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Sudden windfall into hi-end analogue/vinyl setup. Total fish out of water.


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Posted (edited)

Hi Vinyl and TT community. 

 

I've recently inherited some pretty decent analogue gear from my father who's downsizing. 

 

I don't really come from a Turntable background - I do have records and recently sold a Technics 1200mk5 on classifieds, but was more into it in a kind of token way, with my real focus being on streaming, DACS, and Tidal etc (Forgive me oh wise ones!).  I do, however, take HIFI and accessories seriously. I like to have nice interconnects and cable so not to bottleneck performance.

 

So now my attention has shifted to analogue, mainly because I'm the benefactor of Dad's turntable setup. He's given me a Clearaudio Performance DC TT with a Linn Ekos SE Tonearm, a Linn Akiva Cartridge and a Linn Linto Phono stage.

 

I'm really looking for some advice on RCA cables TT > phono and Phono > Integrated amp (Parsound Halo). If anyone has experience with Linn gear, synergy between the tonearm and RCA connections etc, it'd be greatly appreciated. I'm prepared to spend whats necessary to get cables that will do justice to this gear, without bottlenecking performance, but hope it won't cost me over 1k. 

 

Whadda you guys think?

 

Thanks and appreciate your input greatly. 

Edited by crimsondelagator
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The cable between your turntable and the phono stage need to be low capacitance, as it is "low level".  This makes them more expensive.  It's also why phono cables are often fixed to the turntable, with RCA plugs at one end, and the other connected directly to the tonearm wires.  Some turnables will take the tonearm wires to RCA sockets, requiring a RCA-RCA low capacitance cable.  A normal (non-low capacitance) RCA interconnect will not sound good between turntable and phono stage. 

 

The output of a phono stage is "line level".  You can use any RCA audio interconnect between the phono stage and the amplifier, but I would suggest using a good quality one.  Which good quality cable is a good question, and not easily answered.  There are many threads on this subject on audio forums shut down because of the very passionate opinions expressed by audiophiles on different cables. 

 

You can spend thousands on a high-quality cable, and there are others which are quite reasonable for under a hundred.  It depends on the quality of your system and the quality of your ears.  Have a read of the many forum cable threads to get some ideas.  Bill makes cables for SNA members, and those who purchase them tend to report being very pleased with the quality for the money.  Audio Principe and Aurealis are other Australian manufactures who have a good reputation.  And there are hundreds of overseas manufactures and DIY options. 

 

 

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18 hours ago, MattyW said:

I'm in complete agreement with @audiofeline on this point. The difference between various cables is plainly audible in my main system. My other systems to varying degrees as well.

 

I'm running mostly Aurealis Audio cable. Incredible performance for the price.

I'm also running mostly Aurealis in my main system and am very happy with them.

 

To get back to the OPs post, he stated he is already using nice cables in his digital based system, and was looking for recommendations for analogue. Lets do him the courtesy of putting forward suggestions - if you don't have any, don't post. The audio debate forum lies elsewhere....

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39 minutes ago, PKay said:

This is the cable that Audio Origami use in their PU7 tonearm. You could spend a lot more and I doubt you would get a better sound. You don’t have to spend mega dollars to get a good cable. 

 

https://www.aurealisaudio.com.au/phono-cables/

 

 

Not sure what the OP needs, but if it is arm cables with a mini din that is not a bad price as I have made my own, but getting both channels into the tiny din is a nightmare, not a thing I ever want to do again so that price would be cheap not to have to do it. If it is just rca I would be inclined to make them.

Chris

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21 hours ago, MattyW said:

I'm in complete agreement with @audiofeline on this point. The difference between various cables is plainly audible in my main system. My other systems to varying degrees as well.

 

I'm running mostly Aurealis Audio cable. Incredible performance for the price.

All Aurealis cables here as well 👍

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And I'm about to buy the Aurealis phono cable linked above (because I don't have a cable on that arm and Geoff's cables are highly regarded for price/performance here).

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Sheesh. What is a good kid like me doing in a hostile discussion like this!?

 

As said in the first post, I believe good cables make a difference - especially if you've got components of equal quality up and downstream. I use main power conditioning, own $400 speaker cables, I have a $350 USB cable.  The latter cable showed such instant improvement to my streaming setup that It was as though I'd swapped the DAC for a better one (Curious cable FYI). I went back and forth on it also, not believing my ears. Snake oil? Money down the drain? I'm sure the good folks over at audiosciencereview.com would answer in the affirmative, with predjudice.

