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Best Interconnect for $100 for a 1 meter set

 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4453
Registered: Feb-05
Give or take a sawbuck.

1) Analysis Plus Oval One
2) Kimbre Kable Timbre
3) Chord Cobra 3

Anyone else care to speculate.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4503
Registered: Feb-05
Good grief man is everyone so wealthy that a $100 interconnect doesn't register. C'mon Larry...oh that's right just like Stu we've lost you to the music..oh that's the point isn't it...
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1865
Registered: Oct-04
(yawn) Sorry, Art - we've got a house full of guests, and my Online time is a bit limited at present.

OK, OK - I love my Blue Jeans cables! There - made my statement - which will surely be heartily debated and debunked and all - sigh.

But right now my rig is sounding pretty good, and until I get a new CD player things are going rather well.

Blue Jeans - except for my "Silver Serpent" digital audio cable - I highly recommend.

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4513
Registered: Feb-05
There you have it!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1697
Registered: May-05
I'm back Art. Sorry, I don't have much knowledge in this area to contribute. I'd say whatever Audioquest you could get at $100 should be pretty good, but I really have very little frame of reference.

BTW, my Rega dealer sells and recommends Tara, Chord, and Kimber (in no particular order). They used to sell Audioquest, but from what I read between the lines, had a falling out with the local rep. They still like Audioquest and suggested I keep mine for a while.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4530
Registered: Feb-05
That's funny Stu, the Audioquest dealer in Eugene used to carru Kimber and Tara. Most US Rega dealers will carry Chord as they get them from the same distributor, The Sound Organisation in Dallas, Texas. Rega shows with Chord Company cables in the US. I really like what I'm hearing from the new van den Hul stuff I bought and the Kimber PK10 power cord I put on the Mira seems to have added a final touch. Thanks for commenting Stu. I think you're right that the Audioquest offering in that price range is probably pretty good.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1700
Registered: May-05
I didn't know that Chord was connected with the Sound Organisation. I just figured my dealer carried them because Naim recommends them as an alternative to their own cables. If I'm correct, Naim won't honor a warranty if their gear was used with anything other than their own cables or Chord's cables.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1701
Registered: May-05
How are Rega's cables? Have you tried them out? If they're anything like the rest of Rega's gear, they'll have no business sounding that good for that little money.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4545
Registered: Feb-05
Neither of my Rega dealers carry them...but I bet they're good. Frank doesn't like them but I tink he like's a livelier sound than I do. One of these days I'd like to try the Couple.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10188
Registered: May-04
.

I like Wendys more than McDonalds. Your taste may not be the same.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1704
Registered: May-05
Wendy's and McDonalds are awful compared to Fat Burger and IN and Out Burger...

Its interesting that your Rega dealer doesn't carry Rega cables. Then again, I wonder if mine does? They didn't mention it when I asked them what they carry/recommend.

I was under the impression that the cable that came with the Apollo was a good one... until I saw it. I figured they'd put a entry level Rega interconnect in there. It looked like a Rat Shack cable to me. When the dealer tested my Apollo to make sure everything worked (they do this with every piece of gear they sell), she asked me in a sarcastic tone if I wanted to keep the supplied cable.

Are you still using the Naim power cord with your Apollo? If its an improvement I may pick one up after my Apollo is fully run in. It sounds better with every song.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4553
Registered: Feb-05
"Are you still using the Naim power cord with your Apollo?"

No, I'm using a van den Hul Mainserver at $350, it's really good!

But Jan the whole reson for asking is that some folks may prefer Carl's Jr and I'd like to know why. Heck they're may be a burger out that I haven't tried and it may be "the" burger.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10203
Registered: May-04
.

I understand that. And that's why I made the remark. I don't have an In&Out or a Fat Burger to try though I've been told both are other folk's favorites. Now, I've had burgers with those people and I don't think their taste matches mine so I don't know how to take their recommendation. They can't tell me what it is that makes Wendy's less favorable than Fat Burger, just that they prefer one to the other. When I lived in the MidWest, a favorite of mine was a dozen White Castle sliders with a large order of cheese fires with a large Orange soda. That combination would kill me today. Tastes change.


Quite obviously cables are one of the most difficult item purchases a listener can make, the results depend on the listener's taste and the system components the cable will mate to not to mention the room and what the listener uses as a reference. I hate to keep beating this horse, but if you only like something because you like it, I don't care how much you like it. If your reference is what you make up in your head or what your notorious car stereo sounds like or Andre's desire for more bass at 120dB, don't bother me with your favorite cable choice. Others may find value in these recommendations but only if they have no reference for what the real thing sounds like and what their system should attempt to reproduce to approach that reality. For the most part I have an idea who on the forum hears live music and who doesn't and whether that music is typically amplified or acoustic. Whether that is important to others, we'll see. Since almost no one on the forum bothers to listen to live music at all or, if they do, it is played in some type of stadium, I doubt most others will care.



