Cable question

Bit of a rookie question. My system is currently set out like this and the Sony on the trolley is disconnected:

As the Sony is my main deck it will eventually go back on the sideboard and the Technics will be relegated to the trolley. However, I was thinking if I put the Sony on the left of the sideboard and moved the amp to the right of the Vida, I could hook up the Technics on the trolley to the MC stage of the amp. The SME 3012 has been modified to take an interconnect:

Is there any reason not to use a 1.5m or 2m long well screened interconnect between the Technics and amp? Would an MC cartridge be able to drive a long cable? Thanks in advance.

That’s not a long cable.

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Even for a low output MC cartridge?

Not unless the cable is broken.


Nice solid Silver😉 5% better conductor than copper.
I’ve always liked silver in arm and upto the phonostage for low output MC carts.
At line level I prefer OFC copper.

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I had a 3m cable between an Io and the SUT without any loss of performance and an Io outputs 0.04mV

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Thanks for the replies chaps. Much appreciated.

Sorry, but that isn’t true. This is an application where cable characteristics, particularly capacitance, are really important. The longer the cable, the more capacitance. This combines with the input capacitance of the phono stage and can lead to a rolled off top end if excessive. There’s also more opportunity for noise to creep in with a longer cable.

I’d be wary of long lengths, say more than 1.5-2m or so, as a general rule of thumb. The actual results you get will depend on the specifics of the cartridge, phono stage and cable, it might be ok, but you ma get some roll off.

Using low capacitance, well screened, cable will give the best results.


Others will know better than I do, but as I understand it usually the issues with long cables are capacitance and noise pickup.

MCs are much more tolerant of capacitance than MMs so on that score you should be OK.

Noise, including hum, ends up being about electromagnetic pickup and, in cheap setups, flexing noise if the cable moves at all and poor contacts at the connectors. Assuming the cable isn’t flexing and the connectors are decent you’re left with EM pickup. Screening against the electric field is straightforward. Screening against the magnetic is more challenging. In principle you want to keep the signal cables away from other leads, particularly mains ones (including, sometimes, those buried in your wall or under your floor) and also from mains transformers in electronic kit. But there can be a trade-off there between running the signal and mains cables apart and not creating too large a ground loop with them if the Technics is safety-earthed via its mains lead. It’ll be a matter of sucking it and seeing.


Have to agree that Capacitance is the most significant consideration - I’ve experimented with a variety of cables, and even with MCs you really can hear the difference. Van Damme Silver Series ‘Lo-Cap’ is the best I’ve tried, albeit it’s wider than usual, requiring a bit of ingenuity terminating it.


Which manufactures do you recommend for silver cables Steve?

Hmm, I make my own - buy the silver from hifi collective.

There’s a Greek guy who makes keenly priced, well like cables, though.
+Brexit prices now of course, but still lower than most.
You might be able to get some custom made, if that is necessary.

Can try to find his details if required.

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I’m on it. Cheers.

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I’ve been using Yannis’ silver cables for the last few years. I have one of his Silvercord Plus arm cables and a matching interconnect from phono to amp. Very well made and good value.

That what I’m going for. I have a Audio Note Io Gold cartridge.

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A couple of metres will be fine. Much more than that [which is what I have] and I bought a Graham Slee RIAA phono preamp and used the cable supplied with the arm to connect to the pre amp then I was able to send the line level signal several metres across the room with no losses. You could spend more on bonkers [high fi perfect?] cables and still be worse off than my solution. But for 2 metres plug it in and enjoy the music.

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