Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
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17-05-2017, 04:13 PM (This post was last modified: 17-05-2017 04:31 PM by Harvey.)
Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
I'm moving into my newly bought apartment in a months time. There will be no TV on the premises, but there will be music.

I have bought a pair of B&W CM7 speakers (secondhand), a Quad Vena integrated amplifier (new), an Audiolab 8200 CDQ cd-player (secondhand), a Pro-Ject Phono Box S preamplifier (new) to use between my old Rega Planar 2 turntable and the Quad Vena. Pluss a number of bits and pieces.

This, I believe, is a descent setup, but within reasonalble limits, and within my budget.

For the first time for more than twentyfive years, I will be able to sit down an listen to my old records, all stacked up in the basement. I'm so happy that i didn't sell off my LP collection, which I actually thought about doing years ago.

No to my question: What cables do I need to connect my cd-player to the amp, and my turntable/phono box to my amp? I have bought budget QED XTC speaker cables, and have figured out that two pairs of RCA cables (most likely QED Performance Audio 40 interconnects) shoud do the job (i.e. connecting the turntable and the cd-player to the amp).

Have I missed or misunderstood something vital?

The one, true, and real Harvey

Bene vixit, bene qui latuit
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17-05-2017, 07:46 PM (This post was last modified: 17-05-2017 08:03 PM by BackSlider.)
RE: Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
(17-05-2017 04:13 PM)Harvey Wrote:  I'm moving into my newly bought apartment in a months time. There will be no TV on the premises, but there will be music.

I have bought a pair of B&W CM7 speakers (secondhand), a Quad Vena integrated amplifier (new), an Audiolab 8200 CDQ cd-player (secondhand), a Pro-Ject Phono Box S preamplifier (new) to use between my old Rega Planar 2 turntable and the Quad Vena. Pluss a number of bits and pieces.

This, I believe, is a descent setup, but within reasonalble limits, and within my budget.

For the first time for more than twentyfive years, I will be able to sit down an listen to my old records, all stacked up in the basement. I'm so happy that i didn't sell off my LP collection, which I actually thought about doing years ago.

No to my question: What cables do I need to connect my cd-player to the amp, and my turntable/phono box to my amp? I have bought budget QED XTC speaker cables, and have figured out that two pairs of RCA cables (most likely QED Performance Audio 40 interconnects) shoud do the job (i.e. connecting the turntable and the cd-player to the amp).

Have I missed or misunderstood something vital?

Naaah, cables is cables. RCA's, makes no difference really. Don't be sold.

You have to be odd to be #1.
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18-05-2017, 05:02 AM
RE: Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
Hi, long-time audio/Hi-Fi geek here.

While I generally agree that the importance of cables is grossly overstated and basically an excuse to rip off gullible users, certain things must be nevertheless taken into account:

1. Make sure your interconnects have golden-plated connectors; not because it sounds better, but because the gold plating is a very effective remedy against oxidation.
2. Avoid stiff cables, they can knick and break over time. I like my cables to have a PE outer sheathing, because it's flexible and very stable over time.
3. Let your cables be as short as possible; even with a good shielding, longer cables can act as antennas and pick up some RF disturbance.

The cables you picked up are much more expensive than what I would personally spend on them; the same manufacturer offers the Profile Audio Cable which will cost you less then half the Performance 40 and you won't hear any friggin' difference.

About your system in particular: you will need 3 cables: one between the turntable and the phono box, one between the phono box and amp, and one between the CD player and the amp.

When it comes to the cable between the turntable and the phono box, there's one more thing you will have to be careful about: the cable capacitance. Each pick-up (you don't say which brand/model you have) requires a certain load capacitance to deliver the flattest frequency response. This load capacitance is given by the sum of the cable capacitance and the input capacitance of the phono box.

Hope this helps.
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18-05-2017, 05:12 AM
RE: Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
(17-05-2017 07:46 PM)BackSlider Wrote:  Naaah, cables is cables. RCA's, makes no difference really. Don't be sold.

