combining different cables

Someone suggested yesterday to me that I should ONLY use -all the same brand or model of cable [interconnects and speaker wire] to get the best sound. I understand this whole deal is about preferences and based on highly subjective belief systems, but does anyone else believe this?

I could see the need to use a varied list of different brands and models, based on the individual performance I would be looking to acheive from a particular component.

Anyone care to jump in?

I believe that using only the same brand and model of cables is a very good starting point. After that, one may find that different cables may work best between different components and as a complete system. I try to get manufactures opinions (not always easy to extract, even thought it would be in their best interest; business diplomacy can be a tough obstacle to overcome) as to what works best with their gear, and see if there is any consensus amongst them to use as a starting point. For example the manufacturer of my pre and power amp used the immedeate precursor of my speakers as one of their references during the design, the manufacturer of my speakers used the same power amp as one of their references during the design of those speakers, the speaker manufacturer uses products from the manufacturer of my interconnects, the speaker manufacturer uses speaker cable as one of their referenences from a manufacturer that uses their speakers as one of their references. This coupled with advise from different dealers that carry at least some of my components, the Cable Company and fellow Audiogoners has made a somewhat overwhelming decision more manageable. I also try to predict what components have the greatest likleyhood of being a basis of the system (either get the most use, have a greater importance or just may stay the longest) and try to prioritise cable auditions from there. Of course I'm still open to recommendations from those I respect.
Its a good rule of thumb, but I think if you look at different members systems,you'll notice some do and some don't.To me its more of what you hear and like personally.
I tend to like keeping the interconnects and speaker cables the same and jump around with power cords..Many people jump around to either sweeten or brighten up a system as to fine tune......
IMHO the need to use "ONLY" the same brand of IC's and cables is a myth circulated by manufacturers and salesmen. As synergy is an issue with combining components and speakers so it is wiring issues. The components you are using and the sonics you expect will dictate the brand/type of wire you select. There are just too many variables involved for such a rule to be valid. Been there, done that! :-)
IMHO the need to use "ONLY" the same brand of IC's and cables is a myth circulated by manufacturers and salesmen.

I agree fully. This is also not the "ONLY" myth associated with IC's, Cables and power cords....there are many more. Why are these myths perpetuated? Probably because some audio components are not robustly designed as to be largely imuune to these minute changes in power or cabling. IMHO, they ought to be. Frankly a good design should not be influenced by miniscule resistive, capacitive and inductive changes of one high quality speaker cable to another. Frankly a good power supply design should not be influenced by dirty power. Frankly a good circuit design (allowing for true balanced and XLR shielded connectors with low output impedance and high input impedance) will usually prevent audible differences between one connector and another.

Instead manufacturers use unbalanced designs (higher noise), cheap RCA cables (often no shield but, of course, GOLD PLATED), amps with very high output impedance (making speaker cables quite influential) and low cost power supplies often relying on cheaply sourced parts that may not have high QC standards.

The end result is that different cables cause no end of sonic wonderment when stictly speaking they should have inaudible or at the most minimal impact.
There is no one cable manufacturer who is equally good at power cords, analog or digital interconnects and speaker cables. At least, I do not know one. Some manufacturers make excellent digital interconnects, while other manufacturers are very good at power cords. Just my two cents.

I've went both ways on this and find that there is synergy using one manufacture. While it is hard to imagine that every type of cable that a company makes ie,. analog, digital, power will be as good when you think about it if you like there interconnect cables and they sound good with your equipment then you would / could expect that thier speaker cables will sound good also. Not to be confused with whether there are other brands that will sound better. I have been caution not to mix metalurgy, meaning copper with silver because of the different properties effecting the transfer rate which I believe is just resistance. In any event you have to listen to different cables in your system and if they provide the sound that you want then why worry about it IMHO.

Ps: I use to mix silver interconnects with copper speaker cables which my dealer advised against. So I went to all silver and I honestly think that the silver / copper setup provided a fuller sound in my system. lesson learned trust your ears not what you hear or read.
I've tried using the same interconnects and speaker cables from several manufacturers, and have had the same result with all except one: too much of a good thing. All cables inject some chararcter (or "color") on the sound. I find that if I insert company X's interconnect I may really like what it does to the sound, but when I add company X's speaker cables on top of the interconnect, I get more of company X's signature on my system than I want.

I suspect, but have not heard for myself, that if you get in the stratosphere of cables they become neutral enough that the "too much of a good thing" phenomenon wouldn't occur. I'm not willing to spend quite that much money on cables, though.

Note I'm only talking about speaker cables and interconnects. Power cords are "a whole other" subject of discussion and debate.
I've been down both roads, and I feel that using all of one brand/model doesn't matter much. I've had good and bad experiences on either road. There is no one right path in this hobby.

I would recommend someone new to this hobby to buy the basic cables from a single manufacturer just so they could establish a base listening reference from which they could upgrade or change from depending on the move they decided to make.

If I knew the person, was familiar with their system and knew their tastes and intentions, I might recommend a scheme of cables from different companies.

Personally, I've gone back and forth between using a uniform configuration, then readjusting to a hodgepodge of different brands in order to push the presentation in one direction or another.

No set rules here, as long as you don't buy all pink cables, heheh!
In practice, I always used cable and speaker wire from one manufacturer. But, I have learned that system matching of the electronic components may not always be optimized by the same brand of cable. For example, I am using a one half meter Monster Sigma Retro Gold interconnect between my EAD 2000 CD player and EAR 859 SE integrated. This is magic, but while the Sigma speaker cables provide a big soundstage, the loose detail. I have a simple 10' pair of Kimber 4TC speaker cables, and the system just blooms and also has the necessary detail. If I change the interconnect to a one meter pair of Sigma Retro Gold cables, I loose some of the transparency!

The main thing with cables is not to pay attention to the price tags but to what your ears are telling you. Its great if you make a big dollar investment and it yields great results...but recently, I have been disappointed with a pair of Audio Note Lexus cables...overpriced and over hyped for my system. It is all about synergy within the components that you are using, so don't be afraid to experiment! Also, as a Marketing Executive, I have knowledge of how positioning of products and bells and whistles may not be as additive as you might believe they are when you are deciding to shell out the additional $1K for step ups. Best bet, listen to the cables in your system, when you can relax, using CDs or records that you know well, and go by what your ears are telling you...not a sell sheet, reviewer, or some expert.