Cable advice

Looking for some opinions on cable mixing. I’ve read that all the cables should be the same brand and same line up to have a more cohesive sound. That does seem to make sense in my head but how important is that? Are you for mixing cables or are you strictly one brand one line and why? What has your experience been?




I would say 85% + are probably mixed… maybe. For most of the last forty years mine have usually been. Components tend to differ, so the solution for any two components will likely differ. Sometimes I acquired things at different times and I found a better match.

For the first time I have nearly all the same power cords, cables and interconnects.. but still, I needed to switch brands on my power amp. But now also all my electronics are the same brand and level… something new to me. You can see my systems under my user ID.

I don’t agree that cables all need to be the same. To me, it’s all about synergy no matter where that comes from. For me, I just happened to gravitate toward Acoustic Zen, and every time I added a better AZ cable things just got better and so I just ended up with a full loom of AZ cables. It just happened that way for me, but I’m all open and if I hear another cable that sounds better to me than AZ I’m all in. But, as it stands and how it evolved for me, I’m all in with AZ. If Cardas, AudioQuest, etc. works for you I say go for it!

I also have at least 4 different brands and different quality, although all at least mid-level (at least in my opinion they are mid-level!) The only time I’ve heard they should be the same is from a dealer wanting me to spend thousands to upgrade to one brand and all at a very high level, which of course he sold. I didn’t go for it. 

Using Audioquest as an example, they are very clear that listening is a significant part of their product development, so it seems that if I like the sound characteristics of one of their cables, I'm likely to also appreciate their other products since they are likely all listened to by the same people.

The potential options for cable brands is essentially infinite, so staying with a single brand does limit the options if you don't have deep enough pockets to trade in everything multiple times.

One downside to sticking with a single brand is that sometimes a company is a one trick pony where it doesn't seem logical that the same basic design would be optimal for power cords, interconnects, and speaker cables since they do different things electrically.

I have Waudio and Pangea power cords, Morrow Audio interconnects, and Blue Jeans Cable speakers cables.

All of the manufacturers would say that you should have a matched set of their cables.  Once a seller sells you a set of cables, saying that having a matched set will sound even better, thus opening up many more sales.  So you can see where this advice comes from.

I don't even consider is.  

Of course I only have one cable of each type:  one ethernet cable, one usb cable, one set of interconnects to my amp, one set of speaker cables.  All are a differt signal in a different application. So even if they were the same brand, they would all be different.


The manufacturers have incentive to suggest that all cables be the same.  Since each set has a different purpose and often different impedances in play, you could be very likely get best sound with different cables.

You will receive varying opinions regarding your question. I really don't think there is any one correct answer it all depends on each person's equipment and the synergy developed between components and cabling. I have systems that I like that are all from the same manufacturer and other systems that I achieved the sound I personally wanted by carefully mixing and matching various manufacturers' cables. In case you have not guessed I say nay to those that insist that cables should not be used for tuning, but you have the right to your own opinion ;-)

In my experience it takes time and listening tests, trying different cables until you achieve the level of synergy that suits your preferences. This may or may not be a full loom. 

I also have four different brands currently. IMO it's a good idea to start with one inexpensive brand throughout as a baseline then choose one component to try different cables on,usually the source first.

Think about this. The internal wiring inside each of your components is different.

While keeping the same cable brand and type may be one approach, with some of the higher quality cable brands/types, intermixing can also produce good results.  

I’ve never been able to last with a full loom with the same cable. I’ve tried it with several manufacturers.  The combination you can come up with to mix and match and tune your system is endless.

that’s part of the fun of system building for me.



I've got 6 different brands of cables in my system currently and it sounds fantastic. Lots of trial and error to get here.

Start with the fact that good cabling is rather expensive.

Going one brand is easier and you get a house sound if you want that.

Going mixed will get you there but that will happen with more effort and probably more money.

Whatever you do (copper, silver, stranded or solid core) experimentation is required plus a good time for the things to settle down.

At the moment I use four different brands, even by mixing metals, silver for turntable, phono and speakers, copper for all the rest and I am happy with the result.


This is particularly true if you liked the house sound of your components and therefore bought all of your components from the same manufacture. 

I personally don't think it's that important to have all cables from the same manufacturer (a "loom").  In several of my rooms I have Synergistic Research, Acoustic Zen, Wireworld, Lavricables, Nordost.  All of my systems sound great. All my powercords are Shunyata except for one which is a VooDoo.  All my power conditioners are Shunyata except for one which is Synergistic Research. My choices are driven by price - almost all of it is purchased used from Audiogon or Audiomart (US & Canada) I don't have the inclination (or budget) to  try different cables for a given piece of eqiupment.  I couldn't really really tell a difference between them anyway.  The one exception is that I like silver conductors (with an occasionalmix as in Nordost) in preference to copper - I can hear a difference there and I don't perceive them as too bright.  So, don't fret about whether you have a loom or not. 

About 25 years ago, I asked a gentleman who sells NOS tubes (an individual who most on A'Gon seem to have a lot of respect for) about mixing tube brands in a certain application.  He told me it wasn't his favorite thing, but not as bad as mixing cables.  I asked him what was wrong with that, & he told me (and I am paraphrasing) that if Cable Brand A did one sonic aspect well, but was upstream of Cable Brand B which fell short on that attribute of Cable Brand A, but did a different sonic aspect well, the positive aspect of Cable Brand A was being negated by Cable Brand B's failure to pass it on.

Anyway, that was his logic; he sells tubes so I guess he doesn't have any skin in the cable game. 

I have no qualms about mixing manufacturers for cables. For me affordability has to be taken into account, I will buy "bang for the buck".....but the sound has to be there. I personally mix cables, based on what each company does well and sounds terrific.

I use Morrow Audio for analog RCA and XLR cables, Supra Cables for digital cables (USB, ethernet, HDMI/I2S), Audioquest Vodka for HDMI/I2S, Anticables for speaker cables, Cullen Cables for C7 power cables, and Pangea Cardas copper power cords.

I will soon be replacing the power cables (not sure what with yet, suggestions welcome), and rolling in some Zavfino interconnects for comparison.

It's almost impossible to answer that question; it depends mostly on the cables and the synergy with the system. I have some cables that have a rather strong "flavor" to them; for example one that softens / warms up the sound. If I use just one between the preamp an the active crossover, it adds just enough warmth and depth; if I use it everywhere, it becomes too much, softening the top end and making the sound a bit slow and lacking dynamics. But some cables are close to perfection, if such thing exists, very transparent and neutral; with great electronics (which I don't have) it would probably make sense to use a full loom. I suspect the better the cable / the better the electronics, the more it makes sense to use a full loom of the same cable. In my case I need to play with cables to obtain the right balance.

I'm currently ordering some bulk cable that seems to be exceptional according to some friends of mine, and I will build a full loom because I wanna hear the cable in isolation; but it's impossible to know in advance if I will keep a full loom or if I'll have to mix it with my other cables. 

Power cables are something else and I would think that a full loom is probably not a good idea. All the power cables I have behave very differently from one electronic to another; they're all used where they sound best and swapping them around makes everything fall apart. So no, when it comes to power cables a full loom is not advisable in my opinion.

Also it depends on the architecture of the system. I can use a certain interconnect between DAC and preamp, then another between preamp and active crossover; but between active crossover and amplifiers I use the same cables everywhere. I wouldn't use a certain cable on the low-pass amp and a different one on the high-pass. Same for speaker cables: I always use the same on the high pass and on the low pass. I find that using different cables for different frequency bands damages the coherency of the sound. Because characteristics of a cable include not only tonal color but also energy and speed.