Are audiophiles crazy?


Don't take offense to this post if you identify as an "audiophile." I would say I'm an audio enthusiast, but not an audiophile. 

To me, audiophiles are people who pride themselves in achieving the best possible sound quality. Terms like dynamics, punch, and smoothness are just the tip of the iceberg. The audiophile is usually interested in achieving subjectively better sound. How they go about chasing this is actually counter-intuitive. They go out and buy expensive speakers, flagship headphones, high-end amplifiers, and perhaps even real 20K-40K+  studio monitors. All the while, wanting to hear music the way it was recorded. But be forewarned - More accurate does not always mean "better sounding." 

When they play their favorite music, to their dismay, it doesn't sound good enough. So they drop 10 to 15 grand on cables - which shouldn't make an audible difference anyway. But that new cable made everything sound warm and mellow. Now they're kind of happy. At this point, the audiophile is an "expert" basically a Sound Engineer, but only in his own mind (imagination). Every few months, upgrades are made on the main system - even if that means not having enough money for [insert important family obligations here]. Some believe they have the best systems in the world and even brag about it. I have met folks like this and I'd rather not be around them...more money than sense.

No matter how much I have, I always try my best to be humble and polite when in the company of other people.

Skeptical, passionate, and curious, they go out of their way to experience all of the wonderful snake-oil that audio manufacturers have to offer. After many years, they still can't pinpoint what they want their systems to sound like. In other words, what would be an ideal Harman target response curve for all of the genres of music they listen to? It becomes an almost never-ending quest for perfection - which is unattainable in a subjective way. You can have a system that is 99% accurate for Pro audio work - But you can never have a perfect system that everyone you know will enjoy. Invite all of your friends and a few family members - let them listen to your best system and ask for honest opinions.

I find joy in knowing some of them will spend thousands of dollars on "upgrades" that won't matter. I laugh about it. And I suppose this is good for the economy - with the inflation on consumer goods always on the rise, it's nice to know we have a bunch of dedicated folks like audiophiles; who can part with their money so easily. They make great customers but terrible salespeople. Too many I've met in real life can't make convincing arguments to prove things they believe in.

Tell me about your experience with them, or if you were a hardcore audiophile. I have busted tons of myths in real life - let alone online forums...and eventually was praised for it. Again, I think this is a fantastic community; so I enjoy sharing my thoughts here on audiogon :)

Lastly, I have this quote to share - which I think sums up the struggle with audio reviews/impressions/viewpoints etc: 

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher

7504ed1a 1fd4 440c ae3d 83599a6ac1f6mastering92
Yes. Many other hobbies are the same way. Are used to spend all my spare time and money mountain biking until I had an accident and I broke my neck. So I got back into audio after a 25 year hiatus. I find a certain group of people to be the same in both hobbies. We would have the guys who have lots of money who would buy the most expensive parts but we’re far from being the best riders. I’m sure that there’s a parallel in the audio world. There’s a few hobbies that are available to people that Are unique and that you can buy the same equipment that the pros are running either that year or the next model year. For instance the bikes that the pros are riding this year are available to the public next year. There’s got to be some kind of a parallel in the audio world. All the hobbies that I can think of that are similar would be road cycling, mountain biking, BMX racing, surfing, marble plains, model car racing,Snow skiing, water skiing, waterboarding, I’m starting to run out of hobbies. So that’s my take on it it makes him feel like a pro
Post removed 
Most reviews are based on money from advertising, etc.  

     plus they use the magical words,   Soundstage, airy, depth, air around instruments, floating, slam, punches above price point,  yatta, yatta, yatta,.....I’ve read so many reviews the past 25+ years, I’m numb to the BS!

