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It need not be shielded because I dont live in the city area.I would not gamble on an unshielded phono cable, especially when used in conjunction with a low output cartridge such as yours. Regardless of the nature of the area in which you live, there are a lot of potential sources of radiated high frequency interference within the home, that could have audible consequences. Including appliances cycling on and off, some kinds of lighting, and all sorts of electronics perhaps including the audio system itself.
Also, I see that your phono stage provides some rather unusual capacitive loading options, namely 1000 pf, 4700 pf, and 10000 pf in addition to the much more conventional 100 pf. I don't know what the intended purpose of the three unusually high capacitance values may be, but I'm guessing that the designers might have had particular concerns about the possibility of radio frequency interference (RFI) entering the phono stage and affecting its sonics (high input capacitance would provide a filtering effect at RF frequencies, to some degree).
In general, it is sonically preferable to minimize capacitive loading of an LOMC cartridge. In this case that would mean using the 100 pf choice provided by your phono stage. Using an unshielded cable might make that choice unsuitable.
I have no specific cable suggestions meeting your other criteria, but I thought I would offer those comments.
Good luck. Regards,
Naim products benefit greatly from using one of their external power supplies. Before I spend $1000 on a cable, I would put the money towards a PS. It should make a much bigger difference than the IC. For a cable, you can pick up a good used Audioquest solid core cable like a Jaguar or Columbia. I have both of those, as well as cables that are much more expensive, and they easily compete with, and sometimes outperform them. They're also a good match for Naim. A few years back, I went to demo a Naim CD player, and brought my old player and some AQ cables with me. After hearing my AQ cables on his Naim equipment, the dealer picked the line up the next day.
zd542, sorry I did not mention that I already use a Supercap power supply with my Naim Superline phonostage. All Naim phonostages need an external psu to boot, they do not have any power supply internally.
Having said that, which particular AQ IC would you recommend ?
Al, thanks for that bit of info. I do have couple of shielded ICs. The VDH MC501 and Mogami 2549. Both sound very smooth and musical but lack resolution and transparency. Is it true that shielded cable rob some amount of life and speed from the music ?
Shielding can raise the capacitance, which can decrease bandwidth and therefore speed (resolutIon) somewhat, but it also depends on the implementation. Kimber, for example, achieves high noise rejection while keeping capacitance low with their woven cable techniques. This is also true of Shunyata Research. A third way to shield is to have more space between the conductor and the shield, making for fatter cable.
You probably want to keep this cable's total capacitance at 100 pF or lower. AudioQuest manages to have solid conductors, shielding, and pretty low (sometimes very low) capacitance. Their Angel interconnect might be a good candidate, but I don't know its capacitance. Conductors are highly polished solid core silver, which has 8% more inherent conductivity than copper.
"Having said that, which particular AQ IC would you recommend ?"
Any of the copper IC's with the dbs system should work very well. There aren't huge differences between the newest models and some of the older ones, so if you are willing to go used, you can save a lot of money. I have Jaguar, Columbia, Panther and Colorado and all of them are pretty close in SQ. They just work in any application. If you're willing to take a chance, I also have some Cheetah. They're silver and don't always sound as good as copper. But when they do work, they sound great. So far, the only connections I use the Cheetah for are going from source components to a preamp, and from my TT to my phono preamp. But from my phono preamp to my preamp copper is better.
I wouldn't worry about the shielding. Just go by what sounds best.
03-21-15: Johnnyb53I agree. I'll add that in addition to the design of the particular cable it also depends on the application. The effects and significance of cable capacitance will be very different in a LOMC phono application than in an application involving a high output MM cartridge, or in a line-level analog application. In the case of cables used between LOMC cartridges and phono stages, the significance of keeping cable capacitance low is explained by Lyra cartridge designer Jonathan Carr in his post dated 8-14-10 here. Basically, keeping cable capacitance low works in the direction of allowing lighter (higher value) resistive loading, while at the same time minimizing or avoiding adverse effects on phono stage sonics that might otherwise be a consequence of the lighter loading. The lighter loading in turn "will benefit dynamic range, resolution and transient impact."
