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Why do my interconnects and powercord look nervous? - Page 3

post #31 of 60
Carlo: I also have a decent physics background, which is why I'm a bit skeptical But I do believe in using good I/Cs, so I'm not a complete non-believer.

Quote:
if possible, why not make a simple cord based on doc b's or chris venhaus' design and try it out? it's the only way to really know if the cost of cable upgrades are worth it.
I've been thinking about getting into some DIY, and this looks like it might be a good place to start. Where can I find these two design plans?

Thanks!
post #32 of 60
MacDEF,

i hope it isn't blasphemy to link to AA, but here you go:

bob crump's design:
http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/cab...ages/7885.html

chris venhaus' design:
http://www.geocities.com/venhaus1/diymains.html

doc b.'s design:
http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/tub...ages/1739.html

also there's the "asylum cord" at kevin p's website, using bob crump's design and has his approval with construction methodology:
http://www.diycable.com/powerproducts.htm

if you've got the time cruise the archives at AudioAsylum(.com)'s cable forum... lots of different designs have been discussed there.

good luck, i'm interested to know what you hear when you do the projects.

carlo
post #33 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by carlo
....i hope it isn't blasphemy to link to AA, but here you go:....
That's not an issue here at all, man. We link to other forums all the time.

Thanks for the links, by the way.
post #34 of 60
jude,

not a problem at all. i assume you'll be posting about the cables that come your way during the auditioning process... good luck, i look forward to reading about them.

best,

carlo
post #35 of 60
Hey Jude,
I have heard from audioasylum that there is big difference between gen2s and the Air1s interconnect. Anyhow, maybe you should try them and see if you like them. To me, they are extremely transparent and very neutral. At first I didn't like them because I was use to coloration. But now I am appreciating them more and more. Of course they retail at $795 so I don't know if that is out of your range.
post #36 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by carlo
[B]...i assume you'll be posting about the cables that come your way during the auditioning process...B]
carlo,

Absolutely. I really want to see more exposure of products we don't discuss often -- or haven't yet used -- on Head-Fi. Higher end interconnects and powercords (especially the power cords) are a relatively new hot topic in the community. Power and tweak stuff too.

The Acoustic Zens should be arriving next week some time, so I'm pretty excited to start.

So, Carlo, I see some nice cables in your profile....can you comment on some of them (and others you may have auditioned in the process)?
post #37 of 60
Quote:
jude said: cables in your profile....can you comment on some of them (and others you may have auditioned in the process)?
sure, but that'd be one hell of a long list here's a little synopsis of the interconnects that i've spent at least a full month (most of them much longer than that) with them wired throughout the system. of course, keep in mind that it was in the context of my system and that they're just opinions.

dh labs bl-1 - one of the most disapointing cables i've ever tried. not exactly bright, but treble controll isn't neutral. heavy smearing on upper midrange and mid bass... but it's also cheap and easily available.

kimber pbj w/ wbt0147 - doesn't draw any real attention to itself, but doesn't wow either... requires decent components since it's not going to mush over the sound too much, and any claims of siblance or etched highs are probably due to ultraplate (stock) termination or associated equipment. closer to a lean sound than a balanced one.

audioquest ruby - now discontinued, but this was my first "real" cable. a lot like the tara ref g2 but a lot more rolled off on top. not a bad cable for a cheap cd player.

kimber hero - full bodied cable (compared to pbj) that once again doesn't draw a heck of a lot of attention to itself, in the typical kimber fassion. in my experience, one of the benchmarks in it's price range (although i personally still prefer the pbj-0147).

tara reference generation 2 - i used this cable faithfully a few years ago when i first got serious with the hobby... smooth and unoffensive. after further auditioning, i realised it smeared image focus and upper frequency detail. like the ruby, it'll help mask what a bad cd player's doing.

nordost blue heaven - if you like an in your face sound with globs of psuedo detail these are the cables for you. to my ears, it made everything sound too "cd and solid state"-like if you know what i mean.

dh labs air matrix - good bottom end controll, upper frequencies sound relaxed without any sense of rolling off. vocals have a nice tone. soundstage collapsed a bit in my system, but nothing major.

tara labs air 3 - big things this cable gets right are soundstage and detail, with a slight touch of bloom on vocals. upper and lower frequency controll not stellar, but it isn't a slouch either.

nordost red dawn (new version)- a lot better across the frequency range than the blue heaven, but not my cup of tea. i've heard other systems that sing with it though.

audioquest emerald 2 - okay detail, okay soundstage, slight smearing. about the only audioquest cable i've ever really liked.

tara labs master generation - while it may not have the huge soundstage the air series does, it also disappears to the point where analyzation becomes arbitrary. no real discernable weaknesses, except that it really doesn't mask any deficiencies of source components. i've wondered at times if i'm losing detail because they're so smooth and relaxed, but over time i've understood that it really just doesn't favor any part of the frequency range. excellent PRaT.

tara labs air 1 - the master generation with a wider and deeper soundstage. bass may not be as tight though, but doesn't offend. requires top-notch equipment due to it's unassuming nature... is it worth the cost increase from the air 3? i personally don't think so.

audience au24 - megabuck cable that excells with PRaT and detail, but had a slightly electronic feel to the sound. possible that my electronics weren't up to the task.

