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An experiment with cables (PC/IC/Speaker)

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  • An experiment with cables (PC/IC/Speaker)

    Although I’ve been into audio since the mid-seventies I didn’t start to change out stock cabling until about 10 years ago. Many times I couldn’t tell a difference, yet with others it ranged from a little to a somewhat substantial change, and not always for the better. So I tried different brands, different cable construction, different connection types, varying price points, pre-made and custom made, etc. as time progressed. I’ve also used the same brand for all cabling and a mix of brands. As someone who believes that cables can and do make a difference this has been an interesting journey.

    There are a couple things I’ve learned. I prefer the sound of copper or copper/silver over silver only. Quality connections are super important, but price not so much. The latter is significant to me as I’m now retired and on a limited income. But even if one isn’t restricted by finances, it’s nice to know there are many good quality cabling options out there at reasonable price points.

    My cabling needs are very minimal as I only have a Turntable and CD/SACD player connected to an Integrated amp and then a pair of speakers.

    Turntable: Oracle Paris Mk V
    Morrow Audio PH5 Phono Cable
    Custom Silver Litz ground wire
    Oracle Wall-wart power supply.
    Digital: Harman Kardon H/K57 CD/SACD player
    Emotiva Interconnects
    Hard-wired standard power cable
    Amplification: Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Integrated Amplifier
    Valab/King copper/silver power cable
    Speakers: Genesis Advanced Technologies G7.1f full-range loudspeakers
    Valab/King copper/silver speaker cables (spades & banana on opposite ends)
    Standard power cables to drive 180w built-in amps.(Manufacturer does NOT recommend changing cables)

    NOTE: I have no particulars on exact cable construction.

    What I want to do is bring all cabling back to more standard stock (either original cables or basic RCA connectors, of which I have plenty about from years past. For speaker wire I’ll be using standard 12awg. Since the suspension on my Dynavector DV20x2L crapped out I’ll have a basic Ortofon 2M Blue mounted as well. I’m going to live with this for one month and then start making some changes, one cable at a time.

    Here is where I need some suggestions or opinions. Where do I start with changes and do I go back to stock/standard cabling for the next change? I was thinking of starting with the PC of my IA and live with that for the next month. I could then make note of whatever differences I heard (if any), both positively and negatively. I would then bring back the standard PC and make the next change my phono cable and ground wire. Essentially I’m thinking to work with one cable change from stock at a time. My logic behind this approach is to more accurately detect a cable change without influence from other changes. Would this approach give me a more accurate reading of each newly introduced cable?

    There are many other questions I can think of, but let’s start from here.
    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

  • #2
    Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
    Although I’ve been into audio since the mid-seventies I didn’t start to change out stock cabling until about 10 years ago. Many times I couldn’t tell a difference, yet with others it ranged from a little to a somewhat substantial change, and not always for the better. So I tried different brands, different cable construction, different connection types, varying price points, pre-made and custom made, etc. as time progressed. I’ve also used the same brand for all cabling and a mix of brands. As someone who believes that cables can and do make a difference this has been an interesting journey.

    There are a couple things I’ve learned. I prefer the sound of copper or copper/silver over silver only. Quality connections are super important, but price not so much. The latter is significant to me as I’m now retired and on a limited income. But even if one isn’t restricted by finances, it’s nice to know there are many good quality cabling options out there at reasonable price points.

    My cabling needs are very minimal as I only have a Turntable and CD/SACD player connected to an Integrated amp and then a pair of speakers.

    Turntable: Oracle Paris Mk V
    Morrow Audio PH5 Phono Cable
    Custom Silver Litz ground wire
    Oracle Wall-wart power supply.
    Digital: Harman Kardon H/K57 CD/SACD player
    Emotiva Interconnects
    Hard-wired standard power cable
    Amplification: Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Integrated Amplifier
    Valab/King copper/silver power cable
    Speakers: Genesis Advanced Technologies G7.1f full-range loudspeakers
    Valab/King copper/silver speaker cables (spades & banana on opposite ends)
    Standard power cables to drive 180w built-in amps.(Manufacturer does NOT recommend changing cables)

    NOTE: I have no particulars on exact cable construction.

    What I want to do is bring all cabling back to more standard stock (either original cables or basic RCA connectors, of which I have plenty about from years past. For speaker wire I’ll be using standard 12awg. Since the suspension on my Dynavector DV20x2L crapped out I’ll have a basic Ortofon 2M Blue mounted as well. I’m going to live with this for one month and then start making some changes, one cable at a time.

    Here is where I need some suggestions or opinions. Where do I start with changes and do I go back to stock/standard cabling for the next change? I was thinking of starting with the PC of my IA and live with that for the next month. I could then make note of whatever differences I heard (if any), both positively and negatively. I would then bring back the standard PC and make the next change my phono cable and ground wire. Essentially I’m thinking to work with one cable change from stock at a time. My logic behind this approach is to more accurately detect a cable change without influence from other changes. Would this approach give me a more accurate reading of each newly introduced cable?

    There are many other questions I can think of, but let’s start from here.
    I still think there's a good argument to make with using all the cables from one company for an exercise like this. Otherwise, you really don't know what's responsible for what you are hearing.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

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