Cable septic

Okay, I’ve spent a fair amount on my dream system. Voxativ 9.87 system, very efficient speakers, Vocation 211 integrated, ps audio Directstream DAC and power station, etc. I’m using pretty basic cables, mostly what came with my equipment.  I still remember a magazine article where they AB tested high end cables neatly separated vs a mess of cheap crap.   The result, nobody heard a difference. So, flash forward, what cables will make a difference?  Brand and which component in order of benefit. Thank you!
I used to use those same patch cord RCAs, lamp cord, and the cheap power cord crap that comes free with everything. Back in the 90's anyway. Like you I started with some decent components, wondered how wire could possibly matter, heard all the usual BS which I know now is BS but back then.....

Finally one day decided to find out. Brought my patch cords to a dealer. Real nice guy, just said go ahead, did it all myself. Listened to his $75 interconnects. Okay. Fine. Swapped em out for my freebie patch cord. 

Now you know all that crap people spout about not being able to remember, how subtle and faint any difference can possibly be, only double-blind can possibly yada yada because this can only be coming from people who either a) never bothered or b) are freaking deaf. Because the instant I hit pause and heard what was coming through the cheap patch cords, and I mean the instant I heard it, a jolt went through me I leaped back to turn it off, because the sound was so bad I was sure I had somehow broken something on this guys awesome stereo.

But no, everything hooked up fine. So patch cords are garbage. Pure and simple. You have absolutely no idea what you are missing. You could throw any amount of money at better components, as long as they are connected with your patch cords you might as well be burning it for all the good its doing.

A good rule of thumb is budget about as much for wire as everything else. You can go higher. My interconnect cost more than my Herron phono stage. My CTS cable cost more than my amp. But not more than my speakers. Cost however is a poor measure. Only matters AFTER you have selected the very best. Example: Audioquest Dragon speaker cable, $2k, nowhere near as good as Synergisitic Research Resolution Reference .5, only $375.

Best/simplest advice I can give, ballpark your budget (say $500 each) search out the newest SR cable that will get you used, and just buy it. Alternately you would do the same with new SR, taking advantage of their 30 day return. 

Unfortunately while there are a lot of other brands each with their fans SR is the only one in 30 years I have found with enough consistency across all the years and models and generations to be able to make such a recommendation. In fact I will go further and say if you want to find out just how much performance is on the table right now and without spending much money get a SR Orange Fuse and for $160 you will know.
A good rule of thumb is budget about as much for wire as everything else.
Nonsense. HEA is overpriced and price is no guarantee of quality or compatibility. A good portion of the cable market is visually beautiful yet egregiously awful electrically with unflawed components.

Cables interface components and must compliment. If they don’t, which is at fault: cable or component?

I’ve heard the ear-opening revelations millercarbon describes from simply replugging connections.

See for some background on cable properties.

3,245 posts
12-13-2019 2:16am
"@unfairlane Rober has some very fine wire in his system, got a good deal on silver Audioquest, so I would say he is already there....$500 cables aren’t the lunatic fringe to some... great IF one can get them for $100 but let’s all be clear his wire is NOT the free junk that comes in the box...."

I know most best-of-the-best cables, none of them are even close to what I once stumbeled over as a diy`er. (won`t take too much credit, just "found" them) 
Audioquest makes decent ic`s while they are way out on speakercables, too tiny. And silver will never work as a ic, thick silver though works in speakercables but not better than equivalent and cheaper copper.

I`ve sold cables to several distributours, and some of them has even sold my cables "under the table" to frustrated customers. I`ve seen grown, divorced audiophiles crying after swapping out their overpriced gold-and-diamond-edition ic`s with my diy`s.  
I know what perfect, inaudible cables can do to a system. So pardon me for sounding adjudicating.
I love these type of posts. People post so much more in depth when they want to tell you that you’re wrong. I think there’s a lot of improvements that can be made in the area of things you don’t know you don’t know.
I’ve never bought an aftermarket power cord. I’m still using the same AQ type2+ cord that they cut off a spool and gave to me when I bought Dynaudio Audience 82s 20 years ago. I only recently replaced an even older AQ snake of some kind interconnect because after upteen moves one connector became a little loose. I didn’t like putting in a freebie interconnect even temporarily so it prompted me to order something quickly. Been happy with a Stager Silver interconnect so far, but I think I’m falling down the upgrade rabbit hole now that a (very) little research has given me some idea of how much improvement is there for the taking. The hard part is the proper planning and budgeting, because I’m not eager to buy and sell multiple components, but would like to rebuild my system toward a specific target as funds become available. It might be incredibly mismatched until the final bits fall into place, but having one or two parts being overkill isn’t going to sound bad. Some pieces just may not shine as brightly as they can until the rest of the system is at a level to support it. I think I’m ok with that. Now I need the patience to not jump the gun and blow up my credit cards. 
If you can’t hear a difference you should save your money, they’re not meant for you.
I can hear a difference, so I have chosen to invest in cables. I just got some Nordost Heimdall 2 interconnects for the signal path from my TT to my preamp and am enjoying them and am look forward to their sounding better- no matter how long it takes. I’ll just keep listening and enjoying what I budget for and is in my budget that I appreciate.
Okay, return to arms and let the battle continue.
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