Ideas For Phono Cable For My Turntable.


I am looking to upgrade my phono cable which goes from my Technics SL1200g to my preamp.  It needs to be RCA on both ends with a ground wire. Presently I am using a VPI cable left over from my old Scout. The VPI cable was made by Discovery.  There is nothing wrong, I just want something better.  VH Audio has a Furutech silver cable at under $600 (max I want to spend) but never heard it and not sure I want silver. There is a Nordost Frey used for around $600 but never heard that either.  I am open to any ideas.  I want to keep the cable at 1 meter. 
83d96326 9a8a 4eca b738 6dc28f39ebbcstereo5
@stereo5 - There are a few options open to you...

EASIEST: Get a Nordost Frey cable - they are very good

IMPROVED: Get a one piece harness installed in your arm - probably cost around $600-$700 and it will sound even better than the Frey

THE ULTIMATE: - buy an Audiomods arm - Jeff at Audomods used to make a special mounting plate just for your turntable. His arms are amazing value and significantly better than what comes with the 1200g

You can order his arms with a silver litz one piece harness and have him install KLE Innovations Absolute Harmony RCA’s. This is an amazing combo.

What if you want to change the Harness? - trust me you won’t - it’s that good!!!

Once you get the Audiomods arm, you sell the arm that came with the SL1200g and install the Audiomods arm.

I purchased an Audiomods Classic (Series III) arm several years ago with the Silver litz harness - added the Absolute Harmony RCA’s myself and have never looked back. A friend purchased the Series V for his 1200 and loved it

By the time you sell the old 1200 arm you will probably have spent around $800 total - but the sound will be superb.

Just make sure you check the compliance of the cartridge matches the arm first - or you'll have a cartridge upgrade to factor in.

Just thinking outside the box

Regards - Steve


Check out Audio Envy, I am using the phono deluxe between my SME V tonearm and Accuphase phono. You can try Audio Envy cable risk free for 45 days! 

https://audioenvy.com/product/home-car-pro-interconnects/phono-deluxe-matched-pair/
There nothing wrong with your discovery cable - changing will be a lottery. I agree with @williewonka above - the Audiomods arm is a bargain and significant upgrade on the 1200 if you can afford to spend a little more. Otherwise I wouldn't bother. Spend the money on records.
If you must - keep the cable as short as possible.
@dover,

I am not at all interested in replacing the tone arm, I am very happy with the 1200G arm. The main reason I got this turntable is because my wife was comfortable using it, she wouldn’t touch my prior VPI Prime. For that reason alone, I will keep the turntable stock. I hadn’t heard that much about Discovery so I thought it was a cheap cable sold to VPI and then jacked up a couple hundred percent to make more money on it.


I plan on replacing my ZU modified DL-103 cartridge for a Dynavector DV20X2L cartridge and thought I would upgrade the cable at the same time. If the cable I am using is more than good enough then I’ll keep what I have. This is the first generation cable that was $300 for the meter pair with ground, not the newer more expensive one they sell now.
@stereo5 
Remember that $300 20 years ago was quite a lot in todays terms - The Absolute Sound regarded Discovery cable as phenomenal performance value back in the day.

You might get a cable with different spectral balance for $600 but I suspect no better. Maybe spend more on cartridge - check out the Soundsmith range - they are superbly musical and you can buy medium/high compliance versions to optimise with your Technics tonearm. I have used top of the line Dynavectors/Koetsu's for years, but would be very happy with Soundsmith MI.
Do you know how to solder?
Try Zu Audio Event Phono cable, they will give you FREE TRIAL ! 
You can return it with no loss! What can be better than this ? 

