Any well-built OFC interconnect should be just fine. I have a slight preference for silver-plated copper for my sub.
10 responses Add your response
I went from a cheap AQ xlr to Straightwire Crescendo to Quattro fil xlr. I found a difference with all three cables. I like the faster xlr on a subwoofer. The Straightwire is just fine too.
I feel the power cord and electrical is important if you have a powered sub.
My recommendation is to upgrade if you think that your subs are quality subs and your system budget allows for it.
Quality is very important in a sub-woofer cable (and everywhere else) and my hunch is there aren't many that believe it nor are there many quality-oriented middle-of-the-road ics/cables that will suffice.
I don't know much more than to say that some to many cables and ics produce a deficiency what's known as time-smear.
As I understand it, this time-smear occurs when a single signal enters into the cable/ic and by the time it arrives out the other end the same signal arrives at multiple times rather than at a single moment in time.
Hence among other effects, an ill-defined, muddy, and sloppy bass with no solidity or visceral impact. Just a sloppy earthquake-like rolling effect.
Several years ago, I had just installed the Audience Au24 speaker cables (and still am using) which did much to minimize/eliminate time-smear. At the time, I was using an 18-inch subwoofer and suddenly the subwoofer seemed disjointed from the full-range main speakers.
Audience suggested I try a pair of their inexpensive line of ics, the Conductor series, since all of their cables employ the same technology toward minimizing time-smear.
Sure 'nough, the sub-woofer's bass improved immensely and once again became a natural extension of my full-range speakers' bass. In fact, the difference was amazing.
It's not so much that you need a special 'sub-woofer' cable as much as you need a well-designed cable/ic for all of your equipment and speakers (and sub) that considers the reality of time-smear and does what they can to minimize/eliminate it. Time smear will have similar effects throughout the frequency spectrum. Not just the bass regions.
However, if the bass notes resemble mud, then time-smear in the cables is definitely a potential culprit.
ill toss in my response here...
i think sub cables make a huge difference. if you would have asked me 6 months ago however, i would have told you that get a good shielded cable and its fine...
i run dual velodyne HGS15x's in my system. i had some decent RG6 silver cable by audioqest for a sub cable. it was pretty good stuff. i recently upgraded to synergistic research resolution reference sub cable. the difference was pretty huge. it sounded like a total upgrade in subs. one of the active shieldings got severed and i had to get it replaced. when i sent it in, i just used one of my old cables to power that one sub. it was SO much worse (after living with it for a month or two), i just turned off that sub all together and just used a single sub. it just didnt sound good at all without that cable anymore.
granted, these cables are $1k for a single 3m cable, but there are more reasonable cables out there. just borrow some from a dealer and test them out. try the new line of audioquest, or depending on your system and budget, look at the synergistic research ones. the res ref is HIGHLY recommended if you can justify it for your system.
With regard to subwoofer cables - interconnect and power cord - I have some pretty enlightening experince.
Several years ago, I tried comparing a Synergistic Research AC Master Coupler (a shielded twin coax design) and a DIY power cord based on Kimber 8TC (a braided speaker cable) on my Mirage Substrata 1500 (a design very similar to the original Sunfire subwoofer). As my system integrates 2-ch and hometheater applications, I can listen to stereo playback without using the sub. To my amazement, the differences between the power cords can be heard without using the sub! With the SR cord, the sound is significantly cleaner and more detailed. My theory is it's due to the shielded nature of SR cord, which reduced the electromagnetic interference (EMI) produced by the sub's switching power supply from radiating through the power cord.
Fast forward to several months ago as I was preparing to replace the Mirage sub with a Velodyne DD-12. Since I plan to move the new sub closer to the rear wall, I decided to replace the sub-end connector (Eichmann Silver Bullet) of my subwoofer cable (XLO Pro 100) with a 90-degree Cardas GRNO. The "downgrade" was so awful that I changed it back the next day. The Cardas GRNO change alone made the sound - full range sound - slow and fuzzy.
The last episode took place this week as I replaced the SR AC Master Coupler (now called the AC Master Coupler Classic) with a SR Active AC Master Coupler (the X version, not the latest X2 variant) with Active Shielding technology. This time the most staggering improvement was in my humble analog cable TV picture! Video noise was reduced and details were improved. I suspsect the improvement is due to better shielding (Active Shielding) in the new power cord.
Sorry to ruffle feathers but personal listening leads me to the conclusion that cables make very little difference. With most peoples systems that money is better spent on new equipment. Most people own mid-fi gear that can bennefit in small ways from better cables. A good read of Master Handbook of Acoustics can help tremendously with the understanding of in room frequency response (speaker placement).
Well-built cables that total to less than ten percent (mine are about five percent) of total system cost is a fair figure for cable cost.
-2 cents worth
Well-built cables that total to less than ten percent (mine are about five percent) of total system cost is a fair figure for cable cost
I believe that most people's cable costs generally work themselves out to be around 10% of their system costs anyways +/- a few percentages. When I first bought better cables, they represented more than 10%, but as my components improved, the ratio has fallen back in line. When you think about it. 5-10% of $10K is $500-1000 of $30K is $1500-3000 of $50K is 2500-5000 and of $100K is $5000-10000.
When you tell someone you spend thousands on cable it might sound outrageous and not worth it, but if you think about your cable costs in relation to your system costs, I think it appears more reasonable than the dollar figure for most people. After all, how big of a difference is 2-3%? Would you normally go into a store because they're advertising a 2-3% sale on all merchandise? In dollar terms though, it can be quite a bit of money.