Clear Day and Cerious Technologies.
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I recommend starting with Cat5 ethernet cable. It works very well for both interconnects and speaker cable and costs 10-20 cents a foot. Of course there are many who think you have to spend a small fortune on wire to get good sound but they are incorrect. IMHO you focus on the electronics and speakers using a neutral wire like CAT5. Why not try it? It is a very inexpensive experiment. If you get to the point where you have maxed out everything else then maybe consider trying different cables. However, you will never get everything else maxed out so spending money on cables is a huge waste of money.
Crystal clear is much more than he wants to spend. A complete set would be in the $10,000 or more range. Most of us would get much more benefit investing that in better electronics and/or speakers.
brfPurchase form any Dealer that offers either a trial period or money back guarantee. You must try them in your system first ...This is great advice, and not just for cables. While it can be helpful to learn here what other people think, the only opinion that really counts is your own.
Best is relative in this hobby, no more so than when it comes to cables. Would be helpful to know what you're currently using and what you're looking to improve upon. I'll just say Acoustic Zen Silver Reference interconnects and Satori or Hologram cables bought used offer a lot of refinement and performance for the dollar. Triode Wire Labs power cords also offer a lot of performance per dollar and sell direct. Just a few ideas. Best of luck.
One man’s realistic money is another man’s outrageous money. It also all depends on what problems you’re talking about that don’t need addressing. Everyone wants to get 90% of the Full Monty on a working man’s salary. That’s always been true and always will be. Honda used to advertise that technology used in their race cars trickled down to their Civic and Prelude. Yeah, right.
Thanks everyone, it was a long shot but i was reading about these Anti cables i think thats what there called then the i read about the Curious Tech and yer i got curious, i have no issues with my system right now,
i am using JPS labs power cables with various copper signal cables,
i was just curious to know if there is any real magic cables out there at realistic money, i did mention in the post the price ranges,
i strongly believe every link is vital and as i have pointed out i am very happy with what i have i just got curious,
we all get the hifi bug to buy now and again i just seem to get it all the time i really live for musical reproduction and i am so passionate and just want to achieve the very best results possible without getting my trousers pulled down.
My current cables retail for less the 6000gbp they replaced a loom of 40000gbp so as mentioned dearer is by no means better,
i fell for the reviews and advertising tricks that some company's claim so yes i got burnt, im not saying the dearer cables were bad i just found i preferred the cheaper ones, i tried them out of again curiosity and was glad i did,
it was curiosity that started this discussion and going by the replies i have interest in the Curious Tech cables but they would have to be special to out perform my current set, but after all that is the nature of the beast improving ones system, maybe at 50 i should relax switch off and just enjoy the music,
i love to read and gain knowledge so again thank you everyone that has added there bit here already
it will be interesting if the discussion gains pace there maybe a golden nugget in the haystack, Geoff thanks for jumping in i respect your knowledge and i am always interested in your comments best wishes John
Mains, there is no answer to your question. If there was everybody would be doing it. This whole subject of best bang for the buck or what's the best for the money, whatever, has been going on for 40 years. It's pretty much been reduced to the level of a troll. With no end in sight. If you had 40000gbp cables you should be the one telling us. Hel-loo! Pretty soon, at the rate you’re going, you’ll be just like me. No cables. Nada. Zippo. Nothing sounds better than no cables at all.
i have been off the hifi merry go round for about 5 years , my 40k loom has been around since 2005/2006,the company even longer, every system i built i took it for granted that at that price they must be the best, without trolling or whatever you call it i am not mentioning any names or products only the ones i have not heard.
when i isolated my loudspeakers the penny dropped, i was sent out some cables and bang s**t at a fraction of the price they was more revealing and musical than my good old reliable s, so i ditched the 40k cables and i am now listening to the much cheaper ones.
I was wondering if this company that has a wide range of products can produce a cable that is cheaper and beater sounding than a specialist cable manufacturer that has been around since the 1990s, then maybe with technology there is a dedicated cable company making some real magic cable products.
As i guessed its still the same out there 95% marketing 5% performance or there abouts.
Now no cables is very interesting can you please share your findings?
" .... Mains, there is no answer to your question. If there was everybody would be doing it. This whole subject of best bang for the buck or what’s the best for the money, whatever, has been going on for 40 years. It’s pretty much been reduced to the level of a troll...."
Nailed it !
Without prejudice to the former, the notion of "realistic money" is an arbitrary, biased and entirely subjective value judgement at best.
-- in a $50,000 high-end build / resolution system, $5000 is "realistic money".... at that price/performance strata, they are all "good" with the challenge being to pick out the contender(s) from the pretenders.
-- in contrast, in a $1000 low-fi system, $100 is a good first step. There is negligible to nil difference at that price/performance strata, so just pick one of 'em.
