Cable curmudgeon

I'm not an 'audiophile" but I like to think I have a good ear having been a professional musician (principal wind player in major symphony orchestras) for 50 years. A number of years ago going into an excellent audio equipment store I talked with, what seemed, a knowledgeable salesman.  Being a musician experienced in audio systems but not expert on all the equipment out there I had some questions concerning high (over-priced?) end cables. The salesman assured there was an audible differencet in a demo room switching back and forth etc.  After a few minutes I noticed the sound coming out of only one channel.  He complemented me on my "good ear."  Hmmm? A few years later when setting up my home system I investigated speaker cables. Two sets of Monster, stranded standard cable, solid core copper (used for alarm system) attached with like connecters. There was a difference.  However, not in terms of better or worse: bass and treble were acceptable as was clarity loud and soft.  Differences were esthetic- like asking "whose the best tenor" (I like Plácido).  Now I know as a musician used to live (i.e. un-amplified) music that all I hear coming out of a loud speaker is perforce ersatz.  But most everything today comes out of a loud speaker whether a rock concert or a hi-fi system so perhaps my opinion is curmudgeonly. But, for me, spending oodles of money on hyped cables, well... I  liked the solid core for my alarm system- still do.



Don't a majority of musicians of this type experience some type of hearing loss after years of performing live?


I think I covered the idea in the lower paragraph, that there were new experiences to be had by the OP and these could be quite influencing and possibly have the impact that creates a rethink on the current thought pattern that has been made known. 

"The OP might only be one or two new experiences away from an experience, that could encourage them to re-evaluate some of their prior assessments".

I never chose the Music I most enjoy, it chose me, all I needed to do was be somewhere that enabled me to encounter it and the rest is History.

As an indelible experience and encounter, I crossed paths with Fernando's Kitchen, when I was on my way to a Night Shift at Work, and they were Busking on the London Underground in the City of London.

I heard them in the Passenger Walkway  Tunnels, for a few minutes before encountering them, I was compelled to stay as a audience member and also purchased a CD from Heidi, the Lead Member. Many years on I use this CD at HiFi related events, and occasionally tell my story, lucky for me I can also share a moment with the Group with Youtube Footage being available. Ironically Ihad no interest in this Genre of music until that encounter at the end of  Train Journey.

Many years later on a London Underground Train for only a few Stations Stops prior to having to make a route change, Two Girls boarded the Tube with Guitars in their cases mounted on their backs, in front of me they commenced with practicing harmonies, I was mesmerised, and savoured every note they shared.

On arrival at my stop where a route change was needed, I thanked the two girls and explained how beautiful their harmonies were.

Prior to this the only Harmonies I was impressed by would have been the Bee Gee's Night Fever Song's. I certainly was not too interested in Harmonies.  

At a later date, I learned the Two Girls were 'First Aid Kit', with that knowledge I now own most of their released Albums.

I have seen numerous live acts, some performances are from very established Groups, that have not had an impact on me like these ones have.

Most importantly no special training of the ear was required to make such decisions about these performers, I encountered an experience that was much enjoyed and that had proved to be very attractive.

For me with HiFi it is the same, when a demonstration presents a device, it is either perceived as being attractive or not, the occasion, will usually always be enjoyed.

The more experiences I have the more familiar I am becoming with alternate presentations, and the more I become aware of what is an attractor or detractor.

These assessments are very much unique to me and as I do a lot of taking part in a demonstration in the Company of others, I rarely see unanimous evaluations where agreements are quite similar.

I certainly am not going to suggest to the OP what music they should enjoy, and I certainly am not going to suggest to the OP which Cables they should enjoy.

I will suggest to the OP that there are many more experiences/demonstrations that can be encountered if they are motivated to search them out. One of these might make just enough of an impression to make them have a re-think about continuing on with using Bell Wire.



Oh yeah, that’s it.  Just buy alarm system wire and be done with it.  To each his own.

If the high priced spread makes it worse, should he still buy it?

When I worked in professional studios where innumerable award winning albums and movies were recorded by award winning engineers, the only cable certainty was that any particular cable could elicit "WOW!", "meh" or "blech" depending on the microphone or recorder, console, amplifiers and speakers.

Unfortunately, many High End cable designs are Band-Aids for failings elsewhere.

Flute dude maybe wrong or maybe right?

Depends on your system. If you have a $3000.00 integrated and $1500.00 speakers then save your cash cause the cables are really only going to make a very minute change in your system. Money better spent on room treatment's.

Just opinion who am I to say how you spend your money.  

There is a reason the OP likes the bell wire: Single strand copper conductors in a. thin sleeve - usually PVC, but can sometimes be found with the much preferred polyethylene sleeve. It’s cheep and in short runs, does a great job at transmitting an audio signal without adding any character of it’s own.

My favorite speaker cable/wire by far, regardless of price, is of the same principal only made with somewhat better materials and a little more engineering: single strand, 24 AWG,. OCC copper in a thin PTFE sleeve, with both leads helical wound and sheathed in a light, natural fiber, woven jacket. Not really cheep at about $1,200.00 for a 8’ bi-wired pair - still the best and most neutral I’ve found for my system regardless of price.

My point is - if you haven’t tried bell wire, give it a shot. If you don’t like what you hear, maybe the problem is somewhere else in your system......Jim