Cables, Interconnects and More Cables???


I am trying to upgrade my system cables on a limited budget and I'm curious where the best overall values are into todays market. I have an Ah! Tjoeb CD Player into a Rotel RA-971 preamp into a Rotel RB-981 power amp driving B&W 603's and a B&W ASW 2000 sub. I have been using older Audioquest cables and its time to upgrade. Whats the word?
dcaseyb
MIT Terminator 2.
I agree with Carl. AudioAdvisor is practically giving away MIT cables. Check on their demo selection as well. Nordost is another choice but you will have to spend more. Good luck.
Here are my best performance/cost ratio cables in you price range, of course used is best if possible.....(as always don't buy on strangers advice, use Cable Co to try at home first) IC copper:Harmonic Tech Truthlink, new $250, used $125 IC silver:Silver Audio Hyacinth, new $250, used-not likely instead watch for used HT ProSilway II for $250-275 or used Silver Audio Silver Bullet 4 $125 If you are using Opal or Emerald now, these are nice step up....if you are using Ruby or below these will be revalation! (BTW I have used Opals) If you have AQ Forest or higher speaker cables now, upgrade ICs first......if not upgrade speaker cables also Regards.....Sam
Radio Shack has a very nice pure copper 14 AWG braided flat pair speaker wire. $20 for 50 feet. Unless you're pumping wads of current, you might want to try it. And if you like, replace it once a year and never look back. I'm guessing more than half the 'revelation' inherent in cable switches is replacing old for new. The Shack also has substantial gold plated spades at about $5 per eight pack.
An excellent best-buy choice in interconnects is JPS Superconductor. I am familiar with the discontinued model, not the Superconductor +. Superconductor should be available here on Audiogon for $125-$150. This is a cable not bettered by many much more expensive cables. It is dynamic, with very crisp, clean uppper mids and highs, decent bottom end weight if not the absolutely most extended in the bass. In my opinion, the frequency balance is slightly tipped to favor the high end, but the upper mids and highs are presented so cleanly, the overall sound is quite seductive without being overly colored. This cable is way ahead of Audioquest Emerald, for example.
The above are all good suggestions. Especially the MITerminator2. They're fantastic for the price. I was using the MIT2 speaker cable with my JmLabs until just recently, when I went looking for an upgrade. The only cables I found that were better were from Kimber and the better MIT stuff. I went with the MIT again. I swear by them. Brutal break-in period though; I found my MIT2's took a good week of constant listening to start sounding their best, so be patient. Leave your system on and walk away. Don't even have a listen for the first couple of days. The Kimber Bifocal XL is also excellent, but quite expensive, even used. MIT also has a 30 day guarantee, so if you don't like them, you can get a refund. Don't listen to all the B.S. about how they roll off the high frequencies. For those of you that say that, would you mind explaining to me how I can balance my system from 70Hz-20,000Hz within less than 2dB if the high's are rolled off? Good luck!
I suspect Carl is probably pointing in the right direction, but not having tried MIT Terminators, I must echo Sam by saying that my Harmonic Tech. Pro-9 bi-wire and Pro-11 power cord do offer high end quality at a reasonable price. My Cyberlink Platinum coax has no obvious shortcomings and images perfectly. I would say that all Harmonic Tech. products are very "realistic". I know that in certain situations they may not have been the best choice for Carl and others, but that may be due slightly to the specific synergy of cables to their systems. Keep an open mind, try 2 or 3 of the suggestions here if you can. My H.T. cableing has not let me down.
I used MIT CVT Terminators ten years ago, can't comment on new ones. But my present Stealth cables (cross-wrapped copper and cross-wrapped ribbon interconnects, Premier and Ultimate Ribbon speaker) are A+ compared to C- for MIT: going back to MIT was like throwing a blanket over my speakers. See www.interlinkhouse.com, and not the 30-day money-back guarantee that reduces your $ risk to shipping.
Could not help but follow up on rockvirgo, I have Vac Avatar SE and Klipschorns modified with all silver wire internally but had not decided on speaker wire, "that" R.S. wire was in the closet so I hooked it up and yow! wall to wall soundstage, but I will still upgrade to Stealth biwire silver just to see the difference, the price difference is about 4 zeros!