Then please consider what works between a CD and pre amp might not be the favorite cable between that same pre amp and the power amp or turntable. If I don't know your system's components and your preferences, I can't make much of "Best Interconnect for $100 for a 1 meter set". It's a worthy try but it will require far more than "I like ... ". How about a "because it does this and that" or "it worked best between my ... "?



Or, ignore all this and carry on.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1711
Registered: May-05
The reason why Fat Burger and In & Out are better IMO is because they're fresher. Cooked to order, less sitting around, less grease, greener and redder veggies, fresher and higher quality bread, trans-fat free cooking oil, and so on.

If you order fries at In & Out, they pull a potato out of a bag and toss it to the guy working the fryer. He cuts the potato and throws it in the fryer. Never frozen and 100% potato, to the best of my knowledge. If all that doesn't equal better taste, I don't know what does.

Now about those cables...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10210
Registered: May-04
.

I'm looking forward to finding an In&Out and/or a Fat Burger. Just as I'm looking forward to hearing about other people's experience with cables.


But ...


What about the beef? Are we talking better veggies at one location and better fries at another? What about the whole meal? How satisfying is the entire enchillada from one location? Do I have to settle for good fries at one shop and then drive to the other for better buns? If you get my drift.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1720
Registered: May-05
Both offer entire good meals at their locations. The beef, veggies, and buns are top notch at both establishments. All franchises I've been to for each one have been very consistant.

Both are about as healthy as you can get for burgers and fries. Lean beef (without McDonalds' famous cardboard filler), trans-fat free oil, fresh veggies, and so on.

Fat Burger doesn't do fries the way In & Out does. They use steak fries like you'd get at a restaurant. If you like onion rings, they use real whole onions, not like they garbage they've got at Burger King.

You definitely don't have to go to one place for fries and another for the burger.

If only RCAs were as easy.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1866
Registered: Oct-04
Don't know about Fat Burgers, etc. - but, Jan, Mer and I DO listen to live music - in concert halls or small rooms, and in opera houses.
Thus, when I tinker around with my humble stereo, what I'm trying to duplicate - probably impossible - is the ambiance and sound that I hear at the Naples Philharmonic, or the Met, or Lyric Opera in Chicago, or for that matter, our local Presbyterian church, which has stunning acoustics and very fine visiting performers.

Can't do it - for many reasons. But the Belden interconnects I now use analog and the Silver Serpent digital audio cable do seem to approach the "sound" I'm striving to duplicate. I don't really care about the elemental makeup of the cables - but I do care if they sound harsh or tinny or dull.

Just like the burgers - I know what "tastes" good to me - so I try to find it. So far - limited success. Sigh.

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4557
Registered: Feb-05
As usual this where I come to for entertainment not critical thinking, enough of that done at work all day. This is just fun for me.

Some of us put our systems in our profiles for easy viewing. I think it's worthwhile so folks do have a frame of reference.

I'm using the $100 per meter set for my XM to Mira connection.

Demo's so far:

Analysis Plus Oval One, great detail and extension (both low and high), wide and deep soundstage, imaging not so good. The result is a dynamic cable that sometimes loses it's way relative presenting a coherent picture out of the music. Overall a very good cable for the money but not one for my system.

Kimber Kable Timbre, and it's aptly named as it gets the sound of instruments right. Acoustic guitar is rendered with the kind of accuracy you would expect from a more expensive design. The saxophone sounds fabulous and brass in general sounds like it's supposed to, and that's sayin' something. Instruments separate in an orchestra better with this cable than any other budget design I know of...oh but there is a weakness isn't there..yup. The sounstage though quite wide is very thin front to back and cymbals have a bit much shimmer...however other percussion sounds great. Imaging is very good for a budget cable. Overall a real winner. As it can be a bit forward careful system matching goes without saying. That's all for today...

Later this week more on my demo's with Chord cable. Also looking forward to trying out budget cables from Atlas and van den Hul.

Ain't this fun!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1867
Registered: Oct-04
Art: Just for the "fun" of it - think I'll send you a pair of Blue Jeans interconnects - see what you make of them.
Hmm - you'll probably diss them, but what the heck, as you say: "ain't this fun?"
Just wonder what you'd say if you did NOT know that they are "el-cheapo" cables?

Respectful-like. . .LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10261
Registered: May-04
.

