Expensive Cables. Are they worth the Money?

Cables are absolutely worth it.  Or not.  It depends.

The cable that seems to make the biggest difference in my setup is the turntable’s RCA interconnect to the phono stage. Simply stated, some are just quieter than others. Less noise equals better dynamics. The quietest I’ve found to date was very affordable, and came from YT.

Next up is the digital source’s interconnect. I’ve engaged Mrs. “Golden Ears” Hook as my blind test subject on many occasions. Several years back, she confirmed my subjective impressions and picked a HiLine over Lavender. A couple of years ago, she did the same with SL over HiLine. She was able to tell them apart 100% of the time, and described very clearly what she was listening for and heard. Doubt I could do as well, so I focus more on subjective, longer-term listening.

Just for fun, my dealer is sending me a demo 5M length of SL speaker cable to try. Don’t really feel like spending the money right now, as right now I’m busy throwing some dough at refurbishing a 1960 Thorens TD-124 Mk I. But will keep an open mind, and repeat the blind test for SL speaker cable if I like what I hear, and before I lean too far towards purchasing.

Hook posted:

as right now I’m busy throwing some dough at refurbishing a 1960 Thorens TD-124 Mk I. 

Hey Hook, hope you are well.  Not sure if you read any hi-fi magazines but Art Dudley of Stereophile  is a vintage audio/hands-on enthusiast who has a Thorens deck and has done several things to it over the past few years.  In the current issue (December) he is trying out a new tonearm.  If you search Stereophile site for Art Dudley and his column "Listening" he has probably done 4 or 5 columns the past few years about a Thorens deck.  Hope that is of interest.  regards, Jeff A

I'm kind of in the camp of "at best they don't subtract", but I do think they can change the presentation in a way that "seasons to taste" and therefore are at the discretion of the chef, so to speak.

I like trying different cables, even making them. I tend to sense that what they alter is the timing and dynamics, and that affects the presentation of spatiality and that in turn can affect my assessment of impact, tone and the density of the sound at the listening position. I don't often feel like detail is lost or gained, just moved forward or back or even out, in the presentation as though dynamics are more affected than detail. As soundstage grows, impact, density and prat seems to diminish, but music that can be enhanced by larger soundstages, such as classical, improves. To me, if you have the scratch, what the hell, why not play around, especially if you can borrow them from a local dealer or some outfit like the Cable Co. I don't have the scratch, so my playground is much smaller, but even in my circumscribed sphere I have preferences and favorites.

Jeff Anderson posted:
Hook posted:

as right now I’m busy throwing some dough at refurbishing a 1960 Thorens TD-124 Mk I. 

Hey Hook, hope you are well.  Not sure if you read any hi-fi magazines but Art Dudley of Stereophile  is a vintage audio/hands-on enthusiast who has a Thorens deck and has done several things to it over the past few years.  In the current issue (December) he is trying out a new tonearm.  If you search Stereophile site for Art Dudley and his column "Listening" he has probably done 4 or 5 columns the past few years about a Thorens deck.  Hope that is of interest.  regards, Jeff A

Hi Jeff -

Am hanging in there, and hope you are too!

Have been following Art's adventures in Thorens-land for a while, and he is part of why I took an interest. Ditto for Tony and other vintage enthusiasts over on PFM. Was also inspired by the pics of Richard Dane's Garrard 401. Had been browsing our local Craig's List for quite some time, and finally came across what I thought was a bargain: a nice, one-owner - Dad and son - all-original early s/n deck in excellent condition, and just a few miles from my home.  Am now awaiting packing materials from Greg at Thorens Pros in Nashville, and then it's off to be mechanically restored to like-new condition.  He promises pictures of the process, so if there's an interest here, I could start a thread.

The modern Swissonair arm looks interesting, but I am going to see how the original Ortofon RMG-212 that came with the deck performs. It has an excellent reputation, and is heavy enough to handle an SPU if I go in that direction.

ATB.

Hook

Hook posted:
Jeff Anderson posted:
Hook posted:

as right now I’m busy throwing some dough at refurbishing a 1960 Thorens TD-124 Mk I. 

