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Mixing Cables

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have found through my many cable swaps that some cables have a unique enough sonic character that they have a very narrow focus.I mean that they sound really good with some gear and sound horrible with in point,the Harmonic Tech Truthlink sounds wonderful when used with every high end CD player I have tried it with.It does not however, sound very good when used with analog sources(phono stages) or any tube staged gear.I have found that my Wheatfield HA2 tubed headamp likes MAD Silver cables a lot and I use them with this amp.My Marantz SACD player does not seem to be very cable sensitive at all but slight improvements are found when a Kimber Hero is connected between it and any amp.My Grado RA-1 sounds best with the very cost effective Outlaw cables I just tried this week.these same Outlaw cables made the Wheatfield sound dark and distant.I think it makes sense that cables can be component specific and have some ideal matches.i don't know if this is intentional on the part of the cable makers but it seems to demonstrate nicely in practice.i don't foresee any adverse side effects to this practice and recommend that cable swappers try it.
post #2 of 3

i've had a lot of thoughts on this subject as well. as a whole i generally wire my system with one company (originally aq, then kimber, and now tara labs). in between i did mix and match with several companies (synergistic research, jps, harmonic tech, among others) but in the end i've found auditioning lines of cables bring the whole sound closer to cohesiveness. strangely i mix and match components, and for that matter power cords, without the same issues, but as far as interconnects go i do like to keep a "house sound".

post #3 of 3
I have to go with both camps of thought thus far expressed here.

Because of the intrinsic mismatch of impedance between ALL audio gear, any two given pieces of kit might very easily tend to favor one cable over another. On the other hand, there are some cable designs that are just simply BAD SCIENCE and / or BAD VALUES which I would tend to steer clear of in any case.

To further complicate matters, as cable and other components "break in," their synergy may change over the course of time. This of course gives us the excuse to start over again with our combinatorial exercises! Fun!
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