Which wire provides the most profound audio improvement to your audiophile hi-fi sound system?

TooCool4

New Member
Feb 7, 2013
22
0
0
England
#2
For me personally I would rather put my money into a good power conditioner, which makes bigger improvement to the whole system.
 

cjfrbw

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,144
0
36
Pleasanton, CA
#3
Conducting wire has shown in every respect to be superior to non-conducting wire.
 

GMKF

VIP/Donor
Aug 15, 2017
319
0
16
Munich
#5

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,177
0
36
#6
The answer is interconnects make the most difference as they can do the most harm, a basic/commodity level copper ic will smooth out most of the fine detail in the recording leaving a flat, 2D presentation and lackluster timbre.
 

TooCool4

New Member
Feb 7, 2013
22
0
0
England
#7
What if... you could do both?!?!
I have some fancy power leads but since I put in a power conditioner, I have not even put the fancy power cords back in. They are just sitting in a box, the power conditioner has made such a big difference that I can’t be bothered about the power leads.

With the power leads, I have always thought did it make a difference or did it not and if you have to really try to hear the difference then to me it’s not worth it. With the power conditioner it was clear night and day difference.
By the way my system shows the slightest difference when I change anything, i use Spectral Audio Pre / Power.
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,177
0
36
#8
I have some fancy power leads but since I put in a power conditioner, I have not even put the fancy power cords back in. They are just sitting in a box, the power conditioner has made such a big difference that I can’t be bothered about the power leads.

With the power leads, I have always thought did it make a difference or did it not and if you have to really try to hear the difference then to me it’s not worth it. With the power conditioner it was clear night and day difference.
By the way my system shows the slightest difference when I change anything, i use Spectral Audio Pre / Power.
That's cool... I've found PCs are the most variable cable as sometimes they make big differences and other times they're not so big. My tube gear isn't as picky while some class D amps respond a lot more. There's also fairly large differences between power cables when used with gear that responds to them. That makes solid recommendations for PCs difficult while it's fairly easy to predict what an interconnect cable will do.
 

awsmone

Active Member
Apr 7, 2014
1,061
2
38
Canberra Australia
#9
That's cool... I've found PCs are the most variable cable as sometimes they make big differences and other times they're not so big. My tube gear isn't as picky while some class D amps respond a lot more. There's also fairly large differences between power cables when used with gear that responds to them. That makes solid recommendations for PCs difficult while it's fairly easy to predict what an interconnect cable will do.
i have very similar experiences, i always remember my accuphase 800 dac and 900 were very fussy about pc, my el35 amps don't seem to care much
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
3,874
9
38
Greater Boston
#11
The answer is interconnects make the most difference as they can do the most harm, a basic/commodity level copper ic will smooth out most of the fine detail in the recording leaving a flat, 2D presentation and lackluster timbre.
True. I love your silver/gold alloy ZenWave Audio D4 interconnects in my system. And your SMSG speaker cables.
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,177
0
36
#12
IME, it depends... at RMAF my modded SurgeX has won several awards including best of show, cost no object multiple times. In a setting like that it can indeed make pretty massive differences but in other places it's not as critical, it depends on how noisy your power is to start with.

So in some cases the power cables might make a lot more difference, in others the power conditioner might, and it depends on the components in the system and what the cables and conditioner as the quality varies. I've tested some cables where I thought a standard $2 molded cable would be better, other times it's been a significant improvement.

True. I love your silver/gold alloy ZenWave Audio D4 interconnects in my system. And your SMSG speaker cables.
Thanks! I try... :)
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
3,874
9
38
Greater Boston
#13
I've tested some cables where I thought a standard $2 molded cable would be better,
Oh yeah. The cheap stock power chord beat a $ 550 power chord on two DACs we tried it on. The expensive chord made the DACs sound more synthetic! I won't name the name of the company but it was a travesty (it was not one of your power chords, luckily).

Sometimes expensive in audio is not better. There are still those who judge gear by price -- their loss.
 
#14
I designed a computer simulation of a simple "rubber" insulated power cord with stranded wiring versus the ROMEX wiring in the wall, which is solid copper with poly insulation.

The results were that the inductance of the 6 foot rubber cord was equal to 30 feet of the in-wall ROMEX.

I summarily build a couple of cords from ROMEX and I still use one for my SS processor. I built even better cords since then. I don't build them anymore.

There are other aspects of the cord that might make it perform better, including multiple smaller twisted-pairs of solid wire (to reduce inductance even more), silver-plated wire (to eliminate oxidation effects), shielding(to eliminate effects on nearby components and other cabling), Teflon insulation (to minimize dielectric absorption "soaking" effect) and filtering using the right amount and types of ferrites depending on the "Q" of the cord.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 
May 30, 2010
13,912
5
38
Portugal
#16
Nordost ..........overpriced wire.
Thanks for remembering us of your opinion.

But please tell us what cables you think would play better than Odin in an Audio Research, Sonus Faber Aida and Metronome Kalista/C2A system. I had them in my room, tried several cheaper ones, but IMHO none approached the performance of the full loom of Odin.
 
Jun 17, 2010
256
0
16
SE Pa
#17
Thanks for remembering us of your opinion.

But please tell us what cables you think would play better than Odin in an Audio Research, Sonus Faber Aida and Metronome Kalista/C2A system. I had them in my room, tried several cheaper ones, but IMHO none approached the performance of the full loom of Odin.
that's nice, so long as you're happy, it's your money I couldn't care less.
 
#18
The answer is interconnects make the most difference as they can do the most harm, a basic/commodity level copper ic will smooth out most of the fine detail in the recording leaving a flat, 2D presentation and lackluster timbre.
That is certainly true, although it's difficult to proclaim this the worst harm in a system.

I think the real answer is that it depends. Is it worse to have HF softening due to analog cables or it is worse to have musical soup for imaging or roll-off due to a poor digital cable?

They are both important I would argue.

Steve N.
 

RogerD

Active Member
May 23, 2010
3,141
0
36
BiggestLittleCity
#19
Why not install a parallel circuit and then the IC carries only the audio signal. Any good shielded IC cable will work as the parallel circuit provides a separate pathway for EMI back to ground.
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,177
0
36
#20
Why not install a parallel circuit and then the IC carries only the audio signal. Any good shielded IC cable will work as the parallel circuit provides a separate pathway for EMI back to ground.
The IC ground serves as signal "return" or the - leg of the circuit too, so it has different design considerations vs being just ground. Although, this isn't always (exactly) the case depending on component grounding, the power cable/AC power system ground may also be in parallel with the IC ground.