"EAR VS Cables"

first of all.i want to thanks all the fellows audiogon on here helping me finish my system..i am pretty much completed everything but cables.after 3 months reasearching about cables on here,and i am still confuse of which cable to buy..i ve tried(borrow) home depot cable Vs $1000 cable,to be honest,i can not tell the difference whatsoever.I am an electrical engineer for 11 years ,and to me there is no theory that support the differences on cables.anyways,is it because i am not at the level that my ear can tell the difference? Am i going to get there one day? the question is..should i spend the money now on cable or stick with the cheap affordable cable?my ears can tell the difference between tube and SS,but fail on cables..when i say cables.i mean inter-connct,power cord, and speakers wire. ..please help.
YOU are going to listen to music with your system. That's what matters. If you don't hear differences, why spend big bucks on cables? I do hear some differences with cables but I think that there are many of them that are way overpriced. The best thing is to try them in your system and compare.
The most important thing with cables is how well they match with your components and only you can be the judge of that. The problem is that there are so many of them on the market and it is very difficult to compare many of them to each other.
E-mail me if you want to hear more about this.

Ttrhp, much depends on the cables you auditioned, and the equipment used. Yes, it is entirely possible that the cables you listened to were not different enough from Home Depot wire for you to hear it. Not all expensive cables are great. I was very skeptical about wire/sound differences initially. However, I experimented, and it was proved to my ears that there are dramatic differences, especially between the really cheap zip-cord and "freebie" interconnnects, and well-designed/constructed ones that augment your system's characteristics. I demonstrated this again to myself just last night. I was having a right channel problem and removed the interconnects to see if maybe the IC's were the cause. I swapped them out with some generic $3 IC's, and sure enough, my good IC's had a loose connection in the RCA connector. The generic ones worked good enough for me to identify a bad connection in my others, but BOY, did they sound terrible. I only listened to them long enough to solder the connection on my good ones. I couldn't get those cheapies off my system fast enough. Bottom line, there are differences, and they are not small ones. Good cables, whatever type, are important and need to be part of a good system. They don't have to be expensive, they just have to be good. My DIY cables work very well in my system. I'm not going to say I couldn't get better, but they are good. Expensive cables can be great, or garbage, depending on the design and its compatibility with your system. Also, if your system is not very transparent or revealing, the differences could be somewhat masked, making them hard to hear. But, that doesn't mean that these differences are not there. They are. I usderstand your skepticism, as I was once a skeptic. However, there is now no doubt in my mind at all about the significance of cable improvements. Read alot of these cable threads. Either there is a rampant case of mass delusion among audiophiles, or there is a real matter to be addressed. We may be obsessive, but nobody on this forum is willing to plunk down thousands of dollars for something they cannot hear any difference in. Sean could tell you alot about the resistive, capacitive, and inductive differences that are measureable in cables, and how they relate to working with your system. There is much more to it than making the connection between outputs and inputs.
>> and i am still confuse of which cable to buy..i ve tried(borrow) home depot cable Vs $1000 cable,to be honest,i can not tell the difference whatsoever <<

You just answered your question - if you can't hear the difference, *why* would you even consider spending good money on expensive cables? Install the Home Depot cable, fix yourself an adult beverage, and go enjoy the music. Enjoying the music is, after all, what all this is about, isn't it?

You might, however, consider applying that $1,000 to some remedial writing classes...
both Twl and Tentrek have made excellent points. in my view cables are the big black hole for money. If you can't hear a difference then for you there is no difference. be happy with your system as it is and enjoy the music. don't let the salesmen's claims make you insecure about your judgment.

what i find disturbing about cabling claims is that somehow they can improve the sound of your components, usually at a very substantial cost, frequently equally the cost of the component(s)involved. personally, i would like to apply this money to a higher grade component. cabling will not improve the sound of your components. they are all passive. what they can do is allow the true sound of your components to be heard. they won't upgrade a good amp into SOTA. however, they can change the sound and there is a difference, sometimes good, sometimes not, between cables. (i hear the greatest difference in speaker cables and long runs of interconnect.) i would think of cabling as an effective way to tweak the sound of you system to obtain an end result. for example certain cables of are used to tame a bright high end.
if you do go this route home trials are an absolute necessity and be very skeptical of claims the the cable requires a long break in period. if you don't like it after 24 hours, forget it and move on.

have fun ...............
I agree with most of the above comments. Buy what will work best for you while spending the least amount of cash. There is no sense in over-spending for something that you do not benefit from.

