A true believer

I like to look at the pictures and descriptions of the various systems belonging to our fellow Audiogon members. Personally I admire the most humble system. But some times I see one that just leaves me shaking my head in amusement.

I was looking at the featured systems today and found one that consisted of three components that reproduced music. A cd player ($7700), a integrated amp. ($4000), a pair of speakers ($10,500). Total $22000. A very nice system. But, and I mean BUT, another $71,431 in cables, tweaks, stands. Things that sometimes in the tiniest increments help in the reproduction of music.

Just saying.
06-02-11: Islandmandan
Many, or most it seems, of the members of (another) site are electrical engineers. So, there are many adherents to the philosophy that cables don't make any difference, as long as the basic requirements for adequate transmission of the signal is met.
I am a highly experienced electrical engineer/electronics designer and manager (not in audio), and I for one certainly would not make that assertion. What I would assert, though, is that there is no reason to expect anything more than a very weak degree of correlation between the price of a cable or tweak, and its sonic performance in any given system.

I say that partly based on technical grounds (I will spare everyone the couple of pages or so that it would take to adequately explain that), and partly based on opinions that have been expressed here and elsewhere by other audiophiles who are not technically oriented, but whose opinions I highly respect, and which are based on very extensive relevant experience.

Two conclusions follow from that, IMHO:

1)If the owner of the system that was referred to in the OP had utilized the same active components and speakers but focused the very extensive amount of time and experimentation he has invested in developing his system on relatively inexpensive cables and tweaks, he might very well have achieved comparable or even better results.

2)If he had allocated the $93,431 such that most of it went into speakers and components, while investing a similar amount of time and experimentation into relatively low priced cables and tweaks, assuming that he made good choices of components and speakers he would almost certainly have achieved better results.

The bottom line, IMHO: With some minor qualifications that aren't worth mentioning, I am in essential agreement with the comments made above by Agaffer, Marakanetz, Orpheus10, Plato, Rok2id, Islandmandan, and Rrog.


-- Al
I agree with you without qualification. The cables that I currently use throughout my system were not "cheap" per se, but they work much better in my system than several others that cost substantially more. It seems that sometimes it ends up being dumb luck, and not the amount of money spent that determines a good system match.
long ago, in a different age, when men who were truth seekers ruled the world of audio, it was said that the perfect Amp would be a straight piece of wire with gain. Think about the im[plications of that statement. What does it say about WIRE?
'As long as YOU believe that; it's ALL that matters!'

The creation of this idea is what got some charlatan into the audio snake oil hall of fame
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