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Thread: Cable advice

  1. #1
    In the trade Wammer Samantha's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    I have upgraded both my amp and speakers and I doubt my Naim cable is really getting the best results from my new kit.

    Obviously music is a personal thing, so I will let you know what I have run previously and if there are suggestions, please ellaborate over what the results are like.

    My first 'real' hi-fi comprised of Meridian 200/203, Linn Intek integrated amp to Epos ES11s and I used Linn K20 cable. I changed the speakers for some Linn Nexus SEs and borrowed a bag full of cables. I ended up buying Nordost flatline gold which although not as expensive as the silver version, I prefered on that kit as with the silver, it sounded a bit sharp and clinical.

    System changed with amps moving through Cambridge C70/P70 and to the Naim 102/180. Speakers changed to SBLs and the CDP to Naim CDX. Interconnects changed for Blue Heavens but speaker cables back to Nac5.
    The Nordost flat sounded more detailed but also a bit bright and full Naim electronics can sound bright anyway, so moving to the recommended Naim cable calmed it.

    Now I still run the CDX but have a warmer amp (Unison Research S8) and the Audio Physic Avanti III speakers. I am still using Blue Heaven interconnects and the Nac5 speaker cable.

    My dealer loaned me some interconnects, but TBH the difference between them and the Blue Heaven didn't justify spending.
    Also loaned me some speaker cables (Nordost Reference) but alas (or perhaps should that be relief since I suspect they were expensive even with his 50% off sale) they were too short for me to try.

    I listen to a lot of female vocals and I also enjoy classic rock.

    I have a friend down in Southampton who has some unused cables he is willing to lend me to try (vdH First Ultimate and XLO interconnects, and vdH Teatrack speaker cable) when he comes up next.

    Since it is a bit hard to get a whole load of different possibles on loan to try - any other suggestions over which ones I should really consider.



    Palmer 2.5 Turntable, SME M2-10, Lyra Kleos, Puresound P10/T10 or Sonneteer Byron CDP into L300/845M and out of Acoustic Energy Reference 1s

  2. #2
    Super Wammer JANDL100's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Try two of THESE.

    Yes, they are a digital cable (so you need two of them). And yes, they sound fantastic as ordinary interconnects - pretty much regardless of price IMHO.

    For a 1m pair they'll set you back £32. They trashed my £300 Cardas cables - more focus, more transparency, more detail ..... more music.

    £32 - what's to lose? (except £32 )

    (They do other lengths too)

    Life's too short for boring hifi!

  3. #3
    Super Wammer TIU's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    My first port of call is usually to look at the mags' annual award winners and best buys/editor's choices for the price level you are considering and go from there. I also tend to agree with the general rule of thumb of not spending more than 10 per cent of system cost on bits of wire. It all depends on whether you're a cable believer or not. ;) I believe it does make a difference but not to the levels some report; it's very subtle IMO.
    'The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles.'

  4. #4
    Super Wammer JANDL100's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    TIU wrote:
    My first port of call is usually to look at the mags' annual award winners and best buys/editor's choices for the price level you are considering and go from there.
    :lmao:... Nah.

    There's no need to look out the "Awards Issue" of a mag - any issue will do - just look to see which cables are advertised the most, with full page adverts- that's where the Awards will go!!
    Life's too short for boring hifi!

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    Pfft Injector's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Chord cables seem to be highly regarded across the board.
    I don't like stuff that sucks.

  6. #6
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    Post imported post

    Buy some cheap ones. Spend your money on music.

    That is my cable advice.

  7. #7
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    Post imported post

    Thanks for the views - all appreciated.

    It is more the speaker cables I am concerned with as I think the Blue Heaven is pretty decent TBH (although my dealer did say in the context of the rest of my kit it was a little out of its depth)
    JANDL100 - do you think the digital interconnects would work better than the Blue Heaven?
    HiFiWigWam - If I was going to buy cheap ones .... wouldn't I be better just keeping what I already have? As for just spending on music.... you wouldn't believe how many new CDs I have added to my collection since the new amp/speakers arrived. Got new kit set up Wednesday. Work Thursday/Friday. 8 new cds bought over the weekend and 10 ordered online so due next week. Must say I'm certainly enjoying it.

    Palmer 2.5 Turntable, SME M2-10, Lyra Kleos, Puresound P10/T10 or Sonneteer Byron CDP into L300/845M and out of Acoustic Energy Reference 1s

  8. #8
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    Post imported post

    What is your budget?

  9. #9
    In the trade Wammer Samantha's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    I haven't set a budget as really I would just like to know what is worth trying, then on listening, I can decide if VFM or not.

