For your reference, here is the "Information Sheet" I ship with the cables. Some of the same information is in the FAQ's below, which is the work of The Department of Redundancy Department.
Q. Do cables really make a difference?
A. I suppose there's no point in having an FAQ section if I don't address what is likely the most frequently asked question, so here we go...
My obvious bias aside, the short answer is yes, they do.
Whether it’s transferring current (power cables), or a signal (interconnects and speaker cables), the concept is pretty simple - the less you lose, the more you hear.
A well made cable simply transfers more "information", and helps keep it clean by rejecting noise. You lose less, and hear more.
To put another way, a great set of tires will help ensure you get more "power to the pavement" and improve your handling, but a sub-par set... well, I think we've all been there.
Of course, this is all just my opinion, and if there's one truth about this crazy hobby of ours, the only opinion that matters is your own; 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee, anyone?
Q. Where do I start when upgrading cables, and what cables should go where?
A. Always start your upgrade(s) as far upstream as possible, regardless of current draw. I recommend starting with a good quality wall receptacle (I know a guy who can help you with that...), then a cable for your line conditioner, etc.; IE. Whatever the "main hub" of your system is. From there, work your way down the power/signal chain - source(s), DAC, Pre-Amp (an argument can be made for any of these to take priority over the other, so it's your call), and end with your amp and speakers. Again, in my opinion, current draw should not be a factor in deciding where to put your "best" cable(s), just where the component sits in the power/signal chain. Some say put your best power cable(s) on amps given their high current draw, but if you're not feeding your amp(s) the best signal possible, you are literally amplifying issues and/or shortcomings.
Q. Which cable model(s) should I get?
A. In terms of power cables and what is best for a particular piece of gear, contrary to how some manufacturers present their respective product line(s), I don't believe in power cable "types". My design and construction philosophy is to ensure as much current as possible is delivered to your gear, and it is kept as clean as possible with proper shielding. As such, I keep things simple by only offering two power cable models, and they share the same great shielding. The larger one ['The 5'] just delivers more current (or loses less) than it's little brother ['The .1' CS], so your decision(s) need only be based on your budget, not your gear.
Q. What am I going to hear, and when am I going to hear it (IE. What's the burn-in period)?
A. First, I try to shy away from telling anyone exactly what they are going to hear. I may not be the most persuasive person in the world (I'm trying to convince my wife that a bigger TV would be great for the whole family, and it hasn't worked... yet), but if someone tells you what you are going to hear, you'll either want to prove them right, or prove them wrong - not a good spot for either party.
Instead, I'll focus on the burn-in part, which also touches on your likely listening experience(s).
My cables are designed to minimize signal/voltage loss, so the bottom end will come in first. That is the end of the spectrum that suffers most from signal/voltage loss, or perhaps saying it's the most noticeable is more accurate. With this in mind, there's the possibly of the bottom end sounding somewhat "over-emphasized" out of the box, especially if you're replacing a generic/factory cable - IE. The lower the quality of the original cable, the more dramatic the difference in the new cable. However, after one solid listening session the rest of the spectrum quickly begins to "even out", and everything continues to open up from there. The consensus is that the cable(s) sound their best after about 50-80 hours*, but many folks have reported continued system gains even after 100's of hours.
*Note: The greater the current draw/flow, the faster the burn-in period
A. The long and short of it is this - the name of the game is minimizing loss from "Point A" (outlet/receptacle) to "Point B" (your gear). Whatever the voltage/signal is at "Point A", the goal is to lose as little of it as possible en route to "Point B". As such, don't get me started on "the last few feet of wire can't/won't make a difference" crowd, as they drive me a little bonkers. However, in addition to gaining a firm grasp of what "Point A to Point B" means, I would recommend they look at things from the perspective of their gear and ask if the first few feet makes a difference. As "The Backstory" section explains, larger gauge equals increased conductivity and lower resistance, and that's why I make (and think you should own) larger AWG power cables.
If you don't like that answer, here's the tongue-in-cheek, Science schmience, full-on wise-a_s answer:
A. V12 engine may not be “necessary”, but if I could buy one for the price of a 4-banger, it would be a pretty easy decision.
Q. What AWG/size are your power cables, and how does that compare to others?
A. This seems like it should be pretty straight-forward, doesn't it? As for the the first part of the question, I state my power cables as being 4.5 AWG ('The 5'), and 6.5 AWG (‘The .1’ CS) respectively. Now for the ulcer-inducing second part - there are no set rules for how AWG is stated. As such, here's some of what you'll see in the industry:
- Some companies call it the total of all the wire in the cable (not including shielding). That makes for a big number, but it's useless information; It's like a car company telling you the total combined horsepower of all their models.
- Others state what each run of wire is, but they leave out their function (how many are being used for what), so you have to work it out for yourself; Now you have your individual horsepower ratings,... but no corresponding models.
- Then there's the folks like me, who state it as the total AWG of each main conductor ("Hot" & "Neutral"), with the Ground conductor getting a separate listing. This tells you exactly what's inside and what its function is, so you will always know exactly what you're getting (a novel idea, I know).
Q. Why do you cover the plug housings with heat shrink tube on your speaker cables?
A. A few reasons, none of which were motivated by wanting to hide the materials I use. First, the plugs I use either have poly-carbonate (hard plastic) housings or no housings at all, so the shrink tube provides some much needed insulation and protection. Second, I use heavy gauges, so I want abundant strain relief. Last but not least, all of the heat shrink tube I use is adhesive-lined, so it is incredibly STRONG, and it provides a durable air-tight seal.
Q. What makes you qualified to make/sell cables?
A. Formally? Nothing, unless you count my years in home A/V sales and installations. (what a great sales pitch, eh? - yep, I'm definitely Canadian)
However, I’ve been making cables for friends and colleagues (and myself, of course) for nearly 20 years. Additionally, all my builds are thoroughly tested against various “high-end” cables to compare sound and build quality – I’ll be modest and simply say that they hold their own. I also recently checked on the oldest builds of mine I could track down (15 years old when I checked) to ensure that the build and material quality are standing the test of time – they are. Finally, and most importantly, I truly believe I am providing a viable alternative to the current offerings, pricing, and total B.S. marketing out there for cables. I think my feedback and testimonials bear this out.
1. Please fill out the contact form to begin the process, and/or ask any questions.
2. If you are satisfied with my response(s), provide me with your complete shipping information, including your phone number for the customs declaration if you are outside of Canada, and I'll send you an invoice with the estimated lead time (usually pretty darn accurate), and the payment information.
3. Payment can be made anytime before your order is ready (again, you'll know your lead time when ordering), but if you want to pay right away, I certainly won't refuse. Immediate payment is required for DIY Supplies/Accessories though (IE. Anything I don't have to build), as they will be shipped within 48 hours.
4. Once payment is received, I'll generate the shipment right away and send you the tracking number.
5. Receive your cable(s) and ENJOY!
6. Leave feedback on canuckaudiomart.com or on my Google listing, and/or let me know your thoughts privately (I will not post or share them without your permission). This of course is optional, but it is very much appreciated.
All Cables Include:
1. Disappointment in your current/soon to be former cables - cheeky little bugger, aren’t I?
2. 60-Day 100% MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE:
If you're not happy with the performance, return the cable(s) and I'll refund every penny you paid me
NO STRINGS. NO B.S.*
3. #2 is probably a moot point - see #1
Last, but not least, if you live or work in or around Winnipeg, we’ll work out a hand-delivery or pick-up.