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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:58 pm
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Location: San Jose, CA, US
Hello all! I am a new guy to the forums, but an self-proclaimed audiophile who started out in the 1990’s. I have improved my system so many times over the years and always for the better. A friend of mine who has way more invested in his system is a big fan of high-end cables. Haven't actually heard their quality but I didn't know how they stacked up against other cables. I would like to get some feedback from the forum readers? :?: :D


Last edited by MrModest on Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:00 pm
Posts: 439
Location: Ft. Myers, FL, US
Welcome to USAM and the forums.

As much as I would love to witness an all-out cable flame-war here in the forums, it ain't gonna happen. The forums here have yet to catch fire and that's a shame.

Every well-meaning audiophool has his own ideas and experiences when it comes to interconnects, speaker cables and power cords. Some guys think copper is copper and any well-designed and engineered cable with decent terminations will get the job done.

At the other end of the spectrum are guys who believe that super-esoteric cable designs with magnets, batteries and oil-dampening(!) are what's necessary to extract the most minute of musical information from a highly resolving audio system. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle but the important thing is to not get distracted by all of the hype surrounding the ongoing debate.

I think you'll discover that when it comes to cabling, system synergy is crucial because a given interconnect/speaker cable/power cord in one system may yield wildly different dividends/results in another system. Just try not to get caught up in the "money-invested-equals-performance" game. There are many fine affordable cable designs on the market so take the time that's necesssary to research what kind of cables work well with the specific components you have in your system. Unfortunately, to learn what you need to know will require you to explore the forums on other websites such as Canuck Audio Mart, AudiogoN, Audio Karma, Audio Asylum and the like.

If you're determined to take the full measure of your friends' Tara Labs cables, I would suggest that you borrow them from him if possible, perhaps when he's out of town on business or vacationing etc. If you like what you hear, then search for those same cables on the used market unless you're financially secure enough and have no problem paying full-retail. Most new high-end cables from the well established manufacturers, no matter how well they might perform, have an outrageously ridiculous MSRP that often times does not reflect the actual performance that they're capable of delivering. So if you always buy pre-owned cables, you'll generally recoup your investment if and when you decide to sell them in order to upgrade and/or audition other cables.

Have fun and remember: It's all about the music - not the gear. 8)

_________________
"If you ever injected truth into politics you'd have no politics." ~ Will Rogers


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:02 am
Posts: 1
Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
I like Analysis Plus cables and for the price, they are hard to beat. I have used this place (see my link below) many times. Their prices are quite good, service is top notch and you don't have to worry about any of their cables being knock offs! And they have cables for all types of budgets. Cheers

http://www.thecableco.com/


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:23 am
Posts: 2
Location: Lodi, OH, US
Oh boy,cable shopping can be costly. First thing you should do is figure out what type and gauge you want. I would look at 12 and 10 gauge speaker cables. High quality copper,silverplated copper or pure silver types. Then there's termination,gold,rhodium,silverplated or raw connections. I enjoy the Morrow cables myself.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:17 pm
Posts: 4
Location: San Francisco, CA, US
How do you define "high-end cable"? What makes sense for your system? If you use lamp cord for speaker wire on a $10K system, you might find some improvement by spending more. And the converse is true also. Or, if you're using some Monster speaker cables that cost a couple hundred bucks, you might find improvement by spending double that -- it's hard to know until you try. At a certain point, this whole hobby has an element of "black magic"; buying, selling, and trading until you find the right combination of components that sound right for your ears. Yes, it gets expensive, but if you're buying used cables of good reputation, you'll generally only spend more as you trade up. I recently swapped out a $300 VPI phono cable for a $1000 phono cable (from a very reputable manufacturer) on my Pro-Ject 10.2 Evo with Sumiko LOMC Blackbird and was blown away by the overall improvement in sound. How did that happen? I don't know, but you can bet I'll be selling the other cable and maybe putting it towards trying some new speaker cables.

Keep experimenting and sharing your findings. It's what makes this hobby so fun (and maddening at times).

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 11:09 am
Posts: 8
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CA
I always demo in my system,it's the only way you are going to know for sure.Some reputable cable manufacturers offer a limited home trial.Audio Horizons and Morrow come to mind.Most importantly always believe what your ears say not hearsay.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:34 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Santa Ana, CA, US
Now, now, hifijones, it’s not ALL about the music. The gear matters, too! Why is it when we “collect” music it’s perfectly acceptable to maintain a growing library, yet when we “collect” gear it’s considered an addiction and we relate it to a perpetual “merry-go-round?” I love the gear (ha!).

Hifijones left some very good advice, here. Not unlike good wines, with cables higher price does not necessarily equate to higher performance. I would stick with companies that have been around a while and have proven history. Stick with designs that are basically simple—no batteries, or magic boxes. Just cable. This is one philosophy I use to narrow my cable choices.

Two brands I like that offer nice mid-priced (a relative term, there!) cables are Kimber and DH Labs. I personally avoid ultra-high-end cable that are extraordinarily expensive. I am not saying you won’t realize a “tiny” improvement, but I am not convinced the expense is “worth” it and you may very well not realize any improvement. (We’re back to that relative determination as to what is expensive?)

The problem with cables is that you have to buy multiple cables to wire up your system, so it all adds up.

Seek out some Audioholics videos regarding cables. They make some interesting comments about cable marketing “wizard-like” claims.

Finally, I’ll say this. It seems that when equipment manufacturers (Bryston, McIntosh, SVS, etc.) venture into the cable business, their cables are usually reasonably priced. Maybe that says something.


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