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Cables It's all about connections. Discuss everything about audio cables ranging from balanced to unbalanced, speaker cables to interconnects and beyond.

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Old 06-01-2007   #7
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

Cables in general have attracted a lot of scorn and skepticismfrom the general masses, and in some cases deservedly so. But in my experience they can make profound differences. One of the most telling demonstrations I've experienced is when a Rep from AudioQuest used a modified boom box with a CD player in it and removeable speakers. Because the receiver side nor the speakers of the boom box had connectors, they modified both the speakers and the reciever of the boom box by adding pig tails with banana jacks so that they could plug in their speaker cables. They used one track off of a Chesky CD (not a fan) as the reference and started at the entry level speaker cable, and worked up through to their top-of-the-line cables. I was amazed at the differences, especially in the lower level products. The differences, although noticeable, were much less apparent as they approached the most expensive cables. But to have those differences presented on a lowly boom box was pretty mind boggling.
System synergy takes time and patience to understand. As an example, room tuning provides the biggest boost in performance, yet it is typically the last consideration, and for a lot of good reasons (can't afford it, multi-use room, spouse...). Cables will not always perform the same on every system and it is not easy (or even possible) to understand why, but careful matching will pay dividends. It all depends on how much it matters to you. If you don't hear a difference, there is no point in going further.

Last edited by Audiogeek_00; 06-01-2007 at 10:22 AM..
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Old 06-01-2007   #8
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Thumbs up Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

Mr. Audiogeek 00, I tend to agree. Though, having our wives invovled, do present some issues. I currently, believe or not, am in the position again, in starting from scratch. And after reviewing some of the Rives Audio material from HE 2007, I`m definitely going to perform within my budget, room correction. Outside of what may already come with a preamp - processor,etc.

And I always believed with any equipment or add on accessories, there is a point of diminishing returns as to how much improvement you receive for your investment. As you said, despite the review, or what a sales guy says, if you can`t hear it, don`t get it!
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Old 06-04-2007   #9
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Red face Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

After using, breaking & replacing many "Cheap" cables like the ones that come with the components or radio shack specials I broke down & bought some Monster Cables & speaker wires.
Please don't start hammering me about how Monster is just marketing hype, some A/V sites I go to have so much Monster & Sony bashing that it's just unbearable.

I didn't buy the Monster brand for sound or vision quality, my ears ring from too many race cars & rock concerts & I need glasses to read what I'm typing.
I bought Monster for 1 reason, build quality, I'm always moving components, adding new equipment & generally doing a lot removing & replacing cables & wires.
In all the years I've used Monster cables I have broken 1 & it was replaced for free from a store that I didn't originally buy it at.
I have bought cables other than Monster, Most recently HDMI cables from
They aren't the quality of Monster but I was not going to spend $120 each for 4 HDMI cables to hook my system up when I got 4 HDMI cables for less than 1/2 the price of 1 monster.
So far they are working just fine.

Do I hear or see a diffrence with expensive cables? No.
Will I spend as much on cables as I would for a new car? No!
But I will spend a premium for well built cables that I don't have to worry about the ends coming off when I'm changing equipment.

I'm sure there are people that can hear the diffrences in interconnects & wires, either that or there a lot of people with money to burn beacuse there are a bunch of companies selling this stuff for more than what I paid for my house so some one is keeping them in buisness!

If it works for you, great, but I believe that for most of us who have abused their ears when they were young there just isn't enough of a diffrence to justify the expendature.
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Old 06-05-2007   #10
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

Yes, cables can make a difference in your system. But beware that cables are system (components) and environment dependant. By environment I mean if there is a lot of stray RFI, etc that can effect your cables and ultimately the sound and video in your system. The best way learn what cables will work best in your system is to audition them in your system. So you will need to work with an audio dealer that will let you audition cables in your home. If you do this there is an expectation on the dealers part that you are going to purchase or will purchase some product from him. Don't be suprised if he wants an impression of your credit card to protect himself. Which is a standard practice.
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Old 06-06-2007   #11
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

JBK is so correct in several respects .......
Cables are certainly system dependent and the lesson to be learnt ,as he states,is try before you buy - some cables sound awful in yr system and some will make yr system sing like never before .

A case in point and a lesson learnt recently :Via my dealer recently ordered ex the US- I live in South Africa - a trio of high end speaker cables for L/R/C .
Once arrived and burnt in for some 200 hours , my system sounded awful, specifically in the upper mids .
Fortunately ( and this is the point JBK is making ) I bought these ex the dealer/importer and he took these back and replaced these with cables that were compatible with my system and my ears -a US$5,000 lesson learnt which could have cost dearly had I not dealt with a reputable dealer .
(As you can gather yes, I am a firm believer that speaker/interconnect/digital and AC cables cables do make a difference and have invested some $14,000 in cables and my system sure rocks with the cables playing their part in this .
Your system whether two or multichannel will only sound as good as the sum of all the components, of which cables should be considered part of .

As JBK advocates - buy from a dealer and always listen to the cables in yr system before you buy .......second hand cables /mail order cables might sound attractive in $ terms , but can disappoint if not compatible!
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Old 06-07-2007   #12
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

I found this site the other day and thought it was relevant to this thread:

Despite the mid-90s vintage website, the guy knows what he is talking about. He was the Director of Acoustic Research at McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. and the originator of McIntosh Loudspeakers. He is retired and now designs and sells his own high end speakers.

What I take from it is that there may be other attributes (like construction quality, durability, ease of connection) that justify buying a more expensive cable, but as long as it is rated to do the job, you are wasting money paying for better sound quality because there is no difference in sound quality (again, provided you are using a wire/cable of sufficient diameter).
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