You've just discovered the fantastic world of Hi-Fi Audio and you're impressed with myriad information that, at first, is difficult to distinguish between relevant and useless. It's not simple, but maybe not so complicated either. So. Let's assume that the separate components that make up the backbone of the vast majority of hi-fi systems there are three: source, amplifier and acoustic speakers. These three elements must be connected to each other with directly proportional value supports in order to obtain optimized performance. An inadequate cable would castrate the system, one that is too performing would be not harmful but, in the end, useless at listening level. Our focus is the wiring of High Fidelity audio electronics, so in this article we will exhaust the topic: choose the right Hi-Fi cable for your system.
Types of Hi-Fi cables
Before we even understand how much we need to spend to choose the right Hi-Fi cable for us, we have to figure out which Hi-Fi cables we need. This depends on its structure (is the source a PC? Or maybe a turntable? Is there a subwoofer?). Macrocategories can be reduced to three:
- Power supply.
The first one is the most varied, so much so that we can divide it into two other subcategories: analog signal cables and digital signal cables. In any case, signal cables are always used to move the signal from one device to another. Among the analogue ones we find those:
- RCAto carry a signal with RCA connection in Stereo mode (Right/Left).
- XLRwhich are the balanced version for the connection between two electronics that have XLR input and output.
- Phonofor turntables, a variant of RCA signal cables useful for vinyl playback, one of the few techniques still entirely analog.
- Subwoofer, monophonic signal cables designed to enhance the low frequency reproduction of active subwoofers.
- Jack 3.5to connect high fidelity stereo equipment, with 3.5 mm, 6.3 mm Jack and Jack-RCA connection.
Digital signal cables, on the other hand, are of four different main types, namely:
- Coaxialwhich carry the digital audio signal at 75 Ohm before it is converted to analog and then amplified.
- USB, cables that support one of the most popular connections in the world and that in Hi-Fi are mainly of interest to the users of liquid music.
- Optical, more and more in disuse, because for the stereophony coaxial are preferred, while in the Audio/Video you transport the signal with the HDMI connection.
- AES/EBU, a 110 Ohm connection with XLR connection, very performing but not very widespread.
Let's talk now wire Speakeralso called speaker cables. These are used to connect the amplifier (integrated or power amp) to passive acoustic speakers with signal Speaker , i.e. the one that has already made the final amplification. There are also the power cablesnecessary to supply energy to any active component and carry the current to make it work. Finally we find HDMI cablesbut they are more about High Fidelity Video than Audio, for those who have a multi-channel system.
How much to spend on Hi-Fi cables? How to choose?
It is almost impossible to give an unambiguous answer, since there are so many variables and not so easily calculable. Just think of the listening environment. This is why we give you the possibility to always contact us during working hourswith the medium you prefer, so that we can give you advice tailored to your needs. A superficial, but at the same time very quick, estimate can be the following: for the wiring of an electronics it is advisable to spend 10-15% of its list value. Let's take two examples:
- I have a CD player which I bought, used, for 1,000 €, but whose list value is 1,500 €. If I have to choose the Hi-Fi power cable, the choice could be the Primus series, but also considering the possibility of the Magnus.
- I have a 5,000 € amp and 10,000 € speakers. If I need a cable Speaker to connect the two electronics, considering the total value (15.000 €), the right choice could be Invictus Speaker.
Let us reiterate once again that this kind of reasoning is still sketchy. Just think of one of the elements we consider most when evaluating a purchase: the quality/price ratio. In case your product has a decidedly high quality/price ratio, you might think to take a cable of a higher series than the two examples above would say. On the contrary, in case you have paid so much for your turntable but, alas, it's not that high performing, it's not necessarily worth spending so much on wiring.
In medio stat virtus
Mind you. It's never going to be a great wiring damage to a mediocre system (if not for your wallet). What will happen is that you will have spent more than you should have without perceiving any substantial improvement. Since Ricable cables are guaranteed for life, however, you can buy a better performing cable than you need for future system upgrades. At this point, however, we would advise you to take advantage of Ricable Upgradewhich gives your used product the exact purchase value in case of exchange for a superior product. But back to us. If your hi-fi system is not detecting enough to bring to light fine tuning modifications, it is useless to invest too much on it. A much more sensible and balanced choice, compared to buying a single exceptional cable like the Invictus, could be to wire the whole system with good cables, like those of the Primus or Magnus series.
Let's take another example. He thinks he owns any small car and he thinks he's equipping it with high-performance, expensive racing wheels. The improvement would be substantial on a sports car, even decisive if we were in the middle of a competition. But what you would be able to perceive with your hatchback would, on the contrary, be an infinitesimal upgrade. Or perhaps you wouldn't perceive any difference at all. The reverse is also true. Fitting standard tires on a bolide with 800 hp, 8,500 rpm engine and 12 cylinders, on the contrary, would be a bottleneck for the performance of the vehicle, and in the worst case it could compromise your safety.
The right cable for my Hi-Fi system
Choosing the right Hi-Fi cable for your system is not a straightforward matter. Also for this reason we have introduced warranty Satisfied or Refundedwhich provides for the possibility of return free of charge for a period of sixty days. As said, the variables are many, and therefore we believe it is necessary to give the possibility to carry out all the appropriate tests in your listening room. On the other hand, the fun of audiophilia also comes from the countless tests that we can carry out, experimenting with new solutions. Maybe in the company of friends of a lifetime, trying "the new piece" in their respective systems and comparing different opinions. The effort Ricable is to expand more and more its catalogue, updating with innovative techniques the existing products and inserting new ones. To meet everyone's needs both in terms of wiring and portfolio. Take a look at our catalogue to find out if it's right for you.