Nobody Knows Cardas Like Cardas Knows Cardas
Spades vs Bananas
Spades provide a superior electrical & physical connection. Bananas making changing cables easier. And some plastic-encased binding posts make using spades difficult to impossible.
Bananas wear out, especially when they’re plugged & unplugged a lot. Spades basically last forever.
In a perfect world, all dealers would choose bananas, to make cable demos easier. And all consumers would use spades, to get the best possible sound.
RCA vs XLR
If you’re connecting two components that both have both choices, go with XLR. It can be sonically advantageous sometimes, and rarely if ever detrimental.
If you're connecting components in which one has RCA only, and the other has both XLR and RCA, use RCA. Don't use an adapter just so you can take advantage of the XLR jacks on one piece of gear.
What does single-wire, bi-wire, and shotgun bi-wire mean?
These are all speaker-cable terms.
A single wire speaker cable has a positive & negative connector (spade or banana) on each end of the cable.
A bi-wire speaker cable has a positive & negative connector on the amp-end, and on the speaker end, two positives, and two negatives. One set goes to the low-frequency binding posts on the speaker, and the other pair goes to the high-frequency posts.
A shotgun bi-wire is actually two cables, which are joined on the amp end. So that you have entirely separate speaker cables going to the lows and highs on the speaker.
Is it better to get bi-wire speaker cables, or use bi-wire jumpers?
In nearly all cases, if a speaker has two sets of binding posts, the speaker manufacturer believes that you're better off using a bi-wired speaker cable. Jumpers are handy in some cases, such as if a cable can't be bi-wired.
Do you make custom cables?
In short, yes. But that can mean many different things. In order of the simplest meaning, to the most complicated:
1. An unusually terminated cable can be considered custom. Such as an interconnect that goes from XLR to RCA. Or a power cable that uses a Speaker connector instead of a typical 3-prong wall plug.
2. A cable for a very specific application, such as a power umbilical that goes from an outboard power supply to a tube-preamp, using proprietary multi-pin connectors.
3. A cable of your own design, using Cardas copper, manufactured by Cardas to your specifications, with a minimum order of 2000 feet.
All of these are possible. Just let us know what you need.
Long speaker cables, or long interconnects?
If you have the option, go with long interconnects instead of long speaker cables. Interconnects cost less per foot (or per meter, if you're in the civilized world). And a really long interconnect will affect system performance less than a really long speaker cable. But sometimes you don't have the option, and you just gotta go with a long speaker cable. And that's fine.
Do some cables need to be a specific, or minimum length?
Some people argue that power and/or digital cables need to be a specific length, or a minimum length. We've read the forums in which these arguments are put forth. And we're unpersuaded.
The perfect length for any cable is long enough to comfortably span between components, but not so long that you buy more cable than you need.
Does a pair of cables need to be the same length?
Ideally, yes. We will make you an uneven pair if you want it, but you're always better off - in terms of sonic performance - with a matched pair. We strongly recommend avoiding wildly disparate lengths, such as a 1-meter left channel cable, and a 5-meter right channel cable. We'll do it, but we don't think it's a good idea. And if the length difference is minor, just get the matched length pair.
Can I buy just a single cable, such as a single interconnect or speaker cable.
But my dealer says you only sell (some cable) in pairs.
They're wrong. Our price book does only list typically paired cables, such as speaker & interconnect cables, as pairs. But we'll gladly sell you a single cable.
Can I mix & match within the Cardas product lines?
Yes. You can use a Clear Sky speaker cable with Parsec or Clear Cygnus interconnects, and a Clear Beyond power cable.
There is no need to stay within a specific product line.
Can I use a Cardas cable in a system that already has non-Cardas cables. Such as a Cardas speaker cable with (other brand) interconnects.
Of course. Our cables play well with each other, and with other brands. As a general rule, If it sounds good and nothing breaks, go with it.
How does a Cardas cable compare to another brand's cable?
That's a question for your dealer.
When posed with such a question, we're faced with a quandary. Do we go for the low hanging fruit, and tell you that obviously our cable is better? Or do we decline to answer?
There are a lot of other cables out there. We haven't tried them all. We're kinda focused on our own thing.
And we're obviously biased. But we think there are a lot of good reasons to buy a Cardas cable. Sound being the main one. But there are many other reasons, which you can read about all over this site.
When we have compared our cables to other brands, we've never felt that our lost the shootout. And that's all we'll say on the matter.
Why are your cables so expensive?
Cost of materials. Cost of manufacturing. Cost of labor in a business that treats its employees well with fair wages, benefits, and a retirement plan. Small batch manufacturing. Attention to detail bordering on the absurd. Participating in a microscopic industry with a tiny market, while trying to make the best products in the world. We're a successful company, but nobody is getting rich here.
Why don't your cables cost as much as the rest of the industry?
We like to sleep at night.
What goes into a $50,000 cable?