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Opionion on my speaker cables used on HIFI IXOS & Audio Technica

Rotellier21

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My hifi is a bit old and was in storage for some years but I re-erected it and all seems ok. Amp- NAD 319, CD-Rotel RCD965BX, Tuner- Rotel RT950BX, Tape- Rotel RD955AX, T/Table Thorens 280MkII + NAD PP1 Phone Preamp , Speakers- TDL RTL4´s . The speaker cables are IXOS Hardcore (a stiff blue flat cable unidirectional with arrows and two 3 solid copper cores about .5mm each on one speaker ...the other has Audio Technica Mr Cable AT525 OFC...a flat clear flexible plastic cable with 2 individual stranded copper wires. My QUESTION is wether these 2 speaker cables (bi-wired) are of recommended quality in 2021 ...these were bought possibly 1990-94 . Also I guess that the original gold plated simple RCA leads with the NAD or Rotel equipment is not of sufficient quality compared with a modest upgrade of RCA cables . The CD to Amp I did upgrade to an IXOS 103 OC-OFC pink colour with gold RCA with screw up tightening but tuner & phono are basic that came in box.
Many thanks for any opinions .

Tony Martin
 

Gray

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.....Also I guess that the original gold plated simple RCA leads with the NAD or Rotel equipment is not of sufficient quality compared with a modest upgrade of RCA cables .
Some of those thinner interconnects don't like a lot of bending / strain. However if you just had them fitted and untouched, then they're as good as they ever were.
You could clean plug / socket contacts, but new cables won't give better sound. (though they could be more durable - if durability would help you).

If you can hear a difference between your Ixos and the basic one on your tuner (with the same source) then maybe Tony, you're one of the golden-eared type that could benefit from something fancy to drain your wallet.....otherwise, you're fine as you are.
 
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Rotellier21

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Thanks Gray for the comment . The Ixos interconnect CD to amp I bought along time ago on advice from a friend but yes I cannot remember if the difference was much improved or not it was many years ago ...I guess it is a better interconnect and more substantial in design.
If you have any input on the speaker cables I´m all ears ....many thanks in any case.

Tony
 
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Al ears

Moderator
Thanks Gray for the comment . The Ixos interconnect CD to amp I bought along time ago on advice from a friend but yes I cannot remember if the difference was much improved or not it was many years ago ...I guess it is a better interconnect and more substantial in design.
If you have any input on the speaker cables I´m all ears ....many thanks in any case.

Tony
Speaker cables are fine but bi-wiring isn't going to make any difference. I would lose the cheaper cable.
 

Gray

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If you have any input on the speaker cables I´m all ears
....talking of 'all ears', you can see what Al said about bi-wiring above.
He's very much in the majority among the members of this forum with his view on the pointlessness of bi-wiring speakers.
You no doubt know that cable debates between believers / non-believers are endless.
Round about the time you bought your gear, people 'heard' differences between solid-core and stranded. Some swear there's a difference between silver plated and all copper etc.....
We won't start another debate here though.

Where's there's snake oil, there's someone trying to justify it with science. A lot of it is absolute (and obvious) rubbish.
Here's some justification for bi-wiring that you might like to read. There's a bit of theory here that's not too ridiculous - even some non-believers have had to concede that.
But it's important to note that a speaker wire manufacturer is involved with the article.
Make of it what you will (if you can be bothered to read and follow the theory).
 

Rotellier21

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....talking of 'all ears', you can see what Al said about bi-wiring above.
He's very much in the majority among the members of this forum with his view on the pointlessness of bi-wiring speakers.
You no doubt know that cable debates between believers / non-believers are endless.
Round about the time you bought your gear, people 'heard' differences between solid-core and stranded. Some swear there's a difference between silver plated and all copper etc.....
We won't start another debate here though.

Where's there's snake oil, there's someone trying to justify it with science. A lot of it is absolute (and obvious) rubbish.
Here's some justification for bi-wiring that you might like to read. There's a bit of theory here that's not too ridiculous - even some non-believers have had to concede that.
But it's important to note that a speaker wire manufacturer is involved with the article.
Make of it what you will (if you can be bothered to read and follow the theory).


Yes...I read the article twice ...if the graphs and results are true then there could well be be a small improvement with bi-wiring ..it cannot be worse bi-wired than single wired so I may leave it as it is for now as don´t have time at present to conduct listening experiments . Nevertheless I respect your advice and am doing more reading on the audiophile forums with awareness of the impartiality/ beliefs of reviewers/aficionados/enthusiasts . I could do with more understanding of correct turntable setup so will be checking that out shortly ..I have posted a few pics. of my speaker cables below ...not that it is important but wondered which is better of the two (Maybe they should be upgraded) . Bit difficult to crank up volume with my present apartment so not so easy for comparison as previously.

Thanks again
Tony
P1050210.JPGP1050209.JPGP1050208.JPG
 

Gray

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Yes...I read the article twice ...if the graphs and results are true then there could well be be a small improvement with bi-wiring ..it cannot be worse bi-wired than single wired so I may leave it as it is for now as don´t have time at present to conduct listening experiments . Nevertheless I respect your advice and am doing more reading on the audiophile forums with awareness of the impartiality/ beliefs of reviewers/aficionados/enthusiasts . I could do with more understanding of correct turntable setup so will be checking that out shortly ..I have posted a few pics. of my speaker cables below ...not that it is important but wondered which is better of the two (Maybe they should be upgraded) . Bit difficult to crank up volume with my present apartment so not so easy for comparison as previously.

