So here are all the articles on the blog Ricable about curiosities, news, culture, tricks and tips on the subject of Hi-Fi!

United States Guitar

Power cords with American plugs Ricable are coming soon.

Ricable is happy to announce that the American plug in its Hi-Fi power cords is in the home stretch. We anticipated this in a series of posts some time ago, on our Facebook page. The last "tweak" regarding power cords Ricable was now dated March 2021, with the MKII version of the Magnus Power which, compared to the basic version, gained a shielding. The research department Ricable, however, never stops. This is necessary to keep up with its own time. The U.S. plug in power cords Ricable adds nothing in terms of performance, but it represents an important step in expanding into the U.S. and Canadian markets, as well as Central America. But that's not all...

The American Plug in Hi-Fi Power Cables Ricable

As anticipated, the American plug in Hi-Fi power cords Ricable is not an improvement in performance but an enlargement of the potential users of our power cords. These, with American plugs, will be available for order on the website starting in September. However, for those interested, they are already available and therefore purchasable by contacting us directly.

This novelty stems from a specific need: to meet the growing demand of overseas audiophiles, U.S. and Canadian in particular, whose orders on our site are increasingly frequent. More than new cables, in this case, we are talking about variations of existing ones. American plug power cables, in fact, should not be sought as a stand-alone product, but the variant should be selected within existing product pages. This will not affect the price, as indeed . almost all customizations Ricable. Last but not least: power cords will be able to be equipped with American plug in all series, from Primus toInvictus, via Magnus and Dedalus.

Invictus Power American plug

Not just American plug. We welcome the IEC C20 connector

The discussion regarding the introduction of the IEC C20 connector is very similar to that just made for American plugs in power cords. Again, this is not an improvement on a technical level. It is about offering one more opportunity to our customers. In particular, among the various brands adopting this power input, we are thinking especially of Audio Research. Again, customization comes from listening to the customer.

Dedalus Power American plug

Many owners of Audio Research electronics, or otherwise with this power input, have asked us for cables with this type of connector, and now we can finally satisfy them. Unlike the American plug, however, the IEC C20 connector will not be available for all of our series, but only from the Magnus series on up. So, in addition to the latter, we are referring to those Dedalus and Invictus. There is also a small change in the ordering method. Power cables with IEC C20 connector will not be selectable "directly." Instead, the standard Netzkabel will have to be selected, and just before completing the order, in the notes, the customer will have to write the desired customization.

American plug and IEC C20. Since when available?

Power cords with American plugs and/or IEC C20 connector are not yet available to order directly from the website. They will be starting in September. However, you can still proceed with the purchase by contacting us directly by whatever method you prefer (phone, e-mail, live chat, WhatsApp...) as of now, or even by leaving a written note in the space provided just before you finish your order. In the meantime, if you are undecided about purchasing or just curious, you can take a look at just about all of our power cords. Enjoy your visit!

arrows in the forest

Directionality in Hi-Fi cables Ricable

The Ricable catalogue has become very rich over the last period.not only, as usual, in terms of quality, but also in terms of quantity. So much so that the range of Hi-Fi and Hi-End cables Ricable now covers almost every kind of audiophile need. There are still a few pieces missing to complete the mosaic, but already from the current catalogue we have the possibility of categorising our cables both by certain horizontal and vertical characteristics. Not only the most obvious ones, that is typology (signal, power supply, power and so on) and series (Invictus, Dedalus, Magnus and Primus). But also more specific ones. The one we want to talk about today is the directionality of Hi-Fi cables.

How is the directionality of a Hi-Fi cable indicated?

The topic of Hi-Fi cable directionality Ricable is also one of the most popular topics in our chat. All the more reason for this article to take shape. Let's start with the first question that arises spontaneously: how is a directional cable recognisable? That's easy to answer. First of all, let's reiterate that not all Ricable cables are directional. Those that are, however, have an arrow clearly marked on the connection points. Having identified this arrow, we can now show you how to use the cables Ricable correctly. The arrow simply follows the direction of the signal from the source to the speakers. Let's take the two most classic examples: if we take a CD player connected to an amplifier, the arrows will start from the player and end up in the amplifier. If, on the other hand, we take an amplifier and loudspeakers as an example, the arrows will start from the amplifier and end up in the loudspeakers, as the signal follows this path.

It is good to know that these rules are shared by most manufacturers of Hi-Fi and Hi-End cables. But we are not talking about a real standard, standardised at international level. So you should not be surprised if you find yourself reading instructions that are different or even completely opposite to those we have just described. But what specifically is meant by "cable direction"? Cables are cables which, for reasons of constructional geometry or configuration characteristics, are not bi-directional. This means that they must be used in a specific direction, as illustrated by the two examples above.

directionality hi-fi cables

What are the directional cables Ricable?

Thedirectional cables Ricable are, to begin with, those in a semi-balanced configuration. By this definition we include not only the Signal line, but also the Turntable line, which is still composed of cables INTERCONNECT optimised for connection to the turntable. We include Turntables, but exclude the entire Primus series, which has an unbalanced configuration (i.e. without the negative pole of the semi-balanced configuration). Other directional cables Ricable are Speaker , and this time we include the Primus series. This is because the directionality is not given by the configuration, but the direction of the conductors. As twisted cables, it is good that the pair of cables is directed in the same direction, consistently. The last case is that of the HDMI Supreme AI MKII cable, which presents a rather particular case of directionality. This is in fact given by the presence of a processor in the cable, and not by some construction geometry or configuration characteristic. In order to function correctly, the cable's processor should preferably be located near the signal source.

Magnus Signal

Why is it important to respect cable directionality?

Why, then, is it important to respect the directionality of cables Ricable? The reason, as we have seen, varies according to the cable in question. Generally speaking, however, we can say that installing Hi-Fi cables with the correct directionality is important for the optimisation and coherence of your Hi-Fi system. The cables Ricable, in any case, work even if the directionality is not respected, with the exception of the Supreme AI MKII.

This does not cause any damage to the equipment, but high fidelity enthusiasts, more than others, know how important attention to detail is. What is high fidelity if not the continuous and inexhaustible search for additional details in one's listening experience? Bi-directional cables or not, we can't help but conclude the article with our usual invitation to have a look at the complete catalogue Ricable. Have a good consultation!

electrical cables phase out of phase

The difference between diameter and cross-section in Hi-Fi cables

As we have repeatedly stated in the articles we publish on the blog Ricablea cable, especially if Hi-Fi, is composed of many parts. Conductors, connectors, dielectrics, shielding, contacts and so on and so forth. The materials and geometries through which the components are connected distinguish each cable from any other, bringing different improvements, nuances and colours. Provided the hi-fi system is revealing enough to bring all this to light. Each character that fills the stage dialogues with the other, interfering and aiming at a result that should be, by all, one: that of balance. In this regard, it may be useful to clarify the difference between diameter and cross-section in Hi-Fi cables.

Difference between conductor diameter and cross-section in Hi-Fi cables

All the components of a cable are important, especially if what connects the cable is equipment designed for high fidelity audio and video. Some of them, however, are really important, whether we are talking about a fine cable or Netzkabel of our washing machine. Let's think about the conductor. This is nothing more than the material that carries the electric current through the cable. So if it is true that every part is important, here we are dealing with one of the central elements.

One of the most frequent uncertainties our customers have when consulting the technical specifications of a cable Ricable is the difference between the diameter and the cross-section of a cable. Let's start with one aspect: the first value is measured in millimetres, the second in square millimetres. The former is therefore a length, the latter an area. Let us now imagine that we are cutting any electrical cable and have it in front of us. We will see the conductor (or conductors) and, around it, the insulating material. The conductor, being cylindrical, will form a circle.

cross-section of a cable

Well, the diameter of this circle is the diameter of the conductor, while the area of the circle is what is known as the cross-section of the conductor. The cross-section is therefore the area, expressed in square millimetres, formed by the copper wires passing through the insulating sheath. This value is particularly important as it is linked to the cable's ability to carry current or signal.

Why is cross-section used to measure conductors?

The question at this point is: why is cross-section used to measure conductors and not diameter? The cross-section, being the area of the conductor, indicates the space in which there are copper wires passing through it. There are so many variables at this point: diameter of the strands, material of the strands, purity level of the copper and much more. But in general we can say that a cable with a large cross-section will also be able to carry more current.

The question that might arise at this point is: why are strands referred to by diameter instead? The bad news is that the answer is not simple; the good news is that we have already given it to you a few articles ago - our most loyal customers will remember it. We refer to the skin effectWe talked about it in the article with which we started this blog. If you want to know more, you can do so by clicking on the article just linked. But to cut a long story short, the argument is that the sound signal does not just pass through the strand. On the contrary, as a low-voltage electrical signal, it also and above all passes over the conductive surface of each individual strand. This is why the diameter is so important. Also of importance, but in this case during installation, is the outer diameter of the entire cable, in order to determine whether we can pass the same through cable ducts and cabinets.

How is the diameter of a conductor calculated from the cross-sectional area?

If you want to calculate the diameter of a conductor from the cross-sectional area, a simple geometric formula will help you:

d = A / Π = √ = x2

Let's say we have a cross-section of 5 sq mm. To find the diameter, we need to divide this value by Pi (3.14). The result is 1.59. The square root of 1.59 is 1.26, which when multiplied by two becomes 2.52. The diameter of a conductor with a cross-section of 5 sq mm is 2.52 mm. On the Internet you can find tools that allow you to perform these and other calculations quickly, such as You Can Do!.

diameter section you can do

The importance of technical specifications in Hi-Fi cables

On every single product page of each cable Ricable you can find a comprehensive table to browse through, full of technical data such as capacity, strength, outer diameter, geometries and other characteristics. It is difficult for a cable manufacturer to provide so much detail to their customers, and the fact that many appreciate this transparency is particularly flattering to us. We hope that this article on the difference between diameter and cross-sectional area in Hi-Fi cables has been interesting and helpful. If you are curious to know all the cable numbers Ricable, we refer you to the full catalogue page!

dedalus signal

The high-quality RCA audio cable in Hi-Fi optics

The term "RCA audio cable" in Hi-Fi usually refers to stereo cables INTERCONNECT with RCA connectors. It is the connector that gives the whole cable its name. But if you look closely, digital coaxial cables, for example, and turntable cables are also fitted with RCA connectors. In short, it is the type of connector that gives the cable its title, regardless of its function and construction. Potentially, however, any type of connection could take advantage of the RCA connector, even a power connection. But then: why have RCA connectors continued to be used for signal transmission for so long? Is it possible that the technology has not improved in any way? Before we take a snapshot of the current situation, let's take a step back and see where the RCA connector came from.

When was the RCA connector born?

The RCA connector became a standard in the 1940s and was named after the company that designed it: the Radio Corporation of America. This was a US electronics company, founded in 1919 by General Electric; the brand is now owned by Sony and Technicolor. RCA's origins as a company go back as far as a reorganisation of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America, founded in 1899 as a subsidiary of the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company of London, a company with the aim of promoting Guglielmo Marconi's radio inventions.

No later than 1937, RCA introduced this prototype as an internal connector in its radiophonographs. The amplifier chassis had female connectors that accepted males from the radio and phonograph. Originally, the design was intended to support "unplugging" of sources during maintenance troubleshooting.

rca radio corporation of america logo

Around 1938, RCA moved the female connector to the rear panel of many of its AM radio models to allow customers an intuitive way to connect an external phonograph or television later. This is how, little by little, the RCA connection gained more and more space until it became a real standard for transmitting INTERCONNECT audio and video, sometimes even in the professional world.

RCA audio cable in Hi-Fi: how does it work?

Even if you are not an expert in audio and video connections, or even if you don't frequent Hi-Fi environments, it is very unlikely that you have never dealt with an RCA connection. The RCA audio cable in Hi-Fi is usually male/male, but there are also different variants (think of an ordinary extension cable, which must necessarily have a female side as well). In the wiring of a Hi-Fi system, RCA cables are not only male/male but also required in pairs. This means that they are often found in a stereo configuration, i.e. with two single mono cables coupled together, and serve as the connection, in most cases, between source and amplifier. RCA connectors boast a veritable colour-coded legend to encode their function and simplify wiring. Still talking about the most common use in Hi-Fi, which requires the audio RCA cable to be absolutely shielded, we can say that the connectors are white for the left channel and red for the right one. This, however, is strictly at the discretion of the manufacturer. The RCA connector is cylindrical in shape and has two contacts. In the male, the first contact is a central metal pin (positive pole); around it is a metal ring (ground ring) which acts as the second contact, i.e. the negative pole.

RCA connectors

RCA connector: why does it endure in Hi-Fi audio?

We wrote at the beginning of this article that the RCA connector is one of the most "solid" ones, able to resist to fashions and to the passing of time. The reason is quite simple, and is functional both on the performance side and on the user side: the RCA connector has done and continues to do its job. The limits of this connection only emerge when dealing with high voltage and current peaks.

But at low voltages and currents, the RCA connection does its job very well without the advancement of science and technology being able to come up with different standards for which the game is worth the candle. On the user side, the system 'with the plug' works in turn and is extremely user friendly.

RCA in Hi-Fi today (and beyond)

Today, the RCA connection is used in the electronics industry mainly in audio. In Hi-Fi, the best RCA audio cables, in order to be of high quality, must not present any magic, but a lot of concreteness. We are referring to a technically conscious construction and high-quality materials in terms of conductors, connectors, shielding (which is essential in a cable INTERCONNECT) and all other components. Not so many years ago, this connection was also used in the video field thanks to the composite video triplet in combination with the stereo audio coupling. Think VCRs, DVD players, and game consoles. However, RCA connectors in video, due to poor impedance matching, have been superseded by HDMI digital connectors. Returning to high fidelity audio, RCA cables are still among the most popular along with power cables and Speaker cables. This is why Ricable offers them in all its main series: Primus, Magnus, Dedalus and Invictus, in order to meet everyone's needs.

Magnus RCA Jack

The customised Hi-Fi cable Ricable

As we have already written in a previous article Ricable has the ability to build each customer their own customised Hi-Fi cable in many ways. This is possible due to the fact that Ricable cables are handmade in Italy, and therefore we have total control over them. The customisation that our customers can request from us is as extensive as possible, but with certain limits. These limits are given by the fact that we care about both the integrity of the product and the customer's enjoyment of it.

A customised Hi-Fi 'integer' cable

Our customers are well aware that the work behind a Ricable cable is not limited to its physical construction. The design is the part that takes up the most time. For some cables, this can take more than a year. Against this, we really care about the fact that every single series and every single cable fully respects the standard that we have set ourselves and that we originally thought up. The production line has to be unique, just as the Hi-Fi cable, no matter how customised, has to be integral to its identity.

What do we mean by "intact" customised Hi-Fi cables and by customisations that cannot be total? We mean that a different length from the standard ones or a braid of a different colour than the one foreseen, can only be an accessory customisation, without contraindications. This is not the case if you start talking about modifications to the connectors or an exaggerated customised length. It is easy to imagine the consequences when a cable from the Dedalus series is fitted with connectors from the Magnus series. Perhaps less obvious is the fact that a connector from the higher series Invictus, applied to a cable Dedalus, could also cause problems.

Dedalus Speaker Elite

The connector of the speaker cable Invictus is objectively superior to that of Dedalus. When it comes to Hi-Fi cables, however, the sum is not always the whole. Rather than obsessively adding, in fact, the recipe for the best Hi-Fi cable is the balance between all its characteristics and all its materials. Shielding, for example, protects against interference but at the same time reduces the risk of interference. specific electrical values. So a too heavy shielding may be intrusive in terms of performance without an appropriate conductor to support it. And that's ultimately the point: we do very strict tests during the design and prototyping of each cable, but these would lose all validity the moment too much change was applied.

Primus Power

Customer protection customisations

Not customising any cable indiscriminately is a choice made to protect the identity of the product and the company, but also the customer himself. Let's think about second-hand products, used products that have been available to buy for some time. directly on the site Ricable. Having "hybrids" on sale would cause great confusion, not only for us, but also for any new owners of the cable itself. But that's not all. With bulky customisations we would be forced either to invalidate our Lifetime Warrantyor to prevent access to the cable. at Ricable Upgrade.

Let's take an example

Let us conclude this focus with an example from a similar but different field than high fidelity: the automotive field. Let's say you're about to buy your new car and, after having chosen the right model for you, you ask the dealer for a few adjustments that go well beyond the expected options. So an engine from a higher car segment, the rear wing from the sporty variant of your chosen model and rims from another manufacturer. You will most likely be shown the door very politely, or the salesman will offer you what is feasible and at the same time as close as possible to your tastes. The good news is that, in any case, numerous customisations are available. Moreover, the Ricable catalogue is always changing to meet the needs of any audiophile... find out how by clicking the button below!

HDMI Visus

What are the differences between HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1?

"What are the differences between HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1?". This is the question that arises spontaneously when Visus HDMI 2.1 becomes available on our website. This HDMI 2.1 cable has been eagerly awaited and requested by our most loyal customers and others for several months now. Unlike most of our products, however, Visus is not just a product of Ricable design. It is also a child of a standard protocol 'imposed from above'. It is also the child of a design that we have had to strictly adhere to in order to meet the requirements of HDMI 2.1.

A bit of history: HDMI protocols since 1.0

Is this the first time the HDMI protocol has reached a new standard? Absolutely not. The specifications for HDMI 1.0 were announced on 9 December 2002, almost twenty years ago. But an ever-changing market has meant that in a relatively short time we have gone through the 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and, the penultimate version, 2.0 protocols. This one, to be fair, dates back to 'way back' in 2013, actually, a sign that something in home video has started to slow down since then. There have been a couple of intermediate revisions (2.0a in 2015 and 2.0b in 2016), but nothing that has changed the cards much. That's why, perhaps, a certain amount of expectation has been built up for this HDMI 2.1, which promises to be as much of a breath of fresh air as we've seen in a long time.

When is the game really worth the candle?

Before reviewing the changes from the 2.0b protocol to the 2.1 protocol, it is worth making a premise that is more methodological than technological or technical. The cable, in this case as in many others, is part of an ecosystem. The ecosystem is our system, which allows us to enjoy our favourite music and videos. This means that in order to fully enjoy the innovations brought about by the HDMI 2.1 protocol, all components must be aligned.

HDMI versions

Let's start with the source, most often a Blu-ray player, which will necessarily have to be equipped with an adequate output and hardware to transmit the 2.1 signal. The same goes for the output end of a video system: a television or a projector. These too will clearly and necessarily have to have an input and hardware that supports HDMI 2.1. Finally, there is one more aspect to consider, too often forgotten: the content we are enjoying. The film or video we want to watch, whether on physical or digital media, must also support the HDMI 2.1 protocol.

The point, which we will never tire of repeating, is always the same. That is: the more your system is detectable, the more evident will be an upward (or downward) adjustment made to it. So much so that, regardless of the protocol, a visual improvement could also be perceived by mounting an HDMI 2.1 cable in a system "set" to 2.0, due to the greater bandwidth and the new technical solutions of the 2.1 protocol. Video streaming deserves a separate discussion. With regard to this, we must emphasise that, apart from the resolution and declared characteristics, the signal is always compressed by the various decoders or cloud platforms. Therefore, whatever you do, it will be, in a certain sense, "muffled".

HDMI bandwidth

What are the differences between HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1?

Here we come to the million dollar question. What are the benefits of the 2.1 protocol over the 2.0 protocol? To cut a long story short, HDMI 2.1 supports a maximum transmission rate of 48 Gbps (compared to 18 Gbps previously) and a data transfer rate of 42.6 Gbps (compared to a maximum of 14.4 Gbps previously), for example. In addition, HDMI 2.1 offers native support for 4K resolution up to high refresh rates such as 120 Hz and 144 Hz, and can handle resolutions up to 10K at 120 Hz without data loss. On the feature side, HDMI 2.1 supports dynamic HDR, variable refresh rate (VRR) and an advanced audio return channel for Dolby Atmos and DTS (eARC), plus much more, as shown in the image above.

HDMI 2.1 Made in Ricable: Meet Visus

What does Visus HDMI look like? Perhaps shorter than you would expect. HDMI 2.1 is still a relatively new technology, which does not allow for cables longer than three metres. However, there's no reason why things won't change in the future and that longer lengths will be available. In keeping with the Ricable tradition, top materials enable top audio and video transmission. In addition to OCC Solid Core monocrystalline copper for the conductors, we have used new insulators and dielectrics. This has not only made the cable more efficient, but also less rigid (flexibility is 30% higher) and bulky (gain is more than 1 mm). We have also improved the connector, for the first time in a shielded HDMI cable with a thicker shell. Visus HDMI by Ricable, after making its debut on our website, is ready to do so in your home. Find out more by clicking the button below.

