Cables that cost more than good loudspeakers

I just thought about it. It's still amazing that the high end comprises cables that retail for as much or more than a good set of loudspeakers. A few I noticed: Purist Audio Anniversary IC $8k, Siltech Compass Lake IC $12k, Tara Labs the Zero IC $13k, and Stealth Audio Dream PC almost $3k. I'm not even bringing up speaker cables. It's really crazy that quality high end speakers can cost less than a little wire. But the people who continue to buy these expensive cables because they can afford them, make these prices a reality in the market. If there weren't any buyers, then there wouldn't be these prices. When I got into this 5 years ago, I had no idea of this high end audiophile world.

My most expensive component will remain my speakers and they retailed for $5500.. Most of my world would say that's amazing and crazy too. I guess I need to drop it. It is what it is.
There should always be products, for people with to much money....right? After all, they couldn't have more money than brains?...or they wouldn't have all that money, would they?


Lucky you - you can sell your speakers and almost afford to buy a set of entry level cables!
The proof is in the listening, don't ever get coned otherwise. Years ago most hi-end dealers had loaner programs for cables. That disappeared as a poor business model. Wonder why. Hey, it is like wrist watches, all tell time, but some do it in an expensive way. It is the users physic that is at play.
Foster, sadly enough, those cables do make a difference and even more sadly enough of a difference best heard on speakers which easily might cost more than 15 times as much as those you speak of. But if you're clever and willing to learn from these pages and the experience of others here, you can do just as well with a much, much less deep pocket. It all depends how far you want to go with the reproduction of the "real thing" in your own home.
If you want to commute the 10 miles between your home and office, it makes no difference if you drive a little Fiat or a Ferrari, except for the prestige of impressing your neighbours of course. But if you want to drive a long stretch of a 1000 miles and enjoy it, you wouldn't want to take your "Uno".
I drive one and an ancient one at that,having almost 160000km on its four wheels, because I've put my dough into expensive cables and have given up driving long stretches. Life is made up of choices, some good, some bad and you're lucky if you can choose at all. Many can't.
Crazy is in the ear of the beerholder. I'm a believer in cables and power cords, but what still makes me scratch my head is those that spend more money on cables/cords than on equipment.
I know some who have $13K cables attached to $5K components, and swear it's the way to go.

Hey, whatever floats your boat.....

In all likelihood these cables are going to be purchased by audiophiles that have speakers that are in the $40,000 to $100,000 range, which is also beyond what most of us can rationalize.
I was looking at someone's system on Audiogon yesterday, and my entire system cost less than their least expensive component, and it was a cable (if you can even call that a component). I'm thrilled with my system, it being a huge step above what I had previously, so I guess it's all relative, man...
Everyone is allowed to sell whatever they want to make in audioville at whatever price they want to set.
Also, everyone is allowed to buy (if they have the money) whatever they want at the price agreed upon by the two parties.
So if two folks decide to transfer ownership of a 3ft bit of wire at $1.00 or $36,000. dollars. Who's business is it besides the two parties?
This complaint is more like two old women gossiping over who paid what at the backyard fence.
If it is a philosophical quest in wonderment at the human capacity for idiotic behavior... Then you are in the right place to ask.
Here's the interesting thing for me. I'll theorize that NO component or cable is completely neutral. Therefore, ALL components or cables are, to some extent, tone controls. All we are really doing is purchasing a sound which pleases us individually. From the first note struck in the studio or on stage anything after is reproduction and, therefore, different than the original.
Why do so many people act so naive with some of these postings? This is representative of the entire planet not just Audiogon and audio equipment. This is what people with a great deal of disposable income do!!
It's all about what you want and are willing to pay. I know of someone who spent almost as much for his custom kitchen as I spent on my house. That, too, can be considered crazy until you put in perspective - he also paid nearly ten times what I did for the house.

If you look at this in terms of functionality, that kind of money doesn't "justify" it - i.e, both of us have a roof over our heads and he can't cook anything I can't. But it's not about that, is it now?
Unless they are literally a couple pounds of platinum and gold in them, nope no technology in a cable can be worth a fraction of these costs.. Which even the top fiber optic cables audio use or not is probably the only actual "Technologically" advanced cable designs, passive cables are really nothing in the end.
I hear your point loud and clear! I worked my way up to Stealth Sakra ic's and loved them! Then one day I needed a long cable to integrate my home theatre into my 2 channel system, and bought a Mogami Microphone cable, as it was cheap, and after all it was just for movies! While paying around one night I tried the Mogami in the 2 channel system and was blown was sooo close to my outrageously priced Sakra!

After some investigating I found that Mogami makes a new model, Mogami Gold. I picked up some 2M ic's for my 2 channel system for less than $100, and sold the Sakra. These cables get you 95% of the way there, at 1% of the cost! I have found that more expensive isn't always better! Quite often it is better, but not always! Now I buy and sell high end cables just to have fun, and compare them to my Mogami. After all, if you buy used you can almost recover all your money. So far I have not found any cable worth a huge investment, to replace the Mogami.

