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post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
one of the weakest points of my system is the interconnects (in my opinion) I am looking for some aesthetically pleasing, good sounding inexpensive ($100?) interconnects and power cords. I have looked around some, but I am quite confused. I have looked around at some of the companies that I know about but some of the interconnects get insanely expensive. It seems to me that if someone is going to spend $1000 on their RCA interconnects they would probably have a system that has balanced connections instead. But then again, what do I know...

Anyway, anyone want to make some recommendations? I liked those Tara Labs ICs that Jude was selling, but I was too late on that and I don't know if I could really spend $200 or whatever they cost new.

post #2 of 15
Consider building your own interconnects, they really are overpriced for what you get.

Though, I do have a 0.5m Cardas 300B I'm selling at half the regular price (of $100), PM me if interested.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
hmm, perhaps the cardas, I will have to think about it. I don't really know how to go about making my own interconnects though, I have no skills in that department whatsoever, and I am pretty sure that they would look like crap when I was finished. Maybe someone could give me some additional info (websites?)

post #4 of 15

personally i think i'd be hard to go wrong with the 300-b microtwin (just had a pair here about a month ago on a short audition)... really nice cable with a touch of smoothness that i'd guess would mate well with your onkyo and would hold up should you decide to upgrade.

the best commercial cable in this price range (imo) is the kimber pbj with wbt0147 (the stock ultraplates have sucked in all the systems i've tried them with). however, they're ruthlessly revealing and unless you have a warmer system i'd avoid them. however, they're certainly worth an audition.

haul your ass over to and look at their list of available products. last i checked they had the audioquest emerald, straightwire maestro, and jps ultraconductor at around your price point, and all have worked very well in my systems. i'm thinking about picking up the maestro myself... heard it for the first time on one of my first systems and it left a really good impression. ask about their audition procedures (the best on the net imo).

post #5 of 15
Doc Bottlehead has an EZ interconnect kit that sounds really, really good. It also falls within your price range.
post #6 of 15

whoops, missed the part about you wanting to make your own cables. head over to audioasylum and search the archives in the cable and diy sections under "belden AND jon risch" as well as "chris vh AND silver"

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
man! this has been very helpful. Thanks for the information Carlo and Nick!

post #8 of 15
nick, I take it you have those IC's? how would you describe their sound and what have you compared them to?
post #9 of 15
I'll have those interconnects in the near future.

How do I know they sound good? Personally, I don't! I have read countless postings and spoken with other Bottleheads about them, though. Doc's crystal magnet wire has been compared with many brands of I/C's and regularly stand up to the competition.

As to the actual sonic character... I'm not sure. I need to get everything hooked up on the Oris 200 before I test interconnects.

It's going to take a while. I'll see if I can dig up the impressions of others... hang on...
post #10 of 15
For interconns, there's the DH Labs BL-1, and the before mentioned PJB. Both are below $100. I haven't owned either, but I've read more than enough rave reviews (80+) on both that I think either can be handily recommended.

For power cords, the one that has really been garnering raves are the Absolute Power cords. You can pick them up new over at Audiogon for $50 new. It's claimed these can smoke $2000-3000 power cords, which I highly doubt, but at $50 I would still imagine these make great cables to just simply replace stock cables on audio equipment. More importantly, I've seen it repeated quite often that these PCs actually do audibly do something for the sound, despite their low price. There's nothing worse than spending $50-100 on a cord to have it do absolutely nothing for your sound, or for you to have to fill in how it might sound (placebo effect). I picked up four myself recently, hoping to see what they can do for my Sony 9000ES and Rotel integrated.
post #11 of 15
I waould tell you to get some MIT T2 2000 ICs, you can't make those, and they sound much better than most ICs that cost under $100 you can get them pretty cheap on-line.

AA has them for $80.00
post #12 of 15
Dunno how I feel about the powercord thing. If power has to travel from the powerstation through countless transformers, neighborhoods, and finally through the house wiring... what difference will the last few inches make?

Bottlehead Entwined kit:
post #13 of 15
Audioquest Coral. Very neutral cable. (I use these for my headphone system, and I want to try Bolder Type 2, probably arn't much different though)

I use DH Labs Silver Sonic BL-1 series II for my speaker system. My Infinitys are REALLY laid back, but I just love the warmth of them. These cables liven up the sound, but arn't bright by any means (in my system anyway). I don't recommend these for headphone rig unless you absolutely must have extended high frequency resolution.

Power cord? Unless you have serious power issues, don't worry about that right now, add that money to your interconnect budget. (I haven't tried these magical cords, but my logic, or lack there of , tells me I need to remain skeptical.)
post #14 of 15
Here's a cool powercord on ebay :

MIT Z-Cord II Power Cord $41.00
post #15 of 15
Originally posted by Nick Dangerous
[B]If power has to travel from the powerstation through countless transformers, neighborhoods, and finally through the house wiring... what difference will the last few inches make?
not to mention transformer windings and internal wiring of the unit. still, untill someone tries them they won't know if powercords will make an audible improvement to their ears/system.

there's been some semi interesting discussions on the subject at audioasylum, but i've gotten to the point where i've lost interest. if i recall correctly one group believes it's the better grip the plugs have on the outlet (makes sense to me), another the lower inductance in the design (okay, maybe, if i try real hard i can see why), and a third thinks it's just shielding (makes sense to me). a collegue built a bunch of powercords using carol cable and wattagate connectors that he claims sounds as good as most of the pcs we've tried (he's in the "it's the connection to the outlet" camp). still, in my system, power cord changes have been at times surprising (been through a handfull).

just to expand on your thought process, a speaker level signal travels through (usually) lower grade wire inside the speaker, through tiny wires in an inductor (at the crossover), then around tiny wires in the voice coil. still, speaker cables also make an audible difference to my ears in my system.

a line level signal travels through more inductors, a pcb trace (if your component uses them), and (once again) usually lower quality wire inside the unit itself, all of it unshielded and relatively close to a transformer (unless of course you've got an outboard unit). but here we are talking about interconnect upgrades.

before upgrading power cords i highly recomend picking up some hospital grade outlets from your local hardware store. they'll run you <$10 and will provide a much better connection with whatever you plug into them, it's a tweak i had read about on aa but waited too long to do... and it's improvements were up there with those wroght by my current cords ($450, $250, and about $50 worth of DIY based on Doc B's design).

those crazy audio guys and their crazy ideas... when will it end?

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