could somebody help me out on the benefits of expensive phono and speaker cables?


want to upgrade,but not sure if its worth it.
drdeth
Cables DO matter and they can make a big difference on sound quality and listener satisfaction.  However, in my experience with cables, sound quality and dollars spent are not always directly correlated.  In other words, the cliche "you get what you pay for" does not necessarily apply with cables.   I've had expensive speaker cables that disappointed and inexpensive cables that were very satisfying.   Experimentation and system synergy is key.   
In my opinion the only way to know if it's worth it is to have a home audition. No one can tell you what something is worth. I submit you should try room treatment or a power cord first.
If you are really looking for a serious answer as opposed to stirring the pot of contention, telling the community what your system is like and what cables you are using now will go a long way towards getting meaningful responses.
Interesting username and first post on the first day.
Not taking the bait ....
Cost alone is not a reliable indicator of the value of an upgrade.  The devil is always in the details.
I agree.  To ask about “expensive” cables is a huge red flag.  If you want to discuss what your system is currently and the cables you have now we could discuss how certain choices may be an upgrade for you whether they are expensive or not.
Much better sound great definition better detail.Look at Purist a great cable from a co that will be here in the future.Enjoy!!
THose are advertised benefits.   Maybe yes, maybe no....  Same true at any price.
Could be.  Good question though.
" Good question though."
Is it really with all the info available online already?
There is an advantage to various cable from speaker, power, interconnects, etc., it's metals and material used. Biggest problem you’ll run into is paying for someone’s name. A little research goes a long ways to saving $$$.
Low end equipment see very lil adavantage other than blue jeans, higher end entry level require a better cable setup for a more detailed soundstage, and when you just spent 50k-100k, hell, you should have enough to go all out on cables.
The most obvious advantage is that they can help some people get rich quick.

Best of all is that they won't need to present any evidence whatsoever of possible technical improvements over basic OFC. A fancy sleeve and ridiculously overkill plugs can help though.

Every time I have to unplug my IXOS interconnects and almost end up destroying the inputs on the back of my amp and CD player I congratulate myself for buying these 'wonderful' cables.
Any question put forth in good faith is a good one.  
But let’s see, who’s getting rich, shall we? Let’s take a simplified example. Cable manufacturer no.1 sells very expensive cables for $5,000 each. And he sells 100 cables in one year. Not everybody can afford $5,000 cables, but 100 audiophiles per year can. Plus Cable manufacturer no. 1 has to compete with many other cables in that price range. But he knows that going in. Cable manufacturer no. 2 sells his cables for $500 each so will sell many more cables per year, let’s be generous and say he sells 1000 in one year. He also has a lot of competition.

So, what do we have? I’m not including costs of materials, labor, advertising, etc. just gross sales. Cable manufacturer no. 1 grosses $500,000 per year. Cable manufacturer no. 2 grosses $500,000. Looks like everyone is doing pretty well. I should have gotten into the cable business. But the seller of really expensive cables doesn’t gross any more than the guy who sells moderately priced cables. So that part is possibly a myth.
Making up numbers does not debunk anything (of course gk would assert it does seemingly). but it is true that wires have always been one of the most profitable items sold by any hifi vendor at any price. That roll of 16 gauge copper speaker wire you used to buy at Radio Shack had huge profit margin. More money made there than with equivalent electronics for sure. Speakers were somewhat better than electronics but wire and accessories (tweaks) ruled for profit which is of course what all business is about. That might be one reason for some people's obsession in pitching tweaks.
mapman, no offense, but it appears your reading comprehension skills have deteriorated even more than I would have thought possible. One imagines an Amish upbringing might not encourage math skills or reading comprehension skills. No offense to Amish or any other religious groups is intended. I’m sure they have their strengths. Or maybe it’s something in the water where you are, who knows?
10%                               
For a newbie... The best advice is spend 10% of total system cost on wire.                              
If you are not a newbie, spend what ever you want.
drdeth,
You are free to believe whatever you want to believe. The world is your oyster.
numba nine, numba nine, numba nine, num...


seriously, I support Elizabeth’s assertion on this one, that seems about right, though I will say I’ve had very good results with Blue Jeans’ Belden sourced cables and they are a high value bargain. Just an option for not much $$.

