Cables and reviewers

Tons of creative designs out there. Lots of reviewers, with no consensus as to what's best. Seems to me that if there was a superior design, then we would see some kind of consensus forming around it. Maybe cable choice just not that important, at a given price point.
...and lots of their designers have no idea about engineering at all or even reality.
Whatever cables were used in recording studio to make good recordings, those have been tested good and savvy. That’s logical and clear and they weren’t priced $4,000 per foot for sure... That’s where the dumb and simple math beats any sophisticated science or reviews behind and idea of high-end audio cables industry and sometimes being dumb is much smarter than listening or reading ta all kinda revieuz and pretending that you’re genius. Among the pro-audio grades there are not too many choices to think of: Mogami, Canare and Monster-pro and some more lower grades. Using these brands for all of your home audio needs solves all cable problems because most of them were used to bring the best recordings you’re listening to now. The other reason to use pro grade that studio engineers choosing proper cables can't be fooled as trivial home audio consumers with all these fancy features of  just a wire after all.
The sonic performance effect of one's cables (that means all of ICs, speaker, and power) is:
(a) entirely directly (emphasis added) audio system dependent in the first part;  and, 
(b) the effects are further signigicantly influenced by the unique characteristics of one's unique listening arena with all of those strengths, limitations, and warts to boot.

There is no "best" or other biased and subjective ranking accordingly; one size does not fit all. Intuitively, there is no consensus nor will there ever be any consensus in such a totally variable and extreme subjective arena .... be it brand, price, construction, design, length, etc.

You can only trust your own ears via actual  hands-on experimentation with your own system and in your own listening environment ... Full stop. 

This is hobby is a complex journey and never contemplated to be a easy destination.
I don't recall seeing any consensus on anything in this hobby. Cables, speakers, amps, digital choices, analog choices, you name it, no consensus.
Consensus has no place in this hobby, and why should it?
Do you really NEED someone to tell you what to buy?
There's no consensus regarding what music is the best either. Maybe the music isn't all that important at any given pricepoint.
My reply was meant to be to the OP......
To the OP:  Your logic seems good, but I think there are too many variables in each one's system, room, and hearing to draw any conclusions.  I was happy believing that cables were all the same until I tried a $4000 per foot cable(Okay, I couldn't resist since that was so silly above), make it $5 per foot Audioquest Type 4 speaker cable in a bulk by the foot purchase.  The improvement over my stranded #12 speaker cable was noticeable, and superior.  But you need speakers capable of more detail.  Vintage speakers from the 70s or 80s need not apply.
akg_ca 12-30-2015 4:35pm
The sonic performance effect of one’s cables (that means all of ICs, speaker, and power) is:
(a) entirely directly (emphasis added) audio system dependent in the first part; and,
(b) the effects are further significantly influenced by the unique characteristics of one’s unique listening arena with all of those strengths, limitations, and warts to boot.

As examples of point (a), in this thread from about three years ago I cited the following examples of how a comparison between two cables can yield exactly opposite sonic results depending on the circumstances:

Example 1:
If an interconnect having relatively high capacitance is compared with one having relatively low capacitance, and if everything else is equal, the higher capacitance cable will produce a duller and more sluggish response in the upper treble region if used as a line-level interconnect (especially if it is driven by a component having high output impedance), due to the interaction of cable capacitance and component output impedance; while the exact opposite result will occur if those same two cables are compared in a phono cable application and driven by a moving magnet cartridge, due to the interaction of cable capacitance and cartridge inductance.
Example 2:
It is easily possible for digital cable "A" to outperform digital cable "B" in a given system when both cables are of a certain length, and for cable "B" to outperform cable "A" in that same system if both cables are of some other length. The happenstance of the relationships between cable length, signal risetimes and falltimes, cable propagation velocity, component susceptibility to ground loop-related noise, and the happenstance of how closely the impedances of both components and the cable match, all figure into that.
-- Al

 we all have different brands of components . These amps , preamps , phono amps all have different electrical (Let's use the term stats)  . The almost infinite combinations we are putting together with different brands make comparing one cable in one system and trying to determine the results in any other combo that does not have the exact same electrical (stats ) impossible to say what the sound  result will be .

