Cable septic

Okay, I’ve spent a fair amount on my dream system. Voxativ 9.87 system, very efficient speakers, Vocation 211 integrated, ps audio Directstream DAC and power station, etc. I’m using pretty basic cables, mostly what came with my equipment.  I still remember a magazine article where they AB tested high end cables neatly separated vs a mess of cheap crap.   The result, nobody heard a difference. So, flash forward, what cables will make a difference?  Brand and which component in order of benefit. Thank you!
Aae12a1a f17a 4887 b94d 0c6f7ea64692mmporsche
Skeptic not septic, Dam autocorrect

If one does not hear the difference in cables they have blockage in their system somewhere.

here's a quote just from tonight

"After just a slight adjustment on the speaker cables I was sitting and listening on how much more it can get better. This is just tooooo good I really understand now big time on what blockage means. You were 1000% correct those ARC's were blocking so much of signal transfer."


Wire matters little. Contrary to what the "golden ears" crowd claims! Buy some low-cost Kimber or Audioquest ICs and speaker cable and stop worrying! And don't fall for the b.s. that wire needs to "burn-in" before becoming sonically acceptable!
Anticables Level 1 ICs on sale for $50/pr (list $100). Listed here on Audiogon. This is a good company with affordable products! Check out their speaker cables! I have no affiliation with them.
Here's what I have presently in use: 5 pairs of Audioquest Silver Extreme ICs @ $100/pr (list price $500/pr). Bought from HCM Audio. Speaker cable: Q Audio Time Stream. Bought a used 50ft piece for $50. Cut it in quarters (four 12.5ft pieces) and added banana plugs. I chose all this on the basis of price. Sounds fine in my system!
Wire, as well as all audio conduits, "never stop" burning in, none that I have ever used. That said, expensive cable is a bit of a sales scam along with all over built HEA products.
Skeptic not septic, Dam autocorrect
At least you were not in bed with a nasty clown

All that being said, skeptic does indeed flow and rhyme with septic.

Can’t say the two drift far apart on this subject...

like armchair footballers trying to tell rocket scientists how to do their job.

It’s a serious disconnect. After over 26 years of the same endless threads (I was dealing with similar ’threads’ by 1993, in the origins of the web), it can be seen that is is a gulf that cannot be covered except in a powerful effort in individual cases, in person.

So no solution of this will ever be found on a forum.

You can see the one given gang gathering in this thread already.

the final end point of this sort of thing is that some forums are making it 100% unacceptable to negatively engage about cable sound or cable sonic difference or the reasoning behind them, in ANY, thread, I repeat ANY thread of the given forum that is about perceived audio quality itself being in question.

If people want to talk about cable sound and cable differences on those forums, you leave them alone... or you are banned. Simple. Anyone trying to fake out the rules and attack others via skirting near the letter of the law and not abiding by the spirit of the law, is also banned.

Might be a good idea for this forum to head in that direction.
"Septic"?     A very apposite descriptive, of so many claims, made on this site.     You’ll never know if a good set of cables will make a difference TO YOU, until you try them, for yourself.     The Cable Company charges 5%, of their going price, for whatever cabling piques your interest.     If you’re truly concerned, that shouldn’t deter.     If you like them, they’ll apply the rental to your purchase price.   Personally, I’d try a better interconnect pair first, between your DAC and integrated.     In my estimation; that would be most noticeable, aurally.     Try something older, from either Synergistic Research or Kimber, but- still close to their upper end.     Less expensive/still better than most.        ie:    OR:     Either of those should cost you less than $50(including shipping), to try in your system.
btw: If you live anywhere close to Indianapolis; I’d be willing to bring some cables(power, interconnect and speaker), to install/audition in your system.     None of mine are for sale, but- it would be fun and informative.

3,126 posts
12-12-2019 7:41am
Wire matters little. Contrary to what the "golden ears" crowd claims! Buy some low-cost Kimber or Audioquest ICs and speaker cable and stop worrying! And don't fall for the b.s. that wire needs to "burn-in" before becoming sonically acceptable!

