XLR cables for a reasonable price?

I've seen lots of threads where it is stated that balanced components are "insensitive" to cables.  Does this mean that spending a lot of money on XLR cables is probably unnecessary, as it offers no sonic benefit over cheaper XLR cables?

I would like some recommendations on reasonably priced XLR cables that give excellent sonic performance.  Thanks for your replies.


@inna @cleeds I disagree with both of you regarding @atmasphere presence here. If there’s a hobby where the owner craves affirmation / approval for their chosen brand(s), it’s this one. If @atmasphere is doing anything wrong, it’s probably that he’s wasting time sharing decades of experience with people convinced they think they know better because they’ve read feedback from other amateurs, tried tried a few different things, and branded themselves an "expert" such that they are going to "teach" someone with decades of experience actually designing and building equipment exactly at the heart of the discussion. I am certainly no expert, but I’ve followed Ralph’s advice, and want for nothing. I’m sure it’s just a matter of my ignorance being bliss, which is fine too. I am an expert in one thing, though... I am pretty good and discerning the difference between chicken shyte and chicken salad.  Unfortunately, I've wasted money on and heard plenty of chicken shyte in the past branded as "great".   

One of the problems, and a big one, as I see it, is Ralph’s endless self-advertising. As if there were no other good amps or engineering approaches. There are, and many.

+1 @jim2 and I couldn’t disagree more with this statement from @inna. There are others here who are well known for shamelessly promoting their own products while also denigrating competitive products and even recommendations from other members (that I do think should be grounds for expulsion here), but Ralph is most certainly not one of them and to even imply such a thing is just utterly foolish.

I agree with @cleeds 

Having industry professionals like Ralph around here at least provides interesting perspective and, in many cases, initiates discussions that result in me looking stuff up and learning new things.

They all have their own way of doing things, which creates variety in the gear we use, and they are passionate about the industry (a good thing).  There are a couple who stand out for their vehement belief that theirs is the only true path (i.e., Robert from Live-Vibe comes to mind) but I believe their participation is a positive addition to the discussions and I appreciate when they show up. 

Based on this discussion, I believe that equipment following the AES48 standard will exhibit no differences in sound between properly built cables. I also believe that there is well designed “balanced” gear that does not completely follow the standard and may be affected by cable design and quality. 

My question, how do you know whether a piece of equipment meets the AES48 standard to the letter? And what happens if you mix and match?