Does creating a loom in cables in a system make a significant difference?

I use a mix of different cables for interconnect, speaker and digital cables.  I have no complaints. The music sounds great!   I seize upon good values for superior cables from Audiogon and Audiomart US.  I'm setting up a system in another room  and I'm wondering if I should stick with one brand of cable throughout or just keep buying high quality cables regardless of brand.  I'd appreciate your thoughts.


I think it is likely ideal… but dependent on your components. I have been working on my system for fifty years. It has been a mishmash of components for most of that time. 

I have invested a huge amount of time and discretionary income in my system… doubling the investment every decade. You can see where I ended up… under my user ID. All Audio Research electronics, all Transparent interconnects, cables and power cords (save one). I never set out to harmonize my electronics and cables… it happened through extensive experience, auditioning, and evaluation.

One day I ended up with the best system (for my tastes) I have ever heard… and it turned out to be a known synergistic set of components…. Audio Research,  Transparent, and Sonus Faber speakers. Hmm, this can’t be an accident. 

I have Kimber for speakers and interconnects and Shunyata for power/distribution.

I also added 1 item at a time and appreciated the difference.  Part of the reason was after I bought my speaker cables from Kimber - I looked at eBay for kimberdirect and bought demo's for my interconnects.  (I do have the same interconnects for source to pre and pre to amp connections.)


I use a mix of different cables for interconnect, speaker and digital cables. I have no complaints. The music sounds great

I would say your own results speak for themselves. Different roads do lead to Rome. Same brand cable loom has worked out for many. Use your ears (As you’ve apparently done).
I have used the same manufacturer for my Line stage:amplifiers/speakers (Coincident) to excellent effect. But have two different brands of cables (Ocellia IC/SC and Lavricables power cables). It has worked out very fine for me.


I’ve done it both ways over the years. Initially, it was an ad hoc mismatch based on a very modest budget for mid-fi to entry level hi-fi systems. Frankly, I didn’t know any different back then, and ….with the comparatively modest audio performance capabilities of those earlier budget systems , I doubt that a single array loom of cables would make any big difference in any case,

BUT .,. When I moved into high-end systems with a contemporaneous introduction to high-end cables , …then MY experiences ( emphasis added …,,,) dictate that it does provide a distinct step-up in audio performance to have a same brand AND same model (or better) cables loom.

It’s currently an all-CARDAS CLEAR / CARDAS CLEAR REFLECTION array that superseded an all-NORDOST FREY array.

Budgets matter …it was a piecemeal 2 year migration with all purchases being pre-owned listed on major audio forums. ( mostly CAM…) It was the ICs first, then power cables next, and finally, the speaker cables last.

In fairness, my selection ranking above was actually simple serendipity of available items on the master wishlist just popping up, rather than a rigid plan .

If I was buying new, I would have started with power chords, then ICs, and then speaker cables.

FWIW ..,

Thanks Guys for your input.  I agree with what Charles 1 Dad said.  My ears tell me that I'm doing fine. It was an  expensive route to get where I am in my present system. My instinct tells me that any increase in SQ by building a loom system with one manufacturer (Nordost, Synergistic Research or many of the other respected brands) would not be noticeable to me.  I'll just follow a route that makes economic sense to me (but I won't go cheap) without religiously adhering to one brand.

A cable loom is a device that bundles them together in a relatively neat raceway.

The idea of your system sounding great with a full loom or a complete mishmash says absolutely nothing to answer the question. Unless you have compared the opposite… there is no information gleaned.

In my fifty years of pursuing the high end, owning dozens of components, and hundreds of interconnects… with slow and methodical convergence on synergy of components and same interconnects and cables is however evidence… although somewhat indirect.

I do have a theory for which I have a lot of personal evidence. But would be hard to prove (like everything in high end audio):

If you consider a sequence of four components Streamer -> Amp or TT -> amp)… each with a different small shortcoming.

To make it simple, let’s say component one rolls off the highs, component two rolls off the low frequency, component three rolls of the highs and component four rolls off the lows. By the time you hear the output has a highly attenuated high and low frequency. This is a pretty strong case for all the same components.

Then apply the same logic with all cables and interconnects. Suddenly the same components and same carefully chosen interconnects become a much more synergistic collection of gear.


The real world is much more complicated… but this really suggests the same everything will provide the best sound.

Of course if a different company produces a much better single component you have to weigh the variables. But if a company produces outstanding components across the spectrum, then they have a real competitive edge. 


I have always been a subscriber to continuity in cables will bring better sound.

My main system is all Zafino Cable and could not be more pleased with the sound and and performance. My secondary system is all Signal cable and I am equally satisfied with the cables and the components assembled to make this system.

I am still constructing the loom for my main system, I started with interconnects and speaker cable, now ordering power and should have the loom complete in the next few weeks. 