    it’s money that does the reviews. .
This an audiophile site. Is your purpose here to advance music reproduction IRT the equipment & tweeks involved to do that, or are you here to ridicule those who do? 
Crazy does at least sound better than fanatical, deranged or demented. 
I don't know why people are so obsessed with what other people do. I don't spend one second of my time even thinking about how others spend their money or time. 
I enjoy spending money on things that please me.  I trust my ears.  If I hear an improvement to my audio rig with that new piece of gear, I keep it.  If I don't, I don't. I have three violins and, yes, the most expensive one is the best sounding one by far (not that it truly IS expensive). The second most expensive comes in a decided second. The third comes in a distant third, but when I head to a jam session in a bad part of town I know I won't be too upset if it unexpectedly walks away.
Post sounds somewhat pompous like it was written by me when I got out of college. I've mellowed out, thankfully.
i have mellowed a bit......

what were we drinking ?
I was a Cougar. WSU. We drink whatever they’re serving.
I opened this discussion knowing that I might get some .flac ....but no matter what I say, some people will still ride the .wav

I’m glad it turned out for the better this time.

@raysmtb1 - I’m so sorry to hear that. Mtbing can be dangerous...even for experienced riders. Although I have ridden some expert trails, I stay away from the double black diamond or double orange trails. Hopefully the audio hobby will provide you the same level of satisfaction or enjoyment. And your take about certain groups of people in both hobbies is golden imo.

@arcticdeth - Yes, you’re right. Sometimes after you email them directly, they tell you the truth. Of course, reviews are a source of income so I can understand why they lie sometimes.

@boxer12 - I didn’t intend to insult anyone. When I say "audiophile" I’m referring to a particular type of audiophile. Specifically "audiophools" who easily fall into high-end audio scams like magic rocks or green marker on your CD instead of writing out a label. This same type of audiophile is fairly arrogant; and tends to annoy the average person who isn’t really into audio...pushing them time and again to try the hobby.

@mapman - Yep! Those types exist, too. Perhaps I don’t seem like a "nice" person because I say so, but I can assure you they exist.

@russ69 - Well, with over 600 responses to posts (impressive) you must have thought about what fellow audiophiles or audio enthusiasts on this forum are doing with their money. People in the audio hobby are generally supportive and want the best for their fellow radioheads.

@edcyn - Great way to put it. If something sounds better to you - It’s your money and you can do what you want. I agree with your take on violins - generally, more expensive ones do sound better. You mentioned an instrument, so that reminded me of when I used to play electric guitar.

@noromance - Are you talking to me or someone else? As it stands, FYI in advance (not sure) I don’t care about having flame wars on YouTube or forums like this. I think we should just try our best to help one another. Whether than means recommendations, help with a repair, or anything that contributes to the fulfillment of better sound for more folks.

@millercarbon - I’ve seen you on quite a few discussions - and I’m fairly new here. I find that you provide awesome responses in general. Your Einstein picture is equally fitting to your knowledge I see.

Thanks to each of you for sharing your thoughts. I may respond to future posters later.

Cheers.
It's all about the chase!  Let that sink in.
The actual (translated) quote is this:
 "To truth only a brief celebration of victory is allowed between the two long periods during which it is condemned as paradoxical, or disparaged as trivial."
- Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, Schopenhauer 1819.
@mastering92,

"It becomes an almost never-ending quest for perfection - which is unattainable in a subjective way. You can have a system that is 99% accurate for Pro audio work - But you can never have a perfect system that everyone you know will enjoy. Invite all of your friends and a few family members - let them listen to your best system and ask for honest opinions."

"Too many I’ve met in real life can’t make convincing arguments to prove things they believe in."


Sadly it’s all true.

From the moment the recording is captured on tape and issued on vinyl, CD, download etc it has already lost some fidelity.

Once it’s in the hands of the listener the recording then assumes a life of its own as the speakers (or headphones) it’s being played back in are unlikely to be the same as those it was recorded with.

At best playback can only be a rough approximation unless you somehow know the details of the equipment used in original recording.

Even if that were possible, it would only apply to those particular recordings.

For sure reference standard playback loudspeakers can tell you just how good a job was made on that original recording but they can’t take into account any of the deficiencies that may have been present in the original monitors used.

Deficiencies that may have made the recording sound significantly different, (presumably better) to what you’re hearing now.

As we now know there were significant sonic differences in the monitors used in recording studios back in the day. Some used Tannoys, some used JBLs, some used B&Ws etc.

