Interconnects - Cardas vs. Belden

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  • aud19
    Twin Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2003
    • 16706

    Interconnects - Cardas vs. Belden

    Anyone have an opinion on whether the Cardas Crosslink is worth 3.5 times the Belden 89259? I'm having a dilemna with that. I'm planning on purchasing the raw materials and putting the cables together myself. (Any helpful hints on that subject would be greatly appreciated as well.) Also to aid in affordability where should I spend the money if I decide to go with a mix of Cardas/Belden? Interconnects from my DVD-A player to the Pre/Pro or From the Pre/Pro to the Amp. I would imagine from the DVD-A player to the Pre/Pro but I could be entirely wrong there (in fact it's quite likely!)

    J.R.




    Need a new display? Questions about new display technologies? Visit RPTVs, plasmas, and other monitors @ HTguide
    Jason
  • ThomasW
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 10934

    #2
    IC's function as passive tone controls, so it's best to audition them. Some will make your system sound better, some won't.

    Regarding cost, if you can afford Cardas then maybe it's worth the $$$$. But only if you have a system whos components are able to reveal the differences between the cables.

    I've owned pretty expensive ($900/meter) IC's that sounded dull/bland, and had cheap one's that sounded quite good. So audition, audition, audition.........

    For the money the 'Risch recipe' IC's I've heard were quite good. They are VERY labor intensive to construct though......




    theAudioWorx
    Klone-Audio

    IB subwoofer FAQ page


    "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

    Comment

    • JonMarsh
      Mad Max Moderator
      • Aug 2000
      • 15209

      #3
      Cardas Crosslink is the only CARDAS cable currently sold in bulk, typically at about $3.75/ft. It's about 68 pF/ft capacitance, using 68 discrete conductors with an aggregate gauge of 19.5 AWG. Outside cable diameter is about 6.5mm. It is there least expensive interconnect cable, but for the very reasonable price it's a pretty nice deal. Compared with a Jon Risch recipe dual core (solid and stranded) cable, in most systems it will be a bit fatter and more liquid in the midrange, and have a somewhat softer, slightly more distant presence and treble range. They don't have the transparency and presence, of say, the Neutral Reference interconnect, or an excellent Cardas derived/manufactured design, the Ayre Signature series. But, there's about two orders of magnitude difference in the price!

      Like Thomas says, listening to any proposed cable purchase in the system you're considering using them in is a great idea.





      The Risch cable has a very "transparent" up front sound, perhaps a little leaner in the bass. Equipment combinations to avoid with the Risch would be "average" digital sources, and brighter sounding conventional solid state electronics (Rotel, Aragon, for example). The Risch works nicely with NFB solid state electronics, or good tube gear; (yeah, I know, there's a little incongruity in the pricing match up- but that's life). Of course, your speaker and room setup should be taken into account, too. One thing to watch out for- bulkier and stiffer- not easy to work wtih in confined spacing; in that regards, the Crosslink will have a clear advantage.

      Re RCA's, if you're willing to spend a little, get the Cardas SRCA- you'll need to sleeve the cable, but it's a great pice to work with. IF you really need to save money, there's an RCA at MCM which is a dead nuts copy (or the same unit?) of the original DH labs Silver Sonic, same teflon insulator, etc. Seen them side by side, I'm convinced they're the same part.




      50-2130

      Alternatively, you can get WBT and some house brands at PE; they have a nice 6.3 mm entry part available in six colors (think video) for $1.80



      Best plan might be to build up a set of any configruation you're seriously considering, and try them in a real minimalist straightline system- say, relatively high end or phono into a passive preamp then a good power amp.


      Best regards,

      Jon




      Earth First!
      _______________________________
      We'll screw up the other planets later....
      the AudioWorx
      Natalie P
      M8ta
      Modula Neo DCC
      Modula MT XE
      Modula Xtreme
      Isiris
      Wavecor Ardent

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      In Development...
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      Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
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      Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
      Just ask Mr. Ohm....

      Comment

      • aud19
        Twin Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2003
        • 16706

        #4
        WOW! Thanks for all the info guys!

        I guess some info on my setup would be helpful... ops:

        I currently have Energy speakers - C-9's front, C-C3 centre and C-5's rear. For DVD-A I have a Denon 1600. I will be purchasing the Rotel RSP-1066 Pre/Pro and RMB-1075 Amp.

        Unfortunately do to the fact that I will be purchasing the materials from http://www.takefiveaudio.com/ I won't have a chance to audition them. Hence why I'm trying to find out as much as I can on here.

