Do Costly XLR Cables Make A Difference?

Serious question here. I currently own a rather good XLR cable that goes between the amp and DAC. I’m considering a better XLR cable to improve things, basically all the good aspects of sound reproduction such as deeper and more defined bass, better separation and detail across the frequency spectrum and an airier and more 3-dimensional sound in the midrange and treble. Will a different XLR cable supposedly one that’s costlier bring me to that direction?

My current XLR cable costs about $2k actual price paid.

I’m looking at an alternative pair up to about $2k perhaps $3k tops if it is proven that the cable is able to bring a noticeable or worthwhile if not significant difference. I am actually looking at the Wireworld Silver Eclipse 8 and Gold Eclipse 8 XLR.

Any experience would be appreciated. 




33 posts

I’ve heard plenty of difference in single ended cables, both good and bad. I’ve never heard any difference between balanced (xlr) cables in my system.

less difference with xlr compared to rca, but it is definitely there

that said, i can definitely see how for many folks’ systems the difference is negligible

very simply, do an honest (blind) A-B test on this. i'm willing to bet any amount of money that there is no detectable audible differences among properly-built, well constructed cables. amazon basics, monoprice, world's best cables are among the low cost choices that i have used repeatedly. there's snake oil nonsense and then there's audio cables nonsense. feel free to flush money down the toilet if it makes you feel better somehow ... no one is harmed except the person throwing away his hard-earned money.

again, just invite a few friends over and set up a truly blind listening test. at the end of the day, isn't the sound quality what we are after? why pay for things that simply do not sound better? save that money for buying records, upgrading speakers, etc.

with my system i hear  a lot more than just runaround the mill products there is a new player in cables dont remember the name ..he gave me a set of cables to try said he wanted an honest opinion  i tried these cables and found the highs to be so open and  so transparent  asking about the cables ,the only word i got from him was NICKEL...cant find them on the net or anywhere,but still looking  wil keep looking fill i find them........

I'm on Day 1 with my first audiophile approved balanced interconnects.  Here's what I can say:

Denafrips Ares II DAC to Pathos Classic One Mkiii

Original Interconnect was 1m Audioquest Sydney RCA ($200).

Trial Interconnect was 6ft Monoprice Premier Series XLR ($30).  Result was a very similar sound that I convinced myself had lost some of the smoothness of the AQ Sydney, but it was very similar.

New Interconnect is 1m Morrow Audio MA4 XLR ($330).  Initial impressions are that the sound is clearly different (i.e. I can describe in detail specific things that sound different on a given song).  To my ears, I won't be going back.

I wasn't sure what to expect because I've been very happy with the AQ Sydney and with the short 1m interconnect it's easy to argue that I shouldn't hear much of a difference, especially based on how similar the Monoprice XLR sounded to the AQ.

Nice integrated until you have a problem with it. Some 5 years ago a friend had one with a problem. His emails to Italy went unanswered for long periods of time! And no one in the US seemed capable of resolving it (probably no schematics available). Now that aside, I seriously doubt it's true balanced (only 2 tubes). Checking Pathos site, no indication it is true balanced: many companys add XLR inputs for convenience, not because of an actual sonic benefit, but if that's what you have why not use it?

You will likely get much bigger benefits by treating all your cables with Mad Scientist Graphene Contact Enhancer. IMHO, by far the best tweak one can make