Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system
Being the owner of some expensive cables and a bunch of cheap cables as well I have to say that even my not so audiophile friends could hear the difference between the cheap home depot cables and the double solid silver twisted Mamba wires, which for what ever reason seam to sound clearer in combination with my Martin Logan and Jaszen speakers, but just "different" when listened to with other speakers, with some speakers even a bit "weak" on the bass side compared to the (I think 8g or 10g) Home Depot cable.
I was lucky enough to get the Mamba cable at wholesale and would have never bought that cable at "regular" price however, margins were quite high at the time and most likely still are.
If you think any cable could make a difference for you get a reasonable thick braided copper wire and see if you can test the cables you would like to buy in comparison to it.. (you will need the help of a friend to do a blind test at least) If you can hear a difference and you like what you hear you maybe should take which ever cable sounds better for you, but likeliness is that for most situations you will not be able to tell them apart, at which point you can save some money...
And the cheaper cable does not necessarily sound worse (not talking about the lampwire type) provided it is a reasonable gauge copper wire.
I had used braided shield coax as speaker wire before as well (using the shields only), which outperformed many thin copper wires and at some point was cheaper then reasonable gauge copper, but today I think you can get the cheap thick copper cables at a reasonable price, which will perform about the same and look better for the same price. Plus it is hard to get coax cable with the right layout (enough gauge in shield, etc).
If you did not spend multiple thousands on speakers, amps, etc any expensive cable might be a waste of money, get a better amp or better speakers first. If you don't have electrostats as speakers, the speakers seem to produce 10 times more distortion, colorization, etc than any other component and again a "regular" good cable might be all you need.