        Also I'm quite aware that my system is not exactly super high-end more mid-end or good quality gear on a budget. This is why I'm wondering if I should spend the extra money on the Cardas or stick with the Belden? Will my components even be able to make use of the better cable in other words? I've seen a few decent quality (low'ish end for aftermarket custom cables) that use the Belden and get good comments for the money. But I've also heard many very good things about the Cardas. Here's a breakdown of what I'm looking at purchasing:

        Option 1 (Ideal)
        -55' of the Cardas Crosslink for IC's (CA $6.25/foot)
        -15' of the Belden 89259 for subwoofer cable (CA $1.99/foot)
        -12 Pairs of Vampire 5X/CB RCA's (CA $26.95/pair)
        -WBT Silver Solder 42 gram spool (CA $14.95)

        Option 2 (Affordable)
        -70' of the Belden 89259 for IC's and subwoofer (CA $1.99/foot)
        -12 Pairs of Vampire C5.5X RCA's (CA $17.95/pair)
        -WBT Silver Solder 42 gram spool (CA $14.95)

        I was thinking I could lower costs a little by going with the less expensive Vampires with the Cardas as well but tell me, is that like putting 13" wheels on a ferrari?

        Thanks for all your help

        J.R.




        Need a new display? Questions about new display technologies? Visit RPTVs, plasmas, and other monitors @ HTguide
        Jason

        Comment

        • ThomasW
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Aug 2000
          • 10934

          #5
          I suggest buying only enough wire to make a 1m pr using the different wires you are considering. Then compare them in your system. When you find the one that sounds 'best', then committ to a bulk wire purchase.

          Also you should understand that the performance characteristics may change when you upgrade any of your components.




          theAudioWorx
          Klone-Audio

          IB subwoofer FAQ page


          "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

          Comment

          • JonMarsh
            Mad Max Moderator
            • Aug 2000
            • 15209

            #6
            Those are Canadian dollar prices, aren't they? If not, check out

            DIYCABLE.COM - Contact us for any business inquiries


            They carry the Cardas cable and connectors.

            For your components, I'd personally recommend the Crosslink, based on what I "think" would be the most compatible signature for musical results with the gear you plan to buy. But, YMMV, there are differences in taste, and building a set to evaluate in the required length wouldn't be a bad idea at all, as Thomas points out.

            I gather from what you're describing that your Belden alternative is just using one cable with RG 59 Belden 89259, not the Risch recipe with dual cores. The Crosslink uses dual conductors, and the shield isn't connected at both ends; this gives somewhat better sheilding isolation, IMO. Just think of me as being the little devil on your shoulder whispering in your ear, "Go for the Cardas!". :B

            Personally, I like the Cardas Quad Eutectic solder best; it's virtually impossible to make a cold solder joint with, and it's formulated from lead, tin, copper and silver. The WBT would be my second choice. (again, YMMV! - you'll have good cables, either way.)

            The Vampires are pretty decent connectors; if you can swing it, stay with the better ones.

            Good luck with your cables and your system!

            ~Jon




            Earth First!
            _______________________________
            We'll screw up the other planets later....
            the AudioWorx
            Natalie P
            M8ta
            Modula Neo DCC
            Modula MT XE
            Modula Xtreme
            Isiris
            Wavecor Ardent

            SMJ
            Minerva Monitor
            Calliope
            Ardent D

            In Development...
            Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
            Obi-Wan
            Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
            Modula PWB
            Calliope CC Supreme
            Natalie P Ultra
            Natalie P Supreme
            Janus BP1 Sub


            Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
            Just ask Mr. Ohm....

            Comment

            • aud19
              Twin Moderator Emeritus
              • Aug 2003
              • 16706

              #7
              They are Canadian dollars

              Well I ended up going with the Belden 89259. I just read to many good things about it for the money. As much good information as I found on the Cardas, I'm all about maximum performance at a minimum cost. I did stay with the more expensive and better Vampire 5XCB connectors though. Oh by the way Jon I had enough devils of my own whispering go with the Cardas. Unfortunately the ahem, angel, ahem who is my girlfriend would kill me if she found out how much I spent on the Belden never mind the the Cardas! 8O

              So thanks again guys for all your help. Now just one more thing ...

              Do either of you or anyone else for that matter know where I can find detailed instructions, pictures etc on how to put these together from A-Z? I just don't want to miss any important steps and do everything as thoroughly as I can with the materials I have purchased.

              Thanks,

              Jason




              Need a new display? Questions about new display technologies? Visit RPTVs, plasmas, and other monitors @ HTguide
              Jason

              Comment

              • Hank
                Super Senior Member
                • Jul 2002
                • 1345

                #8
                FWIW, those MCM RCA's are the one's I use - I thought I was the only one who discovered them. I use the satin silver ones exclusively, with Canare and Belden cable. I have a drill bit that I drill them out with so they'll take the fatter cable. Works great and I'd have to be shown a difference in "sound quality" between them and more expensive RCA's.

