"not blown away by it's performance".
Why would you expect to be blown away?
Given any two (or more) high quality traditionally designed cables of the same length you would have to have highly revealing equipment, good ears, and spend some time to hear the differences. If you can easily hear differences either the cable you are using now is not suited to your system or the cable you are demo'ing is designed as a bandaid for audio problems.
Personally I doubt that there is enough market for a fake cable to warrant buying and setting up all of the equipment necessary to duplicate it and market it. That doesn't mean that there isn't some rebadging (so to speak) of some ordinary and inexpensive cable, but when this is done its usually presented under the sellers name, not some famous maker. JMHO
Newbee I accept where you are coming from....my system before seemed quite robust to cable experimenting and I can also accept that my ears aren't what they used to be.
Having said that buying a highly rated and expensive cable made by one of the big names inevitably you feel as if you may be about to hear something special perhaps thats the problem.
However the reality of my situation was that I think a well-made but DIY silver cable by a friend seemed to equal the top brand of one of the most famous cable makers in the world.
It made me wonder if the cables were "real" and it makes me wonder how some sellers seem never to run out of stock of these cables yet never have the packaging.
Having now perhaps more revealing speakers I'm wondering if I should give cabling another go.
Ben, I've heard quite a few cables but I'm far from any kind of an authority. What my experience has been, with my modest stuff, is that some cables that I have listened to initially have that "wow" factor. You know, that "I'm hearing detail I've never heard before" feeling that people so ofter mention. Nothing gross (that stuff gets pulled out immediately), just a subtle, apparent, opening up of the upper mids & high end. But, after listening to it for a long time I start to realize that what I'm hearing is not the revelation of detail in the source which I can now hear because of a very neutral and revealing cable, but a cable that has been designed to create this effect, and where it falls down is that it applies this effect to all of the recordings and sometimes to their detriment. When taken out of the system, the system seems to relax and become more enjoyable. So far my experiments with "flat cables" and silver cables have been disappointing for those reasons. But, in the final analysis its all about synergy isn't it. Some systems will shine due to the differences, some will not. Thats probably more important, unless you change stuff all of the time and need a universal cable so you don't have to change it each time you introduce a new component. But it sure is a minefield out there. :-)
Newbee I have to say I have been a sceptic with cabling due to my experience but I retain an open mind and I would like another bash maybe once I feel settled on how my speakers sound (see my other thread).
I'd be interested if other 'Goners have any comments on the non-packaging issue.
I normally buy the first one from an authorized dealer, then I have something to compare to when I buy subsequest ones used.
I suspect that if one can copy the product, they can just as easily copy the packaging. And therefore, "Certificates of Authenticity", purple silk bags, beautifully painted wood crates, etc., don't guarantee much either.
My experience with cables parallels those of Newbee. There are some cables that truly have that wow factor and affect the tonality greatly. The one that comes to mind is the Cardas Golden Cross. This has a warmth that is very lush and works well as a tone control for a system that has a little bit of a brightness character. I found the Straightwire Virtuoso to be exactly the opposite. Once I got my system to be more neutral, and I removed the Cardas and SW for the MIT and NBS, everything was much more in balance.
Several years later with the MIT & NBS, they still both work so very well with my upgraded system. Even between the top MIT and NBS in my system, there are subtle differences of a little more resolution vs. midrange presence. But overall the swap between these two retains the sonic character of the system. Either they are both doing something very "right" or they have exactly the same flaws to not allow me to hear what a "better" cable would do. I simply don't think about it any more.
When you get your system to a point where cables of such different engineering implementations make very little difference, you can quit worrying about cables altogether.
The only brand I'm aware of that has issues with counterfeiting is Cardas. Cardas actually has a page on their website devoted to this and they offer a certification program in which you can send them a Cardas cable and they will examine it and send you a certificate of authenticity (or not if it's a fake).
Tvad thanks for that.
A very interesting outcome on this and I will say no more than that but I do believe there are factors in here for Audiogoners to consider for cable purchases in terms of authenticity.
You're welcome, Ben. For those interested in the Cardas Certification Service, here's the link:Cardas Certification Service
You can't be sure about anything these days. Many audio and loudspeaker manufacturers are also advising consumers to watch out for fakes. So your Klipsch loudspeakers and Conrad Johnson audio components can all be fakes as well. The best way to know is to always buy from an authorized dealer.
Another factor to consider is that many of the high end cable manufacturers outsource to China, which is notorious for this sort of thing.
I suspect that many of the "fakes" are produced at the same factory as the authorized cables, and, in fact, are identical.
Yep, Cary Audio is also having knockoffs from China BTW.
As if cables weren't maddeningly difficult and subjective enough to buy with exact system matching, burn in, etc now we have to factor in that it might not even be a legit product? It's enough to drive you to boom boxes.
Indeed I would say I have a biased opinion of interconnects because I think now I was exposed to a fake Cardas Golden Reference.
I think I would chose to not know;because it would confirm I ain't to bright,and now my money is gone.
I am sure they exist, but I agree with other respondents, whats the point. It would be expensive to set up production of a convincing fake, the market for high end cable is small and most of all, how do you distribute them To justify production costs, you are going to have to shift a few thousand units. how are you going to do that? E-bay, you would die of old age before you made a profit. There are easier ways to make a dishonest living.
I would also say, I am definely impressed by decent cable. I use all Acoustic Zen, that seems to give an improvement at least equivelant to a major equipment upgrade. Once you've got it, a loom can last many years.