Journey to 3.5mm audio cable upgrade for MBP & A2 speakers- $1200 silver cable INSIDE

Discussion in 'All Things Apple' started by cheez, May 27, 2012.

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  1. cheez

    cheez Golden Member

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    That is very correct. However, if you ask me:

    "Are you regretting that you bought an expensive silver cable?"

    My answer: "Hell no. I love every bit about the cable. I want to take the cable out and put it around my neck like necklace... Wax it some more. :D"

    But I do regret that I got the 3.5mm mini-to-mini end. I should have gotten the 3.5mm mini-to-RCA, or RCA-to-RCA for future proof.


    Nice setup. You've got a $22,400 front channel speakers. That's not bad. Not to mention, your high-end preamp & amp. Too bad though your sound is limited due to the weak link in the chain (blue jean cables). Even though you think you are getting good sound, is still hampered by the cable when it would have put you into whole another league. Hey, that's okay. If you are happy, stay with it. I wouldn't. ;)


    No, they do have different sound. The weak link in the chain in this case is the listener. Not everyone has good or properly working ears..


    Also, my recommendation to you is that try to steer away from multiple connections. The higher number of cable connections between your equipment the more data loss will result, meaning less sound. Direct connection is the best using Active speakers instead of Passive. :)
     
    #151 cheez, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  2. Phanuel

    Phanuel Platinum Member

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    Halp me, he's hurting mi brain! I also run BJC, no complaints here either.
     
  3. cheez

    cheez Golden Member

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    BJC cables may be just enough to not complain for the general public, because you are getting sound. But nothing more. You need to try audition with the high-end cables yourself. Most people don't do this because they don't have the guts to spend thousands on cables to try out. And of course you need a descent system, not some ghetto speakers from WALMART.;)
     
  4. Phanuel

    Phanuel Platinum Member

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    Here's the problem, this is the back end of a recording studio that you get your music/movies from. Clearly they're just doing it wrong and your one magical cable is fixing all of the problems that this is creating.

    [​IMG]

    And as someone else said, it doesn't take guts to spend thousands on a 3' cable, it just takes something less...honest.

    Also, don't come here and start spouting off about "ghetto" speakers from Walmart when you're trying to buy speakers with built in amps. No audiophile buys speakers with integrated amps. They have separate receivers or separate pre-amps and amps.

    It's just extremely frustrating reading this. All I can hope is that anyone else seeing this trainwreck of a thread understands this and walks away with maybe a little more knowledge about the subject. And sorry, but not your knowledge.
     
  5. cheez

    cheez Golden Member

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    The recording studios use mid/high end cables, meaning their cables have much better insulation from RF and other unwanted interferences... Remember, the cheap ghetto cables you buy at WALMART don't have insulation. ;)


    They are afraid of money being wasted. That's why they don't buy high-end cables and come up with excuse saying they make no difference when they haven't auditioned.

    GHETTO GHETTO GHETTOoooooooooooOOOoOoOOoooOOOooo :D

    Totally wrong. Studio mixers / producers use top-end reference speakers. They are "active". Don't go spouting off about built-in amps on speakers are no good when you have no clue what they use at the studios, even a lot of audiophiles are jumping over to active from passive due to obvious reasons....

    Passive speakers are a thing of past. Some old folks like to stay with the old fashion stuff and put up with some signal loss. More connections you go through in the chain the more loss you will receive in the audio.


    .
     
    #155 cheez, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  6. MagickMan

    MagickMan Diamond Member

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    Negative. I tried high-end Audioquest and MIT interconnects and speaker cables, they made no difference whatsoever, measurable or subjective.

    Like I said, if you're hearing a difference, it's because you want to hear it.

    Yep, they make good, solid cables for a reasonable price and have great warranty. That's all that matters.
     
