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

Choice of two doors

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.

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