Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    nightflier
    Guest

    Mom & pop cables vs. the big manufacturers

    I've been doing a lot of reading on this board about cables and am about to try some cables other than my regular AudioQuest fare. I'm considering cables from several mom & pop or smaller shops as an alternative to the big names (AQ, MIT, Cardas, etc.). Some of these smaller shops for example:

    - Mapleshade
    - Blue Jeans
    - Heartland
    - Zu
    - Raymond Audio
    - Camelot

    While all parts probably come from the same sources, my presumption is that the big names probably off-load their assembly to distant places as well and can't provide the same quality control that a smaller shop can provide. On the other hand, most of their stuff is probably machine-made with small margins of error. The smaller shops usually claim to personally make each cable by hand and that they test each cable they sell for sonic accuracy.

    Should I stick with the big names?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    6,307
    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    I've been doing a lot of reading on this board about cables and am about to try some cables other than my regular AudioQuest fare. I'm considering cables from several mom & pop or smaller shops as an alternative to the big names (AQ, MIT, Cardas, etc.). Some of these smaller shops for example:

    - Mapleshade
    - Blue Jeans
    - Heartland
    - Zu
    - Raymond Audio
    - Camelot

    While all parts probably come from the same sources, my presumption is that the big names probably off-load their assembly to distant places as well and can't provide the same quality control that a smaller shop can provide. On the other hand, most of their stuff is probably machine-made with small margins of error. The smaller shops usually claim to personally make each cable by hand and that they test each cable they sell for sonic accuracy.

    Should I stick with the big names?
    I am currently using Alpha Core MI1 but will be ordering the Mapleshade Clearview Golden Helix speaker cable in December. They are only $85.00 and my curiosity has the best of me. I am anxious to see if they deserve the hype.
    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

  3. #3
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    3,326

    I use Homegrown Audio

    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    I've been doing a lot of reading on this board about cables and am about to try some cables other than my regular AudioQuest fare. I'm considering cables from several mom & pop or smaller shops as an alternative to the big names (AQ, MIT, Cardas, etc.). Some of these smaller shops for example:

    - Mapleshade
    - Blue Jeans
    - Heartland
    - Zu
    - Raymond Audio
    - Camelot

    While all parts probably come from the same sources, my presumption is that the big names probably off-load their assembly to distant places as well and can't provide the same quality control that a smaller shop can provide. On the other hand, most of their stuff is probably machine-made with small margins of error. The smaller shops usually claim to personally make each cable by hand and that they test each cable they sell for sonic accuracy.

    Should I stick with the big names?
    Pure silver interconnects with Rhodium plated connectors. They also supply kits, and parts to the DIY cable crowd if your into making your own.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  4. #4
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    968

    DIY or small house cables

    Don't we wish we all knew the answer to this one?

    The bigger outfits claim to either make or have made, special metalurgy, custom connector variants etc. While some of this is marketing blather some is probably also true.

    Cardas cliams for example that their premium silver wire is annealed in an oxygen free atmosphere. Not that I know what this does to the sound, Cardas claims it helps.

    I have tried Homegrown, homemade Cardas (exotic silver & teflon sleeving) and Chimera, they are not at all bad, but and it's a big but, they don't sound as good as the megabuck stuff from Kimber or Wireworld (and I'm sure others).

    I haven't given up, but so far there's is a truly unfortunate relationship between price and sound quality (damn and triple damn).

  5. #5
    Pat
    Pat is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    104
    Going from generic 12 ga to Monster 12 ga I was happy with the difference they made. (don't laugh now) Last night I hooked up some solid core 10 ga electrical wire from a homestore and again a great difference for the better. And as far as my system is concerned it can use every little bit of help it can get.

    In the future I would certainly go to the mom & pop shops for cables.
    Last edited by Pat; 11-19-2005 at 10:06 AM.

  6. #6
    nightflier
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    I am currently using Alpha Core MI1 but will be ordering the Mapleshade Clearview Golden Helix speaker cable in December. They are only $85.00 and my curiosity has the best of me. I am anxious to see if they deserve the hype.
    What scares me about the Mapleshade speaker cable is the seemingly small guage. If you've bought them already, what's your take on them?

