Tbg, as I;ve mentioned prior elsewhere, DNM Reson ICs would be another inexpensive option that is very lightweight and easy to apply that is worth comparing. If they have a weakness, it's that they are not shielded so one has to be careful with low level phono and certain other applications, for example some of the older Class D designs that tend to produce more external RF noise. I use them with my Bel Canto ref1000m Class D amps though and they never end up leaving for long.
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In the low price/high value department I strongly recommend Clear Day ICs and speaker cables. You won't find a better person to deal with than Paul Laudati and his money-back provision makes it a no-brainer, at least for me.
I wanted to like the DNM interconnects but ended up salvaging their Eichmann Bullet Plug connectors and pitching the rest. As should be obvious, YMMV.
I am a newbie to interconnects discussions but I use Cullen Cables as an upgrade from the base cheap stuff that I started with a number of years ago.
My Oppo 105 modified by Rick Schultz got me started as initially I did not like the sound of the modifications - too clinical.
However, I tried the the Cullen cables and improved my sound alot. More detail came through and my system sounded more alive.
You never know - worth a shot.
The reality is that there is no purpose in posting about cheaper or modestly priced cables, as no one has hear all of them and one should not really trust anyone posting here. I would imagine that there are 1500 cable makers and no one has even heard fifty of them.
At $350 per one meter RCA ics, the eXceptions cost $350.
"The reality is that there is no purpose in posting about cheaper or modestly priced cables, as no one has hear all of them and one should not really trust anyone posting here. I would imagine that there are 1500 cable makers and no one has even heard fifty of them."
Interesting. So why start the thread then?
Realitycables.com offers very fine performance which easily lives up to its name. Clarity, detail, frequency extension, and musicality, with the elusive performance illusion of a three dimensional physical reality in the room with you. And, economical, too.
Impressive in a number of systems, both tube and solid state.
Every audio freak has a favorite cable, and mine are the ones I buy at an EXTREME discount compared to their new cost on Ebay or A'gon's marketplace. Seriously...used cables are broken in (!), mine all seemed good as new, and after careful shopping around I friggin' scored some amazing ones (example: An AQ VDM 5 silver s/pdif cable in perfect shape for peanuts..el cheapo a mundo). Don't be daft...capitalize on other's psychotic obsessions with new shit...
About two hours ago I inserted a pair of Supra Ply 3.4W speaker cables into my rig and had to listen for two straight hours. They aren't even broken in yet and they mop the floor with my Clear Day single run SCs, Tempo Electric SCs, Mapleshade Helix and Double Helix SCs and Zu Mission SCs.
The clincher is they only set me back $214 with shipping and some really nice Supra Combicon BFA bananas. Give me a week and I'll wax poetic about them.
All the best,
Nice post Nonoise, the kind that is helpful !
I just bought the ZU Event II SC which is WAY better than the ZU Mission I was using. Great bass but transparent and coherent from top to bottom. I have used all the cables you mentioned save the Tempo and thought the missions were best.
That said, for that money I just might try the Supa !
After finding out that Lars (owner of Sjofn Hi Fi) had a stroke and was the only distributor of Supra cables stateside, I emailed Supra directly in Sweden and asked if they could help me out or if I should go for a retailer in England.
They must have forwarded it to Lars since he replied about a week later saying he could send me the cables. I hope I didn't inconvenience him since he's still recovering from the stroke but he sent me a PayPal invoice which I payed and three days later the cables arrived.
Sjofnhifi.com is still under maintenance but you can always email him at
[email protected] (his ebay name is zendada) and see if he's up to helping you out. I hope this doesn't overtax him or maybe he has an assistant who's helping out. I really felt bad about it at first but everything went well.
If it doesn't work out, divineaudio.uk has comparable prices even with the added postage. I was going to order from them until I got the email from Lars. You can access them directly or on ebay.com.
All the best,
Nonoise, so the SupraPly 3.4W is a lot better in your system than the single wire Clearday's but it is the Double shotgun wire that is Clear day's top cable, have you ever thought of comparing the double to the single? The reason why I ask is the Supra's sound enticing, but for buyers interested in trying a cable the Clear Days may be easier or more user friendly to buy. So I guess in the end it would be interesting to see if the Supra's are better than the double shotgun from Clear Day.
Kclone, I understand the aspect of availability and ease of purchase and it's why I hesitated buying from a retailer in England. Considering it's only a 7 day wait for Royal Mail to anywhere in the world (claimed) it might be worth it.