I've simply found that scientific measurements don't always reflect an items value in terms of what I see as system improvements. I'm a pragmatist and believer in science, but the objective measurement of hifi is not the only part of the story. The enjoyment of Hifi for me, is an equally subjective experience. Well made cables have demonstrably improved, or rather help me narrow down the sound I'm looking for - but I stay in my lane with it. I don't have the system to justify any cable purchase over $500. And I've had plenty of HIFI Salesmen try to lead my down that road of diminishing returns.

 

Anyway back to the topic - The Linn tonearm has a 5 pin out, so I need a good phono cable to go to phonopre, then a good RCA from pre to integrated.

 

Does anybody own the Ekos tonearm, and can you recommend a good tonearm cable sub $500? I've heard this tonearm can be a bit tricky if your not using the Linn supplied one (i think its called the T-Kable).  I don't want to spend $1k+ on Nordost. THAT's over the top for my setup.

 

I would characterise my system as balanced but leaning to warm sounding. Will a silver core cable like the Aurealis R3i perhaps help balance this out?

 

Thanks again all, I genuinely appreciate your advice. I live in the country so order everything online. I rely on the advice of SNA, because i can't audition Hifi myself easily.

 

I'm enjoying the banterfest I've started! Play nice though campers.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, crimsondelagator said:

Sheesh. What is a good kid like me doing in a hostile discussion like this!?

 

As said in the first post, I believe good cables make a difference - especially if you've got components of equal quality up and downstream. I use main power conditioning, own $400 speaker cables, I have a $350 USB cable.  The latter cable showed such instant improvement to my streaming setup that It was as though I'd swapped the DAC for a better one (Curious cable FYI). I went back and forth on it also, not believing my ears. Snake oil? Money down the drain? I'm sure the good folks over at audiosciencereview.com would answer in the affirmative, with predjudice.

I've simply found that scientific measurements don't always reflect an items value in terms of what I see as system improvements. I'm a pragmatist and believer in science, but the objective measurement of hifi is not the only part of the story. The enjoyment of Hifi for me, is an equally subjective experience. Well made cables have demonstrably improved, or rather help me narrow down the sound I'm looking for - but I stay in my lane with it. I don't have the system to justify any cable purchase over $500. And I've had plenty of HIFI Salesmen try to lead my down that road of diminishing returns.

 

Anyway back to the topic - The Linn tonearm has a 5 pin out, so I need a good phono cable to go to phonopre, then a good RCA from pre to integrated.

 

Does anybody own the Ekos tonearm, and can you recommend a good tonearm cable sub $500? I've heard this tonearm can be a bit tricky if your not using the Linn supplied one (i think its called the T-Kable).  I don't want to spend $1k+ on Nordost. THAT's over the top for my setup.

 

I would characterise my system as balanced but leaning to warm sounding. Will a silver core cable like the Aurealis R3i perhaps help balance this out?

 

Thanks again all, I genuinely appreciate your advice. I live in the country so order everything online. I rely on the advice of SNA, because i can't audition Hifi myself easily.

 

I'm enjoying the banterfest I've started! Play nice though campers.

 

 

Ok, staying out of the cable debate this is my experience with RCA's / tonearm interconnects. I will not engage in debates about cables. It's all been discussed before and is a tired subject with two camps.

 

I've found The Vinyl Adventure tonearm cables to be rather good, their pure silver "Corvette" interconnect in particular. They have 5 pin straight or right angled cables available. The TVA Rebel is their copper cable and is a little warm and dull sounding in comparison so I don't really consider that a worthy upgrade.

 

I've found Aurealis shielded Litz to be even better. Copper for added body and a little more meat on the bone, or Litz silver for a massive wide sound stage.  The Aurealis Litz Silver is going to be more than you want to spend. Litz is beautifully detailed and layered and very even handed top to bottom.

 

I have the Neotech silver RCA's on hand and no matter which system or position I use them in I don't like the sound.  Smooth and lacking in definition vs Litz.

 

The Neotech copper on the other hand is also smooth but has a pleasing mid bass hump which adds even more body to the sound than the Litz copper. Apart from the TVA Corvette cable everything else I've mentioned is Aurealis Audio.

 

In your price range I'd be looking at either the TVA Corvette,  Aurealis Litz copper or Neotech UPOCC copper depending on preference. 

 

I also have the Litz mixed strands of silver and copper and funnily enough prefer either the copper or silver over it. If you want a wider sound stage without the huge cost of the silver only Litz then it's a worthy option. It's a little less full sounding than just the copper too. Basically a middle ground.