You guys are just joking right......Radio Shack speaker wire $20 for 50ft........Why not buy a Radio Shack CD player there for home stereo $200...... Regards.....Sam
BMP, you can feel like it was a "synergy thing" if you like, cause I certainly feel that way about the HT, since I've heard them also (at least the intertconnects). I even prefer the cheap Wireworld Atlantis 2 interconnect to the HT Silway 2, and this is either with HD600 headphones, or with my amp and speakers. I think the newfangledness of the HT stuff has lost its luster, and there are other interesting new wire companies springing up all the time. I'm even going to try a few of them. I don't expect them to beat my MIT cables, especially the top of the line ones...
Thanks Jkingtut for the vote of confidence. How about a new thread on the sound of the upmarket stuff when you get a chance? FYI Sam, I biwired my Threshold S/350e to a pair of ProAc Tablette 2000 Signatures with the Radio Shack flat 14 gauge megacable. One month later it still sounds musical, inviting and simply wonderful. So in my case at least, spanking new shiny copper wire = happy stereo rat. And with 10 feet and four spades to spare the total cost was $29.97 + sales tax, 60/40 solder, and some heat. At least go look at the stuff. Then sneak home and hook it up :-) Allow about a week for break-in, or five minutes, whichever comes first. Seriously, if you've crippled some voracious speakers with a wimpy amp I can understand the need for better wire and assorted band-aids. But if you've chosen your components wisely, and they were designed well enough to mate effectively in the first place, the less the conductors between them are going to matter. Remember the DeLorean in Back to the Future? It ran on garbage. Now there's brilliant design in the extreme.
Let's not go off the deep end, here. A conductor is in series with the signal it passes, thus it has total effect on it.
I've had extremely good luck with Synergistic Research. They are very neutral sounding and have cables & interconnects at all price levels. Good luck finding the right combination.
I AGREE, I AM USING STEALTH CWC INTERCONNECTS AT 3.5 METERS LONG.ALL I CAN SAY IS YOU GOTTA TRY THESE!!I HAVE THE CWS ALSO ON TRIAL AND LEANING TO THE CWC IN MY SYSTEM.BETTER HIGHS.
Dcaseyb: Cost / Performance champions MIT 2. Do allow good break in time. At the cost you might get them and depending on $$$ in your mind for budget, use the left out money for power conditioning (do you have already a power cond). What about a new wall plate like hospital grade Hubbell. If your wall plate and breakers(DONĀ“T OVERLOOK THEM!!) are old they do increase resistance. Good luck
I agree with Rockvirgo! Anybody tried A-B compairing the cheap RS cables with your "favorite" multy $$ cable? I bet you would be surprised. And i bet you wouldn't know the difference.
I thought everybody compared cheap cables with expensive cables...I bet if you stood out in the rain long enough, you'd see why it's better to go indoors...
Interesting Carl. But once inside you would have to decide which would get you drier, Egyptian hand woven cotton or Seacrest.
I do in fact keep a $40 pair of Straightwire Chorus cables to help evaluate new cables, and isolate differences that occur compared to higher priced models. I can EASILY hear the difference between say HT Truthlink $250 and Chorus $40, MUCH more detail and 3D resolution. Of course there comes a point where more cost buys little improvement, and thus becomes a relative waste of money, but if you use generic Radio Shack cable you are leaving a lot of sound on the table.......regards Sam
I'm no towel expert, so I guess I'd let my ears decide. Whichever one makes the least noise would suffice. I guess that would rule out a burlap bag...
Sam: RS flat braided ribbon 14AWG MegaCable is far from generic. It's pretty cool stuff and astonishingly different from bellwire or lampcord. Maybe if they branded it Radio Shacque...hmmm. Carl: that burlap makes nice grillcloth! :-)
Rock, out of curiousity, what other cables have you directly compared to RS megacable? This would give us some perspective of where you are coming from, also do you work for Radio Shack, hehehe.....regards Sam
Sam until recently I was oogling Kimber 4TC/8TC. 30 years ago ordinary lampcord seemed to do the trick. Ten years ago I went to original Monster cable, mainly because I thought it looked cool and I'd heard thicker was better. I recently cut some of it clear through near the soldered termination. The cross section of the strands was quite tarnished. That convinced me that new wire will outperform old stuff ten times out of ten, no matter how cleverly it was designed or marketed. Adding this experience to a perusal of the Belden and HAVE catalogs suggested that $10 each spades and arcane dialectrics have little place in professional electronics. This only increases my reluctance to spend the big bucks for a lot of hoo-ha. For the time being at least, I'm completely satisfied with the sound I'm getting and simply can't imagine how it could get any better. I listen to mostly acoustic music. The tonality is right, the imaging is great, it even sounds real from the next room haha. Let's face it. Somebody's biting the bullet if RS can sell eight gold plated spades for $5 and Kimber wants $40. Who's kidding who?