Hey Hook, hope you are well.  Not sure if you read any hi-fi magazines but Art Dudley of Stereophile  is a vintage audio/hands-on enthusiast who has a Thorens deck and has done several things to it over the past few years.  In the current issue (December) he is trying out a new tonearm.  If you search Stereophile site for Art Dudley and his column "Listening" he has probably done 4 or 5 columns the past few years about a Thorens deck.  Hope that is of interest.  regards, Jeff A

Hi Jeff -

Am hanging in there, and hope you are too!

Have been following Art's adventures in Thorens-land for a while, and he is part of why I took an interest. Ditto for Tony and other vintage enthusiasts over on PFM. Was also inspired by the pics of Richard Dane's Garrard 401. Had been browsing our local Craig's List for quite some time, and finally came across what I thought was a bargain: a nice, one-owner - Dad and son - all-original early s/n deck in excellent condition, and just a few miles from my home.  Am now awaiting packing materials from Greg at Thorens Pros in Nashville, and then it's off to be mechanically restored to like-new condition.  He promises pictures of the process, so if there's an interest here, I could start a thread.

The modern Swissonair arm looks interesting, but I am going to see how the original Ortofon RMG-212 that came with the deck performs. It has an excellent reputation, and is heavy enough to handle an SPU if I go in that direction.

ATB.

Hook

Very nice, sir.  I am always interested in people doing hifi/music-related things with pictures and personal journeys.  I think it would be a great thread if Richard concurs and you have the time..

Back to the thread topic here.  Sorry to the OP for the quick diversion.

Clemenza posted:

I'm kind of in the camp of "at best they don't subtract", but I do think they can change the presentation in a way that "seasons to taste" and therefore are at the discretion of the chef, so to speak.

I like trying different cables, even making them. I tend to sense that what they alter is the timing and dynamics, and that affects the presentation of spatiality and that in turn can affect my assessment of impact, tone and the density of the sound at the listening position. I don't often feel like detail is lost or gained, just moved forward or back or even out, in the presentation as though dynamics are more affected than detail. As soundstage grows, impact, density and prat seems to diminish, but music that can be enhanced by larger soundstages, such as classical, improves. To me, if you have the scratch, what the hell, why not play around, especially if you can borrow them from a local dealer or some outfit like the Cable Co. I don't have the scratch, so my playground is much smaller, but even in my circumscribed sphere I have preferences and favorites.

For me that's a very interesting post: I'm also in the camp of  "at best they don't subtract".

However I do think that some cables subtract by blurring details from the signal, in the same way that some cables blur the micro-contrasts that allow one to distinguish subtle instrumental timbres, some blur the micro-dynamics that bring life to the music (PRaT), and some blur the subtle tonal clues that allow the brain to sense distance.

Personally I'm not too bothered by Left / Right sound-stage (however despite this, in my system in my system I've still controlled the reflections that cause the sound-stage to extend wider than the speakers, and I only get a little of the artefact that causes the sonic image to show variations in height).

I also build my own interconnect cables to test.  Currently I have the following DIN4 to XLR cables either in test or about to be tested...
Standard Naim cable (unbalanced)          (bettered by the Mogami W2549, so not in use)
Mogami W2549 (pseudo-balanced)          (current default cable)
Klotz MC5000 (pseudo-balanced)              (just starting testing)
Mogami W2497 (unbalanced)          (being assembled)

The most expensive of these is the last one, a pair costs £23.35 (+ a short piece of 15mm heat shrink).

Indeed, some time ago I experimented with home made interconnect (to link my home made amplifier!).  Some of them truly were awful despite "strong recommendation":  Some were just dull with no life or energy in them, from some the sound was congested and disorganised and others hid so much detail it was like listening to AM radio!  In the end I found a Belden cable that was quite good; certainly better than anything I could afford pre-built at the time.

More recently I'm using Mogami cables - a considerable improvement on the Belden.

I now have a conclusion on the Klotz MC5000 cable...  For the results, see my thread in the padded cell.