Also, consider that the most often-used cabling in professional recording studios, everywhere, is Belden. So, it would seem that the same cable would be just as appropriate for playback as well, right?
10% is not reasonable. I’m my system, that gives me 17k to play with. Not happening. 18-20% was my sweet spot. And yes, cables make a massive difference. The problem is, people ask others for advice and are ignorant to your system so their advice is crap. Take the time and study, demo what you think you might want. Talk to the owners of the companies. Most are very willing! I know Tom Vu from Triangle Art, Joe from JPS Labs we’re an absolute pleasure to deal with. They sent me the cables to try for a month to see how they sounded. I stayed with Triangle Art with interconnects and power & JPS Labs for my speaker cables. I ended up also purchasing Toms phono stage & Reference tube amps as I already had his reference se turntable. Don’t be fooled by some of these guys on this site bashing cables. The difference is huge! 
10% is not reasonable. I’m my system, that gives me 17k to play with. Not happening. 18-20% was my sweet spot.



^^^^ This is why it’s good to bring some alternative viewpoints for balance, when newbies come to an audiophile forum to ask about cables. Lest they simply accept that they have to spend a lot of money on cables to get good sound.

My speaker cables cost about $70 for the pair, and only that much because I had a long run to buy. That’s something like .8 percent only of what my previous speakers cost me, let alone my whole system!
I get great sound. I like it better than the sound my pal gets with many thousands of dollars worth of boutique cables.

So, another viewpoint to consider for the OP.


*bro fist to stevecham*


(I use Belden. If it’s good enough for pros to use in creating many excellent recordings, it’s good enough to pass those signals to my speakers).

Room acoustics matter a whole lot more. 
So you can call me a newbie, I joined to buy a McIntosh Power amp. Didn't really know this was a forum too. Already on Audiokarma. What do you need for speaker cables anyway? 10 gauge 105 strand tinned copper in a shielded 2 pair jacket? Agree with prof here, belden cables are just fine, but I make my own cables using only belden. I refuse to pay for a fancy jacket with somebody's name on it, besides I love the way everything sounds & that's all that matters.
Do not waste your money on expensive cables. Me and my friends have spend thousands on expensive cables to our speakers, and there is this gentleman ‘b4icu’ from previous forum calculated the correct cable gauges for the amplifier we used. We bought 4 AWG copper wires from Amazon as recommended by him with spade and banana connectors and DIY the cables. For $200 between the 3 of us, we have 3 set of speakers cables. We are very happy with the DIY cables to our speakers. 
It's all just wire. Get copper. Get a low gauge number (thick) connect it. All it has to do is get the electrical mojo to the drivers. It might be nice to tell you friends you have 25k in meteorite sourced. 99999999999 Homium nitrided virgin Ecuadorian copper fully framulated and encased in the foreskins of penguins,  but it's still just...wire.
IME, interconnects and power cables have more influence on sonics than speaker cables.

And selection of any cable depends on the component being used and the synergy with said component and system as a whole. Price may not be a factor.

For a balanced fully differential setup, interconnects have less affect on sonic signature. The difference in sound between low cost Belden and a high-priced cable may be negligible.
   For my modest system which is all tube single-ended, the cost of my cables is damn high. But that’s what works for me after years of auditions and upgrading.

Khiak
Do not waste your money on expensive cables. Me and my friends have spend thousands on expensive cables to our speakers, and there is this gentleman ‘b4icu’ from previous forum calculated the correct cable gauges for the amplifier we used. We bought 4 AWG copper wires from Amazon as recommended by him with spade and banana connectors and DIY the cables. For $200 between the 3 of us, we have 3 set of speakers cables. We are very happy with the DIY cables to our speakers.

>>>>>Everything is relative. It all depends on what you are comparing. Some cables ARE better than some others. Just because thick cables beat some other cable doesn’t necessary mean the reason is due to the cable thickness. There are lots of variables involved.
Here’s a real life example. At the Tenor/Rockport exhibit in the Tuscany Hotel in Las Vegas in 2001, best of show that year at CES, the system consisted of Rockport Hyperion speakers ($100,000) that were biamped with four Tenor tube amps ($100,000 total), and Jena Labs Pathfinder and Shunyata cables (estimated cost of all cables $10,000). Thus the percentage cost of cables in that system was only 5%. Actually less than that since I didn’t include all the isolation stands (5), the CD player and the Audiokarma break-in device that was used to break in all cables. Or the cost of the huge 40x50 room to put it all in. Of course $10,000 for cables is nothing to sneeze at for most working stiffs.
Aahhh CHOO!                            