Mister roberjerman , you have absolutely no idea of what you are talking about. 
OP - I am guessing with a Porsche ( does your moniker mean anything ? ) you might not think Consumer Reports knows WHY a sports car exists, let alone what a good one entails...,so for what it’s worth, maybe ask Voxativ ????? You might find they care and can make some recommendations...

I like Audioquest, Nordost, Kimber, Cardas, and for speaker wire only a mother could love Anticables 
@unfairlane Rober has some very fine wire in his system, got a good deal on silver Audioquest, so I would say he is already there....$500 cables aren’t the lunatic fringe to some... great IF one can get them for $100 but let’s all be clear his wire is NOT the free junk that comes in the box....
And $500 cables ARE the lunatic fringe to others....
For power cables at a decent price contact Chris at vh audio.  He also makes IC's or will help you with DIY projects.
To just learn a few things try a copper wire cable and a all silver cable to see if yo can hear a difference.  Then decide what you want your system to sound like.  I do hear differences but I can find bigger improvements else where such as adding an AC filter choke, better resistors and capacitors.  Then you can go form there.  I recently hear the changes that the Audioquest Niagara model 1200 made in two systems.  One was more pronounced that the other.  That may have been a bigger change that any cable I have tried ever made.  You have to experiment and observe and then learn what makes the sound change in this hobby.

Happy Listening.
Since you seem to be making a serious inquiry, Transparent Audio is one of very few companies which use an empirical approach, using weekly visits to the Portland Symphony, which they record and use as reference for their cables. They also draw on a database 28 years in the making. They make the internal wiring for the best speakers in the world. I have not found any other cables to be as natural sounding.
Silver cables sound bright, which is initially appealing to some, and get worse with age.
i will not address the opinions of he who has issues with physical reality.
I used to use those same patch cord RCAs, lamp cord, and the cheap power cord crap that comes free with everything. Back in the 90's anyway. Like you I started with some decent components, wondered how wire could possibly matter, heard all the usual BS which I know now is BS but back then.....

Finally one day decided to find out. Brought my patch cords to a dealer. Real nice guy, just said go ahead, did it all myself. Listened to his $75 interconnects. Okay. Fine. Swapped em out for my freebie patch cord. 

Now you know all that crap people spout about not being able to remember, how subtle and faint any difference can possibly be, only double-blind can possibly yada yada because this can only be coming from people who either a) never bothered or b) are freaking deaf. Because the instant I hit pause and heard what was coming through the cheap patch cords, and I mean the instant I heard it, a jolt went through me I leaped back to turn it off, because the sound was so bad I was sure I had somehow broken something on this guys awesome stereo.

But no, everything hooked up fine. So patch cords are garbage. Pure and simple. You have absolutely no idea what you are missing. You could throw any amount of money at better components, as long as they are connected with your patch cords you might as well be burning it for all the good its doing.

A good rule of thumb is budget about as much for wire as everything else. You can go higher. My interconnect cost more than my Herron phono stage. My CTS cable cost more than my amp. But not more than my speakers. Cost however is a poor measure. Only matters AFTER you have selected the very best. Example: Audioquest Dragon speaker cable, $2k, nowhere near as good as Synergisitic Research Resolution Reference .5, only $375.

Best/simplest advice I can give, ballpark your budget (say $500 each) search out the newest SR cable that will get you used, and just buy it. Alternately you would do the same with new SR, taking advantage of their 30 day return. 

Unfortunately while there are a lot of other brands each with their fans SR is the only one in 30 years I have found with enough consistency across all the years and models and generations to be able to make such a recommendation. In fact I will go further and say if you want to find out just how much performance is on the table right now and without spending much money get a SR Orange Fuse and for $160 you will know.
A good rule of thumb is budget about as much for wire as everything else.
Nonsense. HEA is overpriced and price is no guarantee of quality or compatibility. A good portion of the cable market is visually beautiful yet egregiously awful electrically with unflawed components.

Cables interface components and must compliment. If they don’t, which is at fault: cable or component?

