Putting Cables in Perspective

It is clear from phone calls and emails we have received that people have no idea how to cost-effectively improve the sound of their Hi Fi systems. In particular, an absurd emphasis is placed on cables and the results that they might achieve.

If we score on a scale of 0-10 the difference in sound made by various components of a Hi Fi system, cables would score 0.1, electronics 10 and speakers a 100!
It is also clear from few repairs done by the Factory that most failures are caused by using unsuitable cables or by disconnecting or re-connecting them. Typically, loudspeakers are returned with snapped off terminals; this is caused by over tightening them to prevent spade connectors from undoing – you never will - so do not use them. If Spades work loose on an Amplifier, they may connect one channel to the other and destroy it! Amplifiers can be protected from shorting but not from connecting two together! Always use 4mm banana plugs as they work well and are reliable.

All AVI Amplifiers have a very high stability margin; they also have wide bandwidth extending to RF and considerable gain. However it is possible to make any amplifier oscillate by using unsuitable cables of the type often recommended by High End “Cable Gurus”. All that is needed is to restrict, where possible, speaker leads to 5m and use 2.5mm2 multi stranded copper cable. It is readily available from large numbers of suppliers! Good quality phono-to-phono leads made from screened coaxial cable must be used too. In particular, locking or tight fitting ones should be avoided as they often break the inside of the phono socket.
We have heard of one customer who spent £2,500 on his speaker cables and £300 on his Five Star CD player and then rang us to find out why the sound was “harsh and fatiguing” – He even asked if it might be the cables!

By Ashley James