Two cable options for closely spaced RCA plugs and / or DIN jacks...

Discussion in 'Solid State' started by LesB3, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. LesB3

    LesB3 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Before going any further, the following caveats should be noted:

    1. System consisted of a '76 TR-2055, '73 VL8 TT (AT MG-35V), and brand new Polk RTiA3's.
    2. I played various types of music: rock /pop, electronic, jazz, live recordings, results below were consistent across the board.
    3. I used the PHONO 1 input on my TR-2055. It has a sensitivity knob on the back that allows adjustments from 2.2mV to 10mV (and mine is cranked nearly all the way up, probably at the 7/8's mark). I did not test these on the TAPE inputs and would expect that the results could (and most likely would) be different.
    4. Despite my age (42) and past experiences (rhythm guitar, 100W combos at full blast right next to my head), most (more than usual?) of the high frequency range remains intact for me so I can hear the lights and TV, the anti-kid "mosquito" sounds drive me nuts, etc. When I recorded my band (this was 15+ years ago) I would drive myself (and everyone else nuts) with endless remixing / remastering -something was always "missing" for me, everyone else thought it always sounded fine. So, what I hear as "fuller" or "better" probably isn't the case with 95% of you... Then again, maybe it helps to have someone with freak hearing on these exercises. YMMV!

    SO... Here goes...

    I recently changed out my 90's Sony (DTR590) receiver for the Tandberg in the search for something that sounded (and looked!) better. As a result, the TR-2055 inherited my LC-1 Blue Jeans Cable (3 foot, RCA - RCA, https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/audio/index.htm). Sound was of course excellent, but because of the gap between the RCA inputs, I wanted to find something different. This did not sit well with me:


    I have no experience with DIN plugs (at least in audio) so started a separate thread asking about same and the consensus was to "try it out" and that I might note some differences in signal quality and / or strength. I ordered a cheaper cable off of Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/CablesOnline...s&ie=UTF8&qid=1514993661&sr=1-10&keywords=BO-.


    At the same time, I started talking to Wayne at BJC about the close gap RCA's and he suggested a Belden 1505F cable with REAN RCA connectors on one end (http://www.rean-connectors.com/en/products/phono/phono-plugs/nys352bg).


    These cables are also found on BJC's website at https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/audio/index.htm. The other end had the same "standard" RCA connectors found on the LC-1.


    Both cables were 3 foot. The DIN cable from CablesOnline was about $25, the BJC cable was about $41.

    Since the two inputs shared the same sensitivity adjustment, it was easy to A/B the two without worry of changing any of the dials. Everything was set flat (BAL, BASS and TREBLE) and volume was at 4 (out of 6) so "slightly" on the loud side, but not ear splitting. As you can see, the fit for both is much better:


    I then went back and forth several times between the three sets and after playing a number of records to try and find a difference, I have to admit, I could not really detect one. This was somewhat frustrating as I was expecting (and told to expect) differences, at least with the DIN input. However, after playing with things a bit, I was able to discern some differences.

    For the next "step" I decided to "tune" the receiver to my preferred settings:
    Balance equal, volume 4, bass flat (0), treble (+1 or about 1 o'clock), LOW filter "on"

    NOW I can hear a difference! My findings are below. Apologize for the LONG email and SHORT conclusion(s)!

    CablesOnline DIN to RCA - GOOD
    Once I "tuned" everything to my liking, I could finally hear the difference between the cables. My settings had the LEAST affect on this cable out of the three and, when compared to the other two cables (note that this applies at these tuned settings only) it was the most "sterile" of the bunch. The best way to describe the difference between this cable and the other two would be to describe it as the same difference between a CD recording and an LP. This cable sounded perfectly fine, but seemed (to me) to still be missing something. It should be noted that it is entirely possible that these results are (at least partly) due to the input itself (not just the cable) so not a very scientific experiment. I would be curious to hear these cables on a TAPE input with a CD player instead...

    Blue Jeans Cable (LC1) RCA to RCA - BETTER
    This is what I've been used to, I didn't really have an issue with the sound so the decision to change these out was more based on worries of wearing out the jacks on the TR-2055. Sound was very good and full, better than the DIN cable for sure. I also had concerns that the connections (being stressed at the back of the receiver) were less than ideal.

    Blue Jeans Cable (1505F w/ REANS plugs) - BEST
    Aside from the REAN connectors (which alone would be enough for me to switch here) the cable did sound *slightly* better than the LC1, much more bottom end came through, and the sound was slightly fuller overall. It should be noted that I'm not sure if the potential less than ideal connections on the LC1 played into this or not but it might have.

    When I get some time, I might drag out a newer system and A/B the two BJC's with a CD source to see if there are any REAL differences between the LC1 and the 1505, since I'm a bit surprised that the 1505 actually sounded better. Again, it might be due to the LC-1 stressing the RCA in's on the back of the receiver.

    Hope this helps anyone who might be in the same situation. If anyone needs / wants any additional info, feel free to ask!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018

     

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  2. LesB3

    LesB3 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Did a quick test with the DIN to RCA cable on TAPE 1 and a run-of-the-mill CD changer from the 90's (Sony CDP-C245) and there's none of the issues with this cable that are noted with the PHONO input above. Input sensitivity was set at the lowest setting, adjustable on the TAPE jacks from 150mV to 600mV. Input impedance on this jack is lower than the PHONO jack (25k vs. 47k).


    Crystal clear!
    For sure, this cable is much better for this sort of application. Now I guess I have to find a wood-panelled CD player that matches the rest of them!
     
  3. SounderMN

    SounderMN Member

    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Minnetonka, MN
    Sorry, I cannot help you with the cable question. But, the way that TT is sitting on top of the receiver is a problem. That table will perform best when on a stable platform, and sitting perfectly level. This is true for any TT, in fact. As it sits, it's unstable, and I'm sure it's not level. Plus, you don't want that slipping off the edge and crashing to the floor.
     
  4. LesB3

    LesB3 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks for this! I know its not ideal but have actually made sure that it is level (front to back, side to side, center to corner, etc.)
     
  5. LesB3

    LesB3 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    ...And I'm not being dismissive, I just re-centered and re-leveled the turntable on top of the amp, after thinking about it again. Thanks for your attention to detail!!!
     

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