Wires Explained

Aren't all cables the same?

So - if all cables are the same - they would perform "the same" - the fact is - they don't!

If you look at those companies that "care enough about their customers" to actually publish their spec's (and good companies do) you will see vast differences in Capacitance, Inductance, Resistance and in different cable architectures.

This will dictate how they will perform with different audio components.

Some hi-fi components have a real dislike for high capacitance cables - e.g.
  • a lot of phono cartridges perform terribly with high capacitance leads
  • a NAIM amp is just one example that "performs best" with low capacitance speaker cables!
  • my Cambridge Audio 640p and Dacmagic actually runs several degrees cooler with a good power supply and cable
    • and their performance is elevated to amazing because of them!

Some cables use silver, some silver-coated-copper and some just plain copper
  • silver is a better conductor of electricity, so it stands to reason it will have better "resolution” and faster dynamic performance’

Some are screened, some are braided, some employ what's referred to as "DNA Helix" to deal with RF.
  • Personally, balanced cables with at least two braided wire screens were my first choice
  • The Stager Silver Solids (without screening) changed that view.
  • Now I use cables with an advanced architecture where the neutral conductor is wound around the signal conductor
  • See RCA Interconnect Construction Techniques

Companies that don't publish their spec's are selling an unknown commodity, which I choose not to purchase.
  • their arguments about "stealing designs" is a moot point - companies patent designs before marketing them
  • and 24 hours after their product hit the streets - a clone has been made anyway!
  • so please - lay your design on the table for the world to see!

So, if you are of the opinion that all cables are the same then - buy low priced cables...
  • because they will no doubt perform "THE SAME AS" the top of the line KLE Innovations gZero line (or not)
  • and you'll save a bundle !
  • and you will be be able to sleep at night knowing that the rest of us are just plain "Bonkers!"

However, you can always elect to investigate all the alternative cable architectures and select cables that will perform to their optimum in your very own audio system.

Granted, it's possible you may pay over the odds, but then again, you may just have selected "the perfect match" and your system will "come alive".
  • In which case - did you pay too much? Happy

Many audio stores will have "loaners" that you can take home and assess in your own system - that is a very good informed way of assessing which works the best in YOUR audio system!

Nordost are so confident, that they have a case containing a selection of their cables that you can audition at home - one dealer near me said I could have it on loan for a week!

Call me crazy, but I, like many others have spent a lot of time investigating several types of cables and have found that they make a profound difference in the net result. I'm not just talking marginal improvements (or degradation), I am talking about OMG moments, where the result is amazing (or just plain terrible)

I do have my favourites and at times I try a different manufacturers product.
  • with advancing technology I anticipate my favourites could change.

Most importantly - I endeavour to "try before I buy" - if it doesn't provide a substantial ROI - I move on!!!

We all want the "quick answer" to that age old question - "which one is best?"

Pretty much - the absolute best costs the absolute most, but just like the more affordable cables and interconnects
  • you can't base a cable’s performance by their cost
  • you have to know what a company is selling you - YOU have to become educated!
  • YOU have some responsibility in understanding what makes that product work
  • Otherwise, you can just keep applying the good old "Snake Oil" - that's right - the expensive one that smells nice Happy

If you want to see my current favourites and where I use them - take a look the menu item
Cables In My Stable

But here's the basic info:
  • Interconnects: Keith Louis Eichmann gZero6 and my ow DIY design IC’s using KLEI Harmony RCA plug range.
  • Speaker Cables: Keith Louis Eichmann gZero6 and gZero2
  • Power Cables: My custom DIY build power cables and Sonar Quest silver plated copper connectors