Look on the cable it should have a expiration date on it.
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Sometimes cables can oxidize as Elizabeth mentioned about the Monster Cables above. Cables usually become obslete to the listener due to a system change. I have setttled on DNM speaker cables and IC's. DNM has been around for quite some time and has stayed with the same geometry since inception. They use a solid core copper cable and have two types. Precision is for speakers that are >90db and Stereo for speakers that are <90db efficiency.
They will run way less than your 1k budget.
I guess this only proves that all good cables, like many other things in life, must someday come to an end! I think oxidation is the primary problem and then there is possible fraying of the actual cover. In the end though, a good cable should probably last you quite a while.
Anyone know if Nordost cables suffer from the same sort of problems? Been thinking of giving their cables a try in my system...