Question for those who have experience with pricey equipment + cables.
Dec 27, 2006 at 7:14 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

SayNoToPistons

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I've been wondering lately. Is there a reason to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on cables (interconnect/speaker/digital/etc) rather than just getting a cable that is suitable for more households (like for example, speaker cables that are under 100 dollars). Does the sound really improve (on pricey high end equipment)? Obviously you won't hear much (if any) difference on budget systems, but does the sound really improve (on pricey high end equipment)?

My uncle just blew money on some old Sigma Retro speaker cables (he got them for a lot cheaper than retail off ebay). According to him, it DOES really make a difference but i haven't gotten the chance to experiment with his set up. His set up consist of a Sony SCD-1, Denon Pre-amp, Denon Amp, Canton speakers, and something called a "super tweeter".
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 2:13 PM Post #2 of 13

markl

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Quote:

Does the sound really improve (on pricey high end equipment)?


YES.

Quote:

Obviously you won't hear much (if any) difference on budget systems


CORRECT. Use your $1000 cable budget to upgrade your $250 Source or Amp instead.
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 2:38 PM Post #3 of 13

boodi

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even though I do not have markl experience on powercords
smily_headphones1.gif
, I agree cables in general can do a big difference and really change in a direction or another the final sound of a nice or hiend system , and improve the final sound result to approach the best you can have from it .

My exp is more linked to interconnect cables, Ics to my ears change even dramatically the sound , and it didn't need an hearing train period for me to appreciate the change . They can even change the soundstage or instrument spaces dimensions , which is not marginal thing at all for me . Ics can make bass or highs more or less relevant ; they can slightly improve the resolution of a system ; they can make the sound more or less smooth , more or less musical , more or less analitycal . One of changes one can appreciate the most imo is when they clear up some of the freq.s parts , without sacrifying the others .

Changes are usually not as dramatic as when changing other components; changing a source or an amp, or speakers generally speaking produce a much more relevant change in the sound.

I understand also that it definitely also depends on personal expectations ; and expectations ( and ears ) are widely different here on head-fi .

my2c
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 4:38 PM Post #4 of 13

tourmaline

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Yes, better interlinks do make a difference and some even substantial differences. Once you heard a range of interlinks of a brand you appreciate the reference series and what they can do. They are simply the best.

Some very expensive amplifier/speakers systems are stunning. I heard quite alot of those so called high end systems costing tens of thousends of dollars and yes, they are far and beyond the "normal" systems. The problem is that once you go that path, everything needs to be of the same quality...hence the astronomical prices for those complete sets.

If you have the money for it, i would say; get it!



If you carefully match systems and keep an eye on reviews, you can come close to these sets for more down to earth prices, however it's never gonna be cheap!

buying second hand will get you much beter cables for reasonable prices!
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 4:42 PM Post #5 of 13

Hirsch

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Markl's advice is very sound. Get your system into place first. However, once you've got a high-end system, cables can still make a large difference in the final sound.

I recently heard a friend's system that used fairly good cabling, but sounded bland to me, switched over to Virtual Dynamics Master Series interconnects. There were details and nuance in music present that I (and he) had never heard before in his system. He's loving those cables now. The story didn't end there, though. Once he heard the resolution of the cables, he realized that his amp could also do more, so Mikhail got the call to build a no-holds-barred R10 amp... It does get expensive in a hurry.
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 4:46 PM Post #6 of 13

tourmaline

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boodi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
even though I do not have markl experience on powercords
smily_headphones1.gif
, I agree cables in general can do a big difference and really change in a direction or another the final sound of a nice or hiend system , and improve the final sound result to approach the best you can have from it .

My exp is more linked to interconnect cables, Ics to my ears change even dramatically the sound , and it didn't need an hearing train period for me to appreciate the change . They can even change the soundstage or instrument spaces dimensions , which is not marginal thing at all for me . Ics can make bass or highs more or less relevant ; they can slightly improve the resolution of a system ; they can make the sound more or less smooth , more or less musical , more or less analitycal . One of changes one can appreciate the most imo is when they clear up some of the freq.s parts , without sacrifying the others .

Changes are usually not as dramatic as when changing components, changing a source or an amp, or speakers generally speaking produce a much more relevant change in the sound.

