My system is in flux at the moment with a Wadia Intuition 01 as preamp/amp/DAC bookshelf Tyler speakers and (horror of horrors) an iPhone with an Auris bluetooth connection for the current audio source. Since bluetooth at best sounds somewhat thin and tilted up on higher frequencies, it doesn’t play necessarily well with the Wadia which is great sounding overall but also can be on the revealing side.
I know I should get a better source - but even so I’ll always want the option of wireless in various situations. I’ve owned Purist Audio Museaus’s (rev-c’s) in the past, which would be perfect, but sadly sold them on A-gon some time ago. Those are hard to find and the newer Purist cables are brighter sounding.
So in a nutshell I’m looking for interconnects which will deepen and darken the sound for my current setup - and new/used for under $400. Any ideas?
re an earlier post on Jeff Day replacing Klee cables with much cheaper Duelund interconnects.
Jeff is a great guy. I have messages with him often I am happy the Duelunds worked so well in his system. To be blunt, they stunk in mine. RCAs, XLRs, speaker cables, didn't matter. Maybe they just didn't play well with my PS Audio BHK amp and Wilson Duettes. That happens sometimes. I've heard from others they were very bright in their systems as well.
I'm late to the wire party. I haven't invested big money in interconnects or power cables until recently. I'm also not foolish enough to think that there aren't some cables that are way overpriced. However, I'm also not naive enough to think that inexpensive cables are regularly as good as those costing many times more. While the correlation between price and performance isn't 1 it's not 0 either.
Chris Johnson at Parts Connexion can make finished cables for you (or you can do it yourself) out of the new Dueland tinned copper wire from Parts Connexion - DCA16GA or DCA20GA for interconnects; DCA12GA for speaker cables.
See Jeff Day's article on "The Art of Tone" at Positive Feedback or his "Jeff's Place" blog. I replaced $3k per meter Klee interconnects with the Dueland DCA16GA.
As a true cynic, warm, to me, means just enough 2nd harmonic distoetion, such as Conrad Johnson and Audio Research have been purported to intentionally add to their designs.
OK. With respect, you need to read up on the inherent electrical characteristics of solid state and tube amps. But absent your doing as I suggest, how about instead, I throw out some casual off-the-cuff remark that Levinson, D'Augustino, and Ayre intentionally add odd order distortion to their amps? Not true, but equally valid and analogous to your remark. Now seriously, some tube amp manufacturers strive to minimize second harmonic with ultralinear pentode-based negative feedback designs and others strive for other design goals. You named the wrong manufacturers for the former, though there were admittedly a product or two from each that may have fallen short, particularly C-J preamps of old.
Problem is - all I really need is quality SPDIF out from the iPhone. The Wadia DAC does a nice job of uprezzing from there. So no need to spend a lot extra for another DACor other bells and whistles. But the only devices I can find that supply a simple but quality coax or optical line out are wireless these days. The old docking stations stopped being produced before Apple moved to lightening cables. Any $500 or less ideas?
And I think you asked about the Tyler speakers. I don't remember the model name but they're very large for bookshelf's (and wouldn't fit on any bookshelf I've ever seen). They have good depth and bass response when positioned correctly.
Almarg - Thanks, very good points. I’m sure lots of people are in my situation of having converted to music streaming (in my case Spotify) and away from their own limited music libraries.
I used to use a NuForce that direct connected to the system with my iPhone connecting via USB cable instead of wireless. Obviously much better sound that even did justice to my Cary Audio/Verity setup at the time. Of course the Cary CD player was distinctly better, but the NuForce direct connect was still very listenable.
Sadly Nuforce went out of business before apple switched to the lightening interface but I suppose my money is better spent looking for something similar in a wired option. I haven’t been impressed with ANY of the streaming media players out there so far with my small bit of research to this point. But I'll start looking again.
I finally found all possible justifications to the labor, raw materials estimates wires vs. other thingies.
It all merges into the meaning of toy vs. tool or instrument. In the toy department (for children) everything is inflated because of "mama buy me this" market factor (MBMT) is always present so mathematically (what I like most alas from any science behind) it looks as follows:
(Raw materials + Labor) * MBMT.
Note that in wires reaching the price of new car right multiplier always approaches to unity while MBMT approaches to infinity -- no need of knowing any electrical or performance properties as they easily factor out!
The value of MBMT usually contains tons of propaganda and advertisement -- which IS actually LABOR oriented to drain funds of baby boomer's foolish children.