@mains, I like your thinking ( and writing), and believe you have a good head on your shoulders. Much of what you posted is in sync with my beliefs.
As far as making a recommendation, so much is system dependent, that it is hard to make a blanket recommendation.
Could you give us a list of your components? Are you using RCA or balanced interconnects?
As you have probably reaiized, there is no one correct answer. Most of us probably feel pretty strongly about the cables we use or just "the cable debate" in general. I love Silent Source cables. At this point I can't see using any others. They aren't cheap but the money one spends definitely goes towards the actual product rather than marketing.
That being said, I went to a workshop at the RMAF a few years ago that was all about "cables". It actually wasn't promoting a particular brand or product. The workshop highlighted the impact that "like brand/type" cables can have on a system. They started with a mixed bag of good quality cables. The system sounded fine. However, when they switched out the cables for all the same brand/type the system came to life. The timing and coherence were noticeably better. It was one of the best workshops I ever attended and it has helped me ever since. Good luck on your quest!
It feels like I've replied with the following maybe once or twice a year for the past decade. This approach should fit your budget and is usually good for a laugh. And you can always look this up and see for yourself...
Way, way back when I'd stumbled onto some references to speakers being displayed by Quad at a HiFi show near London and the real kicker to the whole thing was that the Quad guy had gone down the road to the local Home Depot equivalent, bought some orange outdoor extension cord (I think that article said it was Black & Decker wire), and Quad was displaying their speakers at that show with the extension cord being used as their speaker wire. Apparently no one noticed for days...
In a midrange investment....first....make sure power conditioning is on point.....AKA....Core2power. Outstanding results for minimum investment...Under 2k...total investment with enough power on tap to power an entire 15A circuit. If that is already there, the 'extension cord works in a pinch', I've done it. If you want the liquid sound of a state of the art cable, check out the best of the best IMHO....are, entry level Cardas, Audioquest, Morrow Audio, and Kimber cable. Not cheap, but very good. Morrow tends to be a little more aggressively priced. That kind of investment will get you well into an entire MA-4-5, Sp5 solution that will yield great results in many systems including my rig. I have heard Wywires , and Synergistic research products in some pretty nice affordable rigs too. The world is your oyster here, most important thing, do not use a cable to correct deficiencies in sound....they allow more detail and open soundstage as your investment becomes larger. Your budget should yield great results even with some of the 'affordable' offerings of some larger companies. Each cable choice will cause your system to change subtle character.....ie...more laid back, more lush midrange, and darker blacker back round. Make sure your power is as clean as you can get it to get the most out of your cable investment.
thanks again everyone,
i sat up last night reading all your comments and thinking deeply regarding this magical cable i now believe that is out there somewhere,
then bingo i put all your comments into one and i have come up with there is not no magical cable. What we have is 100s of choices from again as many manufacturers, i seem to point this out that choice is often baffling in our hobbies (life) ie cars watches hifi etc. People seem to have there favorites they stick with like myself but then that feeling of is the grass greener starts then BANG the bug bites.
The answer has been answered in all the above, it is simply there is no answer, there are just again options on budgets. Many different companies building cables to sell at different price points, the majority now are all genuine contenders which is why it is getting harder to choose,
I do not blame the none believers as pointed out by the Quad demo in one reply above.
I believe self satisfaction, a sound frame of mind is paramount in our quest, after all we are all seeking the very best from our investments and yes the cost of ones system should be a starting point on what to spend ie the above idea of 100k system = 10k on cables sounds realistic to me but to others 10k on cables is mind blowing and mad.
I would like to keep this discussion going until maybe Jesus does walk the earth again or BANG that cable or no cable is made,
This subject of cables is great with various answers for various reasons and everybody is just adding to the confusion without realizing
in truth there is not one answer ,
I believe pick a manufacturer you like the ideas of, go threw the range and keep what sounds the best for budget and piece of mind, make sure if the better range was better then go for it or sit and wait for it until funds permit, hopefully you have not picked a manufacturer that is changing models every 5 mins,do it in sections ie hear the loom then buy it in sections knowing the end results will be worth it,
Hay start down Maplins or your local DIY shop grab a nice budget copper or silver cable and try and better it from the experts,
Thanks again PS is anyone using Curios Tech or Anti cables if so could you describe there improvements over the other cable brands available thank you
It feels like I’ve replied with the following maybe once or twice a year for the past decade. This approach should fit your budget and is usually good for a laugh. And you can always look this up and see for yourself...
Way, way back when I’d stumbled onto some references to speakers being displayed by Quad at a HiFi show near London and the real kicker to the whole thing was that the Quad guy had gone down the road to the local Home Depot equivalent, bought some orange outdoor extension cord (I think that article said it was Black & Decker wire), and Quad was displaying their speakers at that show with the extension cord being used as their speaker wire. Apparently no one noticed for days...
