Whooboy, are you going to get recommendations...
Any combination of metals that give you the desired sound in your system is almost guaranteed not to work in a different one. There are no absolutes as to which metal imparts which sound quality. It's all in the construction/implementation and even then, you have to contend with your amp, source, and speakers. All you can do is try, try, again until you get what you want.
All the best,
One famous cable maker has had the courage to say that the law of diminishing return hits right after his base model. After that, you're in buying trophee material and unproveable constructions based on hypothesis.
I think cables cable make a difference, but there's no need to spend a fortune for optimum performance.
I suggest ordering from a company that provides a return policy such as Signal Cable or Morrow Audio. Talk to them about which model is best for you. I like the Silver Resolution from Signal.
Is it true that mixing metals can produce different sonic results?Never compared the sound of different connector metallurgy, but silver and copper are combined to make the conductor in my cables, (Purist Audio and Grover Huffman Empress).
I think it's a generalization to say that only copper or only silver will sound right in a given system. It depends on the design of the cable which includes the conductor, the dielectric, and the dampening material, and of course the design of the components being used.
The VPI to the Herron should be treated differently than line stage components where almost any IC can be used. TT to phonostage requires a low capacitance cable, plus this is where you are likely to hear a difference in sonics between different metals and cable design.
I am not sure what "the" question is; I counted more than one. Only someone who knows the characteristics of all your components would have a chance at being able to help you decide on cable recommendations. One of those people is you, and you're opinion is the most important. I would start by replacing only ONE set of interconnects, between the Oppo and your integrated, and just listening for a few weeks to get a handle on what that change did. Then go from there. There is no way to shortcut this process, and you need to come to your own conclusions. You'll be happier in the end. Good luck.
+1 Grover Huffman. Excellent cables at affordable prices - with a generous 60 day trial period - as well as a trade-up program. No dealer markup. Rarely seen on the used market. But, you need to solve the HF issue before a quality cable can be appreciated.
It’s common for grainy HF to be caused by noisy power. Could be any number of causes - including digital hash from the Oppo. Check the Audiogon archives. That model Furman is ok, but isn’t a cure-all.
+1 nicoto. There is no shortcut. Take your time, enjoy the journey.
Is it true that mixing metals can produce different sonic results?
Yes. This goes for cables mixing metals in their conductors as well as those using connectors with different metals.
There are no absolutes in audio. Going with all one company may work best for you. However, mixing and matching is fine as well. BTW, I think you mean Amadi, not Almadi.
I own a VPI table, and use a tube preamp with SS amps, however, my preamp, amp, and speakers are different than yours. Who knows? My personal musical tastes may be different from yours as well.
This is why I agree with @nonoise and @nicotico , that only you can determine what works best for you. Take your time, try different cable companies using those that offer a good return policy first, or you could try using The Cable Company for loaner pairs.
As @lowrider57 mentions, start with the interconnect between your VPI and Herron first, as this should give you the most "flavour" of the cable.
It sounds as if you are experiencing grainy sound now, with all copper cables, is this correct? If so, I would avoid silver or silver plated copper cables. I am using almost all pure silver myself, and although my system does not sound grainy in any way, silver can be very revealing. If there is grainy components in your system, the silver will reveal it more than copper.
Gold can sound a bit warmer than copper, you may want to audition the Gabriel Gold for this reason. Also, I have owned the Cerious GE interconnects, and though they claim to have silver in them, they were too warm for my system. You may want to give them a try as well.
I prefer the Amadi, but I would recommend you avoid them, as they may reveal even more grain in your system.
I have not heard the Morrow or the Cabledyne cables, though I believe that Morrow uses silver plated copper and Cabledyne uses pure silver, which I also would avoid both due to your grain issues with copper.
From my experiences, I have found silver plated copper to sound faster, more revealing, and grainier than pure silver.
Take your time, there is no deadline. You may even find some older copper interconnects, like Cardas Golden Cross, Jena Labs, or Kubala Sosna, may eliminate your issue with grain.
Good luck, and happy hunting.
I agree to give AQ a try. Preferably a model with teflon dielectric... the purer the conductors the better. The dbs system is so effective that it virtually gives AQ a corner on the interconnect market especially in which you are dealing with low level signals. dbs just allows a "frictionless flow" to the music that really opens up the sound.
Thank you all for sharing with me your knowledge and suggestions.
I have started down the path by auditioning the Cerious Graphene Extremes along with their Red Power cord for my Oppo. And a pair of Amadi Maddies, one with solid silver RCAs and another with Gold RCAs.
"I own a VPI table, and use a tube preamp with SS amps, however, my preamp, amp, and speakers are different than yours. Who knows? My personal musical tastes may be different from yours as well."
What ICs do you use between your VPI and tube preamp? I have a really wide range of musical tastes.
Of those who recommended the Audioquests... which models are you using? Any opinions on the Colorados? And is the Cable Company the only place that will allow me to audition them? Of all the cable manufactures out there AQ seems to have the largest range of models. Do they come out with a different set every year or something? Geeze!
And are counterfeited AQ's really that big of a problem?
AQ actually keeps their models out for several years. I would go to their website and hit the pricebook tab. All models and specs for each cable are listed here along with the retail price. Look for cables ideally with perfect surface copper(PSC) and possibly the DBS system if within budget. The details per model are laid out bare so that you can see what you are paying for. Also prior models can be compared to the latest models by checking these same specs. Used is great as you can purchase a superior older cable for the same or possibly less money than a new model.
As far as counterfeits go they are definitely out there. Just be prudent as to the seller and his/her feedback and info as to the source. Be very wary of deals that look too good to be true. Counterfeiting is a backhanded compliment to a very fine product.
@meambler My entire system is wired with AQ Colorado. They have the purest copper conductors (PSC+) with highest quality dielectric (Teflon). One and one and a half meter ICs are on sale at half price here https://www.musicdirect.com/equipment/audioquest-colorado-interconnects-pr
@meambler , Mark, since you asked, I am using High Fidelity CT-1E interconnects from my VPI Prime to my Allnic H1201 phono preamp AND from my Allnic H1201 phono preamp to my ARC Ref 5 line preamp. Probably out of your price range though.
I have also owned the Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme and Amadi Maddie Signature interconnects. Of those two, the Amadi probably works better in my current rig, to my ears.
However, if you are having troubles with grain in your system, silver (Amadi) may not be for you. The CT GE are much warmer and fuller sounding, though too dark for my system/tastes. I don't think you would find the CT GE would sound grainy though.
Unfortunately, yes, counterfeit Audioquest are indeed a big problem. I'm sure that many for sale on sites like Audiogon are fairly safe, but markets like Ebay tend to flood the market with fakes, and AQ, XLO, and Tara Labs are high up on the list of counterfeiters.
Small manufacturers like CT and Amadi are not really picked on by counterfeiters.