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Thread: How to start?

  1. #1

    How to start?

    I'm building my first 2-channel system at the moment and my cables are pretty much all generic. I'm wondering if it would be better to purchase an entire loom of cables at once, but of a lower grade or to buy just the cables that I need and at a higher grade and then upgrade the others later? For example: would it be best to purchase an entire set of Shunyata Venom cables or just a pair of Anaconda speaker cables if speaker cables are all that I actually need? In either case I would just upgrade the cables once I've recovered from the previous purchase with the exception of the speaker cables if I decide to just go big right away.

  2. #2
    In my opinion, most cables have some kind of sound signature.
    That means that by using just one brand, you amplify the coloration you´ve introduced from one cable when you put the others.
    I think It will be great luck to find an absolutely neutral brand.
    So, my advice is to go for different brands and start finding the best one to connect the source to the amplifier. In my opinion is the most important cable. As long as you find the best link to preserve the signal where it was born you can slowly go for the others.

  3. #3
    Not all cables have a coloration. Cables without coloration will let you find out what a system really sounds like. Find cables that please you.

    There is an old rule of thumb that cables cost should be 10% to 15% of the total components cost. However, cost of cables is not an indicator of performance.

    I disagreed with putting the best cord between the signal stream source and the preamp. The reason is simple, if you want great sound then you need to have good power. In terms of cables that means the power cords. The real source of the signal starts at the wall.

    Find a company who's products you like and test them to find out if they live up to your expectations. Study the product reviews, remember to study the writer (you may or may not care for their equipment and choice of music).
    Engineer with interests in equipment for recording and playback. Manufacturing interests with Audio Union International and Enklein System.
    Partial list of equipment playback only (as of 9/23/2015: Benchmark DAC, Parasound preamp and power, Sutherland Engineer phonostages, power amps, preamps (several), B&W speakers (several), Thrax electronics and speakers, Audio Union Helix 1 TT and CEC, Clear Audio TT, Merril Williams TT, Burmester preamp, Rotel preamp, Berkley Apha 1 DAC

  4. #4
    Thanks! It sounds like although you two disagree on where to begin as far as which cable, that you both agree that I should start slow and build over time. You might be pleased to know that Robert Hartley agrees (I wrote to TAS with the same question). I'm definitely gonna audition some cables first. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by PicknPop View Post
    Thanks! It sounds like although you two disagree on where to begin as far as which cable, that you both agree that I should start slow and build over time. You might be pleased to know that Robert Hartley agrees (I wrote to TAS with the same question). I'm definitely gonna audition some cables first. Thanks!
    Robert has several books with his name listed as an author or contributor by way of TAS, you might consider reading some of these on your journey.
    Engineer with interests in equipment for recording and playback. Manufacturing interests with Audio Union International and Enklein System.
    Partial list of equipment playback only (as of 9/23/2015: Benchmark DAC, Parasound preamp and power, Sutherland Engineer phonostages, power amps, preamps (several), B&W speakers (several), Thrax electronics and speakers, Audio Union Helix 1 TT and CEC, Clear Audio TT, Merril Williams TT, Burmester preamp, Rotel preamp, Berkley Apha 1 DAC

  6. #6
    I think a good way to start down the path is to identify the importance of each cable position:

    1) Power cords
    2) Interconnects
    3) Speaker cables (keep as short as you can, but not less than 4m)

    Tom? Your thoughts?
    Founder: AVShowrooms- over 15,000,000 video views! featuring video reports of audio shows, company tours and reviews. Resume' includes; the absolute sound, Stereophile, Listener Magazine, founder Philadelphia Audio Society. Top articles: Lamm ML3- TAS, YG Anat III Signatures- TAS, Ayon- TAS, Kronos Ltd. video review- AVS, Audionet- AVS, Single Ended Survey- TAS, Fisher 500c- Stereophile, Bozak CGs- Stereophile, Box Sets- Listener, Dynaco ST70-Listener. Best catch phrase: Bugatti of Audio.

  7. #7
    I think i can agree with both of you (Tom and Peter) about the biggest importance of power cables.
    But, from my experience, i didn´t notice big improvements by changing the power cables, until i have the things almost right in the interconnects and speaker cables.
    So, is a circle.

  8. #8
    Senior Member NorthStar's Avatar
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    ...A chain.

    I think it's a very good activity for all hi-end (mid-end too) audio manufacturers in testing their products to sound best with the cables tested all around...AC power chords, interconnects and speaker cables. They take the passionate time to design and implement parts inside to shine in our ears outside and look good outside...the reproduced music.
    When you buy a pair of mono amps, they come with AC power chords; did the manufacturer (say Boulder here just as an example) try various brands of AC power chords?
    When you buy a pair of loudspeakers they usually don't come with speaker wires (say Magico here just as an example); did the speaker's designers try their designs with various speaker cables?
    When you buy a digital rig (CD transport and DAC), they come with an AC power chord but no interconnect cables (say dCS here just as an example); did they try ...
    When you buy an analog rig (TT and phono preamp), ...
    When you buy a music server with Ethernet and USB connectors, ...
    When you buy a Blu-ray player with HDMI connectors, ...
    When you buy a multichannel sound processor with, ... there are many connection jacks, HDMI is the world we live in today with AV receivers, so it's the prime connection.

    Between all the audio components forming an audiophile rig there is a chain of synchronicity. ...It is that chain contributing to the overall quality of music reproduction.

    I think.

    * To reborn is to renew with new concepts; one of them is to include the sync (best interconnect for that component) in the box.
    ...Like a stronger/closer alliance between cable's designers and audio manufacturers. The full package for the customer. Taking the time to not only design the best audio product but also to include the time it took to test the best audio cables for each by including it inside the box, along with the CD player, preamplifier, power amp, turntable, headphones, Blu-ray player (HDMI), etc.

    I'm just thinking in written words on a laptop.

    * To live fully is to love and be loved. We love music, and music can love us back; it can include the 'chain' (best cable) in the audio component's box, to sing along with it.
    The goal is a complicity in synchronicity, a simplification in a complicated world. Time is precious, very. ...There is only 29,200 days in a life (80 years). Out of that number few are dedicated to our being born and aprentissage and education, and few to our experience/wisdom's transfer.
    Between is what's left.
    Last edited by NorthStar; 05-07-2017 at 01:02 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member NorthStar's Avatar
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    Put the best cables inside the box, with the other component; make it two components of the chain...in sync. ...A suggestion, only a suggestion.

    * I made this post because I don't know how much time I have to put more in the one above; from memory not much. Ten minutes would be ... perfect enough.

  10. #10
    I am involved with both cable and equipment manufacture. The idea of putting a great cable in the box with equipment is discussed. From an equipment manufacturers point of view, the equipment has to sound good with any cable the customer may be using. On the other hand some equipment manufacturers do use specific cables for testing purposes. Even further there are equipment manufacturers that will not sell you equipment unless you have good enough cables.

    I the order of the list that Peter used is the one I prefer. This is from my personal experience as an engineer.
    Engineer with interests in equipment for recording and playback. Manufacturing interests with Audio Union International and Enklein System.
    Partial list of equipment playback only (as of 9/23/2015: Benchmark DAC, Parasound preamp and power, Sutherland Engineer phonostages, power amps, preamps (several), B&W speakers (several), Thrax electronics and speakers, Audio Union Helix 1 TT and CEC, Clear Audio TT, Merril Williams TT, Burmester preamp, Rotel preamp, Berkley Apha 1 DAC

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