Dedalus Speaker Elite

The new line-up of cables Speaker Ricable : let's take stock

In view of the "hot" time of year - evidently not in terms of weather, but in terms of Hi-Fi - Ricable has reorganised the line-up of its cables Speaker . There are brand new products, as well as small, major improvements to existing products. The aim of this review of the offering was to keep the bar high for the Speaker Ricable cables in terms of performance, as well as unbeatable value for money. But another objective was to diversify, at commercial level, the offer, so as to offer everyone the right cable for their system.

New to the line-up: Dedalus Speaker Elite

Starting from the top of the pyramid and therefore from the most prestigious cable, we find Invictus Speaker Referencewhich is not a new entry, but an old acquaintance. Going down a step we find instead an absolute novelty: Dedalus Speaker Elite. Dedalus Speaker Elite was created to fill a hole that had been created with the release of Invictus Speaker Reference. The Reference cable was too big a gap compared to the slightly inferior Dedalus Speaker. A cable was needed that would allow those looking for something "in between" to be satisfied. That cable is Dedalus Speaker Elite. Dedalus Speaker Elite is very close in concept to Invictus Speaker Reference, but has minor limitations that make the cost of the finished product more affordable.

Compared to the 'classic' Dedalus Speaker, however, the leap forward is really significant. This can be seen above all in the naturalness and control of the sound. So much so that the listening dynamics are more reminiscent of its big brother Invictus than of its little brother. Dedalus Speaker Elite is not, however, a Invictus made on the cheap, but comes from a unique and revolutionary project that sees, for example, the conductor designed from scratch with geometry inspired by Invictus and a new livery. All in all, Dedalus Speaker Elite is the ideal solution for high-end systems, even if not of absolute level; in fact, in this typology of Hi-Fi systems, even if there have been some reductions compared to the cable Invictus, the difference in listening is not so high.

Dedalus Speaker Elite

Cables Speaker Dedalus and Primus Speaker MKII

It was just in the last article we published we talked about what MKII means and how it came into being and then entered the world of Hi-Fi. We wouldn't be bringing this up if it weren't for the fact that, in addition to the introduction of the Dedalus Speaker Elite,the standard Dedalus Speaker has had some changes made to the line-up of cables at Speaker that haveled to the MKII version. The main one is the shielding, which has now become double, allowing protection equal to that of the top of the range cables. The internal insulation has also been improved and the R-TEC dielectrics have been increased.

Primus Speaker MKII

While Magnus Speaker MKII presents no additional novelties, also in view of the fact that it had already been upgraded to the MKII version in recent timesthe entry-level Speaker cable Ricable, Primus Speaker, has become a bit more grown-up. How? The most striking thing is undoubtedly the aesthetic restyling, but in addition to the form Primus Speaker MKII also improves the substance. In fact, this new version sees the insertion of an aluminium shielding and, just before the outer sheath, an aluminium cable. mylar just before the external sheath. As we also remind you in the relative product pages, the products with the MKII wording do not refer to a totally new product, like Dedalus Elite Speaker, but to a product revised and improved in its already valid performance.

The icing on the cake: Dedalus Bridge Elite

We have never overlooked the importance of the jumpers.We have never neglected the importance of jumpers, also because the ones supplied are almost always made of very poor quality brass. Here then, to complete the picture of the new cables Speaker Ricable we have the jumpers Dedalus Bridge in their new variant, available both with spades/spades and with spades/bananas, with the conductors of Dedalus Speaker Elite. With this article we hope to have given you a concise but comprehensive overview of the Ricable line-up of Speaker cables. The contents for in-depth analysis, however, are really many, so we refer you to the page dedicated to this type of cables to take a general look and, possibly, deepen each cable by visiting the relevant product page.

Ford GT40

What is the meaning of MKII (Mark II) in the field of Hi-Fi (and not)?

The meaning of MKII (Mark II in full) will be easy, or at least intuitive, for many. Less obvious are perhaps the history and the field of application of the above mentioned wording. As far as Ricable is concerned, the cables bearing the MKII designation are the HDMI Supreme AI cable and, more recently, the Magnus Power and Speaker cables, both of which feature shielding, and other minor enhancements, in their updated model.

What is the meaning of MKII?

The word Mark, followed by a number, often Roman, is used to indicate the degree of advancement of a model in a given series. So we're not talking about a new model in its own right. Rather, we are referring to what is known in the automotive industry as restyling. Quoting WikipediaMark is a term used to "designate a product within a production line: it indicates the level of progress, the degree of development of a machine, and is therefore a synonym for Model, Type, Version". A clarification: although the MKII "addition" is the most frequent, it is not so rare to also find a third or fourth stage of a product. This will then earn the words MKIII and MKIV.

How did the term MKII come about?

It is not easy to place chronologically the first use of the word Mark (translatable as 'mark', 'sign' or even 'trace'), but one of the first fields of application was certainly the military one. Here it is easy to understand what MKII means. In both the UK and the US, Mark referred to a mark applied to the modification plate of a system, component or machine. This modification plate is a metal plate used to record what modifications have already been made, either directly at the factory or by maintenance personnel. However, the use of Marks as a method of distinguishing the version of a product has become commonplace, and is also applicable to products without a modification plate on which to affix a physical mark.

modification plate

United Kingdom vs United States

In British military practice, Mark designations are indicated in Roman numerals. Often these indicate the sub-model of a main variant indicated by the term "Number". Thus we will have the Number 1 rifle, Number 2 rifle and so on to distinguish macro-categories, with Mark designating more specific categories. The end results may sound like this: "Number 1 Mark III", or even "Number 4 Mark II". An exception is the British Railway, which relies on Arabic numerals - the carriages it produces are referred to as Mk1, Mk2 and so on.
TheUS Navy, on the other hand, uses the terms 'Mark' and 'Mod' as a unique method of identifying equipment configurations that otherwise lack military descriptions. The practice was adopted by the Naval Ordnance in 1944 and was formalised in 1978. Since the classification system originates from Naval Ordnance, its use is widespread to describe naval guns and other similar warfare systems.

canon pro meet canon eos 1dx mark iii

The concept: some examples

As we wrote in our short article discovering the meaning of MKII, MKIII and so on, the term became established in the military field. But then it became widespread elsewhere. Remaining in the military sphere, we can mention the Mark I combat tank of the British Army, the Mark II, the US Navy's electromechanical computer; the tragically famous Mark 4 of the United States Air Force, the atomic bomb used to hit Nagasaki; the GMLS Mark 13, a guided missile launch system of the US Navy. There are plenty of examples of this.

However, the Mark wording has also caught on in the field of cars and transport. One thinks of the Ford GT40 series, up to the MKIV model, and some Toyota cars, such as the MR2 (up to MKIII), but also of a less conventional vehicle such as the monorail at Walt Disney World in Florida. Finally, the Mark is also found in photography (the Canon EOS-1D SLR) and electronics (with some BMW navigation systems and IBM computers).

And the significance in the field of audio and Hi-Fi?

Mark also appears mainly in the audio and music field - because otherwise we would not be talking about it here. The word Mark is not only used for restyling electronics, but also for musical instruments, such as Rhodes pianos, Selmer saxophones and Mesa Boogie guitar amps. Also Ricable has some "MKII" products in its catalogue; but that's not all, because we will soon release the MKII version of the Speaker Primus Speaker cable, while a new Dedalus will fill the gap between the "old" Dedalus and theInvictus Speaker Reference. In this case it will not be a revision but a real new model. More news is coming soon. In the meantime, have a look at our current catalogue!

raw materials copper

Rising raw material costs, quotations skyrocket

For reasons that are not yet clear, but are probably due to the Covid-19 pandemic, raw material costs have risen dramatically. The most sensational case? Iron, without a doubt. In May alone, the price increase was 15.4%; if the increase since November 2020 is taken into account, it is 150%. Iron has been and is being followed in more or less the same way by practically all raw materials, without exception. Is this just a passing period? Apparently not. The price increase, which has been going on for months now, looks set to continue unabated for at least the whole of 2021. So much so that even Ricable will be forced to increase its list prices.

The causes of rising raw material costs

The increase in the cost of raw materials is attributable to the absolutely 'extraordinary' - in the sense of outside the established patterns - period we have experienced over the last year and a half. The one related to the Covid-19 pandemicThe increase in the cost of raw materials can be attributed to the 'extraordinary' - in the sense of the unconventional - period that we have experienced over the last year and a half. What has been happening recently? Thanks to the reopening, the demand for goods and consumption is slowly returning to normal. This has clearly led to an increase in production to match demand. Producers have had to order the raw materials they need "in pre-Covid quantities". Perhaps not only to the extent that they need them today. Rather, to the extent that they will need them in the months to come. The growth in demand, coupled with the desire to fill warehouses for the future, due to the elementary relationship between supply and demand, and vice versa, has caused raw material costs to rise.

Warehouse

Which sectors are affected by rising costs?

Despite the fact that the problem is bloody complex, the answer to the question "Which sectors are most affected?" is incredibly simple: all of them. Some more than others, that much is clear. In view of the fact that it is, according to ANCE (the National Association of Building Contractors), the sectors that have seen the biggest price increases are the following ANCE (National Association of Building Contractors), metals, oil-derived plastics, concrete and bitumen, it is the construction industry that is most affected by all these price increases. The problem is that even the most common and necessary objects conceal materials that we would not expect. Think of materials that are perhaps less well-known than iron, such as semiconductors.

PlayStation 5

The curious case of the technology and automotive industries

Ashortage of semiconductors has seriously challenged the technology and automotive industries. An object that has become as familiar to every Italian household as Sony's PlayStation, has become almost unobtainable in its fifth reincarnation.. "The fault lies with the microchip industry, which is accustomed to working around deadlines. This is both to keep storage costs down and because it is a slave to newness, since most new devices "are no longer new" after a year, or even a few months. Hence the decision never to stock large quantities, given the need to look ahead and always think about the next chip model. This chronic lack of products in stock meant that as soon as demand increased again, the system imploded. To take an example closer to the topics we usually deal with, even famous Hi-Fi brands like Marantz, Cambridge Audio and many others are in the same situation of a constantly struggling supply chain. Another illustrious example, this time in the automotive field, is that of the Peugeot 308. The chip crisis has had the (resounding, at least in 2021) consequence that the current 308 from the House of the Lion will see the current digital instrumentation replaced by more classic analogue dials..

Transport also increases

The fact that oil has also risen, has increased costs and extended transport times, as if that were not enough. This is for the reason we mentioned earlier. If demand rises, supply rises in price; if demand falls, supply falls. Especially during the most aggressive lockdowns, the use of transport has been reduced to a minimum, with a significant drop in the value of oil. The exact opposite thing is happening now, with more and more people returning to the pre-Covid lifestyle. Exactly the opposite is happening with technology products, which boomed dramatically even in sectors that had been depressed for years (such as desktop computers) during the very first lockdown, thanks to smart working, conference calls and the like.

The world lacks everything. AND Ricable?

The causes of this price increase, however, could also come from elsewhere. In a lengthy analysis published in BloombergIn a lengthy analysis by Brendan Murray, Enda Curran and Kim Chipman, it is noted that the Suez Canal accident in March may have made matters worse. Climate change and all that it entails and the huge blackout in some US states last February may also have contributed. But all are victims of price increases, even if only compared to last year: wheat is up 12%; soya 15%; pallet wood 20%; nickel and zinc 51%; and copper 47%. As our customers will be well aware, the cables Ricable are the result of work requiring the purest materials and rarest metals. This means that from 1 August we will certainly have to adjust our price list upwards, after having left it unchanged for more than four years. A good opportunity, perhaps, to take advantage of the current prices now. Take a look at our catalogue!

apple airpods

Apple Music gets lossless audio... but you'll need a cable

A few days ago, Apple announced Space Audio with Dolby Atmos for its music streaming platform Apple Music, which boasts a catalogue of seventy-five million songs. This should ensure that users can enjoy the tracks in an even more immersive way. Not only that. A lossless audio listening mode will also be introduced, instead of the current one limited to the 256 kbps AAC compressed format. The upgrade will not only be available to everyone, but will also be free of charge. What has made some customers turn up their noses, and gives us some interesting insights, is the fact that AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max will not support the new lossless format via Bluetooth due to the limitations of this type of connection. Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, on the other hand, is a different matter, and AirPods Pro and Max already support it via Bluetooth.

What is ALAC?

ALAC is an acronym and stands for Apple Lossless Audio Codec. This is an audio codec developed directly by Apple in order to obtain lossless data. Lossless audio formats are those that are not compressed or are subjected to this type of treatment, but the final quality remains the same as the original audio. The quality is good, although the format is not as efficient as FLAC in terms of file weight. Clearly, the ALAC extension is mainly supported by players produced by Apple.

Quality leap on Apple Music

Spatial Audio will give artists the opportunity to create immersive audio experiences for their fans with crisp, multi-dimensional sound. This is a big leap forward from the current situation. Right now, Apple Music offers a compressed AAC format at 256 kbps. Soon, Apple will instead offer three levels of higher resolution audio. These are:

  • CD quality (16 bit / 44.1 kHz)
  • Apple Music Lossless (24 bit / 48 kHz)
  • Hi-Res Lossless (up to 24 bit / 192 kHz)

From June 2021, Apple Music's entire catalogue will be available in CD quality or Apple Music Lossless. "Only" 20 million tracks will initially be available in Hi-Res Lossless format, but many more will be added gradually.

All that glitters is not lossless audio

As mentioned, both lossless and Spatial Audio content will be provided to customers without any upward reshaping of the offer. A big step forward for Apple, for customers, for music, for everyone, so far. The excitement cooled, however, when Apple announced that AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max will not support the new format via Bluetooth, due to the insuperable limitations of this type of connection.

AirPods and AirPods Pro, which only use Bluetooth with AAC codec, cannot play ALAC format. Apparently, it will not be possible to enjoy this new audio format via Lightning connection either. As the official document statesThe Lightning to 3.5mm audio cable is designed to allow AirPods Max to connect to analogue sources. However, due to the analogue-to-digital conversion in the cable, playback will not be completely lossless. Listening to lossless audio with iOS devices therefore requires ALAC-compatible earphones or headphones and an external DAC connected. To counterbalance the disappointed customers, there are those who, legitimately, wonder how many are actually able to distinguish between standard and lossless tracks with devices that, in any case, for a significant list price, deal with high fidelity in a rather sideways way. The same official Apple document specifies that the difference between the standard audio of Apple Music and the lossless audio will be "virtually indistinguishable".

The importance of a good Hi-Fi cable

We have already written about this in the past how important good wiring is in a hi-fi system.. This news of the arrival of lossless audio on Apple Music reminds us how important the connection between one piece of electronics and another is. In this case, the distinction between a wired and a non-wired connection is the decisive factor. But we know that the difference between a bad cable and a good one can also be significant. In fact, perhaps even more so, given that it is not a limitation of signal quality that is at stake, but interference, deterioration, distortion and more. To get the ideal cabling for your system (without exaggerating), we suggest you take a look at our catalogue or contact us. with the methods you prefer.

idea bulb novelty

What's new in the Ricable catalogue: USB cables, AES/EBU and Jack variants

Last week we summarised in an article which improved versions of certain Ricable cables have been released recently. Today we want to summarise what's new in the Ricablecatalogue. We're referring to the USB cables, anticipated by the Magnus series only, but with the cables of the Dedalus and Invictus series coming soon; to the AES/EBU cables, already available in the three series Magnus, Dedalus and Invictus; and to the Jack cables, present in the catalogue also with the 6.3 mm connector and with relative extensions.

USB cables

USB cables have become an everyday object. But what is their function in Hi-Fi? USB cables in Hi-Fi are used to carry a digital signal between a personal computer and a DAC, usually. The technical and material quality of the USB cables Ricable allows for great results compared to a standard cable (and not only), especially if the source file has a lossless data compression. According to the tests we carried out with the USB cable Magnus, the improvement is also noticeable in PCM and even with compressed formats such as MP3.

Magnus USB

Still considering the USB cable Magnus, the least valuable - though top-quality - of those in the Ricable catalogue, we carried out computer tests to understand its limits. The Magnus USB goes well beyond the 2.0 certification (which guarantees INTERCONNECT up to 5 m). We performed connection tests with a Hi-Fi DAC with 96 kHz audio files and a very simple passive pen drive. The result is impressive. We were able to connect the DAC up to a distance of 30 metres, playing 96 kHz files. With the passive device, which has no auxiliary power supply and has to receive power from the cable, we were able to go up to 25 metres connected to a direct USB port on the PC.

Dedalus AES/EBU

AES/EBU Cables

AES/EBU is also a standard format for digital audio, used to interface different devices with each other. In Hi-Fi, it is primarily used to connect digital sources to the DAC. Some high-end equipment has the option of connecting with a 110 ohm XLR cable, which improves transmission performance over the classic RCA coaxial (the analogue equivalents). The AES/EBU cables Ricable are divided into the three classic series: Magnus, Dedalus and Invictus, with a progressive increase in the quality of materials and construction technique.

The key to a good AES/EBU cable is that it maintains as close to the optimum 110 ohms as possible for as long as possible. In this sense, even the cable that would be the least valuable of the three, the one belonging to the Magnus series - however outstanding, does a very good job.

Cables Jack 3.5 and 6.3

This is a line of professional connection and headphone cables, based on Magnus Signal. The Ricable Jack cables are ideal for connecting or extending high-end headphones, microphones, mixers and other high quality equipment; they are also great for some musical instruments that have 3.5 mm or 6.3 mm Jack connections. The Magnus Jack 3.5 cable is actually an old acquaintance of all our loyal customers. However, we have added variants of this cable to our catalogue, all exclusively for the Magnus series.

Magnus RCA Jack

The first is the Jack 3.5 cable extension, which is complemented by the Jack 6.3 cable and its extension. The other very interesting addition is the Jack 3.5 / RCA cable. If you want to visit the pages dedicated to each new product line, with more details on both technical specifications and prices, just click the button dedicated to each new entry in the catalogue Ricable.

change change

The Ricable Invictus Speaker, Magnus Speaker and Magnus Power cables are available in an updated version.

The Ricable product catalogue is always on the verge of not only growing (including Custom, see heat shrink tubing), but also to improve. 2020 was a year full of complications related to the Covid-19 pandemic, but that didn't stop us from improving three of our customers' favourite products. We are referring to Invictus Speaker, which earned the Reference designation, and Magnus Speaker and Power, both of which have been upgraded to their MKII versions. With this article in our blog, we want to give a brief summary not only of which products have reached a higher level, but also in what way. Here are the latest updated cables from Ricable.

Invictus Speaker Reference

The basis from which Invictus Speaker Reference started was very good. The top of the range Ricable Speaker cable was already high profile in its previous version. According to our tests and the feedback of some of our most loyal customers, Invictus Speaker Reference goes much further. This is despite the fact that little has changed in terms of appearance; the eye only sees the larger dimensions and the non-magnetic/screened carbon cable separation block. However, it is not so much the form as the substance that has changed dramatically.

The number of conductors increases from 970 to 1,038 wires, which, together with the polymer-insulated centre conductor, make up each 7.6 mm² hexaphone conductor. The real innovation, however, is in the double dielectric, made from two newly developed R-TEC polymers, which significantly improves the dielectric constant and thus the flow of the audio signal in the form of low-voltage electrical INTERCONNECT and at the same time enhances the functionality of the semiconductor (RNR Noise Reduction), which has also been improved. Finally, a new insulating material was introduced into the cable in combination with the treated cotton. This operation allowed us to further strengthen the double shielding, without altering the electrical characteristics of the conductors.

Magnus Speaker

Magnus Speaker MKII

Magnus Speaker has been a popular product since its debut because of its high price/quality ratio. So Ricable decided to improve it further by inserting an aluminium/mylar shield before the outer sheath. This allows to improve sensibly the protection from EMI/RFI interferences that can creep into the cable Speaker in the way from the amplifier to the loudspeakers. This feature, combined with the Noise Reduction system, brings the performance of Magnus Speaker closer to its big brothers Dedalus and Invictus.

Magnus Power MKII

The argument for Magnus Power is similar to that for the Speaker. The components of this series are appreciated, perhaps a little more than the others, for their quality/price ratio. Starting from here, the efforts of Ricable have been directed towards making Magnus Power more and more the child of the larger series. Unlike Magnus Speaker, which had no shielding, Magnus Power already had it. What we have done is to insert a second aluminium/mylar shield before the copper braid. The interference protection here is on the way from the socket to the electronics.

