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    Cables Make a Difference

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    VTHokie83

    Posts : 10
    Join date : 2014-01-06

    Cables Make a Difference

    Post by VTHokie83 on Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:12 am

    First off, I have 2 sets of Thiel speakers....both of which are extremely unforgiving, but incredibly rewarding when getting them right. I tried different interconnects and speaker cables over the past couple of years, even some pure silver cables. Even after letting them "burn in" for a couple of weeks, most sounded harsh and a bit bright. I'm not good at explaining the sound with flowery comments like "spatial, sound stage, airy" etc...so your mileage may vary.

    I finally settled on Morrow Audio for the digital and analog interconnects, and AntiCables speaker cables. Yes they were difficult at first, but mellowed out and are near perfect in the current set up....however the cables took a few weeks (I believe the speaker cables were the culprit) to burn in, patience was needed.

    Thiel CS1.5 & CS2.3 Speakers, Bob Latino VTA ST-120 Tube Amp with cap upgrades and stepped attenuator, NOS Volex 17604 power cord, Morrow MA1 & DIG1 Interconnects, AntiCables Level 2.1 Speaker Cables, Onkyo C-7030 CD, Maverick Audio TubeMagic D2 DAC, Grado SR80i and Sennheiser HD558 headphones, and Schiit Magni headphone amp.
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    bluemeanies

    Posts : 260
    Join date : 2015-02-09
    Age : 68
    Location : Folsom Pa.

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by bluemeanies on Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:08 pm

    I am not a BELIEVER in esoteric cables but that is MO. In this hobby there are many flavors to satisfy all taste buds.
    My experience comes from owning many different cables starting (when I was a young blood) lamp cord cable. My cornucopia has been MONSTER CABLE, BJC, MORROW, MIT TERMINATOR ll, AUDIOQUEST and now NAKAMICHI SPEAKER cable.
    I know there are more exotic cables out there but they all serve the same purpose and at various price margins...from cheap to ridiculously expensive.
    I challenged all of the cables mentioned in several blind tests with a little help from my friends so not to be bias one way or another. MY end result was NAKAMICHI 12guage. Not for any better reason other than asedtics. The BJC was just as good but for a little more $$ I had the appearance of hi-end cables.

    This hobby is a journey...a never ending journey so enjoy but value your wallet and don't be afraid to ask questions before jumping into shallow waters.

    Dogstar

    Posts : 341
    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by Dogstar on Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:09 pm

    I had thought about testing different cables with different speakers and different amps but focusing on one component (speaker cables) will not muddy the results or confuse the issue with too many variables.

    I do have 3 different pairs of speakers. Factory built 3 way bookshelfs (Polk Audio LSiM 703’s), factory built 3 way towers (JBL L100T3’s), and home built 3 way towers (Klipsche). For the test I should pick just one pair.

    Dogstar

    Posts : 341
    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by Dogstar on Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:37 pm

    OK...I performed my speaker cable test. Cables compared were SilNote Audio Morpheus Reference cables 8 feet in length and banana plugs on both ends for the first pair of cables and the second pair consisted of speaker cables made from Auvio Round Parallel Premium 12 gauge speaker cables made from a 50 foot spool I bought at Radio Shack before they stopped selling audio components. I used Nakamici banana plugs. I made 2 pairs of cables with the cable spool so each cable is about 12.5 feet long.. I know I said I was going to compare the SilNote Audio cables to lamp cord cables but the Auvio cable that I had for over a year is as close as I can get without buying more wire.

    Power was from my VTA ST-120 amp. The music source was my Cambridge Audio 651C CD player going into a Cary SL-100 preamp. And finally the speakers were my home made Klipsche hybrids that were made from Heresy III woofers and tweeters mounted to a Heresy III horn and a horn mounted midrange from one of the newer model speakers. The crossovers were from Bob Crites. When I first got the speakers I wasn't that happy with them but over the first month or so they began to sound better. I like the way they sound now.

    Anyway...the point of this test was to find out if there was a difference between the cables...not to determine how the speakers sound. Maybe if the speakers were absolutely horrible they wouldn't be a good choice to use but compared to the other 2 pairs of speakers I have the that are factory built JBL L100T3’s and Polk Audio LSiM 703’s the sound quality is really good.

    I used Sade's Diamond Life, Madeline Peyroux's Careless Love and James Carter's The Real Quietstorm albums on CD as my music selection to conduct the test. I like Jazz and I think my choices were a good choice because of the similarities yet differences between the artists. Carter’s album was particularly good to me because it seems there was not a lot of synthetic alterations of the original recording. The instruments sound very lifelike and rather than that ‘wall of sound’ soundstage the instruments are in a 3D space. That is you here one instrument to the left and front, another more towards the center but set back, and yet more the right.

    So now my conclusion. I'm glad I did not actually give the owner of SilNote Audio money for these cables. To be honest I did not hear a phenomenol difference. They would not have been worth the money he has them priced at.  I don't even think they really look that good. Morrow Audio speaker cables look better.

    Back in my younger days I attended a lot of heavy metal concerts by bands such as AC/DC, Tesla, Lillian Axe, Nashville Pussy along with lots of really loud ones and I do have tinnitus so maybe that's why I don't hear a difference between cables...but I do hear the difference between tube and solid state amps.

    Since I don't hear a difference I may sell the SilNote Audio cables. One other possibility is that I probably have only about 20 or 30 hours on the SilNote cables. I wonder if they need a longer run in time? Suggestions?

    Thanks.
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    Peter W.

