I swear by the MAS, and I have tried many others. They are available here on AGon. Search for MAS. Reasonable price too!
I wouldn't let audiophile neurosis get you on this point. If any manufacturer actually makes an RCA-RCA "phono" cable which is really different from their regular RCA cables, I'd be very surprised. The manufacturers I have spoken to over the years (Cardas, Purist, NBS in particular) never suggested to me that their phono cables are any different from their regular cables, and Sumiko, the importer of my SME turntable and arm, certainly has never suggested that there was a distinction. They all simply indicated that the phono cables differed from the regular cables because of the DIN connector required for most arms. I tried a Purist Proteus DIN-RCA cable in an AB comparison against the same cable in RCA only format with a Cardas DIN-RCA adaptor, and did the same with two Cardas Golden Reference cables, one DIN-RCA and one RCA-RCA, and couldn't hear any difference. Since then I've used the adaptor to gain more flexibility in choices, and certainly have heard no loss in my system.
the only dedicated cable I know of is the silver audio silver breeze. It costs around $500 for this cable so its not cheap, and discounts are not easily found as silver audio doesn't give hardly any margin to dealers. Other cables to consider are the Wasatch phone cable for $130 which I use in both din and RCA terminations, or Coincident. When it comes to the differences between a normal rca cable versus one for cartridge phono, silver audio has this to say:
Modern phono cartridges are the most exquisitely sensitive of all audio components and therefore require nothing less than the highest quality phono cable to preserve and convey the microvolt information they generate.
Designed to be the most accurate phono lead in the world, the signal network of the acclaimed 1999 Silver Breeze uses the same high performance geometry of the Appassionata but with a necessarily different conductor compliment. An air-gapped PE shield spacer greatly reduces field interactions between the shield and inner core while allowing the cable to be strong, lightweight and reasonably flexible.
Much of the noise that plagues high gain phono equipment is actually a result of stray electromagnetic fields (such as from the turntable motor) against which the typical coaxial shield is powerless. For this reason, the Silver Breeze uses a proprietary shielding method to shunt Electro-magnetic field interference (EMI) as well capacitively coupled noise i.e. RFI and ESI. This is a crucial feature of the Silver Breeze, which allows superb preservation of low-level information. For final insurance of sonic purity and lowest possible noise floor, the shielding system is floated at both ends and shunted to chassis ground separately rather than by shorting to the negative returns of the phono pre-amplifier. This allows the flexibility of choosing the optimal ground potential for the cartridge and shield drain.
The aptly named Silver Breeze is typified by agile transients, tune-full, consonant bass and natural illumination deep into the soundstage. The Silver Breeze is generally made to order due to the variety of special considerations regarding clearance and terminations. Normal termination is straight 5 pin Gold plated Cardas DIN to Topline WBT RCA. Available RCA to RCA for an additional $75.00 fee and right angle DIN for $30.00 additional.
I should chime in on this one. There are tremendous differences in phono cables and standard interconnects if the manufacturer knows what they are doing. They operate at totally different electrical values. The single most important thing to great analog performance is the loading. If you do not use the proper cable you will not have the load matched to the pickup or the input. I'm glad to offer any advise I can in regard to this. Steve 8007524018
Question for Steve at hififarm
Can you explain what you mean by loading as it relates to tt phono cables? I assume this has something to do with impedences and matching a cartridge and phonostage and the effect that cables have on loading. Is this true? Is it the inductance or capacitance of a cable that impacts the loading? or something else? And lets say you want a cartridge to see a 100 ohm load at the phonostage and using stepup tranformers and resistors a 100 ohm load is present, how does a cable change that? or does it?
And lets say every analog configuration is unique, which is pretty much the truth... if nothing is the same, does a user have to figure what he has and then get a cable that matches what they have? If so, then how does one figure all the numbers out?
I have to second the post on the Silver Breeze phono cable. I had a Hovland Music Groove cable in my system and purchased a Manley Steelhead phono stage and the Hovland wouldn't fit the Manley( the RCA jacks on the back were too far apart to use the Hovland)I purchased the Silver Breeze and have been amazed with the improvement in my system. It is an extremely detailed and muscial cable. I have been thinking about trying the Silver Audio speaker cable to see if it also improves the sound.