Heresy! Cheap analog audio cables cause your rock and roll albums to play backwards releasing their hidden Satanic versus to instantly damn the souls of anyone within earshot. Evil_monster

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18-05-2017, 09:13 AM
RE: Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
(18-05-2017 05:02 AM)DunkleSeele Wrote:  Hi, long-time audio/Hi-Fi geek here.

While I generally agree that the importance of cables is grossly overstated and basically an excuse to rip off gullible users, certain things must be nevertheless taken into account:

1. Make sure your interconnects have golden-plated connectors; not because it sounds better, but because the gold plating is a very effective remedy against oxidation.
2. Avoid stiff cables, they can knick and break over time. I like my cables to have a PE outer sheathing, because it's flexible and very stable over time.
3. Let your cables be as short as possible; even with a good shielding, longer cables can act as antennas and pick up some RF disturbance.

The cables you picked up are much more expensive than what I would personally spend on them; the same manufacturer offers the Profile Audio Cable which will cost you less then half the Performance 40 and you won't hear any friggin' difference.

About your system in particular: you will need 3 cables: one between the turntable and the phono box, one between the phono box and amp, and one between the CD player and the amp.

When it comes to the cable between the turntable and the phono box, there's one more thing you will have to be careful about: the cable capacitance. Each pick-up (you don't say which brand/model you have) requires a certain load capacitance to deliver the flattest frequency response. This load capacitance is given by the sum of the cable capacitance and the input capacitance of the phono box.

Hope this helps.

Thanks a lot for your advice, and for sharing your knowledge and experience! I chose the cables I chose because I can get them for about half the price (from Audio Affair in Birmingham, UK) of what I would have to pay in my ol' country. For what I've seen, it wouldn't be difficult to find a pair of speaker cables alone, that would cost n times what I have paid for my entire setup. As far as my turntable is concerned, I don't know if I can change the RCA cables at all. As far as I remember, the cables are fixed. I will have to check, unearth if from the storing room, and, if necessary, do some serious soldering.

My pick-up is an Ortofon 2M Blue (moving magnet). Made in Denmark, I believe. Except for the RIAA amp (Pro-Ject), which is Austrian, the rest is all british made stuff.

In my early teens, a friend of mine had a Quad 34 preamp paired up with a Quad 405-II poweramp. It was sound like I never heard before (or after), so the brand name Quad has been stuck in my mind ever since. That's really the most important reason for buing the Quad Vena amp. And the fact that it has bluetooth, so that the wee one can stream what she rerfers to as music directly from her phone.

Because of what you said about length of cables, I will settle for 2 m speaker cables and 0.6 m interconnects.

The one, true, and real Harvey

Bene vixit, bene qui latuit
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18-05-2017, 09:42 AM
RE: Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
(18-05-2017 09:13 AM)Harvey Wrote:  
(18-05-2017 05:02 AM)DunkleSeele Wrote:  Hi, long-time audio/Hi-Fi geek here.

While I generally agree that the importance of cables is grossly overstated and basically an excuse to rip off gullible users, certain things must be nevertheless taken into account:

1. Make sure your interconnects have golden-plated connectors; not because it sounds better, but because the gold plating is a very effective remedy against oxidation.
2. Avoid stiff cables, they can knick and break over time. I like my cables to have a PE outer sheathing, because it's flexible and very stable over time.
3. Let your cables be as short as possible; even with a good shielding, longer cables can act as antennas and pick up some RF disturbance.

The cables you picked up are much more expensive than what I would personally spend on them; the same manufacturer offers the Profile Audio Cable which will cost you less then half the Performance 40 and you won't hear any friggin' difference.

About your system in particular: you will need 3 cables: one between the turntable and the phono box, one between the phono box and amp, and one between the CD player and the amp.

When it comes to the cable between the turntable and the phono box, there's one more thing you will have to be careful about: the cable capacitance. Each pick-up (you don't say which brand/model you have) requires a certain load capacitance to deliver the flattest frequency response. This load capacitance is given by the sum of the cable capacitance and the input capacitance of the phono box.

Hope this helps.