Huge posted:

Indeed, some time ago I experimented with home made interconnect (to link my home made amplifier!).  Some of them truly were awful despite "strong recommendation":  Some were just dull with no life or energy in them, from some the sound was congested and disorganised and others hid so much detail it was like listening to AM radio!  In the end I found a Belden cable that was quite good; certainly better than anything I could afford pre-built at the time.

More recently I'm using Mogami cables - a considerable improvement on the Belden.

I now have a conclusion on the Klotz MC5000 cable...  For the results, see my thread in the padded cell.

I will take a look...

wenger2015 posted:

The self proclaimed ex scientist come genius I was referring to apparently used the ‘dodgy doodads of cable’ ...the net result was I contributed to him stocking up his horlicks supply....

i might as well have used a coat hanger.....

Well if you use just one type of cable, without testing it in the actual location...     but then "as a genius" did he actually need to or did he "just know". 

Anyway, a coat hanger (well metal ones anyway, not plastic!) can work as a radio aerial!  (but a proper aerial's still better!). 


P.S.  I forgot to click the <Post> button on the reply in the padded cell, but it's there now!

Huge posted:

For me that's a very interesting post: I'm also in the camp of  "at best they don't subtract".

 

Expensive cables do subtract from your bank account, always..

The 'sense and sensibility' question should be what portion of the total cost off a system should be dedicated to cables.

Haim Ronen posted:
Huge posted:

For me that's a very interesting post: I'm also in the camp of  "at best they don't subtract".

 

Expensive cables do subtract from your bank account, always..

The 'sense and sensibility' question should be what portion of the total cost off a system should be dedicated to cables.

I seem to recall my original dealer, many years ago suggested it should be a third of your total cost.

My best investment, by far, is the USB cable. If you still believe in bits are bits I’m afraid digital hifi is not for you.

Yes, the USB cable only transmits the signal, but finding one that is doing so with the least amount of signal loss or interference makes an astonishing difference to the rest of the system.

My interconnects and speaker cables made a big difference for sure but the USB truly made my system amazing.

So cables don’t add magic snake oil making your amplifier run better, but they let you hear things that already in you system, previously unheard.

that’s my conclusion 

 

 

Huge posted:
Clemenza posted:

I'm kind of in the camp of "at best they don't subtract", but I do think they can change the presentation in a way that "seasons to taste" and therefore are at the discretion of the chef, so to speak.

I like trying different cables, even making them. I tend to sense that what they alter is the timing and dynamics, and that affects the presentation of spatiality and that in turn can affect my assessment of impact, tone and the density of the sound at the listening position. I don't often feel like detail is lost or gained, just moved forward or back or even out, in the presentation as though dynamics are more affected than detail. As soundstage grows, impact, density and prat seems to diminish, but music that can be enhanced by larger soundstages, such as classical, improves. To me, if you have the scratch, what the hell, why not play around, especially if you can borrow them from a local dealer or some outfit like the Cable Co. I don't have the scratch, so my playground is much smaller, but even in my circumscribed sphere I have preferences and favorites.

For me that's a very interesting post: I'm also in the camp of  "at best they don't subtract".

However I do think that some cables subtract by blurring details from the signal, in the same way that some cables blur the micro-contrasts that allow one to distinguish subtle instrumental timbres, some blur the micro-dynamics that bring life to the music (PRaT), and some blur the subtle tonal clues that allow the brain to sense distance.

Personally I'm not too bothered by Left / Right sound-stage (however despite this, in my system in my system I've still controlled the reflections that cause the sound-stage to extend wider than the speakers, and I only get a little of the artefact that causes the sonic image to show variations in height).

I also build my own interconnect cables to test.  Currently I have the following DIN4 to XLR cables either in test or about to be tested...
Standard Naim cable (unbalanced)          (bettered by the Mogami W2549, so not in use)
Mogami W2549 (pseudo-balanced)          (current default cable)
Klotz MC5000 (pseudo-balanced)              (just starting testing)
Mogami W2497 (unbalanced)          (being assembled)

The most expensive of these is the last one, a pair costs £23.35 (+ a short piece of 15mm heat shrink).

