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  1. Hi all. I have a weird room that doesn't lend itself to the usual "gear between 2 speakers" layout, but rather would be much better with my gear on a sideboard to the sided the room. Bigger is that this would take speaker cable across a door, however luckily I have made some allowances in the walls, so I should be able to run cable in conduit under the floor and bring it out through the wall. What I'm wondering is whether a different cable length for each speaker would matter? I have one side that would reach (a 2.5m pair is currently in use - Osborn Silverlink cables to Osborn Epitomes), but the other would need to be at least 5.5m! I scared about the potential price of a matched 6m pair of cables! Ouch! Also, are there cable types (copper vs silver for example) which lend themselves to longer lengths in terms of sound quality? Cheers, Mat
  2. Now this is going to sound weird, but every time I have ever trimmed speaker cable lengths I have found the results to be a surprising clear up of detail. Yes, all good so far - I expect you have noticed the same? But what I find really odd, is that it sounds better (more coherent and less in your face) after about week, sometimes two. I don't think it's a case of getting used to it, as often these things are. So, is it that I actually like the sound of slightly oxidised copper cable? I suspect I am not the only one. This could ruin a few HI-FI myths I reckon. I have tried silver-mixed cables and nearly been sick, Chord Odyssey in that particular instance. Have found Chord carnival, (no exp with silver screen version) to be perfect if I trim a bit off every 6 months or so....and then wait a week. Anyone else found this peculiarity? Oh and I'm looking for more Chord carnival or similar if anyone has any? Mine are getting a wee bit short.
  3. Hi again everyone, and hope you're enjoying the day! On my current setup journey, I've now got my turntable going in my new system, and it's already sounding great! It certainly needs some tweaking, and I reckon I could improve things greatly with a few small changes (not to mention getting some record cleaner! Suggestions welcome on that topic!). So, I have: Pro-ject 6.1 turntable with Ortofon MC10 cart > Creek Audio OBH-9SE phono stage > Wyred4Sound STP-SE pre I was wondering about experiences with cabling for starters? I had a look here, but I'm interested in silver vs copper, long vs short, RCA vs XLR - that sort of thing. http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php/topic/58011-great-cheap-phono-interconects-have-to-let-you-guys-know/?hl=interconnects I will likely soon get some of these (silver interconnects) to go dac>pre and cd>pre http://stagersound.com/silver/order.htm So perhaps I should get some for the phono too? I have also started a thread about the "balanced" nature of phono signals. In my setup, I could: 1. Go RCA phono >phono stage> pre 2. RCA phono>phono stage> then RCA to XLR pre 3. Have the tone arm reward and go fully balanced (but would need a new phono stage.... Lastly, as can be seen in pics, I have cheapo cabling with "inbuilt" ground wire. Once a setup is decided upon, what's the best way to do a new ground? Awesome! Mat
  4. Oh harro there! I've been itching to fiddle around with DIY interconnect cables for some time now, having heard how good the Aurealis cables sound when assembled using quality components and some experimentation with geometry. @@gmdb (Geoff @ Aurealis) was very kind in providing loads of advice, suggestions and encouragement and I subsequently purchased four pairs of Aurealis star RCAs featuring gold plated tellurium copper conductors, and two pairs of KLE Copper Harmony RCAs featuring silver plated copper conductors. No brass here baby! I think the Aurealis RCAs are fantastic for $30 per set of four for a well engineered RCA connector. I've heard these up against the ETI copper bullets and couldn't tell the difference, so I was happy to buy some of them for my DIY cables. For the sake of consistency and to simplify the construction process, I sourced some Milspec silver plated solid core copper from Aurealis, and some pure silver and pure copper from A&E Metals in Sydney. No, it's not Neotech UPOCC wire, but it will suffice. All of the wire is 24AWG. The Milspec copper is teflon coated already, but the copper and silver are bare. Accordingly, I purchased some teflon tubing from Element14 to suit. This means that teflon is the only dielectric used on all of these cables. I also had some silver solder from a previous Aurealis order, and a bunch of Techflex and generic expanding sheathing from Element14 to dress things up a bit. Construction-wise, I went very simple - only two conductors with a light twist, and no shielding. The teflon tubing provides a nice consistent spacing between the wires when you lightly twist it. Due to the thin diameter of the completed cable, I used some surplus black silicon tubing to fabricate some 'bungs' to keep the wire nice and snug in the exit of the RCAs, and to provide some meat for the grub screws to compress into. This worked out neatly enough for DIY cables. The KLE Copper Harmony RCAs were used with solid silver wire, whilst the Aurealis copper RCAs were used with the pure copper and silver plated copper. This resulted in three different types of RCA cable which have the exact same construction method, but different materials and different different RCA connectors. Importantly, I haven't used any heatshrink on the interconnects, so they can easily be disassembled if I wish to experiment with different geometries (three wire braid with drain wire, 4 wire braid etc). The KLE/silver interconnects sound lovely so far - I've been using them for about two weeks now. Very clean, detailed and plenty of body. I don't perceive any nasty 'silver' harshness to the sound. I'm looking forward to trying the others soon! I also made up a basic USB A to USB B cable with no +5V line (only data + and - and the ground wire). This sits between the SB Touch and audio-gd DI V3 which is acting as an asynchronous USB converter. The data and earth wires are separated (although it probably doesn't make any difference as there is no +5V line to isolate the data wires from). The data wires are silver and the earth wire is copper, and the USB connectors are gold plated items which were scavenged from a poor innocent USB cable of decent quality. I'm not expecting to hear any difference compared to a basic USB cable, but you never know, especially after I've heard the differences between AudioQuest Cat7 ethernet cables (I kid you NOT!!!) At least they now look 'audiophile spec'. Heck... what can I say, I was bored! All in all, they look clean and tidy, and I'm certainly a fan of simple solid core interconnects with copper conductor RCAs, so I can't wait to compare them all and to tinker with different geometries in future.
