Are today's interconnects really better?

I own Audioquest Emerald ICs- which was a good cable in its day (probably 15 years old). Are today's cables that much better than 15 year old cables?
If you want to hear what so many doubt, and that's a huge improvement, then try Ridge Street cables. Until recently I wouldn't have believed the term huge could possibly apply to an interconnect. The silvers are as smooth as silk on my solid state gear and have the detail that silver is known for. True story from a formerly doubting Thomas.
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Elizabeth, a friend of mine who used to work in audio still has his PBJ's but he terminated them with the bullet plugs. I haven't heard them yet but he is very happy with the results. Season's best everyone....
I'm not selling anything, but I will tell you that comparing different cables I found the Ridgr Street cables best in my system. I compare them to Zu Wax and Warmouth , Kimber KC-1, Modern Audio Design's Pearls,and older AudioQuest that I had used in the past. My equipement is not new.In fact, its about 15 years old.Krell, ARC, Mirage, Phillips. But on a home audition, they sounded the best in my system.There my be better, I don't know.But I know what I liked and what sounded the best to me. It was the Ridge cables.Try before you buy ! An updated cable worked for me !!! Good Luck !!!
I owned the Emeralds and upgraded a couple of times -- first to a much lower cost Phoenix Gold and then to a used Acoustic Zen. Both were better in my system to my ears. Is that because they are newer? Can't answer that one for certain, but probably so.

I don't know if your comments are directed at me or not. That aside, let me clarify to your satisfaction. At one time I could buy ANY piece of audio gear I wanted and had one of the best dealers in the country at that time in my back yard. I've tried numerous cables from back then and never once felt a wow factor. Differences yes. Enough to justify their cost? Not really.

And, I don't own the cables I referenced above. They are in my system temporarily as a perk for working on anothers system and to satisfy my curiosity. I will say in no uncertain words that I have nothing to gain from these comments. I'm not justifying dollars that I spent. My comments couldn't possibly be more unbiased. Period.

The difference is huge and I'm not one to make that claim on a whim. I know what I hear. I'll miss them when they are gone.
Better than, say, 20 years ago? Absolutely.
Let's just say that it made many of the vintage gear sound better than today's modern preamp/amp and speakers. Why do you think the vintage gear price are going up?
Just my 2 cents
Yes. Just like all technology, gets better with time. The real improvements are from the smaller companies like Pure Note, Ridge Street, Bogdan, etc. These folks build exceptional products for the money without the astronomical markups seen by the big guys.
I am told that The Cable Company has a lending library of cables. give it a try.
I am still holding to a pair of Emeralds and Argents from way back for ole time sakes. They were my entry into high end cables. They still sound pretty good in the right system. Just not in mine right now.

I did do a long cable comparison a year ago including the Emeralds. Maybe you can find it in the archives.
S23chang: If you keep giving away hints like this concerning vintage gear ( with some basic internal upgrades ) and modern cabling, we won't be able to get such good deals on those "crusty old relics" ( i.e. "old, reliable gems" ) for much longer : ) Sean
You caught me :.(
Funny how some things are going backwards
Sean knows I got my Marantz Esotec class A monoblocks back from the shop and they are STUNNING!
When I've had the opportunity to audition different cables, I initially think I hear significant improvements (maybe it's my desire to want to hear improvements or maybe it's just "differences" I hear). But a week later when I revert back to my old cables (whether speaker or interconnects) I find myself admitting that my old cables really aren't that bad. And to gain the small improvement, I have to spend a chunk of change. So I easily talk myself out of the upgrade.
I also think one of the big problems is the huge selection of cables - there's too many choices! There's the big names and then there's the mom and pop shops. It's not easy here in the midwest to audition many cables. And I'm afraid that the perfect cable for my system will be out there and I'll inadvertently overlook it. So I'm intimidated into doing nothing. Pray for me!
IMHO, big or small improvement has to do with everything you got. If your system is not as refined down to microscopic level then you probably can't tell much difference. Think of it as taking picture with a cheap vs good lens. At 2X3 size, you probably can't tell much difference. At 8X10 size, you might seen some difference with focus and color satuation. At 20X24 blow up print, the difference might be so great that cheap lens image quality is blur, grainy, lots of lens barrel distortion, color mismatched.... At that level, you probably couldn't go back to the cheap lens any more. You just need to figure out where you stand as of now.
The differences from cable to cable will vary with the components that it connects and the electrical characteristics of the cable itself. As such, results will vary and not always in the same direction when there are differences. The key here is to buy gear that is stable into various loads AND select cables that have all of their design aspects taken into consideration. By stabilizing the components and using cables with electrical characteristics that don't interfear with transmission of signal anywhere near or beyond the audible pass-band, the more transparent the system will be. Sean
To Sean's point - the other frustrating thing is more expensive or higher up the chain with the same brand might sound worse than a mid level cable - depending on components. So truely the only way to know what's best for you is auditoning in your home environment.
Better cables won't sound worse, they might reveal more of the shortcomings of lesser equipment though!

I had AudioQuest Emerald for several years. I was given the chance to audition a pair of Purist Colossus while I was using the Emerald. After a couple of days I determined that I would buy the Purist cable no matter how much they cost because they were so much better. When I learned the 1m pair cost $1200 I sent them back to the store. That happened a little more than ten years ago, since then I have replaced all of my cables with Purist. Their prices have come down and my spending ability has risen a little.

Their newer cables have come down in price from where the older models were priced, but in my experience they are better than all but the top-of-the-line Dominus.

I auditioned a pair of the Dominus ICs loaned by a friend from AudiogoN. They cost over $7000 so there was no way I could afford them, even as a used cable, but they sounded so good I could not believe it. I have never heard anything that caused such a great improvement in my own system. Even the purchase of a much better amp did not provide as great an improvement in the sound!

I went from a Emerald IC/Black speaker cable wired system to all Purist and the improvement was worth the cost. The new stuff simply sounds better.