Magnus Power

Ricable, however, is not only refining the catalogue, but also expanding it. In the next article we'll give a useful summary of the new entries that saw the light of day between the end of last year and the beginning of this one (USB cables, Jack and AES/EBU variants). In the meantime, we refer you to the product pages of the updated cables Ricable . More updates are on the way, regarding Primus and Dedalus Speaker. Happy browsing!

venice san marco square

Music at the time of Covid-19

Music at the time of Covid-19. A little over a year has passed since the swab of Mattia Maestri, 38, a resident of Codogno, Lodi, tested positive. Since then, nothing has been the same, and the whole world is facing a global pandemic. Yet to be eradicated. On the one hand there is the vaccine, and on the other the spread of variants that no longer seem lethal, but are certainly more contagious. All this while even our country has been put to the test and is preparing to cross the psychological threshold of one hundred thousand deaths. How is music, but also audiophiles, doing in this complicated historical moment? From the point of view of our passion for this art, this seems to be the thing destined to suffer the least. On the contrary. Those who used to spend part of their free time listening to music, now do it even more, as they are forced by circumstances to stay at home. Moreover, more than one customer has told us that he has returned to this passion, which had been dormant for some time, given the need to stay at home.

Live performances and concerts have been at a virtual standstill for the past year. For all the singers (most of them) who can't make ends meet with thousands, if not millions, of plays on Spotify, YouTube or whatever, the (serious) damage is economic as well as recreational. Concerts have been replaced by impromptu, domestic streaming performances by international stars, alternating with far more amateurish singing performances from the balconies of one's own home. In this slightly different article on the blog Ricable, we would like to point out some aspects of music at the time of Covid-19 that we will remember for a long time, together with some words that, alas, have entered the common lexicon, such as lockdown.

Music from balconies, terraces

Ennio Morricone
on Piazza Navona

Jacopo Mastrangelo is one of the many who have started to play from their balcony. The fact that he is eighteen years old, that he played Ennio Morricone's Deborah's Theme (from Once Upon a Time in America), that he did it at sunset, in Rome, on an empty Piazza Navona... all this created a mix that led the video to go viral, to be viewed all over Italy and to become synonymous with hope.

Music not to lose traditions

Andrea Bocelli
from the Duomo for Easter

In the darkest moments it is important not to lose sight of the fact that there must be light at the end of the tunnel. This is also the case for public holidays, including Easter, synonymous with rebirth by definition. On Easter Sunday 2020, Andrea Bocelli performed solo in Milan's Duomo. The concert was streamed live worldwide on the YouTube channel, uniting all countries on one solemn day.

Music in smart working

International stars
from home

Many artists have decided to stream their concerts to make up for the absence of live concerts. Lady Gaga promoted a similar initiative ("One World Together at Home") for charity, in favour of the World Health Organisation. of the World Health Organisationby bringing together Andrea Bocelli, Céline Dion, Lang Lang and John Legend. A five star line-up with a normally six-figure budget sang The Prayer.

Music that otherwise would not have seen the light of day

Living in a Ghost Town
by The Rolling Stones

Living in a Ghost Town is The Rolling Stones' signature single released on 23 April 2020. The single is the group's first unreleased track since 2012 (Bob Dylan also broke an eight-year silence with Murder Most Foul). It had been written and composed in the previous year, but the band chose to release it following the lockdown triggered by the Covid-19 emergency.

Music for a new start

Marco Mengoni
from Piazza Vecchia

A few live performances were actually held, due to the absence of an audience to attend. The last one in order of time that made particular noise was that of Marco Mengoni, in collaboration with Rai, who sang L'anno che verrà from Piazza Vecchia, Bergamo, exactly one year after the moment that changed everything. A song that, listening to it again, proved to be particularly in tune with the moment.

If it is true that there is no defeat in the heart of those who struggle, at the same time the path is often far more important than the goal. So we are confident that even an experience like that of a global pandemic can bring growth and maturity to those who grasp certain aspects of it. As producers of audio cables for high fidelity, our goal is to provide you with media that can help to bring back to you, in the most authentic way possible, the emotions that your favourite artists would have wanted to transmit to you with their songs. By clicking on the button below, you can take a look at our entire catalogue, which is constantly being updated.

Where to start when changing Hi-Fi cables

The idea of rewiring one's Hi-Fi system may come from many directions. We may be newbies who are indulging in high fidelity music for the first time. In this case it would be more correct to talk about wiring then, rather than rewiring. We can be old fashioned audiophiles who, after having put aside their passion for some time, are now recovering it and want to get back to working on their electronics. We can also be enthusiasts who have decided to finally offer an adequate support to the components of their own system, going beyond the cables we find in the large organised distribution. Without exaggerating; the key word, As we have already had occasion to sayis "balance". But the question we want to answer today is: where to start when changing Hi-Fi cables?

Which Hi-Fi cable should I change first?

The following indications about where to start when changing Hi-Fi cables apply as long as the system is equipped with a similar level of cabling at each connection. The situation is different if you have already purchased some good quality cables. In this case, the priority of intervention would undoubtedly go to those that are the weakest points, if it is true that it is the weakest link of a chain that measures its strength. Having said that, ideally there is no such thing as the first Hi-Fi cable to be replaced, in the sense that the best solution would be to change them all at the same time. This would also ensure continuity of technical and constructional philosophy in every connection between each electronics. Easier said than done, though. For budget reasons, or even for the choice of changing one part at a time to see the differences, this is, most of the time, not possible.

Chain

So, we have to take the bull by the horns and decide which cable to start with in order to rewire our Hi-Fi system. Obviously, we are aware that this is always a starting point and that we must never be satisfied with a single improvement. Let's imagine that we have to resurface ten kilometres of a road. To be honest, it won't make much difference if we decide to resurface the route starting at the end, or if we choose to resurface the fourth kilometre first, then the seventh, passing through the first and continuing randomly. It may take us a little longer, but the end result will be basically the same. For a question of signal directionality, as well as, perhaps, mental order, it would be preferable to start "from the beginning". The first Hi-Fi cable that we suggest to change, in order of importance, is just the INTERCONNECT. After all, we are talking about the cable that transfers the signal from the source to the amplifier in most systems, therefore of central importance.

dedalus signal

How to continue wiring your Hi-Fi system

The second step we recommend is to replace of the cable Speaker . All connections are important, especially in order not to create bottlenecks in what is the journey from the power socket to the transformation into sound perceived by the ear. However, we would like to say that, perhaps, some cables have a slightly more dominant role. We have written this about the cable INTERCONNECT, now we repeat it about the cable Speaker . This is the cable that carries the now amplified signal to the components that will, and are responsible for, broadcasting it. It is the last step before reaching our ears.

Changing power cables

We now come to the last of the main cables (signal, power, power supply) that we recommend you change: power cables. Maybe because these are not important? Absolutely not. We indicate them as the ones on the last step of the podium in the wiring of the Hi-Fi system for two reasons: because they are so many and because they do not directly intervene on the signal, but on the power supply of the electronics. The vast majority of Hi-Fi systems have one cable INTERCONNECT, one Speaker and at least a couple of mains cables. The higher you go, the more the Hi-Fi chain has electronics with separate functionality within it. This means that the number of mains cables we will need will increase. Not exactly the best starting point when considering where to start when changing Hi-Fi cables. In this regard, the first Netzkabel that we recommend changing is the power amp Speaker , whether integrated or not. Nothing will be like trying empirical tests, however: "run" the Netzkabel cable you have purchased and see for yourself where the benefits will be most apparent.

Conclusion and important clarifications

High fidelity is a passion that never gets boring, among other reasons, because of the infinite possibilities. In terms of electronics, but also in terms of system configuration, for example. We have already dealt with the discourse on the number of variables in. Then, personal tastes, songs... you name it. Even when it comes to where to start wiring up your hi-fi system, the discussion does not stop with this article. Some customers have told us that they have rewired the electrical system, as well as the cables inside, with surprising results. of speakerswith surprising results. Today's content is an excellent starting point that will satisfy the request of all those who have a very good Hi-Fi system, even if without esoteric pretensions. So we can only suggest you to have a look at our catalogue, to understand where to start filing up your connections!

Choice of two doors

Buying guide: How to choose the right cable for your Hi-Fi system?

You have just discovered the wonderful world of Hi-Fi Audio and you are hit by a myriad of information that, at first, is difficult to distinguish between relevant and useless. It's not easy, but it's probably not that complicated either. So. Let's start from the assumption that the separate components that make up the backbone of the vast majority of Hi-Fi systems There are three elements: source, amplifier and speakers. These three elements must be connected together with directly proportional supports, in order to obtain optimised performance. An inadequate cable would castrate the system, one with too much performance would not be harmful but, ultimately, useless in terms of listening. Our focus is on the wiring of High Fidelity audio electronics, so in this article we will exhaust the topic: choosing the right Hi-Fi cable for your system.

Hi-Fi cable types

Before we even know how much to spend on choosing the right Hi-Fi cable for us, we need to understand what Hi-Fi cables we need. This depends on the structure of the cable (is the source a PC? Or perhaps a turntable? Is there a subwoofer?). The macro-categories can be reduced to three:

  • Signal.
  • Power.
  • Power supply.
dedalus speaker power cable hi-fi

The first is the most varied, so much so that we can divide it into two other sub-categories: cables INTERCONNECT analogue and cables INTERCONNECT digital. In any case, the INTERCONNECT cables always serve to move the signal from one device to another. Among the analogue ones we find those:

  • RCA, to carry a signal with an RCA connection in Stereo (Left/Right) mode.
  • XLRwhich are the balanced version for connection between two electronics that have an XLR input and output.
  • Phono, for turntables, a variant of the INTERCONNECT RCA cables useful for vinyl playback, one of the few techniques still entirely analogue.
  • Subwoofers INTERCONNECT monophonic cables designed to enhance the low frequency reproduction of active subwoofers.
  • Jack 3.5to connect stereophonic high fidelity equipment, with 3.5 mm, 6.3 mm and Jack-RCA connections.

The cables INTERCONNECT digital, on the other hand, are of four different main types, namely:

  • Coaxialswhich carry the digital audio signal at 75 Ohm before it is converted to analogue and then amplified.
  • USB, cables that support one of the world's most popular connections and which in Hi-Fi are mainly of interest to liquid music users.
  • Optical, which is becoming increasingly disused, because coaxial is preferred for stereo, while in Audio/Video the signal is transported via HDMI.
  • AES/EBU, a 110 Ohm connection with an XLR connection, which is very powerful but not very common.

Let's talk now the cables Speaker also known as speaker cables. These are used to connect the amplifier (integrated or final) to the passive acoustic speakers with the signal Speaker , i.e. the one that has already done the final amplification. There are also power cablesThese are necessary to power any active component and carry the current to make it work. Finally we find HDMI cables, which 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 unequivocal answer, as there are so many variables that are not so easily calculated. Just think of the listening environment. This is why we give you the possibility of always contacting us during working hoursThis is why we provide you with the best possible advice, using the medium of your choice. A superficial, but at the same time very quick, estimate can be the following: for the wiring of an electronic 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 a Hi-Fi power cable, the choice could be the Primus series, but also considering the possibility of Magnus.
  • I have a €5,000 amplifier and €10,000 acoustic 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.

We would like to stress once again that this kind of reasoning is in any case summary. Just think of one of the elements we consider most when evaluating a purchase: the quality/price ratio. If your product has a very high quality/price ratio, you might think of getting a cable from a higher series than the two examples above would suggest. On the contrary, in case you have paid a lot for your turntable player but, alas, it is not that performing, it is not necessarily worth spending more for the cabling.

In medio stat virtus

Let's get this straight. It's never going to hurt to wire up a mediocre system in an amazing way (if not for your wallet). What will happen, however, is that you'll have spent more than you had to without perceiving any substantial improvement. Since Ricable cables are guaranteed for life, however, it is possible to buy a cable that is more powerful than you need for future system upgrades. At this point, however, we would advise you to take advantage of Ricable Upgradewhich gives your used cable the exact purchase value in the event of a trade-in for a superior product. But back to us. If your Hi-Fi system is not detectable enough to bring out fine tuning changes, there's no point investing too much in it. A much more wise and balanced choice, compared to the purchase of a single exceptional cable like theInvictus, could be to wire the whole system with good cables, like those of the Primus series or Magnus.

Let's take another example. Imagine you own any small car and you equip it with expensive, high-performance racing wheels. The improvement would be substantial on a sports car, even decisive if you were in the middle of a competition. But what you would be able to perceive with your hatchback would be, on the contrary, an infinitesimal upgrade. Or maybe you wouldn't feel any difference at all. The reverse is also true. Mounting standard tyres on a racing car with 800 hp, 8,500 rpm engine and 12 cylinders, on the other hand, would be a bottleneck for the vehicle's performance, and in the worst case could even compromise your safety.

The right cable for my Hi-Fi system

Choosing the right Hi-Fi cable for your system isn't easy. That's why we've introduced the the Money Back GuaranteeThis is why we have introduced a free 60-day money back guarantee. As we have said, there are so many variables, so we feel it is necessary to give you the opportunity to carry out all the appropriate tests in your own listening room. On the other hand, the fun of audiophilia also derives from the countless tests we can carry out, experimenting with new solutions. Perhaps in the company of lifelong friends, trying out "the new piece" in their respective systems and comparing different opinions. The effort Ricable is to expand its catalogue more and more, updating existing products with innovative techniques and adding new ones. To meet everyone's needs in terms of both wiring and portfolio. Take a look at our catalogue to find out if there is something for you.

speakers black white

How to choose the best Hi-Fi cable: the series Ricable

The functionality of a cable, even in a particular context like Hi-Fi, is there for all to see. A cable connects electronics together, and does so better or worse depending on the quality of the materials, construction and many other aspects. Whether it is a mains cable, Speaker or INTERCONNECT, with a good support that connects them, the electronics in our Hi-Fi system will themselves work better than with a poor or standard cable. One point we have made in more than one of our articles(repetita iuvant): a Hi-Fi cable will never improve the sound of your system. All it will do is deteriorate it as little as possible - which is no small thing, in fact, so much so that it is important to choose the best Hi-Fi cable for your electronic specifications. The cables Ricable, in this respect, are designed to give the listener as much neutrality as possible.

Invictus Speaker power cable Hi-Fi

Choosing the best Hi-Fi cable

Imagine having spent an arm and a leg on a top-notch amplifier and speakers, only to have a connection between them compromise the sound quality. It would have been better to have thirty-one instead of thirty, wouldn't it? An audiophile knows that the choice of electronics is not only the result of an economic effort, but also of time, if we consider how long it takes to document and carry out the relative tests. So here comes an often underestimated characteristic: balance.

Let's face it: the day is yet to come when we will recommend one of our top cables to an audiophile with a normal hi-fi system. An exceptional cable in a decent system would do no harm, of course, but the same system would probably not be so detectable that you would notice any difference between it and a lesser, albeit good, support. The opposite, however, could be far more detrimental - and that's what we've been saying. A poor cable in a respectable hi-fi system will demolish all the effort that has gone into setting it up.

Keyword: balance. How much to spend on Hi-Fi cables?

Balance, then, plays a key role. Perhaps even more so than the amount of money we spend on assembling our entire hi-fi system, cables and electronics. Imagine a racing car with a superb engine and a very un-aerodynamic chassis. Or, still on the subject of High Fidelity, a system with a fine amplifier and poor quality speakers. A lot of effort for nothing.

When it comes to Hi-Fi cables, the same applies. It is not optimal to have good cables Speaker and bad cables INTERCONNECT, for example, just as it is important that the value of the system goes hand in hand with the value of the cables used for it. This is an unwritten rule and should therefore be taken with a grain of salt, but a good cost ratio between cable and electronics should be 10-15% of list value. For example: a 1.000 euro amplifier should have cables worth 100-150 euro. We would like to point out once again that the list price should be taken as a reference, in the sense that if we go to the second-hand market and buy an amplifier for 1,000 euro. the original value of which was, however, 5,000 euros.we'd spend 500-750 euro on cables.

Four series of Hi-Fi cables, for every wallet

Taking all these considerations into account, the Ricable cable production is divided into four different series, in order to meet all requirements in terms of quality and price. The four series of Hi-Fi cables Ricable, with the exception of the HDMI cables, are as follows:

  • Primus for Entry Level systems (all Hi-Fi equipment should have at least one Primus harness)
  • Magnus for high-end Hi-Fi systems
  • Dedalus for Hi-End systems
  • Invictus for high-end Hi-End systems

Here we repeat a concept that has already been expressed: It is not a bad thing to wire your electronics with a higher level of cable.However, it may be that a lower level of product will produce the same result, because the electronics themselves can reveal no more than that.

Hi-Fi cable balance and synergy

A certain balance must be preserved not only in the relationship between cables and electronics, but also between the Hi-Fi cables themselves. The first thing we would recommend is a levelling of the cabling. Rather than getting a very good cable INTERCONNECT and a bad one Speaker , it is better to have both of them at a medium level. The best thing would be to have the most uniform wiring possible, with the same series and brand for all connections. You have to start somewhere, and to help you choose the best Hi-Fi cable, we recommend that you take a look at our full catalogue Ricable.

Soisy Financing Hi-Fi Cables Ricable

Choose Soisy financing as your payment method for Hi-Fi cables Ricable

One of the distinctive traits Ricable holds dear is Made in Italy, in every aspect. From the design to the construction of the Hi-Fi cables, passing through the location of the company and its employees. Another important addition to this is the collaboration with Soisythe "marketplace for loans between private individuals to finance purchases in affiliated e-commerce" based in Milan. In other words: from today, it is possible to buy Hi-Fi cables on the Ricable website by means of payment in instalments and financing.

How can I pay with Soisy financing on Ricable?

Paying for your new purchase in instalments at Ricable is very easy, as there is little difference between this and any other payment method. First, choose the product and place it in the shopping cart. You can then choose whether to view your basket or go to the checkout. In the first case, as shown in the screen below, you have the possibility of viewing a hypothetical financing of the Hi-Fi cables you wish to purchase. In the second case, as the screen below indicates, you can actually select Soisy financing as a method of payment. At this point you will be catapulted onto the platform. And this is where the fun comes.

Soisy Financing Hi-Fi Cables Ricable Cart

Is Soisy financing a fast and convenient option for Hi-Fi cables?

The answer regarding your Hi-Fi cable financing Ricable is very quick and painless, and 100% online. You will receive it in three minutes, just by entering your tax code and a few other useful details. The acceptance of the request after the checks, statistically higher than average, will be confirmed or not in maximum twenty-four hours and the signature will be made with a code sent by SMS. The interest rate is personalised according to history and creditworthiness and is on average lower than that of traditional banks.

Theminimum amount above which you can apply for a loan is extremely affordable: 150 euros, and the number of instalments is customisable, up to a maximum of five. The instalment you see is exactly what you will pay, with no additional charges or surprises. If you have any problems or difficulties, do not hesitate to contact us. You can also have a look at the video at the beginning of the article if you want to be guided step by step. With Soisy you can buy a higher-end product Ricable and pay for it in instalments, without burdening your budget*. Have a look at our catalogue.

Soisy Financing Hi-Fi Cables Ricable Checkout

* Soisy financing is currently only available in Italy.

electrical cables phase out of phase

How to find phase in a Hi-Fi system

The concept of phase and out of phase will not be completely new to the faithful of the blog Ricable . We have already dealt with it when we offered you a few tipsWe've already discussed it when we offered you some free tools to optimise the performance of your audio chain. In the case of particularly revealing installations, to understand if they are in phase or in out of phase, the ear can be enough. The difficult thing, however, is "finding" which electronics are in phase and which are not. But let's start from the beginning, that is: what are phase and out of phase, and then go on to explain how you can carry out tests to find the phase in your Hi-Fi system.

Phase and out of phase electronic audio

What does it mean to fine-tune the power supply phase? What supplies energy to our systems is the mains current, so a poor power supply to an electronic system can only lead to its less efficient operation, which will directly affect the sound. Current arrives at 220 V in three contacts in our homes: earth (in the middle, and in this case we don't care), phase and neutral. In reality, an AC-powered appliance will work in one direction or the other, especially if the electronics are not very delicate, such as an oven or a refrigerator. In some cases, however, it is important to insert the plug in the right direction, and putting a Hi-Fi system in phase is just that. This is a problem not only for Hi-Fi, but also for other contexts, such as boilers. In any case, having just one device on out of phase will lead to having the whole system on out of phase. This is no small matter, considering that when the audio chain is all in phase there is greater articulation of the bass range, sharper representation of the scene, better focus and more evident three-dimensionality. Two more premises: most equipment has the phase in the right side; the first phase should be done with the mains distributor and the mains conditioner.

Finding phase and out of phase in the wall socket

To find the phase and out of phase in the wall socket, you will need to take a screwdriver and insert it alternately into the holes on the side of the socket. We recommend that you take all necessary precautions before doing this.

screwdriver phase finder

You may also consider asking someone more experienced in this field to do it. When the phase finding screwdriver lights up, it means that we have touched the point through which the phase passes. Another more empirical solution is to open the socket; if our system is fairly modern and built according to Italian standards, we will find three different coloured cables: one blue (neutral), one yellow or green (earth) and a third of varying colour (black, white, brown...) which is precisely the phase cable. You can now connect Netzkabel to the socket so that the two phases correspond.

