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  1. #1
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    Better speaker/digital audio cables suggestions

    hello, i was wondering if someone could give me some suggestions for some high end speaker and digital(coax) cables. we all know about monster cable, but i know there has to be better stuff out there, and i think i have found some, but i dont know anything about certain companies' reputations. so if anyone could help me out i would greatly appreciate it. i am currently running KEF speakers(k-160, K-120, Q95) from a HK avr-320 with a Acoustic Energy Sub if that helps at all in your suggestions. thanks

    kevin

  2. #2
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    I have switched to Zu cables and really like them. I think you can still pick them up on ebay at about 1/3 the normal price during their promotion. Customer service is excellent.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    The speaker wire that I like the most in my system is Alpha Core MI1. I use it between my Cambridge Azur 640A and my NHT SuperOnes. It is a solid core ribbon cable. I tend to hear a lot of artifacts with stranded cables. The MI1 is a 13 guage wire and they do make heavier guage cables but some amps can react to the greater capacitance. Also another good brand is Audioquest and I have enjoyed some Nordost products. They all have good web sites with lots of information.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  4. #4
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Jason, are you still trying to use this site to sell your stuff?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBMAudio.com
    Kevin,

    I sent you a PM

    Jason

    I sent you a PM
    Don't we go through this at least once a year or so?

    Are you a sponser here at least?

  5. #5
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBMAudio.com
    Kevin,

    I sent you a PM

    Jason

    I sent you a PM
    I see it's Shilly in here, too.

    -Bruce

  6. #6
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keviinmc
    hello, i was wondering if someone could give me some suggestions for some high end speaker and digital(coax) cables. we all know about monster cable, but i know there has to be better stuff out there, and i think i have found some, but i dont know anything about certain companies' reputations. so if anyone could help me out i would greatly appreciate it. i am currently running KEF speakers(k-160, K-120, Q95) from a HK avr-320 with a Acoustic Energy Sub if that helps at all in your suggestions. thanks

    kevin
    What makes you think that Monster is good, beyond their marketing abilities?

    -Bruce

  7. #7
    Jason Monette
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLZapped
    What makes you think that Monster is good, beyond their marketing abilities?

    -Bruce
    I would agree. Monster is highly over priced for the quality of cable that you receive. You do get a nice looking cable, but for what they charge, they quality should match the looks.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Monstrous Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keviinmc
    hello, i was wondering if someone could give me some suggestions for ... digital(coax) cables.
    If your cable run is normal length (eg. 3 to 6 feet) then you can't really go wrong with almost any digital coax cable. Remember that a composite video cable (yellow connectors) is the exact same as a digital coax cable (orange connectors). I use an Acoustic Research video cable that was $15. As long as you avoid no-name, dental floss type cables, you should be fine.

    You'll hear a lot talk about jitter in a digital cable, among other fairly dubious arguements, which are used to encourage spending much more money on a "quality" digital audio cable. Keep in mind that the only real positive arguements for this are claims from people who have heard a difference while an engineering analysis of this situation concludes that given the short length of the cable and the capability of DACs to handle jitter, it simply isn't likely that home audio enthusiasts are hearing what they think they hear. It's also a common arguement that good components require good cables a good sports car needs good tires. But that is not a logical comparison.
    Friends help friends move,
    Good friends help friends move bodies....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLZapped
    What makes you think that Monster is good, beyond their marketing abilities?

    -Bruce
    I dont think monster is as good as i used to, and i completely agree that theyre overpriced. starting out i knew about a little about high end components and speakers, but i knew even less about cables, and now that ive started learning about whats good and whats not, i was hoping for some input as to how some high end cables stacked up to each other, thats all. i wasnt trying to imply that monster cable was good, but when you start building a system, and there arent any high end audio stores around you, sometimes one tends to go with what is convenient

  10. #10
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    For my digital coax interconnects I use the crappiest interconnect I have after I put all the good ones into my analog connections. I think my current digital coax is an interconnect that came with a CD player I bought in 1988. It is cheap and thin, the plastic is discolored, and it works perfectly, because digital signals are very robust and the whole point of digital is to make the quality of the cables a non-issue. Save your money and put it into some good music instead.
    Last edited by noddin0ff; 07-07-2005 at 02:48 PM.

