Upgraded my cables and they transformed my system!!!

My old cables were, and my new cables are a mix of three or four different brands of cables that synergized beautifully together to produce an outstanding sound in my system. Recently, I felt that there was room for improvement in my audio system’s cabling, so I decided it was time to upgrade. I’m still in love with my old superb speaker cables (Revel Salon 2 speakers), (JPS Labs Superconductor 3 speaker cables), and my incredible ethernet cables (Shunyata Sigma), so I felt no need to replace them. Here’s a list of the upgrades that I made:

Ayre Acoustc QX-5 Twenty DAC: Old cable= ATC, 2M, power cable (excellent for digital exclusively). Replaced with= JPS Labs Aluminata 1.5M power cable (transformational).

Hegel H590 Integrated Amp: Old cable= Audioquest Tornado power cable, High Current, 15A, 1 meter. Replaced with= Audioquest Hurricane, High Current, 1M, 15A

Audioquest Niagara 3000 Power Conditioner: Old cable= Audioquest Thunder power cable, High Current, 15A, 2M. Replaced with= Audioquest Hurricane, High Current, 15A, 2M.

Interconnects: Old cable= Audioquest Earth, 1M, XLR. Replaced with= Audioquest Pegasus, 1M, XLR (transformational).

Note: My budget limit was $1500 or less for each cable (new or used), which I achieved.


I'm not one of our more well-heeled audiophiles, and the $1500 or below (new or used) for each cable was the absolute limit to my financial capabilities for my new cables.  However, at the $1500 or below price point for a new or used power cord or pair of interconnects, you can purchase a level of quality which, IMHO, is so incredibly high with such a high level of proficiency, one would have to question the necessity to spend more.    

With the new cables in place, the sound quality of my system, which sounded simply outstanding before the upgrades, has been improved dramatically by leaps and bounds, and my new interconnects are not even close to being fully broken-in yet!!! Of course, I expected this kind of improvement in sound quality once the new cables were installed, and the improvement will continue to get better and better over time as the interconnects continue to further burn-in. Now, I should be good to go for the foreseeable future.

For those of you who still persist in believing that non-stock, upgraded, aftermarket cabling is "Snake-oil"...............you have no idea.

Happy listening



I found real benefits shopping for interconnect and speaker cables many years ago,  Last year, I finally explored power cords and they were transformational as you suggested.  My own experience suggests that we tend to overbuy electronics if we don’t pay attention to how they are connected.  

Congratulations on making these improvements.  You’ll likely be receiving feedback that is not as supportive.  What matters most is if you are happy with the sound of your system and how you have invested in it..  

Respectfully….confirmation bias is a powerful aphrodisiac. Enjoy your improved system. What matters is how you feel about what you’re hearing. Nothing more. 

Congratulations. I too have experienced upgrading cables and having a "WOW" moment.


Did you ever consider any other manufacturer than Audioquest? Also, you might have saved some money by replacing the Thunder in the power conditioner with the Tornado you already have.  Congratulations on your major upgrade. What's next?

Congradulations. It is truly amazing what cables and interconnects can do. While much of the time the change is important and substantial, there are times when it is simply transformational. I think most audiophiles have that experience more than once over time. I can think of it happening to me three times maybe four over my fifty years. I remember staring at my system, scratching my head and wondering… how, is that possible?

The Audio Quest Hurricane on my amp ended a year long… “no, that is not quite right” search. It improved all aspects of the sound with no drawbacks.


Keep at it. Continue to I mprove your listening skills and the quality of your system and one day you will have an epiphany. Just curious, what is your system now? There is a place to put photos under your UserID. It is really helpful to understand where you are coming from.

Finding the right cable synergy can make a nice difference. Good for you. 

>Respectfully….confirmation bias is a powerful aphrodisiac. Enjoy your improved system. What matters is how you feel about what you’re hearing. Nothing more.

I always chuckle at comments like this, whether they’re made about about the audibility of differences betwen sample rates, interconnects, power cables, DACs, vinyl v. digital content, or even tube v. SS amps. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

The comment quoted above is itself an example of confirmation bias -- in fact, a more egregious example than anything the OP posted. At least the OP listened to the system and concluded that he heard a clearly distinguishable difference. Is that the result of confirmation bias? Nobody else who has not heard the OP’s system can reasonably conclude one way or the other. But at least the OP has described how a rational thought process and results analysis has led to a potentially logical conclusion. You can’t dismiss all of that out of hand.

