunately in my experience you simply have to live with them for a while, what may attract you initially might not work for you in the long run. Also, your mental state changes over time, when your in the mood for music your system usually satisfies, when you not at that same level you tend to look for something to get you there and become more engaged to the system rather than the music.

Here's my final theory on cables - they are tone controls for one (at least they are capable of changing the sound) and way easier to swap out and cheaper to experiment with than components, cartridges, tonearms, tables, order to attempt to improve you sound.
i've been doing IC tests for weeks and still haven't figured it out. though i did then doubled back and discovered i didn't (due to break-in changes mainly then speaker relocation). good advise above. lots to learn if you're new at this (like me).

can't say it's fun but it is very enlightening. had no idea IC's could have such an impact. i'm slowly getting it all sorted out.

things i've learned and my newbe tips would be

1) make sure system is in it's final position
2) make sure IC's are broken in
3) take your time and listen. there is no hurry
4) research and read up. lots of knowledgeable folks here and elsewhere with great input/advise/direction

good luck
i'd like to make two points. a cable sounds the same regardless of where it is placed--component or stereo system. it is the same cable in stereo system A and stereo system B. It is the same whether it is connected to CD player A and CD player B. A cable is a catalyst. you will not hear the sound of the cable, but rather its affect upon the sound of a stereo system.

secondly, there is another way to evaluate cables which has been completely overlooked. I can't take credit for this. it was suggested to me by the president of Wireworld.

i expect the audio purists to crticize this approach because of the female-to-female connector.

here it is:

Connect cable A between CD player and preamp. listen. next, take cable B, use a female-to-female connector, insert at end of cable A and insert cable B between connector and preamp. Note differences between the sound of stereo system with cable A and cables A & B. Also, note that cables may be directional. When listening to a cable, listen in both directions--speaker or interconnect.

there is more to this approach, but i hope the possibilities of this approach may provide an alternative to the usual mode for cable testing.

has anyone ever tried this approach ??