Price Isn't Always Indicitive of Quality or Performance

I had spent over $1000 on a Synergistic Research Cable.  The Atmosphere Level 1 level, to be exact. I was using this as my main source cable to my powered speakers. It was absolutely DE-MOL-ISHED by Lavricables' Grand line for a mere $500. It isn't that the SR cable wasn't good.  I was impressed with it and it was a major upgrade over their Foundation line and a phenomenal upgrade over Audioquest's Yosemite cable. 

SR and Lavricables use similar tech, but only Lavricables uses pure silver practically throughout.

Here is the over all make up of the $1000 SR Atmosphere cable:

4 conductors.
Conductor: Silver/Copper matrix.  Or....silver and copper wire twirled together. Purity unknown. Actual wire gauge unknown.
Dielectric: Teflon
Source Connector: gold plated copper, cryo treated and has graphene applied.
Speaker Connector: Silver plated silver, cryo treated and has graphene applied.
Has a silver-plated copper mesh as a floating shield.
Uses a Tesla Coil to burn the cable in (quantum tunneling) prior to shipping out.

Now...Lavricables' $500 cable:

4 conductors.
Conductor: 20 awg 6N pure silver. Each group is laminated separately in Teflon before being encased in Teflon dielectric insulation. Graphene is applied at key points through out the cable.  The cable was cryo treated.
Dielectric: Teflon
Source Connector: Trillium Copper plated with gold. Cryo treated and has graphene applied.
Speaker Connector: AECO ARP-4055 Pure Silver RCA Connectors. Cryo treated and has graphene applied.

The unbelievable sound quality from pure silver was so immense and powerful.  It was no longer like listening to music as it was more like experiencing the music.  The music was pushing into you.  Similar to going to a concert and having the music beat and play in your chest. There were songs that had distortion at either loud, high pitched, or at peak cacophony that I attributed to being part of the recording. The Lavricables proved that it was simply that the SR cable was incapable of reproducing those notes.  WHAT!?! I mean, how do you engineer a cable to fail at $1000? I guess so it doesn't out perform or come too close to your $10,000+ cables. In Lavricables, the Grand line is tops; there is nothing higher.  They pour *ALL* their knowledge, best materials and techniques in the Grand line.

I thought long about this and I think I figured it out. It isn't that Synergistic Research is necessarily trying to rip anyone off.  It's the cost of doing business in the United States.  Lavricables are located in Latvia. Synergistic Research and Audioquest are based out of California.  The average MSRP markup on goods in CA is 3000%. To compare, Texas's MSRP markup is 300%. So the cost of materials will be higher to make the same product in CA than it would in TX. Synergistic Research and respectively Audioquest, has to charge what they do to maintain living and operating out of CA. But in Latvia?  It is clear to me that the materials, tech and know how isn't that expensive there.  So it can be surmised that the cost of living and operating out of Latvia is less expensive, which means they can offer the highest grade product at a much lower cost than if the same cable were made here in the United States.

I am thinking of replacing *ALL* my cables. O_O



"Does a $5,000 cable sound better than a $500 cable? Nope."

Yup.  In this particular case, it's absolutely true. The specs are ever better. Also, I have proof. The $1000 cable was unable to reproduce a specific note that this cable is capable of doing. That for me is more than enough evidence. I even stated which specific materials, what specific song, what specific note.  So it can be tested, peer reviewed, the whole shebang.

You honestly think a manufacturer is REQUIRED to price their products based on what they're made of? Like there is some contract that states if you use Silver or Teflon as a dielectric you have to charge a specific amount of money?  There's no wiggle room in your theory for a company that is able to get better materials for cheaper and doesn't need to mark up so high to make a profit so they can reach more buyers?  Again, this is a difference between a European market and the US market.

Besides, based on what you're saying the audio quality should diminish if I buy a $300,000 amplifier on sale for $20,000. 🙄

This hobby may work the way it works for you, but not for me. I have not had as much success treating this as more expensive = better. What I have had more success with is, Specific Features and Specs = better, no matter what the cost is/was.

Yup. In this particular case, it’s absolutely true. The specs are ever better. Also, I have proof. The $1000 cable was unable to reproduce a specific note that this cable is capable of doing.

So you have proof? Evidence please. A defective $1000 cable might have audible issues with frequency reproduction, that’s about it.

A $1000 cable that cannot reproduce certain frequencies within the 20-20k range, has, shall we say, "issues". Or maybe you have a long run of analog cable-- that can easily pick-up interference. Deal with that and the cable suddenly works as expected.

You make the claim that better specifications mean the gear sounds better? Most specifications are meaningless, while some matter a great deal. The last publication that took the steadfast opinion that better specs equals better sound was "Stereo Review"-- decades ago. It was pretty much non-sense then, and it is nonsense now.