The commenter OTOH does not have even that much evidence to support a conclusion of confirmation bias (even if that conclusion is couched in insultingly condescending language). The commenter apparently has his or her own bias re: cables and that bias is strong enough to justify pouncing on the OP.

The crucial difference is that the OP has at least some evidence to support a conclusion; while the commenter bases a patronizing conclusion on, well, hardly anything at all.

So the next time you see a trolling message dismissing out of hand, without any evidence whatsoever, what a person hears, ask: Who is more likely to be suffering from confirmation bias?

I don’t mean to be contentious, but I would like to at least try to open some people’s minds a bit.

Just sayin’.


@ghdprentice Have been at it for 5 decades my friend. Have learned much along the way. Including the disconnect between cost and perceptable performance (different doesn’t always = better) and that price tag is meaningless. Have had mega-buck gear ultimately finding that musicality is a very personal endeavor. My current, system is Mc MA-352, Denefrips P2, VPI Super Scout, Hana ML, Sutherland Insight, BS node with Pardo LPS, Morrow IC’s, AQ R88 speaker cables, Revel F208 spkrs. Way too much snake oil in this hobby. Have BTDT and settled here for now.

@cundare2 Your dismissal of confirmation bias demonstrates your inexperience…or honesty. It’s demonstrated in posts here routinely and I’ve fallen prey also. How many have stepped up and bought a stretch piece of equipment and were “blown away”…only to flip it months later?  My comment was not derogatory, unlike your criticism of that comment. Many here with experience know it can take months or more before you begin to know what you’ve accomplished. I’m sure you’ll learn in time. 

@chocaholic: "I’m smart" is not a rebuttal. I do appreciate your thoughtful postscript, but keep in mind that your comments, despite your intent, sure do come across as condescending with a heaping helping of hubris. I mean, "inexperienced"??  Holy crap, I go back to the ESL-57 & SP3.

I realize that you’ve clarified that that wasn’t your intent, & we both know how easy it is to misread tone. But jeez, even given the context, rereading your comment, I dunno -- you’ll have to excuse me if that’s how I interpret the wording. Again, no offense meant, but I stick to my gut reaction. At the risk of repeating myself one last time, your remarks still sound like unsupported confirmation bias to me. But whatever.  As always, YMMV & I certainly don't want to get into a time-wasting "thing" here..


Little-known fact: "Snake Oil" originally meant "effective". When sold as a prescriptive a century ago, it produced real, if small, health benefits in part because of its high concentration of what we now know as omega-3 fats. The term became pejorative only when the market was flooded with ineffective knock-offs that did not contain real snake oil.

The moral is, one should always verify that what you buy is true snake oil, not some phoney imitation that contains no snake.


@chocaholic nice system! Bet it sounds wonderful! The only thing is when I saw “BS node” I read it as Bull 💩 mode.  It must be my confirmation bias kicking in.

Just kidding…

Congrats. I too have just replaced my Power cable for my Audio Research Ref 9 cdp from the Shunyata Sigma digital to the Audioquest Dragon source power cable.  I couldn’t be more happier. The next Dragon I will buy is for my Audio Research Ref 6SE. 

Why no mention of Loudspeaker cables ? 
why didn’t you upgrade them ?

@audioman58 , Well... you could help with his loudspeaker cable upgrade by sending him a cashiers check, y'know?

Someone asked why I didn’t upgrade my speaker cables along with the other cables that were upgraded.  That person just didn't read my original post carefully because I did mention how I still loved my speaker and ethernet cables so there was no way I was going to replace them.

Thank you   


Welcome! to the Club. Now, go enjoy those upgraded Cables!


Happy Listening!

Kenny acc I was inquiring what are your speaker cables , and Ethernet digital cables to see if it something I have heard  in our audio club.

Congrats! I'm not sure that you're NOT a "well heeled" audiophile though. I lost track but it looks like you spent$ 6-$7500 on 4 or 5 cables- pretty good money in anyone's book!

Good on ya, and congrats! I’ve been there...cables matter IMO, and price isn’t a great predictor of synergy with any given system.

As far as the accusations of confirmation bias...long term listening will confirm or disprove that in the end, so no worries.  Enjoy!


How many have stepped up and bought a stretch piece of equipment and were “blown away”…only to flip it months later?

True, but isn’t it also true that Mcintosh owners notoriously upgrade (or flip) their equipment more than anyone?

I assume you are using the stock power cord on that new MA352? 