Since no one seems to have any additional entries for sub $100 interconnects, I'll add my current favorites to the thread. They are based on several different concepts taken from DIY cables, Mapleshade Audio and Dr. Gizmo and distilled to what works for me in my system. Everyone should be reminded my system is not conventional to most forum members and I have always found my tastes in system sound to be unlike what I found to be the norm among my clients when I was selling.


You will first have to acquire a mulitmeter or continuity tester. You should be able to find a decent digital meter for $10-20 and since you'll only need the continuity portion of the meter for this project, you needn't buy anything expensive. Using the continuity tester, make certain the RCA's on the back of your equipment are tied to chassis ground (touch one probe to the outer portion of the RCA jack and the other probe to a portion of the chassis not covered with paint, if you hear a beep, there's continuity). If the jacks are floating ground and not tied to the chassis, as would the case with a turntable, you'll need two wires per interconnect, otherwise you'll only use one wire on the hot (+) terminal of the RCA plug.


The two supplies you'll have to buy at Radio Shack are a package of magnet wire and enough right angle solderless phono (RCA) plugs to make sufficient numbers of interconnects for your system. Use the 30 AWG magnet wire for each interconnect proper. You'll have to scrape the insulating enamel from the wire with a razor blade. Scrape just far enough back on the wire to allow you to wrap the wire around the screw type center post of the solderless phonos. Once you've made the connection at both ends of the interconnect, check for continuity because it's difficult to tell when you have all of the enamel scraped from the wire when using a 30AWG. Also check to make certain you have allowed the "+" conductor to touch the ground portion of the plug, we don't want to create a dead short here.


If you are going to use this for a floating ground or non grounded interconnect on a turntable, you should pick up a package of Radio Shack's silver solder and, if need be a 15-25 watt soldering iron. You can certainly try to crimp the ground wire to the phono plug since crimped connections should always sound better than soldered connections but the preferred 30AWG wire is difficult to afix in this manner. Here is where you'll make the concession to a bit of solder in the interconnect and you will solder the grounding wire in place on both ends. Otherwise, the hot connection is screwed in place rather than soldered to make the best connection possible (second only to a straight wire). Remember, most silver solder will be no more than 4% silver with the remaining ingredients being tin and lead, neither of which make good conductors. Better to use a wire to screw type connection interface which does away with anything between the two mating bodies. The solderless phonos also eliminate much of the bulk of the typical audiophile RCA and in so doing they eliminate many of the bad things these bulky connectors do to the signal flow.


Since capacitance and inductance are two factors which influence the "sound" of a cable in a system, these interconnects do away with the opposing signal flow of two wires and the problems of dielectric absorption. Some other factors cited by numerous cable manufacturers as "break through" technology are also eliminated by these cables, most notably skin effect.


If your equipment has chassis grounded RCA's, run a single wire from each source to the pre amp's ground lug or a bare metal screw. This accomplishes star grounding on all the sources to minimize ground loops and noise. Plug in your single wire interconnects and you should have signal flow. If not, check with your meter that all sources are actually grounded from the chassis and not from a screw terminal that might be insulated by paint.


In many applications, shielding is not required. In my system in Dallas, I have no RF pick up without a shield. If the interconnects pick up radio stations, you will either have to use a shield, which you can purchase in bulk lengths through several electrical supply sources. You can also try wrapping aluminum foil around the cable as long as you keep the ends free from any grounding point.


As is, the cables are a bit fragile and you may want a more workable interconnect. If so, buy some paper painter's tape or cloth first aid tape. If you are using two runs of wire per interconnect, buy the widest tape you can find, usually four inches, and run the wires along the opposite edges of the tape and then cover the interconnect with another layer of tape. I suggest you trim the excess tape as it enters the phono plug to make the interconnect a bit more flexible and to make the installation go a bit easier. These are not interconnects meant for someone who constantly fiddles with interconnects. If you tug on your cables constantly for whatever reason, buy some heavy interconnects and forget you read this. These are for people who don't want to think about cables.


In my system, I also run the 30AWG as speaker cable using the wire in tape method and the simplest banana plugs I have. Screw type bananas are available from Pamona and Switchcraft, the Radio Shack plugs sound nasty.


Since the resistance of the wire is slightly higher than normal with these cables, you won't want to use them for more than a 1 1/2 meter run. At that length, resistance is neglible but it will become a problem as the length of the cable increases beyond that point. If you have questions, make up a longer pair and try for yourself. You'll only waste the cost of a few feet of magnet wire.


