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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:59 pm
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Location: courtice, ON, CA
I do not want to open up the discussion about cables, but with regards to $200 RCA interconnects vs a $1000 cables, is there a significant difference in sound? Let me add some background. I'm a NAD guy, therefore my system is not worth thousands of dollars. I have a modest system as you can see below, and my question is in reference to connecting a NAD C725BEE receiver via RCA cables to a Grado RA-1 amp which will lead to Grado GH2 and/or PS500 headphones. Currently I'm using a old (10 year) grey RCA cable that I cannot tell you the make or model. Sounds good but I have nothing to compare it to.

Would it be a wise decision to purchase a name brand RCA cable (Wireworld, Audioquest, KK) at the $200 level for either a 0.5 or 1.0 meter cable or wait and save and purchase a $1000 RCA cable? Please also consider that in today's terms my modest collection would have a net value of $3500 (C725 $500, C545 $400, SL-V5 $300, Planar 3 $550, SL-7 $400, Arro $800, interconnects $600, odds and sods $400)

It would appear to be a vary large investment roughly 1/3 of the net system value, but I would like to know if I would achieve a notable difference in sound. Notable sound I would define as "a night and day difference in what I can hear today).

I would love to hear from our panel what would be the logical and best choice to make. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:11 am 
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Location: Montréal, QC, CA
IMHO, what makes more change in the sound is in this order:

speakers, source (cartridge, tuner, tape deck, DAC), preamp, amp, speakers cable, IC's, power cord.

The thing is, your stuffs have to be proportional. $1000 power cord on a $1000 amp makes no sense, see ?
So, you have to reach a balance to get the most out of your gears.


I'm sure many Camers will tell you what are the right proportions to take care of.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:59 pm
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Location: courtice, ON, CA
I agree however what would be the difference in sound?

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Rega Planar 3/Nagaoka MP-11/Technics SL-7/SL-V5/Grado Black/NAD C725BEE/NAD C545BEE/NAD 613/NAD PP2/NAD DAC1/NAD HP20/Teac UD-301/Totem Arro/Technics SL-MC7/Sony MDR-1000X/Grado PS-500; RS1e: RS2i/FiiO Q1 II/JDS Element


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:25 am 
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Location: Thornhill, ON, CA
High end cables will conduct exactly what is put through them without added capacitance, resistance, EM interference etc. Capacitance and resistance and EMI do have subtle effects on the signal and thus the sound.

Then there's the physics of skin effect, VanDenHull effect, air dielectric etc. Lots to learn about. And some cables have different requirements based on their application. For example an MC cartridge interconnect should be shielded since it is carrying a lower voltage signal and therefore is more vulnerable to distortion.

Many will say the effect is mostly placebo and that fancy cables are a luxury item.

Since I really couldn't argue either way, I invested in some used high quality cables purchased on this site. The beauty of this is I get to try different products and I don't have difficulty reselling for what I paid or close if I want to try different products.

I did build my own bi-wire 6' speaker cables from regular 14ga stranded low oxygen copper wire inside a nice looking wire loom with pants and shrink tubing and banana plugs for around $60 total. This was more of a "craft" thing for me I am not so sure I will invest much in other speaker cables for this short run though I do look at the options from time to time.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:04 am 
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I wouldn't throw a $1000 set of cables at that system. They will make a difference ( I have the luxury of being able to throw big dollar cables at mid-fi gear all the time)

But the money would be better spent elsewhere in your system.

Look for something that has great value in hitting a bang for the buck pricerange.
You mentioned Wireworld, check out the Equinox line, they fit that bill. Would be a perfect match for your gear, and wouldn't hold you back if you upgraded some gear in the future.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:23 am 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
+1 , really not worth spending a grand on a cable for your system as it sits. If your current cable is getting worn/frayed/iffy, you can try something a little better. I'd say try something like a used Kimber PBJ just to get a foot in the door, and if you like it, great, if you can't tell any difference, then you haven't spent a lot of money.

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