It should be mentioned that I do have Bybee SE Golden Goddess ic perhaps they are helping to level the field. Next week I am getting a second Analysis Plus Golden Oval ic, so I will be able to compare a pair of $7500 ic's to a $100 pair of Mogami!!
Foster 9,
It would be very difficult for me to disagree with your sentiments on cable pricing.
Speaker cables and interconnect cables are the last chain in the system. One of the most important part of the audio system.
I totally agree with what Elizabeth stated in her response above. Very well put.

I wish high end cables were less expensive then what they are, but they are not. There are many cables out there that sound great for any price range.

When I purchased my Avalon Radian HC speakers ($12.5k without shipping costs) I ran a pair of MIT 770 speaker interface cables (about $1.7K), I then bought a pair of MIT 850 triad interface speaker cables ($9.5K), they totally chage the sound of the speaker in a very good way. The MIT 850"s were specially designed for the Avalon Radian HC's.

I wish I could have bought them sooner. If I every go to sell my Avalon's the MIT 850's would have to go with them.
I wish the cables cost less, but in my system the price was well worth it.
Joe Nies
I have had many sets of cables you would classify as crazy. I can hear a difference with some of them I aggreee most are way overpriced. But as I stated some sound better than others. Some systems Like silver and almost all of thoes cables are in the multi thousand range.
Everyone's got the right to buy and sell what they want, unless it's illegal stuff obviously. If I had a Bill Gates-esque fortune, I still wouldn't pay that much for any cable. That's just me, and I'll have that right if I ever am fortunate enough to be able to exercise it.

The kitchen analogy mentioned earlier is a very poor one IMO. In the right house, properly investing in it can increase the value of the house in multiples of the cost of a renovation. The same can't be said for any cable.
One way to view this topic is to break it down into 2 categories:

1. Passive equalization - one cable may emphasize bass more than another, etc etc.

2. Resolution access - no change in frequency response (or perception), instead noise floor is dropped and any hash or grain is lowered.

I find that the more expensive cables fall into the second category. You can look at components this way too, your 'reference class' components fall into the second category.
Before you spend big bucks $$$ on cables you might want to try some Crimson R.M. Music Link cables.....
why can't they make just one cable that does all the right things?
Your right may not be my right...
After the Rolex i got STEALTH V10 speaker wire both great.
Source, source, source... the MOST important piece of the puzzle.  A speaker will only do what it is told.  Now, sure there are some crappy speakers out there that have no hope no matter what you put in front of them, but the speakers are not AT ALL the most important piece of the puzzle.  I have seen/heard so many setup lately that had a ton of $$$ in the front of a very modestly priced loudspeaker and sound superb.

As far as speaker cables... the Clear Day stuff is AMAZING at the price he is asking for it.  My $150 Clear Day solid-core silver (single run) replaced a pair of Audioquest Gibralter ($1,650 - I paid less than $400 used) and the difference was not subtle.  Seeing people drop $5,000 or more on speaker cables (even if they have millions of dollars) makes me sad.
@audiofreak32 , great avatar! You are certainly entitled to your opinion, however, your enthusiasm does not make your correct.
Yes, there is a source first camp, there is also a speaker first camp, there is even an amp first camp, and a cable first camp. All are enthusiastic about their opinions, all believe that they are correct.

Personally, I believe in balance, and there are many in that camp too. A "chain is only as strong as it's weakest link" philosophy.

No one is right, no one is wrong. That is why they make so many different flavors! :)

BTW, 8 years later, the OP's shocking cable pricing looks pretty pedestrian to me now. ;^)
I've recently given in to the expensive speaker cable camp after using budget cables for years, even on 5 figure speakers.

Once I got a taste of "The other side" I could no longer ignore what I was hearing despite hating the thought of the price I was about to pay for a piece of wire. It literally angered me to the core!

But, with that said it amazed me that the higher and higher I went up the speaker cable food chain the better and better the system sounded.

My thoughts are that if you can add a piece of wire between your amp and speaker at $1 a foot and then continue swapping cables until you can no longer sense a difference then you can safely say you've reached the limit of your current equipment. Then and only then should you take notice to the cost of the cable at which point you have your answer on how much you need to spend in order to get every nickel of value out of your current equipment investment.

It seems pretty clear to me that a great deal of musical info is lost between point A (amp) and point B (speaker) given how much of an increase in SQ a cable can provide as you move up the chain.

One final point, the only way I have found to "cheat" all the above is to design your system around the use of Mono Blocks which allow you to place your Amps and Speakers in VERY close proximity to each other (we're talking 2ft or less of wire here). In that scenario you can then leverage the same approach equipment designers do with wire inside the chassis of a piece of equipment which is 9/10 times Bogg standard wire.