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what are the most noticeable cable upgrades?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

hi all,

 

I have been thinking and searching a while and also wondering what affects sound. So in a setup you would have a Dac, Amp, and headphones and all those produce a sound but what about whats in between. Recently a friend of mine purchased Norse audio cables for his lcd2 and it made, what i thought a great pair of headphones even better, the mids stood out and sound stage was noticeably "cleaner" it sounded like a different pair of phones. 

 

I do believe the quality of the cables make a difference because its pure, so in a "clean setup" you would have a

power conditioner-> 

flac/lossless files ->

upgraded usb cable ->

dac ->

upgraded rca cables ->

amp  ->

upgraded headphone cables ->

headphones.

all running with upgraded power cables.

 

But some of us arnt made of money, so ideally what would give the most percentage of cleanness at the least price?

 

i have some speculation about the digital cables where they are all the same because it it digital content, where as analog matters, but is more noticeable after it is Amped. Just ideas.

 

i currently own 

 

music streamer 2+

matrix m-stage with burr brown mod 

He 500

 

thank you,

post #2 of 8

Lavry explained that digital signals are analogue signals with digital information, something like that.

 

For the least price?  DIY mogami 2534 cables.  Blue/Black Dragon if you can step up to those wires.  I wouldn't worry too much about the USB cable with your rig.

post #3 of 8
Diy some toxic cables silver cable. Or silver plated copper is pretty good to, I highly recommend using toxic cables, it's really nice to work with.
post #4 of 8

Each system has an interdependence resulting in what potential improvements are possible.The surprise comes from being open minded to the fact that every system piece is a critical component. Some cable changes are going to be more noticeable than others. 

 

Everyone is also looking for a slightly different sound.

post #5 of 8
Like the OP, I have a Matrix M Stage.
I think your best bang for the buck is upgraded analog cables:
cable from DAC to amp and cable from amp to 'phones.
Try before you buy, if possible, you might not like what you get, and some cables make no difference.
For power cables try an inexpensive shielded power cable.
post #6 of 8
I own crazy-@$$ cables (PCs, RCAs, and speaker cables). Here's what I can tell you from experience: spend the lion's share off your cable budget on RCAs. They offer the most advantage for the dough. Don't upgrade digital cables. If you do, do it for the visual appeal because any reasonably well-made digital cable will sound exactly the same as another. A nice power cord can remove distortion from analogue components but they usually add a little brightness. Components with DACs in them benefit from great power cords (amplifiers do too but to much less of a degree). Digital components like power conditioners but don't react to power cord upgrades. So, the first upgrade to make is good RCAs. The only brand that I recommend for RCAs is Nordost. You can buy them used on Audiogon. New Nordost RCA cables start below $200/pr. from Music Direct. The difference they make is crazy. You will barely hear a difference by changing any other cable until you upgrade your RCAs. Trust me: I've tried almost everything.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by I right I View Post

I own crazy-@$$ cables (PCs, RCAs, and speaker cables). Here's what I can tell you from experience: spend the lion's share off your cable budget on RCAs. They offer the most advantage for the dough. Don't upgrade digital cables. If you do, do it for the visual appeal because any reasonably well-made digital cable will sound exactly the same as another. A nice power cord can remove distortion from analogue components but they usually add a little brightness. Components with DACs in them benefit from great power cords (amplifiers do too but to much less of a degree). Digital components like power conditioners but don't react to power cord upgrades. So, the first upgrade to make is good RCAs. The only brand that I recommend for RCAs is Nordost. You can buy them used on Audiogon. New Nordost RCA cables start below $200/pr. from Music Direct. The difference they make is crazy. You will barely hear a difference by changing any other cable until you upgrade your RCAs. Trust me: I've tried almost everything.

 

not in my experience. is possible that different configurations may yield different results, though.

 

Nordost's not bad - but not good either. very far from it. if I had to describe it in three words, they'd be: deceiving, defective, and overpriced. I'm surprised it still seems to be regarded as one of the top hi-end cable.

 

Crystal Cable equals and betters it in every single way.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

not in my experience. is possible that different configurations may yield different results, though.

Nordost's not bad - but not good either. very far from it. if I had to describe it in three words, they'd be: deceiving, defective, and overpriced. I'm surprised it still seems to be regarded as one of the top hi-end cable.

Crystal Cable equals and betters it in every single way.
Hi Lenni,

Your opinion is most welcome. I don't know if Nordost sells a different quality product in the European market but in the US Crystal Cables are generally thought of as cheap Nordost knock-offs. They advertise a gold-silver alloy in their conductors but offer no explainable benefit besides "improved longevity"...uh huh. I guess that matters when your cables are thin enough to go fishing with. Who knows? Btw, the alloy Crystal uses is knocked off from Siltech (with permission though - Siltech and Crystal are owned by a husband and wife team - doesn't that seem suspect? If the cables were so awesome, why two monikers? Why two designs? Shouldn't there be one team building the "best" cable they can build? Or is it more reasonable to assume its just two competing marketing firms selling knock-offs?). I've heard Crystal Cables. They sound good. I thought they were DIY cables by the sound of them. They were strident and imbalanced. They had a great deal of clarity and a low noise floor. It was clear that some great technological principles were at work but they were not refined. It was clear that it was a hodge-podge of stolen...er, borrowed ideas. I thought, "wow, for a DIY kit, these are good." Then I saw the price tag. Ha! No way. Nordost has more engineers than salesmen (Lars, I love ya but your sales pitch needs work!). They started by developing innovative technologies for the aerospace and medical industries. In other words, they are as legit as they come. Do you know why Crystal does use Nordost's monofilament design that uses air as a dielectric? First, it's patented technology. Secondly, and more precisely, they don't have the technological budget or prowess to build a machine capable of building cables that way. Nordost cables are finely crafted and beautiful. Crystal Cables belong in the back of a DIY speaker magazine.
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