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IC cables for Zero 100 ?

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IC cables for Zero 100 ?

Postby Woodstock-Generation52 » 28 Sep 2017 06:52

New member and my first post. A tad long, but I've been gone a long time.
Hello to everyone here, and a little bit of background:
I just had my 46 year old ZERO 100 completely refurbished after a 40 year hibernation!
It's now better than new, according to the Excellent service tech at TurntableExperts.
Many hours of painstaking labor to get it "unstuck", from that infamous Garrard grease!!
So glad I listened to my instincts and knew my limitations.
It's a vintage set for sure and I had fond memories spinning LP's, I can still hear
Pete Townshend doing the windmill on "Live At Leeds", a fav of mine among many others
from that era. Cleaning methods and devices have also evolved from Discwasher 4! lol
I'm quite excited to be revisiting my records after 4 decades and granted soo much has
changed since I went digital back in the early eighties with CD's.
My most immediate concern is the interconnect cable. The original is N/A and by today's
technology standards seriously wanting. What I had and knew then, about audio,
well, I've come along way baby.
The cartridge is an Empire 3000 Mk III, stylus #s912E, (purple). Virtually like new.
Reading online about today's TT's has me thoroughly out of step with analog audio.
Prices, capacitance values, types of wires, insulation, connectors, eddy currents,
skin effect are mind blowing to me. I have much learning to do and since my TT is
more of a sentimental device and the decision to resurrect it, a whim to placate my
senses of why I kept it 40 years. Then seeing it on eBay in mint condition and selling
for $500. had me thinking a classic, vintage TT that would look good and sound decent
in my current setup. Worthwhile to refurbish it, still aware far better and new TT's were
to be had.
So the big question is, what would be the proper IC cable that would match up to my Zero?
Does spending many hundreds or thousands of $$$$ make my TT sound better than it is?
What would be a sensible price point or the best bang for the buck?
My musical tastes run A-Z, classically trained on violin, switched to guitar but only recently
revisited R & R. Most of my LP's are late 60's thru the 70's. New age, world music, smooth jazz,
oldies, A.C. have been my down time music choices when I'm not listening to talk radio and politics.

I got involved with Dolby Pro Logic surround sound in 1990 and the merging of audio and video
was a big deal for me so I jumped right in. Then life happened and for many years my toys/
Possessions were kept in a climate controlled storage unit till about 3 years ago.

Today, I've evolved more so and refined my home theater system experience, incorporating a Samsung Quantum Dot (9 series) 65" curved 4K HDR TV with "one connect" and 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos (Andrew Jones) Pioneer Elite speakers into my media room. My only holdovers from my first system are the Yamaha sub, a modest 100W with a remote from 1993 and a Pioneer CLD-2080 Laser Disc player that was serviced for a
new laser lens, cleaned and aligned to factory specs, then shortly later, packed away.
The brains and brawn tying all this and other pieces together is a Pioneer Elite SC-LX701 AVR.
It's able to do 7.1.4 surround.
So again, thank you for reading and letting me catch up and hope to contribute to this amazing forum!
I welcome any and all thoughts and ideas from VE aficionados, long live vinyl LP's!
Common sense is Genius,
dressed in its working clothes.
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Re: IC cables for Zero 100 ?

Postby DSJR » 28 Sep 2017 21:50

Be sensible here with cable choice. The Zero 100 is a lovely looking period piece which will sound ok playing records and you can get it to sound very pleasant in a gentle soft-focus kind of sense.

Exit cable could be Van Damme tour grade screened and you can get Neutrik-terminated sets for twenty quid or so. This cable is flexible enough and I use it with my Garrards with no issues at all. The screen seems well covered and the inner conductors are very good quality copper with a silver strand or two added.

P.S. Can I ask you to avoid audiophool sensibilities as much as possible? Most of it is to try to gain sales from confused punters in a shrinking market. Electronic physics is electronic physics and apart from improved manufacturing techniques as regards electronic components becoming smaller and cheaper, the laws that governed design fifty years ago still hold true - it's just that when applied to audio, these techniques can now be realised better and more cheaply than back then. Cables are the biggest rip-off of it all, especially when large 'domestic HiFi' makers are concerned selling through dealer chains. Dealers often have to give discounts on the gear, and high-profit cables can either sweeten the discount pill, or be sold at full price to top up the profit at week's end... been there & dun-it guv'nor!
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Re: IC cables for Zero 100 ?