Searching for phase and out of phase in the Hi-Fi system

How do you find the phase of the amplifier in your Hi-Fi system, for example? A prerequisite for this is that each component must not be connected to the others by any type of cable or connector, so that only the Netzkabel must be plugged in. Once again, we invite you to carry out these operations with the utmost care, especially if your electrical system is not equipped with a circuit breaker (indeed, if your electrical system is not equipped with a circuit breaker, you should avoid working on it at all!).

With the phase finder screwdriver

At this point, we can move on to the first useful method for finding the phase in our electronics. First, get a screwdriver to find the phase, which costs a handful of euros. Connect only the Netzkabel and switch on the device; use rubber insulating shoes so as not to discharge the phase finder reading to the ground, place the phase finder on a point of the chassis (for example a screw or a point not insulated by paint), taking care not to touch anything (otherwise you would discharge everything to the ground and it would be useless to take the measurement). Switch on the phase detector by placing a finger on the upper metal part. Note the brightness of the phase detector. Now you have to turn the plug of Netzkabel and repeat the procedure, to see whether the light intensity is lower or higher than on the other side.

The appliance is in correct phase at the position on the plug where the light intensity of the phase detector is lower. Make a mark on the plug with a felt-tip pen or other marker; the part of the plug just marked is the part that should be connected in phase with the wall socket. This measurement is subjective, as the brightness of the phase finder bulb depends on the body's electrical resistance. For some people it may light up a lot, for others a little, for others still it may not light up at all. In the latter case you should switch to the second method to find the phase in your Hi-Fi system.

multimeter tester

With the multimeter

As for the second method, the first thing you need to do is to get an electronic tester (we are talking about a little more than ten euros in costs). Connect the device as described in the first method. Set the tester's measurement value to mV AC. Place the test lead of the negative pole on an uninsulated chassis screw and the test lead of the positive pole on the hot pole of any RCA connector (preferably an output connector) on the rear panel. Read the value on the tester and write it down. Then turn the plug over and repeat the measurement; the lower of the two values will be the correct phase of the unit. Make a mark on the plug with a felt-tip pen or similar; the part of the plug just marked is the part that should be connected to phase in the wall socket. This operation must be repeated on each appliance, provided it is always disconnected from the others.

The role of Hi-Fi power cables

All the devices are now in phase, and you only need to do this procedure again if you want to add new electronics to your audio chain. If you've done everything correctly, you'll notice that all the plugs of the devices will have the phase point that you've marked on the power strip. We would like to emphasise once again how an optimal power supply for your electronics can't fail to contribute effectively to a steady and transparent sound. to this article. To have a solid and effective connection in your Hi-Fi system, instead, we suggest you to have a look at our power cables, handmade in Italy with first quality materials.

Vinyl Turntable Listening System

All separate components of a Hi-Fi system

Let's make some simple considerations before starting. First of all, it is important to note that the number of different set-ups that can be used to build a Hi-Fi system is not infinite... but almost. The vast majority of systems, in any case, have a structure that includes a source, an amplifier and loudspeakers. These three columns can be segmented, however, using a DAC not integrated, for example, or by splitting the integrated amplifier into the pre + power amp pair. Another curious consideration that we can make in this regard is the following: a banal object that we always have with us and that is overwhelmingly part of our routine, such as the smartphone, contains within it the entire audio chain. Certainly with other performances, but our mobile phones contain speakers, DACs, amplifiers and everything else that is necessary for a sound to be emitted. But what are the separate components of a hi-fi system?

The source

The source can correspond to several elements. It can be a turntable, a CD player a network player or a PC, in case you listen to liquid music. It is what emits the signal of the track we want to listen to. This is why the source will always be upstream of our Hi-Fi system, except for the mains conditioner, which is positioned between the source and the mains socket. A CD player reads data stored on Compact Discs. In addition to the physical CD formats such as CD-R and CD-RW, CD players can read the many logical CD formats (Audio CD, Video CD, etc.) depending on the software of the CD player itself or the computer that houses it. The sound of a CD is digital.

vinyl with orange, blue and white centre

Theturntable is an electric sound reproduction device consisting of a rotating plate on which a vinyl record is placed, which is read by an arm equipped with a head and a needle, sliding on the grooves. It is also the evolution of the gramophone, invented in the second half of the 19th century by Emile Berliner. The sound of a vinyl is analogue. Let's move on to the latest frontier of audio sources: Personal Computers and network players. These devices read digital files, either saved locally or reproduced via streaming. Technically they are the most powerful solution, but they are less easy to configure than CD players or turntables.

The amplifier

hi-end standards differences

The amplifier is, in no uncertain terms, of all the separate components in a Hi-Fi system, the beating heart of the audio chain. Partly because of its position, as it sits in the middle, between the source and the speakers. A bit because it is where information, whether from a CD player, turntable, network player or even television, is channelled, converted and finally transmitted to the speakers in the form of enhanced electrical impulses. We can divide amplifiers into two broad categories: valve amplifiers and transistors. The former are characterised by the fact that they were the only ones on the market until a few decades ago - today they are aimed at a niche -, as well as... valves.

Thanks to these, the input voltage increases and, according to many audiophiles, this means more musicality, more 'warmth'. The warmth, however, is not only figurative. Valve amplifiers are very hot and consume a lot of power, so much so that it takes several minutes for the tubes to reach the correct temperature. Last but not least, the average purchase price is much higher than a transistor amp.

This is not the case with transistor amplifiers. These tend to have a high current, not voltage, input. Transistor amplifiers make up the vast majority of those on the market today. Another subdivision we can make with regard to amplifiers is that they can be integrated or separate in the pre and power amp combination. In this case, it is the integrated ones that saturate the market. The purchase of an amplifier, however, should always go hand in hand with that of the loudspeakers, which we will discuss in the next paragraph.

But let's also say a few words about the classes of amplifiers. These have nothing to do with the classes we find when we talk about household appliances. Classes, when it comes to amplifiers, do not denote consumption or quality. Rather, they represent the inner workings, the structure of the amplifier; but it is quite possible that a class D amplifier sounds better than a class A one. Quality really depends on many factors.

Acoustic speakers

How do you choose the right amplifier and acoustic speakers? One aspect to consider, but not calculable, is our taste. Nothing will sound better than what we like in terms of dynamics, projection and intensity in the high or low frequencies. But fortunately there are also more objective parameters that we can calculate to clear our minds. The output power of an amplifier should be equal or slightly higher than that of the two speakers combined. There are often indications to this effect in the instructions. In the case of loudspeakers that receive too little power, the sound performance will be below expectations; in the case of loudspeakers that receive too much power, the risk of ruining them will be concrete.

loudspeakers speakers best hi-fi system

The loudspeaker is therefore the device that finally transforms the electrical signal coming from an audio amplifier into sound to get it to the listener. Although they can be subdivided into active (i.e. with an integrated amplifier) or passive loudspeakers, you are unlikely to find anything that really has anything to do with high fidelity in the first case. More interesting is the question between bookshelf and floorstanding speakers. Here it is the size of the room that is the discriminating factor. the listening environmentIf the size of the room, the importance of which we will never cease to stress, is small, it is better to opt for bookshelf speakers, supported by a good subwoofer.

We would like to underline once again how the set-up of a Hi-Fi system is absolutely changeable according to the context, the audiophile who listens to it, the economic availability, the use that one wants to make of it (musical or multimedia) and many other factors. Elsewhere We have had the opportunity to go into more detail on bi-wiring and bi-amping.

And what role do the cables play?

The separate components of a Hi-Fi system, if reduced to the essentials, are therefore: source, amplifier and loudspeakers. The higher the quality of the electronics, the more revealing they become, the more what unites them will count. Hi-fi cabling that matches the rest of the system, at certain levels, is no longer a negligible factor. Take a look at our catalogue and start honouring your passion, step by step.

Violinist at sunset

Music never goes on holiday: Ricable will remain open throughout August

Music never goes on holiday, and so Ricable will remain open throughout the month of August. Many of you have asked us about this, and we thought it only fair to reiterate it with a tailor-made post. Our main services will therefore remain valid, namely:

  1. Fulfilling orders on the sites www.ricable.com, www.ricablecustom.com e www.troniteck.it
  2. Commercial and technical support via phone, email, WhatsApp and online chat
  3. Collection from our premises during the scheduled times (Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), subject to confirmation by telephone or in writing

We wish all those who are going there a happy holiday. We invite others to write to us or visit us, while respecting all the rules related to the health emergency for the Covid-19 pandemic, which is still in a state of emergency. Each shipment will be carried out with the care and speed that is a hallmark of Ricable; it will also be prepared with all the necessary measures to ensure that it is packaged in a sterile and hygienic environment.

Pool Girl Earphones
beethoven liquid music

What a Hi-Fi system for listening to liquid music looks like

In recent weeks, we have been focusing on the enjoyment of liquid music in the Hi-Fi environment. First we talked about platforms that allow us to stream our favourite music, andand then we moved on to downloading and storing your favourite songs locally or in the cloud.. But the question we are asking today is: how does a Hi-Fi system designed to work with high definition liquid music look like?

A diagram of a liquid music system

Everything in the electronic chain from the amplifier onwards (be it an integrated amplifier or a preamplifier and power amplifier combination) remains unchanged. What changes is what comes first: the source and everything about it. We are used to having a CD player or a turntable as a source, usually. With the talk of liquid music, the tables turn and the protagonist of our Hi-Fi system will become a Personal Computer. This is where we will keep our locally saved playlists or listen to music via some streaming service.

computer music PC

In the first case we'll have to rely on software to play the tracks; there are many, and we'll probably go into this in a separate article, but for now we'll just mention the most popular (and free): Foobar2000. Using a PC as a source is, without question, the best technical solution. But it is one of the least straightforward you can use, both on the hardware and software side. On the hardware side, if you want a PC designed specifically for listening to music, you'll have to resort to specific cases capable of containing the noise and vibrations emitted by ventilation. On the software side, you'll need to remove everything you don't need for music listening for optimum performance.

Having done this, the fundamental next step is to buy a level DAC. The one installed in the vast majority of PCs is bad and risks being a heavy bottleneck for the rest of the system. There are, in any case, high level sound cards that can avoid having an external DAC. They tend to be used less for two reasons: the first is that these cards can only be used with the PC, while the external DAC can be used with other sources; the second is that they are poorly shielded from the interference generated inside the PC. So if we opt for the DAC, it will have to be connected, via USB cable, between the source and the amplifier.

Another component that is not fundamental but is certainly of interest is the DSP. DSP stands for digital signal processing; with these three words we indicate the processing of signals represented in numerical form in real time. The DSP is therefore a microprocessor dedicated exclusively to processing a continuous signal after it has been sampled, and therefore does not replace the sound card, but sits alongside it. The first advantage of having this component in your system is the reduction of the load on the computer's CPU. This is an aspect that is disappearing, however, given the computing power achieved today even by a mid-range PC.

Secondly, we assume that the analogue signal is converted into a stream of numbers. The computing power for digital signal processing allows many advantages over analogue processing, such as the detection and correction of transmission errors, and also data compression. All these operations, aimed at improving dynamics, reducing distortion and improving the signal-to-noise ratio, are therefore carried out before going through the DAC, which converts the signal back into analogue format.

A DSP therefore brings undeniable benefits to our listening. But its application is even more interesting when it is combined with a microphone. With this combo, using certain DSPs, it is possible to "probe" the listening environment so that the modifications made to the track by the processor render high, medium and low frequencies equalised according to the context in which they are emitted.

cambridge audio 851n

Liquid music without a PC

So is there no escape for those who have no pleasure or no time to devote to setting up a computer? No, fortunately there are other viable ways to enjoy liquid music and have a more 'classic' Hi-Fi system at the same time. The solution is called a network player; these players They are increasingly being combined with other components in the audio chain, such as CD players. A network player is ultimately a high quality digital music player.

This is a good solution for those who listen to streaming music, web radio and digital music stored on a local server, but do not want to use a PC as a source. Once we have our network player, the scheme of the Hi-Fi system for listening to liquid music will be similar to that described above. It is also advisable to connect the network player to a DAC via coaxial or optical cable; in Hi-Fi, the more components are separated from each other to perform their specific functions, the better the sound quality will tend to be.

Not only that. Even using a network player we can rely on some DSPs (but this is a rare circumstance), which however allow a less wide range of customisation than what is possible with a computer. The main problem with network players is their longevity and pliability. There are already many platforms for streaming music in high definition, and many more will emerge (and some will disappear). The fact that almost all network players do not have their own operating system in favour of greater ease of use could make these transitions traumatic, unless the manufacturer updates the firmware. In fact, even when the chips are down, it could happen that the network player you want does not support the platform you are used to using. In short: you have to weigh up the pros and cons.

Hi-Fi audio cables for a liquid music system

In terms of cabling, in a Hi-Fi system designed to work with liquid music, it is the USB cable that gains importance, one of the latest additions introduced by Ricable. We have briefly mentioned the co axial cable because of the connection between the network player and the DAC, a coaxial cable that has been in the catalogue for some time and that we invite you to discover together with all our other products.

woman listening to music headphones

Five sites where you can buy and download FLAC music

A couple of weeks ago we published an article a couple of weeks ago with some background on the history of liquid music, adding a quick overview of how, in recent times, this mode of enjoyment has become attractive to many audiophiles. At that time we focused mainly on streaming, but today we want to take a closer look at platforms where you can download FLAC music. If you want to download and save hi-res music locally, this is the article that will explain how and where to do it. Or at least five possibilities in this regard.

Five sites for downloading liquid music

HDtracks is the first site we recommend when it comes to buying music in high definition. It was one of the first to offer high-resolution downloads. This is evident, alas, from the interface and graphics, which are not very up-to-date. This means that the prevailing genres in the catalogue are mainly rock, jazz and classical music, which might discourage younger audiophiles. The pop section, however, is continually expanding and you can already find the artists of the moment. The available formats are quite numerous, and typical when it comes to lossless music, so: FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, DSD. The biggest problem with HDtracks, however, is another, in addition to its not exactly competitive prices: the need, in Italy, to make purchases via VPN and choose USA or UK as the origin. Doing otherwise, the number of tracks that can be purchased will be drastically reduced and we will almost only be able to browse the site.

HDTracks logo
qobuz logo

About Qobuz we talked about when we looked at the best platforms for hi-res music streaming. But Qobuz also boasts a digital store. The service does not have a very up-to-date interface, but relies on a blog with in-depth features and interviews, as well as a concise but comprehensive artist presentation sheet. The catalog is quite diverse and constantly evolving, and capable of leaving room for independent productions. Qobuz also offers a variety of formats to download: FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIF and others; it is also available in Italy and does not require any VPN. Not only that, the prices are on average more affordable than HDtracks and you can download the app for smartphones, tablets and computers. The icing on the cake is being able to take out a hybrid subscription (download + streaming) that allows for discounts on the direct purchase of music tracks.

7digital is another site where you can download FLAC music, and an example of how a book should not be judged by its cover. Not that 7digital's interface is bad, on the contrary; it is among the most modern, with an intuitive and functional player. It is enough to click on an album to listen to the preview of each track present, even scrolling through other pages of the site in the meantime. The problem is the editorial side: at least in the Italian domain, through the sections 'New Albums' and 'New Singles', you won't find anything more recent... than the hits of 2018. Dulcis in fundo: among the "Suggested" there is the "Best of 2014". Fortunately, using the internal search engine, there are plenty of recent hits to be found. There are not many formats: the tracks can only be downloaded in MP3 or FLAC 16/24 bit (distinguished by special badges). The competitively priced files can also be saved in the cloud and accessed via the web or mobile apps.

7 digital logo
bleep logo

The first thing that would jump out at a first time visitor would be Bleep for the first time, would certainly be the type of offer proposed to the audiophile. Bleep, in fact, intercepts a user with particular and niche tastes. The catalogue includes hip hop, electronic, house, ambient, alternative and modern classical music, among others. The number of formats to select when choosing to download is discreet (MP3, FLAC and WAV). Being 'out of the choir' also manifests itself in another way: not in the aesthetic side, which is rather anonymous, but in the type of offer proposed to the customer. In almost all of the tracks, next to the option to buy the file, there are those to take home the CD, the vinyl or, hear hear, the cassette. But that's not all, because Bleep also has a full-fledged merchandising section where you can find clothing, books and other accessories from the most underground labels.

HighResAudio is rather spartan in appearance, except for the presence of badges that will indicate limited time offers (prices are however competitive) or the format. HighResAudio, without much pleasantry, throws numerous albums in our face directly on the home page, summarily divided by best seller, recommended and by major record labels. The main genres in which the catalogue is divided are also canonical (at least for an audiophile): classical, jazz, rock and pop (though there are many others). What makes us think that HighResAudio was conceived with a precise target in mind is the choice to make available only studio master quality albums (FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, WAV, DXD WAV, DSD64). A well-kept editorial side, albeit in English, with some hi-fi advice and numerous album reviews completes the picture.

highresaudio logo

An important note to close the discussion: HDtracks and HighResAudio do not allow you to buy the single track, only the whole album. An aspect that some audiophiles might consider fundamental. Regardless of which service you choose to download FLAC music from - the best, the cheapest or the most alternative - it is essential to have quality electronics and connections. Click the button below to find out which cable is right for you.

liquid music

Liquid music and Hi-Fi: Best streaming services for Hi-res music on demand

A clarification before we begin: "Liquid music" is any music that can be played without a traditional phonographic support (CD, vinyl or tape). We are therefore talking about music tracks that are present as digital files on our hard disks, on a memory card, on a USB stick or even on a portable player such as any MP3 player. PCs configured for music playback are an excellent solution, despite the fact that the integrated DACs are poor (sound card of the PC), so that an external one has to be purchased, and despite the noise emitted by the cooling fans. Also for this reason, Ricable has designed its USB cable to give Hi-Fi liquid music users adequate support.

Hints of liquid music

The liquid music boom in Italy and worldwide took place in the early 2000s, although the terminology "liquid music" only took hold in 2006, both in the specialist press and among listeners. The very first MP3 player dates back almost a decade, however. The first to be marketed was MPMan F10presented in March 1998 at the CeBIT fair by the South Korean company Saehan Information Systems and marketed by Either Labs the following summer at a price of 250 dollars with (today's ridiculous) 32 MB of flash memory.

It is useless to go around it. Apart from the unquestionable merits that liquid music may have, such as an objective gain in space and total portability, it is the illegal sharing between users that has drastically favoured its diffusion. Peer-to-peer exchange platforms such as Napster, Audiogalaxy, LimeWire and eMule have had an easy time of it, achieving amazing results and enviable backbones. Just think of 'the mule', which can boast an intuitive and simple interface, localisation in forty different languages, a community that is still active in keeping it alive and a number of downloads (as of 2017) of almost seven hundred million.

emule

But how can instruments like these exist in the light of day? They can precisely because they attach themselves to being 'tools'. These are programmes that are simply meant for file sharing. Whether users make illegal use of them is another matter, and this cannot be blamed on the programme they use. But, at most, the individual users themselves. The logic is indeed unassailable, as no one would ever think of shutting down WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Drive or Dropbox if users were exchanging copyrighted material.

In any case, with the passage of time, evolving technologies and a much more accessible offer than in the past for users, based on the availability of entire catalogues in exchange for a small monthly fee, the spread of platforms for the purchase or legal listening of files has become more and more deeply rooted.

Liquid music and Hi-Fi? The time is ripe

So, liquid music has taken off through 'the back door'. But some advantages are undeniable. Let's think about the convenience of not having to change CDs or vinyls (especially when you own hundreds or thousands of them), the transversality of the reproduction source, the sharing of music tracks with other peripheral devices on a local LAN network or through NAS(Network Attached Storage), the possibility of creating personalised playlists (the good old compilations... but tailored to us), the certainty of being able to reproduce a track countless times without fear of deterioration. And much more. Like, for example, the far from trivial possibility of discovering new artists thanks to the suggestions of any on-demand service of liquid Hi-Fi music.

What liquid music never really rhymed with, until recently, was quality. This was due to slower connections than today's, reduced storage space, or the need to share files with friends and family as quickly as possible. A mirror-image situation (fast internet, cheap USB pen drives with hundreds of GB and legal services that have been able to tap into the needs of listeners with competitive offers) has finally opened the doors of liquid music to audiophiles.

hi-fi liquid music

How? Thanks to the progressive decrease of the initially most popular compressed or lossy files (MP3, AAC, Ogg, etc.) compared to the native ones (WAV), in favour of the lossless or even uncompressed ones (think of the FLAC format, which is able, through a refined encoding, to keep the WAV quality unchanged, while reducing the space occupied). In compressed files, all those audio frequencies that are not essential for the overall message are eliminated. The space occupied on the hard disk will benefit drastically, but all those subtle nuances, typical of the music recording phase, will be eliminated. Uncompressed files, on the other hand, enjoy resolutions and sampling that go well beyond those of CDs, so they are objectively better than the latter, at least qualitatively.