  5. I was reading all about Keith Eichmann's new plugs and ICs and such a few days ago and it got me to thinking. I can't argue against anything I've read on his site (check the link below for details) http://kleinnovations.com/kle-innovations-klei-products/klei-harmony-plug/ but I can ask the question "What does it mean to me?". A bit of knowledge is all well and good but if it isn't used for something then it might as well have never been learned in the first place. Now I could buy some of KLEI's products and give them a shot but I don't exactly have any spare cash floating about (and the pic of the copper plug looks like it's silver coated to me so I don't like it) so is there anything else I can do? The answer seems to be "yes" (I say seems to be because I haven't tried it out yet). I can take this 'knowledge' that all copper, or silver, is good and brass/rhodium/gold is not-as-good and reverse it to see if I can DIY an interconnect that sounds significantly worse than a control interconnect. I've still got my old CCI (Cafads Crappy Interconnect) pair, manufactured from thin speaker wire using some old don't-really-know-where-they-came-from RCA plugs that were given to me in a box of old cables by an ex work college. So, after not a particularly large amount of thought, I've left one as standard and cut the other one up into sections and joined those sections again with some big old lumps of brass (actually they're banana plugs from Jaycar, I was going to solder in some brass speaker jumpers at first, but the use of banana plugs requires far less burning of fingers, and I had a few spares lying about, so I settled on them instead) So the signal will have to jump from copper to brass and back 3 times in between components, if this is going to be a significantly bad thing then I should be able to hear the difference between these two interconnects, yes? And if I can't, well, I may just have to try harder.
  6. Item: Xindak FS-2 Speaker Cables 2.5 metres long RRP: $799 Location: Sydney NSW Price: $370 Item Condition: Mint Reason for selling: My 2nd and last pair which is newer than the previous one sold Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: http://forum.audiogo.....zBrainwater http://www.stereopho...aker-Cable.html Pictures:
  7. IC’s and Me. After I had calmed down from my integrated shootout I was wondering what to do next. There seems to be a fair bit of “debate” going on about interconnects, are the insanely expensive ones worth the price? Is silver better than copper? Does cryo treatment make for a better cable? The only thing I could work out from all the chatter is that there is a lot of disagreement on the subject, so I figured it was time to check for myself. The Contestants. Osborn Silverlink JW Audio Signature (cryo treated copper) Redgum Audio Pipeline (copper, non-cryo) The red, white and yellow Goblin (a cable that came with my old LCD tv and has no claim to any pedigree, for the purpose of this write up I am calling it the Goblin) Tara brand IC’s (a Chinese knock off of some old Tara labs cables, using the same spec copper but with what look like Zindac plugs, I’ll call them TB’s as I’m sure Tara Labs would not want to be associated with them) The Silverlinks and the Signatures are around the same price range, about $200, the Redgums retail at $100, the TB’s can be had for $42 (plus postage) out of Hong Kong via the net and no one pays for the Goblin it just shows up completely unconcerned as to whether it is wanted or not. The Burson integrated won my integrated shootout so it was chosen for duty here. My DAC has 2 sets of outputs so I could hook up 2 sets of cables and compare them directly with minimal switching time. Unfortunately the Burson does not have a remote so I was forced to sit on the floor to switch back and forth, an indignity I was more than willing to suffer for the cause. First up, the Silverlink and the Signatures. Several times I thought I heard a difference but when I switched over the difference I thought I had heard was right there waiting for me. I sat through several cd’s like this, switching back and forth every 10 to 30 seconds and despite being certain I had picked the difference half a dozen times my final decision was that I could not tell the difference between the 2. That was a bit disappointing! Second up, Silverlinks and TB’s. A repeat of the first attempt I am afraid, I could not pick any noticeable difference between the 2. I could go on, but I won’t, there was no audible difference that I could detect between the Silverlinks and any of the other cables, even (and it galls me to admit this) the Goblin sounded just as good as the Silverlinks! I found myself blurting out words to the effect of “This cable stuff is an absolute crock!” My actual language was somewhat stronger than that, but you get the general idea. So my head swam in “The cable companies are ripping us off!” land for a few days before I recovered enough to start thinking again. The only thing I could think of that I might have done wrong was that I was not in my usual listening position so I might not have spotted any soundstage difference. Alright, I swapped the Burson for the Krell (which has a remote) and went through the steps again. Again, I found I could not tell the difference between any of the IC’s. Oh