Cable directionality accepted, but…

Not disputing the concept of cable directionality, but want to try connecting my Rega Fono MC directly to my Sony D100 PCM recorder. This would be going from 2 phono sockets output to a 3.5mm stereo jack.

As far as I can see, all available leads are 3.5mm to phono rather than the other way. Now, of course such a lead will work, but is it worth worrying about cable directionality - Chord Company for example I think make custom leads - or should I just get on with it and stop being silly!

Three options:

  1. Side with everyone who says there’s no such thing as cable directionality and don’t give it another thought.

  2. Buy your own cable & plugs, solder them together, listen to it both ways around (which will involve desoldering and resoldering, of course) and decide which sounds better to you.

  3. Russ Andrews can make you up a cable to your specifications, including that of getting the directionality the right way round for you.

Over to you,


Chord can make or supply a suitable 2 x 3.5mm jack to DIN5 cable. Note though that you will need longer than normal tails to reach both sides.

That’s not the kind of lead I need - I want 2 phono plugs to 3.5mm stereo jack. Plenty of leads available which will do the job, the only question is whether to worry about the directionality as I believe the cable direction is 3.5mm to phono.

I think you’re right though that Chord will make almost anything (as long as it’s practically possible) if you ask them.

Don’t worry about it… any 3.5mm to 2 rca will work.

This is the cable I used with my Sony recorders including my PCM-D100. It allows you to play as well as record through your Naim preamp. I assume your Fono is is also connected to your preamp.

Ok. I guess the question that I haven’t and should have asked then is: presumably it’s not worth worrying about the extra connections and signal path of going through the preamp? I was trying to get as direct a signal path as possible.

I understand what you mean now about the two 3.5mm plugs. I’m not too bothered about playing it back through the preamp as files will be copied to the NAS and played back on the ND5XS2 (and probably other devices like my Astell & Kern portable) but I guess you never know.

Thanks for the info.

Ok, then Just a regular 2 x RCA to 3.5mm stereo jack will suffice.

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I once had a conversation with John Burns on the subject of cable directionality. John is the man behind Pear Audio, distributors for Shahinian speakers, Dynavector Cartridges and Amps and Well Tempered Turntables and a lovely as well as extremely wise and experienced guy. He previously worked for Linn and he told me that when he was at Linn they did a lot of work looking at whether cables were directional. They concluded that they were indeed directional, but also that if a cable were inserted the ‘wrong’ way round it would sound worse initially, but given time and a decent period of use it would effectively reorientate itself such that it sounded just as good as it would have done if originally oriented as intended. They didn’t attempt spurious theories to explain this, but this was their experience.

Bottom line for OP. Use the cable as is and don’t worry about it.

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If you buy £2.99 interconnect from eBay I doubt it will be directional.

If you buy an expensive interconnect from a specialist interconnect manufacturer, if it sold as directional, it will probably be directional.

Kimber was mentioned by ebor. If they build an interconect that incorporates shielding that doesn’t pass a signal, the shield will be connected to 0v at the end where the signal originates and not the other end.

I’ve built a few interconnects over the years and always followed this convention.

It’s the conventional way of doing things.:nerd_face:

Cable directionality is not the same as interconnect directionality.

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