Originally Posted by DaveLadely
I am not sure what Bob uses right now. Neither of us buys those hyped up cables and we are offended by the false claims for them, which are of the same ilk as some food supplement and cosmetic and "snake oil" con jobs; con artists, including some marketing methods, use the ignorance and trust of potential customers against them in order to sell them on false claims.
I had superb hearing some years back, tested by an audiologist to hear to 22khz, which made me very sensitive to distortion. Bob used my "golden ears" for testing. I was so bothered by distortion by amps when the music was just beginning to sound realistic that I prevailed upon Bob to help me build an amp with at least quadruple the power of the existing McIntosh 275 and Marantz Model 9s. I wound up buying the parts, such as a dozen RCA 6550 tubes, necessary, whereupon Bob built the world's first "super amp". Finally, realistic sound without running out of steam and distorting. Bob was inspired to design and build a transistorized version, which became the Phase Linear 700, which he sold at a reasonable price so that more people could afford them, while still making a decent profit. This "super power amp" was a first in the audio world, and others soon followed.
Bob Carver and I had a laugh over the names of some of these cables; I remarked that the "more Grecian or exotic the name, the higher quality the cable!" Another hail to "clever" marketing, however transparent that obvious "technique" may be.
No matter how many studies have proven the fallacies engendered by subjective belief, vs. objective testing and analysis, the weaknesses inherent in subjective observation will continue to be exploited for gain. This cable fraud is just another example of our culture's homage to greed and profit while sacrificing honor.
I generally buy cable from Blue Jeans in Seattle, mostly because they provide me with custom lengths, in several colors. The shorter the cable, the better (lower resistance) and I really detest drooping cables all over the place. I use a LOT of cables in my extensive system, so the color helps me keep track of which goes where. Blue Jeans does use excellent quality cable, but they freely agree that the industry is full of hype and that the claims that one cable sounds better than another are false and been proven to be false by all the tests that actually use the scientific method of double blind tests. But this "religion" or mythology persists, thanks to perpetuation motivated by profit and one-upmanship.
I think that human psychology demands that the customer who pays $1,000.00 for cables with a mythological name will insist he or she can hear some "improvement" in sound. But how would they fare if they were able to do a double blind test of various cables? Oh, perish that blasphemous thought!! Too many people don't want truth!!! Lies are so much more comforting.
Otherwise, I buy cables from the internet. Defective cables do exist, usually at the RCA connector, which may be loose or poorly soldered or fastened, which really can hurt the audio, and may be the cause of the instance mentioned in this forum.
I want the connectors to be well made and gold plated. I do prefer balances cables, and the connectors are way better than RCA plugs/jacks. I don't buy the cheapest, but the prices that are sane, not borne of hype.
Bob Carver graduated in physics and did some study for a masters, but did not obtain that degree. I studied physics for two years, then changed my major. Physics as a scientific discipline and study includes those principles involved in cables and the transmissions of electricity by cables. Engineering does not include such study, but considers instead the applications of the principles of physics in a practical way. The marketing hype distorts the principles of physics in order to deceive and extract lucre from gullible people who think its "magic". Why should they have to become physicists to learn this stuff? They should be told the truth, and not be ripped off. That excess profit extracted would be WAY better spent on improving their choice of speakers, where you get the most "bang for the buck" and which are the easiest of all the audio components to discern real differences in quality - so easy, in fact, that double blind tests are not necessary to separate the facts from hyperbole.
PS Bob Carver recently sold Sunfire, his audio company located in Snohomish, but still advises them and is always busy, he will never retire. Audio has been his passion since he was about 12 years old, his hobby became his career and his life.