Do you have tin ears?

About a decade ago I jumped into the audio craze and went at it full force. With my budget at the time I purchased the best of the best that I could find through Audiogon or purchased it new. I had problems with my tin ears. I'd have 8 or 9 pairs of IC's and they all sounded the same. I couldn't tell A from B. They all sounded as good to me. I spent a considerable amount of money to find that special cable and never found it.

So, this time around, as I put a modest system together with pieces from back when and and maybe a few new things, I am approaching ICs differently. This time I am going to purchase something solid and durable and stay there. I may consider something by Signal Cable or maybe Blue Jean Cables. Signal cable makes some durable stuff so that may be my ticket

How about you guys? Any others with ears of tin?

There are dozens ,if not more, right here!
Before you guys start bashing let's get some things out there.

Eight yrs. ago no less an institution of health then John Hopkins Medical Research Facility stated that after age 40, on average, hearing in the frequency range that defines the "highs" we discuss can be lost up to 29%!

The evidence, interestingly enough, was much the same at the other extreme...
People my age [57] may have also contributed to the demise of they're
hearing by they're own doing, such as attending loud decibel concerts, playing headphones at a loud level and being in a work situation that had high decibel surroundings, not to mention inheriting specific traits that relate to long term hearing at birth!.

As for not hearing differences in cables, DON'T FEEL GUILTY!! If your chosen cables results in a pleasurable experience for you, STOP SEARCHING!
In a strange way it reminds me of when they used to call a person who got "stoned" easily a WUSS...Hey, he got high like everyone else, just quicker and cheaper!!...:)
Though I do think that cables can make a small difference, I don't think they are worth obsessing about. IMO, it is not worth spending thousands on cable when you can spend a hundred or two for something that sounds almost as good at worst. Your money is much better spent elsewhere in the system. Paul Klipsch famously suggested using lamp cord with his speakers. I agree on the whole with Robert Harley's guideline of spending no more than 5% of the total system budget on wire and cable, and IMO, the larger the budget, the smaller the percentage should be. Harley also suggests buying wire in the lower end of the price range of a reputable maker, which is what I did. I am thinking of trying something cheaper eventually. I have heard good things about those Anti-cables, for instance, though I have no experience with them.

As for hearing the differences, a couple of things need to be kept in mind. Many times there won't be any significant difference in quality between one brand and another. More importantly, though anytime you switch a cable out, this has a sort of "self cleaning" effect as far as the electrical connections, resulting in temporarily better sound. The important thing is to keep your contact connections clean. I use a contact cleaner at least every six months, and the result is quite audible. For me, this is the biggest difference one can make with the electrical side of things - IME it makes a much bigger and more positive difference than a power conditioner, etc.

There are certainly a whole lot of folks on this and other boards that will disagree, though, so all you can do in the end is trust in your own ears.
I agree with Azjake. It's a gift for an audiophile not to spend a lot on wires.
I for one have often pondered the irony of the average age of the ears which can afford to purchase outlandishly expensive audiophile systems.

(and yes, unquestionably, I'm sure I do.)
The problem I have found with cables is that they are system dependant. There seems to a synergy that must fire on all cylinders to maximize the performance. Some cables can take a day or two to settle in when just being moved. So doing A-B comparisons becomes difficult if not impossible. We have to have an equivilant to a photographic memory, (Audiophonic memory?)when trying cables back and forth. Sometimes you get lucky and the improvement a glaringly apparant. Other times I have found that the difference are so minute, that we may convince ourselves which is truly better out of desire to stop searching and settle. Years ago I tried a number of cables and a couple from each company and finally decided on the brand/model based upon the A-B comparisons. It is a hassle and takes a lot of time and money. If you have tried a number of cables and not coming up with a noticable improvement then I would say one of two directions remain to go here. Either be happy with what you have or continue to search for the grail. There most likely is a cable that will make you stand up and say "wow my system is great", but finding it not easy. Another option if you want to enhace your system's performance is look at isolation, component upgrade, room treatments etc. But a tin ear? You wouldn't have come this far if you had a tin ear. You want more because you know you can hear it. Find a way to acheive the goals you have for your music, seek the level of enjoyment that will bring it all together for your needs. It just may not be the cables, sometimes a speaker position can make a world of change. Best of luck.
I would have saved a lot of money. I don't have "golden ears" but I can hear the differences in cables.

Thanx, Russ
If I had "tin ears" I surely wouldn't spend a ton of money on any audio equipment,cables or otherwise.Of course,to each his own in the decision to spend your own money.Just a thought.
Have you visited an audiologist? This is a must for any one into the high end. A full 'spectrum' hearing test is a must, not the standard test that generally stops at 8K. With a test you will know what your hearing curve is all about and can 'see' where your hearing may be adding bias to your listening choices. Use the visit to get a good pair of ear molds made for listening with your portable player.

Lastly, have you had a doctor check your ear wax? Yes, it will make a difference in what you hear. I have a doctor check twice a year and it make a big difference.
You don't have to have perfect hearing to tell the difference between real sounds and what you are hearing from your hi-fi. Just saying.

Thanx, Russ
Lucky you!
I've learned to listen deeper, but can't really decipher differences in IC's or speaker cable. I did notice a substantial difference in a dedicated circuit and Portport. I can also tell blindly if my speaker grills are on or off. No matter how hard I try and burn a good cd for the car, it can't get past a test on the main system it sounds so bad. Headphones are a different story. I had Blue Jeans make me a 15' cord for my AKG702's and it sounds better than the stock without question.
For what it is worth I didn't know I had tin ears until I spent a few dollars on a few items in an attempt to hear what everyone else heard. I never heard any real difference between any cables. I was told that my system was not "high end" enough for me to really tell the difference. I did get some of my money back after I resold it on Audiogon and such.

I've got part of my system set up now and it sounds good and I will admit I've got some junkie radio shack cables keeping everything together and I'm not really sure if any IC more expensive than the RS stuff will do me any better. I think I can do a bit better than RS cables just to give my system the benefit of the doubt. Honestly, I think that the sound differences everyone hears is imagined much more than it is real.

Oh, my ears are clean. Thank you.
Wires do make a difference. Any little change from one wire to another is audible and it may make or break a system depending on system resolution of course.
Try the interconnects at Home Depot. Made by GE, double shielded and very little metal on the RCAs for 5 bucks. You will be pleasantly surprised, but don't take my word for it. Try it for yourself and you decide.
Anyone that truly has "tin ears" might want to consider another hobby, maybe video!