Do you have these cables now? It is best to trust your own ears and experiment yourself. All systems are different.
I have my best cable between the preamp and amp, because I also run a tuner, turntable, and tapedeck, so it improves all these components. On the CD player, it would only benefit that one component. Works for me, but your results may differ.
I have the Kimber cable now (preamp to amp) and a junky JVC cd player with a OEM cable but I am in the process as we speak of purchasing a Rotel or a Arcam CD player, as such, I will purchase a new cable (ie-Homegrown). I want to go with the Homegrown because of the excellent reviews the Silver Lace's are getting (specifically, I want the better bass improvements over the Kimber) - eventually, I may replace the Kimber too, but CD+cable= I have to wait a little while on another purchase.
As far as system goes, the only source I use is the CD - I live in the country, so my tuner doesn't pick up anything worth listening to.
Try it both ways and see what sounds better, but as it was once told to me what is lost can never be regained, i.e. the cable that goes from the CD to pre is the place to start and then work your way down stream.
Since the weakest signal is from source to pre, it might make more sense to put your best cables on that link.
There is an "art" to selecting what cable goes where. This is part of what is known as "voicing" a system. This can take a lot of trial and error and requires the availability of several different cables, but will provide far more consistent performance within the system. This is especially true if you have multiple sources. Otherwise, each source sounds so different from the other that the system lacks synergy and cohesiveness.
If you only have two interconnects within your system and two or three cables to choose from, your job is a lot easier. Try them all in various positions and then rotate them. Put two into the system and listen for a period of time ( a few days at least ). Then swap them and see which combo you like better. Take notes along the way and try to listen to discs that you are familiar with. Sean
i agree with Tim. the source interconnect is most critical since the signal here is still "pure". the preamp will "attenuate" the signal and slightly degrade (not universal agreement on this point) the signal and typically the output circut of the preamp is stronger than than your source and better able to drive a less transparent interconnect.
if you really want to see this effect compare phono cables, where everything is magnified by the delicate nature of the weak signal. after the phono stage amplifies and equalizes the signal it is more robust and less affected by cable.
as the signal travels thru your system it does not improve; so the longer it is better the less you lose. these effects are typically slight but none the less real.
like the previous poster said, if the info is lost upstream you will not hear it downstream. use the cable that delivers the most info...easy!
What constitutes the "better" cable ? Does it depend on:
A) what the cable is made out of ?
B) the geometry of the cable design ?
C) the brand that the cable is is marketed under ?
D) how much the cable costs ?
E) all of the above
F) how it reacts between specific components and the rest of the system ?
Wire IS wire. It is just a matter of WHICH wire works best where. Taking things for granted (i.e. "cable A is better than cable B and should go here" ) and not experimenting may be giving you a LOT less performance and musicality out of your system than it is truly capable of.
Try experimenting with the cables that you already have, paying attention to directionality, and see what happens. You might gain and you might not. Either way, you can always go back to what you had so long as you take notes before starting.
The cost of seeing if there are any differences: no money, only time. It could turn out to be a very worthwhile tweak. At the least, you will have at least gained experience and know for sure what you like best within the confines of your specific system. Sean
As you can read, all opinions differ, so as I said above, trust your own ears. I will add that I have a duplicate cable as good as the one between my preamp and amp, but it does not sound right with the CD player, a lesser one does.
The best cables is the one that sounds best to you. Ignore how much they cost.
Hi Id determine which is the better cable Id use one to the pre amp and one to the cd on the same side .Then on the other side in reverse ,put on your favorite cd and determine if you like one side more than the other .
I prefer to have all the same type of cable thru my system.
Determine which cable is better. Sell the inferior one, and use the funds to buy another one of the better cable.
Cable synergy and less headaches this way. Well, one out of two ain't bad.
In my experience,
when I used cheaper cables, it was better to have the more expensive cable between the amp and preamp. As I got into expensive cables,( MIT Shotgun... ), I found that it was better to put the best cable on the source.
As has been stated above, try it both ways and see which you like better. Personal taste will also dictate your choice.
It's suggested to put the better cables on you source which is the CD.But your ears will be the final judge.
If you can't tell yourself, what does it matter what we say?
TRUST YOUR EARS!
Hi Grateful - this question will draw lots of different opinions so I will offer mine. I think the more revealing cable should go between preamp and amp depending on a variety of factors. First, the resolving quality of the pre and amp, if it is a budget system or more politely stated bang for the buck system, the better cable may need to go source to pre. But if you have a really revealing system then from my experience pre to amp, they need to be synergized totally to optimally pass the information along through the amp stage and bring out the best of the preamp and amp. Every cable in the chain has to synergize so the source connection shouldn't be a slouch either. I'm of the opinion that the preamp is the component that will affect the sound the most.
yes trust your ears
I have always found with multi sources putting the best cable from preamp to power amp so that all sources benefit from it. Since you are a single source, like the others said try it both ways.
If you are trying revealing silver cables, sometimes having a more neutral cable from pre to power helps to curb the bright bleached aspects of the silver. Experiment and stay with cables that synergize nicely. Use acoustical instruments as your gauge
I have single ended rca to my preamp. Preamp to power is balanced, so I bought a good balanced cable (Cardas Golden Cross) pre to power and experiment with different single ended cables from the sources.