mcintosh & big $ interconnects

heres the deal, ive tried a ton of gear & i mean a ton & for me the mcintosh sound is it.

im having a real hard time hearing any differences when i try different interconnects,i'll avoid naming any particular brands ive tried but its always the same.

my last interconnect fiasco was with a pair of $300 cables against a pair of el'cheapo cables & i heard nothing, not a single difference.

im just finishing up a new system & i want to try new cables with it but im clueless as to which models work with mcintosh.

please reccomend some cables for the following rig.

mcintosh c2200 tube preamp

mcintosh mc500 amplifier

mcintosh mvp841 cd/dvd

mcintosh mvp831 cd/dvd

cary audio tube dac

mcintosh xrt 22 speakers

my budget will be in the $1500 to $2000 price range(used).

thans, mike.
try Ridge Street Audio ,they don't get any better for the price.The owner is also a class guy that'll go the distance and give you a 30 day trail period to boot....
Bigjoe as a Mc owner myself MX135/MC7205/MC352 I have settled on the Cardas Golden Reference's. I tried Harmonic Technology Truthlink, Audio Magic Excallibur, Tara Labs The One, Audio Quest Topaz, Copperhead, etc., Audio Purist, Cardas Nuetral reference and a few others I can't remember. The detail and soundstage imaging seemed the most acurate, natural and "analog freindly" with the Cardas GR's. I see them used on AG all the time for 450-600 used they are 920 new. You may want to give Paul a call at 1-800-fatwyre and consult with him. A great guy and he will let you try differnt cables at no charge except shipping. Actually he let me try the Audio Purist and they were very close to the GR's.
You have a great system and the cables sill top it off.
Maybe there aren't any differences?
Rwwear, i suspect you are right, ive tried a few different interconnects & power cords & i couldnt hear squat! usually guys who cant hear a thing get their gear called unresolving or they have tin ears.

the bad thing is that i want to hear a difference even if its bad i still want to hear somthing,anything.

im gonna give fancy cables one last shot before i give up on it alltogether, i had many suggestions that were sent to me in private .

one things for sure if this time around i still dont notice anything im done with the whole idea for life no matter what.

thanks for all the suggestions everybody sent me in private & in the thread.

merry xmas, mike.
Good luck, I gave up long ago. It's not that I believe there are absolutly no differences at all but that they are so small they don't matter to me.
I'm using a Mac MA2275 and Tannoy speakers. My cable choice
is TaraLabs. I was using Kimber Hero's and switched to TARA
RCS air series 2, new on market. Speaker cables are Tara Ref Bi-wire. My perception in the difference between Kimber and TaraLabs cabling is that there was just a "sparkle" in the music which Kimber didn't have. Maybe there should have been as the Tara's cost over 3X what the Kimbers do...
If any one is Interested I have 2 pr 1 meter RCA's kimber's
Heros just bought last summer. Have all packing and papers
hi guys,the willingness to help here on audiogon sometimes amazes me! i have had alot of good suggestions about cables & wires that might sound good with my rig via email & here in the threads.

i also recieved a generous offer(which i gladly accepted) from a member to loan me some really nice speaker wires & interconnects that matched well with his system to demo in my rig, thanks!

this should prove to be interesting & fun,i have 2 cd players that i will be doing the demo with,mcintosh mvp831 & mcintosh mvp841 with exact model isolation devices under each player.

i will post my results in a few weeks.


Given that you can't hear any difference between cables, you are not likely going to hear any between speakers either. So send me your address, and I'll be straight over to trade my La Scala's for your K-horns. I promise, there is no audible difference between them. It's just that my wife has this fixation with the size of my horns.
I hear differences with cables in my system. They are subtile but very noticible in some cases - like when I compared Kimber PBJs with my MIT T2s between MC7200 and a C712. In blind testing with my roommate (who is not into audio) we could consistently pick out which was which. The JM Labs are super resolving though. With my Paradigm Ref 100.2s I could not tell differences nearly as easily. Arthur
Hi Bigjoe,