Bypassing all science behind on how good or bad wires sound (do they sound at all?), the most honest value to the product belongs to Mogami and most of pro-audio brands. Mogami Silver series (ones preferred by me) provide better electrical contact than gold according to per-unit resistance/impedance. They run in the range of $25/m pair.
I didn’t realize that it had a low impedance - how would that affect the sound?
Compared to output impedances that are considerably higher (as is especially common among tube-based preamps and source components) it will to some degree lessen sensitivity to cable differences, and also to sonic effects that might otherwise result from interactions between that output impedance and amplifier input impedance. So to at least a small degree it works in the direction of improving the accuracy and neutrality with which signals are conveyed from the bluMe to the Wadia.
My assumption was that the Auris wouldn’t have the DAC in the path of the analog being an inexpensive device - but I have no idea.
Since Bluetooth conveys information in digital form it is the analog output of the bluMe rather than the optical output that would have the bluMe’s internal DAC (digital to analog converter) in the signal path. However, although optical interfaces are digital they have tradeoffs and potential downsides of their own, so the only meaningful way to compare the two approaches is to try them both, as you’ve done.
In any event, I would still suspect that trying to use a cable to compensate for the shortcomings of a $169 component providing DAC functionality as well as Bluetooth functionality, and having low output impedance, is not likely to be fruitful. And I would consider the relevance of cable recommendations which are provided based on experience with very different and presumably higher quality applications to be questionable at best.
Good luck, however you decide to proceed. Regards, -- Al
Almarg - Yes I'm using the Auris blueMe (double entendre for sure). I didn't realize that it had a low impedance - how would that affect the sound?
I've tried both optical and interconnect, and for me the analog has a more natural sound. My assumption was that the Auris wouldn't have the DAC in the path of the analog being an inexpensive device - but I have no idea. In fact the WADIA DOES convert analog to digital but does an amazing job of keeping the analog very analog sounding.
But unlike with other sources the analog sounds tilted up in the high's and I assumed that was the blue-tooth since that's what it's know for, but maybe the lack of impedance also has something to do with it.
The optical sounds a bit warmer and actually more detailed, but the analog sounds a bit airier and more natural. So it seemed like the interconnects could be the problem. The Museaus's were shrill and unfocused, and I've replaced them with AQ Cinnamons which are better but could still use some weight and warmth.
I don't see how cables could sound warm or rich, unless they are distorting or rolling off the signal being fed to them. Better to find neutral cables, and you can always add a tubed component or two for 'midrange liquidity'.
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rotarius, my higher education was slightly different from school and supported with my personal desire to learn certain things i wanted and i needed to know. once i've established myself as professional in my sophomore years, i dropped from college too.
Monsignor, I would keep in mind that most or all of the multitude of cable suggestions that have been made are based on experiences with systems that are much more accurate and musically resolving than the results you’ve indicated your setup is providing. And the results you’ve described are not surprising, given that the most expensive Auris product I see listed sells for $169, while providing DAC as well as Bluetooth functionality.
So my feeling is that the intrinsic differences between the cables that have been suggested will be swamped by the inaccuracies of the Auris device, and will not be perceivable in your setup. Also, I see that the $169 bluMe device, which I suspect is what you are using, has a particularly low output impedance (57 ohms), which will also work in the direction of reducing sensitivity to cable differences. Especially in comparison with the tube-based products that I suspect are used by many of the others who have posted.
Also, I see that the bluMe provides an optical S/PDIF output as well as unbalanced analog outputs. If that device is what you are using, it may be worthwhile trying a digital connection to the Wadia, rather than the analog connections you seem to be referring to.
In any event, good luck as you proceed. Regards, -- Al
I myself have fond MG Audio Design interconnects a great choice for the money. I firsr learned about the thru comments made by Arnie Nudell in his review of an modified Oppo 105. I tried them out and loved them. I still cannot afford their one meter top of the line interconnects which go for $100 for a one meter pair. But fortunatlu for me they srll half meter pairs for 900. I later learned that Arnie's good friend Pat McGowan also uses MG Audio Design wires for his own system. I have also read that a group of members from the Colorsdo Audio Society preferred them to the top of the line Nordhost interconnects during demonstration. I myself can not compare them to the big named competition, but I do think that they deserve looking into. Do not judge them by their price. And their mid level interconnects, at $1100 for a one meter pair is a truly best buy.
Inna, been involved in high and ultra high end industry for nearly three decades selling systems in the hundreds of thousands most are wired with very inexpensive cables. Statements like above about cable prices only prove your limited experience!
