Opinions on Head Shell leads

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Bucky Badger, May 16, 2018 at 4:04 PM.

  1. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    Hey guys and gals, I am looking to upgrade my head shell lead wires and am looking for your opinions on what would be good ones to get. I don't really want to spend tons of money on them and have been looking at eplay and notice you can spend lots or just a little.(Kinda like interconnects) I would be looking to get maybe 3-5 sets of 4.
    So, what do you use? Which ones can you recommend that don't cost an arm and a leg.
    Thanks Much.
    Bucky
     

     

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  2. TomInTacoma

    TomInTacoma d/b/a Vinyl Reclamation Sponsor

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    Here's my thoughts (and they're likely to spark a debate) on the topic - when you consider the low signal strength coming from a cartridge (whichever one you pick) I just don't see how going with an 'upgraded' head shell wire set will net you any perceptible benefit. Also to consider - the wiring within the tone arm is so fine - yet the turntable manufacturer deems it suitable for the task at hand.

    Unless you have to replace a set due to breakage - spend the money elsewhere. :)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018 at 4:36 PM
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  3. tnsilver

    tnsilver AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You're right - don't. It's less than 2" of conducting wire and I seriously doubt anyone would notice a difference in SQ if you replaced that length with coat hanger steel. Just get standard OFC litz leads with good termination, not too thick, not too thin, not too short. If there's a brand on it - it's too expensive already. The only time I broke my own rule was when I got the AT6101 PCOCC wires, which I found to be too fat, too rigid and too short.
     
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  4. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    Thanks. I agree that I doubt I will really hear a dif. in the SQ but as I am slowly upgrading my carts/head shells/TT's I kinda want to use something other than the standard everyday wires. I have looked at OFC in a Litz wire config. and will go with these. I just wondered if someone knew of some less expensive set's selling somewhere that work as well as the more expensive ones that your happy with.
    I want to find some that aren't to fat, rigid or to short.
    Good points tnsilver and Tom. :thumbsup: Thanks for your opinions.
     
  5. jeffpaletz

    jeffpaletz AK Subscriber

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    As said above, spend your money somewhere else.
     
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  6. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

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    The SOAR HD5 headshell wires should fit your requirements. :idea:
    https://www.amazon.com/LP-Gear-HD5-...26512200&sr=8-1&keywords=headshell+lead+wires
     
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  7. Empireman

    Empireman Active Member

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    Signet (by Audio-Technica) use to make some very nice copper Litz wires.
    I don't see the need to go for $$$ wires of ANY kind including tonearm/speaker,IC's,ect.
     
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  8. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Agreed. But, I did buy some of those AT leads cuz they look cool and aren't megabucks. I don't do megabucks anything.
     
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  9. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Litz

    You don't have to here a difference, unless you like hearing broken wire, ground hums, loose contacts, tabs breaking off every time you plug them on and off.

    Litz are fabric and supper fine they are very flexible and generally don't break at the tabs. A stiff wire is always going to break at the tab and put undue force on the pins and solder joint. You will have none of that with a fabric litz wire made nice.

    IMG_0732.jpg
     
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  10. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Audioquest HL5 Headshell Leads

    Audioquest-Headshell-Leads_Main-1.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018 at 11:36 PM
  11. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    Awesome. Thanks you guys. Good info and recommendations.
    You are the best.
     

     

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  12. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    I seen a listing for the Audioquest HL5 for $25 on eBay, and that's pretty cheap for them.
     
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  13. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    They look good. Thanks for the heads up. They look a little thiner than the SOAR HD5's.
    Think I'm going to pull the plug on the HL5's.
    Thanks for all your help you guys.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 10:58 AM
  14. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    They are very flexible and tuck away nicely, tabs are split so they will open to the pin size and can be crimped tighter if need be. With the heat shrink covering the tabs and wire at the ends makes them nice and strong to use many times without breaking them. I also like the bright color. These you can even for a clean look, make all your connections with the cart loose from the head, then twist the cart and the leads to make it like one wire and tuck it away.
     
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  15. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    I actualy need to buy some more of them for my other arms.

    Look how small the litz are

    IMG_1930.JPG

    Now these two are also well made and the white ones with the color rings are stock SME that came with the Series V arm. But they are big and bulky to tuck away.

    IMG_2338.JPG IMG_2086.JPG
     
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  16. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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  17. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    Wow. Those SME's do look a lot thicker.
    I see the HL5's listed for 25.00 on SoundApproach. (no afil)
     
  18. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    Looks like a Sumiko BPS Evo III cart ya got there.
     
  19. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Sumiko fan boy here:p

    The SME 309 arm has the EVO III and the litz, the other two are SME Series V arms with Blackbirds.
     
  20. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger All around good guy Subscriber

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    Wow. Those Blackbirds are sure sumpthin' as I bet the EVO III is as well.
    Nice!
     

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