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].




@yoyoyaya Yes I've been right on set when huge productions were waiting for me to untangle cables getting screamed at by the first Assistant Director. To me cables are like plumbing they should only get noticed if there is a problem. 

For a guy who accuses others of using straw men arguments, you flood the field with scarecrows. 

 I have never read a cable review where reviewer started out by cleaning connections. Just pulling off a cable and reconnecting removes some oxide this would effect sound. Suggest looking at what the cable and connector's are made of more than what its price tag is.

@yoyoyaya As a serious answer with the 2nd law in mind it would mean that at the smallest point of information flow in the signal path would be the limiting factor. If digital (which is usually the problem these days) the smallest sample rate is the limiting factor in analog you can just turn up the signal creating noise.This is why 48khz is still the norm, could have recorded many movies at 96khz but there would be a particular piece of equipment that couldn't deal with it so 96khz never caught on for movies. In music analog front ends (mixers) then recorded to 192khz ProTools is about as good as it gets in my opinion, yes it's a little noisier in the front end (same idea as tube amps) but the signal is digital in the mix and can be changed any way you want without losing fidelity. Many audiophiles speak of cables in such stellar ways if you don't use expensive cables not having them creates a bottleneck in both the analog and digital world. in analog bad cables are very easy to hear if you have experience with the system and microphones (tube mics are harder) usually a bad mic cable crackles very very loudly because the ground is broken and 48v phantom power rips your head off, in the digital world cables that don't pass the proper 1s and 0s don't work at all. Great engineers whom I've learned from felt a lot of responsibility to the original recording and the format in which that recording was preserved for posterity, no one considered that AI will easily put together the missing pieces in the future. AI will be the added information in the 2nd law definition in the near future. 

@johnk Gold should be used on connectors not because gold is a good conductor but because there is 0 residue, in 1000 years there will be no oxide on gold connectors maybe dust but no oxide.