You'll never know till you try. Not all cables even use metal conductors, some use carbon fibre, and will sound consistent for eons. In general, specialty cable manufacturers make quality products, and take care to slow the oxidation process. Silver oxide even conducts electricity, where copper oxide doesn't..........Anyway, "Rock", you aren't alone. Most folks think all of this audiophile stuff is "hooha", mostly because they don't care about music enough to play it on anything other than a clock radio or boombox. Doesn't mean they know something we don't, it means quite the opposite. Food for thought....
THE FINAL WORD.... Believe it or not I had the "cheap" RS stuff on my system before I bought the Audioquest cables. And for the vast majority of the “unmusical and they like it that way” public these are EXCELLENT cables. They are at least a vast improvement over many other so called audio cables - many costing much more mula. I moved to the Audioquest cables and was satisfied with the "slight - but noticeable" increase in sound quality - even with the exponential price increase. But - since all of the hoopla on this thread and after doing much more research on my own - guess what I finally bought.... I went to AudioAdvisor and could not resist the great deal they were giving on MIT Terminator 2. I bought interconnects and speaker cables and I have conscientiously been burning them in for the last 200 hours straight (my wife hates me now but I still have another 200 hours to go). I think (and that is all that really matters) that they have given my system a tremendous jump in overall sound quality. I am already hearing things in my Vinyl and CD’s that I have never heard before. So… I came…. I posted…. I listened…. I researched…. I laughed…. I responded… And then I bought the Terminator 2’s.. And I am happy…. Nuff said…
THE FINAL WORD.... Believe it or not I had the "cheap" RS stuff on my system before I bought the Audioquest cables. And for the vast majority of the “unmusical and they like it that way” public these are EXCELLENT cables. They are at least a vast improvement over many other so called audio cables - many costing much more mula. I moved to the Audioquest cables and was satisfied with the "slight - but noticeable" increase in sound quality - even with the exponential price increase. But - since all of the hoopla on this thread and after doing much more research on my own - guess what I finally bought.... I went to AudioAdvisor and could not resist the great deal they were giving on MIT Terminator 2. I bought interconnects and speaker cables and I have conscientiously been burning them in for the last 200 hours straight (my wife hates me now but I still have another 200 hours to go). I think (and that is all that really matters) that they have given my system a tremendous jump in overall sound quality. I am already hearing things in my Vinyl and CD’s that I have never heard before. So… I came…. I posted…. I listened…. I researched…. I laughed…. I responded… And then I bought the Terminator 2’s.. And I am happy…. Nuff said…
Sorry about the double posting - These damn infernal computers anyway. Must be my telephone cable... Does anyone know of a good Cat5 cable on a budget?
I don't off hand, sorry, Dcaseyb, but I'm glad to hear that someone has finally followed my recomendations. Cheers...Carl
Casey, you hurt Rocks feelings by not buying Radio Shack cable, didn't you accept the RS challenge, hehehe.....
I must say I'm quite sold on Sergui's (interlinkhouse.com) cables and interlinks. They are a great value for the price. The crosswraped silver links are outstanding! Besides...you can return them if you don't like them, though I've never had to do this. Later!
Newsflash knuckleheads (you know who you are): People who like music celebrate its performance and enjoyment in any form.
Here's a suggestion. Buy some used Audioquest silver cables from Audiogon or AudioShopper. Then ship them to the factory and have them reterminated. HAVE THE FACTORY DO THIS. When you get your cables back, you will have almost brand new cables, since most used cable degradation is in the terminations anyway. Your net cost will be less than half a brand new set. This is especially true now, since Audioquest has revamped their entire line. I bought some balanced Lapis this way. Best cables I have ever heard.
try Silver audio appasionatas expensive but worth every penny transparant fast and smooth an unusual combo great with lamm equipment be careful with solid state it might actually reveal the glare and grunge all the harmonics sound natural