  11. #11
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    Don't get sucked into snake oil bussiness that i like to call cables. It is my firm beleif that as long as you dont use the cheapy unshielded interconnects that come with your equipment than cable is going to make the least amount of performance increase in your system. My order from most effective to least effective performance increases are as follows.

    Most Influential
    #1: Speakers
    #2: Source

    Influential
    #4: Pre Processors

    Least Influential
    #5: Amps
    Within in the same type of amps. Now changin from say tubes to SS to the new digital drive there are big differences but when in stayin in the same type with the same specs there is very minor differences between them. ex. dennon 75watts both channels driven 20hz-20khz with <0.03thd and 110db snr will be pretty much identical to say a rotel 75watts both channels driven 20hz-20khz with >0.03thd and 110snr.
    #6: Interconnects
    #7: Speaker wire


    All of that being said i really like bluejeans cables becasue they are by no means expensive and they are very well built. They have a really good website that explains all of there cables. (i have no affiliation with bluejeans cables, in fact there are plenty of good cable companies out there that dont add all the cosmetic frills to there cables and sell them at a reasonable price i just own bluejeans cables and have been very pleased with them as well as the service i got from the company themselves.)

    Now i know i will probably get flamed by all of the people out there that would put cables at the top of the list to be the most influential. That is fine for those that think that way. I am not saying that is wrong in anyway i am just saying what i beleive.

  12. #12
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    Kimber makes good speaker cable and it's reasonably priced.

  13. #13
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Looking for really superb speakercables? Thick solid core copper, I mean real thick, at least 10awg. And notice; one thick (ex.10awg) performs better than a number of thinner cores.
    Want real 3D? keep +/- wires to tweeter far from eachother.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentMcGhee
    Don't get sucked into snake oil bussiness that i like to call cables. It is my firm beleif that as long as you dont use the cheapy unshielded interconnects that come with your equipment than cable is going to make the least amount of performance increase in your system. My order from most effective to least effective performance increases are as follows.

    Most Influential
    #1: Speakers
    #2: Source

    Influential
    #4: Pre Processors

    Least Influential
    #5: Amps
    Within in the same type of amps. Now changin from say tubes to SS to the new digital drive there are big differences but when in stayin in the same type with the same specs there is very minor differences between them. ex. dennon 75watts both channels driven 20hz-20khz with <0.03thd and 110db snr will be pretty much identical to say a rotel 75watts both channels driven 20hz-20khz with >0.03thd and 110snr.
    #6: Interconnects
    #7: Speaker wire


    All of that being said i really like bluejeans cables becasue they are by no means expensive and they are very well built. They have a really good website that explains all of there cables. (i have no affiliation with bluejeans cables, in fact there are plenty of good cable companies out there that dont add all the cosmetic frills to there cables and sell them at a reasonable price i just own bluejeans cables and have been very pleased with them as well as the service i got from the company themselves.)

    Now i know i will probably get flamed by all of the people out there that would put cables at the top of the list to be the most influential. That is fine for those that think that way. I am not saying that is wrong in anyway i am just saying what i beleive.
    Item # 5 is completely false! Amps with identical specs more often than not sound VERYdifferent because the sound quality depends on lots of variables like quality and type of transistors used as well as other components. Circuit design also has a lot to do with it. For example, a MOSFET amp has a distinct sonic signature not found in others. There is a reason why a 75w Classe amp will sound significantly better than your 75w Denon. The difference is anything but minor.

    I would also rate preamps higher than sources of the same type in terms of how they influence sound.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazdamanic
    Item # 5 is completely false! Amps with identical specs more often than not sound VERYdifferent because the sound quality depends on lots of variables like quality and type of transistors used as well as other components. Circuit design also has a lot to do with it. For example, a MOSFET amp has a distinct sonic signature not found in others. There is a reason why a 75w Classe amp will sound significantly better than your 75w Denon. The difference is anything but minor.

    I would also rate preamps higher than sources of the same type in terms of how they influence sound.
    Let me just point out that I am not aware of any evidence or even theoretical suppport that things like the type of transistors, circuit design, etc have anything to do with "sound quality" other that what can be mearsured in differences in electrical performance.. (Note: amplifiers do not make sounds, if you are lucky.). The electriical characterisitics of an amp's output can be completely electronically characterized with measurements of electric signal parameters. These measurements can be compared to the input to see how accurate the output is or can be compared to the output of any other amp. These electircal characteristics will determine how speakers sound when connected to the amp (the sound will vary with the speaker but be identical if the electrical signals of the amps are identical or very similar (within the resolution of human hearing). It does seem a bit logical (and basic) to assume that identical speakers being driven with idential electrical signals will sound this same, doesn't it.

