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 Post subject: Yet another cable thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:55 am 
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Reading the blue jeans cable thread has become a gong show, so rather than piling on there I thought I would start fresh. The arguement is the more you spend the "better" you get. Other people commented buying the best they can afford or smething on par with the equipment. So here is the question: what percentage of budget should be spent on cables.
Here is an example if it helps: $10,000 pre, $15,000 amp, $5,000 source (lets say cd to keep it simple), $20,000 speakers. Keeps the math simple $50,000. What is the budget for cables?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:03 pm 
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No idea, what is it?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:05 pm 
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Mod Beat wrote:
No idea, what is it?

60 bucks?.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:06 pm 
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Canadiansnowland wrote:
Reading the blue jeans cable thread has become a gong show, so rather than piling on there I thought I would start fresh. The arguement is the more you spend the "better" you get. Other people commented buying the best they can afford or smething on par with the equipment. So here is the question: what percentage of budget should be spent on cables.
Here is an example if it helps: $10,000 pre, $15,000 amp, $5,000 source (lets say cd to keep it simple), $20,000 speakers. Keeps the math simple $50,000. What is the budget for cables?


Personally never understood the math / percentages theory.

Buy what you think sounds good and has good system synergy with the rest of your gear?

Take into consideration new vs used prices, cable lengths, terminations etc as well as the law of diminishing returns...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:09 pm 
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Not sure where I fall in the argument. I've had five figure cable setups from Nordost, Van Den Hul and Audioquest in the last few years. I feel they work like tone controls more than anything. Right now I'm using a cheap pair of Anticables 3.1 speaker cables that are basically just 4 large solid core copper strands. Has my sound quality degraded? Not one bit and my current speakers are ruthlessly revealing.

If you invest a certain amount in a system it's perfectly reasonable to want nice cables. Most hobbyists that I know preach about cables not making a difference because they simply can't afford anything else. Experiment and find out for yourself what suits your system best and don't get caught up in price tags. It's your money, spend it how you want.

Don't get heated over this stupidity.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:14 pm 
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Canadiansnowland wrote:
Reading the blue jeans cable thread has become a gong show, so rather than piling on there I thought I would start fresh. The arguement is the more you spend the "better" you get. Other people commented buying the best they can afford or smething on par with the equipment. So here is the question: what percentage of budget should be spent on cables.
Here is an example if it helps: $10,000 pre, $15,000 amp, $5,000 source (lets say cd to keep it simple), $20,000 speakers. Keeps the math simple $50,000. What is the budget for cables?


The debate in the other thread is not about spending more will get you guaranteed performance. The debate is about individuals not accepting that there are choices for consumers. Choose whats best for you be it $50 or $50k.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:29 pm 
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sthomas1049 wrote:
Canadiansnowland wrote:
Reading the blue jeans cable thread has become a gong show, so rather than piling on there I thought I would start fresh. The arguement is the more you spend the "better" you get. Other people commented buying the best they can afford or smething on par with the equipment. So here is the question: what percentage of budget should be spent on cables.
Here is an example if it helps: $10,000 pre, $15,000 amp, $5,000 source (lets say cd to keep it simple), $20,000 speakers. Keeps the math simple $50,000. What is the budget for cables?


The debate in the other thread is not about spending more will get you guaranteed performance. The debate is about individuals not accepting that there are choices for consumers. Choose whats best for you be it $50 or $50k.


James_W wrote:
Not sure where I fall in the argument. I've had five figure cable setups from Nordost, Van Den Hul and Audioquest in the last few years. I feel they work like tone controls more than anything. Right now I'm using a cheap pair of Anticables 3.1 speaker cables that are basically just 4 large solid core copper strands. Has my sound quality degraded? Not one bit and my current speakers are ruthlessly revealing.

If you invest a certain amount in a system it's perfectly reasonable to want nice cables. Most hobbyists that I know preach about cables not making a difference because they simply can't afford anything else. Experiment and find out for yourself what suits your system best and don't get caught up in price tags. It's your money, spend it how you want.

