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My local dealer is selling Audioquest Red River RCA interconnects, which he recommended to me for connecting my phono with my preamp. Anyone here has any experience with these cables? Are they worth $160.00?
Yes, that is a good price. Take them home for a demo.
If he's confident you'll like them in the phono app, he should let you audition them. Your ear is the only arbitrator.
The way to sort the guys just selling you, and the dealer who actually believes it is better.
EIther the dealer lets you try a demo pair, or a 30 day 100% return for cash on a new pair.
And if YOU can't hear a difference.. then they are NOT worth the money.
If you CAN, but it in not enough to spend the money, return them!
If you CAN, and it matters.. then yeah.
That's a reasonable advice. The only other question would be: do you think I should evaluate the cables by swapping them myself, or by asking a buddy to swap them at random while I'm in a different room?
In other words, is the randomized blind test a valid approach here, or is it just adding unproductive stress to the evaluation?
I would listen to one for a 2 or 3 days and then switch. After a few more days, switch back to the original. Your ear will do the sorting. One cable will either win the day or you may find there isn't a significant difference between the two. Rapidly switching back and forth as you originally suggested only serves to confuse IMHO. You need long term listening sessions using material you're familiar with. Bring your friend over but only as a second ear/opinion....not a cable switcher.
"I would listen to one for a 2 or 3 days and then switch. After a few more days, switch back to the original. Your ear will do the sorting. One cable will either win the day or you may find there isn't a significant difference between the two. Rapidly switching back and forth as you originally suggested only serves to confuse IMHO. You need long term listening sessions using material you're familiar with. Bring your friend over but only as a second ear/opinion....not a cable switcher."
This is good advice because cable/connector settling is important, and real, otherwise all you are hearing is the sound of unplugging and replugging which is usually not a nice sound and often initially sounds the same. This is why, at least for me, blind tests or DBTs are not worthwhile, do not work, or are not workable.
Thanks. I think your approach is more reasonable. Often times, when trying to evaluate some differences in the playback by rapidly switching back-and-forth, I quickly paint myself in the corner and then everything sounds the same. It's similar to how women shop for perfume -- after sniffing a few brands, they ask to be given a jar of freshly ground coffee to smell. They do that to reset their senses, to 'reboot' and go back to square one.
I guess the ground coffee equivalent in the world of sound would be silence?
When comparing IC's or speaker cables over several days, I'll even jot down a few notes when I hear something exceptional....or something kinda crappy.
Example...does cable "A" sound bright and confused during complex/dynamic passages... whereas cable "B" sounds more relaxed/composed and able to sort thru the complexities "A" couldn't. Does one cable standout because of tonality/total engagement? Does one cable "put the performers in the room" in a more convincing manner? There are many more examples I could list, but you'll have to decide your priorities. Once in a great while, you'll stumble upon a cable that just sounds totally right from the very start. (No need for the notepad)
I'm also interested in the 'second opinion', meaning interested to hear what experiences others have had with that cable.
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