Difference between non and factory terminated

If someone gave you a good factory terminated power cable, and someone else gave you the same cable, but they terminated it at both ends themselves (let's suppose they done a reasonable job), could you hear the difference? How much, if any, difference does factory termination make?
It is easier to trust a factory to make a secure connection. Other than that, what sound difference do you imagine could result? Are you looking for a way to test the cables?

If so change them and see if you can discern a difference. I have found many cables with poor connections, even from the factory, that will cut in and out with a wiggle, for instance. Even after testing the same cable on a different component.

BTW notice the following view on cables from Seifgried Linkwitz, of Linkwitz-Riley fame, the designer of Stereophile 1998 Speaker of the Year ($28k Audio Artistry 'Beethoven'-http://www.audioartistry.com:

Q37 - What cables and interconnects do you recommend?

A37 - I prefer not to recommend any specific product. Cables can have audible effects and some manufacturers make sure they will, either through unusual electrical parameters and/or by suggestion. Weaknesses in the design of the output-to-input interface are exploited. Sounding different does not mean it is also a more accurate transfer from electrical to acoustic domain.
My guideline for speaker cables is to keep their resistance to less than 0.1 ohm for the roundtrip path of the current. This defines the maximum length of a 2-conductor copper cable for different wire gauges.

Wire gauge / Max. length in feet
18-- 8
16-- 12
14-- 20
12-- 30
8--- 80

I measured the 16 gauge Megacable from Radio Shack (278-1270) that I use. A 10 foot length has 0.07 ohm resistance, 714 pF of capacitance and 1.9 uH of inductance. The line impedance is 51 ohm. A typical tweeter has a voice coil resistance of 4.7 ohm and 50 uH inductance. At 20 kHz this yields an impedance of about |4.7 + j6.3| = 7.9 ohm. Add to this the cable inductance of j0.24 ohm, and 0.07 ohm resistance for 10 feet, and the impedance becomes 8.09 ohm. This causes a 7.9/8.09 = 0.98 or 0.17 dB reduction in tweeter output at 20 kHz which is insignificant. The cable effect is even less at lower frequencies.

Speaker cables can act as antennas in the AM frequency band and may cause distortion in the output stage of a solid-state amplifier, if strong radio frequency signals are present. In particular, the cable capacitance in conjunction with the inductance of a driver voice coil may form a resonant circuit for these frequencies. The resonance can be suppressed by placing a series R-C circuit of 10 ohm/2 W and 0.33 uF/100 V across the cable terminals at the speaker end.
Coaxial interconnects with phono (RCA) plugs tend to pick up radio frequencies in the FM band. The currents that are induced in the cable shield must not be allowed to enter the inside of the coax. This requires a very low resistance connection between the outer conductor of the phono connector and the chassis (signal ground) of the equipment that it plugs into. The continuity and low resistance of the shield is also very important for hum and buzz currents, so that they will not induce a voltage on the center conductor. The technical description for this is the Transfer Impedance of the cable and connectors, which must be in the low milli-ohm range. Unfortunately I have not seen this specification used by the audio industry. An excellent description of the theory and treatment of hum and buzz problems in equipment setups with mixed two and three prong AC plugs is given in AN-004 by Jensen Transformers, Inc. I have not found balanced interconnections to be necessary for the high level circuits past the preamplifier. But sometimes it requires to experiment with AC outlets in different locations to reduce to insignificant level the buzz that one may hear with the ear close to the speaker cone. So, when choosing a coaxial audio interconnect look for good mechanical construction, direct contact between shield and connector, and well plated contact surfaces.
I find what is needed at Radio Shack. I solder speaker cables to terminal strips on the speaker end and use dual in-line banana plugs on the amplifier end.

http://www.linkwitzlab.com /FAQ/Q37
If a cable is cutting in and out - now that's a problem no one can live with. I haven't had the experience of a high end cable doing that, and I might be wrong, but I would imagine that those who've had that experience are in the minority. As far as testing goes, if the ears can't hear the difference, then the numbers shouldn't make any difference. The variables of this are quite low - wires and solder. I'm tending to lean towards the fact that there are negligible differences, if any. Any comments?
Some of the guys just like the idea that is supposed to sound better, or otherwise be superior, whether they can hear anything or not. Of course they tend to imagine that they do, and will fight you over it. The audio industry loves them.

Of course the double blind test to them is like holding up a cross to Dracula. They retreat and hide at the mere mention of it :-)

There are ways to make significant advancement toward 'true to the original' in playback, but it first has to be the goal. Then one addresses the weakest link in any system: the speakers, setup. Followed by a distortion free amp.

The top end gear, cables, and tweaks, if still interested at that point can be experimented with, but they are the least significant.
I know this has nothing to do with sound, but in case you hadn't noticed: non-factory termination can severely damage a cable's resale value, especially with cables of more esoteric construction.
Not as much as the truth about their validity though. I put about $3k worth of cables, which were few in number by the way, on the preowned market and replaced everthing with RadioShack Megacable for a couple hundred dollars fully expecting an audio train wreck.

All that happened though was that the system if anything just sounded a little more real.

While listening to this lack of phenomenon all I could do as shake my head at the power of suggestion. Thinking the mfgrs must 'tee hee hee' behind our backs as they drive their Porche to pick up their Mercedes, singing, 'isn't Capitalism great'.
Didactically - You're not the first one to say that, and you won't be the last. I got a Black Mamba v2 last year (Used may I add. May I?), and while detailed and rich, I think it's the one piece that's lagging in terms of dollar vs. sound ratio, so I get your point. My friend bought a famous power cord a while back that was hand terminated with better connectors than the original, and tested it against a Cardas Twinlink. It was better - much better. It was also more expensive than the Twinlink, even though cheaper than the original of that brand name. I imagined how the original factory terminated cable would have done against the Twinlink. I'll bet it wouldn't have been any better than the hand terminated one. Still we have fussy people out there with their eyes on the cables, more than their ears on the music.
I hear you. I am using a $15k system and it never ocurred to me to use a power conditioner or so called hi-end power chords. I feel I am just not that gullible.

