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  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Which cables do I need to get?

    hi, Im going to just be using a cd/amp/speakers system and I want to get higher quality cables than the ones they come with, Im looking at getting Monster or Acoustic Research, I need to know what the cables are called..

    I want to upgrade the cables that connect the speakers to amp and the cd player to amp.


  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Hi Crowbar,

    Since you don't mention what equipment you have or your budget I'll keep my remarks general. Monster and AR are fine cables but you can probably get equivalent performance for less money with basic speaker cable from stores like Lowes or Home Depot (even Wal Mart). Pure copper, multistrand speaker cable in 16, 14, or 12 gauge should be adequate to your needs. I kind of like 14 gauge because you can make a nice bare wire connection to almost any kind of connectors on speakers or amps and it is still thick enough for a fairly long distance (say up to 20 feet). For your interconnects (the connection from cd player to amp) once again Monster and AR are ok. You might save some money by checking a Radio Shack for their interconnects (and speaker cable) which are basically just as good as Monster and AR. Before you shop make sure you know how long of a cable you need for each connection because they come in different lengths and regardless of how your speakers are positioned make both speaker cables the same length. If you want to check specialty cables which are more expensive then you might look at Kimber Kable, Audioquest or Signal Cable. Just be advised that spending more money doesn't guarantee better sound. Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don't. Kimber and Audioquest are available from local dealers and you can hit their websites to find one near you. They both have products which range from entry level up to ultra expensive. Signal Cable will sell direct to you and their products are basically very affordable and are supposed to perform very well. I've had good luck with Kimber Kable and I will be trying Signal in the near future. There are other good companies but these three are good places to start.

    There are a lot of different opinions on the effectiveness of cables. Some people think expensive, specialty cables are essential while others feel that generic speaker cable and manufacturer supplied interconnects are perfectly fine. I've had good experiences both ways but I think it would pay you to start off inexpensive and see if you like the sound. Buy some speaker cable and try the manufacturer's interconnects. Give it a good try, say a couple weeks at least, then, if you're not getting what you want think about spending more. If you do, try replacing one item at a time. Probably interconnects first, then speaker cable. Remember, however, that there are no guarantees when you're upgrading and try to purchase from retailers who have a return policy if possible. One last thing, if Monster and AR are affordable and convenient for you then it is fine to use them. It's just that there are good sounding alternatives that are cheaper. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Tony_Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    As matt39 mentioned, quality is quality no matter what name is on the cable.

    If you like to buy on line, you can check out this site for quality cables at reasonable price and fast service. They use Belden cable for their speaker wire ($0.40/f twisted type), and interconnect cables ($26) which are hand terminated and fitted with Canare RCA plugs.
    "Say Hello To My Little Friend."

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