i can respond only to your last question. "balanced" interconnect cables are terminated with xlr male/female connecters, while "unbalanced" or "single ended" cables are terminated with male/female rca connectors. which are best for you depends upon your electronics and their placement ( i.e., distance frome one another). -cfb
I tried the TruthLinks and found them to be far too polite, I would recommend you consider the Acoustic Zen WOWs. They have most of the sound of the Matrix reference for half their price.
I reccomend Clarity Wires " FoxFire" its a silver hybrid and retails for $200 1 meter pair. I own a pair and really enjoy them. They were also reviewed by vacuume tube valley and they favored the Foxfire's over Kimber Kable's Silver streak. heres the link.
I highly reccomend them, and all Clarity Wires for that fact. Check them out!
I would think with the Vandies you would really benefit from Acoustic Zen Matrix or Silver Reference. If you want more detail/snap in your system try the Silver, but either one will flesh out the midrange that will make your jaw drop. Best of luck.
I forgto to mention... I have KImber PBJ now between the integrated amp and the CD player. I liked it at one time but have tired of it because I find the sound too bright - detailed but a bit harsh.
I run AudioTruth Opal and think it is a great interconnect for the money. I would suggest you try them. If they don't work out, you can always sell them back for your money. They still sell really well....Good luck...LR
If you are interested in silver, I highly recommend Bear Labs Silver lighting or Granite Labs Silver #470. Both are excellent and can be purchased at a significant saving from various dealers or in the case of Bear Labs directly from their web site. Feel free to email me if you have questions.
I highly recommend VANTAGE cables. The best cables I have ever tryed. I am selling my MIT cables for VANTAGE. Try www vantageaudio.com and write too Richard, he is a very nice person and he can made exactly the cables you want copper/silver/gold you can even try them for free in 35 days. I have absolutly nothing to do with the company more than I like their cables.
Thanks to all. I have ordered AQ Opals. WIll let you all know how they work out.
Chander, when you get the Opal's installed in your system, drop me a line. We can make arrangements so that you can send me your PBJ's for "burning". Once they are done, i'll send them back and you can throw them back into the system. I would be curious to see how you like them as compared to the Opals and if you think that they have changed sonic characteristics at all due to "burning". Sean
I'm pretty sure you are using unbalanced connectors with your equipment. They are the little round rca ended cables. Balanced cables use xlr connectors which have three prongs, and have a little slider lock on them.
I would buy a couple of cables used and sell off what you don't need. Cables are very system (and personality!) dependent. They do indeed make an enourmous difference. I have found them to be one of the biggest bang for the buck improvements out there.
I do recall from the FOUR vandersteen speakers I have owned that they tended to be less improved by megabuck interconnects than most. This is because they are not hyper-detailed speakers. They also tended to appreciate brighter cables which tended to offset their natural laid back character. I commonly hear people referring to audioquest silver cables, and synergistic research's as goo d matches.
Harmonic Tech's are VERY impressive in the 125 range. They would be a good match for your components because they tend to remove some of the solid state nasties. I would definitely try a set. They might be a little sweet/syrupy for the vandersteens. Another great cable is the Audio research litz which can be had for 125-150. AR's have wonderful midrange and a nice glowy sound. The DH labs cables silver cables are supposed to be very good for the price too. Quite a few people pair audioquest cables with vandersteens too. The $350 (used) AQ diamond is a good cable and would probably be a good match. Very detailed, but little harsh in some systems.
In the 200-250 range, the harmonic tech pro-silway and nordost red dawns are very good and would add detail to your system.
Good luck !
Chander and Sean,
I am kind of curious about the results of the burn-in experiment. If it comes off could you post your results?
GPalmer, I surely will. Perhaps Sean can also do tests before and after and report. But first, I am curious as to what Sean means by "burning". I have used the PBJ's for a few years now. Wouldn't it already been burned in ?
For your system, try out some Straightwire Virtuoso Platinum interconnects.
Well designed balanced connections should give you a quieter background, only if you use balanced connections in your entire setup and that you are running long lengths of interconnects ( 15 feet or longer ). Otherwise, any difference is subtle.