Componets first, cables second?


I often hear about the improvements cables have made to systems, whether IC or speaker cables. Then IK hear the advice, buy the best components you can afford and upgrade cables along the way.

What I am wondering is is it, buy the best compnents you can afford and worry about cables later on down the road, or is it, a balance between the two to achieve the sound one is after?

For xample, to be more concrete, should I buy a better CDP and sacrifice on the cabling or should I buy a more moderate CDP and get a high quality cable?

Any expereince/advice is welcome
Cheers
mariasplunge
You should buy a better CDP and sacrifice on the cabling if you need to, to get the player you want.

I'm sure I won't be the only one to say this. IME cables are best regarded as tweaks; get your major components right first, then work on cabling them.

Cables will help you bring out the fine points of your components' performance, but they won't influence the sound in anything like the way the components themselves will.
Thanks Tobias for the sound advice!
Source first always.
Components first, cables second is correct!
Well I'll chime in on the side of balance, throwing myself to the wolves. While I agree that yes it's best to go with the source first, that is assuming that you DO NOT neglect the cables. Some will max out their funds on the source and never get around to taking care of cables. I have heard $7K cd players with $3K power cords run rings around $10K-$20K players and seperates with lesser cords. Don't laugh, I know some whose power cords cost more than their source, and swear by it.

So I would say to come up with a budget, the maximum amount that you think you will spend, and make sure not to ignore the cables. I won't go so far as to name a percentage, because synergy is too important. However, due to synergy, it is best to choose components first, as the cables that best suit them can be altered by your component choice.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you don't balance the system, and the system includes cables, you will be limiting yourself one way or the other.

Cheers,
John
Synergy is a word often used to describe a good sounding system. I think both are equally important and should be well thought out and included in your budget. DO not sacrifice on cabling, otherwise you will never know what your player is capable of.
Components first cables second. It's all about budget though. There are some really good inexpensive cables. So, no great component need be without good cables.
Thats good to hear the word balance in there. Synergy as well. Thanks John for being the sacrifical lamb. Your advice is always a pleasure.
Peter
I can't say John is wrong in saying not to ignore cables. They do make an important difference, more than some people might expect, and the *right* cable will certainly make your system more delightful.

However I don't think the OP ever meant to *ignore* cables. If I'm right about this, then I would like to add a couple of points to what I wrote above.

The first thing is that your cable-evaluating organs (aka ears) are not functioning at full efficiency while you get used to your new player. You need time for them to settle in. You are loading them up too much if you ask them to choose the perfect combination right off the bat. In other words, listen for a month or three, till you know how your player sounds with what you have now, and you will have a better idea of what you want from an interconnect.

The second point is that the settling-in period gives you time to consider the cable possibilities, plan evaluations without pressure, and above all save money to pay for them.

These look to me like potent arguments for buying your dream player first (with a suitable interconnect of course but perhaps one you already have), then allowing yourself the pleasure of upgrading its sound at leisure through experiments with cables. If you buy this approach, then start off by budgeting all you can for the CDP.
Cables second (or third maybe - after new/more music).

Get GREAT components and GOOD cables.
Peter,

Here is a contrarian or minority view.

If cables (a piece of wire) makes a large difference then I would definitely be concerned about the equipment. From my perspective, good and well matched gear should have robust power supplies and high quality interfaces which do NOT change significantly (audibly) with a power conditioner, "better" interconnect or cable.

It is best to avoid finicky equipment that changes response due to the slightest changes in cabling or which has an inadequate built-in power supply. The same could be said for equipment that changes response with time (warm-up or extensive break-ins lasting monnths). I use a power conditioner but I know that it is actually only one item in my setup that seems to require it; since power conditioning could be built in to this component's power supply, I can only surmise that this item is slightly deficient in its power supply build/design.