Whatever studios use for mixing/tracking nowadays, be it ATC, Adam, Genelec, Yamaha? Sony 7506, Audio Technica M50x, Beyerdynamic, Behringer, Sennheiser etc, you can be sure they don’t all sound the same.

However we can hope that these are more accurate than what was being used between 1950 and 1990.

Therefore perhaps we can also hope that audio’s circle of confusion should become less of an issue as more accurate monitoring equipment is employed.

It will never be perfect, how could it be, but these inconsistencies can be reduced.

Even of it sometimes means that more accurate playback equipment will only highlight pre-existing recording deficiencies further.

This seems inevitable, unless you want to playback Elvis and Buddy Holly via 1950s monitors, or the Beatles via vintage Altecs/Tannoys etc

Therefore it shouldn’t be too surprising when even the highly recommended Revel Salon 2s don’t always sound fabulous with every recording.

How could they, how could any loudspeaker?

Perhaps the key point is to remember just what it is that we are hoping for, and just how far it is practically achievable.

So are we somewhat crazy for attempting to achieve this?

As long as we’re not suffering adversely, or causing others to unduly suffer, isn’t that usually something for independent outside observers to decide?

Not all truth passes through 3 stages, some of it is self-evident, isn’t it?
Well the best way to stay off the demented audiophile merry go round is to realize that all recordings are different and not perfect to start with and seek to play them back accurately as they are, not as something that you want them to be or think they should be that they are not.
As soon as we see the words snake oil injected into the OP’s post we know the view is not wholly balanced.

Holding some small pieces of the puzzle, these pieces are projected into the crowd, as being ’the way’?

Is it a desire to help, but held up by one’s own personal bias?

Where holding just a few more, possibly, being misconstrued by the OP as THE way?

It’s a complicated matter, and wherever one attempts to step in and ’fix it’.... they run headlong into the combined gift and curse of humanity: individualism.

I’m sure this post will be misconstrued, as all posts in some way are...it is the one thing you can probably count on.

eg, this line from the OP, right here: " So they drop 10 to 15 grand on cables - which shouldn’t make an audible difference anyway.

Ah, no. there’s a long technical path in rumination and logic applied... that has to be traveled with a certain amount of intelligence applied in the contemplation, with a certain amount of wide ranging understanding of all of the aspects involved, aspects which are complex and involved..to understand why there will be a difference. Why was this entire complex subject area cast in that small set of words? Small clues can mean big things.

One sees that being missed or sidestepped entirely. Which means a strong fundamental, an entire area of fundamentals in the equations involved - is apparently missed in the opening remark, so the rest naturally moves to being suspect and open to very close scrutiny as to motive, position, intensity, engagement, etc, and intellect applied...

Of course, I suspect we are closer to agreement than further apart, as a few posts (by anyone) made by fallible humans can’t cover such complex ground.

Then again, arrows can be cast in even the most simple of posting and their general direction in the initial casting can be predicted with enough accuracy to either see potential targets or to avoid being involved in them.


"Audiophile" means lover of sound. Guttenberg describes listening to static on the radio because he was fascinated by it. That's an adequate basic definition to me.

The other conduct described within your definition of "audiophile" is consumerist and unscientific, unmethodical. Because they'd rather chase gear and spend money, they have ceased to care about sound. They are not audiophiles.

One can be an empirical, methodical, and against consumerist detours while they continue to be audiophiles. 
Let’s try one small example in this subject area.

Let’s talk about a claim by a person who used to be here. Geoff Kait.

That a blue skinned cable can potentially sound different than a red one. Stated more as a blanket kind of fact, by Geoff, possibly phrased thus so people might try to get the point, is the guess.

The science of it is solid and is on the books and covers it in totality. Where, when all science and rigor in testing is dealt with, that this comment from him (which he probably picked up elsewhere) holds actual real water, in all scientific rigor possible.

The question comes, what is one missing, at that point? Is it required for me to explain it? No. That’s part of the lore learned and invested.

Sadly, this is about business, it is not pure science. Neither is science pure altruism, nor are the people in it ’perfect’. There’s too much money and power and potential for such in it -- for altruism to rule all things within. Science as idea and reality, in its modern form.. has moved to being of the great cornerstones of projection of and in power.

