Chinese fake cables How fake, how good?

I have noted a number of warnings about cheap Chinese fake cables on this site but curiosity led me to the Aliexpress site where I found a number of presumably fake big name cables from predominantly Cardas, Nordost and Siltech at about 15% of the USA or Australian price. I found Cardas Clear Light interconnects at about US$100 and decided what the heck let's give them a try at that price. Before buying I asked the seller the daft question as to whether they were genuine and got the reply that they were an OEM and constructed the interconnects from genuine Cardas cables and connectors. They arrived in a plastic bag rather than the Cardas box , not a great start but the cables looked real, and when connected, much to my surprise, they sounded really good. After 100hours or so burn in they sounded great and better than the Nordost Quatre Fils I had been using. I then took them to an Australian hi end dealer who sold real Cardas and asked rather ingenuously whether my cables were the real deal. The dealer would not commit but agreed to compare them to the real thing on a set up costing at a guess around A$100,00. Neither I nor the sales person could tell any difference so he then tried them against the Cardas Clear. Then there was some difference, not extreme but subtle, and certainly IMO not worth the price difference even if you bought the genuine Cardas Clear Light. So are these cables really fake and even if they are given my experience they are well worth a try. Maybe I'll try Nordost Odin or Siltech 770i next.

I highly recommend the Xangsane brand, available on their own website or from aliexpress. No clones, just very well engineered and constructed cables that sound very good and are very sanely priced.

I have bought a Xangsane power cable, and I confirm it is a high quality product.

On a lark (a hundred bucks to satisfy my own curiousity), I bought a few Xangsane power cables. "Silver Plated", massive, very well constructed. These aren't clones or gray market over stocks. Just cables made and marketed by a Chinese company. Their advertising was replete with all the cool buzzwords about materials used, etc. 

Upon receipt, they sounded absolutely terrible. Not subtle. Worse than any OEM PC I own. So bad, that I took one completely apart. Nothing surprising. While I cannot confirm the materials used were as advertised, it was still seemingly very well built.

It did confirm to me that PCs matter (If a PC can make something sound better, then conversely, a PC can make it sound worse).

This is not to say they were a rip-off, or to generalize about Chinese products being bad. But I would say are but they aren't necessarily the low cost, low risk path to audio nirvana. 

Now I know.


How many hours did you use this PC, to determine it sounded terrible?

Perhaps with a few more hours on it might yield a different perspective.


Within 30 seconds I could hear they sounded terrible. They did not improve after being run overnight. The next day, I couldn't stand to listen to them any more. Experiment over.