Though I did aquire some vibration isolation devices which I put back on the market in a moment of recoverd sanity, feeling a little sheepish for buying into that notion.

Also I had more than a dozen heavy duty acoustic treatment devices which ended up in the dumpster when I went dipole for speakers (Audio Artistry).

They never did do the job and only accomplished deadening the room in the attempt to control low frequency room modes excited by full range box speakers.

Sometimes it takes awhile to seperate the stuff, from the stuff. Made all the more difficult with the plentiful enthusiastic expressions of those still duped.
Someday, maybe I too will be so enlightened.
I see. Facitious (aka 'passive agressive'). OK, sorry I did not get it the first time.

It is possible to be so subtle that you actually fail to make your point, you know, which then just comes off as 'timid'.
I think there's no doubt that isolation devices and cables make a difference in most cases - sometimes not a lot of difference and sometimes a lot of difference. But is that change always for the better, or is it a change for the sake of change? It would seem that the more money involved, the more the chance that it will be a change for the sake of change.

"Mwilson" - What you said earlier about the resale value of a home terminated cable not having a good resale value...you're right for sure. The thing is, the longer you use it, the less that factor will come into play.
Very true about the diminishing difference in value with age - that curve can be pretty steep, at some point you're not exactly hurting anything by doing what you please with it.

Didactically, there are differing views of audio nirvana, and no single one is correct for everyone. The capitalists you are so satisfied to have eluded may not represent the same specter to others. I find it hard to will away the differences between cables because I don't want them to be there out of financial self-interest (or for some, an intellectual desire to debunk the idea that there are performance differences.)

I live by the rule that what I purchase should be in line with what I am willing to spend for the improvement in sound it brings. If it underachieves, I get rid of it. If it overachieves, I consider it a bargain on my personal scale. To some, bare copper wire at a few cents a foot and its performance profile define this price/performance ratio. For others, it may be a $200/m pair of interconnects made by a hi-fi brand. For some, $1000 or more a meter seems a fair price. It's all in what you hear, and what you're comfortable spending.

To say that one hears the difference between cables because they want to seems equivalent to saying one doesn't hear the difference because they don't want to. Is it all psychological then? There are electrical differences that are measurable, why would there not be performance differences? I think that one's been discussed a few times before, as well : )
Mwilson... I never said there was no difference. Contrare. My argument is that the 'difference' will not lead to realsim, or 'live' like playback. That it is only useful in achieving some subjective sonic quality or other in the system.

To what end though? To mask the reality that is recorded on the source material? Why? Why not rahter be selective in obtaining well produced, and engineered recordings that are 'true to the original' on purpose. Then enjoy the music as 'live' like as possible, and hear what the musicians intended.

If you mask the realities of the source material you will achieve a sameness of what is played back, but never realism.

Better to use reference earphones to listen to the source, then compare to what you hear through your system in the room. It can be discouraging, but like Dr Phil says, 'you cannot change what you not acknowledge'.

BTW the notion of 'relativism' is an offense to the notion of 'truth'. But take your pick. To each his own, I guess.

That is my position, and I am sticking to it.

So not only are you shilling for Linkwitz, but for Dr. Phil also? If you are so convinced that you carry the absolute truth about audio, then why possibly did you join a community whose fundamental belief is that there aren't any absolute truths in audio? What is your objective here? Are you just wanting to type a little? Have your voice be heard? Convert others? I frankly don't understand why you would choose to join a community that is diametrically opposed to your core beliefs.
And I for one have no clue why you cannot seem to stay on track. You have not responded directly to any question posed, other than use the forum as a platform for your personal truths.
So stick to your position. Why not just stick it elsewhere, in a place that you might find more willing apostles?
Very odd, indeed.
Evita - Now that we've managed to drag you into our jail cell, do you have any thoughts on the original question posed? There seems to be a vague agreement amongst us that there's neglible difference between factory terminated and non-factory terminated cables, although we're all looking at it from different angles..... and it seems that Maury Povich, like Dr. Phil says, cannot change what he cannot acknowledge. Maybe that's why his show is still on the air.
I'll chime in here and offer that one would not hear a difference provided the terminations were the same products from the same manufacturer.
Tvad - What if the IEC connector and wall plug were of a comparable or better quality than the original, but not the the same as the original? In this case, the non-factory terminated cable couldn't be worse than the factory terminated one, could it? (barring a sloppy termination job). Would it sound different? Would it sound better?
All bets are off because there are too many options for alternative wall plugs and iec connectors to make a good judgement. Take a look at the VH Audio website to get an idea of the range of connector options.
Octuple (love the user name BTW),
I'll chime in only to agree with what Tvad had already written. And as you mentioned earlier, the hit to the resale value is of concern for those of us who like to try out different cables. If the cable is a keeper, then depreciation is irrelevant. Sorry I can't add anything further. I think the question has been fully answered.
Thanks everybody, for your input!
Bravo Evita,Didact,get some sleep and come back,Bob
I would rather hears some credible arguement. Tossing out an insult so lacks imagination, or any suggestion of intelligence.

You can do better, right.
10-28-04: Didactically
I hear you. I am using a $15k system

What system is that? its not the one you have posted(unless your using 1996 pricing :)