Cable matching, or synergy [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-22-2011, 05:27 AM
Component matching is an art to some degree, and being fortunate to find just the right combination of loudspeaker, amp, preamp, etc., is something most of us seek, but don't always find. Once, and if we do, the results are sonically delightful.

I've discovered (perhaps late in life!) that much is the same with cables. I've posted recently my absolute delight with the Pangea AC-9 power cord and the AC-14SE power cord, which I connected respectively to my amp and SACD player. With each, there were similar improvements: better depth, better instrumental definition, deeper, better and even a bit more bass, and lastly, a dramatic increase in dynamic range.

I recently received another AC-14SE to connect to my preamp, and found the results somewhat surprising: the immediate difference, one that my wife picked up instantly, was that the sound was noticeably brighter. "Brighter" can be nice, but can be a bit irriating too, as I was beginning to notice on some discs that I thought now sounded razor sharp, but edgy and brittle. What to do?

Well, I own two sets of interconnects for my preamp to my power amp: Monster M-1000i, and a set of German-manufactured super-thick cables under the brand name "Benchmark Audio" (no relationship to the current manufacturer of the same name). In the past, I found the Benchmark cables smooth, mellow, but a bit laid back, and the Monsters bright and lively.

The "bright and lively" Monster M-1000i proved to be a bit too much when using the Pangea AC-14SE on my preamp, and so I put the Benchmark cables back into place. The improvement was immediate, and most pleasing. There's no loss of high frequencies at all, but there's no exaggeration of them either. Formerly harsh sounding recordings are now much smoother, "sweeter" and pleasant. The "steely" sound of strings on many a digital recording is now silky smooth, and far more lifelike.

Most of all, the benefits of the AC-14SE are far more apparent now, as they seem to work much better with the Benchmark interconnects. Having an AC-9 connected to my power amp, as well as an AC-14SE connected both to my SACD player and preamp has resulted in an enormous improvment overall, and has made listening to recordings I've listened to frequently, practically a new experience.

So, are the Benchmark interconnects "better" than the Moster M-1000i's? Perhaps, but what they certainly are is more compatible with improved sonics resulting from the Pangea power cords. So, I guess the answer to that question is, "yes, they are."

Mr Peabody
01-22-2011, 08:20 AM
I agree, some brands of cable just have better synergy with gear. I used Transparent but it didn't seem to be the best with my Conrad Johnson gear, I tried the Siltech and it worked very well.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

01-22-2011, 08:29 AM

I would agree with you.

It took me awhile to figure out that some gear just syncs up better with other gear. I was not totally sold on what cables could to do for your system until I got some hand made interconnects for X-mas. Hearing that there is a difference with the interconnects it only make sense that you can also have some interconnects working differently with different components