I couldn't find any technical info on your Van den Hul cable. I would consider the Mogami to be medium capacitance, at around 26 pf/ft. While humble and inexpensive Blue Jeans LC-1, which is shielded, achieves 12.2 pf/ft, approximately the same value as one of the low capacitance cables Jonathan indicated in his post "resulted [for a 1.2 meter length] in greater flexibility in loading, a more natural tonal balance with better dynamics and resolution, and were a worthwhile upgrade." Which of course is not to say that there aren't other sonically significant differences between Blue Jeans and his or other low capacitance phono cables.
Good luck. Regards,
Pani, before you commit, a final suggestion.
My solution to the capacitance issue was to disregard the standard 1 metre lengths of low-C cable and get a custom made 0.5m cable. I called upon the services of Johnny7 at Audio Origami to make it.
(I still make plenty of cables myself but I wanted this job done properly ;^)
Didn't cost anywhere near your budget i.e. £99 and it works superbly.
You'll likely be aware of this already but J7 has plenty of experience with tonearms (he designed the "Syrinx" PU7 etc)
No relation to JohnnyB53 BTW :D
As an aside, did you own a Raven TT previously? How do you find the Verdier by comparison?
All the best,
Additional thought : one of my longstanding bugbears concerns the mechanical contribution of the phono cable.
Linn LP12 is a good example in that the "dressing" & clamping of the (fairly stiff) arm cable was arguably the most important aspect of setting up the suspension?
This idea has haunted me throughout system changes down through the years. I was concerned that going down to a shorter cable would increase the mechanical stiffness and allow more efficient transmission of 50/60Hz vibration from phono stage Mains transformer etc.
Some of the sound properties on your wish list can actually stem from mechanical properties of the phono cable i.e. sound can transition from dull & lifeless to lifelike, airy and natural simply because the cable wasn't mechanically decoupled enough and acting as a vibration conduit?
This is one reason I would avoid super-thick low-C cables for this job (besides, there's only so much that can be shoe-horned into a standard tonearm din plug.)
Early NAIM amps which used extruded Alum casework tended to ring like the proverbial bell and this mechanical characteristic was propagated very effectively into the tonearm so experimentation with mechanical "tuning" before resorting to cables with different electrical characteristics is recommended. (Mech tuning is free but fancy cables are not). What was particularly disturbing was the discovery that the next level IC - the phono stage to power amp - was also critical for mechanical decoupling. :(
Regarding screened cables I'm with Al - play safe and go for the shielded cable. Your biggest concern in this regard will be EMI/RFI from neighbouring gadgets.
I've been using Herron Audio interconnects with very good results. Fluid and transparent. No filtering. No peakiness like with silver. No bloated sound. Just very smooth and detailed. Just the music.
I can't say if they are prone to RF or other noise, but I do use them between the turntable and phono pre to carry the signal from a low output mc cart.
I think they would fit your budget comfortably with some $$ to spare.
Thanks guys, I will check out with Audio Origami and Herron. In fact I think it may not be a bad idea to get a cable made out of Cardas tonearm cable which is one of the upgrades suggested for Rega tonearms.
Moonglum, I have never owned a TW but have heard on many occasions. It is nice but not as natural and fluid as a Verdier.
I am with Nandric, but if possible, eliminate the RCA (or DIN) plug at the tonearm end by directly soldering to the tonearm wires. The best "connector" is no connector.
If you don't want to DIY, you might check on eBay. There was a guy who advertised on eBay for custom phono cables. To my precise instructions he made me a pair of cables (DIN termination) that sound great. I will search for the name, if you are interested.
Pani, cables by Chris Sommovigo (ex Stereovox, now Stereolab) are amazing. I use his speaker and interconnect cables in my system. Last year i've bought used PHONO cable: Stereolab Master Reference 838 RCA to RCA (1.5m) and it works great between my phono headamp Zyx CPP-1 and phono preamp WLM Phonata.