Having said that, i would get used to the system with the cabling that you start off with and listen to some very specific recordings on a somewhat regular basis. This may take some time to do and dont' do it trying to "analyze" anything. This will only add stress and take away the enjoyment factor of listening. After you feel that you know those recordings inside and out and are comfortable with the system as it is, THEN substitute cabling. If you still don't hear a difference, then stick with what you have. As Newbee points out, there are differences amongst cables and how they mate with the rest of the system, but not all differences are for the better.

Some differences in performance are not "up-front" noticeable but are rather subtle. As such, A-B'ing various designs may not allow you enough time to get used to the subtle shading or texture that the system presents with each design in place. Even then, it sometimes takes an educated ear to be able to pick out the differences.

You should not feel alone in this situation. There are many times that i've gone through the same discussion with my Brother. While we do have slightly different tastes in tonal balance, i can usually pick things out that he overlooks. After we get done arguing and we settle down : ) I'll tell him to listen for specific characteristics and then compare the two. I do not point out what passages to listen to or specific notes as that would give him a preconceived idea that he "should" hear something different at that point. When all is said and done, he can typically refer back to the same points that i was able to pick out the differences at and we end up agreeing 98% of the time.

The point is that we all listen differently with some aspects being more important to some than others. He would have been completely happy with the lower resolution component had i not tried to steer him into something else. Once the differences were pointed out though, it is hard to take a step backwards.

This also goes goes to show that two people listening to the same identical thing can hear slightly different presentations. While it is the same tune with the same amount of detail presented by the same system, some listeners are able to dive deep into a recording while others swim on the surface. Obviously, there are several different levels between the two and that is where listening skill comes into play. None of us are equal in that respect nor have the same preferences. That is why i stressed buying what YOU like and can hear. Learning the differences can sometimes be a detriment as we tend to listen to the recording and presentation rather than just kicking back and enjoying the music. Sean

Hey rlwainwright,

You want literature, grab yourself a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's collected short stories and have yourself a big time. But please, keep your mean-spirited remarks to yourself. I'll take 'remedial' writing over smart-xxx remarks anyday.
I tried many different cables in my system from the last 22 years.There is too much of hype and many unsubstantiated claims.
Cables can not improve a bad source. They do change the sound either bright, or soft and can change the dynamics.
I recently evaluated my earlier purchases to see what made a big difference-big bang for the buck-or a purchase at the point of diminishing return for the capital .

1) positioning the speakers.
2)I cleaned my cable TV box audio connectors with De ox-a craig product. Periodical cleaning made a perceivable difference -low cost.
3) AR com DIY speakers cost 330 dollars-more returns forthe dollar spent

4) source.DAC- to CD player perceivable significant difference but 1000$
4)Upgrade to a a hybride tube- amplifier and than a receiver set up big difference.
5) cables--Bolder cables.Perceivable difference for better.There are similar cables of the same formulaat much lesser cost.
Homegrown audio silver Lace cables gave me good returns for the dollar.Stealth cables also gave me good returns. Many other expensive cables I used are slightly better but at a significantly higher cost.
6) CD and DVD treatment auric enhancer or vivid.
7 buying more CDs and DVDs more enjoyment for the dollar spent.
Trthp: Having that you are technically inclined, if you can solder/crimp then make your own cables.

There are many designs available in the Cable Forum @:


Who knows, if you get your imagination going you may start voicing/changing the designs to your own taste and/or come up with a new designs altogether?

If eventually you still cannot hear differences between various decent cables then don't sweat it as long as you can still hear the most important thing which is the music (the gear is just a hobby).
Cables are the Arteries to your components. their job is to pass the signal through as unchanged as possible. the better cables can do this, and will allow you to hear your gear better. what you need to look for in a good cable is Neutrality! don't bother spending good money on high end audio unless your willing to install equal quality cabling to bring out the most of your expensive gear.