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Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects (Read 19163 times)
Lon
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #15 - 01/09/12 at 21:16:08
 
I think they are very similar will. The "Digital Pipe" one that I have is very similar looking. . . but sounds significantly different than the Decware ones on audio sources, and not in a good way. I tried it for months on cd players and Blu-ray players and finally settled on it on my bedroom TV. It does seem to make a positive difference on the image, and I don't use the TV's speakers much at all.
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« Last Edit: 01/09/12 at 21:27:00 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #16 - 01/09/12 at 21:27:23
 
Interesting. The Digital Pipe construction looks like it is #12 pure copper wire, but with "Plated pure copper mesh shielding - provides protection, looks & drains RF/EMI from your equipment."

With the better picture, it sounds like they met their objective for your TV anyway.

I think it is so interesting how most small companies come up with one to a few solutions they think really gets it, and most are pretty different in the subtle details of sound.

Then there is MAC who seems to cover the waterfront with materials and methodology making a lot of different sounding cables.
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Lon
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #17 - 01/09/12 at 21:43:13
 
Yes, it helped that TV image, but no more so than less expensive cables have, so I really wouldn't recommend it for TV use. Smiley

I think the Decware cables are excellent. I've also found that the top of the line PS Audio cables are even better, for my ears and tastes in my system, but they're ridiculously expensive. I've decided I am willing to pay the price for them if I can find them half price or less, and with patience and some seeking out I have. I recognize that this is possibly silly or extreme, but I really value the effect these have on the sound of my components. Which is not always a good thing as you know. This led me to improving my source as suddenly every source I had on hand was revealing its shortcomings and made me realize that the amazing Decware amp and speakers could do even more with a better source.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #18 - 01/09/12 at 22:06:32
 
I may order a Shunyata Venom just to try it out, and the price is reasonable.

I noticed that the HCM site also has the AudioQuest GBR for speaker cables, and they look like a bargain. I am very happy with my ZenStyx, but in order to reach the back ERRs, I had to order a 20-foot pair, and those were just barely long enough. I got those at a discount, because I ordered them at the same time as one of my ERR pairs. But right now, those 20-foot ZenStyx would set me back a cool grand. While a 20-foot pair of the AQ GBR are $160 and a 30-foot pair are $210. I actually plan to buy a set, to have as backup in case anything happens to my Styx, but given how they are made........I doubt that will happen.

I have to echo something Lon said, and I say this as someone who picked up his PS Audio Statement power cords from him. Things like the power cords, or the Power Plants, or the in-wall receptacle replacements really do make a difference. And it is often expressed in the form of negative revelation about another component. I have seen many theories about why the last few feet of power matters, e.g., here. And Paul McGowan of PS Audio writes a lot on this topic, but getting to anything like "truth" here may well be nigh impossible. At least, for now. For me, it makes a difference.
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Fireblade
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #19 - 01/10/12 at 01:35:36
 
Lots of new information, thanks guys!

Just a relevant parenthesis: Have you guys seen this at all (it's just a subjective headphone sound comparison buy 1 guy over 22 power cords, of which I think only 2 or 3 are low priced.  Conclusion rankings are interesting.

Conclusion
Still with me?  To wrap this up, it’s time for me to rank order all of the cables under review. This rank ordering reflects performance in my system, based on my own biases and needs. It reflects performance on those components on which each cable fared best. It is not a straight listing of cables in order of the “Overall performance” rating I gave within the individual reviews. Those ratings are dependent on cost/value, flexibility and other factors, the final rank order is based on pure *sound* alone, all other factors be damned.

1. (Tie) Virtual Dynamics Nite II (on my source), Michael Wolff Bohica (on my headphone amp)
2.Black Sand Violet with stock ends.
3. Black Sand Silver
4. Split decision between the TG 688 (for my source), and the Wolff Source cord (for my headamp)
5. Black Sand Violet "Deluxe" (with Oyaide 046 ends)
6.Virtual Dynamics Reference (since replaced/superseded by the David)
7.(Tie) KAS Audio Primus (on my headamp) and Oyaide Tunami (on my source)
8.VH Audio Flavor 1 and Flavor 2
9.Custom Power Cord Company Model 14 Series 2
10.Tek Line Eclipse
11.Iron Lung Jellyfish / Volex 1760412. Straight Wire Blue Thunder
13.Audio Metallurgy Gold Alloy 9
14.Analysis Plus Oval 10
15.Absolute Power Cord
16.Zu Cable BoK
17.PS Audio XStream Plus


Here's the link to the main review (just skim over, as this is a long piece):

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/archive/index.php/t-81533.html

I may even consider the Jellyfish power cord now, given the soundstage and dynamics preference over tone, in my listenings.

I also read about Decware's own power cords been manufactured by MAC, and sharing same design philosophies with Steve.

The most difficult thing in this hobby is the unavoidable, expensive and never-ending trial-and-error process required just to choose the right element in the sound chain.  Worse still, that nth element change may disqualify the n-1th previously agreed upon, as there are always interactions and synergies involved.

Because the number of combinations possible are quite large, folks need to rely on some science and logic, and models and such, just to be able to make some sense out of this mess and limit the number of possible, combined alternatives to try (in this lifetime).