It's easy spending other people's money but it's wasteful when it's not needed specially in this case that OP has a specific need, looking for somewhat of a band-aid.
MG Audio Design is my choice. I first lerned about them from Arnie Nudell and later found out that his friend Paul McGowan also uses them. As their cost is only $1600 for a one meter pair of their top of the line interconnects, $900 for a half meter pair, I am able to afford some of them. Not having any experience with the super expensive stuff out there, I myself comment. But I do know that they are far, far superior to a previous Audioquest $1800 pair of their previous Niagsra interconnects, plus my pair of Audience 24AUse pair-their previous top of the line model. Supposidly members of the Colorado Audio Society have themself compared them to Nordhost Osin II's, with very favorible results. That is all I can say. With Audio Research LS27, Rega Osiris integrated, Martin/Logsn speakers, I myself get incredible results using MG Audio Design interconncts.
Personally, I equally dismiss $25 and $25k interconnects. Let's cut the guano, good cables cost at least hundreds new. If someone is capable of making them himself that's another story. Next thing I know I will hear that there are great sounding $1k new speakers.
We have interconnects that we bundle with digital equipment for our clients. It's very musical and detailed but adds a little body so it's perfect for application like yours. They're $25/pair plus shipping with money back guarantee, contact me offline if interested and I'll put it up for sale on Audiogon.
School is mechanism of making population submissive, obedient and deprived from common sense.
czarivey, School is also a place to learn science and math, you know the stuff that makes this hobby possible and provides you the means to communicate your views online. Don't you mean religious institutions?
I stopped going to school since 13 by finding excuses day by day attending only quizes and exams fulfilling only bare necessary minimum to pass from grade to grade and I do not regret that. School is mechanism of making population submissive, obedient and deprived from common sense. Glad my sons found place on professional dance stage and pay little to no attention on what's going on in school.
And I am tired of paying $300 monthly bills for three cell phones. That's over $35k for ten years. Anyway, I did pay over $1k for a pair of new Purist Neptune RCAs to replace old Colossus. In my modest system the difference was really big. But I am not paying $2k for Neptune speaker cables, not yet, but I will in time, or for older Purist Dominus. After upgrading both the amp and the speakers.
Or original and even second generation BMW M3. It was never inexpensive but the price was reasonable and it was a real daily driver's car. No, I didn't have it, unfortunately, but I intend to get this vintage one day. Or the original M5.
It was like that with Harleys. I owned 2 bikes, one used and another I purchased new because it was affordable. Then in the late 90s and 2000’s every Yuppie, businessman, and poseur wanted in and Harley had to step up production. It became a symbol of status and they had no problem paying the inflated prices for a bike plus accessories. Now a new Harley can cost $30K to $ 35K. And their bikes are now sitting in the garage.
I won't disagree with that. I think, yuppi so-called audiophiles very much drive this nonsense. Anyone care for a $3k bottle of French wine? By the way, my Nak682ZX cassette deck cost about $1650-$1800 in the year 1981. Great deck but might've been overpriced too. However, I do think that great equipment has the right to cost a lot more than just a good one regardless of labour and material cost. Custom Paco de Lucia guitars by Conde Hermanos cost a lot. I heard one of those guitars played by him. Fantastic instrument with incredible power for an acoustic guitar. $35k wire? They can go..you know what..themselves. $10k wire? Well, I would listen.
Fairly recently I sold Pioneer SX838 $319.xx and really wonder how to justify labor and raw material cost to build hook-up wire of matching price vs. restoration service and calibration of Pioneer SX838?
I also wonder what is justification of $30k wire vs. Steinway grand? Washburn ES335 vs. $300 wire
Does any audiophile know how to count??
Note, I would never rise these questions in 70’s, 80’s when everything was fairly reasonable and matching the quality and beauty of design, but perhaps should some day attend these audiofests with mike and recorder to curiously ask manufacturers how THEY justify.
I also noted that trivial mathematical problems are somehow excluded from school programs and other useful things to life also excluded. Seems like school is the tool to replace common sense with nonsense to generate ’real democratic’ voters!
Audioquest Water (or older Columbia) should fit the bill. But if you're talking about the Tyler Taylo Reference monitors, then nothing is going to pull out the bass short of adding a sub or going to bigger speakers (great midrange/treble/soundstage though).
Yes, he did, but I suspect he thought a lot about it in general too. One ignorant or stupid person - one vote would not be a problem. Millions of ignorant or stupid people - millions of votes would be a totally different matter, wouldn't it?
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
Actually it's a true notion. Democracy means one person, one vote (civic diligence not a factor).