when i swapped the free "kettle lead" cable on my intergrated amp for a much thicker russ andrews signature cable the sound improved in all areas but mainly in the bass output of my system which became louder/fuller (?)
Maybe it seemed louder/fuller because you were listening harder trying to work out where the changes in sound were. You have to be unaware of whether a change has been made to assess properly otherwise you're not rating it fairly.
Is there any such thing as a cable sceptic?
Everyone accepts that cables make a difference but there is no logic whatsoever that says a cable transporting a simple audio signal needs to cost hundreds of pounds. With all the technology in the world today, why can't I move this simple audio signal from my cd player to my amp over a distance of one metre perfectly for a few pounds?
Round Things > Boxes > Wires > Boxes > Walls/Ceiling/Acoustic Stuff > Ears > Brain
thanks for input chris, but doesnt everybody think a system with fuller bass, as long as its still tuneful, is better ?
I needed a new pair of interconnects after getting a headphone amp.
So I got some Van den Hul the Wave to replace the QED Qunex I took from between my pre-amp and powers amps.
Instant wider sound stage with better separation of mid and low. £110 or so well spent but it was a gamble (based on recommendion of honest hi fi dealer I trust).
As for speculating as to whether I'd spend any lottery winnings on Atlas Mavros etc ... not very likely.
I also have a stumpy but decent Atlas Coax and a Chord Prodac. Better than cheapies. But there's no difference between the two other than the Prodac was £30 more but a bit longer.
LOUNGE - Cyrus CD Transport, Cyrus Stream X2, Cyrus 8xpdQX with PSX-R in pre-amp config, dual Cyrus Mono X in bi-wire configuration with dual PSX-R / VdH The Wave interconnects, PMC Twenty 22 and matching stands.
MY DEN - Mac Mini with Audirvana Plus, Audiolab 8200CD, Audiolab 8200A, Pathos Aurium / Sennheiser HD800, Monitor Audio GX50 / GS stands
SURROUND - Marantz BD5004 / NR1601, Monitor Audio RX centre / RX2 front / B&W 685 rear / Velodyne mini BVE
Atlas Navigator, £200-odd, various £40-60 wires (Audioquest, Monster, Van den Hul, QED) and some very cheap sub-£10 ones.
Minimal differences irrespective of the gear used. Won't justify spending any more on them now.
Onkyo TX-NR818 / Tannoy Revolution DC4 (bi-amped)
AVI Laboratory Series CD Player
thanks for your reply adam robertshaw. so a more costlier cable in your system did indeed improve your system.
thanks for detailing your choices. i commend you for actually reading and responding to my original question !
I have some copper wire on my marantz system and some chord posh stuff on my naim, is someone really going make me go all the way upstairs and swap cables over to tell you I can hear no difference!
Argos chooping boards under my speakers now were talking!
Rega RP3 turntable/Naim 5i CD/Naim 5i amp/Neat motive 2/BK sub
MarantzPM6004/MarantzCD6004/Monitor Audio Bronze BX2
Here's a clue to what will happen to you if this thread continues
Seriously, cables do sound different. If you have a pair of ears stuck to the side of your head then you should be able to hear that. I generally (not always) ignore those people that seem to have woolly ears (I don't think it is anything to do with their ears though) that say that they can't tell the difference and there cannot be a difference and then tell me that I can't tell there's a difference either...unless I'm imagining it. That said, when I say cables 'sound different' I absolutely mean different qualitatively, and I determine whether the difference is ultimately beneficial or not. If there's more bass after swapping your cable that can change the sound considerably; you don't just hear bass independently so of course it will affect how you hear the sound. The same with a lack of bass and treble emphasis. In the end, if you forget all the numbers and try for youself you will either hear a difference between a £1 cable and a £10 cable or you won't. If you don't then you are fortunate because you'll save yourself some money.
For the record, of course most people are susceptible to confirmation bias to some degree or another, but on these forums it'll be put down to that even if it isn't that. Even if you try your very hardest to explain that you are not a believer but your ears are informing your brain that something is going on you apparently are suffering from confirmation bias. So save your fingertips!
Reductionists fall foul of floccinaucinihilipilification -- edited for brevity
ok ok, to be honest I haven't played with cables for years, ill try this weekend. will i hear a differnce between cheap muti strand copper and my chord silver screened stuff?
siuk - thanks for this reply !
would it be pushing it for you to detail which cables you use and have rejected ?
you seem like someone with an open mind regarding this subject !
