RCA Cable interconnects for a high end budget system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 61 Old 12-05-2012, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I have been researching some forums and wanted to get some other opinions on cables for a high end budget system. Kindly let me know your thoughts here!
I'm not an audophile and am an amateur when it comes to better than average home audio, but I am looking to learn and enjoy by building a 2.0 or 2.1 analgue system that gives a great bang for the buck for many years. Here goes:

SYSTEM: (2.1)
Marantz PM7001 Amp
Marantz CD6004 Cd Player
Turntable (TBD)
Infinity SM-165 Speakers (will upgrade in future)
Infinity BU-80 Subwoofer (will upgrade in future)

1. What RCA Interconnects (2 or 3 feet only) do you recommend for the above setup from the CD player to Amp?
I'm considering:
Audioquest Gloden Gate
Blue Jean Cables RC1

2. What about speaker wire? (2-6 feet max)

3. Lastly, I can connect the subwoofer with RCA cables on a Pre-out or speaker wire from terminal "B"

Thanks,
Chris smile.gif
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post #2 of 61 Old 12-05-2012, 11:55 AM
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You're new here, right?

Wire is wire. For interconnects, use the free stuff that came with the components. For speaker wire, it depends on the lengths you need. At the lengths you're talking about, wet string would probably work.
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post #3 of 61 Old 12-05-2012, 12:49 PM
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wet string would probably work.

....needs salt.
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post #4 of 61 Old 12-05-2012, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matr2589 View Post

Hi all,
I have been researching some forums and wanted to get some other opinions on cables for a high end budget system. Kindly let me know your thoughts here!
I'm not an audophile and am an amateur when it comes to better than average home audio, but I am looking to learn and enjoy by building a 2.0 or 2.1 analgue system that gives a great bang for the buck for many years. Here goes:

SYSTEM: (2.1)
Marantz PM7001 Amp
Marantz CD6004 Cd Player
Turntable (TBD)
Infinity SM-165 Speakers (will upgrade in future)
Infinity BU-80 Subwoofer (will upgrade in future)

1. What RCA Interconnects (2 or 3 feet only) do you recommend for the above setup from the CD player to Amp?
I'm considering:
Audioquest Gloden Gate
Blue Jean Cables RC1

Audioquest are way over-priced. Go with the Blue Jeans.
Quote:
2. What about speaker wire? (2-6 feet max)

At 2-6 feet and the PM7001 power levels, go with 14 gauge zip-cord from your local hardware store.
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post #5 of 61 Old 12-05-2012, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matr2589 View Post

Hi all,
I have been researching some forums and wanted to get some other opinions on cables for a high end budget system. Kindly let me know your thoughts here!
I'm not an audophile and am an amateur when it comes to better than average home audio, but I am looking to learn and enjoy by building a 2.0 or 2.1 analgue system that gives a great bang for the buck for many years. Here goes:

SYSTEM: (2.1)
Marantz PM7001 Amp
Marantz CD6004 Cd Player
Turntable (TBD)
Infinity SM-165 Speakers (will upgrade in future)
Infinity BU-80 Subwoofer (will upgrade in future)

1. What RCA Interconnects (2 or 3 feet only) do you recommend for the above setup from the CD player to Amp?
I'm considering:
Audioquest Gloden Gate
Blue Jean Cables RC1

Audioquest are way over-priced. Go with the Blue Jeans.
Quote:
2. What about speaker wire? (2-6 feet max)

At 2-6 feet and the PM7001 power levels, go with 14 gauge zip-cord from your local hardware store.
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post #6 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 04:26 AM
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post #7 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

Go with the Blue Jeans.

Second this. If you only need 6 feet, I'd get the speaker wire from them too. I'd agree that the sound quality improvement over generic wire is probably negligible, but their speaker wire is well made and sturdy, and the extra cost for such a short run will only be a couple bucks. I used their cables for my in-wall installation and am very pleased.

