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My First Time ~ My experience with a modest cable upgrade


NOMBEDES

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Several months ago I replaced my "in the box" interconnects with a set of inexpensive Blue Jeans Cable interconnects. I noticed a slight improvement in sound quality.

 

I have no idea if this improvement was due to my expectations. I have never attempted to duplicate the experience.

 

Here is my theory: The replacement cables were of a better (higher quality) construction. I would guess that any component which is constructed to a standard that is not dictated by the green eye shade boys at corporate would be "better".

 

Now, I would not spend over $200. on any cable. Not because I do not believe that I would hear a difference, I just don't want to spend the money.

 

I think that some of the heat on this site, and others, regarding cables and other subjects is due to the out size prices and claims made by the companies which sell cable products. In a free market, prices and claims are presented to the consumer, the consumer has the ultimate power.

 

It is unfortunate that certain the cable companies are sowing the seeds of discontent with some of the more florid claims. I would hope that future arguments regarding cables (et al) be conducted in a respectful tone.

 

EXAMPE: Poster 1. I use the XYZ USB cable and I liked it because.......

 

Poster 2. I am happy that you like the XYZ USB. I, myself, cannot hear any improvement.....ya da ya da.

 

We do not need to descend in to quasi-hate filled conversations about these subjects.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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Cables do make a difference, up to a point. The lamp cord interconnects that come with some components simply aren't up to the task in my estimation. I have replaced many of my cables but that there is a point of diminishing returns that begins to be apparent (for me, in my system) at about $300. I'm with you on this, I also don't want to spend $5,000 on speakers, or individual components. If someone smells snake oil they should direct the heat at the manufacturing/marketing people, not the users who are trying to understand or explain their experiences with the products.

That I ask questions? I am more concerned about being stupid than looking like I might be.

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I spent about $100 on my speaker wires, which are 12 gauge copper stranded wires from Blue Jeans Cables and their DIY banana plug terminators. This replaced a spool of generic 16 gauge speaker wire I got at Sears. I did not do objective tests, but the change did yield, subjectively, an improvement, which I mainly attributed to the increased diameter of the speaker wire, the high-quality terminators, and the quality wire manufacturer (I think it is Belden). My main concern was to get something I could put in the walls and under the floor. I had enough left over to biwire, which eventually became bi-amping. I am much less confident that the latter made any significant difference.

 

Notably, Blue Jeans Cable is very clear and forthright about where they get their raw materials, and view it as a marketing asset.

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I spent about $100 on my speaker wires, which are 12 gauge copper stranded wires from Blue Jeans Cables and their DIY banana plug terminators. This replaced a spool of generic 16 gauge speaker wire I got at Sears. I did not do objective tests, but the change did yield, subjectively, an improvement, which I mainly attributed to the increased diameter of the speaker wire, the high-quality terminators, and the quality wire manufacturer (I think it is Belden). My main concern was to get something I could put in the walls and under the floor. I had enough left over to biwire, which eventually became bi-amping. I am much less confident that the latter made any significant difference.

 

Notably, Blue Jeans Cable is very clear and forthright about where they get their raw materials, and view it as a marketing asset.

 

I agree with their assessment :) I like the detailed "provenance" information they provide, and appreciate the craftsmanship they put into their products.

 

I also use BJC when I need new cables, but haven't bothered to go back and replace my existing cabling to any great extent, nor can I confirm they make any real difference in my system. But I like feeling comfortable with the build quality, durability, etc.

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > Topping D90 > Topping A90 > Dan Clark Aeon 2 Closed / Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server / AppleTV > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Denon X3700h > Anthem Amp for front channels > Revel F208-based 5.2.4 Atmos speaker system

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I did not do objective tests, but the change did yield, subjectively, an improvement, which I mainly attributed to the increased diameter of the speaker wire, the high-quality terminators, and the quality wire manufacturer (I think it is Belden).

 

I'm not sure that 'increased diameter of the speaker wire', 'high quality terminators' and the 'quality of wire manufacture' should make any difference, except with very lengthy cables runs (eg over 20 metres) where 16 gauge cable might have greater resistance than a 12 gauge equivalent. But if you have listened to your cables and found 'unexplained differences', then that is fine by me.

 

Certainly I think that Blue Jeans Cables are an excellent and reputable cable company, although I haven't tried any of their cables myself.