In my experience a good interconnect is a good interconnect. Price is irrelevant . I've tried the freebies with the kit, then went up to Tandy Gold Patch at £7, a considerable gain was heard there much more clarity and detail. From then on I've tried Sonic Link Red at £25, QED Qunex 1 & 2 at £20 & £30 , then QED Silver Spiral at £70odd if I remember right. None of the those cables brought any change to sound over the £7 Tandy Gold Patch cables.
Speaker cables I've used are Gale XL -185, Gale XL-315 and QED Silver Anniversary. The QED to me sounds smoother, with more openness and clarity in the treble and a slightly tighter bass.
I heard no difference between the two Gale cables. Also biwiring does nothing in my experience.
Mains cables as far as I'm concerned cannot have an effect on sound, if the PSU's in the equipment can't cope with the mains supply, then you either have a serious mains or equipment issue.
NAD C326BEE Amplifier, Sony CDP-XB930 CD Player, Pioneer PDR-509 CD Recorder, Arcam irDock with iPod Touch, B&W DM 601 S3 speakers, Jamo 20"Stands, Revolver Rack, QED cabling throughout, Sennheiser HD 518 & HD 565 Ovation Headphones, Beyerdynamic DTX-101iE ear buds.
Seriously, cables do sound different. If you have a pair of ears stuck to the side of your head then you should be able to hear that. :)
And yet amazingly, no one has ever succesfully passed a blind test involving cables and no cable manufacturers have made any attempts to settle the issue once and for all but running or taking part in any blind tests which have led to a favourable outcome. Someone even offered a million dollars if anyone could tell a basic cable from a one costing many thousands yet the million dollars is still with the original owner. Strange that when these differences are so obvious with a miraculous transformation of the sound stage, more bass, etc. etc.
Until someone, somewhere manages to pass a blind test or some credible evidence is put forward to support the concept of ultra expensive cables over 'adequate' cables then you'll have to live with the fact that there is a good chance you are imagining it.
If you are so confident then go and prove otherwise by passing a blind test. Pass and you'll surely become rich and famous - companies will be lining up to have you endorse their products.
While you're planing how to spend your millions you can laugh at all the other fools who took part in blind test and failed:
meanandgreen - thanks for detailing cables used plus your experiences - you obviously read my first post too!
you dont believe mains cables can have any effect - have you tested any ?
just wondering as you have gave an excellent detailed response regarding interconnect/speaker cables.
i used to have a sony cdp xb930e player, fixed pick up etc - ra classic powerkord improved this players sound in all areas mainly clarity for me.
(although you would need to cut the captive mains cable to test !)
I'm pleased you found my response useful
With regards to mains cables, I haven't tested any. However I do have a strong electrical background and I dont see how they could possibly make any audible difference.
The 930 is a great CDP, it seems a few people on these forums have experienced a one at some point. I've had mine for 14 years now and it's still my main source
Well I'm out of date really. But I started out with bell wire then went to 79 strand and when I bought my Mission/Teac setup years back I got Linn K400 because the chap at a company called Audio Excellence recommend it. Don't think they are around any more. Haven't looked. I stuck with it for less than 6 months before trying out Audioquest Crystal Hyperlitz cables as I wasn't happy with the sound (dull). I was immediately smitten. The sound change was pretty immediate. My system went from a rather thumpy, muddy, dull noise to being expansive, detailed like having my ears syrnged. I did't really care why - whether more or better copper or something, who knows -, whatever, it was clear as can be. I gave the cables back and stuck with my Linn K400 for a short while longer as I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a heavily discounted Arcam terminated pair at a WHAT HI-FI show at the Marriot Hotel in Bristol (some years back now). I lived with those for a lot of years. After changing my system recently I found that the more expensive Audioquest cables (biwire) weren't 'sounding' as good for my new system as they had with previous, more expensive setup. I ended up buying a £6 per metre Audioquest cable (Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4) which in the end (* saga) proved to be a good match and I am now happy listening to my music.
(*saga) in the end because I tried it in biwire config, biamp (with two runs of cable), but it was horrible. As a single wire config it is great. Like this it makes the sound overall balanced and integrated. That is, the bass mid, and treble neither overwhelm or underwhelm and complement each other and that 'sounds' much better to me and allows me to enjoy the music.
When I bought a piece of kit recently, the store unboxed it for demo but used a "high end" mains cable rather than the one in the box.
Made no difference when I got the very same piece of kit home and used the mains cable that came in the box.
I really don't see what these upgrade mains cables are about if they do something more than pass the same same bog standard mains current into my kit.
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