I guess my criteria for what constitutes good audio gear includes a "robustness" or "consistency" factor. Gear that can sound excellent but which lacks consistency and requires inordinate fiddling (cables/interocnnetcs/warm-up/break-in etc.) to keep sounding excellent is definitely not my thing. I know I am a tiny minority here on these forums who think this way....just two cents as usual.
When you maximize the components,when the time comes to buy cabling it will be easier to decide on them.Synergistic matching of a cable to a bright or dull component generally means that both will need the upgrade at the same time.If you are able to pull as much information from the CD/LP,then the cables will fall in or you will consider a different brand.
Much like assembling a phono set-up.Cart 1st-if the information doesn't get out of the groove,the rest really doesn't matter.Then the arm and its'wiring-transmission of the cartridges' signal and resonance control/damping.Table 3rd,as the arm and cart can be taken off and installed on another,when expendable finances or dissatifaction have occurred.
Shadhorne, I hear you there and although I am not familiar with most of the forums here, I'd say you are not in the minority of my way of think at least. I have chosen components indeed because they do have massive power supplies. Whether they condition the power or not, I cannot rightly say. But I am like you, I do not want fussy components whose sound will change substantially with the addition of a cable. I agree there.

Tpsonic-great analogy to the analogue world. That puts it in perfect perspective for me. Thanks
whatever will get you closer to your sonic preferences is the best course of action. thus, if you are considering a cd player and/or cable purchase, audition as many combinations within your budget. there is no best cable and there is no best cd player.

if you can't audition components before buying, it's a crap shoot.
I'll take a different road to Shadorne's comments. I too have chosen components with serious power supply designs: CAT JL-3 amps, Aesthetix Io and Callisto and APL Denon CDP with the NWO linear power supplies. Pop the hood on any of these components and it's ALL about the power supply. And yet these products respond significantly to interconnect and power cable changes.

The many people that repeatedly claim that cables do not make a difference or that if a component is chosen with robust power supplies, cables should not make a difference, clearly have not heard a system where such cables do make a difference. With all due respect, I can see how this would be the view for a system with $30k in speakers and $200-500 digital source components. Such priorities and philosophies are very different than mine.

If cables (a piece of wire) makes a large difference then I would definitely be concerned about the equipment.
Interesting. At this point from my experience, if cabling does NOT make a large difference, I would be concerned about the resolving capability of the equipment. I am not talking about one budget cable from Audioquest vs. a budget cable of Monster. I am talking about the top tiered cables from Purist, Jade, Stealth, Kubala-Sosna, Dream State, etc.

I do not think it is an issue of avoiding fussy components that respond to cable changes. I think such comments are due to the fact that the current system implementation lacks the resolution to allow for refined cable designs to be heard and appreciated. Let's not confuse fussy with resolving and refined.

Cables are not simply wire. Silver, copper, gold, etc., all contribute to very different tonality. And the implementation of the cable designs very much influences the spatial characteristics of the performance. Far too many systems out there fail miserably in this latter area. For such systems, only cable tonality differences will be heard. But for other systems, the differences in other sonic areas will be dramatic.

I'm with Jmcgrogan2 on this one. It's all about balance. As each link is refined, it exposes the next link as the weakest....sometimes it is a cable, other times it is a component. But to continually update components and stay with "average-joe" cabling will result in serious sonic compromise.

John
The arguments in favor of expensive cables here are the same ones my high end hi-fi dealer uses and even "Best Buy" applies this same argument, although at a much lower tier of cabling. This argument carries a lot of weight in the audiophile biz and there are hundreds of testimonials that reinforce this viewpoint. The argument also happens to be a marketing dream because the logic says that you simply don't hear as much cable differences with "unresolving" gear. Therefore if the cable does not work enough for you then it is says nothing about the expensive wire itself, instead it implies that an upgrade of gear is in order (either to more resolution or to better synergy or wait more time for break-in to occur), and vice-versa ad infinitum.

The absence of a well-accepted, plain, practical engineering-type explanation of the how and why a more expensive piece of wire should work much better in audio than an appropriate (but ordinary) piece of wire raises too many questions for my liking. However, to each his own - if cables make a difference for you then go for it! I am a minority and the majority is most often right - the Wisdom of Crowds, yes?
While I generally completely agree to upgrade the component first; I actually cannot answer you based on the supplied information. What do you own.??

That $60 Toshiba SD-3950 DVD player used as a CD player sounds excellent even out of the box unmodified. I will bet that DVD player with a $500 set of cables will sound a lot better than a $500 CD player with $60 cables..