dear! It was at this point that I stopped for a while, had to clear my head, so I went for a full week without turning my cd player on. Yes, that is how shaken up I was. I even went as far as to check the resistance of each cable with a multi-meter, every one came in at 0.9 ohms, this had me puzzled for a while as it was way above what a length of wire about 1 meter long should have (after some quick google-ing on the topic), until I held the two paddles of the multi-meter together and saw that it read 0.9 ohms, OK, so the resistance (and presumably the impedance) is below detection, no answer there then. During that week I found myself wondering about speaker wire, I mean if I can’t tell one IC from another could I tell the difference between 2 sets of speaker wire. I had my Osborn Datalinks (2.5m) on hand, and a pair of JW Audio Cryo Nova cables (8ft) to test out, so I gave them a go. Again, no noticeable diff, though this was harder, and took longer, to decide since I had to unplug and plug-in rather than just switch between the two. By this point I am seriously skeptical, it doesn’t seem to matter what I try the songs all sound the same. Now I am a scientist by training and profession, and seriously curious by nature, and I absolutely hate to hit dead ends in anything I do. This seemed to be a dead end, so I was determined to figure out/identify/find-something-to-blame to explain why I could not hear any difference in cabling. Finally I realized I had to devise an ultimate test, if there was a difference to be heard what could I do to make it as obvious as possible? OK, all the stops get pulled out. The Burson is good but maybe not good enough, so out went the Burson integrated, in came a Burson Pre and a Halcro power amp. If these two can’t show me a noticeable change in sound quality or coloration then there just can’t be one! Hang on though, that means another set of IC’s from the Pre to the Power amp, and I’m back to not having a remote so I have to sit on the floor and not in my usual listening position and if I do that can I really call it an ultimate test? And if I have to get up and change the IC’s from the Pre to the Power amp as well then my acoustic memory is gong to be shot by the time I start listening again. What could I do? Stuff it, all the usual rules go out the window, I ran Silverlinks from the DAC through to the Halcro on the left channel and Signatures on the right channel, and then, just in case that wasn’t enough, I hooked up the Cryo Nova speaker wire to the right speaker and the Datalink to the left. So what I had, in effect was an Osborn set up on the left and a JW Audio on the right. So, confident that I could not go any further without violating a few physical laws, I sat down to start. The first thing I noticed was that the music sounded good, really good. I sat still with my eyes closed for about 90 seconds, this was not going to be easy. Over the course of three songs, with beads of sweat running down my forehead, I slowly started to develop an opinion but it wasn’t until I started to move my head from left to right that I was certain. The sweet spot for the highs and mids had moved to the right (by about a foot) while the sweet spot for the bass had shifted to the left (by maybe 6 inches). This was not evident all the time and it was only really obvious with metallic sounds (triangles and cymbals mostly) but it was certainly noticeable. After about the 6th test song on the third cd I was certain, and once I had decided that I understood what I was hearing I laid my head back on the head rest and relaxed (stressful stuff this audio hobby!). It was a few minutes later that I realized, if I was not paying attention, then I could not notice the difference at all and I was quite enjoying just sitting there listening to two speakers fed by completely different cable runs. If you are not looking for a difference in this Franken-system I had set up you would not find one, it’s pretty subtle. The opinion I have developed from the above craziness is this, if you like your sound with a little more “snap” in the highs and better definition with metallic sounds then Osborn (or silver) cables are for you, if you like the highs a little less emphasized (I can only guess that this is the “rolled off” top end I have read about) and the bass a little more emphasized (a little less crisp and a little more smooth) then cryo cables are for you. However I would not go and change out one set of IC’s and expect to hear a big change in your system, it just won’t happen. And it certainly won’t make a bad system sound good, or a good system sound bad. If I had to put a number on it, I would say the highs differ by about 3% and the bass by 1.5 to 2% with the overall difference about 2 to 2.5%. A big difference, hell no, a noticeable difference, just barely! This seems to fit with the industry hype, silver for the highs, copper for the lows and cryo has a slightly rolled off top end so I am happy with the results. As for preferences I prefer my bass crisp to smooth and my highs defined rather than smoothed off so the cryo’s are out and will probably be for sale shortly. Tomorrow morning it will be the Silverlinks vs the Gremlins and I pray I hear a difference there too. Cheers!
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