>>>>>That’s not really that weird since the Quad power supply requires a power cord as opposed to a speaker cable. So it’s not as if the extension cords are speaker wires per se. When I had Quads I replaced the stock speaker cords with homemade cords made out of Kimber Cable speaker cable. But to your point that nobody noticed, I agree. Crowds move through the rooms at HiFi shows like cattle through a slaughterhouse. They are too exhausted to notice much.
You owe it to yourself to look up Triode Wire Labs (TWL). Best sounding, reasonable priced power cables I've heard. I went through a few brands at double and higher the price. TWL won for my system. Ill never use another. Pete's SC's and IC's are great, too, and there is definitely a synergy there going all TWL but there are so many out there, you can go whatever direction you'd like...but going all TWL for power makes for a quiet, organic, full bodies sound. The option to have certain cables for high power, digital and other makes for great system matching, as well.
Expensive cables fix fabricated problems. Even cable manufactures do not and cannot scientifically explain what their cables are designed to do. They make over designed, visually attractive cables that perform no audio or acoustic function beyond that provided by inexpensive wire of the appropriate impedance and length. Nothing new here.
One more for Clear Day cables. Have tried WireWorld, Audioquest, Nordost, and Tellurium Q in the $1,500-$2,000 range, and none bested the Clear Day Double Shotgun at $450. Using his XLR interconnects as well. 30 day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to loose by trying them. Super nice guy as well.
Read this read this article:
Click on their sister company:
DIY instructions are still available on our sister site, The Vinyl Tourist ... it is linked on their website.
This is is what I did and it also hit on what others are posting! If you like DIY you can build a set of cable & wires that will blow your mind and the competition out of the water. $-$$$$ that depends on you!
Mine have out done everything my hi-fi dealer has and we are not talking the box store dealers either. Kimber doesn't hold a candle to them, just for some reference. Yes, I am talking all of them. There are so many combos that work and some work better with certain pairings. Personally I found that silver works great, especially with digital, gold and silver work really well in RCA interconnects (turntable) and for the money Copper and silver is flat out wow.
The article is a great read!
I’m a solid core fan (lots of AQ items) and simply out of curiosity I bought an inexpensive (the MOST inexpensive they make, the MA1…2 tiny wires) Morrow Audio IC during a sale thing a couple of months ago. After a long break-in it’s seems like such a great sounding cable that I recently bought 2 more (actually bought one more but they were giving away a freebie with any new cable). Weirdly, Morrow has their own thing where they use the same small silver coated copper solid core in everything…basically more or less of it, and it works.
Interconnects: Ernst&Engbring 3-lead shielded microphone cable with the third lead as return for the shield or ground if used for balanced connection or DIN connectors with e.g. Naim equipment. This cable is used by Neumann and Rupert Neve and is intended for professional studio use. I have made interconnects with this cable that have proved to perform much better than cables costing over 40 times more per meter and at about $1.50/m it's a steal.
Speaker Cable: Klotz 1.5mm2 professional round speaker cable. Intended for stage monitors and similar use it is rugged and sounds fantastic for it's low price of about $2/m.
These are both no-nonsens professional cables that outperform many esoteric and expensive so called High End cables at a fraction of the price.
Another Speaker Cable that sounds much better than expected is Linn K20 / Naim Naca4 at about $8/m. It is however somewhat restrictive at the upper end of the spectrum so it's best suited for use with speakers and/or amps that sound a little too "bright". It is very musical and forgiving instead of being primarily analytical and transparent but it can remove unwanted harshness from some systems making the music more pleasant to listen to even if some details are lost in the process. Filtering out the nastiness it can sometimes be the right way to go... Please remember to connect it in the correct direction with the text on the cable originating at the speaker end as intended. It makes a small but noticeable difference.
As for Power Cables it is mostly the plugs that make a significant difference. Use good quality outlets and plugs. You can remove the connector all together on your equipment by soldering the cable directly into the unit or replace them with Neutrik PowerCon connectors. I live in Europe and our 240V Shuko wall outlets are much better than the US 110V outlets. If I lived in the US I would replace that end with PowerCon as well. If you want to be able to hot-swap PowerCon use the more expensive black and yellow type rather than the cheaper blue and grey as they are not intended to be connected or disconnected when power is switched on. There are plenty of professional Power Distribution Units on the market that utilise PowerCon but you can easily build your own if you want to save a few bucks.
When it comes to SPDIF the main factor is NOT to use cables that are 1m in length! This results in jitter as reflections due to impedance mismatching arrives just when the next bit is to be detected. Use either very short cables, 75cm cables or cables at least 1.5m but NEVER 1m cables! 1m 75ohm coax cables are intended for video, not audio, and should be avoided under all circumstances.