At one time I had a $1500 CD player with $1800 cables. To be honest, I only paid $550 for the cables used; and primarily bought them because the deal on the cables was too good to pass up. It sounded excellent that way; and a lot better than with the level of cables most people would buy with a $1500 front end.

I now have a $5500 Transport/DAC setup while still using those same interconnects.. So backwards does work sometimes...

It really helped when I auditioned those real high end digital front ends, to be using an excellent set of cables that I would actually be using with it in my system. You will be trying to choose a digital front end using cables that might not be up to the task.

I actually still own that $1500 CD player in a secondary system with other cables that were $1200 (list). Again I bought the cables used for about $450, but I can tell the difference against lesser cables, so it is worth it.
Pretty funny Shadorne for a guy with two systems primarily made up of consumer electronics...

I would hear no difference in cabling with those components either...

I have no way of knowing, but how good is your hearing? You have perfect pitch ???
I guess ultimately what I am getting at here ( and it is good to hear all these opinions) is in my process of upgrading and budgeting how much should I put aside for cabling?

Of course that is impossible for anyone here to answer except myself. But the way I see it now is putting down a signifigant chunk of change for a choice component and then slowly upgrading cables might be wisr than splitting the difference. Sure i could buy a set of steath indra's but then my cdp might end up costing equal to or less than the cables.
So do have the cables cost a third of my player, a quarter, less? Or do I go all out, for a component, throw in a 100-200 dollar pair of cables and worry about upgrading later?

Maybe this line of thinking is like trying to put holes in swiss cheese...or something like that
It is very seldom that the cables cost as much,or more than the component.There are exceptions.Though I must admit that the cables I use are not cheap,but as I down-graded I kept the original cables.I guess it may depend on whether you are on the way up or down.They say you meet the same people on the way up ,as you do on the way down.
Peter, there is no one right answer here. Shardone, no, you are not wrong, as this is not a right or wrong, black or white area. Things audio are never that simple.

Peter, I would just go out and buy the best component you like now, that is the priority. Worry about the cables later. Cables are more for fine tuning in a system's synergy. Certainly a fine tuned system will sound better than a collection of expensive gear. However, that takes time. You need to start with the components, then find cables that make them sing together. You cannot choose the cables first and then try to find components that mesh with them. My only comment is to not spend so much on components that you never address the cables. A well balanced system is just that, well balanced. You may find a great cable for little $$$, you may also find a great component for little $$$.

There are no magic solutions, no shortcuts. No one here can tell you what components or cables that you will like. No one can tell you how much you should spend on any one item. It's trial and error. You just have to do some of the experiments yourself, using your room and your ears. Sorry.....that's just the way it is.

Remember, the journey IS the adventure.

Enjoy!

John
I guess ultimately what I am getting at here ( and it is good to hear all these opinions) is in my process of upgrading and budgeting how much should I put aside for cabling?

Of course that is impossible for anyone here to answer except myself. But the way I see it now is putting down a signifigant chunk of change for a choice component and then slowly upgrading cables might be wisr than splitting the difference. Sure i could buy a set of steath indra's but then my cdp might end up costing equal to or less than the cables.
So do have the cables cost a third of my player, a quarter, less? Or do I go all out, for a component, throw in a 100-200 dollar pair of cables and worry about upgrading later?

Maybe this line of thinking is like trying to put holes in swiss cheese...or something like that
I'm up and down. John I hear you. I am relaxed, breathing just fine. Really, I don't get worked up over much, unless theres a lack of beer in the house.

Really I'm not even making an component change right now. I'm just gathering knowledge from the folks here who in general have vastly more expereince than I. Thats all. If the time does come to upgrade this or that or balance one way or the other, I'll have an arsenal of knowledge and hopefully a little wisdom to make the appropriate choice. That for me is the journey, to be prepared when the time comes.

Bowbow: I honestly don't know how Shadorne's "Place in my mind..." system is setup, but if he's feeding the ATC 100SLA's (active), and powered sub, with the Anthem proc, which probably feeds the Bryston into the ATC 20SL's, that's nothing to scoff at by anyone's standards, and far from being "consumer"! Not sure of his first-draft-choice for a "source", but maybe he's got a hidden "sleeper" within the mix.

I've read many of Shadorne's posts over the years, and he quite knowledgeable with an array of audio-related topics, and can probably run circles around a high percentage of so-called "audiophiles".
Bowbow,

I would hear no difference in cabling with those [Shadorne's] components either...

That has been my experience - no difference. My system reflects that. I figured some people would laugh but then again people tend to laugh at those who act differently. My broker was also quite amused in May/June when I requested a face to face meeting and then instructed him to sell virtually all my portfolio of stocks and go to cash, which he did grudgingly.
Ever hear the Maria Maldaur sing "it ain't in the meat, its the motion?" Size is not everything. Power is not everything. Otherwise, audio would be so simple...the guy with the most watts wins! Certainly it makes sense to buy good components. It is also true that some of the really touted components that require a real investment can be more finicky and less forgiving of the supporting equipment. And good audio is not always achieved by the highes bidder. Otherwise, audio would be simple...the guy that spends the most wins!

The word "synergy" was brought up early on in this thread by Velo62. Good synergy between components can make a modest system sing. One of the most muscially satisfying systems I have heard combined a Rotel 965LE CD player ($699) with an Alchemy D.I.T.B. ($249, 18 bit Crystal chip) with a Audion PX25 single ended tube amplifier and Audio Note Lexus cables, and Reynaud MK II speakers. Kudos to the dealer in Massachusetts that had experience with the synergy between Reynaud and Audio Note! The whole shooting match was assembled for about $5,000...the amp being used. The system mated well to the room where it was used, which was modest in size, but not small. Conversely, a big solid state amplifier in the same room resulted in rattling glass. If the components and environment are not well matched, you may have to turn the amp up louder than you might wish to get detail, which would bring vibration back into the room.

I have an old (but sparklingly mint) Marantz 2252B receiver...bought very early in my days up the audio ladder. One day I hooked up a modest pair of JBLs purchased around 1992...rated at about 60 rms watts...which pretty much matched the amps output. Amazing! Now the sale receiver hooked up to a pair of B&W 805s or Monitor Audio MA700 golds sounded very ordinary...these speakers cost 4-8x as much as the JBLs.

I think it is a good idea to approach audio as a system rather than as a collection of components. Find people who have experience with the brands that you are interested in owning...talk to them about cables. The difficult part of this hobby is that all the combination of components can introduce variables that affect the ultimate sound. So getting it right is like fine tuning any musical instrument. And by all means enjoy the music.
Hell ya Mcpody!!
Firstly you should not buy cables until single cast crystal palladium is released. the other optionis to take an inert substance wich can be ionized like carbonwith unusually heroic methods and make it slightly radioactive where in nuetrinos after they twirl get integratedin to the electron rush through the ever so slightly impure cobalt dioxide glass fillaments. Then the cable couldn't get much better. Ormore expensive.If want fast cables use silver,if youlike warm use copper.They are all then terminated with absolutley dulling brass plugs and gobs of lead solder.
I actually think that a pure signal is only hypothetical and the recording proces invariably alters the origiginal true sound.Therefore this nonesense about keeping the sound as real as possible is complete and utter B.S.Get a player you like and there are many competant CDPs which by the way almost always have only one choice for the laser and pickup Sony.Phillips was an alternative.The rest is power supply capacitance opamp choices jitter clocking over and under sampling.etc.Allthis can be avoided by contouring the sound through a good parametric professional level equalizer also previously known as tone controls.
Yes the loudness button was based on the laws of physics and I like it.
Mechans, is your rig located in Ted Kaczynski's cabin?
Short answer, components first.

Were it me, I'd buy the right CD player for myself, then work with an entity such as The Cable Company ala their "Lending Library" or by trial and error "buying and trying" here on Audiogon to find the cabling that forms a synergistic match with your system.

That being said, I go along with John's effort to steer us towards balance and looking at things in a more holistic manner.