Like yourself I`ve been a McIntosh user for the past 25 years and have not been disappointed at all. I`m using the 402 and C2200 for stereo and a C39 and 7106 for HT. As cables go I`ve had great sound with the Kimber Select ic`s,pc`s and speaker cables. The copper, hybrid, and silver all work well in the systems however, I fully agree with Theo regarding the Cardas Golden reference. They are excellent cables and work well with the McIntosh gear. They are more ``natural and lifelike sounding`` as opposed to the common ``Hi Fi`` sound. I use Golden Referece balanced and single ended, the Golden Reference power cords (w/out ferrites) and the Neutral Reference for speaker cables. Phono stage uses Golden Cross and the tuner gets Cross. Try them they sound wonderful. The only complaint I have is they take a long time to burn in but will be worth it in the end with excellent sound.
ive done alot of blind testing the last few days & ive come to a verdict.

cables do make a difference,ive yet to hear a difference in speaker wires but with interconnects there is a difference.

i put the audioquest cables in the mvp831 cdp & the loaner cables ( acoustic zen ) in the mvp841 & the difference was very little but its there.

im off to listen some more,im excited about finally hearing somthing.
i have now come to a decision,there is differences in some cables but with my gear the differences are so small that i cant justify the cost for such a small difference.

im not even sure if there was any improvements but there was differences that were more like very fine adjustments of the tone controls.

i can however see where cables would make a much bigger impact on SET rigs or rigs where the preamp has no tone controls.

im real glad i had the chance to borrow some nice gear from a very thoughtful & generous member(thanks dave)but after the blind testing i think my cash could be better spent trying out different dac's.

Hi Bigjoe, nice system you've got, finally became a Mac owner myself - 46 years old go figure. I got the 501's and using big $ cables (bought used btw). Using MIT 350 SG EVO and 350 reference and the sound is phenomenal, driven by a CJ premier 14. Using MIT Magnum 2's for speaker. Haven't compared any other cables, have always been extremely satisfied with MIT in my systems. Don't I get a Macintosh keychain or something since I'm in the club : -)
I think the biggest change happens when you go from the usual off-the-shelf consumer cables to almost any name-brand (cardas, acoustic zen,etc.) interconnect. This was the only really noticable change in my system.

Yes, there are subtle differences between cables that one can hear when switching from one to the other in the same shoot-out.

Based on those perceived differences one can make a choice; however I think that quality of CD, time of day(or evening) and the type of music vary so much that I think we are all putting too much into the constant of cables.

Perhaps it can only take a slightly better bottle of wine to achieve audio nirvana.
I've recently begun exploring whether or not interconnect cables make a difference. The problem is that a lot of audophile alterations are subtle and can be very difficult to distinquish. Even moving the speakers an inch apart can have a dramatic effect ... over time ... but seem only to have a minimal impact on the quality and spatial dynamics when first moved. Testing components requires a lot of patience and some knowledge of room acoustics and speaker placement. You can get really bad gear sounding better just by taking the time to test speaker position without toe in.

The same "subtle" but "dramatic" effect applies to interconnects. The best approach I've stumbled across is to connect my preamp to my amp with a pair of crappy out-of-the-box interconnects and then swap out various ranges of low priced to moderately priced "quality" interconnects between the CD player and the preamp (you could do the same thing with an integrated and CD player). This removes all possible gear in between the source and target giving an enhanced impact during the testing work (be sure to disconnect any DAC or other digital enhancing/scrubbing gear). Pick 5 or six pieces of music that you are NOT familiar with (even better with pieces you don't like at all). Listen to about 60 seconds of each track you've selected to avoid ear fatigue and have at it.

I look for treble that is clear and distinguished without being harsh or biting, bass that is "fast" and tight and not muddy or overbearing (bass should also be fully seperated from all the other instruments for maximum impact when it counts), mids (for me the most important quality) should be "juicy" and fully distinguished from hi and lo end instruments. Being able to distinguish the midrange instrument's highs and lows seperated from the competing frequencies of the other instruments is vital. The mid-range low end should be especially prominent and enhance the majesty and impact of the bass and kick drums. Finally the sound stage should expand ... solo vocals more forward, chorus and backup farther back or left and right, and instrument postions (forward, rear, left, right, center) more finely distinquished. The greater the seperation of the instruments the more integrated the musical presentation and the more information your ears get to chew on.