    It is highly illogical to assme that two different types of transistors that measure the same in every electrical parameter could some how perform differently--beause performance is defined by the electrical parmeters, there isn't anything else--no magic qualities.

    Some audio buffs SAY amps that measure the same sound differently, but they never demonstrate it. To be charitable, we can speculate that this audio urban legend grew from the fact that looking at only a few incomplete electrical characteristics (often reported in poor reviews) resulted in amps with similar specs sounding different. Of course, because there is no empirical evidence that even amps that measure differently "sound" different (if the amps have reasonable electrical performance) we can't even be charitable about the comments above.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    Let me just point out that I am not aware of any evidence or even theoretical suppport that things like the type of transistors, circuit design, etc have anything to do with "sound quality" other that what can be mearsured in differences in electrical performance.. (Note: amplifiers do not make sounds, if you are lucky.). The electriical characterisitics of an amp's output can be completely electronically characterized with measurements of electric signal parameters. These measurements can be compared to the input to see how accurate the output is or can be compared to the output of any other amp. These electircal characteristics will determine how speakers sound when connected to the amp (the sound will vary with the speaker but be identical if the electrical signals of the amps are identical or very similar (within the resolution of human hearing). It does seem a bit logical (and basic) to assume that identical speakers being driven with idential electrical signals will sound this same, doesn't it.

    It is highly illogical to assme that two different types of transistors that measure the same in every electrical parameter could some how perform differently--beause performance is defined by the electrical parmeters, there isn't anything else--no magic qualities.

    Some audio buffs SAY amps that measure the same sound differently, but they never demonstrate it. To be charitable, we can speculate that this audio urban legend grew from the fact that looking at only a few incomplete electrical characteristics (often reported in poor reviews) resulted in amps with similar specs sounding different. Of course, because there is no empirical evidence that even amps that measure differently "sound" different (if the amps have reasonable electrical performance) we can't even be charitable about the comments above.
    So from what I can tell you have never compared really compared a Krell (or comparable) to something from the mass market bunch. Are you telling people the quality of components such as resistors and caps have no bearing on sound quality?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazdamanic
    So from what I can tell you have never compared really compared a Krell (or comparable) to something from the mass market bunch. Are you telling people the quality of components such as resistors and caps have no bearing on sound quality?
    Actually, I have never personally heard any differences in properly performing (i.e., meaured within reasonble specs) home audio amplifiers. That is, of course, entirely beside the point, because what I said is that there is no valid evidence nor rational reason that anybody else has. There is however, tons of evidence that claims of audiophiles are highly unreliable.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    Actually, I have never personally heard any differences in properly performing (i.e., meaured within reasonble specs) home audio amplifiers. That is, of course, entirely beside the point, because what I said is that there is no valid evidence nor rational reason that anybody else has. There is however, tons of evidence that claims of audiophiles are highly unreliable.[red emphasis added]
    My favorite example of this sort of thing is, during a listening session, when the tester claims to make a change "for the better", but really doesn't change anything, and the audiofools believe it then sounds so much better! (This type of thing, by the way, is the reason for my "signature" below.)
    When someone says, "Trust your ears" or "Hearing is believing", consider this: Do you thoughtlessly trust your eyes when you see a stick inserted halfway in water? If you don't trust your eyes without thinking, why would you trust your ears without thinking? I recommend not mindlessly trusting your sensory organs, but engaging your brain before you make a decision.


    "A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence." - David Hume

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    Actually, I have never personally heard any differences in properly performing (i.e., meaured within reasonble specs) home audio amplifiers. That is, of course, entirely beside the point, because what I said is that there is no valid evidence nor rational reason that anybody else has. There is however, tons of evidence that claims of audiophiles are highly unreliable.
    I had a similar problem with cheaper lowfi amps and preamps. It did not matter what brand I tried, yamaha, denon, sansui etc, I always had grainy highs and midrange congestion and no depth in sound. Not really an issue when I was listening to rock as most recordings sound bright and compressed anyway but immediately apparent when listening to classical, strings in particular or jazz. But if you are unable to distinguish between Levinson and a Yamaha, you might need a speaker upgrade first. BTW, any component that has some resistance or capacitance will alter the audio signal to some degree, add a resistor at the amp output to attenuate the signal and it WILL alter the sound to some extent, I tried it. So to say that 2 different circuits will still produce identical sound is plain ridiculous. Could it be that you are just not capable of hearing these differences?


