Why Do Cables Matter?

To me, all you need is low L, C, and R. I run Mogami W3104 bi-wire from my McIntosh MAC7200 to my Martin Logan Theos. We all know that a chain is only as strong as its' weakest link - so I am honestly confused by all this cable discussion. 

What kind of wiring goes from the transistor or tube to the amplifier speaker binding post inside the amplifier? It is usually plain old 16 ga or 14 ga copper. Then we are supposed to install 5 - 10' or so of wallet-emptying, pipe-sized pure CU or AG with "special configurations" to the speaker terminals?

What kind of wiring is inside the speaker from the terminals to the crossover, and from the crossover to the drivers? Usually plain old 16 ga or 14 ga copper.

So you have "weak links" inside the amplifier, and inside the speaker, so why bother with mega expensive cabling between the two? It doesn't make logical sense to me. It makes more sense to match the quality of your speaker wires with the existing wires in the signal path [inside the amplifier and inside the speaker].




Ieales needs a graphic equalizer- much easier for adjusting the tone of his system.

Back in the eighties, I replaced the pair of thin black ic’s that came with a CD player,  from my preamp to my amp with Monsters. I think I paid $160 a pair for them and the difference was more than night and day! It was huge!  

I've never weighed in on this but am in the "I can hear a difference" column. 

As a musician (75 yrs old) I've played in a lot of different groups with a lot of different musicians at all levels. The really good players have a subtlety to their playing - no matter the instrument. What I've noticed is that many of the musicians I've played with who have been playing for many years  "think" they play as well as the exceptional musicians and I've come to believe that they simply do not hear the nuance and subtlety of the top musicians. The top musicians DO hear it and learn to apply that sensitivity to their playing. In other words, some people hear nuance and subtlety that others don't. For me that is one explanation for this continued discussion.

I listen exclusively to headphones so listening room is not part of the equation. I also have certain tracks I've listened to for many years and when upgrading anything I always notice a change in different parts of the recording. Some I like, others I don't. I've purchased expensive cables that I didn't like and returned. Others brought a level of sensitivity I hadn't heard before.

@ieales ^^^

The above is utterly pointless. Any deltas are specific to that system and room and unlikely to translate to an entirely different system.

There are plenty of expensive cables that are demonstrably designed to be ’tone controls’ and are by no means an improvement on any but a small subset of equipment.


Have you ever tried it? What were there results? "Unlikely" how, share more?

The same tests can be repeated at home too with similar results. Tests like these are pointless to those who’ve never tried it, or shared results in a group of peers.

Having worked for a speaker company, where blind listening tests were executed with groups of 30-50 university students in different room settings; The speakers were designed and developed with access to an isoberic chamber. Cables were swapped too. One could argue none of this translates either once the speakers are brought home for use. None of it was pointless. A lot can be learned in tests. Sure, one can argue all cables are passive tone controls, and poor designs impacting sound more than others.

Any deltas are specific to that system and room and unlikely to translate to an entirely different system.

Completely baseless claim that offers neither scientific nor experiential justification. This kind of claim is, however, a good argument against selling keyboards to just anyone who can type.