  7. #7
    Pat
    Pat is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    104
    Those from MapleShade look reeeeeeally small for sure.
    Have a good day.....Sez' Pat
    Denon 685 Receiver & 2900 Player, Sonographe 120 Amp, Klipsch RF7 Speakers, 2039+ svs Sub, 10gauge solid core copper cables

  8. #8
    Linear Guy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Posts
    308

    curious too

    I'm going to audition mapleshade vs. my bedrock. The thought of better performance for half the dough appeals to me. If they perform as advertised, it will restore my faith in supply and demand and good cheap cables. I'm starting out pessimistic though. No cheap cables have hit the mark with me yet. dk

  9. #9
    Pat
    Pat is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    104
    By all means.......let us know how they work out for you.

    ...here are a few others if anyone is interested...

    bettercables, usedcable, CablePro, Elementcable, Aviccable, Bluejeanscable, Rivercable, Signalcable, Vampirewirecable, Boldercable, Heartlandcable, Alpha-Core Goertzcable, Granitecable, Guerrillacable, Knukonceptzcables, Siltechcables, Gutwirecable, DHlabs, Straightwirecables, Ultralinkcable.
    Have a good day.....Sez' Pat
    Denon 685 Receiver & 2900 Player, Sonographe 120 Amp, Klipsch RF7 Speakers, 2039+ svs Sub, 10gauge solid core copper cables

  10. #10
    nightflier
    Guest

    Mapleshade vs. Bedrock

    Quote Originally Posted by daviethek
    I'm going to audition mapleshade vs. my bedrock. The thought of better performance for half the dough appeals to me. If they perform as advertised, it will restore my faith in supply and demand and good cheap cables. I'm starting out pessimistic though. No cheap cables have hit the mark with me yet. dk
    Of course, you'll want to raise them 15" off the floor and not use terminations if you're going to follow the Mapleshade mantra. I wonder if the high guage value and lack of insulation are related to that... Comparing these to Bedrocks (about 1/2" thick, right?), should be an interesting comparison.

  11. #11
    Linear Guy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Posts
    308

    we'll see

    I will try to sufficiently separate them but there is a limit to what I can accomplish in my listening area. We'll see what these things can do. Its the first cable write-up I've read that claims to out-perform some pretty darn good cables by name so I'll give them one half of one point already for bravado. they'll have to earn the rest though.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    8

    blue jean

    I ordered Canare 4S11 (terminated with locking bananas) from blue jean cable and they were literally shipped in one day! I even called and had them shorten the lengths and they managed to credit my card and ship the cables the same day, USPS priority. This is what happens when "mom" or "pop" is there to answer the phone on the day after Thanksgiving. Oh, and they are thick and beautiful and I am already enjoying the better bass.


    [QUOTE=nightflier]I've been doing a lot of reading on this board about cables and am about to try some cables other than my regular AudioQuest fare.

  13. #13
    nightflier
    Guest

    Another plus with mom & pop

    [QUOTE=steve6]I ordered Canare 4S11 (terminated with locking bananas) from blue jean cable and they were literally shipped in one day! I even called and had them shorten the lengths and they managed to credit my card and ship the cables the same day, USPS priority. This is what happens when "mom" or "pop" is there to answer the phone on the day after Thanksgiving. Oh, and they are thick and beautiful and I am already enjoying the better bass.

    That is indeed great service. I'm sure I wouldn't get that from OneCall or Amazon (if they even carried anything but Monster). And that brings up another good point: mom or pop are usually willing to custom configure an order too, like getting locking banana terminations, for example. I've been eyeing the Eichmann bullet terminations for my ICs and that's just not available from AudioQuest. Their better terminations are only available on their stratosphere-priced cables.