In my opinion, the ultimate answer lies in how you see the future. Are you going to be in a continual flux of upgrade, or do you tend more to buy and keep a component. If it's the former, to be quite honest, it really doesn't matter which you buy first, as folks in this camp never come to a state of equilibrium with their systems in the first place.
this question can be answered by mariasplunge, after some experimenting with his/her own stereo system.

this and other questions like it which frequently appear on other forums, has no definitive answer.

the most important answer can usually be provided by one's own personal experience, rather than the opinions of others.
Tennis - excellent response - says nothing, yet appears to have some deep thought process, while managing to degrade all those who tried to help and address the question. You must have some experience as an academic. Bravo.
Shadorne +++ The absence of a well-accepted, plain, practical engineering-type explanation of the how and why a more expensive piece of wire should work much better in audio than an appropriate (but ordinary) piece of wire raises too many questions for my liking +++

There are a myriad of perfectly rational and sound reasons why one particular cable will work better than another. Since different cables all have measurable capacitance, inductance, reactance and have different levels of screening, it is not possible for said cables not to affect the signals the pass along in very different ways. (If you ever bother to build an amplifier with point-to-point wiring you would be very aware of this.)

I am somewhat perplexed that you are eluding there are an absence of factual explanations. You would not if you had done even the most basic research.

+++ The argument also happens to be a marketing dream because the logic says that you simply don't hear as much cable differences with "unresolving" gear. +++

This happens to be patently true.

Regards
Paul
"+++ The argument also happens to be a marketing dream because the logic says that you simply don't hear as much cable differences with "unresolving" gear. +++

This happens to be patently true. "

It's also the crutch that many use to try to justify something in this hobby, making such a statement whenever their real or imagined contentions are questioned. The old emperors clothes position.
There are a myriad of perfectly rational and sound reasons why one particular cable will work better than another.

I would like to see this myriad of explanations and data to prove it. Perhaps I live in a hole and have missed it.

From down here in my hole, it appears that for analog audio applications (at audio frequencies), wire capacitance and inductance are generally regarded as being so small as to be unimportant and can be ignored. Resistance only barely begins to become a factor at greater lengths, such as extremely long runs of thin speaker cable. Simply put, the wire characteristics pale in comparison to active elements in the speaker crossover and acoustic transducers; furthermore, most electronics is designed to be insensitive to these small variations in typical wire parameters.

Ok, so let's assume for a moment it is true that "there are a myriad of perfectly rational and sound reasons why one particular cable will work better than another." Surely this would make wire so crucial that equipment manufacturers would publish formulas or guidelines for calculating the correct length and type cable necessary for each type of component being connected. (such as recommended precise amounts of capacitance, inductance, or reactance ...just like a cook book which recommends precise guidelines for each seasoning). The absence of strict well accepted guidelines suggests that either;

A) Manufacturers and equipment design engineers are irresponsible and just don't care about the final sound of their gear.

or

B) It is just not true that cables matter to any significant degree. By significant, meaning so as to make it actually worthwhile for the majority of high end manufacturers to issue more precise guidelines than the very basic broad guidelines that exist today (well shielded in some cases, appropriate AWG etc.)
hi snofun3:

perhaps, in your infinite wisdom, you can enlighten me why such a thread is useful.

also, perhaps you can state why other people's opinions are more valuable than one's own experience.

i stand by my statement. if one auditions combinations of cables and say a cd player, one can answer the question posed by this thread without having to request opinions.
See what you did Peter? Your thread has disintigrated into a subjectivist vs. objectivist pissing contest.

What a shame, as these issues are never resolved, and never will be. Those that believe they hear differences will hear differences, those who believe they cannot hear differences, will not hear differences. Pointless really, a waste of time and space. Might as well start another thread now....how about digital vs. analog, or tubes vs. SS. Lord knows those two subjects haven't been beaten into the ground yet. 8^0

Cheers,
John
+++ Most electronics is designed to be insensitive to these small variations in typical wire parameters +++

True. And most folks buy those electronics from Best Buy and K Mart i.e. most (audio) electronics are so bad that I wouldn’t want to actually hear them ... ever.

