Saturday, July 18, 2015

Undiscovered Budget Wonder Analog Interconnects: Secret To Good Sound on the Cheap?

If you think entry-level Monster Cable budget interconnects are just too expensive for your hi-fi budget, are there any budget analog interconnect wonders around?

By: Ringo Bones 

If your hi-fi gear’s budget doesn’t stretch to the Monster Cable M850i territory, don’t fret there are even “cheaper” budget wonders to be found that work as good as – even better in some set-up situations – and only cost one-fifth as much as an equivalent specification Monster cable. Even though the brands / models that I’m about to mention seems to have vanished / no longer available after September 11, 2001, they are still widely available in garage sales of “hardened audiophiles”. 

Although their product website now feature exclusively activity trackers / fitness trackers, Scosche used to manufacture wonderful sounding analog interconnect cables during the latter half of the 1990s. The best known of them are the “cryogenically treated” eFx by Scosche series that only costs one-fifth as much as similar-specification Monster Cables and yet sound just as good. The Scosche cable’s “tweak” nature comes into its own when used in between EF86 vacuum tube based preamplifiers / input stages where it exhibits very open and controlled bass of a very acoustic nature that’s much closer to what a bass guitar – whether acoustic or electric – sounds like in real life than the Scosche’s “lowly price” has a right to exhibit. This is a very addicting low priced analog interconnect cable that has been ignored by most of the mainstream hi-fi press during the latter half of the 1990s. 

Another late 1990s era budget wonder is the Aura Dynamics AU-311 Super High Resolution Interconnect. Though slightly more grainy and electronic sounding than the Scosche, the Aura Dynamics has a more dynamic bass that came make budget integrated amplifiers sound as if they are entry-level Naim models. But compared to the Scosche, the Aura sometimes can make a live concert kick drum sound as if it is a late 1980s era electronic keyboard percussion beat sample. Still, the Aura Dynamics AU-311 is much cheaper than the Scosche.