 

The Aurealis silver interconnects are in no way bright.  I'd even say they're ever so slightly warm so they won't balance your system warmth out. The TVA Corvette lean a little more toward brightness though I find them quite neutral. I think perhaps you should try that or maybe Litz copper. It's so defined and solid sounding that it will probably help cut through that warmth a little more. It sounds like that would be more beneficial to you than the smoother Neotech based cables.

 

I've not tried the Aurealis Duelund based cables so can't really comment on those. The only interconnect I've not tried that Geoff offers I believe. I remain curious about it though.

 

I hope this is of some use to you.  At any rate,  email Geoff for his advice. He's very knowledgeable.

 

Cheers

Edited by MattyW
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I can't suggest a specific phono cable or RCA cable for your situation , but it may be worth contacting some of the sponsors on SNA to see if you can trial some different ones at home.

 

Cam, at Krispy Audio , has been very helpful in the past, and although I didnt purchase the cables at the time, he was happy to post a set to me to try in my own system for a week or two.

 

Cheers

 

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11 hours ago, crimsondelagator said:

Sheesh. What is a good kid like me doing in a hostile discussion like this!?

 

As said in the first post, I believe good cables make a difference - especially if you've got components of equal quality up and downstream. I use main power conditioning, own $400 speaker cables, I have a $350 USB cable.  The latter cable showed such instant improvement to my streaming setup that It was as though I'd swapped the DAC for a better one (Curious cable FYI). I went back and forth on it also, not believing my ears. Snake oil? Money down the drain? I'm sure the good folks over at audiosciencereview.com would answer in the affirmative, with predjudice.

I've simply found that scientific measurements don't always reflect an items value in terms of what I see as system improvements. I'm a pragmatist and believer in science, but the objective measurement of hifi is not the only part of the story. The enjoyment of Hifi for me, is an equally subjective experience. Well made cables have demonstrably improved, or rather help me narrow down the sound I'm looking for - but I stay in my lane with it. I don't have the system to justify any cable purchase over $500. And I've had plenty of HIFI Salesmen try to lead my down that road of diminishing returns.

 

Anyway back to the topic - The Linn tonearm has a 5 pin out, so I need a good phono cable to go to phonopre, then a good RCA from pre to integrated.

 

Does anybody own the Ekos tonearm, and can you recommend a good tonearm cable sub $500? I've heard this tonearm can be a bit tricky if your not using the Linn supplied one (i think its called the T-Kable).  I don't want to spend $1k+ on Nordost. THAT's over the top for my setup.

 

I would characterise my system as balanced but leaning to warm sounding. Will a silver core cable like the Aurealis R3i perhaps help balance this out?

 

Thanks again all, I genuinely appreciate your advice. I live in the country so order everything online. I rely on the advice of SNA, because i can't audition Hifi myself easily.

 

I'm enjoying the banterfest I've started! Play nice though campers.

 

 

For Pre to intergrated Van den Hull have some very good cables at a range of prices IMO, I find VDH very balanced natural sounding. I have used time arms with cart to phono ( no break) for many years so can’t really make a suggestion, only comment is on the Linn the phono cable is very much part of the suspension so and cable should probably be similar to the original in flexibility 

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2 minutes ago, Chill3 said:

For Pre to intergrated Van den Hull have some very good cables at a range of prices IMO, I find VDH very balanced natural sounding. I have used time arms with cart to phono ( no break) for many years so can’t really make a suggestion, only comment is on the Linn the phono cable is very much part of the suspension so and cable should probably be similar to the original in flexibility 

With that in mind, it actually sounds like a genuine Linn interconnect may be the most risk free choice......

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Thread cleaned, and appropriate actions taken.

If anyone wants to debate cables then there is a place for that in The Great Debate sub-forum.

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I'd probably lean towards the Aurealis R3i CuL - UPOCC copper high strand litz conductor cables. I believe they'll give you what you're looking for..... Or The Vinyl Adventure Corvette cables off eBay or The Vinyl Adventure website.

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Just now, Telecine said:

You might wish to consider one of these instead of the pricey Linn T-Kable:

 

https://www.shop.back-promo.co.uk/Mogami_2549/p4417238_19467649.aspx

 

@Bill125812 can make you up some high quality RCA cables for you at a modest price.

 

Just ordering some Soundlink tripple screen, happy to make then too.

Chris

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