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Sansui TU-717 Tuner
NAD 3140 Amp
Ascend Acoustics 170SE Speakers
Dayton SUB-100 Subwoofer
I need to wire up all this while keeping the cost proportional to the system ($50-$100.) So pairs of interconnects and about 12 feet of speaker cables (6 per speaker.)
So, what cables should I get?
Buy these 14 AWG foil inductor.
With the money I have spent on various budget cables that I could have bought a really good set of high-end cables.
Anyway, for interconnects, I strongly endorse Duster's recommendation of Belkin PureAv silver series. They beat all other budget cables I have tried, including Acoustic Research, BlueJeans, IXOS, RadioShack, etc. What you are getting is state of the art pcocc conductors, shielded twister pair construction, silver solder termination and good connectors at pretty much a throw-away price. Reviewers say they are almost as good as the Kimber Heros, which cost 6X the price.
I have not tried PureAv speaker cables, but I would imagine their bulk pcocc or pre-terminated pcocc cables would fare well. Another good option is to get the DHLabs T14 speaker cable, which is sold bulk at around $3.50/ft.
I realize your post is for a starter set of cables, but once you are set up you can incrementally increase your enjoyment by DIY'ing rather inexpensively, starting with power cords. (The link below is a good place to start).
C N Machani
You could try some of these cables, a favorite of Jean Nantais, originator of the Audiogon Lenco thread. Dave Pogue has also reported good results with these. The 3 component video version used to be known as Music Boy cables (do a search under Music Boy for some comments).
Don't buy ANY Belden wire based cables...you won't be too happy with them. They slow my cheap equipment down like molasses.
Get a bulk set of Speltz's anti-cable speaker cable for $55 ($2.50 per foot), and stick with the cheapest, thinnest Radio Shack Interconnects for now. For generic IC's, i've found that the thin Rat Shack stuff w/plastic RCA's sounds WAY better than much pricier Belden based wire (heartland Cables, Blue Jeans cable, etc) that have heavy, bulky metal RCA barrels (see Dayton IC's at partsexpress.com for an example of what NOT to waste $ on)
Even though your equipment isn't hi-end, it can benefit from decent cables. Belden wire based stuff is gonna keep your gear sounding, well, cheap. And, if you're taste or wallet grows in the future, better cables will be a match, whereas the thick & cheap stuff will continue to slow it all down.
Audio Advisor has a sale on some of the interconnects they make up themselves from AudioQuest cable and connectors. The Scarlet Viper looks like a good choice given your constraints. A 1/2 meter pair now sells for $30 plus shipping. A selection of lengths is available.
For speaker cables, I would go to the WalMart auto department and buy a 50 foot reel of 14 ga. Royal Cable for $12 and change. 16 ga. is a few bucks less. Terminate it with crimp-on gold connectors from Radio Shack. They have a selection of spades, bananas, flat pins, etc.
Royal Cable is a brand name speaker cable sold on reels in the auto department at WalMart.
When I first tried it I quickly concluded that there was nothing special about this cable. I consider that is its greatest virtue. In my system it does not seem to get in the way of the music.
It is easy to work with, requiring only termination: no jacket stripping, wrapping, twisting or weaving. More importantly, I like the way the music sounds, and encourage people who have flexible opinions about cost/performance and mass merchandisers to try it.
I've been beating the drum for Royal Cable for quite awhile. What you say:
" When I first tried it I quickly concluded that there was nothing special about this cable. I consider that is its greatest virtue. In my system it does not seem to get in the way of the music. "
is absolutely true.
I build about 1/2 the stuff I review. So I don't just tweak accessories but parts and drivers, too. And Royal Cable let's me hear what's going on. It doesn't image as well as some and doesn't emphasize detail as well as others but overall, 'it doesn't get in the way of the music'.
And it's fun to list Wal-mart cables as used in a review of a $50,000 speaker system or $6800 amplifier.
Nice construction, good value, sounds pretty good for the price. Their copper cables lean toward the warm side, which I like. The Musical II is the one I've played around with.
Two sets of their least expensive interconnects and a 6 ft run of their least expensive speaker wire would put me at about $140, which is about twice as much as I want to spend! I know nice gear costs money, and if this is really the best I can do in el cheapo cable, I'll consider it. However, they run about twice as much as I was looking for.
Here's a very low-cost option... Belkin PureAV Silver Series... deep discount priced, said to feature PCOCC copper conductors. An inmate and an online review gave the cables a thumbs-up:
PROVANTAGE: Belkin AV50300-04 4FT PureAV RCA Audio Cable Silver Series - $15.29 pair:
PROVANTAGE: Belkin AV53001-08 8-Foot PureAV Silver Series High-Performance Speaker Cable - $45.63 pair:
try bluejean cable company for ic's and home depot orange/ with a black stripe 14 guage ac cord for speaker wire . Just cut off the ends and cut to length . There are tons of posts about it . Some folks even call it HD-14 . It will get ya most of the way there . Paul Seydor even did a comparison between it and a lot of expensive speaker cables and the HD-14 fared well in the comparison .
Use the search engine to find more posts about the HD-14 , Some are using just 2 wires out of the bundle , Some are shorting the same two wires at both end for negative and using the third for positive , and some are shorting all three wires together at both ends and using 2 runs per speaker (- & +). If ya buy a 50ft cord you can try all three iterations and see which you like best .
Hope this helps , good listening .
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