Don't get heated over this stupidity.


Both great points - everyone has a different system, budget, etc

James, have you A/B'ed any other cables on your speakers with the Anticables?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:49 pm 
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Personally speaking, I wouldn't go above $600 for interconnects and speaker cables. Probably $300 for power cables but second hand.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:49 pm 
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ruecatinat wrote:
James, have you A/B'ed any other cables on your speakers with the Anticables?

Cardas Clear Light and Audioquest Aspen. I won't derail the thread but long story short I'm still using the Anticable 3.1's.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:59 pm 
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Short answer: 15k system, $500 cables. I'm not sure that you would be required to spend more for a $50k system, as there are enough cables in my system to connect everything.

Admission: I'm a cable "believer". OK, that's out of the way.

My system however, is mostly stock cables, or cables I have constructed from supplies from companies like Take Five or AuDIYo, or got free with pieces I have purchased here on CAM. I used to manufacture and sell silver audio cables in another life, and I've got one of those in my system as well.

My ratio is probably $500 cost in cables for a $15k system. Take into account that I have 5 balanced ICs between my pre/pro and power, and analog RCAs, toslink and coax digital from my source, and 3 runs of Totem Tress to each speaker that I bought in bulk and terminated myself. (If I bought everything retail, it would have cost 2-3 times what it cost me).

It's probably difficult to go lower than that and have power cables and speaker cables of decent gauge and good connectors on each end. At $500, mine is definitely in budget territory.

I was at London Audio not long ago, and their $40k system used all stock cables, I was surprised. Just whatever was in the Linn/Bryston boxes. Basic ICs. 1/4" round speaker cables. And the system sounds amazing.

I have limited money to spend on this hobby; if I had $500 to spend on my system, it wouldn't go toward cables, but to upgrade components or speakers. I just feel that is money better spent (even as a cable "believer"), but I realize some have the budget to splurge on fancy cables. That's fine by me.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:13 pm 
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If you use Bitcoin to purchase digital cables you'll find that they sound much better.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:20 pm 
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Despite not many have contributed to this thread - it does prove that people buy within reason and that we are not falling for so called marketing hype spending tens of thousands on cables like some believe it to be.

Me, I exclusively use WBT RCA connectors. I know there are cheaper locking type RCA’s but I have grown to trust WBT and greatly appreciate the quality. I have absolutely no quarrels spending the extra money to get what I want.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:46 pm 
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I have what might be described as an "upper mid-fi" system. Hard to price because the speakers are 30 years old but at today's 2nd hand and sale prices it would probably be about $15,000. I really could not have spent much more than what I did on components at the times I bought them. At best guess I have about $1730 worth of cables and speaker wire, at 2nd hand and sale prices. The interconnects are DSA's, Audioquest, Morrow, Eichmann, and Lavricable. Using these different "upper end" cables and where they work the best has definitely brought my system to the best it can be and I believe that it sounds better than what would be expected from the individual components.
Partly quality, and probably subtle signal modification.....and no, I do not have the electronic equipment and knowledge to demonstrate this.
Of course, I spent considerable dollars on cables which are no longer used, enroute to getting the system to where it is. One philosophy, right or wrong, is that overspending on cables might actually be the cheapest way to upgrade one's system as long as the components are good enough to benefit from this.
My own take on audio, and the rest of human endeavour, is to use the dogma and generalizations for guidance but do what actually works/sounds the best in specific circumstances.
In my particular case, the cables come in at around 11%.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:23 pm 
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At current replacement cost, give or take about $50000.00 ( in realality about $28000.00 spent, thanks to CAM ) worth of gear and $800.00 worth of cabling so 1.6% based on replacement cost or about 2.8% on real cost. I don't feel that my system is in anyway handicapped by the wiring used.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:37 pm 
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Mod Beat wrote:
No idea, what is it?

It's just another boooooooring thread on the subject. How many of those have we seen through the years? Cables are like wine... Il like red, you like white.. Is red or white better? Depends (see my sig... ). Just make your own opinion and stick with it...

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