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazdamanic
    t. So to say that 2 different circuits will still produce identical sound is plain ridiculous. Could it be that you are just not capable of hearing these differences?
    What is ridiculous is to call something ridiculous which you know so little about. (And, of couse, I said to different circuits that MEASURED THE SAME would "sound" the same.)

    The point is that it doesn't matter what I say I hear, or wha you say you hear. There is no evidence that properly performing amps sound different. Nor is there any reason to think they can. I already said that there is plenty of evidence that claims like yours cannot be substantiated, so why should I believe you? I'm not taking your word on what you hear any more than you are willing to take mine.

    Your claims also have no logical-theoretical basis. For example, when you claim to hear a difference in "depth". Spatial perception is due to differences between the two (or more) channels, not to some imagined "quality" factor. And,the quality of the electrical signals produced by amps can be measured (as standard parameters of an electrical signal). The differences in output signals of amps with low enough distortion cannot result in differences at the speaker that can be heard. The "proof" is that no one has demonstrated what you are claiming to do.

    Additionally, speakers and rooms (and speaker placement in rooms) so much affect sound quality (and depth) as to completely mask any tiny differences in electrical signals.

    Name dropping is not going to cut it. There is no reason to believe you can hear any differences in properly performing ams (this excludes many tube amps) because you have not eliminated factors that might be causing you to hear differences OTHER THAN the amps. You are simply caught up in the hype and lies--and the exclusivity of the high end.

    Let me make a couple more points for anybody reading this who is new to home audio.

    1) Do not trust any listening tests done in audio stores (especially high end ones).
    2) Amps do "sound different" in terms of how loud they can get (i.e., power output) without audible distortion.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    czarboy

    you havent listed your system! which electrophonic receiver do you have? it probably measures as good as the yorx.

    the chihuahuas are still here i guess.
    ...regards...tr

  22. #22
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    Actually, I have never personally heard any differences in properly performing (i.e., meaured within reasonble specs) home audio amplifiers.
    Sorry to hear that.

    rw

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    What is ridiculous is to call something ridiculous which you know so little about. (And, of couse, I said to different circuits that MEASURED THE SAME would "sound" the same.)

    The point is that it doesn't matter what I say I hear, or wha you say you hear. There is no evidence that properly performing amps sound different. Nor is there any reason to think they can. I already said that there is plenty of evidence that claims like yours cannot be substantiated, so why should I believe you? I'm not taking your word on what you hear any more than you are willing to take mine.

    Your claims also have no logical-theoretical basis. For example, when you claim to hear a difference in "depth". Spatial perception is due to differences between the two (or more) channels, not to some imagined "quality" factor. And,the quality of the electrical signals produced by amps can be measured (as standard parameters of an electrical signal). The differences in output signals of amps with low enough distortion cannot result in differences at the speaker that can be heard. The "proof" is that no one has demonstrated what you are claiming to do.

    Additionally, speakers and rooms (and speaker placement in rooms) so much affect sound quality (and depth) as to completely mask any tiny differences in electrical signals.

    Name dropping is not going to cut it. There is no reason to believe you can hear any differences in properly performing ams (this excludes many tube amps) because you have not eliminated factors that might be causing you to hear differences OTHER THAN the amps. You are simply caught up in the hype and lies--and the exclusivity of the high end.

    Let me make a couple more points for anybody reading this who is new to home audio.

    1) Do not trust any listening tests done in audio stores (especially high end ones).
    2) Amps do "sound different" in terms of how loud they can get (i.e., power output) without audible distortion.
    So what amps have you compared to conclude they sounded identical?

  24. #24
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    arf...arf.



    wait...this place actually used to be fun.


    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    __________________
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    enjoy the music!

  25. #25
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    one of the remaining CHIHUAHUAS!

    there IS no spoon!
    ...regards...tr

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