Another thing that people do not understand (in why engineering does not ultimately eclipse or dictate to pure science whatsoever), that is expected by pretty well all people to be a ’completed’ task in the world of science and is 100% real as can be.. whatever real is: The speed of light. We can’t actually test it to a point of infallibility or being ’real’. (whatever real is, we don’t know that either!)

We can hold it to be true, but the speed of light has never actually been tested. We cannot vet the test regimen. At all. Any associated test regimen known cannot be validated enough to make the speed of light a ’known’ thing. All we can do is work with what we’ve got and be open to understanding more, via reading/searching the further found/discovered clues - both subtle and gross.

A tool as bump on a tool. We are as imaginary as the numbers we use.
We can hold it to be true, but the speed of light has never actually been tested.
Yes it has. 
Good luck with that.

If you wish to misconstrue and take it out of context, sure..it has been tested.

But it has not been validated as true, if you will.

Tested, yes. Found to be true? No. Not yet humanly possible as far as publicly known science goes.

The gentleman at Veritasium does a decent job of explaining why this is a truth (As we are known to name and consider such things)

A key takeaway in regarding human affairs and reality as we know it ...is that reality is in the past. Where only single unrealized points have any potential at all to be in the now. And so on...

Newtonian science is great until realization of greater things takes one to requiring Einsteinian mathematics and concepts.

We are now reaching the point in our unravelling of this mystery of existence, where we require an additional layer to navigate beyond the limits of Einsteinian ’realities’.

We are dealing with Godel’s incompleteness theorem as applied to the peaks of scientific methodology, rigor, and mentalities involved. “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” -Albert Einstein.

In science, nothing is solved, it is merely indicated. In engineering, By the design of 'engineering' itself, everything (it's fundamental components in situ) is solved. Which means it is emphatically not science and cannot speak for it.
One way totally discredit oneself is to take the stance that “snake oil” does not exist.

The second, at least here, is to base an argument on our alumnus Geoffkait.
You have to do better than that.

Otherwise you are merely adding evidence to support the OPs case against audiophiles. 
I guess i am no more an audiophile now...

After 7 years of search with 5 years of frustrations, and 2 years of full time listenings experiments, my goal of audiophile is reached...

I am very proud to be a simple music lover now...

My quest for sound is over in his frantic phase....I succeeded with a 500 bucks system and my embeddings controls to rest near the peak of audiophile experience.... When no system at any cost trouble much your sleep it is over.... My system is very well embedded especially acoustically, and acoustic is the underestimated "sesame" key to audiophile experience, not money....

The most important asset is not a piece of gear it is a dedicated room, and acoustically controlled...

Upgrading course is mostly for people who has not realized for themselves this simple fact yet...

Any basic good pieces of gear will do if acoustic is controlled...

Nevermind the piece of gear, none will satisfy you if acoustic is badly controlled and the most underestimated fact is no one knows without experiencing it first that acoustic is badly controlled...The sound of a room could seems ok without being ok at all....We cannot know what we have never experienced....

By the way most "objectivist measuring obsessive" audiophile or "subjectivist upgrading obsessive" one are on the same boat in regards to acoustic ignorance being the KEY....It is my personal experience with audio threads...

Some even compared costly gear in badly controlled room....

The market , the reviewers, even the consumers boasting about their gear, no one has an interest to this simple truth: acoustic control.... It will stop frantic expanse toward upgrades, all franctic boasting about gear, and the reviewers cannot review room instead of gear.... 😁

There exist 3 working embeddings dimensions for any audio system: mechanical and electrical, the acoustical one exceed even the other 2 in powerful transformative effect...

Calling an acoustic control device a "tweak" or a "placebo" effect is pure ignorance.....





My best to all....


«Why are you so different than us Groucho?»-Chico Marx

«Because my watch give me the 25 th hour»-Groucho Marx 🤓



One way totally discredit oneself is to take the stance that “snake oil” does not exist.

The second, at least here, is to base an argument on our alumnus Geoffkait.
You have to do better than that.