  7. MagickMan

    MagickMan Diamond Member

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    Oh, and FYI, I've been tested, and with 98% accuracy can hear THD variations down to 0.2%, which is all the way down to the limitations of all but a handful of transducers. To put that into perspective, only 1 in 20000 people test at that level. So, yes, my hearing is fine, thanks. Sorry to break it to you, but as long as the cables aren't defective, they make no difference at all.
     
  8. cheez

    cheez Golden Member

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    What model(s) of Audioquest interconnects did you use? And where were they applied in the system? How long are the cables. Be specific. Need more details.

    Even if you have good hearing condition it's no good if your ears are not trained. It is very complex thing in respect to audio. Something tells me you are not a trained listener nor true audiophile. There are folks out there that don't know what to look for in sound and just buy an uber expensive audio system and not getting all out of them.


    :)
     
    #158 cheez, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  9. alfa147x

    alfa147x Lifer

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    I doubt he can comprehend exactly what "THD" is. Probably because he's too busy with his "Bad azz system". :rolleyes:
     
  10. mmntech

    mmntech Lifer

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    Look at this fluster cluck behind my audio board at work. These really aren't "high end" cables. Pro grade are significantly cheaper. Most of these are just off-the-shelf.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Rubycon

    Rubycon Madame President

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    Not to mention pro audio is a balanced system. Most home audio systems are unbalanced and subject to much worse noise.

    It's amazing what will do "in a pinch" for a gig and the sound still comes out great! Balanced lines FTW.
     
  12. alfa147x

    alfa147x Lifer

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    What are your thoughts on balanced home systems? My biggest improvement was getting an external DAC (Schiit BiFrost) which got rid of the noise and a Class A headphone amp (Schiit Valhalla) mmmmmm. Tube distortion :D. Schiit just came out with a balanced DAC and amp. Thoughts on the upgrade?
     
  13. Rubycon

    Rubycon Madame President

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    I don't have much experience with current home gear.
    If it has balanced lines it should be decent, however.
     
  14. alfa147x

    alfa147x Lifer

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    Ah. Can;t decide if it's overkill in the good way which is better performance or overkill in money spent.
     
  15. Rubycon

    Rubycon Madame President

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    Try/beg/borrow to see if it's worthwhile! ;)
     
  16. Tegeril

    Tegeril Platinum Member

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    Stop bringing constructive questions and commentary to this thread :p
     
  17. alfa147x

    alfa147x Lifer

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    Can anyone recommend a cable to hook my computer to my DAC? My budget is $5,000. Unfortunately since I'm using soup cans as headphones I can't use cheap $5 monoprice cables. THESE CANS NEED JUST THE BEST! (Campbell's, not some generic store brand...)

    I do have friends getting back from being deployed... with lots of money :D
     
  18. cheez

    cheez Golden Member

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    You work at some TV broadcast studio though, not a studio for music production / post-production for mixing and such. TV broadcast studio and music production studio, quite different story. You wonder why the TV broadcast stations have terrible video and audio quality. ;)



    Balanced audio interconnects help to a some degree, but still get affected by interference and electrical noise, unless you get better cables and work on cable management. Just hyperlinking some unorganized wiring from TV broadcast is a bad example to support your claim... fail fail. :D


    You get sound, but that's it.
     
    #168 cheez, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  19. cheez

    cheez Golden Member

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    Pardon my bad language but isn't Schitt pronounced as "S-H-I-T"? :eek: There was a discussion about the name issue over at other forums. I am not sure I will be comfortable with that name brand.

    And don't get too carried away with the Asynchronous USB support. It still suffers from jitter to a some degree. The ability to reduce / remove jitter varies depending on what DAC you get and how the rest of the system is connected. That Schitt DAC you linked won't compete against the DAC's in the class of Benchmark DAC-1 or Bel Canto DAC. Schitt DAC maybe geared for people with limited budget, it's not higher up for performance.

    But still, thanks for contribution on the DAC options.. not exactly my cup of tea but may certainly attract other readers in my cool awesome thread. :)
     
    #169 cheez, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  20. cheez

    cheez Golden Member

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    Hey guys, I have wrote down what my plan is.

    It's official.

