XLO Type 5
40 responses Add your response
I'm a little bit of a cable junkie, but in that role I'm a big "Value Junkie": I like what cables can do, but I keep my budget in a certain range and see what I can do within that level. I've had more expensive, but I've found most satisfaction price/performance-wise with the following... I use many of these and tend to keep a set or two out of the below as spare:
Analysis Plus: Solo Crystal Oval
Analysis Plus: Power Oval (love the black wattgate model)
Outlaw Audio: PSC 1.2m Copper IC is a STEAL
LAT International: IC200 mkII is a great value hybrid
Kimber Select 1010: Reasonable price, great sound
Nordost Red Dawn: marginally better than blue heaven, at todays prices quite worth a look (though in the past, overpriced compared to BH)
All time LEAST favorite cable: Kimber Silver Streak - Couldn't be softened by a mountain of goose-down!
Monster Reference 2 Interconnects did it for me about 10 years ago.
Although less and less, I still use this cable as reference til this day since it is a Reference cord after all.
Actually, Sherod, I think I am a bit more of a freak than you are. I think I am turning into an AUDIOphile in its purest form. I think my system is good enough and doesn't need tweaking anymore. Yet, I ENJOY tweaking! It's FUN!
After finals, I am going to make my own interconnects and AC cords. FUN FUN FUN!!
In my case it wasn't so much a cable as a company. My audiophile friends were experimenting, but I couldn't really hear much difference. The Cable Company recommended Purist Audio cables for my Linn and Krell gear. The difference was huge. I later compared many cables in that system and never bettered the PADs. Later they got me on power cords with some Synergistic Research references.
Peterson Engineering, put in my system in 1978 by Steve McCormack who would soon be of Mod Squad fame.
I couldnt believe that a new cable could make such a difference, after all I had brand new Belden RCAs, fresh from the blister pack.
Today my long run of Purist Dominus RLS is nearly equal value to that 1977 system. I need to get even with McCormack somehow :^)
Mapleshade. I thought the whole subject was sorta silly, tho I had Kimber KCAGs and AQ Diamond and Lapis cables just to be sure I wasn't missing anything. The first Mapleshades I tried were such a revelation (and so relatively inexpensive that I sold the Kimbers and AQs for more than the Mapleshades cost) that I kept looking for "more," which led to Omega Mikros (same designer). Where it will end, God only knows.
A friend who had been in the HiFi business owed me some money, so I took the lamp cord of of my Harmon Kardon receiver and replaced it with Kimber Kable (the brown and black braid). Since then I have used Monster, Cardas, Kimber, Audioquest, and Purist Audio Design ICs. I have also used Audioquest, Monster, Krell, and Purist Audio Design speaker cables.
My PCs are all DIY since they are so much better than the ones I bought.
I think the 'bug' comes from being able to upgrade the sound of the system with a minimal investment. Every other piece in a system costs a lot more to upgrade.
I'm thinking about upgrading again!?!
You have a unique problem that a real audiophile doesn't have. (Of course it depends on what "real audiophile" means.) Truth be told most of us started out this way with Monster Cable back in the 80's.
Now when I hear someone raving about their latest cable I'm thinking that either their system was horribly askew to begin with or they have a monetary interest in that cable. Most often the difference is subtle and more so to an unbiased third party. Just look inside your speaker or amp and see for yourself what the designer is using. Most often it is not a "high end" cable, unless it is Wilson Audio, who uses Monster cable inside their 15K speakers(!). Cables do make a difference but not to the extent speakers, amps, turntables, etc. make.
When I doubled the speaker cable run to my car speakers and there was twice as much bass back in 1980
When I replaced my Kimber 8TC with Nordost Blue Heaven and noticed much more nuance and detail, though noticed the thin midrange later and really went crazy for a while buying several different cables in a row.
What is this the geezer wire thread? Polk Cobra Cables and Audio Precision interconnects......Fulton Gold speaker wires.....This was all about 1975 or thereabouts........Recall my first $100 cartridge, an ADC as I recall as nothing cost more than $50 back then other than those Deccas, Ortophons and Supexes...........Yep, I'm a geezer too and my ARC SP3A-1 still is in the garage!
Whew, I started this thread thinking I might not get too many responses.I feel a lot better knowing that my "cable-mania" is alive and well in other audiophiles. No wonder there are cable companies coming out of the woodwork so fast that it's difficult to keep up with them. I should mention that in my thread, it was a combination of the MIT Music Hose along with the MIT 330 interconnects connected to modified Musical Concepts Hafler amp and preamp into Vandersteen 2B speakers that opened my ears.
Ebay - Cableplex interconnects. These were dynamite at $29 per pair. They bested a pair of Kimber Hero's in my system, & it was a landslide from there. I went to the Cableplex Nirvanna at $89 per pair, then to the Zu Oxyfule at $109 to the Zu Varial at $500. This is a crazy obsession!, I meant hobby.
I want to take back my Fulton response. My first cable "gasp" was when I replaced the 'take it, it's free' cable from the dealer with some 14 ga lamp cord. "Huh? It makes a difference?" I thought at the time - 1973/4 and just outta high school. Bought the cable to better disappear on the floor.
Used this knowledge later to replace the speaker cables on a friend's stereo with a receiver and some Bose 201s or 301s (don't remember - little sideways bookshelf speakers with a pointable plastic vane in front of the tweeter), but only had enough 14 gauge to finish one side. He had to run the volume control at almost 3 o'clock to make the volume the same and the tweaked side still had better bass and less piercing highs. He was dumbfounded!
Tbg, my partner, John Curl, will be able to collect social security in a couple months and am jealous as I have another six years to wait and hope there is something left....Started with hifi in the sixties with a Sony compact system and spent my time at a coffee house listening to live folk music....I thought it would be cool to have that kind of definition at home and look at all the trouble it got me into.....Getting close and it has been almost forty years of fiddling with gear and wires.....The ride has been a ball......
Jm, I have also thread a similar path with the same result, Omega Mikro. I have not ended up with OM for ics, however, just power cords and speaker wires. Also I did not go through any of those you listed.
Omega Mikro again
When I first sawa apir f Fulton Gold's my jaw droped. Not only were they huge, the cost was quite high at the time. I asked Bob for a loaner but with him it was always "cash up front".
Upon revceiving this cables, I put hm on my premiers and miracles happend. Th sound opend up, speakers became more efficient, and thet dam thign just osunde dmy dynamic. Having mentioned this to my local ausio shop, they also laughed and gasped ta the price, saying their was no market for this crap. so I decided to bring them in fora test drive on their Dayton Wrights, AR-LSTs and IMF Monitors. Within an hour, my shop owner wanted to place an order for 18 pair of 14 footers!. So I decided to ask Bob if I could sell them for him. I bacame his largest distributor in North America.
Those cables had uncanny ability to make evrything sound better,and although many newer designs have come out, the
audio quality has not apprecialted that much. The big drawback for most cables is the guage. I beleive the thinner guages just don't deliever the total signal. One thing about the Golds, everthing was big, the terminals, the thickness, the insulation and the sound. I often wonder why todays cables are very fnacy and thick, but all terminate in crappy 12 gauge solid stranded wire? Doesn;t make sense to me at all. Anyway, i am still using doubled up Golds to drive my Premeirs and to the dismay of my aidio shop, they cannot find anything to imporve on them. A rael great product that has stood the test of time.