@chocaholic: "I’m smart" is not a rebuttal. I do appreciate your thoughtful postscript, but keep in mind that your comments, despite your intent, sure do come across as condescending with a heaping helping of hubris. 

@cundare2 ,

I don't see a hint of condescension or hubris in what @chocaholic stated.

@thecarpathian Thank you sir. It seems some find things for which they themselves may be guilty ; - )

@mclinnguy Long ago I learned what “assume” actually does. So I try to avoid that. 

Most of us are looking to optimize our systems and many end up looking to cables as a way to accomplish this. They matter. But it is an imprecise endeavor with few guideposts. The upgrades can be expensive but there may be gold at the end of the rainbow. 

@kennymacc  congratulations on the better sound. Trying the hurricane is on my short list. 😎

I guess then I should be looking to upgrade my 1970s interconnects that came with my Sony tape desks!.  

@cundare2 - I am with you on this.  If you like the way your system sounds, then that is the simple answer.

So if you system, which sounded simply outstanding before the upgrades, am I to question your hearing?  LOL

For others who believe that you have been in the hobby for a long time, I am not exactly sure what that actually means?  You can hear and know what different transformers can do to the sound?  You have learned what for example?  Just sayin' also.

Has anyone heard heard a 101D DHT designed product? If not, then your years of experience is really limited IMO.  Have you heard products with thirty pound power supplies?  Do you know how cables are made and why they sound different from the design and materials?  Speaker placement knowledge?  How to lower the noise in a system without a power conditioner?  Again, I don't want to spoil the fun or say anything to upset anyone, but IMO you really need to dig a little deeper.

@kennymacc - congrats = all that matters is that you love the way you system sounds.  Enjoy the music!

Happy Listening.    



I’m definitely not an expert but most audiophiles may agree, the quality of your cables should match your system. In chocaholic’s case, the Rocket 88 speaker cables paired with the Revels and lower cost interconnects may match his system and sound amazing to his ears. His system is comprised of a BS node, Revel speakers etc. In his case, it wouldn’t make sense to drop 2K on speaker cables or purchase an expensive interconnect for a BS node. 


confirmation bias
measurements matter most
ears can be misled
hearing can be fooled
its just 1s and 0s

The list goes on and on.  I fail to understand why or how so many strangers to the OP can reign down such negative comments when they have no experience with the writer’s judgment.  The comments are never “in my opinion” or “I think, feel that etc.”.  It is always stated as absolute fact and, sometimes stated or implied, if you disagree for any reason you are a moron, tone deaf, or just plain stupid.
My blood boils.

BTW, I have gone the interconnect and power cable route. All were chosen after a lot of research.  None have been over $500. Truthfully, I heard noticeable and positive results for every upgrade. 


This is what the OP stated:

With the new cables in place, the sound quality of my system, which sounded simply outstanding before the upgrades, has been improved dramatically by leaps and bounds, and my new interconnects are not even close to being fully broken-in yet!!!

So the system sounded outstanding before, but is now transformed and dramatically improved by leaps and bounds!!!  I understand that you like your new cables, but your hyperbolic descriptions make me question your credibility.


English 101, when anyone makes a comment regarding any matter on this site, it is “their opinion.” You do not have to state what is naturally implied when making a comment or expressing your opinion. Personally, I have not interpreted any comments as being “absolute fact.” Being condescending or rude is one thing. Expressing your opinion in a non judgmental manner should be expected on a forum like Agon. 

I just switched from Cardas iridium RCA interconnects to Zafino Arcadia OCC XLR from an Eversol DMP-6 to Musical Fidelity 6si > Harbeth 30.2XD and was immediately blown away by the improvement in overall sound quality. I was hoping the XLR connection would be better but I’m more than happy with these interconnects.

Like the previous poster, I just switched from Cardas: Parsec to Clear [digital SPDIF].  And I upgraded my analog interconnects to Cardas Clear [RCA] as well. So, my magical bias tells me that I have better stereo imaging, more detail, and more [and tighter] bass.  I even found improvements, especially in the bass, from changing my $3 Lowe's wall outlet to the Powerport from PS Audio...

