Yes, cables do make a difference -- regardless of price...

I thought you may find this interesting…or not.  I know, another "cable post".  Disclaimer up front — I am a believer that cables can make a difference in the sound that you hear from your system.  With my speakers, like most high(er) efficiency speakers, I can hear large and small changes made to the system components — and cables are part of that system.

What I want to share is an exercise that I went through with my better half in setting up her recording equipment that she will be using to record audio books.  The hardware part of the system is simple:  Audio Technica Cardioid Condenser Microphone AT2035 connected with a XLR cable to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 preamp.

We started with the XLR cable that came with the microphone and recorded the short introduction of the book she has been contracted to record.  Then she recorded the same section using each of the our XLR cables I have on hand:  Vovox Excelsus, Mogami 2549, Gotham GAC-3, and Grimm TPR. Each of the cables have the same Neutrik connector and are very good studio cables that I have used in my system at one time.

Listening through headphones via the Scarlett 2i2, it was super easy to hear distinct differences in these cables.  The differences were not small and very apparent.  In the end, the Mogami cable was the winner — it seemed more open and warmer than the other cables and suited the tone of her voice the best. I have heard similar differences from these cables in my stereo system but not to the significant degree borne out by this exercise. 

To keep going, today I replaced the $10 USB C to C cable that I bought as an “upgrade” from the Scarlett 2i2 to a MacBook Air with a $70 Audioquest Forest cable. We were more than surprised that with the AQ cable in the system the drop of the noise floor was very significant and the blackness of background made the sound even more crystal clear.

The purpose of this post is not to promote or compares cables, just a public service posting for those of you who do not believe cables make a difference.  They really do affect how your system sounds (positive or negative) and if you cannot hear a difference then maybe looking at the transparency of your system is a place you should examine.

Imagine peace everyone.

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I had a panasonic 3700 but the one made for portable recording, I got into so much trouble with it because it could never hold sync, the way the time code and the sample rate were derived didn’t work. Back then 35 years ago there were a few different TC rates depending on what you needed to sync to if it was a film camera the Panasonic was useless. A few years later HHB and Fostex came out with DAT recorders that derived their sample rate from internal clocks and not dependent on sample rates. Panasonic recorders were never a standard in the film industry after the 3700. Yes the machine was really bad full of jitter and out of sync signals because it was a flawed machine in any test any scale and in every way.


In any case, I have a BSEE and MSEE in information theory and signal processing, as well as PhD work in cognitive science


What a coincidence! These guys also have an engineering background.

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Bybee Technologies – Founded by Jack Bybee – Physicist

Bybee’s first commercial products emerged from Cold War-era military-industrial research. The stealthy shadow contest of nuclear submarine detection, location and evasion demanded ever-quieter circuits, lower electronic noise and greater signal-to-noise ratios. Practitioners summed up the problem as: “reducing 1/f noise, from DC to 2000hz”.  

Bybee’s technology involves exotic blends of rare-earth metals or their isotopes to reduce electronic noise in circuits. In the mid-1990s, Bybee’s AC filtering was among the first of its kind to use exotic doped materials instead of transformers or balanced power, which made it a novel concept at the time.

Jack’s science and physicist background gave him the understanding about negative effects of quantum noise. Link here.


Purist Audio Design – Founded by Jim Aud – EE & Physicist

From there, I earned my Electronics Engineering degree at Brescia University, and would later study Computer Science for almost two years at Westinghouse. Then I came to South Texas Nuclear, and studied what they’d call today nuclear physics. Link here.


Shunyata ResearchFounded by Caelin Gabriel – Research Scientist

Caelin Gabriel is a former US military research scientist with a background in research and design of ultra-sensitive data acquisition systems.  These systems were designed to detect extremely low-level signals otherwise obscured by random noise, requiring years of intensive research into the sources and effects of signal and power-line noise interference.  Link here.


Silversmith Audio – Founded by Jeffrey Smith – Engineer

CEO/Designer Jeffrey Smith is a Wyoming native and graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Engineering. He also earned a Master of Science Degree, With Distinction, in Defense and Strategic Studies. Link here.


MIT Cables – Founded by Bruce Brisson – awarded 20 USPTO engineering patents.

MIT Cables founder Bruce Brisson began purposely designing audio cables in the 1970’s after encountering the sonic problems inherent in cables typical of the day. Link here.


AudioquestGarth Powell - Sr. Director of Engineering

Formerly with Furman Power for 12 years.



Thank You for posting a thoughtful perspective on Cabling. Yes! cables and cords do make a difference.


Happy Listening!

As always, it comes down to this simple question: "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying ears?"