Cables: Okay, I'm a believer.

In my continuing upgrade journey I gave in to the thought of upgrading my cables. I've had the same Monster Cable PowerLine2 speaker cables for 25+ years along with miscellaneous RCA interconnects of varying pedigrees. *Ahem* I admit that it was partly a cosmetic thing: Those old PL2s aren't exactly pretty and my wife was a gem to not complain about them. But they're much too long for the room and were laying all over. After poking about a bit I decided on a vendor and ordered up some new interconnect and speaker cables of what I feel are the appropriate grade, made to the appropriate lengths for my room and layout. Who that vendor was isn't important at the moment. The important bit is that I changed my cables for all but the phono section as I have Monster Reference interconnects there of which I'm still quite pleased with. (TT > Pre-preamp>Preamp) So the affected bits are the digital streaming and CD interconnects and the speaker cables. To give the reader a bit more information, the speaker cables run from my tube amplifier to my sub-woofer with passive crossover then another set from the woofer/crossover to my planar speakers. Again, brands not important at the moment. I did not upgrade my preamp to amp interconnects. Let's focus on the speaker cables.

At first I noted a distinct change. Note, I didn't say "improvement" just change. I was a little discouraged but then I considered that if I had discovered that cables DID make a difference then perhaps a "break in" period would too? I admit I've been skeptical of the entire cable wars thing for years. (Seriously? "Cable break in?" *feh!*) So finding that changing cables alone DID make a change was rather eye opening. Within a couple weeks I've noted further change and, dare I say, actual improvement. A better soundstage seems to present itself to my ears and what is more, there is deeper, fuller bass for sure. In fact, I had to adjust the volume on the woofer downwards a bit to restore balance. I'm guessing that the cables allow more control of the woofer by the amp. The evolving changes/improvements are rather amazing to the entire range, not just the bottom end.

Where am I going with this? Well, I admit it: My long held belief was wrong. Speaker cables do make a difference. Speaker cables do need to break in. Keep in mind that I can test using my turntable and only the new the new speaker cables would be in the signal path. I suppose I could go back and swap in my old speaker cables to check out the difference the interconnects made by themselves for the streamer and CD, but I'm pretty happy with what I'm hearing so far and I'm actually thinking of spending a not inconsiderable sum to upgrade the 5 meter long pre to amp interconnects as well. 

If you've read this far, I thank you and commend your patience. What is my system? 

Acoustat 1+1's and RHLabs SB-1 Subwoofer (both owned since new)
ARC VS110 tube amplifier
ARC SP11 Mk2 preamp
Linn LP12 turntable with M&K tonearm, Denon DL103R
Bluesound Node2i streamer
Jolida Glass FX Tube DAC DSD
California Audio Labs Aria CD player

The cables are (now) Morrow Audio MA4 interconnects and SP4 speaker cables.

There's no real "moral to the story" here other than to remind myself to keep a more open mind.

Hmmm... Now, about that cartridge... LOL  Cheers all!

I'm just building my system now, and I split the difference between some skepticism and the (rather large) evidence on the other side by buying good cables and wires, used. E.g. I found Analysis Plus speaker cables $315 retail for $120 used. Even if I might suspect it might be snake oil (I don't) I also get the comfort of knowing I've covered my bases for a very small amount of $$ if it's legitimate.
I have the Morrow PH7 phono cable.  Get them to break it in for at least 4 or 5 days worth.  They are 45% off right now.  You won't believe what you will hear.  Did an AB test with my Audioquest Wind interconnect after a complete break-in of the Morrow and kept the Morrow on my phono.
I was extremely doubtful, beyond skeptical in the beginning, but that was 30 years ago. Even way back then the difference was night and day, and the quality has gotten so much better over those 30 years I find it hard to see how anyone still can doubt. They do of course. Old habits, and belief systems, die hard.  

Just so you know, it has always been the case that its super easy and obvious to find something for a reasonable amount of money that is head and shoulders above whatever you may be using that is dirt cheap to free. By free I mean patch cords and rubber power cords that come in the box. By dirt cheap I mean Monster or anything under $100/m. 

Because of this it is very easy for someone like you to throw a dart and hit something amazingly better than what you have. What is a good deal harder, where the real work comes in and where the real values and performance are to be had, is finding the select few cables that are really good. Not really good compared to crap, but really good even when compared to other already very good cables. 

You only think your mind is blown. Here's the truth. When you read about cables that cost in the thousands of dollars, right now even though you heard how big a difference cables can make odds are you still find it hard to believe any mere wire could be worth thousands of dollars. Until you hear it. The really good stuff is well worth that kind of money. It is that good. 

So enjoy what you found. When you go looking for more, which you will, do it with the thought in mind this is not mere wire but a means of transforming and elevating your system to a whole new level of performance. Because it is.
I was skeptical until I bought my first set of Aural Symphonics RCA interconnects 35 years ago. Then the world changed. And they were just $80.00, which I thought was a fortune! 
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