Postby Woodstock-Generation52 » 08 Oct 2017 08:57

DSJR, thank you for the words of wisdom! I did read up on your IC recommendations.
This will be my 2nd attempt to reply, my first was not saved and was lost. Still getting familiar on this VE site.
Trying also to downsize my picture for an avatar, file's too big! The limits are that.
On to your eloquent reply,
Very true, salesmen work mostly on commission and if they can push a certain brand and improve their bottom line or profits, your not going to fare well saving big coin. I've known for decades about the shady practices regarding electronics and their markups.
Typically whatever the best price you can find in retail chain stores or audio salons will be 50% above cost to produce the item. Never mind high end, esoteric audio salons and their brands! Fair trade laws and companies with their hyper-inflated egos that won't offer discounts and sell full MSRP, they tell the merchant "you sell our products at this set price or you don't get to sell it period." They are, sadly ripping off many ill informed consumers and who are led to believe they got a good deal. You have to pay, to play in the high end markets.
It's their credo. Shopping wisely is the key and doing your due dilegence can locate good bargains online for the pricier items or getting a manufacturers warranty. Being an authorized reseller gets you that coveted warranty albeit at a higher price. Brick and mortar stores complain about the price undercutting of margins as online sellers have an advantage, minimal employees, cheaper operational overhead, most offer no tax if out of state, discounted open box or refurbished returns and sometimes free shipping. Tough to compete and make a profit.
IC's are still hotly debated, even today. Can you hear the difference or feel the difference in sound?? Some have golden ears while many have tin ears and could care less, given what the average person can afford.
Wanting and needing is the critical factor, which justifies how much we spend on any one item. The other analogy that's often employed to help you part with your cash is this: "your chain is only as strong as your weakest link." So now on the whole of the system you have to decide what your budget can afford and where many "fall short", are the interconnects. That's what we're led to believe, it's upselling to a degree and the adage of "you get what you pay for" holds true. Somewhere in between we decide what's most important and the left over dollars gets what's deemed acceptable, if not "top shelf". It gets the job done, right? We read reviews by experts who know more and write elequently enough to instill the thought "I need better" whatever device we think isn't good enough. Maybe next time when I upgrade? When will good, be good enough? How much more $$$$ will I spend to hear/see an incremental difference?? Having deep pockets or being able to build an entire "Home Theatre" with a blank check is great, if you're fortunate to be in such a position; cost no object, few are!
Listening with your ears and using your own judgement/instincts will usually serve you well. I don't pretend to keep up with Jonse's or to be an "early adopter", because I have modest means. I like nice new toys too and try to find balance using logic mixed with emotions, but common sense prevails-- most of the time(wink).
For now I will use the Monster Cables (audio and video) that have been kept from my earlier foray into Dolby Pro Logic surround sound system. Many are well preserved and I read that the video cable would make a good TT- I.C. Interesting, so I have some experimentation to perform, perhaps I have to use critical judgement to decide what if any, difference can I hear? Stay tuned! In the meantime I'm in the middle of modifying my new TT stand, to have a larger foot print platform and leaving open the possibility of installing sound absorbing material.
Several online forum posts have opined on the virtues of isolation of the tone arm, it makes sense and now 40 years later, I have to be aware of this in the 'new analog' -- digital world. Is my modest Garrard Zero 100 that sensitive, IDK yet, but I will see what I hear soon enough. I'm also aware of the 'Monster's death grip on those
fragile RCA jacks under the TT and will open up those spiral cut 24K gold terminals a tad.
Common sense is Genius,
dressed in its working clothes.
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Re: IC cables for Zero 100 ?

Postby DSJR » 09 Oct 2017 09:42

A little tale from this weekend - make of it what you will...

Current workroom system contains a fifty year old Dual 1019 which came to me with the original grey coloured audio cable, crimp connections to the internal terminal block and plastic phono plugs. I had a Van Damme set of 1m long cables (Pro Patch) all ready to go and fitted them this weekend. result - absolutely NO difference I could hear. Now, it's my opinion the 1019 is a darned fine 'sounding' vintage record player, but this comparison reminded me that despite older wires not looking very posh, the screening inside might just be fine still and the possibly higher capacitance can work well with many older cartridges.

I think many Garrards with the same chassis the Zero is derived from have phono sockets underneath, meaning you can fit all sorts safely and without resorting to a soldering iron. As long as your chosen cables are flexible enough, I probably wouldn't worry too much :)
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Re: IC cables for Zero 100 ?

Postby A70BBen » 09 Oct 2017 20:24

The stock Garrard cables from the early-mid 70s were also low capacitance, for CD-4 quadriphonic. Many current audiophile interconnects are too HIGH capacitance for a lot of cartridges such as Shures, and roll off the highs.
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Re: IC cables for Zero 100 ?

Postby Woodstock-Generation52 » 09 Oct 2017 20:59

When I got the TT back from servicing I was given these cheap looking grey cables just to get started if I didn't I didn't have extra cables. I have plenty of A/V cables all Monster types. But I'm not aware of their compatibility with a tone arm with respect to capacitance. I have the papers that were included describing the characteristics and capabilities with respect to audio and video signals. I set aside 1 pair of audio cables that are directional, arrows for source signal, and are well shielded. One article I read that covered tests and performance reviews hooked up to a TT even suggested that a video cable would be a good connection.
My Cartridge is an Empire 3000 mk3 with a purple stylus. During the testing after a major refurbishment, 2 days, he said it sounded great! So maybe I'll just hook up those grey wires he gave me and give it a spin and a good listen! I'll have to clean one of my LP's and have a go at it.
Tonite sounds like a good time to do that. It's been 40 plus years, so this will be interesting for sure!
I'll let you know how it went.
Thanks again.
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dressed in its working clothes.
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Re: IC cables for Zero 100 ?

Postby DSJR » 10 Oct 2017 00:12

I think the Zero 100's came way before CD-4 quadrophonic playback. Maybe the GT55 was optimised this way???
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