Having said that, I tried the shotgun and single wire versions of Clear Day with some demos sent out and settled on the single wire as the shotguns were too much midrange centric with those rolled off highs and fattened lows that don't appeal to me, in the context of my (then) system. And that's what it all settles down to: what sounds best in your system.
Not having the same setup now I think I can safely say that it would be similar to how it now sounds using single and double Helix Mapleshade SCs. The singles are not quite right and the doubles take it even further in the wrong direction: too much midrange and bass and those rolled off highs.
I would never have thought that tinned, stranded copper would sound better than single, solid core silver, which I've always loved, but what worked in my older system doesn't in my present system.
The devil is in the details and he's having too much fun with cables for my taste.
All the best,
I think what they were referring to was the act of soldering the exposed bare wire ends, which is known as 'tinning'. It's done to prevent oxidation of the copper. It follows that soldering is just adding another layer of disparate metal(s) between the wire itself and the terminations or connecting post, which is undesirable. Some say all that's needed is a good and tight cold crimping.
What I'm referring to with the Supra Ply cables when mentioning tinning is that the whole length of each 192 copper wires is covered with actual tin. Supposedly it minimizes the skin effect to negligible, prevents oxidation, and restricts interaction between each of the strands.
All I know is that it sounds really good.
On another note, I checked out Lars' ebay listings to see if the 3.4W cables were listed only to note that the 3.4 standard cables were in very short supply with a note stating that terminations could be omitted and just use bare ends to better effect, going the old school route. I trust he wasn't overloaded with demand since he's still recovering. It's good to see he's working and I hope it helps.
All the best,
Jeff Day (Positive Feedback/6 Moons) in a recent blog of his in Wordpress did a wonderful article on NOS Western Electric 16ga speaker wire which is stranded tinned copper. It was brought to his attention by the Japanese builder (Yazaki-San), of the new Spec Amp (read Positive Feedback review) as well as a number of fabulous 300B amps in the Japanese markets. Yazaki-San described this speaker with as having the attributes of the Western Electric 274B tube from the 40s, not the later models of 274B. Yazaki-San basically stated it was an "artistic" sounding wire with a transparent presentation that presents a natural, organic sound, full of saturated color and texture, faithful timbre, warm, and dynamic, big soundstage in depth and width. I was fortunate to buy some of this same wire on e-bay for $1.15 a foot. Honest, no hyperbole, it is that good. Unfortunately, it is now even more impossible to purchase as Day's readers bought most of what was being sold in the States. It is fast disappearing in Japan and elsewhere as well. I have used a lot of Kimber cable in my life. I like it; but this Western Electric tinned copper, my system, slays the Kimber I have used.
Another tip Yasaki-san gave to Jeff Day was the inexpensive Belden 8402 microphone as interconnect cable terminated with inexpensive Switchcraft 3502A, or better still if you desire a little more warmth, 3502AAU from Switchcraft. Also Canare F-10s if you need a slimmer profile. Day and a panel of friends compared the Belden favorably to the $$$ Sablon interconnects. Different presentation, but on the same level. I Also purchased these...sound similar to the Western Electric 16ga. This Belden cable terminated as above cost only about $60.00. Terminate DIY, cut the cost in half. I am a happy camper. Read the Jeff Day Word Press Blog, really good stuff. Best, All.
Wonderful post. When I first wrote about this Supra wire I only had about 10 hours on it and honestly thought it couldn't get any better. I was told by Lars that I'd be pleasantly surprised at around 80-100 hours and experienced widening of the soundstage accompanied with attendant detail and layering around the 40-50 hour mark. Everything is more than up a notch but not a whiff of etch or glassiness. Relaxed, or as you've described, organic, better texture and tone.
I though I'd lost a bit of impact and reach with the lower notes but it all comes through in, again, a more natural and organic way. Everything is so nicely balanced.
I don't know what it is with this 3.4W version as the 2.5, although good, is in a lessor league. Similar formulae but different execution seems to be the ticket. I'd love to have been able to compare the Western Electric 16ga wire just to see how the Supras compare. Something tells me they'd be kissing cousins.
It's nice to know it's not my imagination playing tricks with me as you've witnessed similar results with similar wire. I'll check out the Jeff Day Word Press Blog as well. Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement as it's nice to get such a detailed and informative response.
