Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system
The subject of wiring brings out strong feelings. It brings up anger, fake science and often unwarranted attacks, from all sides. I wanted to put my opinion down first and then read all the posts (I have read some). Specifically though, let’s stick to the subject and NOT discuss other essential components to a listening system or room.
Scientifically, and this is a little bit of a physics lesson, every component in a reaction changes in reaction. So if you’re changing electrical energy to sound energy anything, everything in the process changes the results a little bit. Therefore all wires act as some sort of filter on your system.
Observation: in my experience, therefore, it is best to use only one brand or type of wire on your system. That is where you will find the biggest differences. Each different set of wiring will filter this sound somewhat and many wires will create many filters. I had often been struck by the amount of people who had several different liars on their system and put it in a new wire and could not hear a difference. When you change your wiring so it is all consistent you may often hear change.
Let us be arbitrary for a moment and assign a 1-10 ratings for home audio. A “ten” would be the system that sounds most like real music, a “one” would be given to system of the lowest quality. Using expensive wires on a 1 through 5 system, no matter how good they are, will probably not give much or any results (standardizing the wires may). Those people will think any talk about better wires is silly.
You begin to hear the differences in better systems. However, a major problem here is that people do not ever think that their system is in the 1 though 5 group. Everyone bought their system because they liked it, now they are used to it. Telling people their system is not great does help.
Good wires need to be broken it. They probably break in the most after 24 hours, but a hundred hours is probably best before critical listening. So people who don’t believe that and when putting new wires in, just to hear the difference, think that they should hear an instant and full change. This is not the case. Again, for people whose systems do not support the difference, or people who cannot hear the difference, the argument about breaking in wires is wasted.
I don’t think I would be good at this anymore as I have gotten older, but I did hear the difference in blind tests between wires. This was not a good thing because I was listening too critically. I love to listen to music, but hate when someone asks me to listen to their “stereo.”
My conclusion is that wires make a huge difference, both interconnects and speaker cables. I also believe that some wires sound better on some systems than others. Again, make sure the wires are broken it and wire you entire system with one type. A real issue to me is why good wires are so expensive. I don’t believe they need to be. (PS Dealers generally pay 50% of the list price for wires. You can negotiate.)