    Posts : 965
    Join date : 2016-08-07
    Location : Melrose Park, PA

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by Peter W. on Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:56 am

    A few observations:

    a) Esoteric cables are relatively new on the scene, starting, roughly, in the late 1970s and not reaching much penetration into the market until the 1980s.
    b) Prior to which, many users, even those of high-end equipment, used simple speaker wire, often 20-gauge or finer.
    c) Given that most (not all) manufacturers of audio equipment and/or accessories (apparently) cannot survive on simply making a good product, fairly represented and fairly priced, the concept of "Puffery"

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puffery

    became the norm.
    d) And, as pretty much any decent, properly gauged cable would be an improvement over 20-gauge zip, and as the audio world is sadly deficient in logic at times, the fallacy of leaping to conclusions was committed - many times. "Some cables are better than others" (True, that). Therefore All Cables Are Different (not so much). MY cat is grey. Therefore all cats are grey (with apologies to Ben Franklin).
    e) The science and the physics of conductivity are well established, and may even be taken for settled science, Clarke's Laws notwithstanding. Especially at audio frequencies - which are truly neither special nor difficult signals as these things go.

    From which we may all draw our own conclusions and make our own choices.

    At this point, most of my short-run speaker wire is 14 gauge zip. The main system is 12-gauge fine-stranded THHN spun on a drill to about 8 turns-per-foot. Spade lugs are soldered and used at both ends. "Fine-Stranded" uses 19 strands. Conventional stranded uses 7. It may be sourced from Grainger at about $68/500 foot spool, comes to about $0.272 per linear foot (two conductors). One spool will give you 250 feet of speaker wire, enough for the typical household in most cases.

    Per the NEC, new copper conductors must be drawn from virgin copper - perhaps not oxygen-free, but not bad, either. Similar-gauge purpose-made speaker wire runs about $0.84/l.f. and is not subject to the NEC.
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    corndog71

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    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by corndog71 on Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:32 am

    One thing that bothers me a little about cable comparisons is when people compare what are essentially the same cable with different branding. If you're going to make comparisons at least mix it up a little. Find a speaker cable that does something different besides paralleling or twisting a pair of wires. Kimber Kable for instance does something different. They braid smaller wires that come together at the ends to form 2 larger conductors. The braid geometry reduces the effects of RFI/EMI. I'm sure there are others that do things differently but I can't think of them at the moment.

    Dogstar

    Posts : 341
    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by Dogstar on Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:01 am

    corndog71 wrote:One thing that bothers me a little about cable comparisons is when people compare what are essentially the same cable with different branding.  If you're going to make comparisons at least mix it up a little.  Find a speaker cable that does something different besides paralleling or twisting a pair of wires.  Kimber Kable for instance does something different.  They braid smaller wires that come together at the ends to form 2 larger conductors.  The braid geometry reduces the effects of RFI/EMI.  I'm sure there are others that do things differently but I can't think of them at the moment.  

    My ‘test’ or really comparison was not to try and find what method of fabricated cable assemblies sound better but merely to see if high price ‘boutique’ cables really produced a better sound that plain old ‘speaker wire’.

    I did not hear an improved sound with the setup I had.
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    corndog71

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    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by corndog71 on Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:52 pm

    Yeah, if it's just a prettier version of zipcord then I wouldn't expect much difference.

    Dogstar

    Posts : 341
    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by Dogstar on Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:58 pm

    I don’t know what SilNote Audio hid underneath the braided sleeve.
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    pedrocols

    Posts : 118
    Join date : 2014-11-24
    Location : Western MA

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by pedrocols on Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:46 pm

    So much nonsense.
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    CletusB

    Posts : 194
    Join date : 2018-02-11
    Age : 63
    Location : Trinidad & Tobago

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by CletusB on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:45 am

    I got some 14awg zipcord going on and I'm good! cheers
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    10-E-C

    Posts : 204
    Join date : 2014-02-12
    Age : 65
    Location : upper east tn

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by 10-E-C on Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:34 pm

    I use tinned 65 strand military 12 gauge MTW wire, 72 bucks for a 500 foot spool. It's very flexible and easy to run. Works for me.
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    bluemeanies

    Posts : 260
    Join date : 2015-02-09
    Age : 68
    Location : Folsom Pa.

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by bluemeanies on Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:27 am

    Okay...back again with my anti ESOTERIC cable comments. No offense to anyone,,strictly MO.

    Please justify a Puriest Audio Design Luminist 1.0 meter power cable priced at $9,900? or since we are talking speaker cables...2meter Morrow Audio ELITE Grand for $3,995.00?

    EXPLAIN THE VALUE.
    I don't see it, nor do I think would hear it.
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    Peter W.

    Posts : 965
    Join date : 2016-08-07
    Location : Melrose Park, PA

    Re: Cables Make a Difference

    Post by Peter W. on Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:31 am

    bluemeanies wrote:Okay...back again with my anti ESOTERIC cable comments. No offense to anyone,,strictly MO.

    Please justify a Puriest Audio Design Luminist 1.0 meter power cable priced at $9,900? or since we are talking speaker cables...2meter Morrow Audio ELITE Grand for $3,995.00?

    EXPLAIN THE VALUE.
    I don't see it, nor do I think would hear it.

    I remember once, when I was a kid of about 20, or so, being told a story by a professional salesman, recently retired.

    You are not selling an object, be it a car, boat, house, refrigerator, suit or toaster. You are selling a "Story". The "Story" is to show how wise the buyer was to make that particular choice. And once that is accomplished, the buyer will figure out how to make it happen (NOT the Sales Person!).

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    Re: Cables Make a Difference

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