Man, I’m SO tempted to just say yes, but my experience is that cables can be such a crapshoot who the hell knows? I personally think there’s more than one road to success here, so unfortunately that means it’s really a trial and error affair in the end. I actually have all Acoustic Zen except for power cables that are Cullen, but I’ll likely try an AZ power cable at some point just to see what I get. I’d suggest if you have a favorite cable in your system try adding another and see if it improves or not. I really liked my AZ Satori double barrel shotgun cables and as I added their interconnects and finally their MC2 digital cable things kept getting better, which is how I ended up where I am. That said, I think it’s perfectly possible to get great sound from mixing n matching as you’ve obviously already discovered.  How’s that for a wishy-washy non answer?

I say no. A look at my system will show you a bunch of mixed brands, equipment and cables. And the end result is more than plenty satisfactory to say the least. It's more about getting each component and cable that has the best sound for value, and it will rarely be the same brands.  Open your mind. Who cares whether it's all blue dials... or identical color cables. Your ears certainly won't.

using cables from the same company makes more sense but if you're going to use any kind of cables get OCC single Crystal because it is far superior than anything ofc on the market at any price, but there's also cheaper and higher-end OCC single crystal wire as well so as you go up in price things get better and better but OCC single crystal is the best wire for audio and it has been proven for over 50 years to be the best.

While I respect the views of those who through personal and in some cases very long positive experience with a cable loom, my ears will probably never discern a difference among high quality elements from different companies. I don't have the Golden Ear ability to distinguish between the subtle differences in SQ described by equipment reviewers and members of this forum.  When I was at Axpona in April at a Nordost exhibit, the rep there put me down for not having a Nordost loom. My system sounds great nevertheless with mix and match.  I am able to distinguish some differences in cables. I started out with inexpensive Cullen IC and digital Cables (heavy gauge copper) but I sensed a "blanket" over the music compared to my older Kimber cables. My speaker cables were Nordost Blue Heaven, (upgraded to Tyr 2) in both cases.  My outlets are 20 amp and my conditioner and power cables are Shunyata.  I then switched to Synergistic silver and the difference to me was dramatic (and no harshness as some have warned).  But posting the question was my own reality check.

I always thought a wire loom was a way to keep your wires neat and tidy, regardless of brand. 

I've messed with "high end" cables since the late '80s. Yeah, you can hear a difference. Maybe you shouldn't- that is, the cable is coloring the sound. I dunno. 

One serious guy I know swears by basic old stock Rat Shack and his system is beyond the pale.

I think the one advantage of a "full loom" is that it enables you to hear the "house sound" of that brand/line. Cabling can be tricky if you are trying to use it to compensate. I use very basic stuff in my vintage system- trying to stay close to period. In my main system, I had great success with Kubala-Sosna, which nicely matches the character of my system. But, I can't extrapolate. I will say K-S stepped up when a very long XLR had a bad connector- 17 years later. He replaced it at no cost and no cost shipping back. 

If you do indulge in cable comparisons, you can get a headache. There are some known synergies for people with certain speaker/amp combos. I would start there if that's a question. 

I'd also say, with some experience, that I would rank the importance of cabling low on the priority list if you are building an entire system from scratch. The cables can make a difference but I wouldn't put cart before horse (or something). 

I say if you have crappy cables it's important to have ALL crappy cables for consistency. Also, if you decide otherwise, it's important to use a forum like this to note how you've bought expensive cables and like to be recognized for the serious listener and real smart person you obviously are. Otherwise, what's the point?

I’m one of the lucky guys that doesn’t hear a difference between cables.

I use ’standard’ copper cables all around, does that count as a ’loom’?

I use bi-wiring with my stereo set and bi-amping with my 5.1 set. Couldn’t hear the difference with that either, but hey, the cables were not very expensive.

The "loom" theory is very convenient for manufacturers to promote sales of their own cables. To the extent that cables impact on sound quality there is no more logic in suggesting that the same make of cables throughout a system has an exponential impact on sound quality than there is in suggesting that using components from the same manufacturer does so. I don't recall a "loom" theory being advanced in the latter regard to anything like the same degree as I do for cables.

I now have mostly the same make and model of cables in my system but to the extent that the sound quality of the system has improved, it's because the cables are better - not because they are from the same manufacturer.

I think the "loom" theory might "work" for certain listeners particularly where a cable manufacturer has a particular sonic signature (I would suggest Nordost, for example). In that case where a listener is particularly drawn to that kind of sound, then reinforcing it with more of the same might prove attractive.


My take on the subject is that unless you have all the same Manufacture equipment of the same vintage going with one cable loom is not necessary.

Each component will benefit on its own cabling that is right for that equipment. Trial and error prevail. I guess that's why there are so many cable makers.


Does creating a loom in cables in a system make a significant difference?

only if the total cost of the loom exceeds $10,000

and the difference becomes HUGE if the cost >$100,000

otherwise, no... 🤣

@yoyoyaya funny I am yet to see or hear a manufacturer recommendation for looms. I have read reviewers say they are experimenting as I have and have had some success. 

@juanmanuelfangioli. For clarity, I was suggesting that it is convenient for manufacturers if that approach is promoted. I did not say by whom.

See below (after the next para) for two quotes from Hi Fi Plus reviews of Nordost cables. I recall that magazine's reviewers as being the foremost promoters of "loom" theory.

As per my original post, I've used mixes of cables and sets of cables from the same manufacturer and both have been successful.There is a predictability in terms of results in using cables from the same manufacturer but, to paraphrase a previous poster, it is not the only road to Rome - (or Asgard :)).

"I’ve shied away from the term ‘coherent cable loom’ here, but Nordost Valhalla 2 is the very model of coherence. It ties systems together in an holistic manner often sought, but rarely achieved."

"Yet, if there’s one thing that the Valhalla experience teaches you it is that we’ve grievously underestimated the importance of cables, both collectively and relative to each other. So, not only does the cable loom create the foundation on which system performance is built, but it starts not with the signal cables but at your wall sockets."

Maybe the loom theory (next to sales) is to have cables with the same design principles and therefore the same kind of enhancements/or lack of distortions. Mixing cables can introduce distortions with different kind of parameters that can bring down the whole experience. One cable sound airy, but is bass shy, the other one scoops the sound, the other one chokes the high end detail, the other one is more susceptible of noise (witch can be a problem when it is used on the wrong spot/or is a heavy noise transmitter itself. Sometimes changing one cable can have effect on the other cables.I like to experiment and mix cables, connectors and equipment. Always start with the best cables at the source (distributor, power cables, interconnects/digital and at last speaker cables and keep them separated as much as possible (or cross at 90 degrees)



Mixing cables can introduce distortions with different kind of parameters that can bring down the whole experience

Uh, what? Distortions?  I think I know what you mean but I don’t think you worded that appropriately. I currently have a full loom of Acoustic Zen cables just because adding another AZ cable at each spot led to a sonic improvement to me, so I obviously gravitate to their house sound. But, if I hear about another cable from another manufacturer that really piques my interest I won’t hesitate to go outside the loom and give it a try. Despite my current situation of having a full loom of AZ, I wouldn’t hesitate to change and add another manufacturer’s cable if I thought it was better and in my budget, and frankly I think religiously adhering to one brand is just easy and lazy. Example — I just bought a used AZ MC2 digital cable I’m thrilled with, but if I hear about another digital cable from company XYZ that seems to offer even more of what I’m looking for I’ll certainly give it a try. I guess my point is, just keep adding better cables for your tastes/system as you see fit, and I don’t think that in any way necessitates sticking to one brand. Just my take and experience.

Maybe you are correct. Distortions is not the right word. Every cable is losing some musical information. But if the loom is losing information at only one point (for example detail) it maybe will sound better at the end instead of losing information on multiple points because of other sound signatures due to masking. This is not my personal view, but I am thinking out loud why a loom could sound better.

I guess my point is, just keep adding better cables for your tastes/system as you see fit, and I don’t think that in any way necessitates sticking to one brand. Just my take and experience.

+1. I will always add better cables when I have the budget .At the moment my cables are fine. I am now saving my money for a better DAC. It is all about balance in this hobby of ours.

And to answer the OP's question. I think there is no extra synergy in a full loom of one vendor. It don't have to cost a lot of money but your cables should be in line with your equipments potential and grow when your system gets better.

@ tantejuut

With the jumble of cables coming from my AC conditioner and CD player to DAC to integrated amp, I find the 90 degree rule impossible to achieve. But as stated in my opening question, my system sounds great notwithstanding the complex interchange of cables.  As far as my original question is concerned, I will certainly take the looming idea into consideration in my 2nd room setup but will not be ruled by it. Thanks to all for your input.


Just using AQ Blizzard Xtreme powercords all around, Cardas Gold Presence interconnects, and speaker cables are Kimber 12TC. I try to keep it simple......

@styleman   im the same way, havin a variety of good ICs i got t a decent price. i decided to do one system in all the same cables, so i got my desktop system, which nearly all tube also, in morrow audio. was gonna do another system in all blue jeans but i just havent gotten around t it yet, plus man those BJC RCAs  dont easily fit the back of my marantz

boys and girls... it is a chain... so every link matters... up the chain can be said to have more influence through the whole chain than further downstream due to its position in it, but the signal is all traveling downstream... right?

It is all about balance in this hobby of ours.

@tantejuut Big +1.  Even though I ended up with a near full loom, I am in no way married to it. 

boys and girls... it is a chain... so every link matters... up the chain can be said to have more influence through the whole chain than further downstream due to its position in it, but the signal is all traveling downstream... right

@jjss49 Another Big +1.


It's hard to answer. Having a full loom will maximize the positive effects, but also the negatives. 

In my case I stayed for a long while with a full loom of a cable I adore, but ended up with an unnatural sounding system. Turns out having rhodium plugs everywhere wasn't such a good idea - in my system at least. I now have a mix of cables with the same wire materials and geometry but with gold plating after the source, silver plating between preamp and active crossover, rhodium before the amps, and it's much better. I'm about to try another gold cable between preamp and crossover and see where it brings me. Effects are cumulative. Voicing a system is like cooking. 

YMMV, as always.