Test Volume: Should be loud enough to get the combined instrumentation "moving air" with good bass distinction. Use the same volume setting at each listen. Too soft or too loud can color the test impression.

Once you've found a cable that exhibits a clearly defined, though subtle enhancement, give the system (still in test mode) some more gas and observe where it goes. Then play some stuff you really love and see if it has more life.
Listen to Oritek X-2's and get back to me.
Mmakshak,what is so special about these Oritek x2 cable's that would cause you to post about them in like 50 threads in the last 2 days?
I owned the Mac MC402 amp and wow! Anyway, the best IC I have heard on them is an IC that I think has the same sonic signature or personality as Mac. Look here on the Gon for Component Plus IC's. They are outstanding with Mac gear.
Both the regular andthe transparancy series. I find the regular ones as good.

I use XLR's

Too bad Mac doesn`t make used cables. You`d be all set.
proziob, i see your slumming with the mac guy's again.

when are you going to give us a peek at that world class system of your's that has gave you this wealth of know how,it's ok if you want to use a pic from your show room!

used buyer's are a pain in the ass aint they :(
I've had great success with Cardas golden reference between my C2200, MC2102 and Cary CDP and then I use golden cross speaker wire to my Tannoys. There seems to be great synergy bewteen Cardas and Mac. The sound is smooth but with exceptional detail, never etched or fatiguing, and has great body and fullness. I would absolutely recommend Cardas to all Mac owners.

I agree with Michaela regarding the Cardas cables and Mac gear (Mac 402 and C2200). I use Cardas Golden Reference ic`s pc`s and speaker cables as well as the Golden Cross. Also, I use the Kimber Select ic`s, Bi Focal XL speaker cables and pc`s when a change is needed. Have much success with both.

happy listening
"im having a real hard time hearing any differences when i try different interconnects"
Maybe this is why you choose Mcintosh. You dont know how or can't listen.
I think that combined with Coors and a vacation that the energy or inclination to post so much is a given. Maybe Ori hypnotized me? They just appeared to have a purity(compared to the X-1 at Ori's)to them. I think it's best to actually hear them. I'm not really all that experienced with the highest end of things. I am in search of what affects me in a positive way. I am totally in need of music in my life on a daily basis. As a disclaimer, I only listen to analog, although I heard the X-2's with cd(It made cd less objectionable to me-if that matters.). I should give a better context here to judge what I'm saying. I have been really interested in audio since about 1980, although my finances limited my financial involvement until recently. Within the last two years, I bought a fully kitted-out Linn(circa 1992) for $3700, Nuforce 8b's for $2000, and Signal Cable Silver Resolution wires for around $600. I'm not sure what I'm trying to say other than to give better context to what I'm saying about Oritek X-2's.
Krellm7,you might be right about me not knowing how to listen,i listen to my rig for fun & not to pick apart tiny detail's.

i chose mac gear because i liked it & for no other reason,the same could be said about your choice in b&w speaker's,i found b&w to be a very shrill sounding speaker with zero life in it but you know what they say,different strokes!
Thats ok I still have Magnepan MGIIIA's, CLS IIZ's,Spica TC 60's,705's. This is no lie when I worked at a store where we serviced Mcintosh the technician would laugh at Mcintosh amps with there 30yo IC's Five miles of speaker wire in there output transformers. Don't get me started on there Pre amps & sources. Mcintosh DVD players are Panasonic the OSD is exactly that of the panasonic O & so is the inside.
There is no one who is really into this stuff that listens to Mcintosh.
There is no one who is really into this stuff that listens to Mcintosh.
Uh-huh, just like no one who is really into motorcycles rides a Harley.
Krellm7,you elite audio guy's kill me not to mention that your last statement really show's your youthfull arogance,i am really into this stuff! & i listen to mcintosh gear plus i picked it over krell,b&w,classe,sunfire,audio research,golden tube,dynaco,pass lab's,b&k,shanling & the list goes on & on.

i know the store that you say you worked at & it's no suprise they hate mac gear & knock it every chance they get their major line's are krell & b&w plus their is a mcintosh dealership 1 mile away on the same road as one of their store's.

btw,the very last time i was in that store looking at the krell gear the salesman snubbed his nose at me like i was wasting his time,before the day's end i ended up spending 7k at the mcintosh dealership 2 miles down the street.

with age you might gain some real wisdom,it's not cool to rip another guy's rig apart because it's not the gear you prefer,you might also realize with some more time in this hobby of our's that the same tech who is laughing at mac gear will surely turn against krell should he ever have to go to work for a dealer who sell's & service's mac gear,that's the name of the game,sale's!

quoting a salesman or his tech is without merit in my eye's as it all applies to sale's & the brand's carried at different store's. <
You also think Klipsch & Mcintosh make the best system.
I have owned 6 diffrent pairs of klipsch no way in H**L they make a speaker that is anyway near many of the great brands out there.

what is your point(if any)you are all over the place with this anti mcintosh stance you've taken.

please explain your stake in all of this,you jump into a thread saying you dont like mac gear because you tried it & didnt like it,nobody fault's you for not liking mac gear but that isnt good enough so now you need to tell us about the store you worked at & all the cool stuff you learned there & then top it all off with telling us all about the tech guy at the store not liking mac either.

ok now none of that is still good enough so you feel the need to say that "nobody who is into hifi buy's mac" then tell us about all the other cool(audiophile approved) gear you have like it's some kind of pointer to your intelligence & that all mac owner's are not really into good sound but all the stuff you have is great.

your still off & running & making less sense than ever but instead of responding to anything said above now your going off on klipsch speaker's,dude dont you get it yet it's not about what you or i prefer it's about what sound's good to other guy's,you can say all the goofy crap you want & quote all the dealer's & tech guy's you know till the cow's come home but if we all liked the same stuff we would all be drinking the same beer & porking the same girl :)

this is starting to make me feel like im 14 year's old,you stink,no you stink,well you stink worse,well you smell like cheese,so!
You just don't want to hear the truth. And it's not the tech guy it's thee tech guys. I never posted "nobody who is into hifi buy's mac" that was someone else. Sorry I will be nicer next time.
KRELLM7,'I never posted nobody who is into hifi buy's mac that was someone else'wow is there a mouse in your pocket.

here is direct a quote from one of your post's in this thread.

"There is no one who is really into this stuff that buy's mcintosh"

now you say that I just dont want to hear the truth,what truth are you talking about,is it that we all prefer different sounding gear,for reference sake this is not the only thread that you are posting negative comment's in about your dislike of mac gear on a daily basis so i ask you once again,what is your stake in all of this.

in the other thread you are posting in the question was why do no audio enthusiasts use mcintosh gear.

you are the exact same kind of person that i was refering to in my answer to the question in that thread,the kind of guy who like's to quote dealer's & tech guru's & love's to repeat what they heard & read,also the kind of guy who love's to use catch phrase's like"you just dont know how to listen" as if you were the golden eared type,imo guy's like you are everything that's wrong with this hobby all rolled up in one,arrogant,elitest,smug,one sided snob's who believe that they have found the truth in what is the best sounding gear & lash out at all other's who dont talk the talk with them.

as the link's on your web site so proudly show & also your constant comment's in other thread's about how you are in the business you have worked or still work for a big high end krell & b&w dealer,BIG DEAL,i can see where you learned how to be that way too,as i have posted before in this thread i have been to either the store you work at or one of their other store's & was treated with the exact same kind of arrogant snobbery & elitist attitude that you so often display here where you fault other's for not joining your little click.

you run down judy426 in a thread for doing the exact same thing in b&w thread's that you have now started doing your own self in mcintosh thread's but atleast judy post's his/her thought's then leaves it alone but not you,you wont stop & keep comming back with more worthless dribble about dealer this & tech guy that & look at all my gear so i must know more than anybody else.

what's next graph's & chart's or more about how all of your dealer & tech guru buddie's dont like mac gear,the only truth's that there are in high end audio are that 99% of all the gear is way over priced & that we all like different sounding gear.

so you dont forget,what is your stake in all of this anti mac drool?