I’ve heard the ear-opening revelations millercarbon describes from simply replugging connections.

See for some background on cable properties.

3,245 posts
12-13-2019 2:16am
"@unfairlane Rober has some very fine wire in his system, got a good deal on silver Audioquest, so I would say he is already there....$500 cables aren’t the lunatic fringe to some... great IF one can get them for $100 but let’s all be clear his wire is NOT the free junk that comes in the box...."

I know most best-of-the-best cables, none of them are even close to what I once stumbeled over as a diy`er. (won`t take too much credit, just "found" them) 
Audioquest makes decent ic`s while they are way out on speakercables, too tiny. And silver will never work as a ic, thick silver though works in speakercables but not better than equivalent and cheaper copper.

I`ve sold cables to several distributours, and some of them has even sold my cables "under the table" to frustrated customers. I`ve seen grown, divorced audiophiles crying after swapping out their overpriced gold-and-diamond-edition ic`s with my diy`s.  
I know what perfect, inaudible cables can do to a system. So pardon me for sounding adjudicating.
I love these type of posts. People post so much more in depth when they want to tell you that you’re wrong. I think there’s a lot of improvements that can be made in the area of things you don’t know you don’t know.
I’ve never bought an aftermarket power cord. I’m still using the same AQ type2+ cord that they cut off a spool and gave to me when I bought Dynaudio Audience 82s 20 years ago. I only recently replaced an even older AQ snake of some kind interconnect because after upteen moves one connector became a little loose. I didn’t like putting in a freebie interconnect even temporarily so it prompted me to order something quickly. Been happy with a Stager Silver interconnect so far, but I think I’m falling down the upgrade rabbit hole now that a (very) little research has given me some idea of how much improvement is there for the taking. The hard part is the proper planning and budgeting, because I’m not eager to buy and sell multiple components, but would like to rebuild my system toward a specific target as funds become available. It might be incredibly mismatched until the final bits fall into place, but having one or two parts being overkill isn’t going to sound bad. Some pieces just may not shine as brightly as they can until the rest of the system is at a level to support it. I think I’m ok with that. Now I need the patience to not jump the gun and blow up my credit cards. 
If you can’t hear a difference you should save your money, they’re not meant for you.
I can hear a difference, so I have chosen to invest in cables. I just got some Nordost Heimdall 2 interconnects for the signal path from my TT to my preamp and am enjoying them and am look forward to their sounding better- no matter how long it takes. I’ll just keep listening and enjoying what I budget for and is in my budget that I appreciate.
Okay, return to arms and let the battle continue.

I’ve done quite a bit of cable experimenting in my system over the years.

If you haven’t read the long bit about the Schroeder Method (Doug is a reviewer for Dagogo online), it talks of the use of double ICs with 4 sets of connectors to connect to the 2 pieces of equipment. This is obviously more expensive, HOWEVER, the sound result is well past the cost of doubling the cost of the ICs from even the same manufacturer. Doug told me about it, and I along with several friends have tried this with great success. I have double ICs going from both my CD player to the preamp and from my phono stage to the preamp. I run doubles to the amps from my preamp. All the changes were heard first with just one cable set on each, and then switching after a couple hours of listening to the double with connectors. The result is VERY easy to hear and just makes the sound more real in all ways.

That said, Grannyring on Audiogon sells his Acoustic BBQ cables with Duelund double wires for a very reasonable price with outstanding results. He is a DIY fanatic and has made several excellent components into super components in addition to building his own brand of cables which sound very organic with excellent clarity. I just know Bill (Grannyring) and have been to his house and heard what I’m talking about here. You could spend way more than this to get cables that don’t sound near as good.

Personally, I would have bought his but he started selling them after I bought the cables I heard in my system prior to buying them.
I now have Teo GC II with the Schroeder Method. They might be a little better in some areas, but these doubles cost much more than Bill’s.

I also had Speltz Anticables for speaker cables for many years. It took much more money to better them in sound. They don’t look like much, but sound very clear and detailed. They are pretty cheap at under $100 for an 8 ft. pair. I had to spend almost $700 to beat their sound noticeably. Again, Bill’s cables would only be about $325 for an 8 ft. pair. Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme speaker cables are very well built and are the jump up I made to beat the spelt cables, finally. If you wanted much better sound than that, The CTG Matrix cables by the same company are a serious threat to many extremely expensive cables.

Grannyring’s speaker cables would be a great way to SIGNIFICANTLY upgrade your sound at a reasonable coast as would his ICs. I have nothing to do with Bill’s stuff. It’s just the best deal with very good sound in wires on Audiogon.

If you tried these cables, you’d have to be near deaf in both ears to not hear the difference in just one substitution cable set in your system.

I’ve tried many of the low to high cost cables from companies like Audioquest, Morrow, DCM, Magnan, Crimson, Harmonic Technology, Darwin, JW Reference, Clarity, Amadi, MG Audio, and others I can’t remember. The Darwin and Amadi’s were both excellent silver wired cables--the other were all copper.   The Clarity Cable Organic speaker cables are the best I've used in my system.  The CTG Matrix would be right there with them.  Many of the tried cables mentioned are best buys in their price range.  For your own benefit, the Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ speaker cables were $1499 for an 8 ft. pair and the Speltz sounded better in my system.  The MG Audio Planus III speaker cables were about $1500 for a 6 ft. pair--they were the first really excellent cable to beat the Speltz.  Bill's cable would also be considerably better than the Speltz--very natural and full sounding with still great detail.  There is now much info on the Audiogon Forum about Acoustic BBQ cables form Grannyring.

Much of the cable experimenting has been done after I finally nailed down my main components. My system is very detailed, dynamic, and transparent with no harshness at this point. I do have tubes in my preamp, and CD player--the rest of the components are solid state. The speakers have RAAL ribbon tweeters, fanatically well built mids and bass, and exceptional cabinets--like no other in build quality.

This is probably more than you wanted to know--but there you have it.  Buying used will allow you to get MUCH better sound for your money.  Used cables are generally at least 50% of list price or less.  


It is so funny to hear people say that cables don’t matter much but you see them using $50 or higher priced cables and not using the .10 cheap cables that are found in the cheaper equipment boxes. If anybody makes a statement that they can’t hear a difference in cables, then they shouldn’t be using anything more than the cheapest cable found. Anything of higher quality, they are just blowing smoke, and then it boils down to a few reasons why they bad mouth more expensive cables: their system doesn’t allow them to get the full benefit of a better cable, hearing issues, or they can’t afford or just don’t want to pay more for a cable.
I can/have heard differences in cables and in most cases it boils down to do I want the spend hundreds/thousands more for a cable that gives me 5-10% more? 

@rbstehno  - Correct - but maybe even less than that in some systems depending on how the AC is filtered in the components.  Hope all is going well with you my friend.  
I can only say I wasted some 25 years by not believing that cables make a significant difference :-( I have physics and electronics background and I thought that with rather small lengths, acoustic frequencies, and smallish voltage/current, all non-faulty cables should sound the same -- be a commodity. I am kicking myself now for not even experimenting once! Long story short, I first replaced stock w/ thick Monoprice: significant positive difference already! This year I replaced everything with Audioquest in the price range $41 to $450. Again a definite positive improvement, eg. in tonality. Even AQ Tower more the tonal difference that impressed me; perhaps I should stay at that level.
That said, I am quite angry with audio cable companies for creating 'ladders' of tens of progressively more expensive cables that I believe are designed to squeeze money from perfectionist audiophiles who yearn for that elusive "step up".
This week I got a good beyerdynamic 1.4 m balanced cable made of OCC N7 copper, made in Korea: $100, no nonsense, ultra simple packaging. In contrast, my AQ Colorados came in a pretty large beautiful box, complete w/ an etui (that I have no use for), but that enhances the image of top-class, luxury good. They sound *minimally* better than BJC RCAs.  
Last thing: I simply don't know why cables do sound different. Our ears are EXTREMELY precise instruments, that's for sure.
Go to other forums and there are fanatics against anybody that can hear a difference in cables. They claim its a waste of money, only fools would buy them, on and on, but when you look at their systems, they aren't using the real cheap cables that you get in a $25 dvd box. They are using $20 and a little higher cables. Why is that? If they are dead set that there are no differences in cables, then they should use the cables that most of us throw away.
IMO, if the audiophile has any decent system or the ears to hear a difference, it boils down to: do you want to pay more and maybe a lot more $$$ to get a different sound. I'll admit, not every jump in cable price is a better cable, it will sound different, maybe better or maybe worse, but there is a different sound to cables and if it does sound better, then you have to make a decision if the price increase of the cable is worth it.
Same goes for other audio components, cars, appliances, pretty much everything.
That said, I am quite angry with audio cable companies for creating 'ladders' of tens of progressively more expensive cables that I believe are designed to squeeze money from perfectionist audiophiles who yearn for that elusive "step up".
They are just as likely to be worse. I've heard many demos where the High Priced Spread was clearly wrong for the equipment, yet the salesman prattled extolled the faults as virtues. And it's not a matter of opinion because I recorded the material!