Otherwise you are merely adding evidence to support the OPs case against audiophiles.

1: I did not say that snake oil does not exist.

2: I did not base an argument on our alumnus Geoff Kait. He based his argument on sound science. It’s up to you to figure out what that science is. Until then (post dissemination to the greater group) it will remain weaponized by audio companies and others to affect things in audio and other technological pathways. Again...in verifiable scientific ways.

3: Compounded Error. Needs no explanation.

I owe you no explanation, as you do not owe me an explanation for your post. They are all self explanatory to the right eyes.

One point, though, is that a good mind is both detail oriented and scope oriented. Both rigorously fine and meta at the same time. Where discovery tends to expose itself.
@noromance5 - thank you for that.

@cd318 - Brilliant perspective. Don’t forget dynamic range compression!

@mapman - Exactly. One of the most annoying flaws is a sharp-sounding beat. Too much midrange energy without sub bass to hold it up.

@teo_audio - Yes, I mean well. I don’t actually want to hurt anybody’s feelings. Unfortunately, the globe-around, we are in the age of special snowflakes (not anyone in particular, nor am I calling anyone out)

@hilde45 - Right, those undesirables are audiophools - but I wanted to get some .flac lol

@teo_audio - Geoff Kait!?! Never heard of him. Have you heard of the following gentleman?!:
- Tim Vine-Lott
- Ken Rockwell
- Steve Hoffman

If not, look them up! These guys are famous and real-life pros who have had countless years of experience in audio. Reach out to them with your impressions and they’ll have a field day!

Are you actually stating that "blue" cable is more sonically accurate? That is - not adding anything to the sound? If so, then this also holds true:

SATA cables - used for cloning operating systems down to the last byte of DATA. Also used on your desktop computer if you’re using a HDD or SATA III SSD. I guess all my CD-R burns and rips are wrong because my cable is red instead! (see what I did there)

Blue SATA cables are faster (same length) than red ones! I picked this one just for you:

https://www.primecables.ca/p-313211-cab-8783-all-sata-6gbps-cable-wlocking-latch-90-degree-to-180-de...

I know it’s inexpensive...but call up your favourite cable brand and tell them you need audio-grade only. You’re willing to spend at least 2K.
But don’t take my word for it. These require at least 20,000 hours of burn in. Heck, this will work for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l DNPkLGgIt4&list=PLPAuVqBBYydS6fnL3aZh0bNRmkFGMLjFJ&index=4

My very own burn in test - complete with every known colour of noise. And it finishes off with some bass to ensure regularity within the transducer. But cables do not "burn in" as they do not have movingparts. They are wire. That’s like saying your electrician would need to run 100 hours of test tones on cables before they’re wired into your house.

Check out these vids for a fresh perspective - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=LLpwFAr0VbY-vsHulbcA-ULw - that I liked recently. Yes I’ve watched them many times in the past just for laughs!

Please don’t be uppity with others who have expressed valid opinions.

If you can’t measure something - it means there’s no difference. We’re in 2021 not 1951. So technology has advanced to the point where we can measure cables with accuracy well beyond the full extent of even the best human ears. Only someone with bat ancestry would perhaps "hear a difference" with costly cables. Unfortunately, some of these folks may exist.

If you think we live in a simulation like the "brilliant" Elon Musk has said, then join him at SpaceX. Perhaps you two can revolutionize the cable industry. Paint the building blue as well to ensure proper shielding from the harsh weather outside. The paint must be silver plated. "Just believe me."

And when you bless the building (alongside a priest or whatever holy person) you’re with: play this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68ugkg9RePc

Doesn’t matter what you use to play it. The words alone can cause quantum shifts in the reality of cable shielding. In other words, GameShark- but for your cables.

Cheers.
No of course nobody here owes anybody else anything unless they are buying something. Just saying discounting an argument based on mention of snake oil and citing Geoffkait as a reference for an argument will not get you anywhere with me personally. Which is fine.
Batman prefers Amazon basic cables those high end $$$$ cables hurt his ears. It's a known weakness I learned from the Penguin. 
Apologies OP, but you’ve been given enough rope as tied to the talking stick.... that you’ve seemingly exposed your position as that of a cult.