In general, 24-bit/96 kHz and 24-bit/192 kHz recordings are considered excellent. However, the highest level of audio quality is achieved with 24-bit/352 kHz WAV DXD files. It should be noted, however, that these values are not the only ones. It is always a good idea to check that the files themselves are not oversampled from normal CD-quality material, but that the recordings were made directly from the original master.

Hi-Fi music streaming on demand services

Now let's talk about platforms for streaming on-demand Hi-Fi liquid music playback. By this we are not referring to the software pre-installed on Windows or Mac PCs (Windows Media Player and iTunes respectively), useful for playing audio files that we have saved locally. There are plenty of programs of this type, some of which are free of charge, but they would require a separate discussion. With some of them you can also convert your collection onto CDs, so that you don't have to buy them again. Some even allow you to digitise your vinyl in HD using capture cards with high-quality analogue-to-digital converters.

To cut to the chase, the best on-demand streaming platform for a Hi-Fi-loving audiophile is definitely Tidal. The sound quality is currently unmatched (but not unreachable) by the competition, the interface is very intuitive, the library currently boasts more than sixty million tracks (of which almost two hundred thousand in high definition), the app is available for iOS, Android and desktop, although if you want you can also rely on the simple browser via web player. Finally, there are two types of subscriptions. The most expensive one costs no more than twenty euros a month, with the possibility of taking out a family subscription for further savings. There is also the option of a thirty-day free trial. At the moment, there is no reason why an audiophile should choose anything else.

spotify apple music tidal

A valid competitor is Spotify. It is the one we would definitely recommend to anyone who is a music lover, but not an audiophile. The interface is good, the quality is decent, but above all, and in this it is superior even to Tidal, Spotify boasts a superlative system of creating playlists based on our tastes, capable of introducing us to artists we will love. Also good is Apple Musicexclusively for Apple customers. However, it suffers from a structural problem: it has everything Tidal offers, but everything has a few less details. The music quality is good, but not as good as Tidal's; the interface is good, but still a step below Tidal's; and so on. And this without adding anything, as Spotify does, which is inferior to Tidal in many ways, but at least has a single reason to be preferred (the possibility to discover new music).

This is what the creators of Primephonicwhich covers the classical music genre. It also boasts ad hoc features for beginners who want to get to know it. It has a smaller catalogue than its competitors, but if you love classical music (and only classical music), Primephonic is the right choice. Maybe combine it with another platform that is a bit more flexible. For Amazon Music Unlimitedd the discourse is similar to Apple Music: the service is excellent, but there are no valid reasons to prefer it, except, perhaps, for an extended cross-platform compatibility. The Amazon on-demand service also works with smart TVs, cars and, of course, Amazon Echo. We recommend it to those who are loyal Amazon customers and already enjoy the various Prime, Video and the like. So you don't have to break up your subscriptions too much and you might enjoy some loyalty offers.

Closing our review are. Deezer, which also focuses on podcasts; Qobuz, which can be used without a subscription; and YouTube Music which, to little surprise, focuses heavily on music clips but does not convince on the quality front.

Conclusions

In short, the mixture of tradition and innovation is total. And developments in this sense could be one of the hottest topics in the near future in the Hi-Fi environment. We need only think of the revival of classic vinyl and the new turntables, which are increasingly equipped with Wi-Fi connections and can be controlled from smartphones. Devices that natively support music streaming services are already the present. Hi-Fi liquid music is increasingly convincing to audiophiles and will become increasingly important to this traditionally sceptical and wary audience. We have designed our USB cables to prepare for the future. You can take a look at them by clicking the button below.

Measure Length

The length of Hi-Fi cables Speaker

What should be the length of Hi-Fi cables Speaker ? Quite simply: the length you need. Before making a purchase in this sense, therefore, measure with a string or a wire what is your real need in terms of speaker cable length. Thanks to the fact that we produce our cables by hand and in Italy, we can follow your instructions to the centimetre. If you buy one that is too long, it will look unsightly and, even worse, it will wind up; if it is too short, you will have to buy another one. Or you would have to change the positioning of your electronics, perhaps optimised in countless tests. There are a few pointers to follow and a few things to know before making any decisions.

Cables Speaker in the Hi-Fi system

The premise of any discussion of cable lengths Speaker in Hi-Fi is that it is often not just a matter of aesthetics or the individual cable. Every system is composed of a series of elements, more or less numerous, that are called to play a team game. On the one hand there are the electronics, which emit magnetic fields, noise and vibrations, and on the other hand there are the cables, which can cause disturbances if they are not well shielded. Most of the time, electronics and cables are also located in relatively small spaces.

dedalus speaker power cable hi-fi

This synergy leads to the sound that nourishes our passion for music and high fidelity, but at the same time has contraindications that need to be monitored: interference. A high-quality, well-shielded cable, such as Ricable, not only blocks interference from the outside, but does the same with interference from the inside. So as not to affect "teammates" negatively. Some audiophiles argue that the benefits of not having the electronics too close to the speakers will always outweigh the disadvantages of having very long Speaker cables, for example. Having said that, when planning the layout of your Hi-Fi system, it is good to keep in mind that the Speaker cables should not run parallel to others, especially the power cables. If you have to cross them, you should run them perpendicular. Having a tailor-made cable, in this sense, can make life a lot easier.

But let's get down to business. The greater the length, the greater the resistance. Based on this unquestionable electronics assumption, we deduce that the shorter a cable, the better. Always. This is what is not subject to objection in an academic context. Coming to the real world, however, we can estimate that before the length of a cable worsens (sensitively to the human ear) the sound, we need to reach a length of 15 m. Often, therefore, there are no problems. It has to be said, however, that the quality of the overall system also comes into play here. A very high level Hi-Fi system, extremely revealing, could be influenced by the length of the cable even at shorter distances; an entry level system, instead, will have the "advantage" - very much in quotes - of being less subject to this kind of variations.

Invictus Speaker power cable Hi-Fi

Different lengths of Hi-Fi cables Speaker

The discussion of Hi-Fi cable lengths applied to Speaker cables is interesting for another reason. Speaker cables have the peculiarity of starting out, except bi-ampingfrom the same device, and then end metres apart, when the speaker cables are connected to the respective loudspeakers. Usually, and this is the best solution, the length of the speaker cables to the two speakers is identical. However, it happens that some audiophiles, for relative needs, have to arrange the speaker cables in the same length. to the listening roomaudiophiles, however, may find themselves arranging their speakers asymmetrically.

Various tests have shown that, in reality, a difference of up to 40% between one cable Speaker and another makes no tangible difference to our hearing. A 10 m cable and a 7 m cable are fine, for example; so is a 6 m cable and a 4 m cable. Going beyond this length difference, the speakers begin to sound noticeably different. However, we need to go back to what we were talking about earlier: the more revealing your Hi-Fi system is, the more it will present this problem tangibly, even with a small difference of 40% mentioned earlier.

Anexception to this is some amplifiers that use the speaker cable as part of the circuit; in this case, the cable lengths should always be the same. In this case, the cable lengths should always be the same. Ultimately, if you want to use different cable lengths, it is always best to seek additional advice from the manufacturer of the electronics. One last consideration when it comes to home cinema. Speakers designed for this purpose are less prone to sound differences when the cables Speaker are of two different lengths.

Conclusions

Coming to the conclusion. The longer the cable, the more the quality of the cable matters. In particular, the longer the length of the Hi-Fi cable, the more important it is to consider the cross-sectional area of the cable, which will become more and more important in not deteriorating the sound. Ricable is characterised by a handcrafted nature of production; as we handcraft our Hi-Fi cables, we can make them to exactly the length you expect. All you have to do is fill in the form below.

hi-fi listening room

The importance of the listening environment in Hi-Fi

The factors that distinguish the performance of a Hi-Fi system are innumerable. The ones we think of first are electronics and cables. These in turn are divided into various types: amplifiers, speakers, sources and so on in the first case; power cables, Speaker , INTERCONNECT and so on in the second. Then there are the variables of manufacturer, model, wear and tear and, really, you name it. To the delight of audiophiles, there is plenty of testing to be done. One element, however, is often forgotten, perhaps deliberately, since it is the one on which it is most difficult to intervene. We're talking about the listening room in Hi-Fi, an environment whose importance the ancient Greeks realised immediately. at the Ancient Theatre of Epidauruswhich boasts perfect and impressive acoustics even today. So here are four general tips to improve yours.

The Hi-Fi listening triangle

This is the one piece of advice that more or less everyone can agree on. The listening triang le is the one that should be formed with the two loudspeakers and the listener's head as points of an equilateral triangle. The symmetry must be total, just as it is important that the height at which the loudspeakers are placed, in particular the tweeter, is the same as the height of the listener. Some audiophiles, however, prefer an arrangement that is close to the shape of an isosceles triangle; as we wrote in the introduction, there are many variables, so what we can recommend is to test far and wide, to understand which is the best formation according to your Hi-Fi listening room and your taste. In any case, the preferable shape of the listening room is undoubtedly the rectangular one, whether you opt for the isosceles triangle or the equilateral triangle, since behind you, as well as behind the speakers, it is advisable to preserve a certain distance.

Furniture for high and low frequencies

Absorption of sound waves is what we need to work on if we find high frequencies too sharp in our Hi-Fi system. Fortunately, this is something we can do with everyday objects. Curtains, bookcases and pictures are all good for this purpose, as long as they have no reflective glass tops. You can think about buying sound-absorbing panels, now available in many specialised shops, but it is also possible to obtain discreet results with the instruments mentioned above, without having to dig into your wallet. With excess bass, the solution to the problem becomes a little more complicated.

hi-fi listening room

If you feel that the low frequencies are too pronounced, or if you notice real rumble, you should try moving the furniture or at least using carpets. There are carpets specifically designed for this purpose, and they are always available in specialist shops. If you feel the expense is too high, you can always opt for the carpets you have at home, preferably thick, long-pile ones. Finally, furniture can be an ally in smoothing out the corners of the room. If possible, place a piece of furniture at a 45° angle or a bookcase placed at an angle, or at least a plant, to reduce overly pronounced reflections.

The materials of the listening environment

The materials that surround us contribute in a decisive way to the sound performance of the system in the Hi-Fi listening room. Unfortunately, however, in case of problems due to them, it is often necessary to spend considerable amounts of money. Let's talk, for example, about the walls. The thicker and more solid they are the better, both for the impact of low frequencies and for good isolation. If yours is a plasterboard wall, the vibrations will be very high and the sound will be substantially compromised. The same vibration problem applies to doors and windows; it is best to avoid them being near the corners of the room and to avoid them being covered with curtains, especially the latter.

The wall to pay most attention to is the one behind the speakers. A good acoustic treatment of this part of the room ensures excellent results. In general it is good to respect the symmetry of the furniture, including the symmetry of some possible (and recommended) paintings on the side walls with respect to the listening point. Let's think now, instead, about the floors, for which the best material is wood. The worst are marble (too reflective) or carpet (very absorbent). Fortunately, in this case we do not have to become expert carpenters, but much less is needed. In the case of tile or marble floors, in fact, a thick carpet between the speakers and the listening point will reduce the problems considerably. In general, reflective surfaces should be avoided as much as possible.

hi-fi listening room

Exploiting the walls

We think of walls mainly as a problem to be solved. This is partially true. Most loudspeakers are designed to have some space between them and the walls so that the sound can come directly from there rather than reflected off the walls of the room we are in. So keeping some space between the walls and the speakers is always a prerequisite for good acoustic performance from your Hi-Fi system.

At the same time, when the level of the electronics rises to at least good, the three-dimensionality of the scene and the sound image comes into play. The sound image is the illusion of a full-fledged stage in front of you, which therefore has its own width, height and depth. A "positive" exploitation of the walls can give excellent results in improving these characteristics. Returning to the subject of curtains, there are at least two positions that improve the image: the first is on the side walls, halfway between the speakers and the listening point; the second is immediately behind the listening point, behind us. Please note that there are also ad hoc panels designed for this purpose.

Final considerations

To all these considerations, a few final ones must be added. The first is that the higher the level of the system, the more sensitive it will be to any modifications made. On the other hand, if you have a poor Hi-Fi system, you will hardly be able to perform miracles, even if you take all possible measures. However, it must be said that a good system, put in a position to give the best of itself, will give satisfaction to the listener; at the same time a great Hi-Fi system placed in a bad room from the acoustic point of view will be extremely disappointing to listen to.

The second consideration we want to make is that, on this occasion perhaps even more than on others, long tests are the fundamental starting point for understanding how to move. Therefore, allow your brain to concentrate exclusively on the sound. Don't take anything for granted (by opening or closing the doors of your room) and try to carry out listening sessions with the same settings fragmented over a fairly long period, avoiding "on and off". Finally, don't forget the importance of the Hi-Fi listening environment not only in terms of sound, but also in terms of emotional impact.

Before we leave you to explore our catalogue, we would like to share a tidbit with you. Some people claim that glasses improve listening because, by reflecting the signal, they ensure that part of the signal coming from the right speaker does not reach the left ear, and vice versa. This would benefit the lateral width of the image. Is this true? We think not, but it doesn't cost anything to try...

Purchase Ricable Smartphone

Why buy directly from Ricable?

It is certainly very convenient to buy everything we need from one place, with a single online order. But are we sure that this is the best choice to make? Let's think, as Ricable, also and above all about what we produce: Hi-Fi cables. Objects that are not exactly cheap and, although robust in practice, delicate in theory. Between listening tests, time to get used to the sound, comparisons with friends to be made, electronics to be connected... we think that enjoying a prolonged period to make the return is the bare minimum. Which is precisely one of the advantages we offer our customers. So that's why you should think about buying directly from Ricable.

Speed, security and benefits with a couple of clicks on the site Ricable

Rather than trying to convince you, we prefer to talk about facts. Ricable , originally Troniteck, has always set itself the goal of providing customers with a tailor-made service characterised by speed and quality. And this has not been the case since the day before yesterday. In fact, Troniteck was born back in 2005, when e-commerce in Italy was still seen as something almost on the borderline of legality, amidst some doubts and tons of scepticism. Amazon didn't even exist and eBay was just a start-up. In short: by only taking care of our products, we can treat them with greater care, even before they reach your home.

key security

But beyond the increased speed and reliability, there are many other benefits awaiting customers. One of these is the fully automatic Lifetime Warranty fully automatic. If you buy your new cable Ricable from a retailer or marketplace, you are entitled to the Lifetime Warranty. However, you will have to activate it manually. If, on the other hand, you buy directly from Ricable, it will be activated automatically, without lifting a finger.

Another interesting aspect is the possibility of customising the product. We have already talked about this specifically in another article. But we would like to point out that, since our production is located entirely in Italy and orders are placed directly on our website, it is possible to request many types of customisation. And many of these at no additional cost. If, on the other hand, you proceed with the purchase from third parties, any option in this sense will be precluded.

The highlight is the extension of the free return period. According to the law, the number of days allowed for this is 14, some postpone the deadline to 30, but what Ricable does is to allow its customers to return goods free of charge, without giving any reason, in a period of up to 60 days.

coffee cup you are special

Buying directly guarantees continuous support and unique promotions

We have already mentioned how Ricable is customer-oriented. But this is not only reflected in the speed of delivery, but also in many other aspects. In fact, the shipment is also fully insured against damage, loss or any other type of inconvenience. Anyone who buys from the Ricable website is sure to receive what they have ordered, every time. Last but not least, this certainty is free of charge with a minimum amount that is very easy to reach. All that is needed is for the purchase to cost more than 50 euros. Even those who follow us from abroad can rest assured: we ship free of charge worldwide. In addition to all this, there is another factor that we occasionally have to deal with: counterfeit products or fraud.

Via Facebook we warn you as soon as possible to beware of this or that site, but to always be on the safe side just buy directly from Ricable.

If the person selling a product is directly the manufacturer, it goes without saying that the customer can get better and more relevant answers, as well as through a preferential channel, by contacting him directly. This can take place both in the pre-sales phase, when we need to understand what is right for us, and in the post-sales phase, should we need assistance. The evolution of time and technology has enabled us to set up a system to be close to the customer at all times. Finally, we also organise a number of important special initiatives just for our customers, such as "Try a Ricable", which has proved to be a huge success, and of which we are currently publishing a report. all reviews. While waiting for the next one... why not have a look at our catalogue?

Invictus Speaker Forks

With Ricable the customisation of Hi-Fi cables is complete.

One of the main advantages of handcrafting Hi-Fi cables is that you can offer your customers products of extraordinary quality. But that's not all. One of the distinguishing features of Ricable is also that we offer a wide range of customisations, many at no extra cost. This is always linked to the fact that we design and manufacture our products entirely in Italy. The most obvious customization of Hi-Fi cables is undoubtedly the length, but there are many others that can appeal to the imagination of a true audiophile.

The spades in cables Speaker Hi-Fi

Undoubtedly the most frequently requested customisation is spades, used in the cables Speaker instead of bananas. As we have written in a previous articleWhen the pros and cons are taken into account, spades is also the best possible solution compared to bananas or stripped cable. The spades can be ordered for any cable, either on one side or both, simply by entering a note when ordering or by subsequent communication. The price does not vary.

Invictus Speaker Forks Detail
Invictus Coaxial BNC

Further customisation

Another request for customisation that we receive quite often relates to coaxial cables. Some customers ask us to make them with BNC connectors Some customers ask us to make them from both sides (or even exclusively from a single side). Again, the price is the same.

As far as XLR and RCA cables are concerned, there is the possibility of wiring them in various semi-balanced configurations with at least one XLR connector. The reference price, in this case, is that of balanced XLR cables.

Now let's move on to XLR - Jack 6.3 cables. These can be wired in various semi-balanced configurations with at least one XLR connector. The reference price is that of the balanced XLR cables and currently only the connectors for the Magnus series are available, possibly compatible with the Primus series, but not with those of Dedalus and Invictus.

Finally, we would also like to emphasise the possibility of wiring a cable in various configurations with Jack 3.5 mm (male or female) and Jack 6.3 mm (male/female) connectors. The reference prices are those of Magnus Jack.

Finally, as they say, the eye is also important. So if, for reasons of interior design or personal taste, you want a different colour sheath than the standard one for a particular series, you can also order a particular cable with a different sheath. For example, you can order a Dedalus Speaker (orange) with the coating of Magnus (dark).

Invictus Coaxial BNC Detail

Ricable has no limits when it comes to customising hi-fi cables. As a full-fledged manufacturer, we can assess any type of customisation and provide the customer with the feasibility of the same, as well as the relevant quote.

living room

Evaluation and break-in of a Hi-Fi cable in your system

There is always a heated diatribe when it comes to breaking in Hi-Fi cables. Some audiophiles tell us that breaking in cables is unnecessary, while others tell us that it is just as important as breaking in other Hi-Fi components. In this respect, remember that when buying a new cable Speaker , in some cases it would be good to find the new ideal position for your loudspeakers. Let's be clear: you don't have to move your speakers a couple of metres. A few tens of centimetres or even just a few degrees rotation 'in place' may suffice. As this is the point where the electrical signal converts to sound, it's only fair to carry out all the necessary tests according to your listening environment. But let's get down to business: what is break-in and why is it important?

What is run-in and why is it important?

Breaking-in of Hi-Fi components is performed simply by running the equipment in question for a certain period of time to stabilise its operation and obtain a definitive result. Its importance is in some cases fundamental, as some components have a significant change in sound performance before and after break-in. Ricable , as a manufacturer, does not officially consider the break-in of a Hi-Fi cable to be fundamental, or rather, it does not give indications on if and how to do it. However, several customers have reported to us that they have heard a marked improvement after a break-in period of a fortnight when they have inserted our cables into their Hi-Fi chains.

Why some do and some don't? We have always said that every Hi-Fi system is unique and this makes us think that the insertion of one of our cables in the various systems can be different, even when it comes to break-in.

Since there is no cost, do it!

The great thing about break-in, whether of a cable, an amplifier or a loudspeaker, is that it doesn't cost anything and doesn't involve any fancy techniques to put it into practice. So our advice is always to do it before making any assessment.

magnus speaker

The evaluation of a Hi-Fi cable

Many of our customers have confessed to us that they have noticed a marked improvement after tens, if not hundreds, of hours of "breaking in" our cables. What comes into play here is an extremely interesting aspect, which we could define as the breaking-in of our ear. At the basis of the design of the cables Ricable there is one indisputable key word: neutrality. Each cable Ricable, even with the inevitable differences due to the quality of the series to which it belongs, aims to give the listener a sound that is as close as possible to that conceived by the artist who created the piece, interfacing with the electronics that it connects.