Beyond a certain level of spec, things like your ROOM, electrical interference, your unique combination of gear, and the overall quality of the power in your home-- all of that plays a far greater role in how a system/component(s) sounds than any given spec. Unless of course, something is broken.

Fantasy football, is, after all, still a fantasy, despite all of the numbers.





We get it, you aren't a believer in better cables equals better sound. Duly noted. Just because you don't believe it, doesn't mean you're the authority on whether it exists or not.

Sure, it could have been a defective could have been over priced for the materials. Synergistic Research is notoriously secretive about their cable production.

You want to wax specifics on how a cable can't reproduce 20-20K hz?  Easy, conductivity.  Silver is more conductive than Copper.  That is a fact. Signal will travel faster to source on Silver than Copper will. FACT! High frequency travels more efficiently and is reproduced better over Silver.  That is why high end video cables use either silver or silver plated copper. That is why high frequency treble replicates better over Silver. Go read the white papers on HDMI specification.  See how they had to alter the cable geometry in order to get the speeds needed to sync video and sound.  Gee, if all conductive materials are the same and conduct the same, then why did they need to create specific geometry, over a short distance, just to sync audio and video and later to provide more data throughput for 4K and now 8K. "But, that's digital!"  Uh huh....a 1 or a 0 over what?  Copper.  Using what method of travel?  Electricity.  How does it know what a 1 or a 0 is?  Whether an ANALOG signal is either a full square wave or a completely flat wave.  What does it do if the square wave has curved edges?  It rejects that bit.  What if the flat signal ha a slight bump?  It rejects that bit. So....if you can ensure that your analog "digital" signals have perfect square waves and perfect flat lines, you can guarantee that there are no rejected bits or errors. do you do that?  With better conductive materials, geometry and shielding. It's just plain facts. Whether you agree with it or not.

The truth is, Synergistic Research's cable simply didn't have the materials nor the geometry to best Lavricable's cable. By having Copper conductors touching Silver conductors, the frequencies meld together and diminish Silver's higher conductive rate. Lavricable uses only pure silver.  Synergisitic's RCA connector is Silver plated Copper.  Labricable's is solid Silver. Lavircable's cable simply conducts better, and faster than Synergistics.  That's just a cold hard fact.  If Synergistic's cable is defective, it speaks more to their quality control at $1000 than Lavricable's at $500. Either way, *I* win.

Besides, you've really defeated your entire argument.  Because you don't believe better cables equals better it wouldn't matter if $1000 or $100 was spent.

Well you’re kind of putting words in my mouth so I’ll clarify;

Regarding cables-- beyond a certain level of build and materials quality, you, nor anyone else, would be able to rank a series of cables -- all of good build and quality materials-- from best to worst basted upon price.

Your HDMI argument is noted-- but at minimum it’s moot because we are (at least I thought) discussing analog transmission, not digital.

Silver does have a different sonic signature than copper, and going from one type of metal to the next in a continuous circuit can effect transmission quality in a negative way, but at the level we’re talking about here-- which ain’t Radio Shack-- differences are just not very qualitative.

In other words, better cables have different extremely minor sonic characteristics. Like I said, you would never be able to rank cables by their audio quality based upon price assuming good build and materials quality.

That’s right, you would never be able to rank say five cables between say $200 and $5000 per cable in a blind test. No one can. No one ever has. It’s just audio booshwa.

So buy what you like, spend $20k on a cable if it makes you happy, but don’t kid yourself. Confirmation bias and the placebo effect plays a far greater role than you think.


Understand that the way "premium" cables are designed, is that the top-most, flag-ship, cable is the literal best materials and geometry that the company can offer.  Every model below that is a broken version of the model above it. It isn't "confirmation bias."  Conformation bias is a cheap cop-out by suggesting anyone who hears a difference that another is not able to, is lying. It takes the position that the nay-sayer is more correct because they are taking a skeptical stance.

Going back to my OP, I have determine a drastic enough difference in sound quality from a cable I spent $1000.00 on, to a cable I spent $500.00. Where the materials and geometry in the cheaper cable was FAR superior over the more expensive cable.  And, the cheaper cable was the flag-ship model, versus the expensive cable barely being the mid-range for that company. I found it interesting that a European company was making a cable this good for so cheap.  That's literally the entire point.

Arguing that I couldn't possibly make such a determination is disingenuous, at best.  Considering no one on this thread, much less the entire audience on Audiogon, has a setup like mine. With that said, I am not recommending any product to anyone.  I am just offering my testimony on my discovery.  Either it is interesting to other people or it isn't.  I don't feel like I have to justify my setup or audio choices to anyone.  Largely because *I* am the only who will be listening to it. However, since these threads are searchable via GOOGLE or BING, it is for posterity and information to the lurker who might stumble upon this thread looking for answers to their audio quandaries. Much like I did when I found this site and have learned a lot from other members and used their input to inform my decisions on audio upgrades to my unique system.