  14. #14
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    1,994
    Just saw a HT show on tv and the guy said,a small cable is like a 1 lane freeway, the signal can only go so fast but a bigger{more$$} cable is like a 6 lane super speedway and the signal is much faster. Of all the stuff in a HT system,he said the cables will make the biggest difference.
    Look & Listen

  15. #15
    Linear Guy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Posts
    308

    mapleshade tryout

    I purchased a pair of 12' Clearview Golden Helix Speaker cables from Mapleshade. I was very curious about the claims that this diminutive wire could sound better than some very expensive cables. This is the third day the cables have been in my system.

    My main cable is Bedrock, a product I settled on after much auditioning and dissapointment with quite a few entry level cables. I have Bedrock because it lets the music pass without coloration or exaggeration and has a adequate soundstage with good accuracy. The Bedrock I have cost 190.00 for the pair.

    I intended to do an ears only common sense comparison between the two in hopes that the mapleshade would have a slightly broader soundstage. The 12 ft pair arrived in a small box that could be used for a double CD. When I opened it up the pair of wires look like 29 cents worth of bell wire from Radio shack. Thin guage, lightly insulated, helix wound and stiffer than one would expect from wire this thin. The stiffness indicated there could be some kind of property enhancement done to the normally pliable thin copper wire. First looks are not impressive.

    When hooked up to my two channel system, I was pretty shocked at first that such a thin wire with an insulation under 10 mils could sonically compete with my Bedrock "battery cables". I put on my most challenging music, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with chorus, orchestra and pipe organ. After almost 3 days, which I am not sure is adequate for break in, the wires are holding their own. I find them practically identical to the Bedrock in all attributes that I think are important , mainly that bass and treble were under control, detail without a sense of collision between instrument groups and adequate soundstage.

    I did not find them to be superior to bedrock but IMO they sound as good as Bedrock, which costs more than twice as much. Might be worthy of an audition if a budget will allow for 85.00 speaker wire. dk

  16. #16
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    6,307
    Quote Originally Posted by daviethek
    I purchased a pair of 12' Clearview Golden Helix Speaker cables from Mapleshade. I was very curious about the claims that this diminutive wire could sound better than some very expensive cables. This is the third day the cables have been in my system.

    My main cable is Bedrock, a product I settled on after much auditioning and dissapointment with quite a few entry level cables. I have Bedrock because it lets the music pass without coloration or exaggeration and has a adequate soundstage with good accuracy. The Bedrock I have cost 190.00 for the pair.

    I intended to do an ears only common sense comparison between the two in hopes that the mapleshade would have a slightly broader soundstage. The 12 ft pair arrived in a small box that could be used for a double CD. When I opened it up the pair of wires look like 29 cents worth of bell wire from Radio shack. Thin guage, lightly insulated, helix wound and stiffer than one would expect from wire this thin. The stiffness indicated there could be some kind of property enhancement done to the normally pliable thin copper wire. First looks are not impressive.

    When hooked up to my two channel system, I was pretty shocked at first that such a thin wire with an insulation under 10 mils could sonically compete with my Bedrock "battery cables". I put on my most challenging music, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with chorus, orchestra and pipe organ. After almost 3 days, which I am not sure is adequate for break in, the wires are holding their own. I find them practically identical to the Bedrock in all attributes that I think are important , mainly that bass and treble were under control, detail without a sense of collision between instrument groups and adequate soundstage.

    I did not find them to be superior to bedrock but IMO they sound as good as Bedrock, which costs more than twice as much. Might be worthy of an audition if a budget will allow for 85.00 speaker wire. dk
    I am glad you reported on this cable. I am still planning on buying the cable and am even more interested after your experience. Somehow Christmas shopping got in my way. I will do a report after I receive mine. Thanks again.
    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

  17. #17
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1

    Lat International

    TRY LAT International very reasonably priced less then 1/3 of the price of a major brand that i had and just as good ie 359 for their best 1meter IC as good as brandX ihad which cost 1100,,, 6ft biwire speaker cable again their best 479 as good as brand x which cost me over 2 grand i have since sold brand X ,,,but again only my opinion my eqpt is BW803D,,classe cam400 delta series monoblocks,,cj 16ls2 preamp, arc cd3,,arc ph5 phono and oracle turntable with sme series V tone arm ,,

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •