a great take on big$ cables

i was talkin to a friend about cables & wire's & no matter how hard i try to tell him its not needed he wont budge because he has heard that big buck wires are the way to go,i even showed him this web page & after reading it his response was this "if they didnt work then why would they sell them" after talking for hours i gave up & gave him a demo,he heard no difference & neither did i but he still believe's.

there isnt alot of info published on wires except by manufacturer's so i thought i'd post this so every body could enjoy it.

this is a link to roger russell's web site where he gives his thought's on wire's & cable's & reports on blind testing that was done,if your not familuar with him he was a audio engineer for many years & from some of the gear i own that he designed i'd say a damm fine engineer too.

if you are of the belief that big buck cable's are not worth using you may get a chuckle but if your a firm believer then you might be bummed out,anyway's here's the link if you care to read about wire's.

price != equal to quality WRT cables.
Remember, there is more profit (read markup) on big buck cables which are typically sold via dealer networks. More dollars does not mean better sound, IMO.
Actually my BEST Speaker cables are DIY made from 6ag solid wires from Home Depot just wind them about 2 twists every inch or so. They cost almost nothing and sound better than any cable I have tried, mostly monster cables as well as the very low end kimber cables.
Sorry about the error in my last post the wire is 16awg not 6 and my runs are 8 Feet long.
All I can say is if you agree with everything said by Mr. Russell there is no reason for you to continue visiting Audiogon. This goes against everything audiophiles strive for. I can't definitively prove he's wrong, but there are an awful large number of deluded people if he is correct! I should add that the same folks (Stereo Review and the AES) who said there is no difference in wire also said years ago there is no difference in electronics. Interesting that Mr. Russell didn't address that, of course McIntosh wouldn't still be in business if everything sounded the same, would they? Recall they are a high end company, with some very expensive components (at least to the average Joe on the street) so his opinion of anything above zip cord is suspect. I also think he takes it a little too far with the Audioquest cables he thinks are an absolute waste of $58,000. I would agree with that only because I will never have that kind of money to throw around! What I found most interesting is the short section on age related hearing loss. A 35 year old male has typically lost 11dB at 8000 Hz! That's pretty bad. I wonder if that is true for most Audiogoner's? Might explain why some folks like bright speakers!
At least 90% of that article is true. I have heard high $$$ cables that sounded terrible (but did make a difference). That being said, I have yet to hear a cable that made such a marked improvement as to warrant spending similar $$$ for the marginal improvement. Big fat cheap OFC (yes I do think I can hear the crud in non-OFC)does it for me.

Physiologically men do loose their hearing to a larger degree than women and at a relatively faster and more constant pace. Even those who take care not to expose themselves to damaging SPL's will gradually and irreparably loose some of their hearing in the upper frequencies. Those who depend on their auditory acuity to perform specific tasks on a regular basis (ex-A.J. van den Hul) will suffer this to a much smaller degree. Also, these are often people who started at a higher mark on the hearing scale continuum therefore reducing the effective functional degredation regardless of the quantitative loss.

Are we all going to be the Jack Lalaine of the auditory world? Probably not. We can expect to get a reasonably good reproduction of the music that makes us happy for some 30 to 50 years before having to tip the trebble knob and turn the volume up enough to cause complaints.

Happy listening!
Bigjoe, you use to have to spend a lot of money to get that last 10% of performance but not anyone! http://www.realitycables.com And to improve things even more try some dakiom 203 series feedback stabilizer http://www.dakiom.com and QuickSilver contact enhancer http://www.xtremecables.com
As an over-50 year old male, I'd have to say that, even though I notice my hearing deteriorates with time, I NEVER have any trouble telling that it's my equipment playing a Beethoven quartet and not the Emerson Q somehow getting into my listening room just to fool me. They know enough not to even try.
Referencing anything Stereo Review printed regarding sound is not a plus IMO. In fact, putting that out there potentially removes credibility from the poster. I leaned first hand (not via heresay or in a magazine) that the reviewer at Stereo Review was either 1 - lying, 2 - had substantial hearing loss, or 3 - his setup was so convoluted that the sonic differences between Bose 601s and Wilson Sohias would be inaudible. Stereo Review was a joke, and a likely token for the various manufacturers, not a source for any real, credible information.
mr russell doesn't say that all interconnects and speaker wire sound the same. he merely points out that there is very little difference between them. this is the point where i say "the audiophile is better off with tone controls on a preamp than exotic cables", and everyone comes out with both guns a-blazin. if there IS a cable company out there, who can change 'copper'and 'silver' into something other than 'copper'and 'silver', i would hope they would be using that knowledge for some greater purpose than practicing alchemy. 'faith' is the 'biggest' difference in wire upgrades.

i have a question for you,what are you talking about when you say " this goes against everything audiophiles strive for" isnt better sound what audiophiles strive for & how does an enginer's finding's done in blind listening test's go against anything ? its nothing more than information,use it if you like or dont its of no matter to me but i would love to know what goes against all that that is hifi.

what i find odd is you choose to fixate on useless information like stereo review & aes instead of the real information in the article which was the results of blind listening tests set up in such a way that there was no time lapse between the changing of wires not what some stupid mag had to say.

if you want to stress a point atleast come up with a response that has merit to it instead of refering to how many people buy exotic wires & cables,that's like saying that bose sells more speakers than anybody else so they cant be wrong.

when i read the page at no time did i take the the parts about stereo review or aes as a reference nor do i think they were intended as such, i think they were included to show just how fast these mag's & reviewers changed their tune, he even admited to his own company reversing its own findings on wire's & cables as to not hurt dealer sales.

to tell the truth i was hoping that someone would comment on the published results of the listening tests instead of focusing on trivial issues such as the honesty of audio mags or reviewer's,as far as i know this type of testing is the most precise way to present different cable's & wire's to test subject's without corupting the test's with visual's of wire's being changed or a prolonged break in the music.

According to the article there’s been $15,000 challenges that haven’t been taken by these experts. The dumbing-down of audio. Read one unnamed magazine’s recent attempt (not Stereo Review)at describing why they won’t do double blind testing a few months ago– it’s hilarious, and total and complete nonsense.

There's plenty of these experts here, stand by for the typical obfuscation regarding why you can’t and don't want to do blind testing. Even better are the power cord (or chord as some insist on calling them) claims. Some cords are apparently "soundstage champs" - Okey doke, sure. Let’s see a statistically repetitive go at that one.

A fool and his money are easily parted.
I don't know whether there's any audiophile-type difference in cables, or not. With age and because of inevitable hearing loss, I am noticing I prefer brighter cables with added resolution, also...brighter speakers to emphasize the high frequencies.
'faith' is the 'biggest' difference in wire upgrades.
Try making that argument fly with my wife. Claims to hear significant differences between cables and cords. What a fool, huh?
If you trust DBT, then let me suggest a simple test to make anyone laugh. Borrow a $99 boombox with a CD player and play it through your main speakers instead of the little plastic pieces that come with it.
Play it and your main system with the levels equalized and make sure the little thing is not clipping, please... I bet you won't be able to identify which is which in a controlled DBT!
Does that mean you should sell your main rig and replace it with a cheap boombox?! Heck no!
You know better and so does Mr. Russel, who still urges you to buy his high-$$$ Mac gear (nothing special to my ears).
Go ahead -try this "test"... You're guaranteed to have fun, that's the only thing I can say...
Do you want a scientific reason for the failure of DBT? There is a mountain high of research paper on the short term memory of humans. Our sound memory is pathetically short, like 5-10 seconds. We are limited physiologically, but let's hope our brain can identify our mental weaknesses and compensate for them. Otherwise, music may only mean tones or sound pressure. Those will make sense as battle bugles, but where is the emotional content?
How does Mr. Russel explain that?
It's easy to show what research has shown again and again but then he does not bother to explain the rest of the dillema. If that was the end of the story, we would be maybe talking, but singing? Playing music? What's that good for?
Listen long term. That is the only way to assess your emotional satisfaction. We can't have extreme pleasure turned on and off under test conditions. Our brain is too dumb for that...
But it does know averaging... It does remember when the music comes out more realistic and more engaging. If you don't trust your own ears and brain, might as well read the music off the printed paper. It's the same content, isn't it? Oh, I love that C-sharp!!!
The following is my engineering interpretation of power cord contribution to good sound. If you have to ask, then I also didn't think they'll make a difference, but reality strikes, my friend!
I've heard amps distorting big time with certain (expensive!) power cord while other amps sounded great with the same. Nothing wrong with either amp!
So why is it?
If you interpret power cords as extension of the "miles and miles" of Romex, inevitably it sounds real dumb that they'll make any difference.
Here is what they are: they are the piece of wire that is closest to your equipment. BIG DIFFERENCE.
Because audio equipment is affected by NOISE. It's supposed to amplify 20 Hz to 20 KHz, but the circuit doesn't know that!
Audio circuits pick up radio frequency and "mix" it with the audio. This is no technical mumbo-jumbo. Just ask any RF engineer about intermodulation with circuit non-linearity and they'll pull a stack of papers on the topic. Very scientific.
The "funny" thing about radio frequency is that it radiates from antennas and picked up by antennas. The antenna has to be related to the wavelength of the RF emmisions, so short wires are almost "perfect" for that. Yucks!
Well, you might say, there is no short wire. It's an extension of miles and miles. Not so!
When it comes to very high frequencies, the wire's miniscule inductance (very scientific - check technical specs!) is large enough to make the far end of it irrelevant. That's a great simplification, of course, unless one wants to solve Heavyside/Maxwell equations. I don't recommend that...
Now that we understand the nature of wires in close proximity, perhaps we'll be more open-minded about the effects of these wires on the system.
Now, those of you in the rural area might think that they don't have RF pollution to worry about... Wrong!
Guess what. The power supply in any equipment is a source of RF noise. Ahh?! Say what?!
If you have a high speed scope, pull it out and sample (at your own risk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) the rectifier diodes at the switching point. Zoom in and enjoy the view!
There are several mechanisms in which RF pickup muddies audio. One was mentioned above - direct mixing. The most common might be the impact on jitter in digital audio sources. RF has its nasty ways of leaking through stray capacitance. In average equipment it takes very little effort to reach clock circuits and add a few nanoseconds of "fuzziness" to your timing reference. This topic has been analyzed to great boredom, so just search for exact details. The jist of it is that very few nanoseconds of jitter are enough to cause distortion of the non-harmonic type - the worst there is. Audible products that do not relate to the music tones!
If you don't accept that jitter is an issue then you are seriously wasting your time reading all the way to this point. It's too scientific, perhaps.

So now we understand three things:

1) short wires in close proximity to the equipment differ from miles of Romex in regard to RF rejection (elementary Physics).

2) Any system with a power supply emmits RF. (you can verify this yourself - again: at your own risk!!!!!)

3) Low levels of RF mixed with audio are not nice. (Just ask any RF engineer)

Any more comments about the "myth" of power cords?!
Mind you, I don't advocate paying $2,000 for these, but at least be aware that they are doing something other than draining your bank account. Some power cords do RF filtering extremely well!
This is a minor correction to my last post in this thread.

Jitter is measured in picoseconds, not nanoseconds. That's how sensitive clock circuits are. Jitter in the order of 300+ picoseconds already has a major impact on sound quality from a digital source. You'll hear that as a "fuzzy" imprecise soundtage.
One picosecond is one milionth of one milionth of a second, or ten to the minus twelve for you techies...
You don't need much to cause harm!
If I've decided there's do difference in cables (my dogma) and I'm stubborn enough, I'll probably never hear any difference in cables. That doesn't necessarily mean there is no difference. It just means that I refuse to hear them. That's fine, whatever floats your boat, but that doesn't mean everyone has to subscribe to your dogma. But why is it that there's always someone trying to convert others into believing their dogma? My dogma got run over by my kharma! BTW: The world is flat you know and the entire universe revolves around the earth.

good info on rfi's affects on power cord's & i couldnt agree more,i know its an old peice of gear but one of my favorite peice's is the cary cad5500 cd processor which remove's rfi interference from cd playback,that single peice of gear make's a huge difference.

just to clear the record i'm not trying to convert anybody into believing anything about cable's but there is a point to everything & also an oponion & information.

anytime somebody put's out info from the other side of the cable camp its taken as a direct attack on cable owners instead of taking it as it was meant,have i heard difference's in cable's, power cord's & wire's with my own ear's,yes i have but do i think they are a upgrade,for the most part i do not.

my personal belief is that cable's & power cord's do infact work because ive heard them work but i also believe that the benifits obtained from running exotic cabeling can be matched & even beat by going in another direction like by running a (quality) preamp with tone controls as jaybo suggested above or by getting away from gear that runs in low ohmage's,serus made a fine point in his post about how shitty rfi can make things sound but there is gear made to handle that problem that can be used instead of running exotic cable's.

i would rather fix & or control weak problem area's within my system with electronic's that have resale value as oposed to running exotic cabeling & loosing 50% of my investment as soon as i buy them.

i would rather fix & or control weak problem area's within my system with electronic's that have resale value as oposed to running exotic cabeling & loosing 50% of my investment as soon as i buy them.

I generally buy used, and don't lose any money should I decide to re-sell the cables. Then I'm free to focus on the sonics, not the price.
Bigjoe: I agree that it's best to correct the problem at the source, but most people just buy equipment to listen, not to fix it...
Coming from some background in power electronics (many years ago...), I appreciate these issues. Unfortunately I find that quite often audio engineers concentrate on the audio part of their gear and the power supply is sort of an afterthought. Real sad!
But it's "only" a power supply... Dah!!!
According to serus, "Our sound memory is pathetically short, like 5-10 seconds", while Evita says "my wife claims to hear significant differences between cables and cords".
Thanks for proving my point guys.
Snofun3: I tried zipcord and didn't like it, so what should I do? Listen to it anyway?! Please solve my dillema for me!
My solution is to listen long term. In the end, you get a good feel of the character of sound. Obviously that is not something you can judge in minutes.
Do the same "test" on fine wines, any gourmet food, fragrance, whatever. Short tests like that consistently fail to reveal any statistical conclusion.
So, what does it mean?
Either that we should all just buy the cheapest XYZ everything or that the test is faulty. I say the test is faulty and you say it ain't. Please offer a scientific way to resolve this shouting match... Good Luck...
Thanks for proving my point guys.
OK Boa, I'll do it slow -

Serus - Long litany on why DBT is worthless, particularly when you can only remember sound criteria for about 5-10 seconds. If a $99 boombox is allegedly going to sound as good as a he-man rig as he assets, then cables / cords should be a infintessimally small change.

Evita's wife is a power and I/C critic - "Try making that argument fly with my wife. Claims to hear significant differences between cables and cords. What a fool, huh?"

OK, if you can only remember what something sounds like for 5-10 seconds, and can be fooled by a $99 boombox, then the way you can tell significant differences in cables and cords is??? So why not use DBT to prove to yourself at least that what you're hearing is a figment of your imagination.
Snofun I agree. If cables make as much difference as some people claim, it should be easy to pass a DBT or ABX test, right?

DBT and ABX are standard methods applied in many fields. Why is it in audio that the tests and methodology are deemed flawed if shown that differences can't be detected?

DBT/ABX IS the proof, but it has always disproven as far as I know.