                Comment

                • JonMarsh
                  Mad Max Moderator
                  • Aug 2000
                  • 15209

                  #9
                  I hear you Hank, hadn't thought of drilling them out! That's a pretty good idea- but do you think there's enough meat in them to get all the way out to 9mm or 11 mm cable? That's where the Cardas RCA's are pretty flexible, especially with the replacable fittings for different size wires.

                  Besides, like Rosewood, they look purty.

                  Well, Aud, I know how it is about angels, though I don't have one myself, and my 19 year old daughter doesn't give me any grief about the audio stuff- she know's all I'd have to do is point to her shoes to "tit for tat"!

                  Try using Google, I bet you can find some site with info about assembling RG59 cable. The exact trim and installation you need depends on the connectors you use. So, it's not quite the same, depending on whether you have the Vampires, the Cardsas, or the Silver Sonic style RCA's.

                  Best regards,

                  Jon




                  Earth First!
                  _______________________________
                  We'll screw up the other planets later....
                  the AudioWorx
                  Natalie P
                  M8ta
                  Modula Neo DCC
                  Modula MT XE
                  Modula Xtreme
                  Isiris
                  Wavecor Ardent

                  SMJ
                  Minerva Monitor
                  Calliope
                  Ardent D

                  In Development...
                  Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                  Obi-Wan
                  Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                  Modula PWB
                  Calliope CC Supreme
                  Natalie P Ultra
                  Natalie P Supreme
                  Janus BP1 Sub


                  Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                  Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                  Comment

                  • ThomasW
                    Moderator Emeritus
                    • Aug 2000
                    • 10934

                    #10
                    Let's see a DIY article describing the use of Belden 89259
                    Suppose this LINK will be adequate?




                    theAudioWorx
                    Klone-Audio

                    IB subwoofer FAQ page


                    "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                    Comment

                    • aud19
                      Twin Moderator Emeritus
                      • Aug 2003
                      • 16706

                      #11
                      Thanks Thomas! Exactly what I was looking for and needed.

                      The only way it could have been better was if he was using the same RCA's as me...lol

                      Jason




                      Need a new display? Questions about new display technologies? Visit RPTVs, plasmas, and other monitors @ HTguide
                      Jason

                      Comment

                      • banzaii
                        Junior Member
                        • May 2003
                        • 10

                        #12
                        If I would have only read your post a bit earlier. I am also from Vancouver and am just about to place an order from Take Five as well.

                        I am planning on building the IC's based on Jon Risch's recipe as well as some CC89259 speaker cable for the fronts and straight runs for the rear and sub.

                        I was looking at the Cardas GRMO connector for my IC's and am not sure yet what I will use for the speaker connectors.

                        Comment

                        • Hank
                          Super Senior Member
                          • Jul 2002
                          • 1345

                          #13
                          Jon, I've used a 9/32" bit to adapt the MCM's to Belden 1694A cable. I just tried a 5/8" bit and ruined one conector body and another one was passable, with the scratches to be hidden with a piece of heat shrink. That made 'em take Belden 8281F and Canare L-5CFB. That's probably asking too much, unless you could fixture the connector bodies to be held very tight with distorting/marring the body. Also, drilling with a tray in your drill press and using cuttting fluid or even water, may make the drilling smooth.

                          Comment

                          • 4-iron
                            Junior Member
                            • Aug 2003
                            • 13

                            #14
                            Hi Guys...

                            This was just the thread I needed to see! I bought a 100' roll of 89259 nearly two years ago in preparation of replacing all the standard, OEM crap-cord that came with the various array of HT equipment. So, was there really an improvement in performance? Who knows? I haven't even taken off the wrapper on the roll! ops:

                            I think now is the time to head up into the attic, blow the dust off and fire up the soldering iron. And kudos to ThomasW for the great 'How-To' link.

                            Paul

                            Comment

                            • aud19
                              Twin Moderator Emeritus
                              • Aug 2003
                              • 16706

                              #15
                              Just though I'd give an update. I finally got my Rotel gear and amazingly I had actually finished all my cables in time! Everything's hooked up now and busy breaking in. Sounds wonderful so far though, I can't wait for everything to be fully broken in and see how good it sounds then! 8O Thanks to everyone on here for your VERY useful help.

                              J.R.




                              Need a new display? Questions about new display technologies? Visit RPTVs, plasmas, and other monitors @ HTguide
                              Jason

                              Comment

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