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


Silver cable does not sound better than copper cable. All quality cables have subtle differences and much of that is system, power, or even room dependent. It's like getting into an argument about which bottle of a high-end wine tastes better. There is definitely little relation to the price when you get to that level. The market does not set the price on a thing like that, it's set on scarcity, taste preferences, collectability and so on.

Again, no one can rank a set of high quality cables from best to worst based upon price. No one. Want to bet? Here's a test, you rank the same set of five different cables, three times, from best to worst. Should be easy-peasy right?


Nice rant. Have you heard a $30K turntable

Why thank you. Yes, a couple in that range. VPI and an SME in that range. Both sounded great, but I’ll tell you the same thing as I did regarding cables-- the differences are subtle-- and NOT "better than" or "worse than". The factor that really jumps out at you on a high-end table is the cartridge-- where there are many flavors to choose from at every conceivable price. I have a set of cartridges that range from $500 to $9,000. They each have their strengths and weaknesses and the table will impact what you can get out of them to a degree. But again, it’s more about matching and synergy that it is about price. Far more. When you get into the thousand dollar on up area you are usually getting the best materials and they will resolve more micro-detail. But none of this speaks to better or best-- just differences-- so you go with what you like.

I’ve also heard some pretty disappointing sounding, very expensive turntables-- not because there was anything wrong with them-- other than the SETUP-- which is a huge factor.

I think people get far too hung-up on price as some kind of status badge. Boring and wrong.

Do you think that at the supercar level that those cars can be ranked on performance by price? No. There is no evidence of that. Anymore than there is any evidence that a more expensive cable by nature just sounds better than a less expensive one (assuming quality build and materials). It’s a myth that many cling to, but the evidence just ain’t there and never has been.


What sounds best is always going to be subjective to the listener.  What sounds best to me, on this system, is Silver.

What I have discovered, after over 30 years of dealing with cables, is that speed and accuracy of the signal is what is important. How fast can the signal get to the speaker and maintain accuracy.  Then the system and speaker itself have to relay that accuracy and speed. Let me give you an example.  Your cable sends a series of musical notes to your speaker, but the speaker's driver hadn't finished executing the physical movements required for the series of notes that came before it. As a result it cannot properly execute the remaining notes. This in turn creates distortion, lack of accuracy, and loss of detail, and smeared layering. You can solve this with better engineered speakers or better  engineered amps and in some cases better engineered cables.

One way I can describe this, is through explaining the evolution of this system. This system used to have smaller powered speakers.  They were a class A/B stereo, linear amp. The rectifiers were small as were the caps.  So it was easy and quick to fill the capacitors and get the speed and accuracy required to have the drive complete the necessary movements before the next series of notes; especially with the massive power back end I had at the time. However, it was missing rich mid-bass because the physical size of the bass drivers were too small. So I upgraded to larger powered speakers.  This time they are two mono class A/B linear amps and require more power.  I wrongfully assumed the overpowered back end I had would be more than enough.  I was wrong.  It couldn't deliver the same incredible sound as their smaller versions; though I was getting better mid bass. I tried rolling the OEM fuse for a Synergistic Purple Fuse.  This didn't solve the problem, but did give me better holography and imaging. Then I upgraded the main sound cable from Synergistic Foundation to Synergistic Atmosphere Lv1. This created more clarity, but it still wasn't at the same level of realism as the previous setup.  Then I upgraded the mains power cable from Shunyata Research's Delta to Alpha.  That did the trick. The Alpha power cable was more robust and was more than capable of keeping the rectifier open and filling the capacitor so quickly, the system never had any delay in power draw.  It could also burst with more power and empty of power much faster and rapidly than the previous power cable. This allowed the speaker's drivers to quickly commit to  full movement and be back at the ready for the next series of notes, eliminating any flabbiness.  Then I added some DIY Earth ground boxes to the speakers that finally created the sound I was enjoying before on the smaller system.  Throughout the life of this system, there were a few songs here and there that didn't sound as good as I have heard them on better systems. Like Chuck Magione's "Feels So Good."  On better systems, I have heard the acoustic guitar in the opening more clearly, loudly and with an echo. I was unable to achieve that on this system; at this time. On this configuration of the system, the acoustic guitar sounded distant and its attack and decay of the echo was being cut off.  I chalked it up to the limitations of the speakers or the DAC. But that wasn't true.

I won't go into detail on why I decided to move away from Synergistic Research cables; that is a whole other thread I posted. Needless to say, I was suggested Lavricables on that thread and I bought a pair for my headphones.  The details this cable revealed were far more than I would have expected. Those details weren't present on my system.  So I had the idea of getting the same level of cable for this system to see if those details would emerge.  They did and then some. Now, the acoustic guitar on "Feels So Good" is louder, clearer, more up front and has the attack and decay echo I remembered hearing from "better" systems.

I have heard reviews talk about "cold" or "warm" sounds from Silver and Copper respectively. The Lavricable, though made of silver, transcended that description. It doesn't sound "cold" or "warm."  It just sounds correct; more realistic, more detailed.  That's the sound profile that best fits this system.


I have some Musicable for speakers, from Germany-- claimed (I say claimed because I have never even tried to verify it) to be made of pure silver. It sounds good. In my system, perhaps a tad bright, but definitely good. The main thing for speaker cable for me is pure materials, proper weave that works in my room, and no iron or other metals in the single path-- especially in the connectors-- both male and female. Where I’m at is in room correction mode. I’m getting more improvement from adding sound absorption and dampening here and there than I think I’m going to get from upgrading components at this point-- and I’ve been doing this for a very long time now. You may be at a point where you know your system inside and out, have a great room that’s not messing things up too much, and are going for the harder to get improvements.

It does not surprise me that you have found a cable that costs way less than another that sounds better that its more expensive peer. It may be that in your system, silver wire gives the sound the character that you prefer.

In the end, your ears alone are the judge. Better, or not.

I just know from long experience that more money does not equal better sound, and that there are many other factors that are at least as important.

I have an acquaintance that has spent a fortune on his system-- way into the six figures-- but his room sucks, his setup is wrong, and it’s just plain sad about all that money and gear adding up to a very mediocre sound. But try telling him that and you’ll hear a long rant about what this costs and what that costs. That’s confirmation bias on steroids!


I admit that the room I have this system in is not very good. I have made some room tweaks, like sound absorbing panels on the walls, the Synergistic Research FEQX4, Synergistic Research Tranquility Basik, DIY cable risers and ISOAcoustic vibration control products on the speakers and subwoofer.  All to mitigate this room's "issues."

At present, this setup costs around $10,000.  It's not the most expensive setup, but definitely isn't the cheapest. :)