System (i): Stack Audio Link > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodec/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M/REL T5x subs

System (ii): Allo USB Signature > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > Tandy LX5/REL Tzero v3 subs

System (iii) KEF LS50W/KEF R400b subs

 

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I have also used Blue Jeans cables and am in full agreement with what others are saying about them. The most important thing with interconnects is the use of quality plugs, and that the cable has proper screening.

A low resistance earth return between the various components is always a good thing too. This is even more important when you are going through several components in tandem, such as a CD/DVD player, DAC, preamplifier, power amplifier.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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I spent about $100 on my speaker wires, which are 12 gauge copper stranded wires from Blue Jeans Cables and their DIY banana plug terminators. This replaced a spool of generic 16 gauge speaker wire I got at Sears. I did not do objective tests, but the change did yield, subjectively, an improvement, which I mainly attributed to the increased diameter of the speaker wire, the high-quality terminators, and the quality wire manufacturer (I think it is Belden)t.

 

........and then you look inside the speaker and the wire used from the binding posts and throughout the crossover and say 'WTF'?

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........and then you look inside the speaker and the wire used from the binding posts and throughout the crossover and say 'WTF'?

Yes I do!! Thanks for making that observation - I've always thought it a bit odd myself, although I understand that the electrical properties of the cable (resistance, capacitance etc) are proportional to length and the short segments inside the speakers are tiny fractions of the overall signal path.

 

It's surprising that we don't hear anything at all about internal wiring in general and attempts to better it.

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Yes I do!! Thanks for making that observation - I've always thought it a bit odd myself, although I understand that the electrical properties of the cable (resistance, capacitance etc) are proportional to length and the short segments inside the speakers are tiny fractions of the overall signal path.

 

It's surprising that we don't hear anything at all about internal wiring in general and attempts to better it.

 

There are a number of threads on another forum that discuss tweaks to the fuses, resistors, and crossover that make my Maggies sing. I don't have the background or willingness to rip them open and experiment but something tell me there may be something to gain in upgrading these speakers that are otherwise marvelously adequate.

That I ask questions? I am more concerned about being stupid than looking like I might be.

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........and then you look inside the speaker and the wire used from the binding posts and throughout the crossover and say 'WTF'?

 

Likewise with the diameter of the wire used in some XOvers, and the types of capacitors used in some.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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and then you look inside the speaker and the wire used from the binding posts and throughout the crossover and say 'WTF'?

 

These were rewired, but same idea. The signal goes through the speaker cable through the binding posts, an ancient fuse holder, the fuse, through each solder joint, and then finally to the cross-over. A purist would wire the speaker wire right to the cross-over.

DSC_0786.jpg

 

Likewise with the diameter of the wire used in some XOvers, and the types of capacitors used in some.

 

DSC_0819.jpg

 

Recapped and wired. It cost as much as a decent set of cables and not hard to do. Thought it gave a nice boost in sound quality. These are pretty plain Jane, but there are expensive caps and wire to play with, so the sky is the limit. Even audiophile solder.

Dahlquist DQ-10 Speakers DQ-LP1 crossover 2 DW-1 Subs

Dynaco Mk III Mains - Rotel 991 Subs

Wyred W4S Pre Gustard X10 DAC

SOtM dx-USB-HD reclocked SOtMmBPS-d2s

Intel Thin-mini ITX

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I replaced all the wiring in my old set of B&W 604s3 speakers (and the LCR 600s3 and 602s3)... I also used Silver solder on all point. People told me I was crazy for doing it....

 

Well in a double blind evaluation between one set of 602s3 upgraded and one set not... it didn't even take us 5 seconds to know which ones were changed and which sounded MUCH better. This was done with 2 others... so three people all heard the exact same thing. But yet people still claim it couldn't be. I even modified my Rotel RB-1090 amp by soldiering and upgrading the fuses on it to HiFi tuning... well it's like a brand new amp in and of itself. I'm thinking it sounds much much closer to something like a Classe CA2300... or maybe even in the CA-M400 range..... Yet people still can't believe it, that is until I modify their amps the same way and they get it back as a completely different animal... well not different... all the things they love, just better!

 

So it all can make a difference, it just depends on how far you're willing to take things.

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I would love to upgrade the XOvers in my old DCM QED 1As which I understand may use a 47uF bipolar electrolytic capacitor in them, but due to the manufacturer using some nasty adhesive to retain the woofers, I am loathe to risk destroying otherwise well working speakers without further information on how to achieve this without the real risk of severe damage. There is a scarcity of information posted about this smaller version of the DCM speakers, and the present DCM owner does not have XOver documentation either.

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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