All the best,
Thanks for the kind words. And thank you for the Supra information. I
almost went for them several years ago, but went in another direction.
Since I have several systems I will likely give them a try in very near future.
Did you get a chance to read the Jeff Day stuff? Thoughts? Best. Robert
Yes, I read the blog on the cables and glanced at his other postings. Jeff is about as deep into this hobby as anyone can be and is all the better for it. We should all be so lucky. It seems the WE16ga has less strands and of a larger gauge (individual, not total) than the Supras which leads me to believe they might impart more body or weight but I wonder if it is at the cost of some detail. It's all academic until someone can compare the two.
When I checked into the ebay listings for NOS WE16ga speaker wire there were so many listings, and most of a different variety. A quick look at other sites about these cables showed the lucky ones who got them (lucky you!). It seems that the legit sellers they mention are hard to find, if not already gone. I must banish the thought of getting some or my audio nervosa will kick in. :-)
The Supras are good enough right now for the long haul. They keep improving and making all my old CDs sound so new as they portray how the music should sound, instead of an approximation.
All the best,
Yes, I believe all the legitimate sellers for the time being are gone with
respect to the WE 16ga speaker wire. Mine does have body and weight as
well as the other attributes Jeff and Yazaki-San state, transparent, warm,
big soundstage, correct timbre, texture, right-sized scale, better bass, more
holographic, etc. once I get moved to my new house and get set-up I will
compare and contrast, a month or two away. The amazing thing is that the
NOS We 16 gage was going for only $1.15 a foot. I bought about 40 feet.
By-the-way, these wire go in naked, the old fashioned way. I'm kicking
myself now for not buying more while I had the opportunity. Thanks for your
response. Best, Rob
I trust you are joking, do some reading and listening, I'll trust my own ears and environment. Do you think the builder of the SPEC, or a guy like Jeff Day don't know a thing or two about this hobby. What are your credentials? By-the-way, the Western Electric is the best antennae I've ever owned, even drags in far-out, outlying stations such as Wtbg. Best! Rob
Well, likewise, have been in to this since 60s, been professional musician, and if you look at various systems like Jeff Day has, you get extremely close to reality. The SPEC Amp is Solid State. Tubes run the amps professional musicians utilize unless not amplified. If you believe tubes cannot do it on piano, drums, brass, then there is something wrong in the universe. I'm not getting in to the SS vs tubes canard with you...whatever you like is best for you. I wish you the best, and I mean that sincerely.
Mikirob, I'm sure both of us are speaking from personal experience as well as tastes. I'm not arguing with you at all, but any two wire cable unless twisted or shielded is an antenna. Were I to build a new house and to have a listening room it would be a faraday cage room. But even then there is so much crap on our ac lines that gets through the ac transformer that it is almost hopeless.
Technically I know all that, so does Jeff Day, the builder of the SPEC amp, the 62 or so respondents to Day's original blog, yet, the WE 16ga speaker wire, tinned copper sounds splendid. Stellar in fact, plenty of expensive speaker cables are being replaced by the NOS WE 16ga. My PS Audio Statement is now sidelined as well as my Goertz silver, Kimber, and some others. This WE is now nearly impossible to get worldwide. The only reliable American seller sold his supply out in short order as over 400 Audio Fools like me bought out the stock after Day's blog. In case your interested he writes for Positive Feedback as well as 6 Moons. My ears seem to match his type of listening habits. I trust most like me trust their own ears and are enjoying a superlative music. The tinned copper Belden 8402 microphone cable as interconnect is also fabulous at about $2.75 a foot terminated with inexpensive Switchcraft 3502AAU or 3502A. Again, all the best, and yes, trust your own ears in your environment.
Be sure to let us know what you think. My wife and I are now debating: she
likes the PS Audio Statement water hose size speaker cable plus Silnote
Reference interconnect slightly better than the Western Electric 16 ga ( no
where near break-in yet, maybe 20 hrs.) and the Belden 8402 microphone
cable as interconnect with Switchcraft 3502AAU RCAs. I like the WE &
Belden combo better already. I reminded her that the PS/Silnote combo
was over $1,000, the WE/Belden about $80. She maintains the PS/Silnote
is ever so slightly better. She also says, the cost is irrelevant since we own
both and the cost has nothing to do with what her ears hear. She further
states, the set-up either sounds better or it does't. OK, we'll see when WE
is at 100 hrs. Now, don't you guys wish you had a wife like her?