    If I was working to the 10% rule, then I guess between £865 to £1.6k would be allowed (depending on whether based on new cost or what I paid) - but I really cannot imagine spending that on speaker cables being VFM.

    If really good speaker cables can be had and will be signifiacant improvement over the Naim NacA5 for £100 - great, I'll go for it.

    If however I need to spend much more - then I will need a demo to convince me it is VFM and I may just delay the purchase till I've had another payday or two.

    Palmer 2.5 Turntable, SME M2-10, Lyra Kleos, Puresound P10/T10 or Sonneteer Byron CDP into L300/845M and out of Acoustic Energy Reference 1s

  10. #10
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    Post imported post

    speaker cable choice is emotive and subjective. You really need to borrow a few at different price levels and see how you get on, and any advice you get here will be 'varied' to put it mildly Find a friendly dealer...there are several trading here for example who specialise in cables (Effem/Krystal cables, and tony at Coherent know their stuff)...with your kit I think I'd email effem and see if you can persuade him to lend you a few to try...I think he used to do a 'try befor you buy' type service...his cables go between 10 and 100 squid/meter. Incidentally, the one thing that most here DO agree on is DONT Bi-wire...£ for £ you get much better value and sound by buying a more expensive single strand.
    still just watching clouds

  11. #11
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    Post imported post

    I'd try and get a demo of this


    £45 per mono meter.

    Noteworthy audio sell it.

  12. #12
    Effem
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    Post imported post

    Look out on Audiogon for some secondhand Virtual Dynamics "Nite"interconnects and speaker cables. Awesome sound from these cablesbut the new price hurts a bit to say the least They normally go for around £200-ish plus shipping to the UK and what the customs clobber you for, yet stillworth every singlepenny at that price

    Here's the link: http://www.audiogon.com/

  13. #13
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    TIU wrote:
    I also tend to agree with the general rule of thumb of not spending more than 10 per cent of system cost on bits of wire.

    Where is this rule from please do tell ?

  14. #14
    Pfft Injector's Avatar
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    I sold my Blue Heaven I/Cs and speaker cabling. I then bought Townshend Isolda DCT speaker cable...which sounded just the same. I replaced the Blue Heaven I/Cs with cheaper stuff and my system sounded better. I've come to the conclusion that unless you use shitetelephone cablefound in the back of a BT van, anything will do the job speaker-wise. I/Cs are different andfor some reason I notice big differences there. Well not big exactly, I have to listen for 'em like a bastard!

    As for your dealer saying that the Blue Heaven cabling is out of its depth in your system, that's cack IMO. Dealers make a lot of money out of selling cables and will presumably believe in them enough to recommend the more expensive ones. It's worth bearing in mind that there is very little difference between cables and it's just as likely that a cheaper one will sound better than a more expensive one.

    Blue Heaven isn't to many peoples' tastes even when compared to £10 I/Cs. :lmao:

    Having said all that, silver cables do 'sound' different to copper IME. I've listened to umpteen copper cables though and found knob-all difference between 'em. I mean, if you think about it; aside from the different packaging, coloursandfunky connectors; they're all justpieces of wire. The amount the majority of 'audiophile' companies charge for it is tantamount to robbery IMO.


    When demoing cable it is so easy to think you can notice differences, especially when a dealer is pointing them out. You need to listen to them over the course of an evening in your own system.Oh and to do so with the opinion that they all sound the same - that way if one is different (and better) it will jump out and prove itself to you. That 10% rule is bollocks too! Anyone who spends more than a few hundred quid on cables needs sectioning!

    *Disclaimer to avoid offending cable dealers and mega-believers, the above waffling isonly myopinion.

    I don't like stuff that sucks.

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    Davewhityetagain wrote:
    TIU wrote:
    I also tend to agree with the general rule of thumb of not spending more than 10 per cent of system cost on bits of wire.

    Where is this rule from please do tell ?
    If I remember correctly from the days when I read and believed that sort of crap; What Hi-Fi.
    Once more unto the cheese, dear friends !

  16. #16
    Super Wammer simon g's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Samantha wrote:
    I haven't set a budget as really I would just like to know what is worth trying, then on listening, I can decide if VFM or not.

    If I was working to the 10% rule, then I guess between £865 to £1.6k would be allowed (depending on whether based on new cost or what I paid) - but I really cannot imagine spending that on speaker cables being VFM.

    If really good speaker cables can be had and will be signifiacant improvement over the Naim NacA5 for £100 - great, I'll go for it.

    If however I need to spend much more - then I will need a demo to convince me it is VFM and I may just delay the purchase till I've had another payday or two.
    The 10% guidance is based on the total spend on all cables, not just the speaker cables.

