Cable upgrade seems to have decreased volume!! [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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09-26-2008, 08:00 PM
I upgraded my cables a few days ago to Kimber PBJ IC, 4VS Speaker cables.. Now the problem seems to be in the volume output, which i feel has dropped from my previous cables (QED Qunex 1IC and Van den hul "The Goldwater" speaker cables). When i used to play something simple like the Eagles "Hell freezes over" or Phil Collins live, the volume set at the 9oclock position would give me sufficient volume, but now with the new cables at that position the sound is not that powerful as before.. What could be the issue? I mean i don't think there is a mistake in the wiring cos the bass and soundstage are fine.. I have not changed anything else, room is the same and equipment is placed in the same place as before, only the cables have changed.. Any thoughts on what could be the matter? I have only played the new cables for about 12hrs and thats about all i can say.. Please let me know your thoughts, Thanks

Mr Peabody
09-26-2008, 08:39 PM
The speaker cables shouldn't effect volume output in a noticeable way. It's possible they could if they added a lot of impedance but that goes against what they are intended to do. It could be that the new cables sound clearer so you perceive it as not as loud. I'd think this might happen going from cheap to quality but going from one quality cable to another I really wouldn't think that is the case. One thing to look into is if the new cables are directional that could possibly make a difference.

How big of a difference are you hearing? Other than the volume do you hear any other differences or improvements/weaknesses? You may have to return the Kimber.

09-26-2008, 09:32 PM
Except for the volume, there are more improvements, in fact the entire sound stage and musical presentation is very articulate and clear. But when u said Directional, that sparked something.. I got the cables terminated with Furutech banana plugs, the guys who did it have placed on one end of each cable a sticker with an Arrow, so what i did was logically fixed that end on to the amplifier so that the arrow is pointing onto the speaker end.. The PBJ IC doesn't seem to have any direction .. Any thoughts? Thanks

Mr Peabody
09-26-2008, 10:04 PM
If the arrows point toward the speakers that should be correct, the signal would flow from the amp to the speaker. If a cable has no arrows or anything to indicate direction then it shouldn't matter.

How much of a volume difference is there?

Did you have the bananas put on the new cables? If so, and the volume is quite a bit different the guys may have botched a termination and you may want to have them checked out.

A bad connection will definitely decrease volume. I didn't have a banana pushed in all the way and noticed one channel was louder than another, I started trouble shooting and found the plug only half in, once fully inserted all was fine.

09-26-2008, 10:52 PM
Thanks Peabody.. Well the difference is not that much but noticeable.. For example, when i play 'Love will keep us alive' from the hell freezes over album, the former cables would play them loud enough at 9oclock, but now i would need to turn it up about a sixth more to get that same volume level..As for the banana plugs, i got the agents for Furutech to terminate them with Furutech bananas..

Mr Peabody
09-27-2008, 04:18 AM
Hopefully you will get other input here, that seems like an odd result. I wish I had the answer.

09-27-2008, 12:43 PM
I agree with Mr. Peabody that a change in cables should not effect overall volume. My thoughts are that some cables can interact in a way to emphasize a range of frequencies. I would think if the old cables electrical characteristics might cause a boost in midrange or treble and give the impression of more volume. For me a bright sound is always too loud. Sounds like you are enjoying the Kimber's and they may be presenting a smoother frequency response. After you have adjusted to them in your system for a few weeks put the old back in and you should be able to hear any peaks that caused the old cables to sound louder.

09-30-2008, 06:20 PM
... but now with the new cables at that position the sound is not that powerful as before.. What could be the issue?
There are three primary characteristics of cabling: resistance, inductance and capacitance. The latter two are related in a way that reducing the value of one typically increases the value of another. The Kimber cable chooses a low inductance / higher capacitance approach. While that is usually a good tradeoff for speaker cables, some amps are not happy driving capacitive loads. They may even oscillate or trigger the protection circuitry. The capacitance of the 4VS is about five times that of 14 gauge zip. I have been aware of that notion for years as my electrostats are inherently big capacitors - which will bring some amps, even *muscular* pro amps to their knees because they are not designed to drive reactive loads.

It is all about system matching. What is your amplifier?


10-01-2008, 06:33 PM
The capacitance of the 4VS is about five times that of 14 gauge zip.

Yikes. I checked on that fact, and it seem to be true!

That is bad trade off considering that 4SV inductance is only half of Zip cord.

10-01-2008, 10:41 PM
Might be cutting out some high freq, higher freqs are sometimes perceived as being louder, even tho they are not.
Or there could be a slight impedance increase.
tHE KIMBERS could be more accurate in their impedance statement,
if they are better then they might be more precise.:1:

10-02-2008, 08:03 PM
Hey Guys
Sorry not been on this thread, cos been a bit tied up with work...
Anyways, I have some thing very special to report..
As i posted earlier, the volume on the ROTEL seemed to lack when i first played it through the Kimbers.. BUT!! I took the advice by some of you who private messaged me and told me to play the system for around 48hrs and break it in.. After two sessions of playing it for 12hrs each, the whole system just sounded magical, what i mean is, i could hear things that were previously not heard!!!! AND most surprisingly, the volume is unbelievable, i cannot turn the volume up more than the 9oclock position now in my apartment!! The soundstage and imaging is amazing!! Its as if i have upgraded the Rotel!! Sorry that i sound as if this is something out of the ordinary, but for a budding audiophile who is so new to this subject, i never imagined that cables could make such a difference, its as if the all the components have been changed!!
The first time i played the system with the new cables, the volume factor was definitely a factor, the same CD'S i'm playing now had to be turned up quite a bit to get sufficient volume.. But now its not just the volume factor but the whole musicality is just fantastic.. Thanks all for your input and advice, but after all i think it was just the break in period that was lacking, and gee i cant believe it!! Cheers

Mr Peabody
10-03-2008, 03:18 PM
Tony, thanks for posting back. I don't know why the person wouldn't post the advice here so others might benefit. Unless, they were afraid of ridicule from naysayers. Which is sad both in that they shouldn't let themselves be bullied and that there are those who hang out at an audio forum who just don't get the benefit of better cabling. Is it from simply being a fool and not trying any or a lack of hearing accuity, only them and God knows.