• 02-20-2007, 03:47 PM
    Jack in Wilmington
    Need Suggestions for Cable From Amp to Receiver
    I just purchased a new 2 channel amp to run my mains. It should be in the store in about a week. My salesman recommended that I get a good quality cable to run between the amp and my receiver (preamp for now). He gave me a price on a Monster M850i. I went home and checked at Audio Advisor they had an Analysis One "Oval One" and an Audioquest "Black Mamba" that were around the same price $85 to $90. Do you guys have any other suggestions? Thanks.
  • 02-20-2007, 04:24 PM
    markw
    It's hard to determine pricing without knowing the lengths involved.
    But, generally Acoustic Research, up-line Radio Shack if you want local procurement or, if you can spare the time, cables from http://www.Bluejeanscables.com or http://www.monoprice.com cables are more than adequate for the job, but some feel better with a name brand.
  • 02-20-2007, 05:22 PM
    daviethek
    consider used
    I saw AQ diamondback IC on E-bay for around 50.00 for 1M. I like that one. Used interconnects would be a low risk purchase I would think.
  • 02-20-2007, 05:46 PM
    Jack in Wilmington
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by daviethek
    I saw AQ diamondback IC on E-bay for around 50.00 for 1M. I like that one. Used interconnects would be a low risk purchase I would think.

    I looked at the Diamondback but the Black Mamba looks to be the better cable. The Diamondback runs $150 for 1M. The Black Mamba normally runs $225, but is on sale for $85 for 1M. But you're right I should look at used. Thanks
  • 02-20-2007, 08:39 PM
    royphil345
    I don't know much about the higher-priced spread...

    I'd stay away from the pricier Monster Cables that advertise "time-aligned" with multiple gauge wire networks and such... They do seem to have a very real effect on audio signals. Don't sound right to me... or many other people I've talked to...

    I don't like the Acoustic Research cables at all. Just tried one of the pricier Pro Series ones... Made my towers sound like bookshelves. Unscrewing one of the plug covers shows the conductors are about half as thick as those in a basic $10.00 Monster Cable and possibly not even as thick as those in a freebie cable. Well shielded and nice looking on the outside though...

    I've stuck with the Monster Standard Interlink 100 series for cheap, reliable, good sounding cables. Looks like they are in the process of being replaced by the THX series (with a higher price). The Standard or I400 THX cable looks to be the equivalent of the old Interlink 100. Nice, thick center conductor, foil shield over a straight drain wire, high-tech insulation. The same recipe used in many more expensive cables. Think Monster got a bad name because people ignored their more basic offerings which are of surprisingly high quality and neutral sounding (unlike some of their fancier cables). Priced too low?

    Have also heard good things about Radio Shack's Gold Series cables for quality cables on a budget.

    Overstock.com is offering some Monster products at far below Best Buy prices. Just picked up a couple digital coax cables myself. http://www.overstock.com/?PAGE=CATLI...SSUB_CAT=12936
  • 02-20-2007, 11:27 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    I like QED, but I think I'm going to try the Anti-Cables next.
  • 02-21-2007, 07:51 AM
    StevenSurprenant
    My recomendations
    I've tried many brands including homebrew and my favorite to date is DH LABS.

    Wires I've tried are: Nordost "Blue Heaven" & "Solar Wind", Audioquest (many models), MIT, Tributaries, Cat 5, Monster, etc...

    From what I've tried, DH Labs was the most transparent.

    The worst was Monster, but keep in mind that I only tried one model.
  • 02-21-2007, 09:17 AM
    Feanor
    I too endorse Blue Jeans
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    But, generally Acoustic Research, up-line Radio Shack if you want local procurement or, if you can spare the time, cables from http://www.Bluejeanscables.com or http://www.monoprice.com cables are more than adequate for the job, but some feel better with a name brand.