Now if we all had the same systems we could do a much better comparison of a cable . We would still come to different sound descriptors even then though .

Now let's look at a integrated amplifier's design . The designer choses the internal wiring that will work the best for it's application . He spends the time and makes a determination on what is needed . No need for us to fret over his decision because we can not alter it . What is a compulsive tweaking audiophile to do ? Can not do a damn thing about it ! and still the integrated can give pleasurable results anyway . Go figure .

Cable reviews are absolutely meaningless . Thanks for letting us know what you heard in YOUR system . Alot of help that does for me !
psag, I believe your conclusion is wrong. We have a plethora of methods and gear, as well as philosophies on tubes, vinyl vs. digital, rooms and tuning, tweaks, etc. There is nothing even approaching consensus on any of these in the audiophile community. Take amps, speakers, sources, they all are lacking in conformity across the spectrum of listeners. 

So, why would you expect consensus on cables? 

I've read a lot of advice here on A'gon where one is told to ask the speaker maker what he uses. Fair enough. My present and last set of speakers are internally wired with Supra Ply. Both makers use it for their speaker cables. It works. Sometimes it's not the best remedy when swapping out components but it works really well, but the upgrade bug is always there which leads to those reviews....

All the best,

The (3) factors that affect anyone's system are;

Room/Listening space, Gear and Line conditioning.

I would HATE to be an audio reviewer and cables would be the worst.
I would HATE to be an audio reviewer and cables would be the worst.
I don't know, I think I would rather review cables than speakers.
That's a lot of work moving speakers around, worrying about position, toe in, etc.
Yes, from the physical exertion standpoint cables would be easiest but oh the angst.
First you'd have to ask yourself whether cables really make a difference and if they're worth the cost etc.

I don't have much sympathy with reviewers, but if I was one, cables would be my least favourite assignment. Just because, as others have said, cables are so system dependent, advice becomes meaningless

That doesn't mean all cable manufacturers sell snake oil. There are plenty of competent designs out there selling at acceptable prices. I would include here, Wywires, Silnote, Sablon audio and lessloss. The only way to go is to borrow some cable or buy second hand, with a view to selling on at hopefully, minimal loss and see how they are in your system.

A single pair of speaker wires or interconnects is easy to do, but full looms are a real pain, but big speakers are the worst to review, given that having two sets of speakers in the same room are a major problem, even if you short the terminals on the pair out of the system.

But what mankind knows about designing better cables is not total. Furthermore, people have different rooms, components, different voltages, and certainly different tastes. I am all for realism while others I know favor good, not tiring, and even sleepable music. Costs also greatly influences the picture.
I would argue that cables are different than other components. An optimally designed cable will carry a signal from one component to another with a minimum of distortion. AudioQuest (among others) often makes this point in their ads. An optimally designed cable will also do what its supposed to do in any reasonable system. A cable that only works well in a particular setting is not a well-designed cable. Regarding reviewers lack of consensus, the most likely explanation is a combination of bias, laziness, and incompetence.
So reviewers who are NOT biased, lazy and incompetent would/should all agree? Considering there probably is no human alive who doesn’t possess these traits to some degree I’m not sure I follow your logic.

Are you saying nothing should ever be reviewed unless the reviewer is perfect?
If fallible reviewers don’t write reviews who will?
There are a very select few reviewers out there who have the right qualifications: Honest/unbiased, articulate, possessing good ears and a wealth of experience, and having a solid understanding of acoustics and electrical engineering as it relates to audio. As you said, evaluating and reviewing cables is a nightmare. The average reviewer only adds to the confusion.