Interconnects Versus Phono Cables


Just getting back into audio after not upgrading anything in the last 20+ years. Replaced a Luxman and older Yamaha equipment (B2/C2, CA2010).

I purchased a McIntosh MA7900 Integrated Amp, VPI Scoutmaster Turntable, Oppo BDP-105 CD/SACD player and Bower & Wilkins 804 Diamonds speakers.

I am using Audioquest Oak’s speaker cables (Biwire).
I have on order the new Audioquest Fire interconnects (XLR) to connect the Oppo and the MA7900. I am currently using AQ Colorado’s (XLR) to connect them.

I am using a set of Audioquest Niagara’s (RCA’s) to connect the VPI turntable and in the process of either buying the Fire’s or a used pair of the Sky’s.

That’s where my question comes in. Until a few days ago I wasn’t even aware that you can buy dedicated phono cables.

The VPI is using a Benz Micro H2 high output MC cartridge. Toward the end of summer I plan on upgrading to a VPI Classic 3 TT along with an Ortofon Cadenza Black MC cartridge and using the moving coil phono stage on the McIntosh.

So should I just keep on my path of getting the Fire’s or Sky’s to connect the Turntable or look into the dedicated phono cable?

I have no interference problems, no hum or anything with my current set up.

What I have considered was Audioquest Wild or WEL and Kimber Kable KS 1216 or KS 1236. I would order it with both ends having RCA connections.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated or anybody else that has been down this path as well.

Thanks
David
inspector013
I have used many line level interconnects as well as phono interconnects with my VPI table. Some line level interconnects do present some noise issues, hum, etc. However, most line level cables that I have used do not have any noise issues and are as quiet as the phono cables I've used. I suppose that it has something to do with shielding. No phono cable I've used ever has presented a noise issue. So I would say that the odds are you will not notice a noise issue with the other AQ cables, as you do not have an issue now with AQ cables.
Dedicated phono cables are usually a pair of suitable interconnects along with a ground wire, and some are terminated at one end in a DIN connector. In your case with a VPI tonearm you need RCA connectors at both ends. A separate piece of wire can be used to connect the ground (if needed) to avoid hum. Effective shielding is important with ICs used for phono applications in order to prevent any hum pickup with such a low level signal.
"The VPI is using a Benz Micro H2 high output MC cartridge. Toward the end of summer I plan on upgrading to a VPI Classic 3 TT along with an Ortofon Cadenza Black MC cartridge and using the moving coil phono stage on the McIntosh."

I don't see why you are buying cables now. You're planning on selling your TT setup that you just bought. If it were me, I wouldn't be so worried about the cables and try fixing whatever is wrong with your system first. Is any of this stuff even broken in yet?
The sheilded AQ cables should not be a problem, unsheilded Kimbers may pick up some hum, however they do make a dedicated phono cable that should work well.

The only mitigating consideration would be if you ever intend to use a MM cartridge, in which case the capacitance of the cables, added to the capacitance of the phono preamp will have a noticible effect on the frequency response of the cartridge.
I resurrected my 35 year old album collection (500+ albums). I bought the VPI here and used it as a test to see if I really wanted to get back into vinyl. I didn't want to make too much of an investment so that's why I went used. I have purchased at least 300+ more albums since I bought the table, which means that I will continue down this path.
If I liked it and enjoyed it, I would purchase a better table, and that's what I am doing.

I have to move the TT around from it's current position and add a 4 inch maple block platform. That will cause me to change out the interconnects due to them being too short.

I will be selling the Scoutmaster and upgrading to the Classic 3 in Rosewood, buying a better MC cartridge and the interconnects to go along with it.
Other than that I feel the system is stellar.
Viridian,
Thanks for the info, the Kimbers that I listed are the dedicated select series phono cables.
"I will be selling the Scoutmaster and upgrading to the Classic 3 in Rosewood, buying a better MC cartridge and the interconnects to go along with it.
Other than that I feel the system is stellar."

If you stick with AQ you should be OK. They work well in just about any application. Also, the DBS is good for TT's because they don't take a long time to break in, and they stay broken in for a long time. You're already using a silver cable now, so there shouldn't be any issues, but if you have the means to try a copper cable like your Colorado's, it wouldn't be a bad idea, just to be safe.