Cables – Speaker as well as interconnects – ugghh

I Recently acquired Conrad Johnson’s MV60SE, Premier 14 and their DV-2B CD player. My speakers are from Tannoy’s prestige series, namely the Sandringhams.

Now I need to connect the dots. I’ve been reading many discussion forums and online reviews regarding cabling and am simply worn out. So much out there and so many opinions! At this time I’m leaning toward Cardas Neutral Reference for runs to the Tannoys and perhaps for RCA IC’s as well.

The added challenge here is that I need to run 6 meters of cable each side to reach my speakers. No, unfortunately I can’t change the placement of my components (electronics on one side of the room as opposed to center). Yes, this adds a lot of $$$.

So, what about the Cardas Neutral line? What about something else in a lesser or comparable price range?

Thanks so much for ANY thoughts!
Don't know much about the Cardas Neutral line, but maybe you don't have to spend so much...

Like you, I have a speaker cable run that is about 6m (20 feet). I use Anticables and am pleased with the results. And they are dirt cheap.

FWIW, my previous speaker cables were $2k for 2m. I didn't notice any significant diminishment in SQ when I switched to the Anticables.

Food for thought.

Agreed. The cable thing can be exhausting. Could fill a wooden crate with all the cables I've owned. Just do the Signal Cable Ultra Cables thing and be happy. They are truly that good. Use the money you save to travel out of state.
Personally I didn't care for the neutral ref ic's. Both the high and low end were rolled off. Mids were excellent but that was all. Both my son and I prefer Audioquest king cobra over the NR's. Since then I've changed to Nordost. You may want to contact the Cable Co. That way you can try before you buy.
That being said I never gave Cardas a second chance with any other of their cables which are supposed to be a lot better.
I also like Signal Cable and Paul Speltz Anticables and have both. Audioquest was always a good value too but maybe not as much as the first two. Nordost doesn't work for me. I get a harshness in the highs.
The Sandringham's have an 8 ohm nominal impedance, and also apparently have a benign impedance vs. frequency curve. That will reduce their sensitivity to cable differences, compared to speakers having lower nominal impedance and/or a more difficult impedance curve.

As I see it, Bryon's comment assumes particular significance because his speakers do NOT have a benign impedance curve, and also are close to 4 ohms in important parts of the spectrum.

-- Al
I just went thru the same thing. I moved my amps to the side of the room, where before they had been between the speakers. I needed much longer cables, so I went with Signal Cables Ultra - a 22 ft one and a 14 ft one so that I wouldn't end up with a bunch of excess cable piled up on the floor for my right speaker.

You might want to consider the asymmetric length option, even if it means that if you resell, you'll probably have to sell them as singles.

Does "benign impedence" mean no measurable capacitance?

Best Regards,

Hi Lynne,

No, as far as I am aware all speakers will exhibit measurable capacitance at some frequencies. Speaker impedance becomes more benign to the extent that:

1)Nominal impedance is higher.
2)The impedance varies less as a function of frequency.
3)The impedance is more purely resistive, as opposed to capacitive or inductive (especially capacitive).
4)Frequencies at which the impedance is particularly capacitive do not coincide with frequencies where impedance magnitude is low.

All of these differences will affect the degree of difficulty that the speaker load presents to the amplifier. They can also be expected to affect sensitivity to cable differences, because they will affect the amount of current flowing through the cable; and because the significance of cable resistance will vary depending on how great a fraction of speaker impedance it is (at all frequencies); and because the significance of cable inductance will vary depending on how great a fraction of speaker impedance it is (at high frequencies).

Figure 1 of this Stereophile review shows the impedance curves of the Focal 1037be, which I suspect are generally similar to those of Bryon's 1027be.

The solid line, which is read against the scale at the left of the graph, shows impedance magnitude. As you can see, it fluctuates widely, and is much lower in the bass and lower mid-range than at higher frequencies.

The dotted line, which is read against the scale at the right, shows the "phase angle" of the impedance. A phase angle of 0 would mean that the impedance is purely resistive; positive phase angles represent an impedance that is partially inductive and partially resistive (with +90 degrees representing pure inductance); negative phase angles represent an impedance that is partially capacitive and partially resistive (with -90 degrees representing pure capacitance).

Phase angles in the area of -40 or -50 degrees or more, in combination with low impedance magnitude, are particularly a cause for concern. As John Atkinson notes in the text above the figure, that occurs with this speaker in the vicinity of 30Hz.

Best regards,
-- Al
“The Sandringham's have an 8 ohm nominal impedance, and also apparently have a benign impedance vs. frequency curve. That will reduce their sensitivity to cable differences”

This is big, Al and I’m trying to digest it. So, if I understand correctly, the Sandringhams are rather stable animals that are less prone to exploit the shortcomings of various cables – is that right? And if this is right, would it then follow that the shortcomings of lesser cost cables are not as noticeable?

Am I on the right track? Some great suggestions have been put forth in this forum on lesser cost cables – I’m usually of the mindset that if I’m not spending a lot, I’m not getting much. However, maybe I can get by with less here…

PLEASE correct me if I’m way out in left field and thank you!
Rbschauman, yes, your interpretation of my comments is essentially correct. IMO many cable-related comments that you may see are flawed in three ways:

1)They fail to take into account that cable effects are significantly dependent, and perhaps mostly dependent, on the impedance and other characteristics of what is being connected.

2)They assume a high degree of correlation between performance and price.

3)They often assume that the ability of a system to resolve musical detail goes hand in hand with the ability to resolve differences between cables, and they therefore assume that if a system cannot resolve differences between cables, its musical resolution is deficient. That is incorrect, IMO, because (as implied in no. 1 above) many technical factors can be cited that will increase the sensitivity of a system to cable differences, but that have nothing to do with the ability to provide better sonics.

You may find my comments here to be of interest, as well as the comments by others in the same thread, some of whom, such as Tvad, have considerably more practical experience than I do in this area.

IMHO, FWIW, YMMV, etc. :-)

-- Al
Thanks, Al,
I appreciate very much your taking the time. It means that I should never again recommend a brand of cable. If I ever run into the review of the AR9 that states that the only measurable impedence is in the form of resistance, I will send it to you, although I'm sure that this is true only at the test bench.
Best Regards,
You know, if you don't want to spend a lot of money, try the cheaper grade Audioquest stuff. I used them for years and they are quite refined with no serious flaws. And you won't be making a big financial commitment but I'll bet you'll be happy for a good long time while you study up on things.