Any AQ cable that is designed for DBS and does not come with DBS is a fake.
The DBS system makes a huge improvement in the sound of the cable.
You get what you pay for. Beware of AQ deals that are too good to be true they are probably counterfeit.
I agree heartily with Audiofreakgeek except in his use of the superlative huge. I find the only general type of audio component to possibly be substantially different sounding than another is loudspeakers. Altho Im no Golden-Eared Audiofile--more a tin-eared audiofool--I can hear some differences among cables, amps, vacuumtubes, etc., and I find all of these differences to be quite subtle.
Sort of anyone, even me, can buy bulk cable from AQ--and R88 is definitely among those cables that they sell in bulk--and terminate it using AQ products. I think any company doing so without the DBS system is shortchanging its customers. The DBS system helps get the dielectric broken-in and keep it broken-in, and doing without it decreases the quality of the sound coming thru the cable.
So the cable and other parts may all be genuine Audioquest, but the cable probably is dealer-terminated (which is NOT necessarily bad) and NOT by someone who is sympathetic to the AQ filosofy.
Id avoid them.
Thanks for the replies. The non-DBS Rocket 88 is being sold by what I believe to be an authorized AQ dealer- www.musicdirect.com.
I definitely appreciate the comments about the risks and hazards of purchasing fake audio cabling. We all enjoy a good bargain, but at least for me, I don't want to chances that might screw up my beloved audio system!