Originally Posted by Aliens
Because of my electrical concerns, before disassembling my equipment, I first turned everything on in my entertainment room and cranked the volume to ref level. I then held my breath and plugged the XPA-3 directly into the socket above my Tripp-Lite - success! What a relief that was.
Sunday I did a SPL check of my speakers (level set to 75dB for movies). This was something I forgot to do last spring when I moved my listening position a foot closer to the TV. There were a couple of minor adjustments, but it needed to be done. With the XPA-3 wired and powered, I did another SPL check. I lowered the 2 fronts and center 1dB. The surrounds remained unchanged.
I didn’t get an opportunity to listen very much last night so I spent 2 hours this morning giving everything a good test by playing CD’s and concert DVDs (I wish the industry would apply one set of standards when producing CD’s. It’s incredibly frustrating that you have to continually adjust the volume every time you insert a different CD into the player. And don’t get me started on the difference in quality of the individual recordings). Anyway...I found a positive difference in my system. I’m into highs, and this brought out the nuances that were previously more subtle and in the background to the forefront. The pinging of the cymbals, the swishing of the brushes, the snapping of the fingers, all add to the overall experience. As I’ve read here before, there is a clarity and brightness that was missing. Everything is more pronounced. It’s also loud without being loud.
I didn’t find a “night and day” difference, but enough of a difference that I could easily justify keeping the XPA-3. I’ll be getting my RCA cables from monoprice either today or tomorrow to replace my temporary thread thin cables.
I had a surprising moment this morning before my listening tests. I found it much easier to hear ESPN during my workout. I always pull my NordicTrack skier into the room and typically crank it up the volume, but this morning I found it much easier to hear and yet it wasn’t as loud. I don’t want to sound as though the XPA-3 is the best thing since sliced bread and is a cure-all for everything, but my initial impression is very favorable.
This will be the test I’m looking forward to. New Years day was the last time I’ve had any alcohol, and I have ‘til the 1st of Feb before I have another - just something I do once every year or so. To steal a line from Lloyd Bridges in Airplane, “Looks like I picked the wrong week
month to quit drinking.”
Aliens, I have been hoping all would go well for you!!
I am personally very glad that everything has worked out in such a positive manner!
I have been reading up on the interconnects as well.
I am currently using my component cables and now understand that the video cables are designed to be low impedance and 75ohm and the audio interconnects do not need low impedance but they need low capacitance and low crossover(shielding).
It seems that the capacitance is measured in terms of picoFarads pF and a high capacitance would be above 27pF/ft. It seems a low capacitance cable is audible when compared to a high capacitance cable. The low crossover is handled by the cable shielding.
So now where I was not really buying into this before am willing to consider the audio interconnects as "not any old cable will do ya".
I have been looking at specs and it is surprising that many of the specs just say low capacitance but do not give a spec rating. Monster, Mono and many others from what I have been able to read do not provide that spec.
What to do??
If I buy the monster series at $50 a cable x 3 I am at $150 (no Specs)
If I buy the Mono cable it is really cheap like pennies (no specs)
If I buy BlueJeans cable it is 5 channel 4 foot flexed and common sheath for $88.50 (specs 12pF/ft and shield as 1.8ohms per 1000 ft)
Okay, so I am drinking a little BlueJeans Koolaid so I called them!
I spoke with one of their reps, described my situation and told them that I was using a 12' component video cable for my interconnects and was interested in their cable at a 4' length. My question to BlueJeans was "Will I really hear a difference"
Drum Roll Please...................................................... ......................
The answer was......................................................... ...................Er uh "NO"
He said unless that cable is bad or has a very high capacitance you will not hear it.
Whoa....get out...I was expecting the hype....He earned my respect and trust because he was truthful.
He went on to say at that short a distance you are outside the hearing range for any difference and that it really begins to matter when you have much longer runs.
This picqued my curiosity on the pF/ft on component video cables and for the Blue Jeans component cables that use Belden 7710A and 7787A. Each of those cables have pF/Ft spec published as 16pF/ft for either model versus 12.2pF/ft on the dedicated audio interconnect based on the Blue Jeans own LC-1 Design.
I can now understand why the Blue Jeans rep said I would not hear the difference as the delta between these two cable is so small. I know that they would not want me to buy and return them so they are better to just level with you if you ask them outright about performance expectations.
I think monocable because of value is as good a choice as any!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And now it seems that "any ol cable will do ya"
so for now I am saving my money on that front!