Neutrality, however, does not mean anonymity, but maximum correspondence to reality. This means that anyone who is used to a cable that emphasises high or low frequencies might find the sound of a cable Ricable "different". Not only that. The audiophile who has just bought a Ricable cable, being used to something else, might not like the new sound emitted by his own system. This is the case of one of our customers who, at the beginning, was not very enthusiastic about our Invictus cable, but then declared to be very satisfied with it. Maybe because in the meantime the cable has broken in? Or because our audiophile friend's ear has become accustomed to the new sound? The most truthful answer is probably... both. To confirm this, we have a circumstance that we cyclically come across.

dedalus signal

More than once we have sold used (and therefore broken-in) cables. Curiously, it was reported to us that the sound had improved after a while. Given this, we can assume that if a person is used to listening to a system with the same set-up for a long time, they get used to a sound. Even if it is not the most correct, when he changes a component (in our case a cable), at first glance he may be dissatisfied, because his ear is used to the previous sound. As time goes by, the component maybe even gets spoiled, but it is mainly the ear that assimilates the new sound. After a fair amount of time, the return to the old component is no longer even ponderable for the person.

Fifteen days to remove doubts

That's why a theoretical advice we give is not to carry out tests and comparisons with "stick-to-it-iveness" in a short space of time. Rather, we recommend maintaining the new set-up for at least two weeks, and then trying to return to the old way of listening. The solution is then to set up a comparison based on listening tests of sufficient duration. Directly deriving from this suggestion, there is also an advantage we offer our customers that is much more practical. We refer to the guarantee SWe are referring to themoney-back guarantee, which hasbeenextended to sixty days, exactly four times longer than required by law. This is the only way we can offer a period of time that, in our opinion, is sufficient for a proper "break-in". A break-in of both our cable and our hearing. At the basis of all these considerations there must be the fact that he cables in question are quality productslike those we offer our customers. To discover all our series and all our cable types, please click on the button below.

Time for Change

How Ricable Upgrade, the unique Hi-Fi cable exchange service, works

Some people are already familiar with it, and may even have already taken advantage of it. Others have yet to find out. But we're sure that as soon as they do, they won't be able to do without it. We are talking about Ricable Upgradethe Hi-Fi cable exchange service offered in this sector exclusively by Ricable, which allows its customers to value used cables and have a new product, guaranteed for life. But how does Ricable Upgrade work?

What is Ricable Upgrade?

Let's start with the basic condition: being in possession of a Ricablecable. This is obviously the first step necessary to be able to take advantage of Ricable Upgrade. What might be less obvious is that you don't need to have purchased it from this site. If you bought the cable from a retailer or online marketplace, that's no problem; you just need to be able to prove your purchase (receipt, email confirmation, receipt and the like). You don't even have to have the original packaging, as long as the product works.

We will then send, at our expense and at an agreed date and time, a courier to collect the cable from your home and bring you your new Ricable at the same time. The price you will have to pay is only the net difference in cost between the two cables, without any commission. In fact, your old purchase is valued at the same price you paid for the new one, including VAT and transport. In this way, you will never have too many cables, but, on the contrary, you will always have the maximum performance concentrated in your system, even when you might decide to change electronics.

Total transversality

There are a few additional notes that deserve some attention. Firstly, the trade-in is across the board. You can trade in a INTERCONNECT cable for a Speaker cable, provided you make a series-level upgrade. But Ricable Upgrade is an "elastic" service in another sense as well; even if your cable is out of stock or belongs to a series that has been discontinued, there's no problem, it will still be considered valid. So there is always the certainty of maximising your investment in the years to come. Add to this the gain in time compared to the possibility of reselling your cable to a private individual.

Invictus Speaker power cable Hi-Fi

We spare you all the hassle of putting an ad online, negotiating and so on. It really doesn't get any better than this. But how do you activate this procedure?

How can I join?

This is how Ricable Upgrade works. It's very simple. But now let's see how we can join. All you have to do is fill in the form you find on the page dedicated to the service. After a short time, we will contact you to finalise the operation. If you have any doubts, we recommend that you watch the illustrative video or consult the Ricable Upgrade page (which also offers an example and the complete rules), which can be reached via the button below. Otherwise, you can, as always, contact us in the chatroom here on the site or with another of the many tools we provide you with..

bananas spades hollow skinned

Bananas, spades or stripped cable in Hi-Fi?

Is it better to end with bananas, spades or to leave the cable skinned? This is one of the questions that customers ask us most frequently. Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will tell you about in this new article in our blog. One thing must be said, however: our discussion makes sense as long as the connections are applied to high-quality equipment and the materials used are of a high standard. For example, a pure copper banana will be better than a brass one. So let's take stock of what is the best solution between bananas, spades and stripped cable.

The Speaker Hi-Fi cable terminated with bananas

The banana connection is undoubtedly the most common, as it provides the greatest convenience and excellent protection from oxidation of the conductor. There are various types of banana on the market, the most common being those with springs on the pin. This type of banana is the least efficient because of the spring component, which affects the stability and intensity of the force applied to the contact (see photo).

Another popular type of banana (we use it in all series except Invictus) is the BFA banana, which is characterised by a central contact that narrows. This is why it is hard to insert, and rightly so, because it means it has a better grip. The advantages of this banana over the spring banana are:

  1. Increased durability.
  2. Larger contact surface.
  3. If the BFA spring system is loosened, it can be restored by widening it slightly.
spring bananas

The problem with this banana is that the foil that forms the insertion pole (where there is that wavy part) is more fragile than the others and could bend under stress. That's why in the Magnus and Dedalus series we have designed BFA bananas with a central pin that guarantees this type of seal. Also because these bananas are made of copper and tellurium, which is softer than brass and therefore tends to bend. The only standard BFA bananas are those of the Primus, a series for which, however, we have provided an oversized foil to prevent bending.

The last and most common type of banana is the expansion banana, which uses a pivot system to provide a constant and precise seal (series Invictus). There are other, less common types of bananas, but these three are the most commonly used.

Bananas

Practicality Use
Mechanical Seal
Conductivity Signal
Oxidation protection

The cable Speaker Hi-Fi with spades

hifi jumpers how to connect them

Termination with spades of a Hi-Fi speaker cable is perhaps the best possible compromise between convenience and performance. Despite this, the fork is much less popular and used for the termination of cables Speaker . Ricable still makes all cables with bananas, with the possibility of having them terminated, on one side or both sides, with spades, without price variations.

While the banana is universal for each clamp, as the hole is universal, for the fork the compatibility depends very much on the size of the clamp pin.

Ricable (but almost all spades on the market are like this) uses spades with a double overhang, which fits the vast majority of pins. The higher performance is guaranteed by a larger contact surface and thickness (in good spades ) of the connector body. The mechanical seal is practically identical to that of the banana, especially with modern speaker and amplifier terminals, which have a knurled part to prevent ungluing.

This solution is less convenient than "putting on and taking off", because every time you have to unclamp the clamp, as with stripped cable. However, inserting the fork is easier than with stripped cable and, above all, does not depend on the ratio of conductor to hole size. Sometimes it is possible to have small holes for stripped cable or large conductors. Another disadvantage of the fork is that many multichannel amplifiers do not accept it, whereas they always accept banana and stripped cable. An advantage of the fork over the banana, however, is that less space is needed behind the contact, because the cable goes immediately parallel to the device, whereas with the banana you need some space behind for the connector and the cable at the start.

Spades

Practicality Use
Mechanical Seal
Conductivity Signal
Oxidation protection
ricable custom

The cable Speaker Hi-Fi stripped

In terms ofperformance, the stripped cable is the best solution, because every element you add to the transmission of a signal tends to make it worse. So why are banana and spade connectors used, especially in the most valuable cables? For a simple reason, because copper conductors, and the higher their purity the more this condition occurs, tend to oxidise in a very short time and this drastically worsens the performance of the conduction, taking away all the advantage of not having a connector.

This can be remedied by tinning the stripped part, to buffer some of the oxidation, but it will never be the same as plating a connector. It also negates all the benefits of the stripped cable connection.

Usually stripped cables are used in moderate value connections, especially in Home Cinema, because the advancing oxidation affects less quality on Hi-End systems.

Caution: rather than using poor quality connectors, it is much better to use stripped cable, perhaps tinned. Quality connectors are always better than stripped cable in terms of advantages/disadvantages. Let's say that stripped cable is academically the best connection, but only in the short term, so it is not recommended for high-level connections. The values in the graph below refer to the medium and long term. Another disadvantage is the ease of use, because you have to remember to tighten the terminals from time to time and because, if you have to disconnect them, before connecting them again it is a good idea to cut off part of the cable and strip a new one, until you find a non-oxidised one.

Stripped Cable

Practicality Use
Mechanical Seal
Conductivity Signal
Oxidation protection

Bananas, spades or stripped cable? All these considerations fall by the wayside when using bananas or spades of poor quality; in this case the sound quality would inevitably be so bad that we would recommend without any ifs or buts the use of the stripped cable. Ricable In addition to offering customised lengths, we also give our customers the option of choosing the termination, whether with bananas or spades. Just let us know in a note when you complete your purchase. For those who would like to use a stripped cable, we can only refer you to the following article to our Custom Divisionfor DIYers.

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Coronavirus situation Ricable (updated 12 March 2020)

Ricable is open. With regard to the situation created by the spread of the coronavirus, we inform you that we guarantee the following services to customers:

  1. Fulfilling orders on the sites www.ricable.com, www.ricablecustom.com e www.troniteck.it
  2. Commercial and technical support via phone, email, WhatsApp and online chat

In order to protect our employees, we have established an extensive agile or smart working environment and implemented maximum security in the production unit. This was done in order to be able to guarantee an appropriate service in an emergency situation. Until a date to be determined, for safety reasons, we have closed access to our plant to any person who is not part of our preventive plan. This will not be possible:

  1. Picking up orders at our premises
  2. Visit our office for any reason
  3. Produce customised cable lengths

In spite of the Covid-19 emergency, we have decided to continue our activities in a reduced, but equally effective, form, complying with all the preventive regulations set out in the Dpcm 11/03/2020 to protect our employees and customers. Given the changing situation, we will keep you updated if anything changes.

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How is the design of a cable Ricable?

How is the design of a cable Ricable? How did we come up with the Primus series, Magnus, Dedalus and Invictus? Why isn't there what I'm looking for in the catalogue? Everything starts with an inspiration and it can take years before it becomes reality. Because we want to be sure of the value of the idea. The first months are spent thinking, drawing and imagining, then we move on to drawing up the project, considering all the issues, and then to prototyping. Everything is done in stages and you don't move on to the next stage until you have overcome the previous ones.

The design of a cable Ricable starts with an idea...

We start with a concept, a constructive idea: what we would not hesitate to call the theory. In this phase, we study a new product or an improvement on an existing one and draw what the internal structure could be.
This is a very important phase as concepts take shape and come up against all the limitations that make the difference between an idea and a product. The drawing is little more than a draft and serves to better understand the new design in a figurative way.

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... and then move on to reality

Let's then see if what is just a design of a cable Ricable can become reality according to our construction principles. Once we have worked out a design for a possible new cable, we come to the less pleasant part, i.e. we immediately come up against the feasibility of the cable. This phase has to take into account various aspects, i.e. those of actual production, integration with connectors, choice of conductors, dielectrics, shielding and insulators, and more generally all the technical issues that could be faced.

If the project involves the construction of a new connector, we consider how to make it, both from a construction and a material point of view.
For example, with the new pure copper connectors we had to do a very long prototyping process, because we had to overcome the obstacle of the greater softness of this metal compared to standard brass.
More information on the Ricable Copper Connector Project (RCCP) can be found here. in an in-depth study published to list the advantages of this construction solution.

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Let's start prototyping

At this point prototyping begins, starting with the top of the range and scaling up to lower level models to create products for more modest ranges. Prototyping involves creating at least two different versions of the product that have passed all the previous points and are identical in appearance, differentiated only by one letter: A and B. In the course of prototyping, we change the letter with each modification in order to have a screen of all prototypes. When things go well, we get the product right away, but it has happened several times that we have exceeded half the alphabet!

The tests are carried out by means of strict technical controls. If they are not satisfactory, modifications and revisions are made; if the performance is up to scratch, we move on to the next and most important phase, which consists of listening tests with up to a couple of prototypes. In this phase we try to capture the most significant aspects and, if the listening tests are positive, we move on to the next phase. If something doesn't convince us, we go back to prototyping. This is the phase where most projects do not see the light of day.

Listening groups

Subsequent tests (the slowest, but most fruitful) involve the involvement of external listening groups, which can verify the goodness of the prototype. prototype. We collect a very important amount of data, because the information comes to us from two unique sources: the variety of systems and the experience of enthusiasts. If we are satisfied with all the above points, we move on to the next step of designing a cable Ricable, otherwise we take a step back to refine the performance of the prototypes. The last step is the relatively simplest, but necessary for the marketing of the product. We are talking about the study of design and packaging, packaging and commercial details.

We would like to say a few extra words about the packaging. This boasts a personalised design for each product, which is different but at the same time consistent with the style Ricable. We know very well that colours and boxes do not make systems work better, but we are convinced that presenting a product in a certain way is nevertheless an aspect to be taken into consideration. In the box, also handmade in Italy, there is more than just aesthetics; inside you can find instructions on how to use and maintain your new purchase. These are accompanied by a brochure that will show you how to activate one of our distinctive features: the Lifetime Warranty.

In a cable Ricable nothing is left to chance

We move on to the creation of the multimedia content and the creation of the data sheets. We are also very meticulous in this phase, choosing the best content. Now all that remains is to produce the new cable, and even this aspect is not left to chance, because production tests are carried out to understand how best to optimise this phase, but above all how to avoid errors and differences between one piece and another as much as possible. At the end, before packaging, there is a test and an inspection of every single piece, in order to guarantee each buyer the same quality as the original design.

The fruit of the entire design phase

The product is carefully stored in our warehouse until a customer orders it. One of the most appreciated features of Ricable is the speed of shipping; if you place your order in the morning or early afternoon, the product will leave the same day from our headquarters in Oleggio, in the province of Novara, and will be entrusted to the courier who will bring it to your home within 24/48 hours on weekdays, barring unforeseen circumstances.

The assistance service will support you before and after the sale, via chat, email, telephone, social networks or any other means. How? With personalised support that initially shows you what is best for you and your system. After-sales support is not secondary; if there are any problems, you can write to us at any time and we will find a solution, including product replacement, if you have activated the Lifetime Warranty. Even years later.

It can happen that the prototype is immediately 'right' and you have an excellent product on your hands without making any major changes. On the other hand, it also happens that there is no way to achieve a satisfactory result. Such was the case with the USB cable we tried to make between 2015 and 2016. It was binned because it was disappointing in terms of the expectations that one commonly has of a product branded Ricable. Fortunately, however, there are many products that have gone through all the steps involved in designing a Ricable cable, and you can discover them all by clicking on the button below.

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Share and save thanks to the partnership between Ricable and Worldz. Discounts for all

Our most loyal customers will already have noticed a great little novelty on Ricable. After performing any action, you will see an inviting button pop up on the right-hand side of your screen. Simply click on it and you'll have access to the fruit of the new tricolour collaboration between Ricable and Worldzwith discounts for each customer. Worldz is a fast-growing Milan-based startup that recognises the economic value of social sharing.

Clicking on the button will open a window that will take you through the entire purchasing process, saving you money. The first step is to login to your favourite social network, either Facebook or Instagram. Then you need to give the Worldz app some permissions so that it can calculate your brand ambassador potential. This is the economic value of social sharing. The more your friends or followers interact with your posts, the more you will save, just as if you were an influencer. You can rest assured that your data is completely secure.

ricable worldz discount

How do I get my discount?

Now choose your favourite product and put it in your shopping cart. Add others if you want to increase the discount further and share them (also as a "story"). Now click on the cart icon in the top right-hand corner and select "View cart". The Worldz discount linked to your social sharing will be automatically calculated and applied to the final amount.

The only thing you need to be careful of is not to delete or share the post privately, otherwise you risk seeing your discount disappear. Or, even worse, you may no longer be able to enjoy the advantages offered by Worldz, both on the site Ricable and on the other prestigious partners of this startup. What are you waiting for to discover all our products, by clicking on the button below, and start enjoying the discounts Ricable thanks to Worldz?

ricable worldz discount
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Monowiring, bi-wiring or bi-amping in Hi-Fi. What are they?

What is bi-wiring and bi-amping? Bi-wiring is one means of connecting a loudspeaker to an audio amplifier. Typically, a single cable runs from the output of the amplifier to the terminals of the speaker cabinet (this connection is called monowiring, but still worthy of attention). In the case of bi-wiring, however, each speaker has two pairs of connectors and two cables are run from the output of the amplifier to the speaker cabinet. One corresponds to high frequencies, one to low frequencies (via two separate crossovers).

Bi-wiring versus monowiring

Bi-wiring is a connection with a double cable Speaker between the amplifier and the loudspeakers. With a single bipolar cable all audio frequencies pass through it and the speaker's crossover cuts and sends it to the speakers. Many loudspeakers are built with a crossover that allows them to accept low frequencies (Low) and high frequencies (High) separately. In this cable the speaker will have four terminals instead of two (LOW+/LOW- and HIGH+/HIGH-).

bi wiring

In the case of a speaker with dual connections that is connected with a single cable, there will be a jumper made from a metal strip that joins the LOW+ to the LOW- and the HIGH+ to the HIGH-. So, to use bi-wiring, the jumper must be removed so that two independent inputs are created. One goes to the woofer (LF: Low Frequency) and the other to the midrange + tweeter (HF: High Frequency). If, on the other hand, the classic single-cable connection is used, the jumper should be left in place so that the signal goes to both terminals.

One of the advantages of using a double cable is that it should reduce magnetic interference. Another is that it gives a larger overall cross-sectional area than a single cable would have, and also that the current drain from the woofer does not affect the smaller signal going to the treble. However, a technical analysis suggests that while a bi-wire solution may offer differences, these are so subtle that they are not tangible.

However, some audiophiles have found a significant difference in reduced treble harshness and improved bass control. However, detractors of bi-wiring claim that, electronically, nothing changes. With a play on words, they refer to the practice as " buy-wiring ", claiming it is all just a marketing ploy to sell more speaker cables.

bi amping

Bi-wiring versus bi-amping

Ricable has always maintained that bi-amping is certainly effective, but when it comes to bi-wiring some extra caution is needed, as it all depends on the design of the amplifier. If the amplifier has been developed and optimised for bi-wiring, it makes sense to use it, otherwise it is better to save space and money on double speaker cables and rather buy only one, but of higher quality.

What is the difference between bi-wiring and bi-amping? The main difference, as you can guess, is that bi-amping is done with two amplifiers, which gives a whole different meaning to this type of connection. Just for reference, bi-amping can be either vertical or horizontal. The former involves using two identical amplifiers and using one to amplify each speaker individually; the latter involves using one amplifier for low frequencies and another (same or different) for high frequencies.

This is the best, but also the most expensive solution for very high level systems. Bi-amplification is based on the concept that each amplifier acts on a specific range of frequencies to directly drive the loudspeaker that reproduces that specific range. In this way, intermodulation and other undesirable effects are avoided as much as possible; for example, the amplifier that handles the higher frequencies does not have to work with the lower ones, with benefits for the power supply and performance.

Bi-wiring cables. Are they needed?

There are cables Speaker on the market that are specially designed for bi-wiring, i.e. with two connectors on the amplifier side and four connectors on the loudspeaker side. According to the philosophy of Ricable, after some technical tests, this type of cable has no effect compared to using a standard cable with the addition of good jumpers (don't leave the manufacturers' metal plates behind). Technically, there is no reason to prefer them to a monowiring arrangement with a cable connected to the other pair of terminals via jumpers of the same conductor. Except for the negligible fact that the jumpers increase the length of the cable by about ten centimetres.

Either way, the cable itself is not an active crossover and has no means of separating the high frequencies from the low frequencies, so the only effect of bi-wiring is a complication in itself in the connection from amplifier to speakers, often with a deterioration in the quality of signal transmission.

In conclusion, we always recommend simplifying and, if you only have one amplifier with bi-wireable loudspeakers, to buy a standard cable with matching jumpers. You'll spend less and get an identical, if not better, result.

loudspeakers speakers best hi-fi system

How to upgrade your Hi-Fi system for free (or almost)

You don't always have to dig into yourwallet to improve the performance of your Hi-Fi system. Sometimes, in fact, just by having electronics of good, even if not excellent, workmanship, it is possible to make them express a notable performance. How? By limiting yourself to a few general measures or by making precious, but not expensive, daily practices a routine. We invite you to follow the advice we give by rehearsing with a record that you know for sure has a good recording, but above all is not recorded in a studio. The best recordings are live or direct recordings, giving preference to orchestral music, choirs or even jazz sessions. This is as long as you know the reference tracks well.