I don't know about you, Huge, but I think my curiosity with cables may stem from the thought that I may not have heard the best, so maybe I've never heard what no subtraction sounds like. What then is my reference, especially considering how things can change from component to component depending on each's own particular electrical properties. I find most of my DIY cables and many of the cables I purchased over the years have been in the ballpark, so it seems that there isn't any absolute reference past a certain point, it is a bit like seasoning to taste and that makes the cable experimentation interesting.  Like you, I've had a lot of cable experiments that weren't worth the time. I almost don't mind them instantly sounding bad, at least that's definite and may eliminate a complicated construction from future experimentation. For me, there's nothing worse than spending a couple of hours on a design that sounds interesting and when I change out my current cables the new design sounds...the same 

I have to say that overall I've heard enough differences in cables that it explains the sheer volume of cables offered these days. There's definitely a lot of snake oil and none of us knows for sure when suggestibility is taking over, but when you think about the amount of combinations of different components you can put together, then this or that cable in a certain component connection can very possibly become the difference between good and magic for someone. I haven't made a lot of cables, but I've made enough of them that I can appreciate the time spent tinkering with a given design. Some designs with intricate winding constructions that I've experimented with, redoing them multiple ways have offered slight variations in presentation with each iteration, suggesting that even more experimentation should be done with merely the construction of the same length of the same wire, never mind the additional variables like connectors, insulation and so on.

Haim Ronen posted:
Huge posted:

For me that's a very interesting post: I'm also in the camp of  "at best they don't subtract".

 

Expensive cables do subtract from your bank account, always..

The 'sense and sensibility' question should be what portion of the total cost off a system should be dedicated to cables.

True that Haim, but everybody has a different bank account. If someone has Statement level products, who's to tell that person that a $10,000 cable is too much for their $250,000 system? That person is likely wearing a watch that costs more than my system. I'm much lower down the food chain and even at my SN2 level, non-audio people think I'm nuts. Financially speaking, they are absolutely right. It's within the context of expensive cable discussions that one appreciates Max's post about leaving. Most people find what Max has found: a phone and a pair of earbuds play music just fine and do it without neurosis.

I personally don't think cables should be a percentage of total system cost because I wouldn't want to exclude the possibility that a cheap homemade cable may just be the magic maker, even in a Statement system. I've had a few combinations where a very inexpensive simple DIY cable sounded fantastic, so I stopped there. But I admit that the reverse may be true also. Some expensive cables may make some systems sound better.  I wouldn't want to make someone feel like a fool because he bought the cable that made his system sound better to him, even if that cable costs more than my car. That's just sour grapes talk.

I like Naim's approach. They've already done the experimentation and listening to come up with cables they feel represent their product best and ship those products with those cables to reviewers who will rank their product against competition, so their standard cables are the default selection in my opinion. There are differences though, to my ear, that justify experimenting with other cables for personal preference if nothing else, so I tinker when I have the time and I'm in the mood.  

Huge posted:

However I do think that some cables subtract by blurring details from the signal, in the same way that some cables blur the micro-contrasts that allow one to distinguish subtle instrumental timbres, some blur the micro-dynamics that bring life to the music (PRaT), and some blur the subtle tonal clues that allow the brain to sense distance.

 

I also build my own interconnect cables to test.  Currently I have the following DIN4 to XLR cables either in test or about to be tested...
Standard Naim cable (unbalanced)          (bettered by the Mogami W2549, so not in use)
Mogami W2549 (pseudo-balanced)          (current default cable)
Klotz MC5000 (pseudo-balanced)              (just starting testing)
Mogami W2497 (unbalanced)          (being assembled)

 

I’m sure you’re correct, some cables will blur certain aspects of the music, but some cables will bring into focus certain aspects of the music. In your system from your findings it appears the mogami cables are bringing things into focus nicely, with none of the blurring.

So, a non naim cable can snap the Naim system into focus, but, the same result can be achieved by using standard Naim cables and a non Naim box, (say pre-amp). The pre-amp snaps the system into focus.

As you may remember, mogami doesn’t work in my system, (I’ve mentioned it a few times ). My system is already perfectly focused, the mogami throws it out of focus.

 

Clemenza posted:
Haim Ronen posted:
Huge posted:

For me that's a very interesting post: I'm also in the camp of  "at best they don't subtract".

