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  1. #1
    Ajani
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    Benchmark DAC1 VS Anti-Cables

    Yesterday I upgraded from some generic speaker cable to a pair of 6' unterminated Anti-Cables ($60).... For the record this is the first time I'm truly convinced that I've heard a difference in cables, which is an impressive feat on it's own...

    Anyway, the success of the Anti-Cables in my system left me wondering which change made the most impact on my system: Running my Squeezebox through my Benchmark DAC1 or upgrading speaker cables?

    Disclaimer: This is not a properly conducted scientific test... No double blind testing... No extended listening sessions... No days of painstakingly swapping out the 2 components to hear the most minuscule variations in tone and definition... Just my quick impressions:

    I felt both components improved my humble system in very different ways... I found the Cables made the best of what I had... Everything became clearer and more refined... The music just sounded good... The DAC on the other hand added layers of depth and detail...

    Now if I had to pick just one upgrade of the 2:

    It would be the $60 cables over the $1K DAC... Not based on which product adds more improvement overall or which one is better value for money, but because... OK this part is hard to explain so let me try and describe it - Using the old audiophile cliche of looking through a window; The cables seem to clean the window, making whats behind the window much clearer... The DAC (on it's own) seems to be improving the image behind the window... So you can see that there is more behind the window than before, but the window is still dirty...

    Now as I said this is all just quick impressions, so take it all with a grain of salt, but it certainly is an interesting experience...

    Anyone else done any crazy comparisons like this?

  2. #2
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    Good description, I like the window analogy. Isn't this hobby fun? Trying to squeeze out every bit of detail without breaking the bank.

    Now, just for fun, get a power regenerator/surge controller like the APC H15BLK AV 1.5kVA H Type Power Conditioner and you will again be amazed at what clean consistent power can do for the sound.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Problem is, there's another dirty window as soon as the signal hits the speakers' binding posts: the 22 gauge corroded wire that leads to the crossover and again to the drivers...

  4. #4
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    Speaker cables made from the Woods Patio cords are hard to beat. They were extremely popular among full range speaker devotees. Lots of guys I met at Horn Fest use nothing else. I have them hooked up to my Zu's.


    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/w...moonshine.html

  5. #5
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Problem is, there's another dirty window as soon as the signal hits the speakers' binding posts: the 22 gauge corroded wire that leads to the crossover and again to the drivers...
    Then you can either replace the internal wiring of the speaker or buy a full range driver and connected the speaker cable directly to the driver...

  6. #6
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Good stuff, geat analogy.

    I did tireless comparisons while crafting different cables. Mostly I was concerned about gauge, and which brought about the best result, at least for my own taste. The general concensus is high gauge solid core with minimal to no shielding.

    I also mucked around with shielding and jackets. My first few versions had both. Thin teflon shield inside a polypropelene jacket...still sounded great.

    The higher gauge gives off a tighter, detailed sound whereas the lower gauge adds a bit of bass and thickness. Both sound great. For low I use 14awg and high 24awg.

    What gauge are the anti cables? I can send you something comparable or completely different...or both.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    Then you can either replace the internal wiring of the speaker or buy a full range driver and connected the speaker cable directly to the driver...
    Am I to deduce that you've done that?

  8. #8
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Am I to deduce that you've done that?
    That's the next step... I'll temporarily use the existing cabinets to house 12" Audio Nirvana Full Range Drivers.... Then decide whether to 'build' a traditional cabinet or an open baffle (Quad ESL 57 dimensions)...

    Though I see your general point about not using better quality cable than the internal wiring of the Electronics/speakers... It's something I've often questioned... Yet surprisingly the anti-cables sound quite good to me, regardless of the internal cables of everything else...

  9. #9
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Good stuff, geat analogy.

    I did tireless comparisons while crafting different cables. Mostly I was concerned about gauge, and which brought about the best result, at least for my own taste. The general concensus is high gauge solid core with minimal to no shielding.

    I also mucked around with shielding and jackets. My first few versions had both. Thin teflon shield inside a polypropelene jacket...still sounded great.

    The higher gauge gives off a tighter, detailed sound whereas the lower gauge adds a bit of bass and thickness. Both sound great. For low I use 14awg and high 24awg.

    What gauge are the anti cables? I can send you something comparable or completely different...or both.
    The Anti-Cables are 12 gauge... I'm sold on solid core now.... I might try out a BJC stranded at some point to see how it compares, especially since it was cost me $12... Or maybe some Moonshine as Poultry suggests... I'm convinced that good cable can be had cheaply...

  10. #10
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Hope you don't mind, I remebered that I had a file with some pics...

    This is the first version I made...




    This is the second version, 02audionoob and JM both have these...







    Finally V3, frenchmon and Adam have these. Adam also got a very minimal pair with thin jacket and 22awg, no pic however.


  11. #11
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    The Anti-Cables are 12 gauge... I'm sold on solid core now.... I might try out a BJC stranded at some point to see how it compares, especially since it was cost me $12... Or maybe some Moonshine as Poultry suggests... I'm convinced that good cable can be had cheaply...
    Perfect. I have some strands of 24/26 that I have been wanting to use. I'll send you the high gauge and see what you think.

  12. #12
    Ajani
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    Nice pics... What are the thick rectangles on the 3rd version?

  13. #13
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    They are erasers with holes drilled out for the cables to fit through. I then covered them with shrink. They ensure that the cables don't pull apart and tear the jacket. I tried to make them look good but really it's function first.

  14. #14
    Ajani
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    That's hardcore! More and more I start to see audiophilia's roots in DIY making a comeback (assuming it ever really left)...

    I actually really like the look of V2... My Anti-Cables are not joined together (no common outer sleeve)... So there is one thin positive wire from amp to speaker and another thin negative wire from amp to speaker... They do recommend twisting the pair together, like you have, as a free tweak to lower the inductance...

  15. #15
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    V2 has individual teflon jackets. If you want I can make them like that, with or without the jackets. V2 was quite bulky, although nice looking and they felt quite nice in the hand.

  16. #16
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    V2 has individual teflon jackets. If you want I can make them like that, with or without the jackets. V2 was quite bulky, although nice looking and they felt quite nice in the hand.
    I'd probably try them without the jackets as that might be a more fair comparison against the Anti-Cables...

    The Anti-Cables are just 10 gauge solid core copper with a thin coating of red enamel... So as many DIYers have said, "It's basically just Magnet Wire"...

    If you haven't tried it, I'd suggest purchasing some magnet wire from your hardware and seeing how it compares with your DIY cables... It might give you some new inspiration for another design...

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