Cable Current Flow Direction


Regarding cables that do not have an arrow indicating the current flow from the source to the next component in the chain:

I consider the labelled or banded end of an interconnect cable to be the source end. Is this the generally accepted norm? Some cables are just plain. But when you purchase cables with a band or label at one end, often this means something, but they rarely tell you what. Somewhere along the way I think someone told me that this is the source end. Thank you!
poetcatullus
One of the few reasons I know for directionality of a cable is if they only ground the wire internally at one end. They mark the direction so that you put the correct ground in place.
Poet, this is a subject sure to ignite debate. Why don't you just plug them in and listen? If in the future you are ever curious, reverse them. I can't say with all certainty that there is no difference but in my experience I can't tell. Peace.
If the cables are directional, The words on the label usually go in the same direction as the music flow from source to amp.
As mentioned most are not directional. If they are new, you should decide on a direction and keep that methodology from then on.

In all honesty, I doubt that only a bat with "Golden Ears" or a highly sensitive piece of measuring equipment would detect a difference!

Happy Listening!
Its easy enough to find out. What kind of cables are they?
LOL...sometimes they will use an odd number of letters in their cable model nomenclature to indicate current flow....or was it even.....hmmm....I'm sure it will sound better if I could just remember the direction. Come on folks, really? Has this hobby come to this?
just to complicate things, w/some cable manufacturers, directionality refers to where the shielding is connected, if at all.
If the cable contains multiple conductors (signal & ground) and a shield, the shield is connected to ground on the sending end only. On the receiving end, shield remains open with no connection. Arrows will point in the direction of signal flow toward the receiving component.

With coax type cable, I have no idea why there would be any directionally,
other than “audio fashion.” Company ABC adds arrows to their cables
because Company XYZ has them.
I doubt that I could actually ever hear the difference. I have some cables with a small band or label at one end. Is there a general industry standard as to whether the banded end is the source or the destination? Or, does it vary according to supplier, as some responders have suggested?
(I do have some "arrowed" cables and the supplier of these told me that the arrow indicates the direction of the flow. They also told me that at one end the sheild is grounded, but not at the other end.)
In all cases, I am talking about RCA cables rather than XLR.
Thanks again!
I do not worry with cables whichare not marked.
If a non-directional cable, i do tend to orient them with the wording printed on the cable to 'flow from source to obect. same as music signal, so i keep the pair in the same orientation. that is my only reason.
If the cable contains multiple conductors (signal & ground) and a shield, the shield is connected to ground on the sending end only. On the receiving end, shield remains open with no connection.
Thx, Tls49, that's what I was trying to say in my non-technically educated way; however
Arrows will point in the direction of signal flow toward the receiving component.
not sure that is true. I believe that some folks believe that all grounding should be oriented toward one component, which, it seems to me is most logically, the pre-amp. However, I doubt that there is any universally accepted standard, so I think that if the OP thinks that it's important, he or she should ask the cable manufacturer.
Tls49, interesting. I'm not one to buy into the b.s.; call me skeptical but... When I had a horrible ground loop hum, I was switching everything around to try to get rid of it and accidently hooked up a pair of audioquest diamond back rca's up in the wrong direction. It actually made the ground loop hum quieter this way. Go figure.
Arrows will point in the direction of signal flow toward the receiving component.

My understanding is that any noise picked up by the shield will not pass with the audio signal downstream to the next component.
Poetcatullus,

All wire is directional to some degree. Solid core wire being the most directional.

Is there any writing on the cables as well as the bands?
If there is writing on the cables the flow from the source to the amp is usually in the same direction as reading the writing on the cable.

Example.
CDP >>> The Greatest Cable Company on Earth >>> preamp.

If the cables are new you will need to break them in first.

After break in try reversing the cables and listen to them reversed for a while.

Stick with what ever sounds best to you. Just make sure both ICs are installed in the same direction.
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Many thanks to all of you!!
B_limo, I worked in the audio industry for 20 years, and this is what I learned from manufacturers and several technicians. The explanations were always the same. In doing a little research, I did discover another reason that I had forgotten. This is in the second link below.

Read through the “Design Basics” paragraph on this one.

http://www.audioquest.com/pdfs/analog_interconnects/diamondback.pdf

Scroll down to the “Directionally” section.

http://www2.audioquest.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DoNoHarm-whitepaper-1222-11-r11.pdf

As far as the experience you had, I think you nailed it, “go figure.”