As discussed almost ad infinitum on this site, most of what we post here is our opinion...or, I would say, our opinions about our perceptions.  Either we actually do hear a difference when switching out equipment, or we think we do ~ this seems to be the crux of the controversy.  But I started out with what I might term "reverse confirmation bias":  I REALLY hoped that I would not hear audible improvements when upgrading cables. Who really wants to spend the money?  I was oh-so-careful with the packaging, because in the back of my mind was "I'm going to return this for a refund when I don't hear a difference".  But I couldn't lie to myself...whether it was the CD player upgrade which cost 4x what my current one had [my first foray into sonic upgrades] or my Synergistic research interconnects [in a different system than the aforementioned Cardas cables], I have often, but not always, found that spending more money meant sonic improvements..or, occasionally, a move in the wrong direction...sometimes a cable or component just doesn't work well in the system you plug it into...or, it's overpriced junk~ yes, it happens.

So, you psychology majors [I have a psych degree, so don't bother me with the ignorance argument], I'm glad that you're happy with your zip wire and red/white interconnects!  But stop with the supercilious allegations, and let us hear what we hear...or, as you believe, what we think we hear. Save your money, enjoy your systems, and leave the rest of us alone.

Quality cables are important but keep in mind I think they all colour the sound and yeah you may notice a change but is the change for the better.

I find audio quest extremely annoying with all their cherry Banana product names. I do have their HDMI cables which are supposedly very good. All the other stuff is just so damn confusing and complicated. 

everybody is talking about unnecessarily expensive cables without scientific data/proof.

all audio components are made of signal transfer lines (also kind of cables) internally.

so, why not changing/upgrading the internal cables?



@ace17 Good post. It has to be opinions, because we can't prove it. Even if we could prove it why would we bother just to satisfy someone else? But the deniers can't prove it doesn't make any difference either. They try by stating something like "copper is copper, the only difference is the gauge" but that is not a complete argument, therefore it means nothing, and we know better. 

If audio forums had no opinions they would not exist. 

I don't know if it like reverse confirmation bias, but I am much more likely to get buyer's remorse than expectation bias, and therefore (maybe) do not hear improvements as easily as others may. And not just with audio, but everything in life. It is not very often I add a new component or make an adjustment and say "oh wow, that is so much better" It is when I go backwards is when I notice the difference most- I listen for a while with a new product (after break-in) and think not much of a difference, but when removed or going back to the original setting or setup is when I say "oh wow, that is worse". Perhaps many do their evaluations similarly. 

Perhaps with an interest in psychology you have some curiousity in this as well: I still wonder why they (the deniers) are here, like what is the point of going to threads on audio forums, search for cable reviews/experiences, and then question someones findings? Do they just like to argue? Enjoy conflict? Or are they trying to "save us"? I don't think they really care about our financial situation. 



Or perhaps THEY ARE JUST ANGRY, because they spent money on something in the past and didn't notice any difference? and now are trying their best to put all cable manufacturers out of business? 

I don't know who's more fortunate, those who can hear a difference or those who can't...

not angry.

simply because we don need to support any manufacturers who sell over-priced products!


     KUDOS on actually stepping out, trying new cables and enjoying the rewards.

     What would it take for a Naysayer Doctrine adherent to convince you, that what you're experiencing is a result of defective hearing, some deceptive bias, or- your inadequate mental faculties?

                                          As I've mentioned in the past:

     No one can tell you whether/how your system, room and/or ears will respond to some new addition.   There are simply too many variables.

     LIKEWISE: no one can possibly know whether a new addition (ie: some kind of disc, crystal, fuse, interconnect, speaker cable, etc)  will make a difference, in their system and room, with their media and to their ears, without trying them for themselves.   

     Some companies offer a 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee, so- those that are actually interested, have absolutely nothing to lose, by trying (experimenting with) such.     

     Anyone that knows anything about the sciences, realizes that something like 96% of what makes up this universe, remains a mystery.       

     For centuries; humanity’s seen, heard, felt and otherwise witnessed phenomena, that none of the best minds could explain, UNTIL they developed a science or measurement, that could explain it.     

     The Naysayer Church wants you to trust their antiquated science (1800’s electrical theory) and faith-based, religious doctrine, BLINDLY ("Trust ME!"). 

     Theories have never proven or disproven anything.  It’s INVARIABLY testing and experimentation that proves or disproves theories/hypotheses.   

    IF you’re interested in the possibility of improving your system’s presentation, have a shred of confidence in your capacity for perceiving reality and trust your own senses: actually TRY whatever whets your aural appetite, FOR YOURSELF.         

                      The Naysayer Church HATES it, when THAT happens! 

                                                 HAPPY LISTENING!

This thread illustrates one thing........ that we all have biases and hubris when it comes to sound.  It's what keeps this site alive.

