Cables In My Stable

My Cables - the Deciding Factors

  • My journey into the world of good quality cables started many yeas ago, but up until then I was far from an "informed customer".
Most of the time I was listening to salesmen and buying what they recommended.

I then stumbled across an excellent store that actually provided useful information and was more focussed on selling me the right product.

Speaker Cables

My first good copper was a pair of
CLEARWATER bulk speaker cable from Van Den Hul.
  • I had no idea at that time what I was buying and relied on the advice from the staff at the new store.
  • The impact of these new cables was so immediate that I started delving into other product from Van Den Hul.
  • The Van Den Hul site is excellent and they provide very detailed spec's on all their cable and also MSRP, so you can evaluate every aspect
  • BTW - I recently stripped the insulation from this cable and there was no sign of oxidation after 12 years - amazing!

My next upgrade was to the
CS - 122 Hybrid - again another noticeable improvement in the fidelity.
  • It was at this time that I started to consider the documented specifications of the cables before I purchased
  • This cable is a great performer across the board and has been used successfully with my SP120 tube amp
  • It is now attached to my Denon AV receiver on my AV system

A step up in this area has been with the
D - 352 Hybrid from Van Den hul
  • This is really a superb cable providing extremely deep, but well controlled bass,
  • Well balance though the mid frequencies and very smooth at the top end
  • This is a very low capacitance cable which is ideally suited to the NAIM amp.

I still consider the above cables to be ver good, but I have discovered they perform so much better if the signal and neutral conductors are separated. The improvement in clarity, dynamics and bass control was very noticeable.

After several years using the D-352 I got to review newcomer to audio cables - the
KLEI gZero2 Speaker Cables fromKLE Innovations.
  • despite being a very thin cable when compared to the D-352 it was obvious from the outset that these cables were top performers
  • The bass performance is better and goes much deeper than the D-352
  • I could not detect any added coloration across the frequency range
  • but the most outstanding aspect of these cables are their dynamics, clarity and focus
  • The gZero2 were then move to my A/V system when the KLEI gZero6 speaker cables arrived.
  • Iv’e since replaced those with my own DIY Speaker Cables - The HELIX Speaker that are excellent performers

Interconnects

Flushed with two successful speaker cable purchases I then turned my attention to my interconnects, which had up to now been a variety of modestly priced store bought cables and some DIY cables made using some better quality bulk purchase cable.

The selection of the first one I tried, was mainly due to affordability, but it looked quite good on paper.

I had selected the
NAME coax interconnect from Van Den Hul.
  • This is a multi-use cable that was sold as a stereo pair, but could be used for digital purposes also
  • There was a very noticeable improvement in the dynamics, depth of bass and a very smooth top end

On reading up on other cables in their catalogue I became intrigued by the
D - 102 III Hybrid.
  • It certainly sounded like an exceptional cable, so I began to look for reviews, only to discover it had already won awards over several years - including...
  • What Hi-Fi 1998: - Best Buy, What Hi-Fi 1999: - Product of the Year, What Hi-Fi 2000: - Best Buy,

Well if it's that good I thought - perhaps I'll give it a try!
  • Once again my hi-fi store recommended some good quality Furutech RCA's at $10 per connector - a great match for that cable
  • These cables are absolutely the best cable construction I have ever seen - they are built like a tank
  • A fairly flexible balanced interconnect with 3 layer shielding
  • Most of the cables VDH sells are built to industrial standards and for the most part are protected against harsh environments
  • They transfer the finest details to the amp without colouring the sound and allow the dynamics to bring the music to life
  • They have now been in the system for about 6 years

I next tried some bulk cable from a company that caught my attention -
DH Labs
  • The nice thing about DH Labs is they have some great looking product at a fraction of the price of VDH

And then KLE Innovations sent a pair of their
KLEI gZero20 Interconnect cables and KLEI gZero6 Speaker Cables for review - seems these old ears aren’t quite as bad as I had thought.
  • A little more expensive than I like to pay, but these are extremely good interconnects
  • their strongest attributes are clarity, dynamics, extension at both end of the frequency spectrum and spacial imaging

And finally, my own
DIY Interconnect Cables - The “Helix Mark V"

  • They deliver a completely “uncoloured presentation” with ultra fast dynamic performance, exceptional clarity, expansive imaging and a very deep and exceptionally well controlled bass performance.

  • The delicate nuances pertaining to the acoustic reverberations of instruments and voice within a live venue are faithfully reproduced in the most minute detail, with a precision placement of musicians and their instruments within their own “virtual space”.


Power Cables
WARNING: unless you are an experienced electrical professional - consult a technician

At about the time I purchased my Raysonic SP120 tube amp, I started to look into the world of power cables and the many forum comments stating "wire is wire"!

Turns out they were right - wire is wire! - But a good quality Power Cable is absolutely essential!

The first I tried was from
FURUTECH a well known and well respected company
  • The product I tried was the FP-314 Ag - a 15AWG α (Alpha) conductor
  • The results were again immediate - with a noticeable improvement in low frequency dynamics and depth and more detailed sound stage

The latest cable from Furutech I have tried is their
FP-3TS762 20 amp 10 awg cable. Another superb cable that has no problems keeping up with the dynamic demands of the amp.

From the guys at
DH Labs,
  • their Power Plus AC Cable, which is comparable from an electrical performance perspective to the Furutech FP-3TS762
  • their Encore AC Cable, which, very surprisingly, is very close in acoustic performance to the Furutech FP-3TS762 but lacks in some of the high resolution details such as the acoustics of the recording venue
  • for my review see DH Labs Encore Power Cable

I now use my own DIY design that uses a helix architecture that appears to maximize details, spatial imaging, clarity, very low noise floor with a superb dynamic performance.

See
DIY Power Cables - The “POWER HELIX"

Also, I use the
Sonar Quest silver plated copper connectors on every power cable

Deciding Factors

So now all of the cables I look for must have:
  • Low Resistance
  • Low Capacitance
  • Low Inductance
  • Best quality copper, silver coated copper or silver conductors
  • unconventional cable architectures like my helix designs

FOOTNOTE:
I take the promotion of products very seriously.
If a company's product is identified on this blog it is solely based on that products
exceptional performance.
I do not receive any payment for products mentioned on this blog

Over the years I have had my DIY favourites like Furutech and Van Den Hul that produce excellent products

Every now and again a company comes along with product that challenges those stalwarts!

At this point in time, that company is DH Labs - stellar products at great prices!

But once in a millennia a company like KLE Innovations comes along that throws out conventional thinking about cable design and produces products that excel at every level. Expensive? A little, but they are excellent performers.

If you are a cost conscious consumer like me, take a look at their products.

I don't think you will be disappointed - I know I haven't been Winking