Looking to expand, no less.

Which is why it’s context and coloring is inherent in what you, in these posts, express the world of audio as. One can only speak from the core in the mental languages one is internally wired as. Thankfully, people can change. For whatever direction that may take or is worth.
Batman builds his own DIY Bat-wires. Down in teh Bat-cave. Designed on the Bat-computer. It's crazy!  Everybody knows that, old-chum.
"...@russ69 - Well, with over 600 responses to posts (impressive) you must have thought about what fellow audiophiles or audio enthusiasts on this forum are doing with their money..."

I am always aware of people's budget constraints. I have the most fun putting systems together that do a great job but also keep costs down. However, I took the red pill and I have heard what statement audio systems can do. If guys want to spend $200,000 and up to get there, I have no problem with it. Can they do it for less money? Maybe, maybe not. $10,000 dollar cables? Why not? 
If I have learned one thing in 50 years of audio that is never pre-judge anything until you have heard it. Open your mind, expand your choices, and keep trying for better sound. That's what "audiophiles" do.  
When a debate about cables begins i know that there will be NO understanding at all...Not even of the small differences cables could make and they could make a small one one indeed...Tomorrow it will be tubes/versus S.S. or analog/vinyl...


No end to ignorance it seems........ 😊

Control vibrations,decrease the noise floor of the electrcal grid, and control acoustic....

This is the problem not cables, analog/digital or S.S. versus tubes...

If your gear is "relatively good" it does not matter what branded name you had in your system save for these 3 problems to be solved and after that heaven is there....


@mapman 
We must have the formula for superior cabling. A handful of us can start a cable company together. Only teo_audio knows. Well, him and his idol - Geoff Kait. There must be some high frequencies that influence spatial cues between instruments; something wild like that. The audio may literallly "transform us" into enlightened beings.

@teo_audio

Maybe I was rude to you. I Sincerely apologize.

However, nobody can ignore the reality of cables - RCA, (designed in the 1930s) has come a long way. We can now pass data at twice the speed of sound. Therefore, there can be no loss in quality - even with longer runs of cables.

I'm just joking. You see, I cannot help anybody unless they accept me for who I am. I am not here to be jerk or misguide people. Throughout my life I have solved problems for people, tried to guide them in the right direction, invested a lot of resources into helping them shape their futures. And instead of making me proud, they reverted back to what they were doing previously.

I've got relatives who are unemployed and refuse to get jobs or start a business. I used to know folks who were addicted to drugs back in high school - dude ended up getting arrested on prom night. They all thought I was some cool guy, so they would ask me all of these audio-related questions. The point is - I cannot change your mind. And, that was never my original intention. 

The purpose of any honest forum is to have open discussions where people don't have to be intimidated or fearful for sharing their opinions.

Going back to RCA and other cable types - these "standards" which regulate exactly how such cables are produced has remained the same since their release to the public at large. There are whitepapers which can explain exactly how digital cables work. If these whitepapers were wrong, your USBs flash drive would not work; Y RCA cable for video games would not work, and every other major cable would remain defective.

Even the lousiest cable needs to ensure that it meets specifications. I'm talking about 10 dollars or less. If you want to buy nicer cables for cosmetic reasons (cool factor) that's fine. But please don't spread misinformation.

And lastly, I'm not forcing my opinions or viewpoints on anyone - including you. I'm only stating what I believe is right. Good luck to you with your audiophile journey. I will not respond to more of your messages as I do not want to waste time with further arguments.
Hmm.  Sounds crazy.    Crazy is as...."?
Let's hope statements like "my high school friends thought I was cool" are ironic.
@jdane They did. But those folks were not my "friends." 
@OP,
Ken Rockwell started with photography. How he moved to audio is beyond me.
I, too, thought he was an informed individual, but eventually found that he exploits the internet with less than informed information, while occasionally posting an outrageous claim to keep himself current.
B

@gdnrbob 

He has experience with recordings and a strong grasp of audio concepts. He can answer technical questions with precise responses. It means nothing to me (or even him) if you disagree with the info he provides. 