    They sound as good as anything else I've tried and cheaper. Stereo interconnects can be ordered in range of colors and the exact length you specify. Typically they offer two or three choices of cable type and suggest which is best depending on your circumstance.

    For interconnects, differences are range from imaginary to very, very slight, assuming the cable isn't actually defective. Shielding against EMI/RFI is likely the biggest consideration. High-priced interconnects are 99.9% sucker bait. Speaker cables are slightly more variable.
  • 02-24-2007, 08:28 AM
    Jack in Wilmington
    I spent the rest of the week researching the various choices you guys gave me. When I was on the Straight Wire web site, they have a section for a system analysis. Friday nite I get a call from the president of the company and he gave me some recommendations. He didn't try and talk me into a top of the line cable, in fact he had me drop down to a cheaper cable then I was considering. I'm going to order a Straight Wire "Sonata", but I also ordered a IXOS XHA-706 from Accessories 4 Less. I'll do a little test on the two and let the better cable win.
  • 02-24-2007, 07:26 PM
    daviethek
    doing your homework
    sounds like you've had a produtive search. Just a point of clarification. Mamba is probably a bit different from diamondback but not necesarily superior just because it has a higher retail. One thing about AQ, they have enough labels out there to confuse. Their mid level products are good however. I've noticed you need to make a jump of a couple of grades of AQ products to get to a noticeable improvement. Thats why I recommended diamondback. I think its where their quality really starts in IC. Spending more begins the chase for details and soundstage the might not be there until you work on the source.....and around and around. .

    . What does the Sonata IC Cost? I could not extract price from the website. I had an IXOS interconect product about three years ago. It was good then but unless IXOS has significantly improved, I'll bet its number two after your eval. good luck.
    and post about these products because I haven't heard a lot aout them.
  • 02-25-2007, 07:25 AM
    Jack in Wilmington
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by daviethek
    sounds like you've had a produtive search. Just a point of clarification. Mamba is probably a bit different from diamondback but not necesarily superior just because it has a higher retail. One thing about AQ, they have enough labels out there to confuse. Their mid level products are good however. I've noticed you need to make a jump of a couple of grades of AQ products to get to a noticeable improvement. Thats why I recommended diamondback. I think its where their quality really starts in IC. Spending more begins the chase for details and soundstage the might not be there until you work on the source.....and around and around. .

    . What does the Sonata IC Cost? I could not extract price from the website. I had an IXOS interconect product about three years ago. It was good then but unless IXOS has significantly improved, I'll bet its number two after your eval. good luck.
    and post about these products because I haven't heard a lot aout them.

    I ordered my Straight Wire "Sonata" from AV Hi Fi. It ran $80.00 for 1m. When I talked to the guy from Straight Wire he talked me out of the Encore II which is the first cable listed in their level 3 rating system. He did suggest that I consider upgrading the speaker wires which are Straight Wire "Quartet". He didn't feel they were up to par with the rest of my wires. When I was installing my amp yesterday, I took the time to look at some of the various cables I have back there. I real mixed back of Straight Wire, AQ, IXOS, and MIT. With a couple Radio Shacks mixed into the less critical areas.
  • 02-25-2007, 07:23 PM
    jvc
    I'm one of these people that feels a $20 cable is better than a $3, simply because of the better insulation and connectors. But I feel that a $100 cable is not any better than the $20 cable. I won't own anything audio or video related, with the Monster name on it!

    Jack in Wilmington............
    Is that Wilmington North Carolina, or Delaware?
  • 02-26-2007, 01:35 PM
    Jack in Wilmington
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jvc
    I'm one of these people that feels a $20 cable is better than a $3, simply because of the better insulation and connectors. But I feel that a $100 cable is not any better than the $20 cable. I won't own anything audio or video related, with the Monster name on it!

    Jack in Wilmington............
    Is that Wilmington North Carolina, or Delaware?

    Wilmington, Delaware land of no sales tax.