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post #8 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 06:18 AM
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Just go with monoprice. The only differences in cables is the quality of the connector and monoprice's are good enough that anything more expensive does not result in improvement. There is the issue of cosmetics but interconnects are generally out of sight.
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post #9 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 06:22 AM
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I use the Blue Jeans Cable ones.
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post #10 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks for the responses-
More comments welcome


INTERCONNECTS-
For CD to AMP interconnects, I am reading mixed reviews where maybe 65% of people claim that Monoprice or Blue Jeans Cables are great and that they either prefer them or cannot tell the difference between those cables and higher priced ones. 35% say they can tell a difference. (In some cases: Greater Dynamic Range, Punchier Bass, Clearer Highs, Smoothing out of complex tones) and go with much more expensive cables.
QUESTIONS-
How much does the cable length matter in making a selection??
Other than price, why not Audioquest Golden Gates ($60) instead of Blue Jeans LC-1 ($30) for Interconnects? Most say its a waste of money, but I've seen a couple reviews that say they noticed a slight difference. Has anyone else?


SPEAKER WIRE-
From the looks of it any decent 10 AWG or 12 AWG will provide more than excellent sound at a cheap price given I'm only going 2 to 6 feet. Monoprice and Blue Jeans carry these as well as the hardware store.


SUBWOOFER CONNECT-
QUESTION-
I'm thinking of going with a 6ft Premium 2-RCA Plug (L/R) M/M 22 AWG Cable from Monoprice.
Does this have enough shielding to prevent low frequency hum and noise resistance?
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post #11 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 01:35 PM
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the answer to the interconnect question will not change no matter how many times you ask the question...

10 or 12 gauge is GROSS overkill for "2-6 feet"... 16 gauge is more than enough...

that cable will be fine for the sub... any rca cable you have lying around will be fine, ftm...
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post #12 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 01:58 PM
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The only advantage to boutique cables like Audioquest is if they give you an emotional high. Which they do, for some people. "Expectation bias" also causes people to hear subtle differences because they think they should be there. Any time you concentrate on listening to something, you'll always hear things that you simply didn't notice before.

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post #13 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 02:00 PM
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16 gauge is definitely fine. I have 14 in my wall for 30+ foot runs, and I probably could have gotten away with 16.

Arguing interconnects and speaker wire is like poking a hornet's nest around here, so I'll just bow out and post a link:

http://www.audioholics.com/education/cables/the-truth-about-interconnects-and-cables

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post #14 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matr2589 View Post

SUBWOOFER CONNECT-
QUESTION-
I'm thinking of going with a 6ft Premium 2-RCA Plug (L/R) M/M 22 AWG Cable from Monoprice.
Does this have enough shielding to prevent low frequency hum and noise resistance?

Based in what I can see.... the Infinity BU-80 Subwoofer only has a line level input. In order to have the x-over work properly with your Marantz PM7001 Amp you need to use the pre-out/main-in. IMO.... use speaker level connections.
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post #15 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again all,

One of the things I like about Blue Jeans (and to a lesser extent Monoprice) is the fact that they advertise the specifications and all kinds of technical info about their products construction (AWG, Capacitence, shielding, insulationg makeup and thickness, etc). When I research independently of their site, the things they are doing all seem to be the best for analogue audio fidelity. Audioquest as well as some of the even better ones don't seem to give any statistics about their products.

Given this, the above reviews and the short lengths I'm thinking this is pretty decent:

INTERCONNECT: Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 (2 ft) ($29)
SPEAKER: Blue Jeans 12 AWG Belden5000ue White (20 ft) ($13)
SUBWOOFER: Monoprice 6ft Premium 2-RCA Plug (L/R) M/M 22 AWG Cable ($3)

Guess I'm splurging on the speaker cable for that emotional high.......
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post #16 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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The BU-80 Infinity sub has both a L/R RCA Pre-Amp input as well as Speaker Connections Inputs- it runs on either
I didn't completely understand your post on that...


Should I drive the Sub with the Amplifier power on Speaker Inputs (Speaker Wire from Terminal Block "B"?
or
Should I drive the Sub from the Pre-Out on the Amp to the L/R Input and use the Subwoofer Amp?


