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Copper vs silver cables  

post #1 of 245
Thread Starter 
I'm extremely happy with the rig I've put together in just a couple weeks & on the budget I have, but.....next step: cables.

I know, only from reading here, the general difference in characteristics between copper & silver cables.

As it stands, I have the stock digital optical that came with the Zero coming from AV710. I can live with that for awhile (at least, for another couple weeks). But from the Zero to LD MKIII, I have RadioShack RCA interconnects, which calls for immediate action. My question is due to the bassier, somewhat darker Denons & the warmth of the tube amp (both of which I like). Is it obvious that I should be going for silver cables to complement these other characteristics & not going towards even more warmth from the copper? Given this set-up, will silver cables help add some airiness & a wider soundstage that I'd like a little more of? This question holds true for the eventual HP cable upgrade too.

Then last ?: Can anyone recommend some good "bang for your buck" ICs? I know it's really low budget, but I really cannot afford > $80 at the moment. (Is that ridiculously too low to have any reasonable expectations?)
post #2 of 245
Moon Audio and Signal Cable both sell good quality interconnects in your price range.

As per the optical cable: Don't believe the hype! Expensive digital signal cables are unnecessary, since digital signals are not nearly as susceptible to noise as analog. Especially when you're talking about an optical cable.
post #3 of 245
post #4 of 245
FWIW, you're probably fine with your "rat shack" cables:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f21/bl...esults-190566/

But if you're really set on some good ICs...contact Turbo. He makes some really nice IC's for reasonable prices. Also, there are some members in the DIY forum who have a thread "post your DIY IC" or something like that, you can probably PM one of them to make you one.

The difference is so subtle, and sometimes unnoticeable, it's debatable if it's worth the upgrade...especially considering the cost of some cables.
post #5 of 245
For RCAs, I like Blue Jeans Cable LC-1s. They're made with solderless Canare RCAP connectors and custom low-capacitance Belden wire for a very fair price.

The copper vs. silver debate tends to have a lot of confounding variables that make it seem like silver might naturally sound "brighter" than copper. But it's possible to construct one cable with silver and one with copper, and have them sound and measure completely identical. The wire material is just a small part of a cable's specifications and resultant sound quality; don't worry too much about it.
post #6 of 245
For silver try auralthrillsaudio.com. I purchased a 1m silver mini to rca from him for $29.99 and got a 7" mini to mini for $15. I was amazed at the quality price ratio and the mini to mini SQ was just short of another IC I have costing six times as much.
post #7 of 245
I'd recommend Blue Jeans cables. They're fairly priced and the construction is very good. I'm happy with mine and will buy more when I need them.

Though if you're happy with the setup, why change it? People, supposedly, buy cables to change the sound. Have you considered that they might change it for the worse?

Why not buy something fun, like a Grado SR-60? You'll absolutely hear the difference between them and your Denons.
post #8 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by oicdn View Post
FWIW, you're probably fine with your "rat shack" cables:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f21/bl...esults-190566/

But if you're really set on some good ICs...contact Turbo. He makes some really nice IC's for reasonable prices. Also, there are some members in the DIY forum who have a thread "post your DIY IC" or something like that, you can probably PM one of them to make you one.

The difference is so subtle, and sometimes unnoticeable, it's debatable if it's worth the upgrade...especially considering the cost of some cables.
X2 On contacting Turbo,he makes some fine IC'S.
post #9 of 245
I got a kimber PBJ and a Kimber Silverstreak; almost identical cables but with the SS the signalcable is silver.
They both have that typical Kimersound; wide open, extended, detailed.
But the PBJ is a little rough and rolled off in the treble and undamped in the bass, giving it some warmth. The SS does not have these deviations; it is very clean with smooth but extended treble. But again, the similarities are IMO much more evident then the differences and it depends no your set too.
post #10 of 245
65 bucks



Nice ay?

post #11 of 245
SolozAudio has some nicely priced cables. depending on your length requirements, silver might fit into your budget, but if you need a reasonably long IC than the copper will fit was well.

Copper:
Copper Series

Silver:
Silver Series
post #12 of 245
Thread Starter 
Thanks all! I really appreciate all of your recommendations. I have checked into every single suggestion that's been presented....& I still don't know exactly what I'm going to purchase, but I definitely feel a lot better about not having to spend big money on cables (at least for the time being ).
post #13 of 245
Consider regular Radio Shack cables. They're copper. The standard grade ones (not gold) are well made. And they sounded like high end cables to folks participating in a blind test right here on headfi.

See ya
Steve
post #14 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
Consider regular Radio Shack cables. They're copper. The standard grade ones (not gold) are well made. And they sounded like high end cables to folks participating in a blind test right here on headfi.

See ya
Steve
Everytime I put RS IC cables in my system the sound becomes harsh/ analytical .... but somehow lacking in resolution. Maybe they sound ok on a quick listen in a blind test. But, for longer (or shorter in this case) listening sessions to music ... they are a serious limiting factor compared to the IC's I normally use. Have you ever listened to these cables you are recommending?
post #15 of 245
I'm afraid I don't know what "analytical" sounds like, and if by "harsh", you mean that they add distortion or accentuate the upper mids, that just plain isn't true. Yes, I use Radio Shack cables. They sound just like every other cable. The connectors on the Radio Shack gold cables suck, so I don't recommend them. But the standard cables are great.

See ya
Steve
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