@geoffkait  but you can substitute out all the fancy power cables and it wouldn’t make any difference whatsoever. Then you could substitute out the interconnects for  Belden  and it might sound slightly different, but it might actually be a hair better. 
+ 1 cd318 bang on!
another +1 to erik squires
I am a newbie.my system is a Sansui 9090DB,(restored by Casper Yardley of Chicago,he is outstanding),pioneer PL50L II,Nagaoka MP200,Klipsch Cornwalls.
Looking at your specific equipment I suspect that what is likely to make the greatest sonic difference when it comes to cabling would be to have a technician rewire your turntable with a phono cable having very low capacitance. And re-doing the internal wiring of the tonearm while he’s at it.

While Nagaoka doesn’t appear to provide a load capacitance recommendation for the MP200, several other Nagaoka cartridges having fairly similar specs have load capacitance recommendations of 100 pf (picofarads). That is an **extremely** low number, which most setups will not come close to achieving. (The load capacitance seen by the cartridge is the sum of the capacitances of the turntable’s internal and external wiring, plus the unspecified input capacitance of the phono section of your receiver, and the capacitance of the connectors that are in the path).

Consistent with some of the earlier responses, low cable capacitance does not necessarily mean high price. For example, inexpensive Blue Jeans LC-1 has a very low capacitance of 12 pf per foot.

Assuming the turntable’s cable is of typical length, say 5 or 6 feet, it wouldn’t surprise me if the cartridge is presently seeing a total load capacitance of 250 to 300 pf, or close to three times the amount that may be optimal for the particular cartridge. The consequence of having too much capacitance would most likely be excessive brightness in the mid-treble region and/or under-emphasis and dullness in the upper treble.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al
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"It might be nice to tell you friends you have 25k in meteorite sourced. 99999999999 Homium nitrided virgin Ecuadorian copper fully framulated and encased in the foreskins of penguins,  but it's still just...wire."
That is the best thing on this goofy forum I have ever read.........:-D



There is some goofy stuff, but my question was sincere.I’m not interested in a 50k system,hell I wear hearing aids.A decent cost effective tweak here and there might be worth it,and i’ll spend my money on vinyl.thanks for your post Al.
More music,more sound,more information,more imaging more definition upgrade asap.
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   I would say cabling is system dependent more than anything. With 80% of the systems it doesn't matter because the system cannot resolve the difference. 
    My Living Room system which uses an above average receiver and OPPO player has old Monster and Audio Quest cables...I hear no difference in cable change outs. However my listening Room system which uses Technical Brain and heavily modified Silverline Grandeur mk II speakers is easy to hear. Schonberg makes a great bang for the bucks line of silver ribbon cables.
Price brings mostly the outward appearance differences.

There are three distinctly different sounding speaker cables.

  1. Regular stranded copper.
  2. Solid wire.
  3. True Litz (type 2).

Each one will sound different than the others.
Each one can be constructed to give the appearance to sell for big $’s. And, in turn. Each one can be made to sell for much less.
People with more money than they know what to do with will think big $’s cables must sound better. Someone out there is always willing to oblige them. They will definitely look better. Sound? Your choice. 1, 2, or, 3.
Is a $200 bottle of wine better than a $20 bottle of wine. Is it 10X better? Cable/wires can make your system sound different. Is that the same as better?
Maybe. It depends on what you are trying to find.
Here's some info to  sink your teeth into. Plenty of useful info from someone who does know what they are talking about.

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#conditioner

You may already know the author is a known designer. At least you will have more perspective on your decision. 

Playing with audio, and navigating thru forums IS MADNESS!
Tablejockey,

Your linked article by Harry Marynard is very informative.

Harry describes the relationship between wire resistance, speakers’ varying impedance and the amplifier’s damping factor.  These issues were addressed in the posts by b4icu referenced by khaki above.

Athough b4icu excluded ribbon speakers from his reporting, I took his advice and connected four feet 0 AWG battery cable from a Pass Labs 250.5 (damping factor of only 150) and modified Magnapan MG IIIa’s.  Maggie’s have a difficult load ranging from 6 to 2 ohms.  The experiment was upgrading from 16 to 10 gauge wires tested previously.  The results were stunning.

The installed signal and neutral battery cable wires were separated by four inches to reduce the possibility of induction induced noise, see WiilyWonka’s post above.

Total cost, $65.

Given the modest cost and ease of installation, OP might start here and move on to IC’s.
Just remember, cables ARE tone controls. Certain cables don't, "Get out of the way of the music", like so many people claim.  They all add their own signature.  Some add more air, depth, width, etc., than others. You have to see what works best for your tastes. 

Don't get sucked into the hype of uber expensive cabling. Cables are the biggest racket in audio.