Last thing: I simply don't know why cables do sound different. 

It's in the math.

Read and the Garen Galeis papers linked there.
Nice system, going Voxativ myself with PAP. 
With that investment, you could purchase a Decware Zen switch box for $359 and use it as an A-B switch to change cables on the fly. It’s clearly shown on the website. Then listen for yourself and put all the wondering to rest. Worst case scenario sell the box and for little investment, you have maximized your ability to discern differences or not that matter to you. 
Decware Zen switch box
With a switch box you have C vs D, not A vs B.

And unless the box is scrupulously designed, A-A will also give C-D.
Excellent point, I was just attempting to get someone the idea of how to get in the ball park let alone get on base. Thanks 
And, IMO, Cable Burn In is an outgrowth of evaluating cables [or anything for that matter] not in the system and room in which it will be used.

The poor schlub gets the item home, connects it to vastly different gear and rightly determines the sonics are worse.

As ALL systems change in response to environmental conditions and familiarity breeds contempt, at some point the victim will confirm things truly have gotten better.
I was once a cable skeptic until I tried a much higher end cable brand to my
" , budget brand" that I said " yeah this will be fine and work well".
I am not promoting anything or dissing anything that is why I didn't mention any brand names.
All I can say is there is a difference. I didn't want to believe it myself but I heard a difference.
Happy Listening
"If anybody makes a statement that they can’t hear a difference in cables, then they shouldn’t be using anything more than the cheapest cable found."
They may not hear the difference, but they may see the difference. Many expensive cables look "nicer" and that counts, too. Regardless of the sound, some people do like having items that look good.
Our ears and brain have good resolution, but little precision and very poor memory. 

I have measured differences in speaker cables, mainly due to poor amp/speaker interaction. Audible? Questionable.  That had little to do with cost. Expensive does not mean better. ICs? ... Any measureable difference is not of the audible type. A good IC like a power cable may have some impact noise levels. Changing bass or even treble response as often claimed? ... Bass not at all, and treble not enough to hear a difference.

Most perceived differences disappear when you don't know the change.

Our ears are EXTREMELY precise instruments, that's for sure.

Thank you for all the responses.  I neglected to mention I do have Voxativ Ampeggio Speaker cables.  Here is a description, "The Voxativ Ampeggio speaker cable is composed of many individual solid-core copper and silver wires. These are made of 99% purity oxygen-free material. Finalization is done by a special Cryo treatment. Thereby the cable is cooled down to −190 °C (−310 °F) and then slowly warmed up. In this process the molecular structure is reorganized after soldering.".  So that being said, where should I start with testing, power or IC?  Then, which component should I start with in order of importance?  IN addition to what I stated, I have a JC3+ Phono, VPI Prime Table with Cadenza Bronze, Oppo 105 Darbee Edition.  I have always been intrigued by Synergistic Research.  They seem to place an emphasis on research but they are pricey.  
I have always been intrigued by Synergistic Research. They seem to place an emphasis on research...
... into how a fool and his money are best parted.
Often, by raising the price.
Post removed 