hope this helps a bit... there's been quite a few cables that have passed thorugh here on little one or two week auditions, but the memories of their sound have faded away. i'm also sure i'm forgetting a couple, but oh well. obviously though, i didn't think enough of them to keep 'em. there's a couple of companies i'd like to try if i ever get around to it (top of that list is homegrown audio as well as jon risch's belden diy), but i'm more than satisfied with the cabling i have now.

tara labs has been my reference for a long time now... to my ears they're the best cables in my price range. for what it's worth.

sorry for the incredibly long post,

carlo
post #38 of 60
Thanks very much for that summary, Carlo. Have you ever compared the same set of cables but with XLR vs. RCA? If so, did you find that the general characteristics of the cable were carried across? I'm planning a source upgrade soon and I'd like to know whether having balanced outputs is very important (I know, whole new can of worms)... but aside from that, if (and when) I get an amp that has balanced inputs, I'd like to know if the differences between RCA-terminated cables apply to their XLR brothers.

By the way, if anyone thinks the newer amp will be a Max, it's not! But in any case, this amp upgrade will be coming a lot later than my source upgrade.
post #39 of 60
dan,

everything i've ever owned has been single ended, sorry. unless you're running super long runs or have major rfi problems though you shouldn't have a problem... i read somewhere that if the circuitry isn't top notch there isn't a point of going balanced anyway (something about most products not being fully balanced and therefore adding extra circuitry in the signal path to convert voltages). i forget where that was though, and once again i have no experience. you may want to hit up aa's cable asylum, i'm sure jon risch, bob crump, or another cable guru has an answer.

good luck,

carlo
post #40 of 60
Thread Starter 
carlo,

Fantastic, man! Thanks for that excellent summary. I'm going to have to look seriously at the higher end Taras, eh?

I'm currently using the RSC Reference Gen 2's, and I've been very happy with them.

As I've mentioned before, I listen to headphones between four and ten hours per day, and so the smoothness of the RSC Reference Gen 2's may contribute to my rig's generally complete lack of fatigue. What I'm hoping some of the higher end cables offer is somehow to provide more detail without any heightened fatigue.

Again, thanks for the summary.
post #41 of 60
Thread Starter 

Cables I'll Be Auditioning/Testing Next

As some of you may have read, I'm interested in comparing some top-notch cables to my current cables to see what kind of a sonic upgrade can be had in the sub-$1000 range of cables. I'm trying to focus on cable products we haven't read much about within our community, and I think I have my final list of candidates:
  • Acoustic Zen Silver Reference interconnects
  • Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference interconnects
  • Acoustic Zen Tsunami powercord
  • Cardas Neutral Reference interconnects
  • Cardas Twinlink powercord
  • Tara Labs RSC Air 1 interconnects
  • Tara Labs RSC Air 2 interconnects
  • Tara Labs RSC Air powercord
I don't imagine I can cover much more than this over the next few months without rushing, and I think these represent a good grouping of top-notch cables with sterling reputations in the under-$1000 price range.

Instead of trying to compare each cable to every other cable, I'll use my current rig as the control that I compare everything else to, and then conclusions can be drawn from that. There will likely be three reviews, grouped by manufacturer versus my current rig cabling.

Since the BPT C-7 is my first real powercord step-up, I will be sure to include that as a part of my stock setup along with the Quail.

Should definitely be interesting. Should definitely be fun.

Later on this weekend (maybe even later tonight), I'll post a summary of these cables based on manufacturer information.
post #42 of 60
jude, I know you've got a full list already, but any chance on auditioning some Siltech interconnects? I've read mostly good comments on them over at AA...
post #43 of 60
Well you can save some time by tossing the Cardas twinlink AC cord, as it will be easily surpassed by AZ tsunami AC cord IMO.......
post #44 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
Well you can save some time by tossing the Cardas twinlink AC cord, as it will be easily surpassed by AZ tsunami AC cord IMO.......
It is at a wholly different price point though. So I have some serious interest in testing the price spectrum to see how a mildly priced powercord from a very reputable brand name (Cardas) does in my rig; and then see how a significantly more expensive powercord (Acoustic Zen Tsunami) and a far more expensive powercord (Tara RSC Air) perform in that same rig. I thought it made for an interesting choice and variety.

Quote:
Originally posted by dhwilkin
jude, I know you've got a full list already, but any chance on auditioning some Siltech interconnects? I've read mostly good comments on them over at AA...
Truth be told, these weren't on my list, but let me read up more on them too (on their web site, on online audio mags, and on Audio Asylum). Thanks for the suggestion, dhwilkin!
post #45 of 60
hehe, while you're taking requests, I'd be interested in knowing how the JPS Superconductor (either FX or 2) performs compared to the distinguished group you already have also the Mapleshade Clearview Double Helix II and anything by Silver Audio.

Alright alright I'm greedy.

Here are some links:
silver audio
Mapleshade
JPS Labs

BTW, I am very interested in auditioning a group of cables at once like you are; however I'm curious as to whether the companies charge you (when ordering direct) when you are auditioning. It makes me nervous to think I have several thousand dollars worth of stuff I can't afford on a credit card (not to mention my limit doesn't go that high!) and then having to worry about being credited upon returning the cables I don't want. It would be much more to my liking if they companies would maybe hold onto your credit card number, yet not charge you until you make a decision.

I think it would be awesome if we could have a number of headfizers audition the same cords at the same time, so we would have several different views to compare/contrast with one another. Don't know how hard it would be to coordinate this, but maybe some of the manufacturers would be interested in something like this and loan us sample cables
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