    That's why I'm trying different cables to see if I can hear an audible difference.
  • 02-26-2007, 10:30 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    I have gone through tons of different cables over time and the ones I have settled on our made by WHITE ZOMBIE AUDIO, which are handmade and are incredibly well built and I think you will find them very satisfactory and around that price as well. whitezombieaudio.com. Give them a look!
  • 02-27-2007, 06:31 AM
    Feanor
    Thanks, PSkies
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    I have gone through tons of different cables over time and the ones I have settled on our made by WHITE ZOMBIE AUDIO, which are handmade and are incredibly well built and I think you will find them very satisfactory and around that price as well. whitezombieaudio.com. Give them a look!

    These look great, especially for silver. I'll give 'em a try next time I order cables.

    Have you tried their XLR cables?
  • 02-27-2007, 11:47 AM
    blackraven
    Those cables look interesting but I'm a little bit leary of pure silver cables at a $100 price and for 26guage wire. 26g seems small and I would be concerned about higher resistance vs an 18-20g copper wire. I know that silver is a better conductor but only slightly and that the increased guage of the copper wire more than offsets this.

    Does anyone else have any thoughts or opinions on this?

    I have emailed white zombie to get the specs on their cables for what thats worth.
  • 02-27-2007, 12:20 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    I don't think you should have to worry about gauge for short distances, unless you plan to run them for great lengths. Go with silver! The only reason I'm not is that I'm holding out for shielded (or at least, faux-shielded).
  • 02-27-2007, 12:33 PM
    blackraven
    The zombie cables do have a shielded version.
    I'm still concerned about the low price ( I never thought I'd be saying that! ), most solid silver cables cost hundreds more. Either the higher cost companies are bilking everyone (not to suggest that this doesnt happen in the audio field) or the zombie cables are cheaply made. I'm just playing devil's advocate here and not saying that they arent good cables.
  • 02-27-2007, 01:50 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    Actually....
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    The zombie cables do have a shielded version.
    I'm still concerned about the low price ( I never thought I'd be saying that! ), most solid silver cables cost hundreds more. Either the higher cost companies are bilking everyone (not to suggest that this doesnt happen in the audio field) or the zombie cables are cheaply made. I'm just playing devil's advocate here and not saying that they arent good cables.

    They are a really good company and are all hand-made and very well fabricated. I have 8 pair of their cables in my system, plus a coaxial, and a subwoofer cable and they are all very well constructed. In fact, when they arrive each Silver Lok at the end of each cable is carefully wrapped in a soft cloth with a plastic strap to keep them safe in storage, which I thought was pretty cool since I can tell that a person actually sat there and hand wrapped each one, instead of some machine.

    They have at least 3 different models of cables with different price points. I have a few of each, mostly the NOSFERATU cables in my system.

    I have never tried their XLR cables.
  • 02-27-2007, 06:56 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    Either the higher cost companies are bilking everyone...

    There is definitely a certain amount of that. The first low-cost silver cable company (Pure Silver Sound) basically outsources the same cable as some of the more expensive brands, but then he adds very little overhead.

    Will definitely have to check out the shielded version.
  • 02-27-2007, 11:35 PM
    blackraven
    Hey Dusty, the company that makes the cables is located in Durant OK.

    White Zombie emailed me and stated the capacitance is 53.0 pF, well above the 12pF of the interconnects of Blujean cables
  • 02-27-2007, 11:49 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    On all their cables?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    Hey Dusty, the company that makes the cables is located in Durant OK.

