If you could swing $400-$500, I would go with the Cardas Golden Cross. Very warm and open cable.
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I think it's funny that audiophiles go to such extremes to buy the right cables so their sound is perfect...when the studios that record the music use pretty much any heavy duty microphone cable. While studios do select microphones based on what they are recording and performer preference, few, if any, go thru the extensive "power filtering" and cable selection efforts that I see posted here on the playback end.
Don't some of you think that maybe you're going just a wee bit "over the top"
You and many others here would likely go insane in a sound studio.....where the sound is mixed to sound good on various amplifiers, near field monitors and/or headphones none of which equal the perceived "quality" of the speakers and headphones used in some homes.
If you want to hear what the studio wanted the sound to be, you would buy a pair of high quality studio monitors and a high quality audio amp (crown, ....) and you would connect everything with Belden cables. Alternatively, get a pair of SONY MDR-V6 headphones :)
Ghstudio-On the playback end, cables are used as "tone controls". At least that's how I use them. In the pro arena, all they're looking for are cables to go long distances w/o hum.
Some folks might think buying an expensive wine or automobile is over the top, when you can go to the 7-11 in your Kia & spend $7.95 for their top shelf wine. It all comes down to what you want to do with your money & if you get satisfaction from pursuing whatever it is you're looking for.
I'd submit the Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference (original version) as a very warm and musical interconnect. Tons of tonal color and image density with very refined highs.
Ghstudio, it makes not one bit of difference what the recording studios use. We're just trying to optmize the sound we hear in our own listening rooms using whatever means necessary to get there. If that means Belden cables and pro audio electronics/speakers so be it, but I suspect that if we duplicated as best as possible the equipment/cables used to make a recording in a studio it would not sound optimal in our homes regardless of how accurate it may be.
So your point is made that we put a lot more emphasis on equipment than maybe a lot of recording studios do, but it doesn't change or invalidate what we're after or how we'll go about trying to achieve it.
Hi Tom, have tried and used many cables in my systems over the years and have had good luck with Audioquest diamonds until I tried Revelation paradise silver cables. Now am useing the interconnect Revelations and have never been happier. These are great cables and can be had on the gon for about 300 dollars for a meter pair of XLRs. Most of mine were bought here. Give them a try.
Maybe that's why so many CDs sound like crap. There's a lot more that sound like crap than sound excellent that's for sure.
It's a shame that audiophiles care more about sound than the people who record the music. Fortunately, there are those who do care (and they do pay attention to cables) and produce fine recordings.
As far as high quality audio amps, Crown...? I haven't seen an audiophile use one of those since the early 70s. Are we in the same era?
I was suggesting duplicating what you might find in a recording studio...crown amps, mackie monitors, etc. to give you the same sound experience that the sound engineer created.
I think CD's sounding like crap is somewhat subjective. Remember that most CD's are made to sell to the masses and to sound good on the typical home/college/car sound system.
By creating an exceptionally good sound environment in your home, you are not creating the environment that the CD was made for. Ditto for most movie DVD's.
The folks who do the audio work on CD's absolutely do care about the sound...they get some big bucks to make that sound right...they are just creating a final CD tuned to a different sound than you want.
Of course the simplest example is on voice recordings where audio is expanded/compressed, reverbed, effected to the point where you probably wouldn't recognize the performer if they sang in front of you without a mic. So tone control using wires or whatever is almost rediculous.
Then again, most of us have only heard the performers after being processed by all the electronics, so we are trying to recreate a sound that isn't natural.
(BTW, I spend lots of time tuning my home system too...I just think that some who take audio too seriously have to really sit back and think about the whole sound thing)
IMO: Using your logic, there would be little reason for audiophile equipment to exist.
At the same time, I will admit that some equipment has surpassed the quality of some source material. It's obvious that traditional source paradigms are in the process of shifting. It seems that all the technologies are no longer in sync. Not only that, traditional business model paradigms are also wacko.
It certainly is an interesting time. Sometimes I wonder if symbiosis will ever be achieved again.
Off the original subject, for that I apologize.
In a studio they have live music being recorded for the first time and or the master of that recording session that they use, not a copy of a copy of a copy and so on and so on, I could go on forever with this LOL. If all we had were those acetates, vinyl or CD (I do have some)or one offs then cables or equipment would not be as important. There are huge differances between acetates and the end pruduct. The end product that most of us have needs more help to shine. Just going to the duplicator or pressing plant can and does change the quaulity of sound. I can hear things from acetates I never ever here from the end product that I also own. This go's for any mass produced media as well, the original is always best without exception.
If you can get me some masters I would be very very grateful. LOL
I somewhat agree with you and respect your inputs. In my experience, the more expen$ive speaker cables the better they delivery. But that concept doesnt apply to interconnect cables. IMO, IC cables can delivery much stronger unique souls, more like personalities, and characters than speaker cables do. Which I may say that more expensive IC doesnt necessary means better.
I have tried Nordost Vahalla, Qualttro Fil, Transparent Reference, Cardas (a loaner and dont remember model) KimberKable Hero, KK SilverStake, and Krell Cogelco, all have diff unique sound, but the $30 IC Belden LC-1 from www.BlueJeanCable.com surprisingly make me happy the most. Yes, Im shame to say it but only honest statement can make me feel better.
Note: I like warm, sweet, and romantic sound which all makes sense since none of my other brands have this character.
Good luck finding yours and don't forget keeping us updated.