Cables more hype than value?

What are the opinions out there?
Ebm is an expert at the hit-and-run post.
I don't know if this helps or helps but here is a lecture headed by stereophiles john Atkinson. After the 16 min of intro he turns it over to Keith Johnson. This is the guy you want to listen to. And even though it's mostly about digital jitter and such towards the end He gives a little insight on cables.
I have a very “clear” system that reveals subtle nuances, whatever they might be. The system itself cost around $25,000, and it took me about three years to piece it together. Which means I auditioned a lot of components, getting the chance to hear them together in my house. And yes, one amplifier did indeed sound different than another. Same with speakers. And SAME WITH CABLES.

So, do cables make a difference to me (and my non-audiophile friends) in my system? Absolutely. Clearly. Indisputably. Since I have listened mostly to different interconnects after deciding on my speaker wires long ago, I’ll address those primarily.

One interconnect reveals a very different sound than another. Some highlight the midrange, some the bass. Some are well-balanced; some are not. Some sound “round” and “warm,” and others sound “flat” and “cold.” Some reveal a very airy and “floaty” sonic image that hovers in a huge soundstage; others reveal dense images that seem much less delineated. Some sound “real,” with lifelike timbres, and others sound electronic, metallic, or otherwise artificial. Even digital cables which some skeptics state shouldn’t make any difference at all … can make a HUGE difference.

My latest purchase was a digital cable that revealed a very well-rounded sonic spectra; when I compared it to several others of equal price, even, the difference was so clear that even my wife (an admitted non-audiophile) heard it. No mistaking the difference.

So, it baffles me that some skeptics can’t seem to hear the difference (or they’ve decided there couldn’t be one so they don’t even try?). I’m not sure what’s going on there, since the difference is so incredibly obvious to me and thousands of other intelligent audiophiles. (While I can only guess at this, I imagine I’m not the only skeptical and intellectually-capable audiophile out there. I’m not easily duped, let me assure you; my critical thinking skills are quite well-developed!)

It is potentially telling, though, that many skeptics mention Monster cables as if they were supposedly excellent. Now THAT’S a marketing scam right there! Monster cables are just one tiny step above $1.99 cent RCA interconnects available at Radio Shack! Most people who have taken the time to truly listen to hundreds of cables (aka “audiophiles”) know this about Monster, just as they know the same about Bose! That said, I do use a Monster power strip, having found (after much auditioning) that it has a great synchrony with my system, ultimately resulting in the sound that I like best.

Anyway, to any potential purchasers of audiophile equipment who think that “if a skeptic says it, it must be true,” I suggest you listen for yourself. If you have a very low to mid-range system that doesn’t reveal much of the characteristics of its components, it might very well not make an audible difference what cables/interconnects you use. (That said, depending on your ears and musical sensitivities, it might!)

But … if you are going for an ultimate system that you’d like to tweak for optimum effect, please trust me (and thousands like me) enough to listen for yourself. While cost is not the significant element (some cables costing less will sound much better than those that cost more), different cables DO SOUND DIFFERENT.

Thanks for reading. And please, don’t just believe the naysayers because skepticism is often equated with a more discerning intellect. I’m a skeptic, insisting on more critical research and independent assessment than most sane people could stand before I’ll believe anything (:-), and I have “heard the light”!
Tpcarter - cables can make a difference to systems of all price points.

Personally, I've had great success upgrading power and speaker cables on my Yamaha mini system ($340) and my neighbours boom box ($250) benefited in clarity and bass control with just a simple power cable upgrade.

What cables you select and how they work with your system - i.e. synergy can be significant as to whether you hear a difference - or not.

Personally, I think the order in which you upgrade can play a role - I start by upgrading power cables, then speaker cables and finally IC's - that way I can hear the subtleties IC's bring to the party :-)

As for why others do not hear improvements - this hobby/obsession can be fickle and complexities like room acoustics, speaker placement, musical tastes and other anomolies can play a significant role masking the subtleties cables can bring to the performance.

And these are just a few things I've experienced in my "cable journey" over the years.

Unfortunately there is no sure fire formula - wish there was :-)


You're right, but you're pissing in the wind. I've tried to make the same argument at least a thousand times. The only thing I can tell you for certain, is that for people who argue the opposite position, this has nothing to do with cables. You won't get anywhere with them.