Cable choices with your Martin Logans.

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DaVinci Media

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Has anyone here ever analyzed the sound produced by using different speaker cables? Measure and compare the graphs? Many of you use software here that can do that. I'm wondering if there would be any difference.
I would be really interested in hearing more about this if anybody has done the measurements.
 

msimanyi

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Everything I’ve read leads to the conclusion we simply don’t have the ability to measure and quantify (edit) *all* the differences.

I'm sure that will eventually change, but for now that’s where we are.
 
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MisterB

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Everything I’ve read leads to the conclusion we simply don’t have the ability to measure and quantify the differences.

I'm sure that will eventually change, but for now that’s where we are.

If there's an actual audible (frequency response) difference, that should be measurable. But quantifying any measurable difference into better or worse is highly subjective. And then there's measuring/quantifying the proverbial "PRaT". IMO, a fool's errand.
 

Stefan_DR3

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Good results with DH Labs silver sonic Q10 biwire on my Theos. They are a warmish speaker and the touch of silver really brought them to life. I do not consider them a very expensive cable especially when you buy in bulk and terminate yourself.
 

BigGuy

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A fellow audiophile and I are both using Anticables Level 6 speaker cables, me with CLXs and him with 13As, replacing Level 5 and before that Level 3 speaker cables. The (r)evolution in sound quality was quite extraordinary. We both are running Pass XA60.8 monoblocks and Mytek Manhattan II DACs..
 

Big Dog RJ

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With cables, interconnects and power cords, things can get really tricky, to such an affect where you can spend a fortune on the finest cables and still it's not quite right. What I've found is that quite often far too many people ignore the importance of basics. With basics, I'm referring to AC mains distribution and AC mains wiring with dedicated CB's at the mains board. Once this is done, only then will any good quality cables work just about right.

I've seen some lofty gear with high powered monoblocks being plugged into cheapo plastic power boards that you can get at Kmart for $20... c'mon seriously?
Then, I've seem some other lofty gear being plugged into power boards, power conditioners and them using multi-plugs to accommodate other devices simply because they ran out of AC outlets .. c'mon.
So first and foremost, please get those AC mains outlets sorted out with a good quality power boards then you're going in the right direction.

Over the decades I've used various types / brands from Chord, Monster, Van Den Hull, Audio Quest, Audio Note, Cardas, DH Labs, Kimber, MIT, and a few others I can't even recall. They're highly system dependant and will enhance certain things to great affect. OTOH certain cables and types of wiring materials can even slow down certain aspects of a system. So, I've always looked for something that offers the highest levels in transparency, speed and detail, and something that gets out of the way. Is far more neutral and far less coloured than the source gear itself! There are certain recordings that are overly done, boosted in certain frequencies and with certain types of cables, these areas are further enhanced, so people think they're great but in fact it's a bit artificial, and not so natural.

Once you get hold of good quality recordings then that's the best start! Trying to preserve this quality recording as the original signal passes along the chain and onto the speakers in its purest form, is so crucial it can either make or break a system's overall performance.

One cable brand that I've found to be consistent with utmost Fidelity to the core, and every model of theirs is simply stunning as you go up the chain but it gets so damn pricey that sometimes I think this company is nuts! I've seen how they work and it takes something like 8hrs just to make 1 meter.
So I managed to settle with what I can afford and installed a full cable loom of the same brand within the same series, ending up with a higher grade connection on the speaker cables, since this is where the signal ends.

That brand is Nordost and I've found them to be truly worth when making the connection.

Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
 

Big Dog RJ

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Just a quick note on the stats. Since these are pretty much "electrostatic"... all they require is a steady charge from your AC mains in order for the stators to remain charged during playback. For this very purpose, only a small amount of AC power is required into the stats then the trannies take care of the rest. HT - high tension trannies that develop the required high voltages for each stator.