Audiophiles listen to very specialized equipment that portray even the lowest level of detail in music. These very low level signals are not immune to cable reactance. Inductance and capacitance will attenuate said detail. Not only does it attenuate detail, it causes phase anomalies also.

Ditto for lack of shielding. Airborne electrical interference destroys the lowest level details.

This is obviously not a problem if said signals are absent from the source, like if you feed your system with a el cheapo $200 CD player for example. With such a system the boom-boom-boom still comes through regardless of cabling, and you will have zero low level detail no matter what cabling you employ.

+++ Surely this would make wire so crucial that equipment manufacturers would publish formulas or guidelines for calculating the correct length and type cable necessary for each type of component being connected +++

Some manufacturers (Krell for example) make use of proprietary cabling for just this reason. Others, like Coincident, actually sell cables to use with their products. They most certainly recommend that you use their cables for optimal performance. Cable companies like Goertz make different cable models depending what length of run you need. I believe Cardas NR is also recommended for long runs?

Having built a number of kit amps, the vendors have w/o exception always recommended which hookup wire yield the best results. The effect of component quality in amp building is beyond reproach.

After a number of years of building I can tell you outright that I can clearly hear the difference when I wire my amps with stranded (non litz) copper vs. litz or solid core copper. It’s as clear as day. That said, my front end is somewhat more capable than a cheap CD player.

+++ The absence of strict well accepted guidelines suggests that either A … & B … +++

There is no absence of guidelines as you state, and your two options hardly corner the market.

Many manufacturers (for example Manley) suggest that you use aftermarket cables (just read their manuals) but for a number of reasons refrain from picking a particular brand.

Regards
Paul
"i stand by my statement. if one auditions combinations of cables and say a cd player, one can answer the question posed by this thread without having to request opinions."

Which applies to virtually every thread about everything being discussed here, so apparently we should just cease and desist, unless you deem it useful?

This person is asking for the guidance of the assembled masses, regarding their experiences and what the results are.

Your dismissing of any value of the discussion or the guidance being supplied with your condescending tone adds less than nothing, at best.

You make Carlos seem benevolant with your smary comments.
Metro04, +++ I honestly don't know how Shadorne's … that's nothing to scoff at by anyone's standards, and far from being "consumer"! +++

Shadorne has put his money down and I am sure he enjoys his system a lot (and kudos to him for that), but using a cheap CD source really eliminates as an audiophile. The old adage “garbage in garbage” is as true today as ever.

If your system cannot reveal the differences in the characteristics of different cables, then it wouldn’t be anything I’ll bother spending a minute listening to. I have a few friends with the same priorities as Shadorne – they’re into their music for sure, but the boom-boom-boom is what it’s all about for them.

Regards
Paul
Attacks seem to be more interesting than trying to come up with a direct answer or opinion.Mariaplunge-sorry your thread had to go in this direction.Maybe some of these posters can exchange phone numbers and keep this out of the forums,and save some key strokes.
+++ it appears that for analog audio applications (at audio frequencies), wire capacitance and inductance are generally regarded as being so small as to be unimportant and can be ignored. +++

Wow, so rolling off high frequencies and bass AND inducing phase distortion is regarded as unimportant?

Add to that lack of shielding that causes the lost of low level signals.

Now why would an audiophile be concerned over something as trivial as that ... I wonder?

+++ furthermore, most electronics is designed to be insensitive to these small variations in typical wire parameters. +++

Yes, most (audio) electronics are sold at retailers like K Mart and Best Buy to individuals who wouldn't know the difference between a soprano and an Italian hitman.

But to your point, the electronics are generally insensitive to typical wire parameters. Unfortunately the signal traveling through the wire is highly sensitive to them.

If you use an inferior front end, for example a $200 CDP, you will have no problem as there will be no low level signal in the cable to start with. If you had anything resembling a decent front end, cable would make a huge difference. You should try it one day.

+++ Surely this would make wire so crucial that equipment manufacturers would publish formulas or guidelines for calculating the correct length and type cable necessary for each type of component being connected.+++

You mean companies like Krell, Coincident, Graham, Cardas, VPI, Zu Audio, Goertz, Van den Hul? Gee, you never heard of them?

