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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 10-25-2007   #31
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

[QUOTE=JerryDelColliano;964]Cables matter. A LOT. For both audio and video.

Jerry, I 100% agree!

I am a dealer for a few brands of cables, so I am a little biased. That being said, I have playing around with audio gear as a hobby for going on 20 years... I have only been in business for three.

Cables are a very signifiant part of the system. Anyone who says they don't matter, has not heard the right cables or they have some hearing loss in a few registers, which unfortunately does happen. I think cables have as big a role as any other component in a true high end system and if you don't believe that cables don't affect video, upgrade your component cables and you will be amazed, the results are not subtle. You don't need eaglevision to see the differences.

Most of the time even in a modest system cables can have a pretty signifcant difference. The nice thing is that you do not have to spend through the roof to get good results. I would definitely invest in good speaker cables (minimum $100-300) and some decent interconnects-(minimum $150-300) especially if you are listening to any analog sources. One of the Brands listed on this site makes some very good cables at reasonable prices.

Over the years I have seen the doubters hear very remarkable and repeatable sonic differences just by swapping out speaker cables or interconnects. I have even had lead installers and technitions-(these guys are not golden eared audiophiles) look at me in disbelief after a quick cable swap in a customers house.

In the last couple of years I have been auditioning cables using new advances in technology (namely carbon fiber nanotubes and electron alignment technology- I know it sounds like BS, but just google it and you will find countless abstacts on nano tubes and properties of superconductors). I'm not even going to pretend that I understand it, I just know what I hear. I now feel stronger than I ever had about cables improving a system. I have heard one pair of speaker cables have a bigger impact on improving the sound, than upgrading two pieces of electronics. That demostration really has made me depressed, because I'm actually thinking of spending over 8K for speaker cables now.

The other thing that sucks is that I have always been skeptical about power cables.. unfortunately they do add some improvement too and collectively with a conditioner and all the other cables you end up with huge improvement to your sound.
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Old 10-26-2007   #32
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

The notion that a few feet of cables, be it speaker or interconnects are going to effect the sound more than the thousands of feet of wire that the recording studio, the masterer, and the hundreds of feet of standard copper wire in speakers use is of less importance you are smoking something powerful.

That's the same notion that the miles that electricity travels along wire is less important than having an expensive 4-6 foot separate powercord. Any low ohm good wire with speakers that don't go below 2ohms will sound as good or better than expensive wires. If there is a difference in sound when the volume is set between 0.5 dbs between the two amps you can bet that the expensive wires are altering the signal and making it less accurate.

Greg
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Old 10-26-2007   #33
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

Find me an acoustic and electric engineer that studies this subject who thinks that as long as the wire is thick enough for the application that paying a hundred times more will positively effect the sound. Only people in the retail and wholesale retail business and many of their associated publications will go along with this notion--as the publications make a fortune on wire ads, as do the retailers. Often it is more than they make from the product themselves. Belden and a couple of other major wire manufacturers make all the wire for most so-called wire manufacturers. Try finding theses expensivecompanies manufacturing plants--you will likely only find a warehouse.

Greg
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Old 10-26-2007   #34
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

I never believed that cables could make a difference until I barrowed a pair of high-end Monstor-cable speaker wire from a friend "to make him happy" and replaced my (already good) standard monstor cable speaker wire.

Wow. It honestly sounded like I had bought new speakers. Bass was tighter, midrange cleaner, and the highs much less congested. The sound was so obvious that my roommate, who had no idea I had changed speaker wires, asked "what did you do to your stereo? It sounds so much better!".

That was a true double-blind... he hadn't even been told I was making a change and yet he still heard the difference.... clearly enough to prompt the question!

NOTE: since that time I've experiemented with lots of cables and $$$ does not necessarily equal what sounds good. Sometimes I hear no difference. Sometimes wires sound better. Sometimes they sound worse! Just trust your ears.
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Old 10-26-2007   #35
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

Objectivists and subjectivists have been debating this issue well before the day that someone thought to use cabling different then lampcord (and then figured they could make a profit at it). In sum, objectivists state that if you cannot accurately measure a difference, there can be no difference. Subjectivists say if I hear a difference, then there must be one (which then turns the discussion to psychoacoustics where perception can be altered by many factors including ones extrinsic to the actual sound).

We all know that there is tremendous markup in audio accessories, including cables and the question then is whether you beleive you got what you paid for; if you perceive a difference then to you there is one. Is that enough, though? I have not been able to resolve for myself this issue but am troubled by the ease in which cable makers (and tweak makers as well) could, if they wanted to take advantage of psychoacoustics and deceive people into spending gobs of money on (for lack of a better term) snake oil. Could you know if you've been scammed if you believe otherwise, and conversly could you know you haven't been scammed if you believe othewise? The line between what is and what is not snake oil is far from static and us consumers are essentially blind and left to our own devices to decide.
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Old 10-26-2007   #36
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

Quote:
Originally Posted by gstarr View Post
Find me an acoustic and electric engineer that studies this subject who thinks that as long as the wire is thick enough for the application that paying a hundred times more will positively effect the sound. Only people in the retail and wholesale retail business and many of their associated publications will go along with this notion--as the publications make a fortune on wire ads, as do the retailers. Often it is more than they make from the product themselves. Belden and a couple of other major wire manufacturers make all the wire for most so-called wire manufacturers. Try finding theses expensivecompanies manufacturing plants--you will likely only find a warehouse.

Greg
Greg,

A lot of what you say is true about they way many cables are produced. That being said there are a few companies that do make their own cables and do not just slap their own name on someone elses cables.

Some of the newer technology that I'm mentioning is way beyond the realm of Electrical Engineers. You need to speak to physicist in the field for explanations on the theory behind these cables. A lot of this technolgy comes from military applications and they are only now being applied to consumer electronics by a very small number of manufactures. Ask an EE about electron pooling, coopers pairs, and electron propagation problems that arrise with the use of super conductors and 9 out 10 times you will likely get a blank stare back. If you have never heard cables with this technology than you really should not make comments on how they perform or how and where they are made.

James D

Last edited by graniterocks; 10-26-2007 at 12:18 PM..
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