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

Choice of two doors

You've just discovered the wonderful world of Hi-Fi Audio and you're 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 assume 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 with supports of directly proportional value, in order to obtain optimized performances. An inadequate cable would castrate the system, one too much performance would not be harmful but, ultimately, useless at the listening level. Our focus is the wiring of High Fidelity audio electronics, and therefore in this article we will exhaust just the topic: choosing the right Hi-Fi cable for your system.

Hi-Fi cable types

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

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

The first one is the most varied, so much so that we can subdivide it into two other subcategories: analog signal cables and digital signal cables. In any case, signal cables always serve to move the signal from one device to another. Among the analog 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 XLR input and output.
  • Phono, for turntables, a variant of the RCA signal cables useful for reproduction on vinyl, one of the few techniques still entirely analogue.
  • Subwoofer, monophonic interconnects designed to enhance the low frequency reproduction of active subwoofers.
  • Jack 3.5, to connect stereophonic High Fidelity devices, with 3.5 mm Jack, 6.3 mm and Jack-RCA connections.

Digital signal cables, on the other hand, are of four different main types, namely:

  • CoaxialsThese carry the digital audio signal at 75 Ohm before it is converted to analogue and then amplified.
  • USB, cables that support one of the most diffused connections in the world and that in Hi-Fi interest mainly the users of liquid music.
  • Optical, more and more in disuse, because for stereophony coaxial are preferred, while in Audio/Video the signal is transported with the HDMI connection.
  • AES/EBU, a 110 Ohm connection with an XLR connection, very performing, but not very widespread.

Let's talk now cables Speakeralso known as speaker cables. These are used to connect the amplifier (integrated or final) to passive acoustic speakers with a signal Speaker , that is the one that has already made the final amplification. There are also power cableswhich are necessary to power any active component and which carry the current to make it work. Finally we find HDMI cablesHowever, for those who own a multichannel system, these are more about High Fidelity Video than Audio.

How much to spend on Hi-Fi cables? How to choose?

It's almost impossible to give an univocal answer, as there are so many variables and not so easily calculable. Just think of the listening room. That's why we give you the possibility to always contact us during working hours, by the means you prefer, in order to give you an advice tailored to you. A superficial estimate, but at the same time very quick, can be the following: for the wiring of an electronic is advisable to spend 10-15% of the list value of the same. Let's make two examples:

  • I have a CD player which I bought, used, for 1,000 €, but whose list value is 1,500 €. If I have to choose the Hi-Fi power cord, 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 Speaker cable to connect the two electronics, considering the total value (15,000 €), the right choice could be Invictus Speaker.

We repeat once again that this type of reasoning is in any case summary. Just think about one of the elements we mostly consider when evaluating a purchase: the quality/price ratio. In case your product has a definitely high quality/price ratio, you might think to get a cable of a higher series than what the two examples above would say. On the contrary, in case you have paid a lot for your turntable player but, alas, it's not that performing, it is not necessarily worth spending more for the cabling.

In medio stat virtus

Mind you. It won't do any harm to wire 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 better cable than you need for future system upgrades. At this point, however, we'd advise you to take advantage of Ricable Upgrade, which gives your used car 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 to light fine tuning modifications, it is useless to invest too much on 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 or Magnus series.

Let's take another example. Think about owning any small car and think about equipping it with high performance and expensive racing wheels. The improvement would be substantial on a sports car, even decisive if we were in the middle of a competition. But what you would be able to perceive, with your hatchback, would be, on the contrary, an infinitesimal upgrade. Or maybe you wouldn't feel any difference at all. The reverse is also true. Fitting standard tyres on an 800bhp, 8,500rpm, 12-cylinder racing car would be a bottleneck for vehicle performance, and in the worst case scenario could go so far as to compromise your safety.

The right cable for my Hi-Fi system

Choosing the right Hi-Fi cable for your system is not an easy task. That's why we've introduced the Satisfied or Refunded guaranteewhich foresees the possibility of a free return with a sixty days period. As said, there are so many variables, so we think it is necessary to give the possibility to make all the right tests in one's own listening room. On the other hand, the fun of audiophilia derives also from the countless tests we can do, experimenting new solutions. Maybe in the company of lifelong friends, trying "the new piece" in their respective systems and comparing the different opinions. The effort Ricable is to expand its catalogue more and more, updating with innovative techniques the existing products and inserting new ones. To meet everyone's needs both in terms of wiring and portfolio. Take a look at our catalogue to find out if there is one that suits you.

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