I think everyone here has seem enough descriptions of what I value to know what sounds better about these interconnects. I do have the opportuty to hear live unamplified music on a frequent basis and these do a very good job of reminding me what I hear in those instances. If you're unfamiliar with my musical taste, and assuming you have the soldering iron and meter on hand, these interconnects will run less than $10 to make up and try. So, they are well worth the experiment if you aren't tied to some other interconnect, don't require long lengths or might damage the cables with constant readjustment. As with any other "tweak" I've suggested, this one works for me. I assume no responsibility for how you implement this construction or misinterpret my directions. If you blow up your system using these interconnects, you did something wrong and I haven't so far. Otherwise, give these a try before you spend any more on an interconnect and listen for better music reproduction from your system.


If these do float your boat, you can substitute 30 AWG silver wire for the magnet wire and make the construction just a bit more expensive and complicated.


http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2036277&cp=&sr=1&origkw=ma gnet+wire&kw=magnet+wire&parentPage=search


http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103789&cp=&sr=1&origkw=so lderless+phono+plug&kw=solderless+phono+plug&parentPage=search


http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103174&cp=&fbn=Price%2F%2 410.00+-+%2449.99&fbc=1&fr=StorePrice%2FRSK%2F00001000%2F00004999&kw=multimeter& parentPage=search



http://www.radioshack.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=soldering%20iron&origkw=s oldering%20iron&sr=1



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4601
Registered: Feb-05
Thank you for your detailed entry Jan.

I must admit to bit of a giggle when you stated:

"the Radio Shack plugs sound nasty"

Those words seem a bit atypical for you. Again thank you for that post.

I really feel like I've found the sound I like with van den Hul but it would still be interesting to try yours.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10264
Registered: May-04
.

Nasty is the best description I can think of for the Radio Shack banana plugs. It is sometimes difficult to imaging a connector having so much influence on the signal but the RS bananas and the RS solderless RCA's prove otherwise. I can find no significant fault with the RS solderless RCA's. Once I find a dealer for the Switchcraft screw type bananas who doesn't require a minimum purchase, I'll try their plugs. Switchcraft has always given good results in my systems and I would rather have a good Switchcraft nickle plated RCA than most of the gold plated dreck that comes on so much audiophile jewelery.


I did forget to mention that should your amplifier and/or speaker allow bare wire connection, that would be preferable to any banana plug on speaker level cables. My Mac amplifiers take bare wire but the 3/5a's only accept bananas. My banana of choice right now is a very old pair of Monster locking bananas, the ExTerminator!


I gave MW a few sets of interconnects made up as single wire sets to try but haven't heard about any opinions so far. Quite honestly, since I tend to find somewhat different ingredients interesting in music reproduction, I am not going to be surprised if he dislikes the cables. But I find them to be interesting enough that, should they provide half the pleasure I get with them in my systems, they should still make you think about what you are paying for in more expensive interconnects.


One set of cables I gave Mike was made from CAT-5 plenum wire using the RS solderless RCA's. The cable's spec calls for a solid core of six 9's copper and a solid Teflon dielectric. How many high end cables do you know that tout just such basic construction specs? The Cat-5 cable sells for around $0.20 per foot in bulk. If someone wishes to try the CAT-5 interconnect, they should use one of the twisted pairs inside the cable. Do not take a wire from one twisted pair and another wire from another twisted pair, the noise cancelling effects of twisting will only work on the pair that is twisted together. I found the CAT-5 cables to be interesting but not as tuneful as the RS magnet wire.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6960
Registered: Dec-04
I had missed this thread for a bit, gee, I missed a lot!

Jan, if you find the Switchcraft connectors for a reasonable minimum purchase, I am in on it.
A couple of the other guys will likely take up the rest, so long as it ain't dozens.

I am likely to try these cables from cdp to preamp.

Thanks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10733
Registered: May-04
.

Since I referenced this thread in another area, I have read again what I posted to check for accuracy. I need to make a very important correction to the construction details of the interconnect cables. I posted, "Also check to make certain you have allowed the "+" conductor to touch the ground portion of the plug, we don't want to create a dead short here." Of course, the proper instruction would read, "Also check to make certain you have not allowed the "+" conductor to touch the ground portion of the plug, we don't want to create a dead short here."


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 1116
Registered: May-06
I am posting this as it takes me too long to dig down and find this thread to copy the link for someone looking for cable advice.

So due to my laziness, I can now find this thread near the top of "Cables" where it belongs anyway.
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 180
Registered: Oct-07
Any fans of Mogami cables?

Just bought some XLR interconnects at Guitar Center and boy are they nice.
Shielded, quad conductor and Neutrik connectors.
 

New member
Username: Akaleoman57

Out west, Ca Us

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-08
if anyone is still checking into cables, try Zu, i am hearing stuff i did not know was on the cd.
they have a promo site on ebay.
some things one just needs to hear to believe. good stuff maynard!
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