Week 11. 2016: Connecting a turntable to a ZVOX SoundBase, SVS SoundPath speaker cables


Sound Advice

By Don Lindich

Week 11, 2016

Q. Based on your recommendation I purchased a ZVOX SoundBase 570. I’m extremely pleased by the product and thank you for the recommendation. I’m now considering an Audio-Technica AT-LP60 turntable, another product you recommend. Can I connect the AT-LP60 turntable to the ZVOX SoundBase 570? On the SoundBase I am only using optical audio input #1.

-Bernie Dixey, Minneapolis, MN

A. You can connect the turntable directly to the ZVOX SoundBase. In fact, you can connect the turntable to the line input of any speaker, even a small Bluetooth speaker. The AT-LP60 even includes the cable you need. Just be sure to set the turntable output to “Line.” Try and put the turntable on a different piece of furniture than the SoundBase, otherwise you may get feedback from the SoundBase to the needle. Enjoy your record player, and welcome to the wonderful hobby of vinyl records!

Consumer Electronics Show report: Longtime readers know I am not a fan of high-priced speaker wire. For years, this scam has been ripping off consumers with claims of dramatically improved sound quality, claims that have not once been substantiated with scientific testing.

While I don’t think sonic differences exist between speaker wires (as long as they are not too thin) premium speaker cables do have their merits. The build quality ensures long-term reliability, and custom-terminated cables with spades or banana plugs make changing speakers and components a snap. I do this a great deal as part of my reviewing process and banana plugs on both ends of the wire are a must-have for me. Of course, you can always add banana plugs to ordinary wire, but in this cheap combination the banana plugs tend to come off with use.

There is also the matter of aesthetics. If you have a high-end system you may want something more visually appealing than ordinary double-strand 14-gauge wire. I have a pretty fancy system myself and don’t mind using plain-looking wire, but I know not everyone feels the same way.

The challenge is finding quality and value that don’t cross into the realm of wasteful spending. At the electronics show SVS, known for their high-end, high value speakers, showed me their new accessory line featuring SoundPath Ultra speaker cables. Their tagline is, “Bridging the gap between exorbitantly priced ‘snake oil’ solutions and cheaply made accessories that sacrifice performance for price.” I could not have said it better myself.

SoundPath Ultra speaker cables are stylish and you can sense the quality when you hold them. They sport a braided black and blue finish that is attractive and classy. SoundPath Ultra cables are custom terminated and soldered in Ohio with your choice of banana plugs, spades, or a mixture of both. Custom lengths from 4 feet to 50 feet are available.

A 25-foot pair of SoundPath Ultra cables is $139, which is chicken feed in the realm of high-priced speaker cables. For comparison, a 20-foot pair of Cardas Clear Beyond speaker cables costs $18,810. Yes, almost twenty thousand dollars, for cables that won’t deliver any sonic benefits over the SoundPath Ultra.

So, if you have a premium audio system and want to visually dress it up a bit, or you switch components and speakers often and want a premium product that makes changing the connection a pleasure, SVS SoundPath Ultra speaker cables are a good value, especially given the craziness in the marketplace. Matching RCA interconnects are available as well. www.svsound.com