It's absolutely top quality phono cable with WBT RCA 
@chakster,

I think I am going to do that, I got nothing to lose.  Thank you
I have the same table.  I use silver Audio Sensibility phono cables.  Sounds quite nice.Nothing wrong with the arm, IMO.
@stereo5 - RE:
I plan on replacing my ZU modified DL-103 cartridge for a Dynavector DV20X2L cartridge and thought I would upgrade the cable at the same time.
Here’s something else to consider - replacing the ZU might not be your best option

Just have the stylus and cantilever upgraded on the ZU DL 103 and keep the cables you have - cost around $399 - you will notice a significant improvement - like...
  • details
  • clarity
  • imaging
  • dynamics
  • bass depth and texture
Cartridge Rebuilding / Retipping | Soundsmith (sound-smith.com)

I was using a stock DL 103 and saw that Soundsmith offered a stylus and cantilever replacement
  • I purchased one of their last Denon DL103’s they had upgraded with a Ruby cantilever and an Optimized Contour Contact Line stylus.
  • I then epoxied a brass plate to the cartridge - basically having the same impact as the ZU headshell - i.e. improving cartridge rigidity and mounting
  • The cantilever/stylus combination allowed the DL 103 to show just how good it can be - which is stunning
I think I might opt for a Shibata profile next time - the Contact Line requires extremely precise alignment using a mirrored protractor and some much younger eyes - but it does sound amazingly detailed :-)

I’m now thinking of having my other spare DL103 "re-tipped" as well

The upgraded DL 103 is an amazing cartridge that is capable of so much more than the stock spherical stylus and aluminum cantilever could deliver and it didn’t lose any of its original "charm"

I’ve read on this forum that there are several other people that can do the same modifications and maybe a little more affordable and timely manner than Soundsmith, so scan the forums for details

Here are some so start with
Worldwide List of Phono Cartridge Retippers and Rebuilders - Audionirvana.org

Some people would say don’t bother upgrading a $230 cartridge - but most people that do this upgrade are extremely happy with the results.

I did read one disappointed post on another forum, but he opted to have a new finer stylus installed on the existing aluminum cantilever - which is not a good option at all

You might want to consider the Boron cantilever - I’ve read some people prefer that, but I will stick with the Ruby

Just something else to ponder :-)

Regards - Steve


Check out Triode Wire Labs. I replaced all of my Silver Audio cables with TWL. Copper cables that are very smooth, open and transparent. Not colored or rolled off. Pete is a great guy and offers a trial period. 
@williewonka,

I had Andy at The Needle Clinic retip my cartridge last year. He replaced the cantilever and stylus with a Shibata.  The problem is that cartridge is not optimal with my arm and I never much cared for the sound of it. I bought it here, new from Audiofiel only because it was a real good deal. I had the older Dynavector DV20 before that and loved it. That’s why I want the newer one in the low output.  I think I will upgrade the cartridge and see how it sounds with my VPI phono cable before buying into another cable.  I really hate spending more money on cables as I have a large tote bag filled with cables I bought and tried. 
@chakster,

I think I am going to do that, I got nothing to lose. Thank you

You’re welcome. Give it a try and compare it to some other cables, I’m sure you will be surprised. I’m using several different Zu Audio phono cables, recently I got my speaker cable from Zu Audio for bi-wire configuration (for my Tannoy System 15 mk2) and this Mission speaker cable is real killer for the money!

I can relate to chakster experience....that’s exactly my experience is been with Audio Envy cables. Since trying my first IC in November 2019, I have gone full loom with Audio Envy.

Cables made from OCC copper or Silver are the best bang for the money.
Lots of good suggestions.

FWIW - One of my absolute faves is embarrassingly inexpensive. 
Developed specifically for the pro audio market, Mogami’s W2549 is their top-shelf, shielded twisted-pair balanced signal cable for microphones.

Using it unshielded and wired for a direct transfer from the cartridge produces outstanding results with every MC cartridge tried.

Hating to build cables, I’ve had Yannis Tome in the UK build them up with an additional drain wire exiting the rear of the output RCAs in case any EMI/RFI shielding is required.

My last two pair of 1.5m Straight DIN to Starline RCA were like $230 landed - that’s a ridiculous $115 per cable.
WyWires "Silver" phono cable at 40% off the $899 list should fit your need. They also take trades.
+1 for the Zu Phono event cable.