Ken Rockwell has a site with a lot of really good info for people with an interest in photography. Maybe not professional photographers. But for guys like me who just want to find a good camera and learn how to use it to take much better than average pictures he is hard to beat. Also he seems to be the one who coined the term measurebator. For that alone he deserves at least honorable mention in the audiophile hall of fame.
Even the lousiest cable needs to ensure that it meets specifications. I'm talking about 10 dollars or less. If you want to buy nicer cables for cosmetic reasons (cool factor) that's fine. But please don't spread misinformation.


This statement is not true. Fluke has measured a lot of cat5e cable and 80% didn't meet spec. Bluejean Measured some of the big name brand cable manufacturers cat 5e and cat 6 most of them didn't meet spec.
The syndrome you talk about only exists when you are not happy with your system the key to all of this is to assemble a system that you are happy with and enjoy the music you play on it.
If it meets spec then just how lousy can it be? Face it, the lousiest cable doesn't have to meet anything. I would think one of the surest means of attaining lousiest cable status is to not work at all. Granted there will still be some cables from Transparent, MIT, etc that may actually be less lousy if they don't work at all. By and large though I would think lousy cables get a pass on pretty much all specifications.  

Cheap cables on the other hand, those actually have to work. Unless of course they are lousy cheap cables.

With this clarification of terminology we now return you to our regularly scheduled banter.
@invalid We now have CAT 8 cables. Much better than CAT 5e...I should know! LOL I’ve worked with VoIP systems, in server rooms, and for managed service providers in almost any workplace environment you can imagine. We used CAT 7 and CAT 8 back then.

Here’s a challenge: Go on amazon.com and look up CAT 8 cables. There are thousands of positive reviews. Can you explain why?

Now, if we need 1k ethernet cables exclusively for audio (or 10 times that cost) let me know.

You’re talking about CAT 5e and CAT 6 in 2021. I don’t understand.
Even the lousiest cable needs to ensure that it meets specifications. I'm talking about 10 dollars or less. If you want to buy nicer cables for cosmetic reasons (cool factor) that's fine. But please don't spread misinformation.


I'm sure if fluke did measurements today of many different cat 8 cables they would more than likely get similar results.
OP, you should refrain from generalizing.
We are all equals.

I think that tops it.
I know it was posted last night, but you think it was meant for today?  
Ken Rockwell?

Really?

if he has twice the knowledge and experience with audio that he has with photography, he will continue to remain without merit. 
Good for him for finding an audience that will read his materials, and that he can profit from it. Lots of uninformed folks out there.
The fact that the OP uses him as a reference for someone who is informed, and in the same category as Steve Hoffman, well, that kind of says a lot. 
The OP also, thought Woo Audio was a Chinese company. Guess the OP doesn’t realize there are Americans with that last name.
"The second, at least here, is to base an argument on our alumnus Geoffkait."
Since geoffkait’s departure, I have been more and more aware that he was one of the more level-headed ones here.

That is not to say that he was always admirable, but the bottom of the barrel has floated into the vacuum left by him.
i wish i knew a single other fan of quality audio, who would let me listen to his system. 
If they work for you, enjoy them. If they don't, get rid of them. If you're unsure, keep shuttling them in and out of your system until you are indeed sure they're worth it to you.  Luxuriate in the neurosis. For sanity's sake, though, only buy toys you can afford. 
For me it all comes down to controlling tone. I am a semi professional drummer so I am very familiar with what real instruments should sound like and their levels.  Every piece of music is recorded differently.  People who buy an expensive new cable are trying to add smoothness or a little high end sparkle.  Well I believe in equalizers and subwoofers.  With those two tools I can add or subtract highs, mids, and missing low end absent from a recording or help alleviate weaknesses of my room acoustics.  I see myself as an active listener who has to tweak each recording, like a mixing engineer before I can sit back, relax and fully enjoy my system and a piece of music.  My goal for every listening session is to try to recreate the illusion of live musicians in my space - I believe that makes me an audiophile.