It always ends up that something in the chain "wasn't good enough to reveal the differences", if only the power was conditioned, if only the speakers were better, if only the room acoustics were just right, if only the planets were aligned...if, if, if...
So why not use DBT to prove to yourself at least that what you're hearing is a figment of your imagination.
Because DBT's are not my standard for satisfaction. Listening is. And if I'm pleased with the results of a tube change, a cable upgrade, or driving a car that rides a little rougher than you prefer, why on earth should you care? If my happiness is delusional, so be it.
Snofun3: My claim is very simple. Since the method proposed (i.e. DBT) is worthless (and there is lots of scientific data that says that is true) for determining audible differences (whether they exist or not) then my proposal is to make a judgement based on long-term listening. The goal is to enjoy the music, so test equipment is marginally relevant (how do you test joy?!)
So, at least I have a proposal, rather than say it's all BS, even though many of us believe they have more joy with certain components.
You can say that you don't agree, and instruments are the only thing that counts, despite their faults. Then you'll say NO and I'll say YES and we'll go on (theoretically) forever. In that case it becomes a "religious" discussion rather than a logical one.
The other option is for you to have an alternative proposal, so we can discuss it.
Or just buy a boombox. They're fine for making noise in the street, but I still say that you (and I) won't tell the difference between that boombox and a Krell with Wilson speakers - not in a DBT...
Serus, I don't understand - not (just) trying to be argumentative.

The article points out how they had a box where they could go back-and-forth on cables to determine whether the differences were indeed perceptable. Much like when you go to a stereo shop and they give you a button to A/B speakers with. You don't need 5-10 seconds of audio memory as the changes are virtually real-time. And if you can or can't tell a statistically relevant change then??

And if you have to know what you're listening to to know how it sounds (boombox vs. Krell/Wilson), then all of the review is a fallacy, no?

I see tests in the Mags, where "this speaker had a better bottom end than that one, but the other imaged better etc" - and this is from NOTES!

Look, I've changed power cords and perceived great differences. Then I had a friend do the old DBT, and couldn't predictably tell which was which. I've had the same experience with I/C's, but here could use two sets of inputs on the preamp to be able to go back and forth, and again, suddenly the difference was, errr, let's say, much less perceptible.

That's why I get a good chuckle when someone gets all gooey about his latest audio ephiphany on one hand, but gets real defensive about DBT on the other. The old Emperor has no clothes situation to me.

is you dont hear a difference with cable in "your" system. then something is really wrong (low resolution, hearing etc.)
Okay Mike, Thanks for the predictable response (see Whoaru99's post). Seems like you're bored - plenty of other threads to go to for such insightful comments.
I'm a firm believer that cables make and audible difference....for the better or worse is another question. I think a lot of folks use them as high dollar tone controls myself. For my system i went with something reasonable that sounded good and then started tweaking my room.

Anyway, my main point is i have a friend who holds " a cable is a cable" viewpoint. He owns a high dollar pro studio. The early Manheim steamroller stuff was done there and he does work for Disney among others, in other words a real studio and not a corner of a basement. He feels that anything other than 12 ga zip wire for speakers is a waste of money and for the sensitive low level lines he uses all monster but anything more than that is also a waste of money. If the guys who are sourcing our material aren't all that worried about what they use i think it adds support to the fact we are using wires to tune our systems to our ears rather than going for the most accurate. Nothing wrong with that
suddenly the difference was, errr, let's say, much less perceptible

So, are you saying that you are **as satisfied** with your system in the **long term** with Radio Shack cables or generic 99 cent interconnects from the flea market?

If so, then I understand you although I don't agree.
If not, then there must be something "else" that the **test didn't catch**. That's all I'm saying.
For the record -
I believe there is a significant difference in the way cables sound.
It's the concept that someone can wax eloquent about a cable or a cord, then go all apoplectic about the why / how they couldn't be expected to identify this grand epiphany in a DBT is always a great chuckle to me.
My Theary is that cables should not make a difference. They should not "get in the way" of the audio signal. I can hear a difference between some cables and I wonder why they are "modifying" my music, I have to have cables that will leave the music alone.