Patience, real savings and a lot of time in your hands are the only allies on the audiophile's side to enjoy, rather than suffer, this self-inflicted punishment.  But I guess the esporadic, randomly appearing sound synergies rewards are worth it.  The clue must be to make this journey as fun and at the same time as systematic as possible, to be able to achieve a really convergent path.

And we haven't even talked about tube rolling yet .. He He!









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Rivieraranch
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #20 - 01/10/12 at 02:30:52
 
The Volex came out solidly in the middle. Not bad for basically a ten buck cord.
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Fireblade
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #21 - 01/10/12 at 02:56:51
 
Absolutely, but if you read the reviewer's description and actually look at the individual scores for the sound-related criteria, the Jellyfish comes ahead, in my view.  Both are equivalent decent, better-than-stock power cables, indeed.  Only with different tradeoffs.  So, you were right when you made your point originally on the Volex.  Cheers ...
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will
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #22 - 01/10/12 at 05:52:10
 
I can't help noticing the cable review is from 2006, a while ago in audio development.

I too figure you rule out a lot of issues with good advice. The trick is to get in with those you trust the ears of. This is part of what I like about Decware, DbAudiolLabs, Pi Audio, HerbiesAudioLab and the like....they are all made up of seasoned audio heads on deep quests themselves for the real sound on a reality budget, and have fleshed out reasonably priced quality. Well....relatively, for the world class sound we can get.

I have a bunch of power cables, all relatively reasonable, several DIY. They all have good quality parts and designs, and though I like certain things about each, I can say that by starting off with a certain level of quality, they all work together. None hurt anything else.

I like to do the research too. A fun part of the quest. And I find that some people's evaluations sound real to me, and some less so, but in this time with net shopping and the option to return a lot of stuff if it does not suit me, I feel pretty good buying quality, value stuff that sounds good from reviews, knowing I have an out if it doesn't work out. It always seems to work though with good research.

Science is of use, but all the people I tend to buy from use the science only as a basis to good sound and the gear is finally refined and finalized by listening. Lots of trial and error based on listening. I think this is where the reality sound comes from....what makes us feel right with the sound.  I am glad they work this way because my sound is eerily real thanks to them.
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« Last Edit: 01/10/12 at 06:34:04 by will »  

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Fireblade
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #23 - 01/10/12 at 13:35:04
 
That's exactly right, Will, science and logic are helpful (necessary) to reduce the possibilities to a select number of promising, manageable alternatives.  From there, its a matter of testing/comparing and fine-tuning. That's what experts we trust are supposed to do.

I wish we could find more of the A:B Blind testing, instead of somewone's opinions though.
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Lon
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #24 - 01/10/12 at 13:51:18
 
Interesting to note that if you look at the entire thread after that cable review post you'll see others with conflicting experience with the same cables, skepticism that there's any science behind power cables, arguments about expectations of power cord use, etc. All over the map. Interesting how varied listeners are in this arena.

I found his impressions of the PS Audio xStream Plus cord to be different than the impressions I had of the one that I owned. I think our source material, systems, and tastes can be so different that these sort of cable shootouts are entertaining reading, but very hard to use as a tool for evaluating how cords will perform in your own system, more's the pity.

Here's an easier to read version of the thread:

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=81533
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Fireblade
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #25 - 01/10/12 at 14:02:50
 
Lon, that link is missing 4 of the original participants, listing only until No. 16.  Among the missing (Nos. 17, 18 19 & 20) are a couple of top performers.  The descriptions missing will give you the reviewer's reasons for his grading, so I think that missing material is important.

In any case, that's just a guy's opinion.  More 'Blind Testing' please!
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Lon
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #26 - 01/10/12 at 14:10:33
 
It's all there in the thread. It's the same thread as you linked to, just different format (archived vs. active).

One important qualifier for this review is he's using a cord to a headphone amp mostly. A high current amp for speakers may perform very differently.

will's post about the age of the thread is also worth noting. PS Audio's entire cable line is radically different now than it was before, all the way down the line from metal used (the POCC they use now is really refined metal!) to shielding, wire size and shape and configuration. Probably true of the offerings of other of the reviewed cables as well.


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« Last Edit: 01/10/12 at 14:30:21 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Lon
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #27 - 01/10/12 at 15:22:34
 
will, I just won a pair of MAC Ultra Silver + on that auction site (luckily my only competition Greg dropped out!) Smiley and I can compare these to the Decware when received. Will be interesting.
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Fireblade
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #28 - 01/10/12 at 15:49:57
 
Apparently they archived the article incomplete.  Even the title says 15 power cords (instead of 22), and somewhere else talks about 16.  Still, four participants are missing in this archive copy (check it out), although the conclusions are the same.  

Congrats on the MCA auction!
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Pale Rider
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #29 - 01/10/12 at 15:59:51
 
Lon wrote:
Quote:
will, I just won a pair of MAC Ultra Silver + on that auction site (luckily my only competition Greg dropped out!)  and I can compare these to the Decware when received. Will be interesting.


Congrats Lon! Glad you picked those up. Let us know how they sound.  Because I needed another power cord or two—well, sort of, "need" being an interesting and relative term—I picked up the MAC 5-foot HC power cord. I also ordered the Shunyata Venom to have as a backup, while I wait to discover one or two of those PerfectWave AC10/12 deals that Lon found.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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