I now understand that it definitely also depends on personal expectations ; and expectations ( and ears ) are widely different here on head-fi .

my2c



In my opinion the best cables do all 4: analytical(detail-resolution), musical, neutral and smooth. In my case the reference series interlinks made quite an impact on all four above points.
600smile.gif
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 4:48 PM Post #7 of 13

tourmaline

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hirsch /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Markl's advice is very sound. Get your system into place first. However, once you've got a high-end system, cables can still make a large difference in the final sound.

I recently heard a friend's system that used fairly good cabling, but sounded bland to me, switched over to Virtual Dynamics Master Series interconnects. There were details and nuance in music present that I (and he) had never heard before in his system. He's loving those cables now. The story didn't end there, though. Once he heard the resolution of the cables, he realized that his amp could also do more, so Mikhail got the call to build a no-holds-barred R10 amp... It does get expensive in a hurry.




That's what i said in my posts above; once you go that path it's gonna be expensive... you need to get the whole system of the same quality. Also: good cables don't hold the system back but let you hear the sound of the system as is...that's another reason you gotta have every component of the same quality...you'll hear immediatly the weaker component.
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 4:49 PM Post #8 of 13

riffer

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Cables will never compensate for a poor choice of components.

Put your $ into the components, and a good basic set of cables like what is offered by DH Labs. Once everything is in place, you may want to try some experimentation.
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 9:27 PM Post #9 of 13

eyeteeth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SayNoToPistons /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Does the sound really improve (on pricey high end equipment)?


The last high end system I listened to was Vandersteen Quatro loudspeaker, Macintosh preamp + mono blocks and Esoteric UX-3 Universal (I like listening to lots of gear). My friend works in the store; to satisfy my curiousity he replaced the very expensive cabling (Valhalla) with the cheapest on hand (bulk Cardas $10 per foot) without telling me which was which (it was a slow mid-week afternoon) and the difference was entirely uncertain.

The deal with cabling regarding it's importance is that many doubt the existence of a difference altogether. I won't go that far. In fact I just chose a favourite from five pairs of interconnects. The only way this old debate will ever evolve past its present dull existence is for individuals to blind test. If you haven't done so, it I'd say you're inexperienced on the issue.

Looking out my window the world looks flat but it isn't...thank you science for correcting my understandably mistaken perception.
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 9:47 PM Post #10 of 13

Konig

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i thought the tubes are gonna distort everything so whats the pt
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 9:55 PM Post #11 of 13

Duggeh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Konig /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i thought the tubes are gonna distort everything so whats the pt


Do you ever think before you post? ¬_¬
 
Dec 27, 2006 at 11:31 PM Post #12 of 13

chesebert

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eyeteeth /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The last high end system I listened to was Vandersteen Quatro loudspeaker, Macintosh preamp + mono blocks and Esoteric UX-3 Universal (I like listening to lots of gear). My friend works in the store; to satisfy my curiousity he replaced the very expensive cabling (Valhalla) with the cheapest on hand (bulk Cardas $10 per foot) without telling me which was which (it was a slow mid-week afternoon) and the difference was entirely uncertain.

The deal with cabling regarding it's importance is that many doubt the existence of a difference altogether. I won't go that far. In fact I just chose a favourite from five pairs of interconnects. The only way this old debate will ever evolve past its present dull existence is for individuals to blind test. If you haven't done so, it I'd say you're inexperienced on the issue.

Looking out my window the world looks flat but it isn't...thank you science for correcting my understandably mistaken perception.



I usually careless about power cables and speaker cables, as long as its made with good quality material. I do care about cable that carries low strength signals such as interconnects. Your speaker cable is carrying enough voltage and current that any good quality 10 gauge stuff will work fine.
 
Dec 30, 2006 at 2:58 PM Post #13 of 13

Patrick82

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tourmaline /img/forum/go_quote.gif
, everything needs to be of the same quality...hence the astronomical prices for those complete sets.



Quote:

Originally Posted by tourmaline /img/forum/go_quote.gif
... you need to get the whole system of the same quality. Also: good cables don't hold the system back but let you hear the sound of the system as is...that's another reason you gotta have every component of the same quality...you'll hear immediatly the weaker component.


Yes, the more Valhalla I added to my system the more they showed the weaker cable and the bigger the improvements got. All cables need to be replaced with the same cable to get synergy. If you don't do it it's like building an expensive house with a roof made of grass. Temporarily it works but sooner or later it will start raining.
 

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