Chinese fake cables How fake, how good?


I have noted a number of warnings about cheap Chinese fake cables on this site but curiosity led me to the Aliexpress site where I found a number of presumably fake big name cables from predominantly Cardas, Nordost and Siltech at about 15% of the USA or Australian price. I found Cardas Clear Light interconnects at about US$100 and decided what the heck let's give them a try at that price. Before buying I asked the seller the daft question as to whether they were genuine and got the reply that they were an OEM and constructed the interconnects from genuine Cardas cables and connectors. They arrived in a plastic bag rather than the Cardas box , not a great start but the cables looked real, and when connected, much to my surprise, they sounded really good. After 100hours or so burn in they sounded great and better than the Nordost Quatre Fils I had been using. I then took them to an Australian hi end dealer who sold real Cardas and asked rather ingenuously whether my cables were the real deal. The dealer would not commit but agreed to compare them to the real thing on a set up costing at a guess around A$100,00. Neither I nor the sales person could tell any difference so he then tried them against the Cardas Clear. Then there was some difference, not extreme but subtle, and certainly IMO not worth the price difference even if you bought the genuine Cardas Clear Light. So are these cables really fake and even if they are given my experience they are well worth a try. Maybe I'll try Nordost Odin or Siltech 770i next.
mazian

It’s not black and white. Many US audio electronics, speakers, etc. contain parts made in China. Resistors, capacitors, batteries, cables for instruments(like this) etc. or they are entirely assembled in China, or elsewhere. Those products are, nevertheless, designated as Made in the USA. This is not to say China isn’t capable of making some products, including some audio products, that are very high quality.

Totally agree with that. And, as a rule, quality depends on a budget. 

This is not a best case for saving money

My $10 interconnects sound like Telefunkens—open, clear, transparent, neutral and fast. I’ve compared them to ICs up to $500 and the win every time.

I purchased a cheap Chinese made PC on Amazon, just to try it and see for myself . Thick with red/black weaving for that “audiophile” look with a plug stamped “hospital grade”. Was $30 at the time. Looking closely at the plug through the semi transparent plug, you could see half or more of the wire was frayed and sticking out from the terminal screw not making contact.  Pure junk that might end up being a safety hazard..  even at $30, it’s a huge ripoff. 

This DIY bulk speaker cable (8 awg @ $13.75/foot) available from GR Research (construction instructions here) appears remarkably similar to this bulk speaker cable ($4.05/foot) available from China, which is supposed to be similar to Kimber 12TC ($35.50/foot @ Partsconnexion). 

Kimber 12TC is OFHC wire in Teflon, while the GR Research is apparently OFHC in polyethylene, and the Chinese version is advertised as OCC in Teflon.  In any case, the Chinese cable provides a lot of copper for $4/foot in a weave that appears identical to 12TC, so if I were just starting out to build a system I would have no hesitation giving the Ali Express version of this cable a try, leaving me more money to spend on electronics and speakers.

I'm not sure exactly what the discussion is about???  Are we talking about Chinese wire copying wire made in the USA from copper / silver / trace metals mined in the USA, or are you talking about using Chinese produced wire purchased by a USA company terminated by connectors made in the USA and sold as a name brand or are these copies of name brand cables completely sourced from China and marketed as something elite?  

Or finally is this a discussion of false advertising claiming a product is a brand name when it's just a clone of a brand name which means it may or maynot perform as expected?