    White Zombie emailed me and stated the capacitance is 53.0 pF, well above the 12pF of the interconnects of Blujean cables

    That's really cool, is that on all their cables, I have their El CHUPACABRA and NOSFERATU cables in my system, this was before they released the LA CAYANA.
  • 02-28-2007, 09:24 AM
    JohnMichael
    I like Alpha Core MicroPurls.
  • 02-28-2007, 10:04 AM
    blackraven
    The capacitance was for all their cables. And higher capacitance is a bad thing. Supposedly the higher conductance of silver wires off sets the higher capacitance according to silver wire dealers.
  • 02-28-2007, 10:30 AM
    Feanor
    What is "conductance"?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    The capacitance was for all their cables. And higher capacitance is a bad thing. Supposedly the higher conductance of silver wires off sets the higher capacitance according to silver wire dealers.

    My feeble understanding is that it is a quality of the material and is basically the reciprocal of resistivity (??) If so, then silver has high conductivity and low resistivity -- I guess that isn't news. However the "resistance" of a piece of wire is related to the gauge of wire as well as the conductivity of the material from which it is made; hence a higher gauge copper wire will no more resistance than a thinner silver wire.

    On the other hand, capacitance, (as inductance), is a separate dimension of measurement a component of a wire, I thought. So that capacitance is whatever value it is, and cannot be "offset" by resistance.
  • 02-28-2007, 11:22 AM
    blackraven
    I was just stating what was written on one cable manufacturers web site. I always take what they say with a grain of salt and much skepticism and do not put much credence in their claimed specifications. (Am I sounding cynical?).
  • 02-28-2007, 02:06 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    ...the higher conductance of silver wires off sets the higher capacitance according to silver wire dealers.

    I think that's an oversimplification. I think what they are saying is that in trading off resistance for capicitance, they opted for lower resistance.
  • 02-28-2007, 05:06 PM
    blackraven
    Yes, thats exactly what they are claiming.
  • 03-16-2007, 09:11 PM
    tkyc
    I have recently purchased the White Zombie "LA CAYANA" Interconnects. They took about 100 hours to break in and may still be improving but I am seriously impressed to say the least. I also recently bought a pair of DH Labs BL-1 cables and they sound pretty good as well. Both cables are more detailed than any copper cables I have owned (Tara, Audioquest, Monster) and throw a wonderful and transparent soundstage. They made my system sound alive. I use the White Zombies between my CD Player and Preamp in my main system. They sound smoother and less bright than the DH Labs. I am having great luck with the DH Labs in my second system between the preamp and main amplifier where they are revealing but less bright. Second system uses an Onkyo M-282 Amplifier which I see you can now get for around $199. It sounds really, really good for the price.
  • 03-16-2007, 09:42 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    Also a fan...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tkyc
    I have recently purchased the White Zombie "LA CAYANA" Interconnects. They took about 100 hours to break in and may still be improving but I am seriously impressed to say the least. I also recently bought a pair of DH Labs BL-1 cables and they sound pretty good as well. Both cables are more detailed than any copper cables I have owned (Tara, Audioquest, Monster) and throw a wonderful and transparent soundstage. They made my system sound alive. I use the White Zombies between my CD Player and Preamp in my main system. They sound smoother and less bright than the DH Labs. I am having great luck with the DH Labs in my second system between the preamp and main amplifier where they are revealing but less bright. Second system uses an Onkyo M-282 Amplifier which I see you can now get for around $199. It sounds really, really good for the price.

    I too use all WHITE ZOMBIE cables in my setup, with exception of the speaker cables themselves. I have had great success with them!!!
  • 03-17-2007, 05:58 PM
    Alaric
    I use CAT Cables Silvercat ICs. Can't equal them at twice the price-I don't think you can beat them at any price. My $.02
  • 03-24-2007, 06:28 PM
    Jack in Wilmington
    Got My New Cables and More
    Thanks guys for all your suggestions. I wound up getting my interconnect cable from Accessories 4 Less. I picked up a 1 meter IXOS XHA706 cable. Then I decided to upgrade my speaker cables also. I picked up a pair of Tara Labs "Prism Omni ST cables on ebay. The additions to my system have made a marked improvement in detail and clarity. Thanks to all. Research, purchase, implementation and improvement. Its nice when it works out that way.