HiFiFarm, curious of the tremendous differences between regular line level interconnects and phono interconnects for those manufacturers that know what they are doing? Please name a few for the great unwashed masses out here that are blindly making phono interconnects without a clue as to proper design principles.....
XLO signature 3.1 phono is the best performance/value in my opinion. I have not heard anything better than it yet.
I'm using it with my VPI/Graham/VDH black beauty with 5 different step-up/MM and MC stages and it sounded just fabulous. I also tried in on cheaper Technic with SME3009/OC-9 setup and it still made a great improvement.
If clarity, dynamic, and pin point imaging with smooth transition is what you looking for then this is in my "keeper" catagory
Belden 89259, this one gives rich, full body sound. I use another Belden coaxle cable and it has more refined sounds but a tad reduction in low frequency. I think different Belden cable has different impedance so you have to match them to your cartridge. I try Belden because it has great signal transmission and shielding properties. I am sorry to say that the Belden 89259 beats my commercial silver IC.
Synergistic Research Kaleidescope
I have 1/2 meter ones and there dead quite and very nutual sounding like there not there.
I had older Tera Labs and seemed to not sound quite as good never really put my finger on why also they were more noisey but they were like ten years old
so there newer ones might be much better
Dear friend: I have 3 TT with 3 tonearms each one in my audio system. I use the silver version of Harmonic Technologies, Kimber Kable and Analysis Plus, I also use Cardas Golden Reference and Wireworld Gold Eclipse III. All these phono cables are exelent cables. If I have to choose on its, I vote for the Analysis Plus. Dead neutral.
I've been trying a number of different phono cable. I have a Kontrapunt A cartride, jelco LMT tonearm and a Sonagraph SG-3 turntable(modified Sota comet). Which is the weakest link in my system. Downstream I have a Thor MC phono stage, C-J Premier 16 pre and Premier 11A amp.
I started out with the Cardas Neutral Reference and for the price they were exceptional, detailed and open but not as much as I sought. Went on to the XLO 3A/2 and Kimber H-TAK and found that they gave great midrange but for my ears little else was defined and guickly went on to Cardas Golden Reference, which were more open and detailed than their Neutral ones but not significantly worth more to me, went on to Purist Audio HDI and loved the detail, resolution and outfrontness of its sound. Am now trying the Hovland and it is a much more laid back sound, with more openness but no lack of detail. It makes the Purist Audio sound etched by comparison. It seems to be a cable I can easily live with and may well mark the end of my search. At $795 I sure hope it does. If I had to pick a favorite other than Hovland it would be toss up between the Purist Audio at $630 and the Cardas Neutral at $294. Hope that helps
Try Music Boys at $12 a six-foot pair (only the 6-foot and 12-foot pairs are true Music Boys, Made in the U.S.A., ignore the 25' and 50'). For that money you can afford to take a chance: you'll be stunned. Order from http://starlink-dss.com/. Fast delivery (only in the U.S., however), utterly natural sound, extremely detailed, bottomless bass, incredible imaging. They're making so many converts they are now featured at the top of the home page, and this isn't an audiophool business, which explains the price. And despite the price, treat them as you would an expensive cable: burn them in.
I'll strongly second the Music Boys, although they're no longer identified by this name at Starlink. The 6-footers are identified as being from Petra Industries, the 12-footers still may carry the Music Boy ID. These are fabulous cables and not just "for the price." Thanks to Johnnantais for recommending them to me months ago.
I've rewired my entire system (including phono links to my 3 turntables) with them, displacing Kimber KCAG, Audioquest Lapis and Diamond, Mapleshade, and Omega Mikro wires. They're that good. But they sound better reterminated (Bullet Plugs, Cardas, etc.) and best of all without RCA plugs at all. Anybody interested in how to do that may feel free to contact me. Dave
I find it interesting that no one is asking you what kind of cartridge you are using. If its a MM cartridge you have to take into consideration the resistance of the I/C to insure that you have a good match. If it is a MC you want to take into consideration its capacitence (along with any other loading the cartridge may need, usually via resistors at the phono pre amp). But, hey, what the hell, for MC cartridges I use Cardas.