Audio cables are not only needed to connect components; they are components. Most are commercial products using off-the-shelf wire and insulators, the house sound is bright (which suits bland systems) or dull (which softens glassy sound). Using big-name cables to cover tonal problems is like adding sauce to tasteless food.
Artisan cables are designed and made by a small number of inventors worldwide who have pursued a lifetime passion and challenge.
Find your perfect cable...
(Tip: if you already know which JPS cable you want, view the JPS price list.)
Our demo rooms require the best cables to express—but not enhance—the performance of quality audio components. For over twenty years we have chosen and recommend individual cables and complete looms from JPS Labs. Uniquely JPS make acclaimed cables across all genres and price points but finding the right cable for your needs can be a challenge. Please make use of our innovative cable configurator below to find your perfect match. Our "Search Engine" is based on twenty years of experience and customer comments. Start by selecting your required cable type, then move on from left to right and discover the cable that's right for you and your hi-fi system.
DIN to RCA
DIN to XLR
4mm banana biwire
Recommended for components costing up to £800.
Recommended for components costing up to £5000.
Recommended for components costing up to £10,000.
Reference cable for components costing over £5000.
A well-engineered cable is much more complex than meets the eye and costs a lot to formulate special materials and construction. It sounds amazing!
The challenge is contamination from the mains generated from your neighbours’ and your own devices. There is also airborne signal like radio waves which cables pick up as aerials. These include DC offset, RFI, EMI, and chopped AC. Digital cables read them as direct signal. Thirdly, the cable itself is a circuit with resonance having impedance (resistance, capacitance, inductance).
Insulation is not passive: different materials react to signal in different ways.
In summary, the aims are (1) to attenuate mains-borne and common mode signals, hence floating earth and symmetrical signal wires are superior solutions; (2) attenuate radio and electromagnetic waves which cables pick up and convert to audio frequencies … or higher frequencies which leak into your audio system; and (3) pure transmission of signal from terminal to terminal.
Most people are cynical about commercial cables as an organized media industry. It is not a victimless crime; it is sad and semi-fraudulent.
The Music Room has recommended JPS Labs for over twenty years for sincere reasons and repeat business!
JPSLabs is an acclaimed, designer-led business with its own techniques. It began with a metal alloy created as a signal conductor: “Alumiloy” combined the best performance of silver and long-crystal copper without the side-effects of either. Its entire range of products are developed and made in USA.
- Established over thirty years JPS offers a full range of interconnects, digital cables, loudspeaker cables, mains cables.
- The entry range (second generation Ultra-2) starts from a budget / affordable products in a plain box which is US-made and a real taster of JPS.
- With all designer cables it is advantageous to stay with one good brand; use the same shielding and the same voiced conductor from source to loudspeakers.
I hope this starts to unravel the controversy: now you can explain the mystery of why you might notice that a better mains cord on your CD player really does make your turntable sound better! Audio cables shield your entire system and transmit contamination, even via deselected inputs on your amplifier.
If you discuss your system with us, we can offer you free but valuable advice based on 30 years experience. We can’t summarize a lifetime’s expertise. There are some general principles: for example if you own components that are not really performing or to your liking, JPS is not a tone control to alleviate such problems. If you own components which potentially can impress you, this is exactly where JPS cables win friends and admirers.
How Much to Spend on Cables?
- Spend no less or no more than it takes to make your system work to your threshold of enjoyment. Forget the 10% rule, etc.
- The higher the resolution and natural sound of your violin the more you need to spend on the strings!
- We have devised a cable configurator with a more complex engine than appears to make the choice possible. This enables online purchase for quick delivery normally next-day from stock. But please feel free to email or phone to arrange a personal consultation, free advice and home appraisal.
- Our Cable Configurator is based on five levels of cost assuming they offer real value. Feel free to compensate up or down by one or two orbits: down, if you want to spend less; up by one or two levels if you want to upgrade or get more from cherished Hi-Fi components. The component costs relate to 2016 UK prices including VAT.
Level One: components cost £400 - £800
Level Two: components cost £600 - £2,000
Level Three: components cost £1,800 - £5,000
Level Four: components cost £ 2,000 - £10,000
Level Five: components cost over £5,000
The selector works, our cable configurator distils years of experience for the following reasons:
- At level one, Ultra-2 will enhance a £500 amplifier or CD player but not an Esoteric or Gryphon CD player.
- At level two, SC-Q is a slightly lower cost version of SC-3 level four!! (SuperConductor 3 is the third in the flagship product to emerge in thirty years!) and it achieves a great deal more sonic performance than cables costing twice or four times the price.
- Level Three components can be as costly as £5,000 yet well matched by SC-V a new series that sounds as good as it looks. It may be slim, white, flexible and pretty but it is a very purist, high-performance cable that is, in fact shockingly great!! Now available in phono cords for your quality tonearm!!
- Level Four components are owned by people who are very committed to musical performance and the classic JPS SuperConductor (presently series 3) is the cable to aspire to.
- Level Five did not exist until a few designers introduced cables of supreme purity of materials, symmetrical construction, thin gaps, high-tech shielding and the results are addictive. Aluminata from JPS features a number of techniques, most obviously the aluminium shielding uniquely made from particles.
Mains Power and Purification
Faced with increasingly degraded mains power there is a wide variety of products claiming to purify signal and protect components. We have found most of these products to be ineffective. The good news is that a great deal of the removal of distortion can be done between the wall socket and your components. Put simply, we recommend a good quality wall socket, a passive distribution box with star-earthing and “voiced” to absorb vibration which travels across mains wires.
JPS are unique in offering customized mains cables dedicated to the requirements of analogue and digital / source and amplification / at various performance and price levels. It is the only ethical, engineered, and effective way and surprising other cable companies do not copy, for example, the celebrated JPS The Digital AC-x which transforms any digital device. It will really make you smile, such a simple way to solve the dilemma of choosing digital, or music! Now you get both!
The big range of power-conditioning mains cords from JPS enables you to make a wise choice, quite simply, online via our Cable Configurator.