Thanks again
Tony
View attachment 2014View attachment 2015View attachment 2016
Looking at your pictures Tony, I recommend a bit of a rewire.
At the moment your L&R channels are using totally different cable types.
Leaving aside all debate as to cable 'sound' and bi-wire benefits (or not), it's a good idea to ensure your channels are matched.

In your position, here's what I'd do:
Connect one 'Hardcore' pair to the HF terminals of each speaker.
Connect the AT525 multistrand to the LF terminals of each speaker.
(And obviously rewire appropriately at the amp end too).

Nothing wrong with barewire connection, as you've found, it works.
In time, the bare ends can oxidise though, so personally I terminate my wires with gold plated banana plugs such as these:
Or the right-angled version:
They would push in the back of your terminals.
Makes it easy to plug / unplug in future....and they remain nicely untarnished.
Could work out a bit expensive for you, so if you decide to stick with the bare wire, at least strip it back to give yourself some fresh, clean conductor.
 
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Rotellier21

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Hi Gray,

I use the 24k gold plugs on the amp end connections but bare on the speakers but just yesterday split the hardcore to banana & barewire ( 2 inputs to the amp jack ...one plug in other 90deg screw tighten (the NAD 319 has 2 inputs plug points on the actual output socket I guess if u need 90deg access ) as those 6 solid wires are dam difficult to get to stay in the small banana plug hole especially with that rigid cable almost forcing theme out at manouvering the amp in place .

Anyway I understand what you are saying and did cut back and renew the wire connection on both ends (amp & speakers ) yesterday as it was dropping out on right channel by a bad contact or oxidation ...

Cheers
Tony
 
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Rotellier21

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Jan 26, 2021
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Quote-
Connect one 'Hardcore' pair to the HF terminals of each speaker.
Connect the AT525 multistrand to the LF terminals of each speaker.
(And obviously rewire appropriately at the amp end too).

1. Stupid question but how does one differentiate the HF from the LF posts on the back of the RTL4 speaker ....my thinking is they are the same and they flow according to the freq as they are not labelled . Obviously the amp only has one set of terminals for each speaker so not an issue there?

2. Also I am going to chop off cable length as at this moment one speaker is close to within 2m of cable from amp , the other about 3-4m ..considering the cables are aprox 7.5m I think this is a bad idea as too long (previously long for other house). What is the considered max. sensible length before negative elements affect the signal as I believe it would be best as short as possible to avoid loss or a pile of spaghetti wires to deal with.?

thks
Tony
 
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Al ears

Moderator
On your second question I would say don't worry about any signal effect on cables of this length. Don't cut them too short in case you ever want to move setup into a larger room in the future. For practical and possible resale reasons try to keep them same length, say 4m each.
Regards your first I would hazard a guess that they have stuck with convention and the uppermost pair are the HF
 

Gray

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Obviously the amp only has one set of terminals for each speaker so not an issue there?
That's right, but when I said about rewiring appropriately......
you obviously now just need your hardcore and multistrand paired up in the plugs of each channel at the amp end.

(If you left them as before, one amp channel would be feeding all your HF, the other channel would be doing all the LF :oops:).
 

Al ears

Moderator
That's right, but when I said about rewiring appropriately......
you obviously now just need your hardcore and multistrand paired up in the plugs of each channel at the amp end.

(If you left them as before, one amp channel would be feeding all your HF, the other channel would be doing all the LF :oops:).
if you're biwiring like that there is little point.
in fact there is little point in doing it anyway with these speakers
 

Gray

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if you're biwiring like that there is little point.
in fact there is little point in doing it anyway with these speakers
If bi-wiring is pointless, the way you do it can hardly make it any more or less pointless :)
In the OP's case, the wire was there anyway - making it a case of why not?
If nothing else, he's got more conductor than if he chucked two runs away.
 

Al ears

Moderator
If bi-wiring is pointless, the way you do it can hardly make it any more or less pointless :)
In the OP's case, the wire was there anyway - making it a case of why not?
If nothing else, he's got more conductor than if he chucked two runs away.
Exactly my point. If the two runs are coming from a common pair on the amp then you might as well sell the other cables
 

Rotellier21

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Jan 26, 2021
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Quote-
If the two runs are coming from a common pair on the amp then you might as well sell the other cables

As the inexperienced newby so to speak here ....from what I understand the bi-wiring is to take 2 positives and 2 negatives from each channel output at the amp...the speaker does have the 2 x pairs + & (-) . I realise this is a controversial debate over the bi-wiring option and despite reading many articles on the subject the results are far from conclusive or proving if better or worse, never mind audible differences in terms of how the sound is affected .

That said I do own the cable and the speakers have 4 posts . My gear is not high end I appreciate and like I said it was not possible to even have it out of the boxes in my last home so to me it is a pleasure to hear a hifi as apposed to the pc speakers . For the meantime I wish to set the hifi up as best I can before I indulge in upgrades .
 

Al ears

Moderator
Perhaps then, as you have the cables, you rig them up and decide for yourself whether biwiring is an improvement.
The normal arguments range around people that propose buying an extra run of cables to try this out.
 

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