Thanks a lot for your advice, and for sharing your knowledge and experience! I chose the cables I chose because I can get them for about half the price (from Audio Affair in Birmingham, UK) of what I would have to pay in my ol' country. For what I've seen, it wouldn't be difficult to find a pair of speaker cables alone, that would cost n times what I have paid for my entire setup. As far as my turntable is concerned, I don't know if I can change the RCA cables at all. As far as I remember, the cables are fixed. I will have to check, unearth if from the storing room, and, if necessary, do some serious soldering.

My pick-up is an Ortofon 2M Blue (moving magnet). Made in Denmark, I believe. Except for the RIAA amp (Pro-Ject), which is Austrian, the rest is all british made stuff.

In my early teens, a friend of mine had a Quad 34 preamp paired up with a Quad 405-II poweramp. It was sound like I never heard before (or after), so the brand name Quad has been stuck in my mind ever since. That's really the most important reason for buing the Quad Vena amp. And the fact that it has bluetooth, so that the wee one can stream what she rerfers to as music directly from her phone.

Because of what you said about length of cables, I will settle for 2 m speaker cables and 0.6 m interconnects.

I don't remember either if the cables on the Rega are fixed (personally, I've never been a fan of fixed chassis turntables). In any case, set the input impedance on the Pro-Ject box at 47 kOhm and 200 pF and you'll be good to go.

Maybe you could try and see if you can get the QED Profile at a good price from the same dealer, and invest the savings in a replacement stylus for your pick-up. After all those years of inactivity chances are that the stylus' suspension has hardened and cracked, and a new stylus may be required. Or you could invest in a good bottle of single malt to enjoy while listening to your favourite music! Smile

Cheers!
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19-05-2017, 04:52 PM
RE: Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
(17-05-2017 04:13 PM)Harvey Wrote:  Have I missed or misunderstood something vital?

You MUST use these cables.


Or . . . , maybe not.

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Dr H

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23-05-2017, 11:14 AM (This post was last modified: 23-05-2017 11:38 AM by Filox.)
RE: Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
Hello Harvey...

Don't listen to these fools, they are fools I tell ya! Evil_monster

DunkleSeele has some good start up ideas, listen to his advices.

My advice is ... a bit more expensive. Big Grin

Your hi-fi is as good as it is it's weakest component. Every cable is a component. Every connector is a component. Even the power cable is a component. The more delicate and precise hi-fi you have, the better ALL your cables have to be. When you go high-end class, you need to have even high-end class power cables, interconnecting cables and speaker cables. It always makes me laugh when I see an article that says that a coat hanger can sound the same as some good high quality cable.

Your BIGGEST concern here is the turntable cable. It has the weakest signal strength and thus it has to be amplified a lot more than a CD players signal has to. That's what the preamp is there for... Those weak signals need to be amplified a lot and if the cable that brings the signal is a coat hanger, than you amplify a lot of coat hanger noise, static and distortions. Fucking coat hanger test... Fuck you!

Anyway... You don't need to spend a lot of money, but some branded gold plated cable (at least) for your turntable - preamp connection is highly advisable.

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as one might think, to just guess which brand and cable to take... I guess any cable with pure copper, gold plated connectors and maybe a bit of shielding would do. It is a bit of a science for itself, the cables... You would need to make a bit of research on your own. I suggest Audiokarma forum.

-------------------------------------

Now, what I have... Big Grin

Hitachi HMA-8500 MkII (1984) - dual mono, MOSFET, 100w+100w, A-B class, runs mostly in A class...

[Image: 2013d64aa58a60018d8884aeca0b2867.jpg]

Onkyo Integra P-303 (1977) - one of the best preamps ever made, first Integra line, unmatched phono section (MM and MC), dual-mono design, triple mu-metal shielding, ultimate gold attenuator... Only mine is completely refreshed and improved, wherever an improvement could be made with newer or better parts. We talked about cables, my preamp has a handmade (hand woven, yes) cable that is connected directly to the main board and soldered there. Best connection is a direct one, without connectors. Soldering! This is now an ultimate high-end preamp, with the main focus in phono section.

[Image: p-303-h.jpg]

I just got these Mission 773 speakers...
[Image: 699605-mission_773_mini_tower_monitors.jpg]

And Acoustic research AR EB-101 turntable...

