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#23056 - 05/22/03 04:18 PM HI- FI Interconnects - Fact or Fiction ?
sigmachi25 Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Jax, Fla.
Right now I am using the Rat Shack - Gold series of interconnects and some decent Monster Cable interconnects. -

Those of you who have upgraded to "high-end"
interconnects, have you noticed an ACTUAL sonic difference ?


I am willing to spend on some better cables - but not just to look behind my stereo and see a bunch of cool looking wires.

I do agree that I have noticed a difference between the "stock" RCA cables that come with most electronics and my small upgrade to the Gold Series, but is it worth the $$ to purchase even better stuff or is this just the same cables with a nice wrapper ?


Bryan

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#23057 - 05/22/03 05:58 PM Re: HI- FI Interconnects - Fact or Fiction ?
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
Hi-Fi Interconnects - The Truth Is Out There?

You will get every possible differing opinion on this one. Some people swear that as long as there are no physical flaws in the cable (damage, poor soldering at connectors, whatnot) and the conductor is not woefully undersized then it makes no difference what you use. Other people honestly believe that different cables can make or break a system. There is undeniably some serious snake oil going on in hi-end A/V interconnects, to a sickening degree. The "hard" science behind it is largely suspect and often manipulated in all sorts of ways once you get beyond basics like preventing excessive voltage drop (don't use 24-gauge speaker cable for a 60-foot run, for example) and shielding against interference from power cables.

My personal opinion is somewhat in the middle of the road on the issue. I have experimented a bit with an assortment cables (using some really expensive stuff that was borrowed for a while as well as a range of stuff in the same general price range as the Monster Cable products you can find at places like Best Buy). I've seen and heard some differences in the various cables, as has my wife (who has no interest in tinkering/upgrading the HT system, but has a pretty good ear and grew up with an audiophile for a father). Those differences were not necessarily linked directly to cost, either (for example, most of my analog audio interconnects are Outlaw's PCA's -- a good deal more expensive than RS Gold, but cheaper than many of the other cables I compared them to). How much of that is real and how much is my mind playing tricks on me I don't know, but I've got a setup now that pleases me. I got there by tinkering -- picking up a pair of this and a pair of that, using them for a while, comparing them a bit on my system. I would strongly recommend against chucking what you have and dropping a chunk of change on "XYZ" super-duper cables to replace them, but you might pick up some not-too-extravagent stuff and swap it out for a singlel component to see what your ear thinks of the whole debate. The RS Gold cables are generally regarded as a good value -- solidly made and free of the most grievous and obvious weaknesses of "stock" cables while being very affordable. I haven't ever had any, so I am going solely on what I have heard from others. If you don't see any difference between RS Gold and Outlaw PCA or BetterCables Silver Serpent or Tributaries or CatCables or whoever, then stick with the RS Gold. Many people end up in exactly that place.

Woah... Had a message written, got called away from the computer, posted it, and found that it had moved. Trippy.

I'm leaving town in the morning for a long weekend without 'net access, so I look forward to seeing where this thread goes while I'm gone. Could be very interesting...

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#23058 - 05/22/03 06:36 PM Re: HI- FI Interconnects - Fact or Fiction ?
Paul J. Stiles Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 279
Loc: Mountain View, CA, USofA
Interconnect snake oil is passe.

The new, "in", snake oil is power cords. To get the best out of your $200 whatever, you need a $700 power cord.

Paul

------------------
the 1derful1
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#23059 - 05/22/03 07:05 PM Re: HI- FI Interconnects - Fact or Fiction ?
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
Yes, I'm with Paul on this one - I do firmly believe you need a $700 power cord. I'm sure if you pay the power company enough $$$ they will string pure silver wire from Hoover dam (or wherever your power is generated) right to your house, via "audiophile" pole transformers, I'm sure it will make a great difference in your sex life.

On a more whimsical note, I would recommend that you purchase good quality interconnects and speaker wire. Better interconnects tend to have higher quality RCAs with better gold plating, along with better shielding of the wire. Copper oxygen free speaker wire I have found is more immune to corrosion, which over time can cause problems. Personally, I don't think much of RadioShack, or their products: everything I've bought there with few exceptions has been cheaply made. I would investigate the Outlaw interconnects or similar.

Myself, I make my own interconnects with Canare RCAs (when forced to, otherwise BNCs) which have good thick gold plating, and I use RG-59 cable, which is good for anything from audio line level up through digital S/PDIF connections.

[This message has been edited by soundhound (edited May 22, 2003).]

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#23060 - 05/23/03 12:58 AM Re: HI- FI Interconnects - Fact or Fiction ?
Alejate Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/10/03
Posts: 181
Loc: Albany, NY
This is a tough one to answer. I connected my 950 to the 770 using Radio Shack's new "Fusion Cables." They look nice, have a drain and a filter, make a very tight fit on the RCA jacks. But improve the sound? Just don't know. Because of so much hype and deception in the cable world it's hard to say what is good and what is a waste of money. Do you like the sound you are currently hearing? If so, keep your cables and spend the money you saved on your significant other, (what a way to win points). I once got sucked into buying replacement speaker cable for 10 times the cost of my originals. I wanted to hear a difference, I needed to hear an improvement; but in the end it just sounded the same.

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#23061 - 05/23/03 05:00 AM Re: HI- FI Interconnects - Fact or Fiction ?
Jed M Offline
Desperado

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 526
Loc: Home on the range
I wrestled with your problem also so just to be sure I decided to make my own canare cable, like soundhound does. The cost to make is about 15 a pair and they are basically the same as the high end boutique type cables so either way I am now covered. I noticed a bigger difference in audio then I did in video, but ymmv.

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#23062 - 05/23/03 09:23 AM Re: HI- FI Interconnects - Fact or Fiction ?
sigmachi25 Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Jax, Fla.
Sorry about posting this in the 950 forum to begin, I guess I missed this ENTIRE FORUM dedicated to my questions : )

The "canare" cables sound interesting - is it difficult to make yourself? If not, where can I get parts/info. on how to make them ?

Thx.

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#23063 - 05/23/03 11:23 AM Re: HI- FI Interconnects - Fact or Fiction ?
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
If you can solder (or learn to) they are relatively easy to make. The RCAs can be had through the Canare web site, which is www.canare.com. The particular RCAs is their model F-09. The RG-59 cable can be had at RadioShack, or probably through Canare (their wire is professional stuff, and very good). I could post some detailed assembly instructions and pix if interested.

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#23064 - 05/23/03 11:34 AM Re: HI- FI Interconnects - Fact or Fiction ?
sigmachi25 Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Jax, Fla.
Soundhound, I would appreciate the detailed info. whenever you have the time/desire to post -


Thx.

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#23065 - 05/23/03 11:55 AM Re: HI- FI Interconnects - Fact or Fiction ?
sigmachi25 Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Jax, Fla.
I was just thinking, as a semi-professional musician (happy hour- guitar guy) - that the cables which 99% of musicians use to hook their instruments up to an amp or board, are probably 90% cheaper than the "boutique" cables which audiophiles are buying in order to reproduce - the sound coming FROM those musicians using cheap cables -

I can tell you that there may be some guitarist out there with a $200 guitar cable, but I haven't met him, and they are not for sale at any music store I know of.

Just a thought -

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