    First of all, I love my A2 speakers w/ $1200 Angel cable as it produces audio similar to the high-end systems that cost several thousands... the only drawback is that I have to keep the listening distance to less than 3 feet. After all, this is a nearfield speakers with low power output. They are truly the monitors. They detect any flaws in the recording. But when the source is good, it's a heaven. This system will eventually move back to the Macbook Pro.


    Here is my plan.....

    Save a few more bucks and get the following items by December:

    - A pair of Focal CMS 40 speakers ($850)

    - 2 pairs of AudioQuest's entry-level Evergreen RCA-to-RCA cables ($66) 1 x 1.5m for the right speaker, 2m for the left, as my sub is sitting right next to my entertainment wooden cabinet. They will run from sub's RCA OUT to the Focal speakers.


    They will be running off my existing HTPC with Asus Xonar DX7.1 sound card. I don't have money for the dedicated DAC and uber nice cables now which is why I'm starting off without them.


    Sometime next year I will likely get the following:

    - Benchmark DAC-1 USB DAC ($1200)
    - Fiber Optic cable from PC to DAC (I already have it)
    - Mid-end balanced Audioquest King Cobra XLR cables (or something in that class) pair ($350)

    Remove the RCA cables from the sub and the Focal speakers. Run the XLR cable from DAC to the Focal speakers. I will have to come up with a solution to hook up the sub.


    Then 3 months later I can pickup the following:

    - Audioquest NRG-X3 Power cord for DAC ($100)
    - Audioquest NRG-X3 Power cord for left speaker ($100)
    - Audioquest NRG-X3 Power cord for right speaker ($100)
    - Furman Power Conditioner / strip ($160)
    - Get some more Car Wax and wax any area that needs polishing.


    What do you guys think? Sound good?

    :colbert:
     
  21. MagickMan

    MagickMan Diamond Member

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    Heh. ;)

    Audioquest Wild Digital from source > Pre/Pro, 3m length. Audioquest Sky Balanced interconnect between Pre/Pro > amp, 1m length. Then Audioquest K2 8' lengths to speakers. All told, over $20,000 in cabling. Difference in sound over Blue Jeans cables? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

    Much more of an audio enthusiast than you, I'd wager. FWIW, I'm a musician; guitar, bass, and piano, and have over 25 years of "training". Some of it even formal, with Vanderbilt University and Harman International. I know what I'm talking about, I've been in formal ABX testing scenarios (AXY and XXY), as a participant and as an administrator. As long as the cables aren't defective, and are of the same gauge, there's no difference in sound. At all. Your cute little condescending jabs are hilarious; "something's wrong with your ears", "you aren't trained", "you aren't a true audiophile". Those excuses are the last refuge of a lost cause. Know what the difference is between an enthusiast and an audiophile? The "audiophile" is the one with the stick up their bum.

    Wake up. What you've experienced, if you aren't just a complete troll, is what is commonly known as expectation bias. Period. In centuries past it was referred to as snake oil treatment. People would travel from town to town bilking others of their cash with wild claims and pseudoscience. The buyers? Well, they pay a lot for something, so they want it to work. In fact, they want it to work so badly, their minds make it work.

    Sorry, the Emperor has no clothes, and fancy boutique cables have no benefit. Well, except for making the people who sell them very wealthy. In the end, you're sitting there with a small $1,000 piece of metal and nylon and $300 powered speakers made by the lowest bidder. Send the cable back, get a refund, and buy a decent set of Magnepans and a mid-range A/V receiver. You'll be much better off.
     
  22. MagickMan

    MagickMan Diamond Member

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    Schiit makes decent... stuff. :) Going balanced is a tricky subject. Basically you need to plan for it from the ground up. First choose your transducers; what are your expectations? What headphones do you have now? The issue with the Valhalla, being that it's an OTL design, is that it has a relatively high output resistance (32 Ohms, if memory serves). This is great for high impedance cans, like 600 Ohm Beyerdynamics and 300 Ohm Sennheisers. It's not so good with lower resistance headphones like Denon, HiFiMan, and Audeze. The reason is damping factor, which directly relates to the amount of control the amp has over the transducer. This is overstated most of the time, but it does become more of a factor when you're dealing with very sensitive headphones.

