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Interconnects Upgrade -- is it worth it?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ok, slap me for posting this topic, but hey
you were a newbie once too, right?

My hookup is my pioneer dv440 (it's a dvd player that has
brownburr dacs) with a ratshack rca-to-mini -> Porta Corda
-> Grado sr80 or Beyer dt250-80. I use this setup to listen to
audio cds, mp3 cds & dvd movies.

I am thinking of getting a Kimber Kable rca-to-mini 1-meter cable
from Headroom for $69. My question is, what kind of sonic
difference will I be able to discern, and is it worth the money?
Would I be better off saving that 70 bucks towards a new source,
amp, phones?
post #2 of 6
Do a search on the variations of "mini-to-mini" and "mini-to-RCA" and you'll find a wealth of information.

In my case, yes, I found it worth the money to upgrade cables -- you needn't go crazy. I found the Twisted Pair Designs cable in that configuration to be superior to the Rat Shack and the inexpensive Straightwire, but I have not heard the Kimber.
post #3 of 6
It depends.
I doubt you will hear any difference with mp3s or movies.
With CDs, it really depends on the quality of the recording.
For example: It is much easier to hear cable/equipment differences with a Chesky recording of Beethoven's 9th than say Def Jam's LL Cool J's G.O.A.T.
(Nothing against LL but I could have just as easily placed any pop, rap or mainstream artist who's main audience is radio listeners and their recordings are mixed accordingly)
post #4 of 6
sohcahtoa, i was in a similar dilemma.
I too uses a CDP->porta corda->headphone for home and have been thinking about the kimber rca-mini cable upgrade.

it's an expensive investment compared to the maraetek(? $15?), a cheaper alternative. The kimber isnt cheap and should you ever upgrade to a dedicated headphone amp, the cable would be defunct as than youll either be using rca-rca or mini-mini.
imo you are better off putting it off and purchase a dedicated headphone amp if youre that way inclined..

i been waiting 3 months for my headphone amp to arrive.. not very happy!
post #5 of 6
not quite the same scenario, but between my Marantz and my X Can I was temporarily using a QED cable, swapped back to my AudioQuest Quartz III, and the whole sound opened up... a smoother, yet fuller bass... more precise mids, and a sweeter top-end

This might sound like complete rubbish to some, but I advise you to try it before you discredit it... not quite a night and day difference, but a difference nonetheless
post #6 of 6
If those rat shack ICs are the gold ones they shouldn't be *too* bad (though you could do better for the money). If thats the case I would upgrade other things first.

If they are the cheap crappy ones and you are handy with a soldering iron, make your own. You won't do much better than that.

Otherwise I would consider the straightwires from Headroom.

Another option was recently discovered in another recent thread about <$100 USD ICs that looks quite promising for a very reasonable price. However, if memory serves me correctly they are only RCA->RCA.

If you're in a hurry and need something thats decent but won't break the bank, consider the Rat Shack golds or the Monster's I use. They aren't great but they are better than nothing.

The Straightwires are probably the best bang for the buck in the cheap IC realm outside of a DIY job.
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