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Found a good cable for KLF 20s!


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Ever since I bought my KLF 20s in June, 1999, I have wondered if I could tame the high end and strengthen the bass of the KLF 20s. I love the speakers, but at times felt the bass could be more authoritative and the upper mids a bit tamer. But overall I was always pleased.

Also, I have read post after post about speaker cables here and elsewhere without anything really grabbing me.

I ordered a pair of the MIT Terminator2 Biwire cables from AudioAdvisor a couple of weeks ago. Even at half off, they are around $200 a pair depending on length, and that doesn't include the ICONN connectors you have to buy.

I got them for my bedroom system, which also sounds a bit "hot" at times, but the spades I ordered wouldn't fit the fat B&W binding posts. So, I figured, what the heck, I have to burn them in anyway, I'll try them on the KLF 20s until the new spades arrive. I hooked them up and was appalled by how bad they sounded. I'd been warned that MIT cables require a long burn in time, but was ready to send them back. The bass was stiff and weak and the mids and highs rough.

Over the past two weeks, however, they have been totally transformed. The bass is now stronger than ever before with these speakers. It's amazing how they have changed. A friend who was over when we first hooked them up, and who had not been back since, came by today and was amazed to hear them.

Anyway, I now find the speakers a bit warmer and the bass fuller and just as tight. I am still going to move these MITs into the bedroom system, because the lengths are too long for my Klipsch system. But I may order a shorter pair for the Klipsch. Too bad about the long burn in, and high cost, but has been worth it in my opinion.

I'm interested in others' experiences with the same or different speaker cables. What are people using and what are the sonic qualities?

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I use Monster MCX1's, noticed they tamed the highs & helped the base. I noticed a difference right out of the box! These cables are well shielded--was using 16 ga Wal-Mart speaker cable at first.

I noticed a bigger difference when I upgraded interconnects (Monster fiber optic cable with my DVD, Radio Shack Gold Series A/V with my VCR).

Did not spend a lot of money here, but the sound improved over the "out of the box" stuff. I think the main point to remember is that if you like it & can justify the expense, then go for it! This is a great hobby and it's all about enjoyment. Remember the audiocratic dogma:

We needs must love the highest when we hear it!

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Well, I guess we have a member of the "cables make no difference school" among us. With all due respect, I find people who make such a claim just as tiresome as those who insist that amplifiers make no difference, or that burn-in makes no difference. Of course a lot of people enjoy telling others what they can and cannot hear. That is what has made folks like Mtrycrafts so famous on AudioReview (uhg). Arrogance abounds. I'm not that easily persuaded. I'd rather trust my ears than what others tell me I can and cannot hear.


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JoshT, I certainly meant no offense, just reporting my findings about what I hear or don't hear.

If you hear differences in cables (beyond a reasonable minimum cable) there is a bewildering array available out there. Personally, I'll use my $ on a better cartridge, etc.

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After many exhaustive hours of listening tests, I have determined that when a cable is burned-in, it is actually ruined. No cable should be used for more than a few hours, as the stresses on the insulation and the agitation of the copper molecules cause permanent changes to the structure of the cable - these changes are invariably for the worse, and fresh unused cables can be proven by listening tests to be superior in all respects.

The characteristics of the insulation change very subtly as the cable is stressed by signal voltages, and this has an as yet unexplained effect on the stereo imaging, and in particular causes veiling of the high frequencies and a loss of presence in the upper midrange. In extreme cases, the authority of the bass also suffers, with the lower registers lacking speed and power.

All the above defects are rectified by substitution of a new set of cables - the brilliance is restored and the finer details are brought back into startling realism. Bass speed is improved tenfold by a brand new unused mains cable, and new interconnects have a profound effect on the upper frequencies where detail is paramount.

Yes, this is a joke. You can read the rest of this article in Rod Elliot's 'Burn in, Myth or Magic?'

It's a good read, so are most of Rod's articles.

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Here is another good one that discusses all manner of cables & other components in audio: http://www.sound.au.com/cables.htm#top

It's odd, but he doesn't even mention the current fad with oxygen-free copper and long-crystal copper and using silver wire and such. From my understanding, the OFC & long crystal proponents claim that copper forms miniature semiconductors where the crystals meet, and if these are minimized, it will improve audio performance. And I guess the proponents of silver wire claim.... that it's really, really conductive? I have no idea on that score.