+++ The absence of strict well accepted guidelines suggests that either blah blah +++

There is no absence of accepted guidelines Shadorne, you just happen not to know about them.

But the issue at hand is really that in spite of that fact that you have spent a bundle on your equipment, you aren't an audiophile. I have many friends with similar outlook as you (and no issues with that); they like music as much as I do, but they just do not listen to music with the same critical ear as I do (or as most other posters on this board do). A $250 CD jukebox will simply not extract the level of detail that warrant good cabling or power conditioning. I just shudder if I think of the myriad of nasty components used to build a CDP like that. Yech.

So you are 100% correct; good high quality cables will make very little difference to your system. It is so full of cheap and nasty components that a cheap and nasty cable will make no difference. Where you are 100% wrong is thinking that that is the hallmark of a good system. It is actually the hallmark of a K Mart system.

Regards
Paul
paul: here is a term for you and your more money = audiophile notion:
A-hole-ophile.
experience is the best teacher.

there are some threads that are enlightening for many reasons.

there are others which serve no useful purpose.
asking for opinions is not a substitute for learning through one's own efforts.

requesting opinions concerning what is the best preamp, cd player, amp under $2000, etc., does not substitute for doing the hard work which will ultimately provide the answer for oneself.

i don't think any of my comments are insulting or belittling.
i am just speaking from my own personal experience and observation.

here is an example of my approach.

i am currently trying to decide whether to purchase a raysonic 128, having auditioned a 168, which was not to my taste. i would not ask the question:

is the 128 better than the 168 ?

i might ask owners of the 128 about their experiences with the 128.
"i might ask owners of the 128 about their experiences with the 128"

And if there were other tennis's around, they'd tell you to stop asking stupid and rhetorical questions and turn the thing on, determine whether you like it out and stop wasting everyones time.

Hopefully, others would reasonably politely say tennis is a twit, and just share their experiences.

Really - if the question and answers being asked here (and I see you saying the same thing in three different threads), aren't up to your high and mighty standards, then go somewhere else!
Mariaspl.: In the 1960's people played their music through vintage tube amps and ESL 57's and they were using... zip chord for interlinks and power cords. The sound was simply glorious! Better than many of today's gears, even with the ultra expensive cables. So what do you think?
P.S.: I'm not saying that cables aren't important.

Chris
As always so many opinions and no concrete conclusion, Mr Tennis makes a very valid point about experience being the best teacher. You have a wonderful system that easily must have cost you over 10K and hours of research. Why not invest 2 or 3k and buy 4 used pairs of cables for a private shootout from Agon. Ive never purchased a used cable I couldnt resell, most sellers will include shipping since there is virtually very little cost. Even at a 5% loss off a used purchase your looking at a 150. to 200 loss, way better than driving around looking for a right cable or advice. You will have a irefutable personal conclusion, pricless if your a serious audiophile. Good luck!
Wow, I leave for a day and this thread has truly disintegrated into a pissing contest.

Thanks to anyone trying to indeed steer it towards a useful conversation. Of course Mrtennis is right, there is no substitute for personal expereince. Yet, I have and will continue to gain insight from those with vastly more expereince on these threads. So, I won't stop asking the questions.

However, if we could leave the adolescent attitude of "I am holier than though" out of the fray, we could really get to the heart of the matter which is how do we continue to refine our systems for maximum enjoyment no matter what our listening preferences are.

Peter
It is generally encouraged to ask others of their experiences and suggestions - that's what discussion posts are for.

Keep on asking all the questions you want.
Paul,

I respect your right to diagree and to add your own worthy opinions to this thread. I see no point in making this a pissing contest. If you re-read my comments I think it is possible we do agree, I just don't rate the cable differences as being significant; for example, a slight roll-off in highs can easily be achieved with a touch of the tone control too (yes, *sigh* K-mart systems come with tone controls, ack the horror of it!).

I have really nothing further to add to the discusssion because our differences may have as much to do with my poor hearing and my bad equipment compared to your's, as you have pointed out. I must remind myself to do a better job in future to stay away from this kind of thread and keep my thoughts/observations more private. If you feel much better for having denigrated my K-Mart system then I am glad for you. I am not at all offended.