There are no strict rules about which cables you should use with any particular system. As a guideline, you should spend at least 10% of the system price on cables. Manufacturers usually supply leads with equipment but you are best to regard these as no more than get-you-going items. Invest in something better as soon as you can.
Weíre not asking you to spend more money, just remember to allow a little of your total budget when planning your purchase. But donít just take our word for it, hear the difference for yourself.
ďInterconnects... theyíre such an important variable in determining the sound of your systemĒ
- What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision Magazine
ďAs with all hi-fi, the best way to choose an interconnect is to listenĒ
- What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision Magazine
Be warned, however, that the most expensive cables - and some exotic leads can set you back several hundred quid or more - donít necessarily guarantee top performance. You usually get what you pay for but there are exceptions to the rule! Nonetheless, every system - whether itís a top-of-the-range rig or a basic starter set-up - needs purpose-made hi-fi cables. Donít think that leads such as those supplied with your kidís abandoned game console will double as hi-fi interconnects just because they have the same sort of plugs on them. Worthwhile hi-fi cables use high quality materials and connectors, are carefully designed and manufactured for the best sonic performance, and are configured to reject interference.
Whatever sort of system you have, pay particular attention to the loudspeaker cables. Donít simply hook up your speakers with the lengths of wire your electrician left behind when he finished installing your shower. Choose proper loudspeaker cable and connect it to your speakers and amplifier carefully with the recommended connectors: a short circuit caused by loose strands of wire touching each other can fry your amplifier, and the repairs wonít be covered by your warranty.
Make sure you use equal lengths of cable even if one speaker is right next to your amplifier while the other is several feet away. And donít make a neat coil of any excess cable because that encourages it to act like an aerial and pick up interference. Another anti- interference measure is to keep interconnect and speaker cables away from mains cables: at the very least avoid running mains cables close and parallel to any cables carrying audio signals.
3^Bi-wired^A speaker with seperate terminals to connect it's woofer and tweeter to the amplifier.^|43^Analogue^A signal that is as exact replica of the original sounds waveform. An example of an analogue device is a cassette deck.^|44^Impedance^The resistance, measured in Ohms, offered to AC (alternating current) signals by a component. In loudspeaker specifications 8 Ohms is the norm, 6 Ohms is becoming more popular, but be careful with low-impedance 4 Ohm speakers because not all power amplifiers are happy driving them.^|45^RDS^Radio Data System - This is fitted to some tuners and car radios (where it's genuinely useful ) and supplies some additional information and controls signals to the tuner^|46^Sensitivity^When quoted in loudspeaker specifications, this tells you how easy a job the amplifier have driving the speaker. Measured in dB (decibels), 88dB is average, 84dB is low (so get a big amp!), and 90dB or above is very high (so a little amp will do).^|47^Tweeter^A loudspeaker's high frequency drive unit. Produces most of the treble.^|48^Watts^Used to specify amplifier or loudspeaker power handling.^|49^Woofer^A loudspeaker's low frequency drive unit.^|50^Amplifier^Hi-fi component (or any electrical circuit) that boosts signals. An amplifier is required to connect a cd player to speakers...and so on.^|51^Multiregion^This term means that the unit is capable of playing discs from anywhere in the world. The world is split into 6 regions. DVD players and discs sold within Europe are region 2. America is region 1 and so on.^|52^Multi-region^This term means that the unit is capable of playing discs from anywhere in the world. The world is split into 6 regions. DVD players and discs sold within Europe are region 2. America is region 1 and so on.^|92^WMA 9 Pro^The first digital surround sound coding technology for the Web, developed by Microsoft. When connected to a multi-channel-equipped PC, you are able to enjoy high resolution stereo or 5.1-channel surround audio at 128 k - 768 Kbps compression rates. At any given bit rate, 5-channel WMA9 Pro will bring you higher fidelity than other sound compression algorithms thanks to the latest audio codec technology.^|93^WMA 9 Pro^The first digital surround sound coding technology for the Web, developed by Microsoft. When connected to a multi-channel-equipped PC, you are able to enjoy high resolution stereo or 5.1-channel surround audio at 128 k - 768 Kbps compression rates. At any given bit rate, 5-channel WMA9 Pro will bring you higher fidelity than other sound compression algorithms thanks to the latest audio codec technology.^|94^HDMI switching^An excellent feature that allows multiple HDMI devices to be connected through and amp and then 1 HDMI output to be connected to the TV. This will allow anyone who has a single HDMI connection on the TV, to connect several via the amp. The number of devices varies between models.^|96^PRFC^Test^|108^DTS-HD^High definition Audio sound track on an bluray disk that is designed by DTS and probably the best sound track available.^|