So, for this particular application, I really didn't find it necessary to go over board on power cords powering the CLX's. I used the supplied cords for a short while until I got custom made power cords done by a local tech. He's well known in the Melbourne area and supplied high grade 10AWG pure copper wire terminated with Furutec plugs. The moment I first installed them, I did hear a clearer presentation but nothing overly done to be jumping on about... so I just stuck with these. I didn't divulge in couple 1000 dollar power cords for the CLX's.

However, when it came to other gear, especially the hybrid stats, I did find that using high quality power cords and other cable accessories did make a more positive impression. So, I would say that after trying various types within a wide price range, just stick with the ones that provide the highest level of Fidelity that you can afford.

In terms of being more neutral, natural tonality and nothing overly emphasised, where more of the music flows uncoloured... that would be the one I'd choose. Of course based on your affordability and what you feel is realistic value.

So far, the power loom installation that I've done suits just fine! So might as well just sit back and enjoy those fine tunes!

Cheers, RJ
 

Duke

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The most expensive Nordost you can afford. I like rhodium plating on the power cords too.
 

amey01

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Just a quick note on the stats. Since these are pretty much "electrostatic"... all they require is a steady charge from your AC mains
I agree. But you realise - with this argument - that you basically nullify every other argument for power cables anywhere in the system?
 

Big Dog RJ

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Yes mate, and that's what it's all about!
On another forum, WBF I posted under the topic- Voodo or Science. It received a lot of replies and in depth discussions with some industry experts. At the end, it came back full circle to get what your system deserves and what's to your liking. It's a highly personal preference, so there's really no right or wrong here.

A few points I may add though:
1. After getting the new BF210 sub, the power cord that came with it was exactly the one fitted to our kettle! So I immediately bought the decently priced Voodoo Mojo black from my ML dealer, and what a tangible difference it made!

2. My Nordost Tyr2 speaker cables have previously been modded with some standard copper spades that are starting to oxidise. The previous owner has Wilson XLF's and changed these spades to accommodate the much larger XLF's terminals...
Since, I don't care for anything that tarnishes nor oxidisation for that matter, I ordered in the Nordost Moon Glo Rhodium plated spades.

3. I think I've lost the plot!

Using any decent power cords on the stats is what I was referring to, not ones that are used in conjunction with the kettle & toaster, hell no! That's why on the CLX's power cords, I got a local chap who's a well known tech, to custom make good quality power cords terminated with Furutec plugs, and he also agreed that these were much better.
The point I was trying to make is that I didn't spend 5 - 10grand on power cords to power the CLX's, it's not necessary. However, there are those who've spent this kind of money on power cords alone, and they claim they're marvellous! Well, hats off to them!

Speaking of top quality cales, Transparent Audio, Shunyata, Siltec, Audience Front Row, Nordost Odin Supreme reference and so on... I've tried these and auditioned at length. Like I said, we can highly criticise, ridicule and cast jokes... but what a level of performance, they are simply superb!!!
Again, hats off to those who have these, and especially to those who can afford it, well done! Now that deserves a mighty WOOF!

Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
 
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ttocs

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Depending on the design of a speaker cable, the audio signature will change. I'm a very basic sorta guy who can hear a difference when it's there, but I'm not convinced that just changing copper to silver will result in an audible difference, so, there's that. However, back to my first point, various wire configurations will result in audible and measurable differences.

I use speaker cables to tune my system. I am in the process of reconnecting my system after having moved most of the components to a different part of the room, but once finished I plan to re-tune the system. To that end, I just purchased a better LCR meter which has more capability than the cheap one I've used for a while. But, even the cheap one agrees with the measurements of the much more expensive new one, but the new one goes more in depth in each measurement. So I want to find out which set of LCR specs makes the system sound the way I like. I enjoy how the system sounds with the current DIY cables, so I want to measure the cables more precisely and compare them to other designs I've used in the past, as well as try some other designs. I'm intrigued by all the cables on the market using more air for dielectric.
 

Big Dog RJ

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Yes, correct ttocs.
I'm not saying that it's a must to change anything nor that it's a must to use the most expensive on earth... definitely not! Just use what you feel is superior and the most natural. After all, getting closer to the original recording is the main focus. That's my goal!