Ordered cables and Hi-Fi

The first precaution we can take for our Hi-Fi system, especially if it is gradually being enriched with more components, is to keep the wiring tidy (using cable ties) and clean. Wiring that, we take for granted, is of a level directly proportional to the system in our possession. Otherwise, an even more urgent intervention is to immediately replace the cables, which may still be those supplied with the electronics. You should try, as much as possible, to separate at least power supply and signal, especially if you don't use balanced cables for the latter and/or quality power cables.... that offer good shielding. It would be a good idea to avoid cables Speaker of different lengths, as well as buying cables of the shortest possible length, both to reduce costs and for better performance. The latter, however, is more of an academic argument, as it is difficult for the human ear to distinguish the difference in sound emitted by cables two metres long instead of three, especially if the quality of the latter is high.

Ban on interference

The second 'rule' is not to place (other) interference where it is not needed. Especially nowadays, when smartphones and tablets sometimes become part of the system itself, it is best to avoid having a mobile phone charger constantly connected together with the other power cables of the system. It is better to connect it to separate sockets or multi-sockets if we really need to charge our device.

Speaker Position in the Hi-Fi System

The third and perhaps most important measure we can take to improve your Hi-Fi system is to position the speakers correctly - given that we all have our own personal tastes and preferences. We will go into this in a separate article. For now, let's just imagine a hypothetical equilateral triangle whose points are formed by the two speakers and the listener's head (not the sofa!). Also to be taken into account is the height above the floor of the mid-high drivers, as this determines the height of the soundstage. Other tricks are to remove reflective surfaces between you and the speakers (just use a blanket) and not to place the Hi-Fi cabinet between the speakers, but to the side.

smartphone samsung

Jumpers are key to improving sound performance

A fourth measure is related to bi-wiring jumpers. This type of connection is useless in products that are not Hi-End, so in most systems opting for jumpers is the best choice. A 100 euro cable, above all, is better than two 50 euro cables. But investing your budget in good speakers and cables and then running the signal through a piece of brass used as a jumper will not help the final performance. In case the speakers are fitted with dual plugs, One of the first things to do is to replace the brass jumpers with a piece of wire equal to or better than the one you used between the amplifier and the speakers..

Managing the electronics of the Hi-Fi system

Number five: levelling (i.e. leveling) and separating the electronics. As far as the first action is concerned, it is a discourse that mainly concerns analogue sources, but it can also be extended to digital ones. This article was created to highlight all those measures that, with zero budget, can refine what we listen to. And such a measure costs nothing at all. More or less the same applies to the separation of electronics. An amplifier vibrates because of its transformer, just as a CD player vibrates because of its transport or a turntable because of its motor. Separating each individual component reduces the disturbance that each of these vibrations brings to the other electronics.

shucko detail invictus

The polarity of schuko sockets

Last but not least, it is important to pay attention to the polarity of the Schuko sockets. However, polarity is almost always not indicated, even if we are talking about products designed for Hi-Fi. The phase search is to be done by ear, therefore, or by using a phase finder. There are also very cheap ones. Invert the plug of the source and see if there is a change to see if this last piece of advice to improve the system can also bring benefits.

Well, these are six small steps towards improving your Hi-Fi system. But of course it is impossible to exhaust in one article all the cases that can occur in the audiophile field. Just think of all the variables that can be obtained by crossing different electronics, rooms and cables. For this reason, do not hesitate to contact us for personalised support by clicking the button below. Chat on the website, telephone, Facebook or a visit to our premises... you choose the means you prefer!

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How to detect and eliminate interference in your Hi-Fi system

One of the most annoying problems for Hi-Fi system owners is interference that spoil the sound that is emitted. This can result in buzzing or hissing while playing the song we are listening to or the film we are watching. Nothing could be more annoying for an enthusiast. So, how do you eliminate interference in your Hi-Fi system? First of all, it must be said that there are measures that allow us to identify the problem more quickly than others, but without eliminating it. For that, it will be necessary to take more drastic measures than those we are about to list.

What to do and how to investigate interference?

detective investigating with magnifying glass

Thefirst thing to do is to reduce your system to the bare minimum. Most Hi-Fi systems consist of a source, amplifier and speakers, but when it comes to components, enthusiasts can indulge in mains conditioners, preamplifiers, dual amplifiers and more. There is something for all tastes and the set-up of a system is given exclusively by the will of its owner. To understand more easily where the problem lies, however, it will be the case of reducing our system to the formation initially described. The password: simplify.

Once this has been done, it is necessary to isolate the problem and identify where it lies. It is imperative to carry out one intervention at a time and, at the same time, take note of the improvements or worsening of each step. If we have to work on several sections at the same time, we will not have a solid foundation to stand on.

Tin foil to detect interference

One way to understand where to intervene, within everyone's reach and immediate, is to wrap, with tinfoil and one at a time, the cables that connect the components of the system (source, amplifier and speakers, then, according to what we wrote above). An aluminium foil, although essential to say the least, is still a shield, therefore able to protect the signal from the interference we are looking for. It will not eliminate the problem, mind you. For this we need shielding, but of a very different level, both in terms of materials and the geometry with which they are constructed. However, it will help us to understand where this lies. Well begun is half done.

foil with gold reflection

We will then first wrap the cable INTERCONNECT (more prone to interference than the others) in tinfoil, and after this two things can happen:

  1. Nothing changes.
  2. There is a variation in audio interference (it could be even worse).

If the first hypothesis occurs, we will go ahead and isolate another cable, leaving the first intervention in place, until a change in the situation occurs. The important thing is always to make only one change at a time.

It is important to note any changes in this testing phase and, after a quick analysis of the information we have available, we will begin to get a better picture of the interference in our system.

Ricable against interference in your Hi-Fi system

We know that interference is hard to find, which is why we make ourselves available to help our customers in this analysis, in order to find the culprit of the listening defect. If the interference is due to the cabling, we can also provide the best support to eliminate the cause of the problem and significantly improve the listening experience. Certainly with a well-made cable, with a better shielding, all interference problems arising from the connections can be solved. This is where Ricable comes in, with its expertise in eliminating interference in any hi-fi system and its wide range of shielded cables. with both traditional and innovative and unconventional technologies. Why not see if you can find the solution to your problems by taking a look at the products or asking our team of experts for help? Just click below!

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Ricable Custom, the new website for DIY and Hi-Fi cable installation

Any Hi-Fi enthusiast will have at least once wished for a system that would fit perfectly into their home. One of the ways to satisfy this need is to make your own 'custom' cables with DIY Hi-Fi cable installation. To this end, the Ricable Customwhich offers the possibility to buy very high quality cables, derived from the best cables Ricable, and to finish them as you prefer, for a total customization both in terms of length and connector of the cable, according to tastes and needs. At the base of this, however, there is always the quality factor, which moves along the coordinates of a perfect balance given by the intersection of performance, aesthetics and price.

Many of the historic advantages of the Ricable are also available in its Custom division. Just think of the lifetime warranty, which is fully automatic for those who buy from the site and can be activated easily by those who buy elsewhere. Inevitable is also the direct support from the chat in the lower left corner of your screen. You can write to us at any time with any doubts you may have. We will respond as soon as possible. For those who buy from Ricable Custom, there is also a "satisfied or refunded" option, which allows you to return the item free of charge with shipping costs paid entirely by us. The following are the areas that Ricable Custom covers.

DIY Hi-Fi Cables: DIY home construction

If you are a DIYer and want to make high performance Hi-Fi or home cinema cables, Ricable Custom is the best support for your creations. On the website you will find cables by the metre of all types (speaker, power supply, INTERCONNECT, coaxial, HDMI), connectors, spikes, cable socks and many other accessories. The possibilities are endless, both in terms of aesthetics and in terms of the design of use, for cables that can be perfectly adapted to your needs and deliver high performance at an affordable price. In addition, at Ricable Custom you can enjoy guarantees designed specifically for you.

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Hi-Fi installations in private homes

home cinema installations

If you are a Hi-Fi and home cinemainstaller and need to wire with quality and reliability, Ricable Custom offers a high-performance product at an unbeatable price. The elements of the system must be precisely laid out in order not to lose anything in terms of quality. Therefore, it will be necessary to rely on cables that can be easily accessed in the cable ducts and that perform well even when it comes to rather large distances. In a domestic environment it is also important to pay attention to interference from household appliances or other devices, so it is essential to fit cables with good shielding.

Hi-Fi installations for events

If you need to set up a live system, a conference room, a wire broadcasting system, with Ricable Custom you will find media with unique and lasting performance. Quality projectors, ledwalls and audio diffusion systems with speakers, microphones and mixers need specific treatment so that the event being set up is not a flop. Moreover, different environments require different cabling, both in terms of performance and, above all, length. Thanks to Ricable Custom you can create, in total autonomy, all the solutions you want, to be always ready in any circumstance.

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DIY and Hi-Fi cable installation in car audio

ricable custom car audio hi-fi

Whether you're a car audio enthusiast or a professional, Ricable Custom offers top-notch quality for your high-performance car hi-fi system. Driving, on the other hand, is a pleasure, but doing it while listening to good music through a system that goes above and beyond in performance is something else entirely. For the system to be optimally tuned, however, specific cables are needed that are capable of adapting to the rather particular context of the car. Ricable Custom is the right choice and allows you to choose what is best for you and your car.

So, whatever category you fall into, or if you are just curious about the world of DIY and Hi-Fi cable installation, it would be a shame if you didn't visit Ricable Custom. The production processes of Custom products are rigorous and monitored in every aspect, for a guaranteed and absolute quality. We look forward to seeing you there.

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The Lifetime Warranty Ricable (and all the other benefits). Quality, safety and support

"Passions cannot be eradicated: each person must be able to satisfy them within the limits of virtue," he wrote. Lev Tolstoyand this is still true today. One's attraction to high fidelity, whether it leads to listening to a song or watching a film, cannot and should not be restricted, provided it is nurtured in a conscientious and judicious manner. One way to do this is to have insurance, starting with the Lifetime Warranty Ricable.

Safe purchase. Maybe.

the doubtful thinker

Having said that, the day will come sooner or later when we decide to upgrade our system, both in terms of electronics and cables. Whether the purchase is made in a physical shop or digitally, it matters little. In the sense that, whatever the case, we will be agreeing to take home a product sight unseen. Theoretically, what we have invested our money in, the fruit of our efforts, should improve the listening experience . And we may not even know for sure after the short (in most cases) trial period we are given.

True hi-fi connoisseurs know that a new component, whether active or passive, must first be tried in the comfort of its own home environment, and then tested long enough to get all the details of soundstage, sound colour and dynamics.

Hi-Fi: how to choose correctly

The moral of the story is that there is an optimal purchase with certain characteristics, which are all the more important when dealing with such a sensitive subject as Hi-Fi. The problem is that very few retailers offer consumers all the advantages necessary to make an informed choice. So let's take a look at the features that a purchase must have in order for the buyer to make an informed choice:

  • Possibility to verify that the product has a suitable performance on paper.
  • Quick and easy purchase process.
  • Free shipping above a minimum amount.
  • Satisfied or refunded policy.
  • Opportunity to make a free return.
  • Lifetime warranty and on-site warranty.
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What does Ricable offer? Lifetime Warranty and more

When you choose Ricable you are choosing a high-performance product without any risk. But that's not all. Those who rely on us for the wiring of their system choose to embark on a journey together and can take advantage of four guarantees. The first is that, as required by law, any product is under warranty for two years, regardless of where you bought it.

The second guarantee is special. For those who purchase on the site, simply by registering your product at this linkthe cable will be insured for life. Forever, in just a few minutes. The Lifetime Warranty Ricable is also on-site, at no extra cost to the customer. Whether you are in Argentina or Australia, in the United States or Russia, we will send a courier at our own expense to collect the product, repair or replace it and finally send it back to you.

The third guarantee is that only purchases made on this site have the exclusive 'satisfied or refunded' guarantee. If the product, on arrival at the parcel, is not as you want it or you want another one, all you have to do is ask to return it. It is completely free of charge, a refund will be given and a courier will collect the product at our expense. The time available to carry out this operation goes well beyond the fourteen days stipulated by law, since it reaches sixty! This is a reasonable amount of time to do all the necessary tests at home.

Last, but not least, is the guarantee of support, which is always available. To get help in any form, all you have to do is log into the private area and click on the "Help and Support" button to open a ticket.

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Three serious wiring mistakes that degrade the sound of your system

Having a high level system and a cabling capable of highlighting its merits is certainly the basis from which any audiophile worthy of the name should start. It is equally important, however, not to get lost in a glass of water, ruining the performance of what has been purchased with years of commitment, investment and study. After having read, in a few minutes, this article on the blog Ricable, you will clearly know three fundamental cabling errors that should never be committed (or should be corrected immediately!) that degrade the sound.

1st mistake: using the same socket for everything

The first thing to know is that wall sockets with multiple in series should be avoided, as should poor quality multisockets. The main problems that arise when using them are overloads, interference from different appliances and bottlenecks. It would be optimal to have two or three separate lines direct from the meter, but this is often difficult to achieve.

electrical outlets chaos

Therefore, a valid and at the same time more easily realisable alternative is to buy a quality multi-socket or better still a mains conditioner. Be careful, however: in some cases customers have reported to us that these reduce the listening dynamics, as do filtered multisockets.

2nd mistake: having coiled cables and tangles

telephone cable tangle

The second problem is that cables, when coiled in a circular fashion, suffer from the antenna effect. This means that cable tangles encourage interference between devices. The same thing happens when we find, in our system, too much proximity between the same components.

Thesolution, in this case, is to use shielded cables and to carefully position them. Also, if possible, it would be better to use cable ties to keep the INTERCONNECT, Speaker and power cables separate.

3rd mistake: not giving importance to all types of cable

Poor quality cables create signal bottlenecks that cannot be overcome by better cables. As we have already written, in fact , the cable doesn't improve the signal, but makes it worse. Lower quality cables, among other things, are more prone to external interference. Ultimately it is not very practical, for example, to have a good cable Speaker and INTERCONNECT and then use standard power cables. It defeats the purpose of what the first two can do.

The solution is to give importance to the quality of all cables in the system, especially INTERCONNECT (both analogue and digital), Speaker and power cables, which are the ones that determine the result the most.

Ricable offers definitive solutions for every type of problem listed. All cabling errors that degrade sound have their solution. All cables feature high-quality raw materials, traditionally optimised geometries for sound transmission and special technologies resulting from unconventional research and development.

hi-fi tangle cables

In addition to quality, Ricable offers you the most comprehensive guarantee on your purchase. If you are not satisfied, you can return the product free of charge within sixty days; and if you are satisfied with the product, you will be protected for life with our special on-site warranty. We invite you to take a look at our products and undo the hinges that are still holding your system in place!

AWG - measure the cross-section of HDMI conductors

When someone reads AWG, the first thing that comes to mind is piercing. The reason for this is easily explained. This system is commonly used to specify the size of body jewellery, especially if it is small. But it is also of fundamental importance for cables. HDMIespecially for measuring the cross-section of their conductors. Ricable optimises the cable strand size Across to 25 AWG, while that of cables Hi-End e Supreme 24 AWG. But how to measure the AWG in HDMI cables?

How the acronym came about and how it is used to measure the cross-section of HDMI conductors

The acronym stands for American Wire Gauge, a standardised system for measuring the cross-section of wires. This has been used since 1857, mainly in North America. It is important to consider that this measurement is only used for solid, round conductors, which is why it is often used in audio/video cables, including HDMI cables, because it is a value referring to the single conductor which, depending on the geometry of the cable, forms the final conductor, with braiding of various types. In fact, if we have a cable with a multi-stranded conductor, when we say that the conductor is 24 AWG, this value does not refer to the whole braid, but to each single wire that makes it up. The cross-section of the wire(gauge) is an important factor in determining the maximum current that can flow through it.

As the number measured increases, the wire diameter becomes progressively smaller. This system of measurement stems from the number of drawing operations used to produce a given wire diameter. It is clear that a very thin one would require more passes through the drawbench than a 0-gauge wire, for example. This is why as the value increases, the diameter decreases. The development of standardised measurements rationalised the system. Initially, however, each manufacturer had its own measuring system.

supreme hdmi measure awg conductors

The AWG for a cable is determined by the total cross-sectional area of the conductor, which in turn determines its current carrying capacity and its electrical resistance. Since there are also small cavities between the wires, cables always have a slightly larger total diameter than a solid wire with the same AWG.

The table. Tricks for remembering it by heart and how the AWG works

The various parameter ratios are listed in the table below, which is useful for how to measure AWG for HDMI cables. Generally speaking, the metric conversion table ranges from 0000 (4/0) to 44 AWG and covers all commercially available conductors in the audio/video sector, including HDMI cables. However, there is also a mnemonic rule to facilitate calculations. According to this, when the diameter of a wire doubles, the AGW is reduced by 6 units; when the cross-section of a wire doubles, the AWG decreases by 3 units. Finally, when the AWG value decreases by 10, the cross-section and weight increase by the same amount, while the resistance is reduced by a factor of 10.

Cables are specified with three numbers: the overall AWG size, the number of wires making up the cable and the AWG size of the wire. The number of wires and the AWG of an individual wire are separated by a slash. For example, a 22 AWG 7/30 cable is a 22 AWG cable consisting of seven wires with an AWG size of 30. These are the values that make us understand how to measure the AWG in HDMI cables.

Colloquially the AWG system is referred to as gauge and zeros in large wire sizes are referred to as aught. Wires of size 1 AWG are referred to as one gauge; similarly, smaller diameters are pronounced by their positive integer. For larger wire sizes (#0 and up), the word gauge becomes one aught, two aught and so on, depending on how many zeros there are in the AWG code. In other cases the word gauge is replaced by the word number, which appears before the size.

The AWG cable conversion table. How to measure HDMI cables (and more)

AWG Diameter mm Section (Area) mm²
0000 (4/0) 11,684 107,22
000 (3/0) 10,405 85,01
00 (2/0) 9,266 67,43
0 (1/0) 8,252 53,49
1 7,348 42,41
2 6,544 33,62
3 5,827 26,67
4 5,189 21,15
5 4,620 16,77
6 4,115 13,30
7 3,655 10,55
8 3,264 8,37
9 2,906 6,63
10 2,588 5,26
11 2,305 4,17
12 2,052 3,31
13 1,828 2,63
14 1,623 2,08
15 1,450 1,65
16 1,291 1,31
17 1,149 1,04
18 1,024 0,823
19 0,912 0,653
20 0,812 0,519
21 0,723 0,411
22 0,644 0,324
23 0,573 0,259
24 0,511 0,205
25 0,455 0,162
26 0,405 0,128
27 0,361 0,102
28 0,321 0,0806
29 0,286 0,0649
30 0,255 0,0507
31 0,227 0,0401
32 0,202 0,0324
33 0,180 0,0255
34 0,160 0,0201
35 0,143 0,0159
36 0,127 0,0127
37 0,113 0,0103
38 0,101 0,0081
39 0,090 0,0062
40 0,080 0,0049
41 0,071 0,0039
42 0,064  0,0032
43 0,056  0,0025
44 0,051  0,0020

Differences between Hi-Fi cables: standard vs Hi-End

"Say, Tuco, do you like music?"
"Music? Ah, yes I do: it's good for digestion."

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

"We Italians have forgotten that music is not just entertainment, but a necessity of the spirit.
This is serious because it means
breaking
of the important roots of our history".

Riccardo Muti

Whether for us, music means raising the spirit by recalling centuries of history, culture and traditions, or whether it simply gives us moral support for digestion of the dinner left on the stomach, is of little importance. What is certain is that it is such an intense part of life that it affects the everyday life of each of us. After all... what could be more beautiful to enrich our free time, if not that which makes us more serene?

Love for Hi-Fi and Hi-End, without compromise

Music will always be our goal, which is why the means are always of fundamental importance. Spending and commitment are the two coordinates on which we must move to build our Hi-Fi system, starting from its most basic form formed by the source, amplifier and speakers. To these components, if we try to achieve perfection, we can add a mains conditioner, a pre-amplifier, a second amplifier and much more.

Years of fine-tuning, upgrades and acoustic chiselling, however, can be undone in an instant. Or, at least, a lot of it can go up in smoke if we don't pay proper attention to the wiring of our system. The sound signal passes through these 'bridges' (the cables) when it goes from one component to another and, at this juncture, a cable can be a real deciding factor.

But what are the differences between standard and Hi-End cables? It must be said that a cable does not "sound", per se, in the sense that it is a passive element and therefore does not emit sound and cannot improve the signal. In fact, it could alter it , contravening the principle of the pursuit of high fidelity!

The excellence of a cable becomes apparent when it comes as close as possible to leaving the sound it receives at the input completely intact, transferring it in the best possible way to its output stage. Simply put: the best cable carries the sound as close as possible to how it was recorded. This is why relying on poor quality cables can mean a major bottleneck, choking and deteriorating the signal between components.

