Budget upgrade for a room - start with cables/interconnects?

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by idan182, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. idan182

    idan182 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Hi all,

    This is my system setup:

    -Proton AP-1000 Pre-Amp
    -Proton D1200 AMP
    -Jamo D165 Speakers with 1.5mm unbranded speaker wires.
    -Technics SL-D2 Turntable.
    -M-audio audiophile 2496 Audio Card (is it decent DAC?)

    20170114_222036_resized.jpg

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    My main listen is from the computer through an audio switch to the AMP:
    [​IMG]
    No 1. - to AMP
    No 2. - to Headphones

    I know it's not Hi-END system but I love the sound that it's producing.
    I like to hear the music loud (mostly 80's).

    I use no brand RCA Cables and speaker cables.
    Would an upgraded cables be better at all?
    Is the audio switch may be reducing the quality of sound?

    I've seen some nice cheap QED interconnects.
    If I upgrade to better cables, I need a set of 6:

    PC->SWITCH>AMP
    PRE-AMP>AMP

    Would I hear any differences if I just change the PRE to AMP connections?
    Maybe changing the speaker cables to 2.5mm or more would be a an upgrade at all to my system? I've also seen some nice QED's Silvers or OFC (I've read a lot about it), but don't know what to choose.

    I have around 100-150$ to spend on cables.
     
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  2. M0therG00se

    M0therG00se Active Member

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    There's alot of debate on whether you can tell because of the 1000$ special type of metal cables...I would say that even though I don't know for sure either way, it may very well matter and only you will be able to tell. If you have the budget to experiment then do it because that's what it's about is learning. I would do it if I had the means so go find a known cable brand well vowed for.

    I do know this and I stick by it. The wires crossing or by power cords do have interference in what sounds coming out. That's physics and electromagnetism 101 and it's undisputed. My opinion is only an opinion so do what you may just let us know if you get turned into a Cable Believer :angel::biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  3. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    I'd move the speakers for better presentation. More bang for the buck than cables. Put em up 6-10 inches is you can
     
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  4. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Super Member

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    I'd go with high mass speaker stands away from wall with tweet at ear level of listening position. Play with toe in angle to achieve best sound. Maybe buy one interconnect to test before going whole hog. I'd also look at some room treatments before IC's.
     
  5. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    If experimenting with expensive cables (in the hundreds of dollars per cable range), try to pick up used ones. Those who dabble with this sort of thing often upgrade and the used market seems to be much lower.
     
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  6. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft Super Member

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    IMO, the system pictured would not benefit from pricey cables (arguments on the benefits of them aside). Any significantly "high end" cables would be huge overkill and benefits (if they are there) would not be noticable. I also personally believe that all you need in that system are what I like to call "not crap" cables. Crap cables will negatively effect your sound. Anything above crap will be as good or better than the rest of the system (and I'm not saying the rest of the system isn't great btw). "Not Crap" can be had very cheaply and shouldn't cost you over $100 for the entire system unless you pay Best Buy retail prices for it. Just my opinion. Btw, I also run "Not Crap" cables for the most part.
     
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  7. M0therG00se

    M0therG00se Active Member

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    You covered you @$$ at every turn there didn't you haha that's great
     
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  8. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    You have got to tread oh so very lightly on any cable thread!
     
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  9. runnin'

    runnin' Super Member

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    1,189
    In my opinion, first thing would be to deoxit everything, all eonnection points. If the OP isn't familiar with this, then check out the thread on Deoxit. The rca cables weren't mentioned, and I think if they are the decades old cheap black cable variety that came with the components back then, one certainly could improve on that with good quality Monoprice stuff. Speaker cables can make a difference, but with the current speakers and placement, I'm not sure it's really needed at this point.

    I think new speakers might be just the ticket. Some classic Polk or Boston Acoustics do a great job with 80's rock.
     
  10. Coytee

    Coytee Super Member

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    This gets my vote however, I'm a big fan of horn speakers as their dynamics are fantastic.
     
  11. shelly_d

    shelly_d Not An Audiophool

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    First: Truth in advertising time: I'm an engineer with over two decades (nearer to 3) experience in the telecom industry. With that training, knowledge and experience I am one of those that calls bunk on "cable upgrades". The "not crap" post above sums up my position, but I am probably a lot more extreme in how I see it.

    Now that you know where I am coming from, I think the advice given above on speaker positioning is probably the best advice to follow right now. If you enjoy the sound of your speakers, the balance between highs, lows and mids, then the best bag for the buck is to put some time and effort into how the speakers will interact with the room, also know as positioning. That will do a lot to affect the stereo image that you hear when listening and really effect how well you enjoy it.

    Here is a personal experience I can share on the impact that alone can have. I picked up some very small, flat panel speakers to use at my desk at work. These were about 2" by 3" and folded up into a little bag you carry about with you. These, but Amazon was selling them for $14 at the time. I was working at someone else's desk listing to a cheap MP3 player through these when a song that I had recorded came on. Just by chance I had gotten the speakers in perfect position. Despite the the lack of deep bass and crystal clear highs, I was absolutely blown away by the imaging and sound stage these little things presented. That is the kind of upgrade the previous posters on speaker position and I are suggesting you go for. If you get it, then use the money you save for more music.

    Shelly_D
     
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  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    I would work on positioning those speakers better--up on some solid tables or massive stands. And, get them away from the turntable. Even if it's not strictly "loud" feedback, it can muddy up the sound with the speakers so close to it. Even better, try some sorbothane pads beneath the feet on the turntable to help with isolation.

    Cables? Unless they are really cheap, generic no-name cables, I doubt you'll hear much difference. I could agree with the "not crap" cables assessment above for this system. You may get better results upgrading speaker wire, if you are using cheaper or thinner cable currently. 14 gauge would do nicely, and need not be pricey (home improvement centers might be a good bet to find this). If the speaker cables are too thin for the power amp, they have too much resistance and you will not get the best sound that way.
     
  13. unfairlane

    unfairlane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  14. richamor

    richamor Blue Collar Subscriber

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    Actually, that's kinda where the adviser from Audio Advice recommended I start my upgrade process. Not so much with speaker cables but power cables and interconnects.
     
  15. shelly_d

    shelly_d Not An Audiophool

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    Advice from any sales outlet about upgrading cables is coming from someone who wants to make another boat payment, as Click and Clack of radio fame might say. The greatest margin any sales outlet makes, buy far, is upgrade cables, be it power, interconnect or speaker. Even if I am wrong in my view of cables and wire, they will have only the smallest impact on what your hear. I would stear clear of that adviser and perhaps the entire shop. They are steering you to the products that they make the most money on, not what you need the most.

    Shelly_D
     
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  16. richamor

    richamor Blue Collar Subscriber

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    Not gonna argue the point.....but he has offered to bring cables and power cords to my house for me to try in my system with my music. If I like I keep. If I don't I take them back. No cost to me unless I keep them. And he will leave them here so I can hear without coaching. But up to now that hasn't been an issue.
     

     

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  17. shelly_d

    shelly_d Not An Audiophool

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    Your system, your money, your choice.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    Shelly_D
     
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  18. totem

    totem AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    My personnel mantra, start with some inexpensive room treatments biggest bang bar none.
     
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  19. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

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    Do yourself a favor and checkout the discounted prices on eBay and Amazon as they are always making new and dumping great stuff on the Bay...

    Also, just as stereo equipment is different so are our ears.
     
  20. Funky54

    Funky54 Well-Known Member

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    876
    Please let us know if you kept any specialty interconnects or power cables. I'd value your opinion if you felt it made a difference with your sound.
     

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