Cables and interconnects

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jsalk

Cables and interconnects
« on: 6 Jan 2006, 10:42 pm »


For most of my adult life, I have been a boutique cable/interconnect sceptic.  My speaker cables, for example, have typically been 12-gauge oxygen-free copper wire I purchased in bulk.

About a year ago, Marbles brought his cables along to a show and I had a chance to audition them.  The room was far from perfect and there were really too many variables to be certain, but I thought I heard a noticeable improvement when we switched to his cables.

In my demo room, I do not like to use high-powered source gear or exotic cables.  I want people to realize that what they hear is the result of the speakers and not any other component in the chain.  Those who have been to my home can verify that I use nothing exotic (except perhaps for speakers).

Then, last fall, I met a man named Carl Smith.  Carl is a retired AT&T Lab engineer who designed about 40% of all the cables used for critical applications at AT&T labs.  He also happens to be a life-long audiophile.

Carl has spent an incredible amount of time, energy and money researching wire, connectors, teflon, braiding techniques, etc.  in an effort to develop the best audio cables that can be made with current technology.

When I heard his cables, I was very surprised at the difference in sound quality.  So I spent many hours talking cables with Carl.  He knows his stuff.

Now Carl is not in the business of building cables.  It is his hobby - his passion.  But I always get asked about cables and thought that if I were ever to offer any for my clients, I wanted to make sure they were among the very best.

So I asked Carl if he would build custom cables for owners of my speakers.  He agreed.

Carl's cables are not inexpensive.  But the materials he uses are quite exotic and costly.  And the time and care he puts into doing them right can only be the result of a labor of love.

Are they worth the cost?  Like anything else, that is a difficult question to answer.  I have always been happy with 12-gauge OFC copper wire for speaker cable and regular Canare cable for interconnects.  But I now have some of Carl's cables and interconnects and will not likely go back. I guess that pretty much sums up my opinion.

I posted a page on my web site if you would like more information.  Here is a link.

- Jim

zybar

Cables and interconnects
« Reply #1 on: 6 Jan 2006, 10:54 pm »
Jim,

Will you or Carl be offering a trial period?

Most cable vendors do offer some type of trial period since cables and ic's are so system dependent.

George

zybar

Cables and interconnects
« Reply #2 on: 6 Jan 2006, 10:55 pm »
Jim,

Will you be using Carl's cables inside your speakers?

George

brj

Cables and interconnects
« Reply #3 on: 6 Jan 2006, 11:02 pm »
Quote from: zybar
Will you be using Carl's cables inside your speakers?

I'll second that question!

In addition... any word on how much the performance jumps between each of the 4 models of interconnect?

Thanks!

jsalk

Cables and interconnects
« Reply #4 on: 7 Jan 2006, 01:32 am »
zybar & brj -

I haven't talked to Carl about an internal HT3 wiring harness, but I intend to.  I would imagine it would be a rather costly upgrade, but it would certainly be worth investigating.  I'll need to build a new pair of HT3's to try it with.

I just recently got these cables and am still testing them in my system.

As for the difference between the interconnects, I would like to defer further comment until I have had time to evaluate them further. They vary by the number and purity of the strands of silver and I haven't had time to give all of them a thorough comparison.

But there was a very dedicated audiophile visiting last week and when we replaced my cables and interconnects, both of us were kind of taken back by the difference.  The bass seemed more robust and the mid to top end just a bit cleaner and more transparent.

- Jim

texas steve

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 119
Cables and interconnects
« Reply #5 on: 7 Jan 2006, 02:33 pm »
Quote from: jsalk
zybar & brj -

I haven't talked to Carl about an internal HT3 wiring harness, but I intend to.  I would imagine it would be a rather costly upgrade, but it would certainly be worth investigating.  I'll need to build a new pair of HT3's to try it with.

I just recently got these cables and am still testing them in my system.

As for the difference between the interconnects, I would like to defer further comment until I have had time to evaluate them further. They vary by the number and purity of the  ...


Jim, you could use mine your building as the test ones if you want.  Of course If the result is great (better than your current wire) I would want you to keep them in , in return for being the Ginny pig!

jsalk

Cables and interconnects
« Reply #6 on: 7 Jan 2006, 02:40 pm »
Quote from: texas steve
Jim, you could use mine your building as the test ones if you want.  Of course If the result is great (better than your current wire) I would want you to keep them in , in return for being the Ginny pig!


Well, let me check the cost before I comment further.

- Jim