I had an 8 ft pair of cardas quad link 5's (300.00 a pair). I needed longer cables so I had to go a cheaper route. I went with www.Signalcable.com I got a 35ft pair for 280.00 and it transformed my system. The sound stage is wider, deeper,and everything is more natural and open sounding.

This tells me I don't need super expensive cables, I just need the right ones.
My claim is very simple. Since the method proposed (i.e. DBT) is worthless (and there is lots of scientific data that says that is true) for determining audible differences

There is not a shred of "scientific" evidence that says any such thing. If you have to make up science to prove your point, you've lost the argument.
There is not a shred of "scientific" evidence that says any such thing
Not the DBT itself, but in regard to our sonic memory. But why hypothesize about it? Try it yourself as I proposed with a boombox and your $$$$ system.
I've been a participant in one well-conducted DBT and I've talked with the person which ran the test. He has quite a bit of experience and scientific background in audible perceptions and I believe his word is quite credible when he tells me that there is enough scientific data on the subject to show that statisticaly most participants are just guessing.
I'm interested in any other data do you have that supports other conclusions.
Serus: Go talk to your friend again. You didn't understand what he was telling you. When things sound the same, subjects are indeed just guessing. When they don't, they aren't, and they get statistically significant positive results. I posted a whole list of resources on DBTs on another thread (Reviews with all double blind testing). Go take a look. Then you'll understand why people really can hear differences between boomboxes and better systems--but not necessarily between cables.
Then you'll understand why people really can hear differences between boomboxes and better systems
Same speakers (for frequency response) and level matched? Is that a real claim - or a guess? I'm smiling here... cause I know the answer...
Serus: Boomboxes have their own speakers. That's why they'll always sound different from everything else (including each other).

Now, if you imagine hooking the box's electronics to a pair of good loudspeakers, that's a different question. Will it sound different from a component audio system? That depends. A lot of boomboxes have wretchedly weak, high-distortion amplifiers that will be noticeable in a careful DBT. But if you use a speaker that's a really easy load, some of them just might pass. That doesn't mean they're as good as components. It just means that, for this particular task (i.e., driving this particular speaker, in this particular room) they are good enough to be indistinguishable from the specific components you compared them to.
Pabelson: Of course boomboxes have their own speakers - crappy ones with tonal anomalies and bass rolloff. You must equalize the spectral coverage and levels to have any meaningful conclusions. Furthermore, if you take what you would consider a bad sounding (but not clipping!!!) boombox even through the good speakers, one that you are willing to bet your life on finding in a DBT, let me give you a friendly advice: Don't bet your life!
You will not identify it in a statistically meaningful way!

Here is my two cents...

It is no secret that fantastic ultra expensive cables are 99.99% of the time totally unnecessary (both for speakers and for interconects and even for very expensive audophile equipment). Just as it is no surprise that these cables can make a lucrative "sell-up" for the floor salesman. People will often spend some time comparison shopping around for their big ticket items but then sucumb to the salesman's pitch "for this latest high $$$ TV/Speaker/amp technology you simply MUST get these appropriate high-end, quality, low-loss, super-duper cables or else you wont get the value out of your purchase!"

For example, in one store I had negotiated a plasma TV and wall bracket at an excellent price, as I came to pay, the salesman explains that the price includes installation. I say great! Then the salesman shows me a wall with the "super duper" interconnects...."only $400 he says. I nearly fell over! I said "you got to be kidding, surely these things normally come with a $3000 purchase...can't you do better?" He goes in the back and comes back looking like I am trying to steal from him...."ok", he says, "for you we'll do it for $300." I say, "I already have cables thank you, and I can handle the installation myself. I would just like the TV and wall mount only please" Then the salesman tells me he cannot sell me the TV without the cabling package...and starts giving me the crap about electrical codes and that my insurance will be invalid if my house burns down. (A very conscientious salesman to be worried about my insurance at home.....but I suspect he is either misinformed or trying to scare me)

I explain that I am aware that running additional 110V power lines/outlets through walls requires an inspection, but I do not plan to do this.... and that there is no requirement or electrical inspection code for low level interconnect signal lines such a component cables and low level audio signals.