    A balanced amp provides more voltage, which when combined with higher damping factor gives you lower THD numbers, and that results in better clarity. Let's say, you go from your computer to the DAC with whatever connection you choose (USB, coax, or toslink). Then from the DAC, we'll say the Gungnir, connect to the preamp/amp (the Mjolnir) with XLR, then connect your headphones to the amp via XLR (balanced). In that scenario you'd have consistent voltage, beginning to end. Will it make a lot of difference? No. Will make any difference? If you have great headphones and want the most out of them, yeah.

    Here's the deal though, if your headphones aren't balanced from the factory, you'll need to get them re-terminated. Also, as you already know, there's the expense involved, and you then have to use a balanced to single-ended adapter if you want to use them with a different amp. It's not a huge deal, it's what I do, but it is a consideration.

    If you have the cash, go for it. It's pretty cool and sounds fantastic. However, by the time you've gone through all of that, you could have kept your single-ended system for dynamic headphones and just bought this. ;)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/STAX-SRS-3170-EARSPEAKER-SYSTEM-SRM-323S-SR-307-/200822046156
     
    #172 MagickMan, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  23. Rubycon

    Rubycon Madame President

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    This will be my last post in this thread as it's been covered already. PLEASE educate yourself before spouting such nonsense.

    I cannot believe this thread has lasted this long. It's gone OT far too long especially in a non social forum.
     
  24. cheez

    cheez Golden Member

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    Nice. [no sarcasm]

    So how long did you use them before returning all of them for a refund?

    The problem is you didn't give enough time to settle-in (burn-in). You have a lot of high purity solid PSS silver contents there. They take real long time to settle-in. You should have experienced very harsh / bright sound out of the system with those cables but you have mentioned nothing about it. So this tells me two things.

    1). There is a down-grade in sound (due to not broken-in) but you claimed "I heard no difference" which tells me you are not sensitive to what you hear. No pun intended. I'm just saying this in general. If a person can't even tell the degraded sound, the culprit is the hearing of the person.

    2). You did not complete the burn-in. Since the 30 day return policy runs out you tried it for a few weeks and since you felt no sound improvement you returned them all and now you claim they make no difference. This is quite of ignorance. ;)



    Incorrect. There are sonic differences, huge. The sound changes depending on how soon the data reaches from point A to B. Slight difference in timing causes big difference in audio. As mentioned in my post above, you did not give enough time to burn-in as those cables require long time of burnin before getting noticeable results.

    Also, being musicians doesn't mean be end all. Not all musicians have the same hearing, not to mention, their hearing problems just like others. You gotta go by the people with good hearing and those that are trained.


    It has already been widely covered that there is huge (not small :D) difference in the location of the musical instruments played. Increased dynamic response, detail pops, etc etc etc. The proof is in the hearing. Nothing better than hands-on experience instead of just sitting around and guessing without trying out the cable and properly settle-in...


    I'll wait for your reply... Next. :D

    It's $1200 for the Angel cable. $200 for Sydney. :D

    It's $200 for the A2 speakers not $300. :rolleyes: lol.. :D


    No. Are you crazy? Why should I? I love the cable, not only because they look good and gives me opportunity to wax and polish, but they do deliver in better sound as stated above.

    Going passive is an old fashion. Active is the better solution. A lot of audiophiles jumpship to Active for better SQ. Going passive, like your setup for example, you still get some data loss due to too many connections going in the chain. ;)



    .
     
  25. cheez

    cheez Golden Member

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    What is there for me to educate? mmntech works at TV broadcast company, not music production studio. Both serve different purpose. One is to broadcast TV programs. The other is to "make music" like recording / mastering, mixing, etc. You must be new. :D

    :)
     
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