Long XLR Interconnect Cables


Currently I am using Mogami XLR 8m cables and thinking of upgrading to Acoustic Zen Absolute Silver XLR cable. Not trying to open a can of worms here, do you think it would be worth it?
ferrox
It will depend to a significant extent on the technical characteristics of the component that is driving the cable, so I would suggest that you let us know the make and model of that component.  It might also be helpful to know the make and model of the other component that is being connected.

Regards,
-- Al
 
Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere has posted some interesting and illuminating facts about balanced connections. It is Ralph’s contention that the manner in which the signal wires are connected to the electronics---which pins are hot, which is ground, where and how the cable shield is connected---has an effect on how audible the cable is. He claims that when done correctly, as he does in his products, the cable ceases to be audible. He goes further to say that other companies offering balanced connections make those connections incorrectly, not to industry standards, thus squandering the full benefit of balanced connections, the cable then becoming audible. One such company, says Ralph, is, surprisingly, Audio Research. Look at the other cable threads for his full explanation
I have not tried Mogami but I have a lot of Canare which I suspect is close in sound. I use the Canare on stage for mic’s and etc. and it is very good; especially for the money. Maybe the Mogami destroys the Canare, but I can tell you my balanced WyWires and even Clear Day Cables are so much better than Canare. If you want a nice, warm sounding cable that does nothing really wrong the Canare is it. I find its much more of a tonecontrol over higher priced cables. To say all balanced cables will sound the same on a true balanced, properly designed circuit is wrong. If this was true then we’d all be running pro audio cables. Just because studios and musician use these cables doesn’t mean they’re the best; they use miles of this stuff and they’re hard on their gear so it’s more about budgets than anything else. They’re still good cables and they get the job done just fine but there is a difference. I’m guessing there will be a noticeable difference between the Acoustic Zen and the Mogami, but I have not heard either so who knows. See if the manufacture will send a set to try as most will.
My experience running long (8M) balanced pre-power interconnects is that there absolutely is a difference and frankly the longer lengths only exacerbate it. I clearly heard improvements going from Nordost Tyr to AQ Sky to AQ WEL. The only problem of course is the cost of these very long runs. One thing to bear in mind if you are purchasing a long run is what after sales service the manufacturer offers. When I moved I no longer needed a 10M run so AQ were happy to re-terminate my 10M WEL cable as one 7.5M cable and two 1.25M cables at a very modest cost. As the market for very long runs is probably thin having this manufacturer supported flexibility is very valuable, I'd recommend you check if Acoustic Zen can do this for you should you find your needs change in the future.
I am using Aesthetix Eclipse preamp with dual PS and Aesthetix Atlas Monoblok Signature. The cable is Mogami 3173 gold. It's what they called audiophile itch so I am thinking if it would improve the SQ IF I use a more expensive XLR long interconnect cable.
I had substantial improvement replacing short 0.5m XLR AQ King Cobra with AZ Absolute (silver).  I suspect, that improvement would be greater for longer cables.  Both cables were natural sounding, but Absolute was cleaner (more refined) and faster.
I looked at the descriptions and technical specs for the AZ Absolute Silver, the Mogami 3173 (which appears to be an AES/EBU digital cable, btw, although that most likely isn’t an issue), and the output impedance specs for the non-Eclipse version of the Calypso, as indicated in Stereophile’s measurements. I also took into account that in the Eclipse version the value of the output coupling capacitors is doubled (which would reduce output impedance significantly), and the quality of those capacitors is also apparently improved.

The bottom line is that from a purely technical standpoint I don’t see any issues with either cable, in your application, at the length you indicated. (I would not say the same thing, btw, if you were connecting the Mogami cable via RCA’s, for which the preamp’s output impedance at high frequencies is much higher than for its XLR outputs).

But given Kijanki’s comments (which I always consider to be especially credible), and given that I find the description and specs of the AZ cable to be particularly impressive, and given that the design of the AZ is substantially different than the design of the Mogami in several respects, FWIW my guess is that you are likely to realize a significant upgrade going to the AZ. Whether or not that upgrade will be worth to you the many thousands of dollars that it would apparently cost I of course can’t say.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al

I had Goertz balanced interconnects with a Aesthetix Calypso and Atlas. I replaced them with balanced Nordost Tyr 2 interconnects and the improvement was significant.
Thanks Al for your valuable input. Really great to have someone knowledgable around.

Hey adg101, how good IS the Clear Day balanced cable? I have the CD Double Shotgun speaker cable, which is a tremendous bargain. Is the balanced cable as well? I use Kimber silver ic's (KCAG and KCTG, both balanced and s-e), but need some more, and the Kimber's have become somewhat overpriced. Are the Clear Days in the same quality neighborhood to your knowledge and in your opinion?
The CD balance cable is a great cable, especially for the price. My father has a KCAG which I have used much and I think the Kimber is a fine cable too but yes they are pricier. His KCAG is single ended so I'm not sure it's a fair comparison but I feel maybe the KCAG is a tad smoother than the CD single end cable which I do own several pairs of as well, but when I switch to the CD Balanced cable I would say it's a step up over the Kimber. I will add as much as I really like Clear Days and Paul is a great guy, I just bought a WyWires Silver balanced cable and I hate to say it but I prefer it on my preamp anyway. The WyWires has everything the Clear Days has but is more natural and throws a bigger and deeper stage. Don't get me wrong, the Clear Day balanced cable is a tuff cable to beat unless you're spending 2 -3X the money. I'm using the WyWires on my amp and the Clear Days on my CDP. I'll put it this way; I now have an extra CD balance cable that I don't have a home for now but I'll keep because it's a fine cable that maybe I'll have use for later. 

I have the the double shotguns too with Paul's bi wire jumpers as well. Great cables.
My Dad actually prefers his later generation AQ Lapis and Diamonds over his KCAG. All his cables are single ended, but I took my CD balance over to his place to see how it faired against his Diamonds which run between his Sonic Frontiers preamp and ARC amp and we both felt the Clear Day was superior. Sure a lot of it probably had to do running his equipment balanced. The AQ Diamond may be an older cable but it's no slouch; still a very good cable by any standard. The thing is, the Clear Day new is cheaper than a used AQ Diamond or Lapis any day of the week. I'll probably let my dad use my extra CD balanced now that I'm thinking about it. 
Great, thanks. I too use balanced whenever possible, and like silver. I’ll look into your other suggestions. How cool to have a Dad you share the passion for Hi-Fi with! I'm the Dad, and my kid just wants to smoke out with me ;-).