Congrats and no surprise; I have gradually been upgrading to the Cerious Tech MatrixV2 but primarily to his Lumniscate line of power cords and interconnects as well as speaker cables and my system sounds EASILY 25 % better today than it sounded 6 months ago. For anyone not familiar with Cerious Tech you can check out his newly designed website, No on eon earth is making cables like Cerious at ANY price. Just go Cerioustech.com

You might get an even GREATER sound upgrade by moving slightly your speakers, playing with toe-in angles.  for FREE.

Also, just to make sure that it was worth spending all that money on cables, just get some good canare or mogami affordable cables to compare them to.

Happy your happy, kennymacc...

Cable topic always engenders controversy...maybe the purpose for the posts?  My history experimenting with audio cable began in 1980 by doubling up lamp cord from my Electrocompaniet Ampliwire II amp to my Snell loudspeakers.  Yep, deeper, tighter bass and the rest of it.  Soon came Transparent Audio's $350 interconnect MIT cable replacing Vampire wire between the preamp and the amp...a high risk jaw dropping event! (one review by HP)

In the late 90's, nearby Final Note was a dealer for Audio Matiere, amazing French tube gear, Audible Illusions, and later MSB and other lesser-known brands.  Over time, I befriended Rick Taylor and we spent long hours evaluating gear plus his own cable designs, which competed with big boy cables of the day.  Rick also went deep in modifying gear and was highly skilled in the application of Marigo V.T.S. Tuning Dots.  Today, addressing interior resonances inside high end components has become commonplace.  Rick wrote this well over 20 years ago:  The Audiophile Voice | MARIGO AUDIO LAB

It's apparent that many divisions linger over cables.  My recent thinking has been around preferred FLAVORS of sound per individual listener.  Example, I'm a hopeless conehead, having long experienced some of the best varieties of loudspeakers designs, short of MBL and a few other radical approaches.  My simplified two channel system in a dedicated small room includes tube power, DIY mains and a curated 12" direct-servo sub.  Exacting placement, DSP, room tuning, and the more recent BACCH plug-in crosstalk cancellation has taken the system to unimaginable heights.  

Now more to the point.  Flavors.  Thurston, a passionate music lover and  audiophile friend for the last dozen years, sadly (for me,) has moved back to his home in Virginia.  He was like having a 1980's box-store start up close by.  By having well-heeled, gear changing friends back home, Thurston was able to experiment with dozens of high-end brands, electronics, speakers, turntables, dacs and, yes, various cable companies during the time of our close friendship.  He had three systems going...an HT surround in varieties of combinations.  A nearfield basement system sporting masonry, a wood stove and digital sources and monitors of all designs.  Finally, his huge primary space, very very different from my small, dedicated studio. 

His cable inventory was not for the shy and retiring, though it did NOT include the truly crazy money stuff, but some of their little brothers.  As it played out, he and I discovered we shared many similar audio experiences and many of the same likes of flavors.  Recently, I have elected a Cardas loom with a couple of exceptions, Luminous from my pro dac to my sub and amplifier.  My theory is that, like Thurston, George Cardas and I ALSO share similar flavors in sound.  One can take this theory much, much further in attempting to explain how the same source of music can be fully appreciated in such differing systems.  I truly believe there are many paths, no right - wrongs.  I've never attended an audio show, yet, having over 200 rooms, sort of validates my theory around so many discerning flavors leading to great sound.  

Finally, for the newbie.  I wholeheartedly agree with starting out with Belden or Blue Jeans or other reputable, well-built designed cable.  Chosen carefully, these will yield a high percentage of the costly stuff, allowing mid-fi or better to perform very well.  Do seek out, maybe befriend, other music lovers.  You will find generous and helpful people for the most part, willing to share.  Many of us have some favorite wire in our "arsenal" that can be borrowed and sometimes purchased. 

Okay, that's about it.  Those curious can find a variety of my posts touching on associated topics.  For the passionate, there is much to learn, experiment and enjoy in persuit of great sound.  Mentors are invaluable.  Thanks for the read.       More Peace,  Pin             (bold print for old eyes) 



...afterthought.  My Luminous Audio Synchestra interconnects are terminated with Bullet Plugs from Eichmann Technology, Australia. 

The Cardas Clear Sky loudspeaker cables were returned to Cardas...upgraded to bi-wired at the loudspeaker terminals.  In addition, all 12 terminations were further upgraded to compression-die-forging by Cardas.  Cardas Clear High Speed USB cable for the DAC. 

My time evaluating cables taught me the value of great terminations. 

Onwards! Pin