[Image: 00315-600x450.jpg]

I just got the turntable, so I still have some old cartridge, but I plan on taking Ortofon Blue MM... All I need is a decent DAC to connect my PC through optic cable and have some hi res 24 bit sound...

At the moment I am using Audio quest cable (some cheap one) to connect my poweramp and my (other) passive preamp and I am still waiting for my turntable to come back from overhaul. I'll probably get it back with (again) custom, handmade cables. Then I ordered a custom made power cable for my poweramp and my preamp.

Oh yeah, it's all connected to a state of the art, custom made AC cleaner and stabilizer.

Khm... Drinking Beverage

Do you see now, my friend, you are just getting started... Welcome to the joyous world of audiophiles... Laughat

Facepalm

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23-05-2017, 11:41 AM
RE: Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
Cables are not important, they said... Coat hanger is the same as gold cable, they said... Why the fuck do I have all these hand made monster cables?? AAaarrrgggghhhhhh...
HoboHoboHoboEvil_monsterEvil_monsterBig GrinTongue

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23-05-2017, 12:29 PM (This post was last modified: 23-05-2017 01:57 PM by Filox.)
RE: Any Hi-Fi geeks out there?
Harvey, this must be your lucky day, I all for talking...

These would be some basic pointers for anyone that is buying or upgrading his or hers hi-fi setup.

The most important component in the whole system is the source. Source, as the recording. If the recording is bad, no amplifier or speaker can make it sound better, they can only draw out the most details, which can make the sound even worse, as you can hear all the noises of a bad recording. After that is the component reading the recording, a CD player or a turntable. If it is a turntable, then we have to break it apart again. Cartridge and its stylus are the first ones to pick up te sound, then the handle and all the wires in the turntable transport the signal to the prepreamp. Prepreamp or phono preamp is more important than the preamp. In the end, power amplifier and speakers are the least of your concern. Well, speakers might be more important than your power amp, probably... Wires and cables connect everything, all the signal goes through it. Biggest concern about the cables are not the wires itself, but the connections between 2 RCA connectors. If the connectors are not gold plated, they will 100% start to oxidize. Oxidization means less connectivity, which means more resistance, which means weaker signal... Best way of connecting 2 components would be by removing the RCA connectors and soldering the wires of a cable directly inside the component, on its main board. That would present a problem when you want to move any one component for any kind of reason, but the sound quality is unquestionable... Consider
Bad wires can also produce a lot of resistance, which will make you loose your signal, so you want the cable to have thicker wire with copper percentage as high as possible. Thick copper wire and gold plated RCA connectors are a way to go and you would be surprised how low priced these kind of cables can be. They sound expensive, but gold plated thing is nothing special. The thicker they get, however, the more expensive they get too... If you see a word "shielded" somewhere, the price goes up again. Shielded is good for your turntable to phone preamp, as I explained earlier. Shielded means the cable itself it protected by a Faraday's cage, so not only does it not pick up any interference from other cables and devices, it also doesn't produce any.

This is all pure physics, science 101, electricity basics... To say that every cable is the same, that it makes no changes to analog signal is just ridiculous and ignorant.

Don't be ignorant. Be smart.
Smartass

P.S.

I did got lost in the story here... Sorry about that. How exactly do cables affect the sound quality and how important are they in the whole system? Well, not as much as a preamp or any other component before preamp, that's for sure. They tend to tweak the sound in the last phases, so they are not as important to spend more money that you would on your speakers, but they are important enough to pay some attention to them. Pay more attention to speaker cables, they tend to be longer and stronger current goes through them, so you really don't want some cheap thin wire there. Don't want to fuck up your sound at the very end, just before your expensive B&W speakers...

I use Kimber cable 8tc for my speakers, bi-wired.
[Image: 8pr.png]

I mean, if you spent all that money on your turntable, cd player, amplifier, cartridge, phone preamp why would you buy some cheap cables to connect all that? Go for the entry level cables, but use at least something that can be considered a hi-fi cable, not some Chinese 5 dollar thing. Think of cables as one os the components in your system. Spend on your cables (all together) as much money as is your average component worth. That sounds fair. Now, cry about your expenses. Big Grin As I said, Audiokarma forum has all the answers.

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