Is there such a club, or is it just your wishful thinking?
@mmporche - I looked up your speakers. Resonance city, zero time coherence. Forget about cables. Your speakers are too low res to matter.
After some experimenting, and end up upgrading my cables, power cables along the way, I can vouch 100% that cable matters. There is no uncertainty about it. Just bear in mind, (a) the more resolving yr system is, the more u will hear the difference. (b) cable range fm  say 10 dollars to 5 or 6 figure sum - so beware the pt of diminishing returns to maximise yr spend n get the cable that makes dollar sense vs yr system's total cost. I personally use transparent cable n SR cable. SR fuses are to my liking too. Rgds. 
All audiophile speakers, including Voxativ models, readily reveal cable changes. My findings in comparisons of full range speakers such as the Voxativ (I reviewed the PureAudioProject Trio15 Voxativ for is that it is easy to build a system in which they are more defined and have higher resolution than magnetic planar speakers, such as the Magnepan .7, which I also reviewed. Some full range speakers are so stunningly clean that they make magnetic planar sound muddy. 

Time coherence has zero relevancy to whether cable changes are heard. To suggest otherwise is a categorical mistake. 

Time coherence has zero relevancy to whether cable changes are heard. To suggest otherwise is a categorical mistake.
Changes will be heard, but since the speakers are incoherent, one cannot assess anything but their affect as tone controls.

In your review, you don't mention phase or resonance, yet every measurement extant of the Voxativ drivers show impedance discontinuities due to cone resonances. They may sound alive, but they are certainly not accurate.
Hearing a difference depends a lot on how bad the cable you were replacing was.  I was a power cable skeptic until a friend gave me a sine wave filter power board thingy and a chunky cable.  I plugged them in just in case the friend came to visit.  I was astounded at the difference, But my original setup had had a cheap and nasty power board in the line with lots of gadgets plugged into it.

As for line in cables, I've been very pleased with Chord Clearway RCA cables which are around the hundred pound mark.  I don't think I would spend any more on a cable, although I consider it a lifetime investment.
@mmporsche - sorry to be a bit late to the party here, but to answer your original post question - which cables will make a difference - any cable from KLE Innovations will improve sound.

I have used/reviewed several models, from entry level to top of the line and compared them to a couple of the popular brands and the KLEI products came out ahead each time.

The only problem - they are not a well known brand and therefore has little in the way of resale value. But if they are the last cables you buy then it's not an issue

If it's a DIY solution you are considering take a look at

I use these throughout my system and they provide the best performance across the board, with an exceptionally large image and sweet spot.

I normally recommend starting with speaker cables, followed by IC's and last of all power cables.

Hope that helps

Regards - Steve
When I see factory tour videos on the web, their equipment looks more inline with a poorly setup electronics hobbyist not any company doing serious R&D. Don't blame me I didn't make the videos.

  I have always been intrigued by Synergistic Research. They seem to place an emphasis on research but they are pricey.  
I was a late entry to cable improvements. I started around 20 years ago.
Children, mortgage, life had got in the way before that.

Have since found the value in interconnects, speaker cables, power cords. Even digital cables.

With such a large market in North America, used cables are a pretty safe bet. And pretty good value for money as well.
I am currently reviewing another speaker with a full range driver, which like the Voxativ, and as would be expected, reveals both tone and definition changes due to cables.  

No one hears a difference between wires. In fact what they do is imagine a difference between wires.
^^^ Some can hear cable differences. Some cannot.

Some people have perfect pitch. Some have relative pitch. Some are tone deaf.

Far too many listeners are able to reliably detect [80%+] differences in ABX blind tests for there to be no difference.

If one does the math, there are calculable differences. For there to be no difference would mean there could also be no difference between anything electronic. For no one to detect differences requires all hearing be identical.

Price is no arbiter. Materials, geometry and connected components determine sonic difference potential. See ieLogical CableSnakeOil. Please illuminate any errors.

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