    I would definitely try adifferentinterconnect with the S8. The Nordost is not a good match for a CDX into an S8, IMO. I had a S6 for quite a while, fed from an Ayre CX7e ~ and for me Kimber worked very well indeed. 8TC speaker cables and a Kimber Select KS1011 (both of whichI bought used). Don't forget that if you buy new with Russ Andrews you can try at home for 60 days and return for a refund if you don't like them. With your CDX I would imagine an adapter would be required.

    Unrelatedto cables, but worth mentioning. If you like female vocals then perhaps try a different source, before cables perhaps.Cables can make a difference, but these differences, IME, never match the difference that a change of component will bring. Fine tuning a system, is a good way of looking at this. I would take a listen to the Ayre or a Meridian G08 ~ very different to a CDX, but much more accomplished all rounders, IMO. Female vocals (a favourite of mine!) are beautifully rendered by the Ayre, but it may be a bit too polite for your taste.



  17. #17
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    Didn't get on too well with Blue Heaven when I borrowed some: my usual reco of Effem's Sterling2 trashed it in most respects; it is also, to my ears better than its Chord equivalents (which I still have & use elsewhere).

    You could do worse than check out Krystal Kables...

  18. #18
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    Post imported post

    simon g wrote:
    Samantha wrote:
    I haven't set a budget as really I would just like to know what is worth trying, then on listening, I can decide if VFM or not.

    If I was working to the 10% rule, then I guess between £865 to £1.6k would be allowed (depending on whether based on new cost or what I paid) - but I really cannot imagine spending that on speaker cables being VFM.

    If really good speaker cables can be had and will be signifiacant improvement over the Naim NacA5 for £100 - great, I'll go for it.

    If however I need to spend much more - then I will need a demo to convince me it is VFM and I may just delay the purchase till I've had another payday or two.
    The 10% guidance is based on the total spend on all cables, not just the speaker cables.

    I would definitely try a*different*interconnect with the S8. The Nordost is not a good match for a CDX into an S8, IMO. I had a S6 for quite a while, fed from an Ayre CX7e ~ and for me Kimber worked very well indeed. 8TC speaker cables and a Kimber Select KS1011 (both of which*I bought used). Don't forget that if you buy new with Russ Andrews you can try at home for 60 days and return for a refund if you don't like them. With your CDX I would imagine an adapter would be required.

    Unrelated*to cables, but worth mentioning. If you like female vocals then perhaps try a different source, before cables perhaps.*Cables can make a difference, but these differences, IME, never match the difference that a change of component will bring. Fine tuning a system, is a good way of looking at this. I would take a listen to the Ayre or a Meridian G08 ~ very different to a CDX, but much more accomplished all rounders, IMO. Female vocals (a favourite of mine!) are beautifully rendered by the Ayre, but it may be a bit too polite for your taste.

    *
    Pretty much the only post in a cable thread that I've read that actually makes any sense. A cable that sounded crap in one system may be perfect for another. SYNERGY !

  19. #19
    Thai wammer ob1's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Smantha, I guess from your post, you are a subscriber of "what hifi and vision" mags! In here, many wammers found their recommendation not to our taste, may I say.
    KK Sterling 2 is well build and sound different (better) than many cheaper pair, being up front and lively. Cardas Cross ref are totally awesome, natural and open my system soundstage up big time but at high-ish price. If you gonna spend less than £150 then £10 Gotham are as good as many out there.
    Authorized retailer for TAD Labs, Vertex AQ, Soulution Audio, Brodmann, Clones Audio, Benz micro, AMG Turntable, Ziro Audio cables, , Airtight, M2Tech, Shelter

    http://www.wintersaudio.co.uk/

  20. #20
    In the trade Wammer Samantha's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    ob1 wrote:
    Smantha, I guess from your post, you are a subscriber of "what hifi and vision" mags! In here, many wammers found their recommendation not to our taste, may I say.
    No idea why you say that - I am not a subscriber to any magazine at all - and haven't read a Hi-Fi mag since the days when they were all extoling the virtues of the Pioneer A400 integrated amp......

    The "10% rule" was me quoting what a previous reply had said that's all.

    I have a few pointers now and will be seeing if I can get a listen to some Virtual Dynamics 'Nite' cables as well as trying the VDH stuff my friend is loaning me.

    Thanks for all the help!

    Palmer 2.5 Turntable, SME M2-10, Lyra Kleos, Puresound P10/T10 or Sonneteer Byron CDP into L300/845M and out of Acoustic Energy Reference 1s

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