What is better for quality? Any difference?
Adjustable Crossover implications?
I'm clueless.
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post #17 of 61 Old 12-06-2012, 04:11 PM
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Use speaker level for proper x-over. The sub does not support line level in/out, only input.
The amp in the sub is used with either connection.

Consider $16 for all your wire/cable needs as opposed to $42.
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post #18 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 05:48 AM
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Those cables are inexpensive enough that you can buy one of each and try them yourself. Sell the one you don't like and continue cabling your system with the ones you do. While you're at it try the DH Labs BL-1. They go for a good price used.
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post #19 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matr2589 View Post

The BU-80 Infinity sub has both a L/R RCA Pre-Amp input as well as Speaker Connections Inputs- it runs on either
I didn't completely understand your post on that...


Should I drive the Sub with the Amplifier power on Speaker Inputs (Speaker Wire from Terminal Block "B"?
or
Should I drive the Sub from the Pre-Out on the Amp to the L/R Input and use the Subwoofer Amp?


What is better for quality? Any difference?

IME going to true bass management can result in a huge SQ improvement.

That old fashioned Marantz Integrated is a boat anchor, and I don't mean that in a good way!

A $250 AVR could give you a large sound quality benefit by bringing your bass managment situation into the 21st century.
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post #20 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Subwoofer:
The "Pre-Out" is not a flat "line level" on this Marantz Amp, it's a low level Pre-Amp out affected porportionally by the main volume control on the amp.
Still unsure of differences, Manual says nothing about crossover not working off of L/R Pre-Amp RCA inputs.

Cable:
Thanks for the DH Labs BL-1 tip here. Looks nice / maybe in future.

Bass Mgmt:
I would love ideas on how to incorporate bass management, but in the future, I want some real fronts with better bass (no subwoofer) if possible. The amp is only 6 years old and relatively clean for the price. I'm not sure why I would downgrade to a $250 AVR.
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post #21 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 07:17 AM
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^^^

you should step back, and lesrn how bass works in a room... then you would understand why people are harping upon bass management...

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post #22 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 07:26 AM
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A quibble: calling an output "line level" just means that it carries a low level signal (less than 6 volts) and is designed to drive a relatively high output impedance load (1K Ohms or more). It's normally used to contrast with "speaker level" outputs, which typically provide a high voltage signal (up to 90 volts or more) and is designed to drive a relatively low impedance load (16 Ohms or less). It doesn't imply anything about gain control.

The improvement in sonic accuracy provided by the room equalization available in (most) modern AVRs can be substantial. In most cases, it results in a higher quality audio experience than can be provided by the high-end preamps and amps which don't have it. Without that EQ, you have to spend a lot more time and money auditioning high-quality speakers and installing appropriate room treatments. Of course, the EQ procsss isn't perfect, so you should start with good speakers and room acoustics.

Even the best floor-standing "full range" speakers can't provide the accurate low frequency extension that's available with quality subwoofers. Low frequencies require the most power, so appropriate bass management also reduces the stress on your main amplifiers. It both reduces electronic distortions and the audio distortions introduced by forcing speakers to emit frequencies for which they aren't optimally designed.

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post #23 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matr2589 View Post

Subwoofer:
The "Pre-Out" is not a flat "line level" on this Marantz Amp, it's a low level Pre-Amp out affected porportionally by the main volume control on the amp.

Of course. It shouldn't be any other way! I've never seen it any other way. Have you?
Quote:
Still unsure of differences, Manual says nothing about crossover not working off of L/R Pre-Amp RCA inputs.

?????????????
Quote:
Bass Mgmt:
I would love ideas on how to incorporate bass management, but in the future, I want some real fronts with better bass (no subwoofer) if possible.

To the best of my knowledge even $>10,000 a pair front speakers can't hold a candle to a good $1500 subwoofer. If you've got a candidate, I can run some modeling software and see where the dust settles.
Quote:
The amp is only 6 years old and relatively clean for the price. I'm not sure why I would downgrade to a $250 AVR.

The reason for upgrading to modern technology has been given quite clearly: a far higher probability of better sound quality.

