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Looking for general advice re interconnects

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eclecticmonkey's picture
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Hi all!  I'm not looking for specific advice or recommendations here as this is a very subjective area.  What I wanted to do was put out what I'm thinking and am interested in viewpoints, and ultimately I'll have to decide.

I have heard several different sets of kit over the last few weeks as I'm building up a system from scratch, I won't give specifics but my question is:  having heard kit with interconnect a, if I buy said kit, I'm contemplating buying a higher grade internconnect from the same manufacturer, my thinking being that if I liked the sound of the system with the moderately priced one, upgrading it can't be a bad thing as theoretically it should give an improvement?  The one I've heard was good and whilst cost is only one factor, working on the priciple of spending roughly 10% on cabling, the one I heard cost much less than that so there's room for manouevre.

Any thoughts/contributions welcome, as I said, it's the general principle I'm looking at rather than which specific bit of kit.  I don't want to get too hung up on it,at the end of the day I just want to listen to music through as good a system as I can, but whilst I'm setting up from scratch, I figure I may as well do it right rather than wondering if something is a potential weak link in the chain.

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

Why is there a principle of spending 10% on cabling?

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eclecticmonkey's picture
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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

I'm sure I read that somewhere once.  And again, I guess it's subjective.

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

It logically relies on another 'principle' that more expensive necessarily equals better. Will a £100 interconnect definitely be better than a £50 one? If you think the answer might be no, then some reliance on independent thought may be in order, rather than trusting a 'principle' you read somewhere. 

 

Fwiw I would guess my cabling cost about 1% of the rest of the gear. 

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

You will be told that I/Cs can't make a difference; and you will be told they definitely can.....so my advice is to get in touch with a dealer / cable company who will let you experiment for yourself.

Be aware of expectation bias when testing, and take it into account.

If you then don't believe in the benefit, get well made copper cables which are very cheap. If you do hear the benefit, don't spend more than would bring a bigger gain, by spending it elsewhere in the system (maybe that's where the 10% suggestion comes from).

Brands I rate are Telurium Q, Vertere, Linn and Atlas.

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

Yes Ive seen 10% mentioned before, I think its a rough guide and I tend to agree if you start spending over 10% you are probably not spending your money wisely, for instance you probably be better spending the money on the speakers than interconnects, many people can't hear the difference anyway.

Do not buy any unless you can return them for a full refund, try them out for a while and then switch back to your originals and see if you can hear the difference and then decide if they are worth the difference in price.

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

CnoEvil wrote:

You will be told that I/Cs can't make a difference; and you will be told they definitely can.....so my advice is to get in touch with a dealer / cable company who will let you experiment for yourself.

Be aware of expectation bias when testing, and take it into account.

If you then don't believe in the benefit, get well made copper cables which are very cheap. If you do hear the benefit, don't spend more than would bring a bigger gain, by spending it elsewhere in the system (maybe that's where the 10% suggestion comes from).

Brands I rate are Telurium Q, Vertere, Linn and Atlas.

Errr, you can't, that's the point.  (unless properly trained apparently)

While cable differences may well exist they are small and in most cases are level related, some cables are deliberately 'voiced' to sound clear, often by a slight lift in the presence region.

Very small increases in level, either across the band or over specific frequencies will not be perceived as a change in volume but as an improvement in clarity, thus making that cable sound 'better'. 

Ask the dealer to set up your chosen system with the cables he thinks are most suited, then after listening ask him to try a second set at about 50 - 60% of the cost of the first set. Do the cheaper set second and see what you think.

 

The suggestion that cables should make up 10% of the system cost clearly came from a cable company..... Wink

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

davedotco wrote:

The suggestion that cables should make up 10% of the system cost clearly came from a cable company..... Wink

 

I think it is upto 10%, not 10%.

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

davedotco wrote:

Errr, you can't, that's the point.  (unless properly trained apparently)

I don't see why not.....by doing some form of blind test, or getting the help of someone who has no interest in the whole thing, to be part of testing it.

I have heard more expensive products sound worse than cheaper ones, so expectation bias seems to come and go a bit.  Wink

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

CnoEvil wrote:

I have heard more expensive products sound worse than cheaper ones

 

So we can at least agree on the point I made, that this 10% thing is nonsense?

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

BenLaw wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

I have heard more expensive products sound worse than cheaper ones

So we can at least agree on the point I made, that this 10% thing is nonsense?

Not necessarily...... because not all "more expensive products" sound worse than cheaper ones (imo).

 

 

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

BenLaw wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

I have heard more expensive products sound worse than cheaper ones

 

So we can at least agree on the point I made, that this 10% thing is nonsense?

As have we all Cno...... embarassed

My position throughout this debate is simply that our hearing cannot always be trusted and perhaps more importantly, when we do hear real differences, the cause of these differences is often not what we think it is.

 

Ben, I think you are having one of those 'no sh*t sherlock' moments........ ohhh sure

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

davedotco wrote:

BenLaw wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

I have heard more expensive products sound worse than cheaper ones

 

So we can at least agree on the point I made, that this 10% thing is nonsense?

As have we all Cno...... embarassed

My position throughout this debate is simply that our hearing cannot always be trusted and perhaps more importantly, when we do hear real differences, the cause of these differences is often not what we think it is.

 

Ben, I think you are having one of those 'no sh*t sherlock' moments........ ohhh sure

 

More pointing out the remarkable stubbornness of some to refuse to acknowledge that which seems blindingly obvious to others. And hopefully showing the OP, who seems new to this, that not all that one reads about hifi (in fact remarkably little!) is true. 

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

BenLaw wrote:

davedotco wrote:

BenLaw wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

I have heard more expensive products sound worse than cheaper ones

 

So we can at least agree on the point I made, that this 10% thing is nonsense?

As have we all Cno...... embarassed

My position throughout this debate is simply that our hearing cannot always be trusted and perhaps more importantly, when we do hear real differences, the cause of these differences is often not what we think it is.

 

Ben, I think you are having one of those 'no sh*t sherlock' moments........ ohhh sure

 

More pointing out the remarkable stubbornness of some to refuse to acknowledge that which seems blindingly obvious to others. And hopefully showing the OP, who seems new to this, that not all that one reads about hifi (in fact remarkably little!) is true. 

I have always considered hifi mags to be largely works of fiction, looks like you might agree.

As a published reviewer ( in several mainstream mags) I can confirm this from personal experience...... shifty

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We do so many shows in a row,

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We just pass the time in our hotel room

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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

davedotco wrote:

My position throughout this debate is simply that our hearing cannot always be trusted and perhaps more importantly, when we do hear real differences, the cause of these differences is often not what we think it is.

I agree......but that doesn't mean that it can never be trusted.

I'm very much of the "live and let live" camp......if people want to listen to my advice / experience, great; if they don't, that's also fine. From experience, ingrained attitudes are unlikely to change, so there's little point in getting worked up over it.

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plastic penguin's picture
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RE: Looking for general advice re interconnects

BigH wrote:

davedotco wrote:

The suggestion that cables should make up 10% of the system cost clearly came from a cable company..... Wink

 

I think it is upto 10%, not 10%.

There does seem to be a common figure. Check out 'Chapter 4' http://www.whathifi.com/video/get-the-best-from-your-hi-fi

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