Experiences With Costly Balanced XLR Interconnects Above $3,000

I’ve had great success going with quality (and costly) mains power cables in the main system. In my experience power cords bring the most significant difference in comparison to interconnects and speaker cables. However, I have not really tried the best interconnects out there.

I currently have the Wireworld Silver Eclipse 8 XLR and an Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo XLR in the system. Both sound excellent although different in their presentation. I’m wondering if the top-of-the-line WW Platinum Eclipse 8 XLR or Acrolink Mexcel DA6300IV XLR will bring a noticeable or worthwhile improvement to the sound.

Any experiences would be appreciated.


+1 czarivy I agree with the comment about conducting a blind comparison with generic cables vs whatever cable you’re thinking of buying and if you can tell the difference make your purchase. Above all else have fun! 👍

Blind testing is useful for a panel of jurists. It keeps everyone honest. If you only think you hear a difference then you likely don’t. Save your money. On the other hand if you find you can’t live without the new component then you have my sympathies. We’ve all been there.

For me buying cables is not much fun.  The only thing worse is buying insurance.  Cables just aren’t sexy like a good looking amp, or speaker.  And worse of all is the uncertainty that I found the best possible combination/synergy for my system.  Maybe the same goes for amplifiers and speakers but it just seems easier to decide on those components.

+1 @tomic601 on Audioquest Pegasus ICs.

I had an experience at HiFi Buys in Atlanta recently that made me curse out aloud.

Brought in my Berkeley Reference 2 DAC to audition just for kicks. (HiFi Buys does not carry the BAD DAC Ref 2.) Connected my BAD DAC to Vandersteen pre-amp feeding Vandersteen top-of-line amps driving Vandersteen Kentos. (Richard Vandersteen was in town showcasing his new pre-amp,) At first, I substituted my Audioquest Earth XLRs from home for Pegasus XLRs that were connecting reference DAC to pre-amp. The Earths are no slouch. Sound was coarse compared to what was emitted by reference DAC just before. Might even say BAD DAC Ref 2 sounded broken in comparison. On whim, asked Ed of HiFi Buys to swap Pegasus ICs back in. Night and day. Now my BAD DAC Ref 2 sounded as sweet, refined, and precise, as the reference DAC, if not more so.

#$%@! Now I have to replace my carefully assembled loom of Earth ICs with Pegasus ICs.

Blind testing is a great idea because when one pays a fortune for a cable one expects some marvelous change in sound that doesn't exist. That's psychology, and these cable tweaks are a fetish. When I read some reviewer of a component saying he hears different responses when using different cables I become skeptical because that is pure nonsense. Go to ASR and read Amir's excellent review of some crazy Nordost cable and also the one on a Wireworld USB cable. The Wireworld, despite extravagant manufacturer claims, sounds no different than an Amazon basic USB. I can see where people like certain badly rated speakers or prefer tubes to Class D or whatever because they like the sound they are getting which is certainly different. But this cable business is absolute rubbish, unless you are manufacturing and selling them. Some of these cables look very cool. but I'd rather enjoy the music and leave neurosis behind.