The disadvantages of bad cabling for the system, which determine the differences between standard and Hi-End cables, are listed below:

  • degrade the sound
  • return little transparency
  • have reduced detail
  • make the sound non-neutral
  • suffer interference and rustling
  • confuse the scene
  • make your listening lose its brilliance
hi-end standards differences

They don't get better, but they get worse as little as possible

It goes without saying that the greater the number of components in the system, the greater the importance of the cables, which carry the signal many times from one point to another. Above all, it is important to fine-tune all the cables in the system, because not even the best of cables can "cure" a signal that has previously been degraded due to a poor quality previous connection. As we have said, it can only treat the signal in the best possible way in its area of competence, i.e. in the section it handles. The cable is therefore a penalizing element when it is not given due attention; the game is to "take" as little as possible from the sound.

But where does the compromised sound of a poor quality cable come from? Mainly from the cheap materials with which it has been constructed. Conductors, connections, insulation, shielding and constructional geometry all make a difference to how the signal is processed. Moreover, there is nothing in the known reality that does not have a minor or major impact on the environment in which it is found. The fabric, the size but also the colour of a dress, for example, change the perception we have of it and even how we wear it. And this is true for everything; could the cable be the first entity in the known world to be totally irrelevant? But let's take a more practical and less theoretical example, strictly for motoring, of how important it is to think about every aspect.

On the occasion of the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix on 1 September 2019, the Ferrari team decided to . to have its new 'Evo 3' engines tested by satellite teams Alfa Romeo and Haas.. The main stable, after checking its reliability, adopted the same solution in the following Monza Grand Prix on 8 September. With the same Speaker engine, however, the result was quite different with a beautiful victory for Ferrari. The best result for the other two teams was ninth place for Antonio Giovinazzi.

How could this happen? Apart from the talent of the driver, everything that was connected to the engine and allowed it to function and 'talk' with the other components was as important as its power, if not more so. The point is that, although the heart of the car was identical, all those less obvious (but very important!) ingredients were in one case of extreme quality, in the other two somewhat less so.

Differences between standard and Hi-End cables: the solution exists

There are Hi-End cables that are designed to allow enthusiasts to enjoy their passion in the most authentic way. How? By aiming for excellence when it comes to structure, materials, conductors, insulators, terminations and so on. The necessary condition is to be equipped with a system of such refinement that the difference in performance between the old standard cables and the new Hi-End ones can be worthily felt. One must always be careful to purchase a cabling system that is proportional, in terms of quality, to one's own system, otherwise we risk not having any feedback, despite having purchased a better product (unless the purchase is an investment with a view to future upgrades). Special cables have ad hoc solutions to eliminate all the problems described.

Here are some of the main ones:

  • shielding, which can be threefold and made of a variety of materials, to protect the cable from interference
  • of high-efficiency insulation materials
  • effective management of the conductors, which are shielded, twisted with its twin, made of the purest material and with incredibly thin strands
  • connectors made of a material that is actually suitable for the function they are to perform

The exclusive technologies Ricable for Hi-Fi and Hi-End

After a major research and development phase, Ricable has applied the innovative technologies it has privately developed to its products and made the differences between standard and high-end cables even more obvious.

R-TEC - Ricable Technology Construction is synonymous with the specific work that Ricable has carried out on screens, so that in each project we have identified the most effective screens against interference, both in terms of structure and material, in order to determine efficient and never superfluous screens.

New materials, not normally used in Hi-Fi and Hi-End cable production, have been incorporated intothe dielectric insulators, demonstrating unconventional experimentation. One of the most important innovations is the use of new thermoplastic compounds that provide better dielectric specifications than polyethylene and greater flexibility than PVC, as well as better preservation of the characteristics of the copper contact. Another important innovation is the inclusion in some models of a germanium semiconductor that reduces background noise in the audio signal (RNR System).

In the field of conductors, however, the technology was born. MARC©which stands for Multicore Annealed Ricable Conductor. The improvements made in this area have made it possible to produce a copper conductor with a purity of 7N (99.99999%) that is incredibly more malleable than the previous one, thanks to a 25% reduction in grains per metre compared to AM-RCC. This manufacturing implementation has enabled the production of smoother, more ductile and smaller diameter strands, resulting in a reduction in skin effect and resistance, as well as greater flexibility and improved acoustics.

Last but not least, something special, because we found that using conventional brass connectors can lose up to 50% of a connection's performance and we started the RCCP. RCCP (Ricable Copper Connector Project)with the aim of building new connectors with pure copper contacts. After more than two years of work, Ricable is now the first manufacturer to make an entire series of Hi-Fi audio cables ( Invictus series) with fully copper connectors, and for the other two series, the connectors are always made of copper, with a few exceptions, where it was necessary to use a copper-tellurium alloy, which in any case is a far superior conductor to brass.

With the information contained in this article we have discovered what your passion for music deserves, but also what to do to avoid compromising your goal of reproducing it in high fidelity! The way to ensure that your electronics have a superior and excellent performance is through the quality Ricable, the result of care, attention and research. Take a look at our products and remember that ALL are covered by the special lifetime warranty Ricable!

hifi jumpers how to connect them

How to connect jumpers and speaker cables

When we buy a loudspeaker, on the back of it we will in most cases have four terminals, in pairs of two, to which we connect our speaker cable, supported by jumpers as standard. But how to connect jumpers and speaker cables?

And what are the double terminals for? To connect our speaker in bi-amplification or bi-wiring.

These alternative modes of connection, almost always for the use of a small circle of enthusiasts, if not used, require that the HF (high frequency) and LF (low frequency) terminals remain jumpered together. The aim is to make the crossover work in unison.

Why is it that loudspeaker manufacturers, given the limited use of bi-amping/bi-wiring, produce speakers with dual connections? Well, it's difficult to give a precise answer, but one can speculate that it is to offer a more versatile and complete product. Or maybe it's because they are "more showy" and attract more attention from buyers. What is certain is that they are present on almost every speaker and therefore need to be understood and managed properly, to avoid a possible advantage becoming a disadvantage.

Immediately after we have purchased our new speakers, we start to assemble them and are struck by a doubt. Should the speaker cable from the amplifier to the speakers be connected to the bottom pair or the top pair? That is, to the input for the bass or the high frequencies? And above all, will the jumpers supplied by the manufacturer of the speakers be adequate for the task at hand or will they ruin our efforts to improve the quality of the sound emitted by the system?

How to connect jumpers. Up or down?

The fundamental importance of jumpers stems from the fact that, over time, loudspeaker manufacturers have decided to make loudspeakers with two pairs of connectors and, therefore, a split crossover. The jumper is necessary to carry the signal at both high and low frequencies. But, in mono-wiring, where is it best to connect your speaker cable? Below or above? This is a question that many people ask and we will try to answer it.

Some say that the cable from the amplifier should reach the tweeter (or rather the mid-high) terminals and not the bass terminal, leaving the "chunks" or jumpers to carry the signal to the woofer terminals. High frequencies are the most delicate and sensitive part of the audio spectrum, also because of the low voltages involved. This is why, according to these opinions, it is better for the signal from the amplifier to reach the tweeter terminals without any other pieces of cable or metal bars in between (in simple terms: minimising contact resistance).

hifi jumpers how to connect them
hifi jumpers how to connect them

Others, however, believe it is better to do the opposite, i.e. to favour the woofer, the component that requires the most power. In reality, the differences are minimal, and only rarely does anything really change. What we suggest is first of all to make sure that the jumper doesn't act as a bottleneck in your system (see below how) and then make some attempts according to your ear and your system to understand if something changes.

There is no such thing as better quality than what we like best, even according to our own suggestions or habits. You can also refer to the instructions that accompany the product. It is true that we are talking about ten centimetres of cable and, unless the quality is particularly low, the problem does not arise. If it weren't for the fact that, sometimes, the standard jumpers are actually of very poor quality: a strip of wire with a small diameter of 1.5 mm. brass.

How to tell if the jumpers are good and up to the standard of our system

As for the jumpers, the only way to test them is to try moving the speaker cables from the bottom to the top terminals, and vice versa, but there are many conclusions we can draw. So, let's make all the possible assumptions and draw all the imaginable conclusions about how to connect jumpers and speaker cables. Here is the list of possibilities, presented in a schematic but comprehensive manner:

  • move the position of the jumpers; if the sound changes, the jumpers are probably acting as a bottleneck and we recommend changing them for optimum performance;
  • if the sound doesn't change, perhaps the jumpers are doing an excellent job and are adequate for the system.

Caution, however. If the sound does not change, the following aspects should also be considered:

  • If the sound doesn't change, it may be that the speaker cables are of such a low standard that they can't convey enough detail for us to hear differences;
  • another hypothesis, if the sound does not change, could be that the system is not revealing enough and the jumper is not acting adequately on the sound.

Having done the necessary tests, you find yourself needing to replace the jumpers on your loudspeakers. Bear in mind that these should be of equal or better quality than the conductors that make up your cables Speaker - brass will not do.

For a choice without compromise, Ricable offers its jumpers Dedalus e Invictuswith the former also optimised for the Magnus series or other lesser speaker cables. These are available in fork/fork as well as fork/banana versions. It is also possible to request a custom length. As far as speaker cables are concerned, on the other hand, the choice is more varied and takes up the four, now classic, series Ricable, i.e. Primus, Magnus, Dedalus e Invictus.

We use digital to make the analog world better

What is the DAC and how does it work?

What is a DAC? We may not realise it, but every day we use a digital-to-analogue converter, more or less consciously. A DAC (the acronym stands for " Digital (to) Analog Converter") receives signals in computer language of "0" and "1" and makes them compatible with a system, with a PC, with a smartphone in order to be perceivable by the human ear. This is thanks to the appropriate cables, which in most cases are coaxial and INTERCONNECT.

It can be integrated, portable or measure more than 40 cm in width, it has a considerable number of digital inputs and from one to several analogue line outputs and it is made up of two parts, both of which must be of good quality for the final result to be good. Usually in cheaper DACs the digital part is of very good quality because the costs are low, while the analogue part, which requires economic effort, is poor. It is in the latter that the main differences between a low end DAC and a high end one lie.

This does not affect vinyl or tape lovers, who are natively analogue. The commercial explosion of the DAC coincided with the spread of liquid music. The arrival of the CD player in the eighties did not convince audiophiles because of the poor DACs in these early models, which were unable to produce a sound that matched that of vinyl. Early players suffered from jitter (which we could define as a time lag between the transmitted and received signal). This is when manufacturers and buyers started to give special importance to this instrument, which became more and more important in its autonomous and non-integrated form and, with the passing of the years, also more affordable. Ultimately, to answer the initial question "What is a DAC?", we could answer as follows: the DAC replaces the source to decode the digital audio signal, performing this operation in an optimal way.

marantz dac what is it

What to know when buying a DAC

The DAC is not only important, but fundamental, if you want to get maximum performance from your system. Its two main characteristics are signal-to-noise ratio and THD(Total Harmonic Distortion).

The signal-to-noise ratio is often abbreviated to SNR(Signal to Noise Ratio). It is a numerical quantity that relates the power of the useful signal to the power of the noise in any information acquisition, processing or transmission system. In the field of Hi-Fi, the signal-to-noise ratio is one of the fundamental parameters, even if not the only one, for the evaluation of the performance of a system as far as the cleanliness of the sound is concerned.

There is also the SINAD, conceptually very similar to the SNR, which along with the noise also includes the distortion generated by the circuit; it gives a more precise evaluation of the degradation assumed by a signal due to the non-idealities of the equipment it passes through. It is no coincidence that a battery-powered DAC has been found to work much better than one powered by a power supply.

Harmonic distortion and sampling in the DAC

A measure of the harmonic distortion present in a signal is the ratio of the sum of the powers of all harmonic components to the power of the fundamental frequency. Distortion factor, a closely related term, is sometimes used as a synonym. In audio systems, lower distortion means that the components of a loudspeaker, amplifier, microphone or other device produce a more accurate reproduction of an audio recording.

When it comes to digital, you also have to be careful about sampling. Sampling is, to use a metaphor, taking a recording and taking many 'photos' of it at regular time intervals. These photos are taken on multiple levels; the more levels we have, the less time there is between photos, so the less quality is lost. The number of bits in a DAC is really an index of how many levels I have; the sampling frequency is an index of how fast the photos are taken (the minimum is 24 bits at 192 kHz). Beware, though: there is no incontrovertible technical data to define which device is better. They all suffer or enjoy the effects of non-measurable factors, which can be, for example, good design or poor component layout.

The Ricable cables for your DAC: coaxial and INTERCONNECT. USB coming soon

Thereare many ways to connect the DAC to the source or amplifier. Here are the ones used in most situations. In the first case there are digital coaxial cablesThese carry the digital audio signal before it is converted to analogue and then amplified. Although they have the same connectors as the INTERCONNECT RCA cables, they have an entirely different function.

invictus coaxial

The most common usage scenarios are the connection between a digital source such as a CD player or PC (with the aid of an interface) and a DAC. The series are the canonical ones Ricableseries: starting from the entry level Primusand then Magnus e Dedalus, and concluding with Invictus. Rather similar are the optical cables, but these are less musical and more suited to other areas of use. The last type of cable is the USB cable, especially when connecting a DAC to a PC. Ricable is working hard on an optimal solution for this and, after the research and development period, will bring a product to the market that will guarantee its customers a connection with all the credentials.

TheDAC and amplifier are connected by the Primus cables. cables INTERCONNECTwhich are used whenever an analogue signal, in Stereo mode and with an RCA connection, is passed from one device to another. Once again, the Ricable offering is differentiated into the series Primus, Magnus, Dedalus e Invictus.

Power supply in Hi-Fi. Do cables matter?

Hi-Fi power cables, based on their three fundamental coordinates (resistance, capacitance and inductance), improve the quality of current transfer to any type of electronics with a tray. IEC. Think amplifier, preamplifier, DAC, players and audio players. But why are these cables important when they are 'only' used to transfer current and not sound? Because interference, voltage variations and poor transmission affect what we hear. An appropriate Netzkabel for your system can substantially improve the result. However, this is only possible if the instrumentation is of a level that faithfully reproduces the original sound. In this case what we listen to will be enriched by nuances and contrast, in a wider, brighter and more musical context.

The consequences of poor nutrition

One premise is obligatory. Every home is a different story and must be considered in terms of what goes into the cable ducts and the hanks of electrical wires in the junction boxes in your home. It is not possible to ignore what is behind the walls. Ideally, therefore, a Hi-Fi system that aims for perfection should also have quality structural cables to support it. In addition to this, for excellent performance it is recommended to purchase a mains conditioner, which 'cleans' the mains supply of noise and allows for more faithful and noise-free music reproduction.

It has to be said, though, that cables running in cable trays, whether good or not, are 'naturally' less prone to any kind of interference, internal or external, precisely because they are behind a wall. The critical passage is when the current transmission stops passing through the walls of the house and is out in the open, i.e. when it starts from the wall socket and, usually, ends in our audio source or multi-socket. During this connection the Netzkabel is subject to interference both from the outside to the inside and vice versa. The consequence of this EMI/RFI interference takes the form, in the listener, of distortion, loss of detail, balance and three-dimensionality.

Why power cables are important

On a daily basis, we may be inclined to equate the power supply of our microwave oven at home with that of our hi-fi electronics, "because it's always a question of getting the required current to the desired device". Amplifiers and other equipment of this type, however, have a more delicate task than switching them on and off: they are designed to reproduce as accurately as possible a signal that is constantly changing according to a very large number of parameters.

But that's not all. The sound quality is also affected by the time of day at which you listen. As later in the day, fewer and fewer devices are using the mains supply, so the disturbance injected into the mains is reduced. Ultimately, audio systems tend to sound much better at night than during the day, as many enthusiasts have found.

The Netzkabel Hi-Fi influences the passage of electrons through it. Therefore, if it is the means by which the whole system sounds, not only is its importance not negligible, but it ends up being fundamental with respect to the other cables as well. In fact, any shortcomings introduced cannot be made up for later. What we listen to is nothing more than the electric current in the energy distribution network, modulated according to the signal contained in the phonographic support. In addition to this, electrical conduits are used to transport energy, but sometimes also for data transfer (powerline for example), which is a source of interference.

The solution Ricable for optimal nutrition

We have carried out a thorough study, supported by numerous tests, to find an effective remedy for interference. We have worked on geometries, shielding and insulation to produce products that guarantee optimum immunity in the various product ranges. Starting with the Primus series, which is optimally shielded for entry-level equipment, and then goes up to the Invictus. This adopts a unique geometry, insulation and shielding system, ideal for equipment of absolute technical standing. In between we find Dedalus e Magnus which complete the offer and cover the needs of any electroacoustics.

Another feather in the cap of our power cables are the top-quality RCCP connectors, which forMagnus are made of copper and for Dedalus e Invictus are made of pure OFC copper. All equipped with integrated ferrites, they allow the best connectivity you could wish for. Below you can find out more about Ricable Power , unique cables that guarantee your electronics to achieve maximum detail, balance and listening dynamics.

The skin effect in cables Speaker

What it is and who discovered it. Not only electromagnetic waves

What is theskin effect and why is it so important for cables Speaker ? This was explained for the first time in 1887 by Lord Kelvin (born in England). William Thomson), a British physicist and engineer, developer of the Kelvin scale, as well as the engineer and inventor of the electric telegraph, which brought him fame and fortune.

By skin effect we mean the tendency of an alternating electric current to distribute itself unevenly within a conductor. Its density is higher on the surface and lower on the inside. This leads to an increase in the electrical resistance of the conductor, particularly at high frequencies. In other words, part of the conductor is not used. This means more dissipation Speaker for the same applied current or less current for the same applied voltage, according to Ohm's law.

Why it is important for cables Speaker

The skin effect is fundamental because it affects not only the electric current, but any type INTERCONNECT, including audio. The skin effect means, to recap, a decrease in current flow density as the distance from the surface inwards increases.

There is some disagreement about the skin effect and its practical consequences on audio frequencies, i.e. whether it causes damage other than that of a simple loss Speaker . The problems lie in the fact that, even before the loss Speaker , the skin effect causes changes in the values of resistance and inductance. These values will tend to change continuously depending on the distance from the conductor surface. If the cross-section of a cable is too large, the skin effect will also affect the reproduced audio frequencies. Delicate high-frequency information will be flattened with a dull sound, with truncated details.

speaker cables invictus

The consequences of the skin effect

The cable "sounds" less at the reproduced high frequencies, reducing them. This problem is most noticeable in cables Speaker , where the conductor sizes are larger and the connection lengths longer. In cables INTERCONNECT the skin effect is less influential, because it acts outside the audio band. The consequences can be many, but the most common are as follows:

  1. Dark and gloomy tones
  2. Bloated and unnatural bass (Loudness effect)
  3. Loss of tonal balance
  4. Worsening in dynamics
  5. Loss of three-dimensionality

The skin effect affects the quality of cables and how much they affect sound transmission, especially when it comes to cables Speaker , running from the amplifier to the speakers.

One possible solution is to coat the wires in silver. This metal has a lower resistivity than copper, but silver-plated cables artificially colour the sound, which tends to emphasise the higher frequencies, not giving the listener a neutral sound.

The solution Ricable for the skin effect

Our tests have shown that increasing the number of conductor wires, by reducing the grains of processed copper, results in a substantial reduction in the skin effect. In other words, the technology Ricable exploits the use of a single conductor small enough to expel the audible distortion induced by the skin effect out of the audio range.

Years ago Ricable introduced AM-RCC conductors in power cables with outstanding results. Since then, research has moved towards further improvement of the conductors. This has developed on several points.

performance marc cooper leather effect

Thefirst is the multi-stranded conductor, with very thin strands down to 0.08 mm in the Invictus series (and a noticeable reduction in the skin effect compared to single-stranded, also known as solid core). The second point is made up of large-section conductors. This allows a greater conductive surface area and lower resistance.

The third feature designed by Ricable to reduce the skin effect is the from RCCP connectors (Ricable Copper Connector Project). By using copper instead of brass in the connectors, the skin effect in the terminations is also reduced. Finally, the studies carried out and the research activity, gave birth to the new conductor MARC©, acronym of Multicore Annealed Ricable Conductor, which characterizes the entire production. Primus, Magnus, Dedalus e Invictus.

The improvements made have made it possible to produce a copper conductor with a purity of 7N (99.99999%) that is more malleable than its predecessor, thanks to a 25% reduction in grains per metre compared to AM-RCC. This production implementation has allowed us to produce a smoother surface, more ductile and smaller diameter strand.

We, as enthusiasts, have worked to find a solution to the skin effect that really satisfies us 100%. The differences between the cables in the entire production break down the skin effect in a unique way. Whatever your system needs, you can look through our cables Speaker .