If you're not having problems and you like the way they sound, who cares what your friend thinks?
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There are scores of good quality cables that are made (purposely) without any shielding. Those manufactures are of the opinion that shielding does more harm than good, (robbing dynamics and openness for example) especially if RF is not an issue for their customer base. Some use shielding very judiciously where just a little is enough.I have heard shielded cables in beta testing some new IC's coming to market that sounded poor due to too much RF shielding with ERS Cloth. It made the sound so dull and sterile with lacking bass and highs that was very obvious.
The point is if you don't have RF issues or noise with non-shielded cables, you probably don't need a lick of shielding on your IC's. Keep in mind that we are speaking strictly of line level IC's from component to component hook up.
The use of a non-shielded IC as a low level phono cable from TT to your pre amp or Phono pre is another story, if your tables can run a dedicated IC... and most find you need a shielded cable in this application, and usually do have a dedicated ground wire.. the shorter run ( 0.75-1M or so..) the better to keep hum from being audible. The use of a non shielded phono cables is not a great idea there, but for hi-level IC's..usually no problem at all.
Keep in mind that the shield of an unbalanced interconnect not only reduces emi/rfi pickup, but must provide a connection path that is as low impedance as possible, in order to minimize pickup of low frequency hum and high frequency buzz due to common impedance coupling from ground loops that may be present to some degree. And that requirement is generally much more important than shielding against airborne pickup, as explained in this paper:
The coiled construction of the return conductor of the Anti-Cables interconnects leads me to wonder if their impedance at high frequencies, due to the resulting inductance, may lead to unacceptable ground loop problems in some setups. Particularly if the cables connect components that are plugged into separate dedicated ac lines, or ac outlets that are independently filtered by power conditioners, and particularly if high frequency distortion components (such as may be caused by dimmer switches, for example) are present on the ac line.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with shielding IF done correclty. The distance between the shielding and the conductors can be augmented to ones specifications. That's if you know what you are doing. The cables I use have the shielding spaced a calculated distance away from the conductors. Also, the shielding itself can be increased or decreased in thickness depending on how your equipment is configured regarding the cabling. Do you want to see how effective your cables are at keeping EMI out? Wrap some power cords around the length of the cable and tie them around the cable. Its not a practicle scenario...but for experimentation sake it is. I you hear anything...then you may have issues regarding environmental polution. If you dont...you system is free from any EMI anomylies. RFI hardly is an issue. Its very rare to have issues with RFI. EMI from power supplies is usually limited due to shileding by the component. If engineered properly. Email me if you like for more info regarding interconnects and the science behind them.