 

Expensive cables do subtract from your bank account, always..

The 'sense and sensibility' question should be what portion of the total cost off a system should be dedicated to cables.

True that Haim, but everybody has a different bank account. If someone has Statement level products, who's to tell that person that a $10,000 cable is too much for their $250,000 system? 

Agreed. Personally, I do not enjoy things that are out of proportions and therefore I will never buy cables that cost more than my speakers, my source or my amplification. Another area where I think that a lot of NAIM owners are missing is by spending too little on their speakers proportionally to what they sink into their electronics.

wenger2015 posted:

Back in March this year I auditioned TQ Black Diamond Speaker Cables, they turned out to be extremely impressive.

To cut a long story short I ended up, after a lengthy home audition, purchasing a Brand new set of the top of the range Silver Diamond Speaker Cables.

Although they sounded good from the start, I have experienced a few lows from time to time over the weeks and months but gradually they have just got better and better. 

It’s been approximately 6 months now and ‘Wow’.....they are altogether on an another level, truly remarkable.....

So if anyone is contemplating the possibility of treating oneself to an Xmas gift and was wondering if these High End Cables are truly worth the significant outlay, rest assured in this case, with TQ SD they most certainly are. 

The exceptional reviews are no exaggeration. (eg hi fi pig )

I personally think in our enthusiasm to upgrade the boxes it’s the Cables we often compromise on.

Cables can provide a clear conduit to maximise the performance from whatever black boxes we have.

So has anyone made plans to splash out and upgrade the cables over the festive season?

No, but I must admit, its been on my mind! 

Hence, I been Surfing the web, all of  2017.

Why Do We Need Better Cables?  Continued Innovation In Audio Equipment Drives the Need For Higher Quality Cables. 

Phil Gold Dec. 2016

We should examine the work of a bunch of pioneering guys – Peter Walker, Ivor Tiefenbrun, Julian Vereker, Bob Stuart, Mark Levinson, Dan D’Agostino, Ed Meitner, Dave Wilson, Alon Wolf and Yoav Geva. Who are these guys? What did they do to awaken the interest of Joe Reynolds (Nordost), George Cardas (Cardas Audio), Dr. Ray Kimber (Kimber Kable) and Edwin van der Kley (Siltech), leading lights in the cable industry?

By all means, if you have the time, a nice read. 

In short, my take,  the advancement in the Cable Industry is vastly superior to the Cables produced ten years ago. 

Naim’s Hi Line. 

“Today we see high bit rate streaming and downloads of high resolution audio files with more information even than the DSD standard. The high processing power of today’s chips and a greater understanding of digital processing has provided some remarkable improvements in DAC technology. You only have to look at what PS Audio and Chord do today in producing better sound for far less money than the best digital technology of a few years back.

Now all I have to do, is hit the Lotto! LOL……

Enjoy Your Music, The Why! 

Allante93! 

Why do high end cable manufacturers not disclose any sort of measurements or specifications about their cables?

Cables undoubtedly can make a difference but whether or not it improves or degrades the sound is both objective (measurements and spec) and subjective (between the ears of the beholder).

I previously owned an expensive hifi cable that buzzed terribly if anywhere near a power cable and acted like an RFI antenna. Never again. I use mogami 2549 now that doesn't suffer such issues and sounds superb.

 

This thread is nearly as good, if a little less polarised and sweary, than the cable discussions that break out on PFM every couple of months or so.

I buy what sounds good and seems to offer value for money (in terms of the next step up the hi-fi ladder). Given the next purchase, were I to be allowed to consider it, is quite a jump, cables (and tables) offer me an opportunity to enhance my system.

Value for money is the big topic which gets people's backs up with all this new vouge for expensive cables.With cartridges you don't question it so much.

I was talking to a mate at the weekend who works in the HiFi industry as an importer and I asked him what the manufacturing cost of expensive cables was ?  and he replied don't ask and the mark up is massive !

HAIM RONEN, I notice one of your posts has been removed, I know talk of expensive cables can produce strong opinions but no offence taken on my part.