In either case there have never been any measurements indicating that there is any difference in the amount of distortion (as in, any effect on the waveform WHATSOEVER) when using these fancy types of conductors.


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I usually try to refrain from such discussions because my belief is that audio is 100% a matter of personal preference and hence debating whether a beef steak tastes better than a plate of spaghetti or should you put cheese on your spaghetti is a total waste of time.

But heck, since everyone is somewhat against cable upgrades, I felt too tempted not to post a reply. A matter of angst?

Anyway having said that, lets proceed on to my findings.

While I do know that in theory, cables shouldn't make that great a difference in your electronics, (as I am an electronics engineering undergrad afterall), the fact remains that I can hear distinct differences in cables. And I think that is what matters in the end.

Yes, you can prove to me using electrical principles that cables shouldn't make a difference, but the fact remains that I can hear a difference.

What I noticed however from auditioning hifis in salons and hifis in other audiophile's homes, is that different hifis have different sensitivity to cable changes.

And usually(USUALLY I said, I elaborate on the exceptions later), hi resolution systems are more sensitive to cables than a low res one. For example, when testing spik cables of a really high resolution system, the differences between the cables were like night and day. However on a low resolution hifi, I found myself thinking "did I just imagine that change?" when testing out the different cables.

However like I said, there are exceptions. I have auditioned hi resolution hifis where the cables make absolutely no difference to the sound. Again a matter of system cable sensitivity.

As for my rf3s, I found them to be somewhat sensitive to interconnect changes when using a rotel RCD971 cdp as the source. But when I swapped the source to a modified marantz cd63, the sound differences caused by swapping interconnects became alot more subtle. So I suppose every component does play a role in cable sensitivity I guess.

Oh well, like I said, it's your hobby and ears and hifi and room and etc. It's up to you.

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Who the heck said anything about night and day differences?I DO NOT have a degree but I do have two good ears.I am not going to tell anyone what they hear and I don't give a sh-t

about anyones technobabble.I will tell you some things that I DO believe have improved the sound of my set-up and I would recommend anyone try for themselves.None of them made a

large audible difference in my setup,if any at all.But collectively,they do.I thought everyone learned these right after learning to tie their shoes:

Speakers on spikes.

Line level improves dynamics.

Too little power is worse than too much.

Good interconnects improve sound over the

cheapies included with most components.

Good speaker wire/better than lamp cord.

Speaker placement is important/experiment.


Sub/speaker with amplifier-float ground.

All electronics are not sonically transparent

Dead is good when speaking of room acoustics.

Wife likes surprise gift & pat on a#s


My 6 year old KG5.5 speaker cabs are as tight

as a young girls a*s.

Klipsch speakers are the best VALUE on the


I'm sure there's more,but got to go to work.


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Mdeneen, you should read my msg more carefully. I never said that cables and interconnects are the most important than the equipment(my beliefs is the total opposite) or room for that matter. For more info, reread my msg. When I was refering to day and night, I was saying that changes in those cases were obvious. In that you don't need to have "golden ears" to tell the difference immediately. But alas, an academic issue.

I trust you to be able to at least read carefully, which is why I'm making the effort to actually type this msg rather than just throw my hands up in despair. If you still continue to misread my msg(or continue this debate for that matter, since I dislike discussing such issues for reasons I already stated in my previous msg) , then I wish you well and will continue on my way.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think the comment about how a speaker or other interconnect wire may effect the transfer function of the circuit in question is valid. This months issue of AudioXpress had a picture of a 20 khz input as distorted at the cable "output". If a square wave gets "rounded off" slightly, isn't that distortion? And aren't some amplifiers load sensitive? The LCR characteristics of cable that are constructed differently MUST be different, the degree to which this "distortion" might be audible is the big question. Personally I prefer to minimize R by going to larger size wire, and intuitively feel that the current "flat" cable types with widely separated conductors would minimize L and C. The current "Belden" wire craze makes me think...excessive shunt capacitance...high end roll-off?

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Bunk. Talk about snake oil. Has anyone who really buys into this cable makes a difference crap performed a double blind test. I'm assuming no one here is talking about using 26 gauge cable for 20 foot runs.

