Have cables become somewhat of a snake-oil topic.

I've invested many tens of thousands in high end 2-channel home audio gear and cables. I'm also a musician who has recorded and created mixes in many of the top recording studios in LA, NY and Nashville. These studios most often use the highest quality power treatment, tube condenser microphones, pre-amps, EQ modules, AD/DA converters, compressors, monitors, etc. Obviously, the goal in a recording studio is to capture the realism of the live studio performance for both vocals and instruments, and create a final mix-down that highlights the natural subtle nuances of the performances of each musician.

With that said, my 20 years of informal research inside these studios says that virtually NONE invest in high priced specially stranded balanced interconnects or speaker cables. Instead, various models of a particular Japanese cable is considered the studio "gold standard" and is WIDELY used in the top studios across the country. Now any good mixing engineer is at least AS interested as any audiophile, in all the audio characteristics and variables we discuss ad nauseum in these A-gon threads. So if recording pros are willing to spend hundreds of thousands on electronics and speakers, to capture the natural and neutral sound of a musician's studio performance, why is it that expensive cabling is seen as the snake oil equivalent in the recording industry. (Moreover, I could go one step further and ask why some home audio D/A converters far exceed the cost of the most sought after professional studio D/A converters?.......we'll leave that for another discussion.)

I DO NOT disagree that substituting a Nordost, Siltech, Cardas or various other high end brands into my personal studio rig do not make a difference. There are indeed audible differences between the brands in terms of bass extension, smoothness, imaging, graininess, etc. However, these DIFFERENCES are not necessarily equivalent to an IMPROVEMENT in capturing the natural/neutral details of a given performance.

(I intentionally will not address the mastering process since that has everything to do with radio and marketing execs commercial sales expectations, rather than a true to life presentation of the musical performances.)
Likecap wrote: 'A few comments - professional endorsements on the Shunyata website for consideration'

Paid endorsements. What has this got to do with reality? You might as well ask these people what brand of non-aspirin pain reliever they use or which airline they frequent?
Go for it Brownsfan! Run that dedicated circuit! If I had to do it over again, the only thing I would have done differently is running 10 gauge wire instead of 12 gauge. Btw, that's a very nice system you have there, I was checking it out earlier. Bet the music sounds great already there at your place!

Browsfan, have you considered trying any of the Tara Labs interconnect cable in your setup? The Tara Labs Air 1 Rev 2 ics made a major improvement in my system, and definitely worth the price paid IMO. Audiolabyrinth and Jmcgrogan2 steered me in Tara Labs direction after finding out I was enjoying Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval. The Tara took my setup to the next level. An amazing improvement in sound quality, not subtle. The Tara exhibit a 3D holographic sound stage that is laid back not forward. There is so much air around instruments and voices it's otherworldly. The complete musical presentation is so well defined and coherent. I just had to tell you about them.

As far as power cable goes I have tried a VH Audio Flavor 4 in the system and enjoyed it. I went back to the Lat AC-2 mkII not long ago simply because I had several of them, and I wanted to know what the setup would sound like using all Lat power cable. I'm pretty happy with the Lat AC-2 MkII, but am considering the purchase of a better cable for my DNA-0.5 DLX amplifier. Yes, you are in good company Brownsfan!!
"Have cables become somewhat of a snake-oil topic."

Nearly entirely, yes. Almost all of them talk about science but nearly none of them have any true science on their sites or in their papers. Rather, most of the supposed "technical talk" violates real science. Course, they will tell you they know more than real scientists.

Waxwaves, Thanks! I just updated my virtual system last night, so you might want to check out the new stuff. To answer your question, I had a Tara IC back in the early 90's that was possibly the best single ended RCA I ever owned. I have been so deeply impressed by the VH audio AirSine PCs, which by the way, are in a completely different league than the flavor series, that I had thought to give Chris's flagship XLR IC a try, given his generous 60 day trial policy, as a replacement for the Mogami I have running from the preamp to the amps. I really do like the Audio Magic Liquid Airs I currently have, and could also go that way to replace the Mogami. Before I do anything else though, I'm going to give everything new a chance to burn in and settle in. I will keep the Tara suggestion in the back of my mind however.