Also, having these standard copper spades that are starting to oxidise is normal. My trusted tech and another mate advised to just leave it, without stressing too much. After all, copper will tarnish and oxidise at some point, especially after numerous times of cleaning...

I ordered the other type simply because they don't tarnish or at least they're not supposed to, and will hopefully be better than what the previous owner's mod was. Here's only hoping... like I said, I think I've lost the plot. At least whether pure gold plating or Rhodium plating, I really don't mind as long as I know it's done properly once and for all, then I'll forget about it!

The funny thing is, whiles I'm waiting for the Nordost cables to get done, they leant me some fairly good ones called Zion, not bad at all, considering a fraction of the price...
Definitely have lost the plot!

Until then, enjoy those fine tunes!
Woof! RJ
 

ttocs

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Yes, correct ttocs.
I'm not saying that it's a must to change anything nor that it's a must to use the most expensive on earth... definitely not! Just use what you feel is superior and the most natural. After all, getting closer to the original recording is the main focus. That's my goal!

Until then, enjoy those fine tunes!
Woof! RJ
Agreed, changing anything in one's system is not a must. There are way too many variables which play into "how" a system is perceived, and that's in addition to each person's perception and likings.

I have a friend who's never setup his Sonus Faber Olympica III speakers with McIntosh pre and amp to my liking, but he loves it! So be it.
 

Big Dog RJ

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Oh boy! Don't even get me started on Mac gear... big blue meters and tons of bells & whistles, there's nothing lacking in these. I'm not sure what it is but I think it's to do with company policies or politics... whenever there are shows / displays, they always use Mac gear with ML or Sonus Faber's.

Then when you visit any highend dealer worth visiting who carries SF speakers or ML's, they never use Mac. They either use ARC or CJ, VTL or VAC on tubes and Pass Labs, Vitus, Classe or Dartzeel on SS. These are at a completely different level to Mac, in fact it makes Mac look inadequate... but nonetheless those big blue meters are definitely show stoppers! Most just gaze at them and go wooow!

The last time I auditioned ML hybrids were the ESL 11A's and 13A's driven by a full array of Vitus gear, Class A amplifiers really bring the best out of ML's. They just bring the stats to life and beyond!

Just prior to that, I happened to audition the SF Stradivari driven by the Gryphon Mephisto, another Class A power amp, really top notch! The preamp was CJ's GATS2, and source was all MSB top line DACs and digital player. MSB, at another level of finesse!
Just marvellous all round.

However, the Mac sound does appeal to a large audience and their customer service is tops. They're well built and last a lifetime! So, I guess the audio world would be rather empty without Mac.

Cheers, RJ
 

DaVinci Media

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Depending on the design of a speaker cable, the audio signature will change. I'm a very basic sorta guy who can hear a difference when it's there, but I'm not convinced that just changing copper to silver will result in an audible difference, so, there's that. However, back to my first point, various wire configurations will result in audible and measurable differences.

I use speaker cables to tune my system. I am in the process of reconnecting my system after having moved most of the components to a different part of the room, but once finished I plan to re-tune the system. To that end, I just purchased a better LCR meter which has more capability than the cheap one I've used for a while. But, even the cheap one agrees with the measurements of the much more expensive new one, but the new one goes more in depth in each measurement. So I want to find out which set of LCR specs makes the system sound the way I like. I enjoy how the system sounds with the current DIY cables, so I want to measure the cables more precisely and compare them to other designs I've used in the past, as well as try some other designs. I'm intrigued by all the cables on the market using more air for dielectric.
RJ what meter are you using?
 

Robert D

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Sorry Shawn, you lost me there... what do you mean by what Meter am I using?
Maybe he was referring to this:

"However, back to my first point, various wire configurations will result in audible and measurable differences."

Measurable difference. Earlier we were talking about trying to measure differences between using different cables, using REW software. People "hear" the difference, but has it ever really been measured and differences are seen in the tangible results.
 
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