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#23918 - 02/10/08 05:40 PM Amp cables, worth the upgrade?
sehnzeleid Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 71
Loc: USA
I'm currently running 5 12ft Monoprice coaxial cables to my Model 7200. A friend is offering me a set of 6ft Acoustic Research Master Series MS236 cables at $60.

I'd have to move the Outlaw a bit, but is worth switching the Mono's out for the ARs?

Another nice thing about the AR set is that I could use the 6th cable as a subwoofer cable. My current sub cable is a 15ft long (far too long) overpriced Monster cable I bought years ago...

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#23919 - 02/10/08 06:48 PM Re: Amp cables, worth the upgrade?
Altec Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 334
You're not going to hear a difference between any two well made cables. The gauge of the cable is the most important criteria. It should be 14 gauge at the minimum, but I run 12 and 10 gauge in my system.

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#23920 - 02/10/08 08:15 PM Re: Amp cables, worth the upgrade?
bestbang4thebuck Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 668
Loc: Maryland
At the risk of 'stepping in it' ...

I believe sehnzeleid is referring to interconnects and Altec is referring to speaker cable.

Assuming that the Monoprice coax is well made using good connectors, the major difference is the 'FNT™ Technology' of the AR cables, where FNT = Ferrite Noise Trap.

If my guess is correct, the FNT is basically a form of 'choke' in the electronic sense of the word, in this case with a ferrite core. The addition of this in the signal path serves to attenuate extraneous RF and/or digital signal harmonics from traveling via the interconnect. These high frequencies, many times above audio frequencies, can sometimes interfere with the performance of electronics on either end of the cable. In most cases this type of interference is already accounted for in the design of the electronics being connected, but if you have a special problem (or are somewhat paranoid about such interference) you might find use for these special cables.

If not having the 'choke' doesn't concern you, the Monoprice coax will do wonderfully. Then again, $60 for six cables is not too expensive of an experiment - if you're interested.

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#23921 - 02/10/08 09:37 PM Re: Amp cables, worth the upgrade?
sehnzeleid Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 71
Loc: USA
Thanks guys!

I might grab them, I know aesthetics shouldn't be important, but even if I find there is no difference at all, the AR cables are snazzier looking and definitely thicker than the Monos. Plus I don't really need 12ft, so there is a lot of excess cable length between my receiver and amp currently.

Also when I was checking them out the cable has directional "SIGNAL PATH" markings and "BALANCED LINE AUDIO" written on the actual cables. Are these just fancy terms?


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#23922 - 02/11/08 01:04 AM Re: Amp cables, worth the upgrade?
bestbang4thebuck Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 668
Loc: Maryland
Based on the description on the AR page for those cables, the terms ‘balanced line audio’ and ‘signal path’ directionality are related to the construction and proper installation to take best advantage of the construction.

Make no mistake, the connection with these cables is unbalanced to unbalanced. The cable markings don’t say ‘balanced audio’, but ‘balanced line audio’. In this type of construction, instead of a single insulated wire inside shielding, there are two insulated wires inside the shielding. The two internal wires complete the path for the audio signal current, one internal wire connected to the pin of the RCA connectors at both ends, the other connected to the sleeve of the connectors at both ends. The shielding, however, does not conduct audio signal current end-to-end as the inner conductors do, but may only be connected at one end as a ‘drain’ for any voltage/current created by electrical fields in the area of the cable. If connected at both ends, the shield is severed near one end, perhaps inside the plastic AR case near one end of the cable, where the cable may also pass through a short ferrite tube.

The signal path direction is important because that will determine whether the shield ‘drain’ ends up connected to the signal source output or the signal destination input.

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