The salesman still refused to sell me the TV without the cables and I was forced to go next door where they had a low price guarentee and were nice enough to meet his lower price on the TV. (Although they did try very hard to sell me a power line conditioner....I politely declined and explained that I trusted that Panasonic, a reputable company, had designed the TV with a sufficiently good power supply that I should not have to provide special conditioned power.)

All this goes to show that cables are a meaningful profit generator for electronics stores such that they have an incentive to push you to buy some "super duper" cables (that you don't really need because ordinary ones work fine.)

The only cabling that I have hoenstly found that has some strong basis for paying a little extra is for good shielding, such as with XLR cables. Professionals will often use XLR cables and XLR components because of the shielding and the need for long runs/many criss cross wires in a studio...but it is well known that they don't tend to buy gold plated plugs or special oxygen cables....if anything they tend to pay more for durability and rugged build...given that equipment is often re-arranged or transported and a loose wire is nuisance. So while it is generally true that RCA connectors work very well for the majority of analog signal applications they do have a drawback in that they tend to pick up noise/hum more easily than XLR.
So, Serus, IF the boombox amp isn't clipping, and IF you equalize frequency response, THEN it will sound the same as a component system (assuming reasonable levels of IM and THD). So what? If you eliminate all the factors that make things sound different, then they sound the same. What a discovery. Alert the Nobel Committee.
If you eliminate all the factors that make things sound different, then they sound the same
But they don't sound the same and even YOU will notice that. Yet, you will not identify the boombox in a DBT. I'll bet $1000 against your $100, how about that. It's a farse, coined around the $15,000 "challenge". Both are a farse. Geddit?
Bad test. Nothing else I have to say...
Cable cos. multiply like cockroaches. Tremendous profit potential without having to own any test equipment or manufacturing facilities.
Serus: How do you know they don't sound the same? How do you know you're not imagining a difference where none exists? The answer is, you don't know, and you can't know unless you compare them blind. So if you want to claim they sound different, you have to invent and carry out some sort of blind test (since you insist the ones we have are bad) in which you demonstrate that you really can tell the difference. We're waiting.
you have to invent and carry out some sort of blind test
You got it... A long term test...
How do you know you're not imagining a difference
You can measure differences (how about 0.25% difference?) in THD between the two and still won't be able to tell the difference in a conventional DBT with one minute clips. What do you think?!
The answer is, you don't know, and you can't know unless you compare them blind
So, when (not if!) you fail the above test you will sell your main gear and listen to a boombox for the rest of your life, just because you arbitrarily decided that "you can't know unless you compare them blind"? The emphasis is on arbitrary, until I see a conclusive research that shows consistent statistical correlation of DBT to sonic perception.
Without that, you are making an arbitrary decision that the particular method is a good indicator. I'm looking for the science here.
Go back and look at the roots of scientific evaluation. Even Einstein's theory of relativity had to wait many years for "official" proof, until someone could measure the effects of gravity on light. We tend to simplify and take things for granted, but that is not scientific. What's scientific is for one to ask why isn't reality in agreement with Newtonian mechanics and dare say that the speed of light is constant, risking ridicule by his colleagues.
You can ignore what your brain tells you based on what seems to be an incomplete or insufficient test data. That is not science, even though it includes scientific methods. I'm sorry that I don't know the answer, but I do know what to ask. You don't!
You seem to accept it that someone with X years in the audio industry "gotta know" more than what your own ears tell you. With that approach we wouldn't have an atom (which nobody could see at the turn of the twentieth century!) and would be still teaching Greek geometry instead of Calculus in our schools (Newton was "blamed" to be insane with his definition of infinitesimals...)
Dare to question!
Differences in copper or silver should be relatively small, as Mr. Russell's website shows. Their sonic impact should be subtle.