Its all about healthy debate, and at the end of the day where we live can make a considerable difference to the amount various boxes or cables ect can cost us.

my dealer back in the day suggested a third of ones budget on cables, at the time I was sceptical, now I’m more of the opinion he was spot on.

The thing that bugs me with cables and 'why are things this way' is that within the amp box Naim's wiring loom is of thin strands, all well-dressed et al. But when you go external, we end up with cables of much fatter diameter etc, be these interconnects and/or speaker cables.

I opened the rear of some Focal 1037's a few years back (tall floorstanders - 5-way - terminals at the bottom) and the inside wiring was very thin (think like thin boot-lacing). So why do we run relatively thick speaker cabling to such beasts, when as soon as it hits the terminals, it's all massively  'stepped down'? It all seems a bit odd albeit I recognise that the specs and designs are this way.

I must admit that RJS's recent thread on the active ATCs and balanced outputs/cabling (in relative terms = 'cheap as chips') has really got me thinking on the economics of this hobby of ours, and where the best 'bang for your buck' can be found, especially given the challenges many of us have encountered in matching the amp/speakers/cabling package to our rooms  - albeit the domestic acceptability factor needs to be added to this too. 

fatcat posted:
Huge posted:

However I do think that some cables subtract by blurring details from the signal, in the same way that some cables blur the micro-contrasts that allow one to distinguish subtle instrumental timbres, some blur the micro-dynamics that bring life to the music (PRaT), and some blur the subtle tonal clues that allow the brain to sense distance.

 

I also build my own interconnect cables to test.  Currently I have the following DIN4 to XLR cables either in test or about to be tested...
Standard Naim cable (unbalanced)          (bettered by the Mogami W2549, so not in use)
Mogami W2549 (pseudo-balanced)          (current default cable)
Klotz MC5000 (pseudo-balanced)              (just starting testing)
Mogami W2497 (unbalanced)          (being assembled)

 

I’m sure you’re correct, some cables will blur certain aspects of the music, but some cables will bring into focus certain aspects of the music. In your system from your findings it appears the mogami cables are bringing things into focus nicely, with none of the blurring.

So, a non naim cable can snap the Naim system into focus, but, the same result can be achieved by using standard Naim cables and a non Naim box, (say pre-amp). The pre-amp snaps the system into focus.

As you may remember, mogami doesn’t work in my system, (I’ve mentioned it a few times ). My system is already perfectly focused, the mogami throws it out of focus.

 

Hi FC,

I don't think cables can actually bring anything into focus, but they can alter balance in a good or a bad way.

I don't believe that cables add quality in any area but rather they remove quality in the other areas:  This will have the same apparent effect (an unbalanced system), but the mechanism is different.  I believe cables can cause certain aspects of a system to be starkly highlighted by leaving them in focus while blurring everything else.


Incidentally have you seen my conclusions on the Klotz MC5000.  It's a good cable, it just doesn't suit my system or my personal preferences; it may suit you however.

wenger2015 posted:

HAIM RONEN, I notice one of your posts has been removed, I know talk of expensive cables can produce strong opinions but no offence taken on my part.

Its all about healthy debate, and at the end of the day where we live can make a considerable difference to the amount various boxes or cables ect can cost us.

my dealer back in the day suggested a third of ones budget on cables, at the time I was sceptical, now I’m more of the opinion he was spot on.

Hi Wenger,

I believe that the 1/3 of the price for cables is only 'spot on' because of the hugely excessive mark-ups on cables all the way down the distribution chain.

My 'near high end' cables between a 272 and a 300DR cost £23.35 for the pair (it'd be £33.00 for a 1m pair).
They're built using using silver plated connectors and a sophisticated dual concentric LCOFC (Neglex) cable insulated with cellular PTFE.

Huge posted:
wenger2015 posted:

HAIM RONEN, I notice one of your posts has been removed, I know talk of expensive cables can produce strong opinions but no offence taken on my part.

Its all about healthy debate, and at the end of the day where we live can make a considerable difference to the amount various boxes or cables ect can cost us.

my dealer back in the day suggested a third of ones budget on cables, at the time I was sceptical, now I’m more of the opinion he was spot on.

