The Cardas Room Setup Guide: FAQ: System Setup

A collection of questions we've received over the years about setting up a system

Page 2 1 2 3

Mixing Cables

Q.) Dear George, I've got Verity Parsifal Encores with a Levinson 383 Integrated Amp. I'm currently running Golden Reference single wired, but I'd like to pump up the bass a bit. Apparently Verity has an external crossover available which would allow me to biwire the speakers.

Is it reasonable to biwire speakers with Golden Refrence for the midrange and tweeter and Golden Cross for the Bass? Is there a better way? Should I just switch to Golden Cross?

BTW, interconnects are Golden Reference too. Thanks for any suggestions. Sam

A.) Hi Sam, If the room is live in any way you are better off with the Golden Cross. Without being there, it is hard to say for sure. Clap your hands in the room. If you hear any slap you will be better off with the Golden Cross. There is no problem mixing the the two cables. The system will become incrementally warmer as you place Golden Cross in the system. Thanks, George


Q.) How can a tone on your Stan Ricker record degauss anything?

A.) It works the same as any degaussing system. A high amplitude sine decays slowly into silence. Mine also sweeps at the same time, but most degaussers work in the same way, whether they are a flux buster or a tape head demagnitisers. The main difference here is by using the record as the source you degauss the whole system end to end and degauss the cartridge in the position in which it is played. - George

RCA Caps on Input or Output Jacks?

Q.) I have two of your RCA caps in trial, I have placed them at the output unused RCA jacks of my dac.

Is it more effective to have them at the pre-amp, or the dac, or how would you prioritize based on the effectiveness of equipment in order for the RCA caps?

Do I need them on the output, or just the input RCA jacks?

I planned to have all the unused RCA jacks of my entire system covered by your RCA caps, is this necessary?

A.) Inputs have more effect than outputs and the higher the gain of the input the more the effect.

Either type can contribute to RF leakage. The inputs slightly more than the outputs.

Probably not necessary but it's good insurance anyway! - George

RCA Caps

Q.) Please enlighten me on the improvements in sound that you have experienced using the Cardas RCA Caps. I trust you will be honest and forthright in your explanations. Thank you. Sincerely, Tim O.

A.) Hi Tim. The improvements can vary from nothing at all to extreme, it depends on your system and your environment. The initial impetus for this product came from a manufacturer that was having a lot of problems with his product, especially in New York City. He had tracked the problem down to RF leakage and corrected it by putting aluminum foil over the RCA jacks and he asked us for a more elegant solution to the problem. Generally, leakage of clock signals and RF into the device will cause a rising high end and a sort of hardness to the sound, but it can also make voices in the back ground or more serious problems such as DtoA's that won't even lock up. I personally live off the edge of the world and find little improvement. However, the feed back on the product has been excellent and enthusiastic from the "big city." They make the most improvement in a dirty environment. Many stores have found them to be a life saver. - George

Blind Testing

Q.) Has Cardas ever engaged in any blind testing of its cables?

A.) Sure, in the early days, many times. Now there is so much product in the field and so much agreement on the character of various cables, that setting up a double blind would seem pointless to most high-end fanatics. However, the recording industry is very cautious and guarded about changes because the stakes so high. A few years ago there was a double blind test conducted by what I think is the top mastering facility in the world, Grundman Mastering. The type of test is one often used in the industry to sort things out. The reason for the test was not to determine whether or not cables sounded different, that was already a given, the tests were to determine which cable sounded best and why.

New mastering facilities were being built in the US and Japan and cables were requested from all leading suppliers, from Belden to Transparent. Various cuts were mastered to CD, changing only the cables. The CD's were sent to a panel of engineers and others in the industry and the results tabulated. None of the listeners knew up front what the difference was between the cuts. The results were easily quantifiable. I think it took a year to complete all the comparisons. In the end, two of the many cables compared proved superior to the rest. Grundman is now Cardas wired. - George

Myrtle Wood Blocks

Q.) Mr. Cardas, I fully enjoyed your interview in the July issue of Stereophile and especially your view on the use of wood. I have tried many footers of different composites over the years and have never been really happy with the outcomes. May I ask if you can share with me the type of wood blocks you use under your system I saw in those great photos and any other helpful hints pertaining to this topic. I have enjoyed the musicality of your cables and am currently looking at rewiring my tone arm with your wire. Nice stuff. I appreciate your time. Sincerely, Dean S.

A.) Hi Dean. The blocks are Myrtlewood Golden Cuboid's. Myrtle is a hard wood that grows in southern coastal Oregon, it has a very complex grain structure. I made a few hundred for my CES systems but we have had so many requests for them I have had to run more. - George