But my ears tell me that with many cables there is an immediate and not very subtle impact on the sound (I don't need any double blind testing to hear this). To me, that means that these cables are not just wires, they are designed to have a sonic impact. Cable designers want to achieve a certain effect (ie, "silky smooth" or "natural-sounding bass"), and combine materials with cable geometries and passive circuit elements to get that effect. In other words, the cables are designed to be filters to produce certain effects.

For myself, I want to spend the money on the active circuits. If a cable changes the sound, I don't want it. I use what other people may think are crap cables, but you know what? They don't have any sound at all, they let me hear the amp and preamp and speakers, and most importantly the music.

Someone should make a little $100 box that implements a tunable band-pass filter to put in the interconnect lines. I bet that you could make such a box with some knobs that would let you make your interconnect sound like "silver" or "copper" or "quantum equalized equipotential polarized dialectric" cables. Zip cord plus a box like this would be as good as any $15000 cable.

On the other hand, I plan to audition Transparent cables on the advice of a friend. Through their extensive R&D, they may have found ways to make my system better, and that's worth listening to.
Where to begin, Serus? Just because you don't know the science doesn't mean the science doesn't exist. The study of human hearing is over 150 years old. Audio is not some brand new, revolutionary theory that requires confirmatory tests no one's imagined yet. Audio is old hat, much of it borrowed from other fields. And the way human hearing works doesn't change based on the faceplate of the gear you're listening to.

One thing that science definitely does know is that "what your ears tell you" can be wrong. If you can't accept that, then there is no reasoning with you. Believe what you want to believe.
Someone should make a little $100 box that implements a tunable band-pass filter to put in the interconnect lines. I bet that you could make such a box with some knobs that would let you make your interconnect sound like "silver" or "copper" or "quantum equalized equipotential polarized dialectric" cables. Zip cord plus a box like this would be as good as any $15000 cable.
That's the Carver "theory" applied to cables... And it is not true. A "box" with passive or active components does not behave the same as a transmission line in regard to RF handling or even in regard to the full audio spectrum. You are making a big simplification of what should be analyzed by Maxwell equations and perhaps simplified to distributed network. The "box" theory says that it all can be simplified into an "ideal" transmission line plus ideal basic components. That's known in engineering as the first-order approximation. It's good for predicting basic directions, not for details.
BTW, you can simplify the concept even further by putting an equalizer in the chain. If all these transfer functions are linear then you can "bundle" them together!
Some online magazine measured and published Nordost Valhalla capacitance curve. No passive components that I can think about can do that...
Equalizers do some good in some systems but they are not "sonically-free", whether active or passive. If you bother to reach the highest levels of audio reproduction then you will take the extreme pain to match the most basic components and avoid additions to the signal chain.

On the other hand, I plan to audition Transparent cables on the advice of a friend. Through their extensive R&D, they may have found ways to make my system better, and that's worth listening to.
Ah, and then your emotions take over... It won't make a difference, but heck let's have a listen... :-)
Be strong and resist the urge, Mate... :-)
Or, listen and think whether this set of cables seems to do a better job conveying the music compared to what you have. I'm not saying the particular one does or doesn't, but only listening in your own system can tell you the whole story.
Of course if you know the "formula" of this cable or the circuit for that amplifier - you can build them yourself. The question is how much is it worth to you... To some people an interconnect is worth $50 max and even when they hear a better set they won't spend the money. To other people money is no object. Most of us fall somewhere in between... See - we were just reduced to an "average"... :-)
But somtimes, just sometimes, the emotions take over. Like my friend that needed to rebuild his garage and one day I go to visit and he has a $40K dCS digital front-end - and no garage... The mysteries of the mind... :-(