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.



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

Could not agree more. Beyond materials quality and build quality most of the cable company claims are just sales poetry. At a certain level, the difference between one quality bottle of Cabernet and another is in the flavor nuances. Not better than or worse. Just small differences that you may or may not notice or care much about. You can get far better sound from room treatments than you ever will by spending thousands or more on cables. People don't want to believe that they are as subject to confirmation bias as the next person. In this case it is the askew notion that more expensive cables are better than less expensive ones because of fanciful claims and higher prices. Oh if it only be so. BTW, super high-end cable company profit margins verge on the unethical-- as in, they are obscene. 

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