I just read that Dunlavey like myself, believes this is garbage. He ran such a test with 12 gauge zip cord. He told the unsuspecting listeners he was switching between various exotic cables while he was only using 12 gauge wire. Many of them claimed to hear differences when the switch was made. I guess if you believe something wonderful happens with cables then that's all that is necessary.

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Thank god I can at least hear the difference when I change a crossover cap from 2uF to 1.68uF, moving my tweeter roll-in from 10 khz to 12khz. And that I learned enough physics at Rider U. to understand the concept of constructive/destructive interference as it applies to sound waves. ANYTHING that changes the LCR characteristics of a "circuit" will modify the phase relationships. At what point is it audible? Moving the aforementioned tweeter operating at 10 khz. forwards or back about 0.68 inches will ABSOLUTELY create a 180 shift. If the mid and tweet were in phase prior to the movement, almost total cancellation will occur at the new position. So somewhere between perfect phase alignment and 180 out, a point is reached where "even ears dulled by the abuse of garbage masquerading as music" will notice the change. In light of that INDISPUTABLE physical fact, would not a rational person at least acknowledge the possibility that cable induced changes might be audible under SOME circumstances. Branding something as snake oil cause you don't know the math is a "flat earth" attitude. How you can decide for others what they do or do not hear must be an amazing skill. Especially how you are certain Dunlavey must be right, but someone else is wrong. Even if someone if "totally wrong" with their system setup, if they enjoy it, that's the bottom line. I hate to use tone controls, my brother used to enjoy his. Who am I to say "don't turn that knob". My caveat to cable buyers would be not to assume that just cause it costs a lot it must be better.

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O.K. Sound is very complex. I believe every component down to the cables has a variable effect sonically, ( subtle or not ). But the truth lies in "the sound can only be as good as the source". And sometimes we hear things in a certain passage in a song and sometimes we don't. I'm sure everyone here has said to themselves one time or another, man my system sounds (positive word of choice). And sometimes it doesn't. Is the sound really changing or are our ears playing tricks on us...JUST LIKE OUR EYES DO. The point is we are doing what we like. Were jammin our systems, bull sh**ing about it, and braggin'. Now isn't this what it's all about. If only we could find a way to HEAR each others systems, now that would be something.


Onkyo TX8511





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Answer to Speaker Cables?

RADIOSHACK BARGAIN BASEMENT CABLES...it makes no Fricken difference. Especially to the human ear. I love it when these idiot salesmen try to sell me 100$ cables..I tell em to stuff it. One time, I was buying my father a new Disc player, the one that would replace his CD walkman hooked up to his amplifier. The guy kept pushing cables..said that it would improve sound 30%. I said "**** 30%!..hell forget buying the 250 $ Denon CD player!, why dont I just buy the $50 cables and save me 200 bucks?"..saleman shut up very fast after I said that.

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Well, James, I guess I LET THE DOGS OUT, eh? I really just wanted to share an experience with others, not start a contentious thread. But perhaps I was being naive -- cables and burn in seem to cause fierce debates here and at AudioAsylum and AudioReview. Eeee Gads!

Actually, discorules and DPonder each raise intersting points. The whole pyschoaccustic factor. I have no doubt that what one thinks he or she is hearing can be influenced by what he or she is told or sees. I also admit that some days my system sounds better than other days. Is it the mood I'm in? I think probably yes, though some would insist it's because the electricity is cleaner at some times of the day than others.

Who knows? But these are not necessarily "new phenomena," as Mdeneen suggests, but rather old, established, though admittedly debated, topics.

I will reiterate, though, that I do hear a difference between the MIT cables and the pair they replaced. And the difference was not a good one at first. But the sound of the cable changed rather dramatically over the course of a few weeks. I don't know why.

For those who claim cables make no difference, I say you are wrong. Maybe I cannot convince you, but you certainly cannot convince me. Heck, many nay sayers insist that AMPLIFIERS (at least ss amps) don't make a difference in the sound of a stereo system (only speakers and turntable cartridges), and they too can cite anecdotal evidence. But I can tell the difference between, say, a Krell and an NAD immediately.

Ah well. The debate continues . . .

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