This Marantz is a fine enough product as far as it goes, but it could have been built decades earlier and not be appreciably different. Believe it or not there has been some technological progress in audio over the past 40-50 years!
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post #24 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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These explanations are fantastic!
Thanks for the context.

I'd really like to keep that amp as a solid foundation if possible.
I'm hoping I can accomplish the needed "bass management" and "room equalization" by adding a quality EQ and leaving a future speaker / sub selection completely open to discussion and trial. The Infinity stuff is temporary.
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post #25 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matr2589 View Post

These explanations are fantastic!
Thanks for the context.

I'd really like to keep that amp as a solid foundation if possible.
I'm hoping I can accomplish the needed "bass management" and "room equalization" by adding a quality EQ and leaving a future speaker / sub selection completely open to discussion and trial. The Infinity stuff is temporary.

This is an add-on bass management/eq device that while from the world of pro audio is widely used by advanced audiophiles:

http://www.behringer.com/CN/Products/DEQ2496.aspx





Despite the fact that it has only pro audio input/output connectors some relatively inexpensive adapter cables will bridge the gap between it and the preamp out/amp in jacks on your integrated amp.

By the time you get it in place and have all the necessary accessories to adjust it properly, you will have paid for a pretty nice AVR with similar performance for most people.
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post #26 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Very nice piece,

But is there anything that performs a similar function to match the high end budget system I am looking for?
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post #27 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matr2589 View Post

Subwoofer:
The "Pre-Out" is not a flat "line level" on this Marantz Amp, it's a low level Pre-Amp out affected porportionally by the main volume control on the amp.
Still unsure of differences, Manual says nothing about crossover not working off of L/R Pre-Amp RCA inputs.
.

Your integrated amp provides no bass management (x-over settings).So...
The typical intent of the sub is to offload/direct all "low" frequencies to the sub. Two reasons: 1) less stress on the amp and 2) provide the lower frequencies that your main speakers cannot reproduce.

So, although the pre-out of the amp to line-in on the sub can work, it will still be sending "full range" signals (frequencies) to the mains and sub. This in not optimal since your amp will still be working harder.

By using the speaker level in/out connections, you send the signals from the speaker outputs of the amp to the sub's speaker inputs. The sub will separate the frequencies accordingly (based on the subwoofer's cross-over setting) and the higher frequencies will be sent to the mains (from the speaker outs of the sub, the lower reproduced by the sub.

From what I can see, your mains are only rated down to 76Hz. I would recommend that you use the connections I suggested and set your x-over on the sub somwhere between 80-100Hz. It may take a few listens of the same test material and tweaking to obtain the best x-over setting to blend the sub with the mains.

Just trying to make the clearer for you. Hope it helps.
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post #28 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matr2589 View Post

Very nice piece,

But is there anything that performs a similar function to match the high end budget system I am looking for?

by this do you mean "more expensive"?

dude... stop making this so hard... buy an avr... even if you were envisioning a "high end expensive system", it would be the best choice... by far... it's not really even open for debate...

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post #29 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Great point to hit on,

So the wiring through the subwoofer back to the bookshelf speakers (I use as fronts for now) is better quality than wiring them independently or more directly to the amplifier on terminal blocks (A) for the Fronts and (B) for the Subwoofer sending full ranges to both?
I'm not concerned about stressing the amp, I don't listen to terribly loud music, just looking for quality of sound / clean sound..
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post #30 of 61 Old 12-07-2012, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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My current understanding is that an AVR would give me bass management but at the price of ever so slightly cleaner sound. I like the idea of an EQ idea because it will give me bass management and room equalization without that slight sacrifice.

An AVR can have digital signal processing, video circuts and an amp driving more than 2 channels. All of this stuff adds slight amounts of internal distortion and are attributes I don't necessiarly need or wish to pay for. You can see this in the THD and SNL ratings of good AVRs compared to Integrated Amplifier separates. If I wanted some of these capabilities, I'd switch out to getting an AVR, but I like the advantage of an integrated amplifier built soley to do what it is intended and amplify analogue audio as cleanly as possible.
I could be wrong.

This has turned from an interconnect wiring thread into a subwoofer and now an amplifier thread. Lol.
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