Hi Wenger,

I believe that the 1/3 of the price for cables is only 'spot on' because of the hugely excessive mark-ups on cables all the way down the distribution chain.

My 'near high end' cables between a 272 and a 300DR cost £23.35 for the pair (it'd be £33.00 for a 1m pair).
They're built using using silver plated connectors and a sophisticated dual concentric LCOFC (Neglex) cable insulated with cellular PTFE.

Yes, no doubt the mark up is high, but equally so with the Black boxes, although buying nearly all of my boxes new, thanks to a great dealer I’ve managed to save a small fortune, but no doubt he has still made a reasonable profit 

wenger2015 posted:

HAIM RONEN, I notice one of your posts has been removed, I know talk of expensive cables can produce strong opinions but no offence taken on my part.

Its all about healthy debate, and at the end of the day where we live can make a considerable difference to the amount various boxes or cables ect can cost us.

my dealer back in the day suggested a third of ones budget on cables, at the time I was sceptical, now I’m more of the opinion he was spot on.

I removed it myself because I felt that I was going over the same ground again and I did not feel like arguing.

My dealer, very long time ago, when I purchased my system, was making fun of third party cables and power chords. Times changed and I am sure that he is offering these days at least the better wires from NAIM. By the way, he is a sound engineer who did a lot of the recordings for the NAIM  label and teaches it in college so he is not just a guy selling equipment. During all my annual visits to the store we discussed recordings and audio gear but he never brought up the possibility of an upgrade through cables, probably because my system is so basic that there were other more 'urgent' ways that could be done to improve it.

I tried an interconnect once, bought a Nordost Red Dawn from the manufacture with a DIN to DIN termination. It couldn't be more different sounding than the chord which came with the NAIM player. The Nordost cable was much more transparent, 'faster', more detailed and open in the highs, making strings music ravishing. On the other hand, the Chord sounded warmer, more rounded, human voices were fuller and overall the presentation was less fatiguing. In other words, I was fully aware (as well as friends who came to listen) right from the start of the big differences between the two.

I went from swapping cables back and forth to compare specific recordings to leaving each of them connected for weeks at the time to see how I got used to them (I still have both but I only use the Chord). It is during these long periods that I would have instances where I played some music and was not able to identify which cable was in use without looking behind the boxes. I don't have the worst ear or memory in the world but we just get used to the sound and that is why I was questioning your ability to recognize a particular cable 100% of the time. If you can, then naturally they are much more important to you.

So, I am not principally against cables, well aware that they change the sound, just like anything else: speakers, electronics, racks and room treatment. The question is where the best improvement lies in the context of a particular system and budget, that's all.

Enjoy your system and cables and much more importantly the music! 

Haim

Haim Ronen posted:
Clemenza posted:
Haim Ronen posted:
Huge posted:

For me that's a very interesting post: I'm also in the camp of  "at best they don't subtract".

 

Expensive cables do subtract from your bank account, always..

The 'sense and sensibility' question should be what portion of the total cost off a system should be dedicated to cables.

True that Haim, but everybody has a different bank account. If someone has Statement level products, who's to tell that person that a $10,000 cable is too much for their $250,000 system? 

Agreed. Personally, I do not enjoy things that are out of proportions and therefore I will never buy cables that cost more than my speakers, my source or my amplification. Another area where I think that a lot of NAIM owners are missing is by spending too little on their speakers proportionally to what they sink into their electronics.

It does seem odd when speakers are the cheapest thing in the system, but I guess there too, if someone likes the voice of their speakers and just wants to tune it, it makes sense.

I do agree with detractors in that cable fascinations seem incongruous when the wire used inside the box - both the amp and the speaker - is cable you can get off the spool at Home Depot for 15 cents a foot and we've got mega constructions costing thousands hanging off the back.

I often wondered about, but never had the courage to experiment with, soldering wire straight from the amp board to the crossover in the speakers or from output board on the component to input board on the preamp. Definitely strikes one as taking the joke too far, but it's bound to have an effect removing all the connections in between. Then again, maybe all you'd end up with is a Muso in three boxes that are now hard to move around

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